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- "In war, there is nothing more honorable than victory."
- —Chapter Master Augustine Navarre
The Tempest Knights are a Codex Astartes-compliant Loyalist Chapter of Space Marines who are a 4th Founding Successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists. Created sometime during the middle centuries of the 32nd Millennium, following the disastrous events of the War of Beast, when the Imperium was nearly brought to its knees by the largest Ork WAAAGH! seen by Mankind since the Ullanor Crusade during the Great Crusade. After a period of mandatory gene-tithing by the surviving Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes to help rebuild the genetic stores of gene-seed, by the latter years of the fifth century of M32, the 4th Founding occurred. For nearly a century, the Imperium had descended into a period of anarchy and infighting. The newly created Chapters of this Founding were created to help restore order to to an Imperium rife with civil upheaval and insurrection. Since that time, the Tempest Knights have continued to maintain order and bring swift justice to those who would dare sow discord or preach rebellion.
The Tempest Knights were created during the tumultuous times following the catastrophic event, known as the War of the Beast. In 544.M32, the Imperium barely survived the invasion of the massive Ork WAAAGH!, led by the greenskin Warboss known as The Beast. This massive xenos invasions was only defeated when the Imperium resorted to the most extreme measures, and at great cost to the Adeptus Astartes. The acting Lord Commander of the Imperium, Maximus Thane, 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 called for a new Founding, and with the blessing of the Emperor, the 4th Founding of the Adeptus Astartes occurred, to help bring order to an Imperium rife with civil strife and insurrection, and to help restore Imperial law. The Tempest Knights were one of several Space Marine Chapter that were created during this founding.
During this dark period the hopes of trillions was reignited with the return of one of the Emperors loyal sons - the Primarch of the Ultramarines - Roboute Guilliman. With his return, he brought with him the fruits of 10,000 years of research and labour - the Primaris Space Marines. Hearing of this momentous event the entire chapter set course for the Realm of Ultramar immediately, where they pledged to serve the son of the Emperor in perpetuity, and soon Primaris Astartes were serving with distinction. The Tempest Knights received not only fully grown and battle-hardened Primaris brethren, but also the technology and knowledge to create their own Primaris Space Marines.
Thanks to this great fortune, the Tempest Knights now prosecute their wars with even greater vigour. The numbers of Primaris Astartes currently serving are unknown but during the battles of the Indomitus Crusade they were able to field an entire company.
Chapter Home World
Exsteros is a Medieval World, said to be located in the Percivalian System near the far western reaches of the Segmentum Pacificus. The planet includes several land masses with a vast ocean, a severely tilted axis that causes wild seasonal changes, a turbulent atmosphere and extremes of both warm and frigid weather.
The concept of the Exsteros' House is central to their society. It provides an identity, a sense of pride, a direction, and a place in history. An Exsterosian obtains self-worth and personal honor from the House they serve. A warrior is nothing without his House - he has no one to sing his songs, no one to fight alongside, no place in society. Every deed he does reflects upon his House, every honor the House wins rebounds on him. Finally, the House serves a political function. Much as fiefdoms did on ancient Terra, each administers and defends their own territories. Without the power and organisation of these great powers Exsteros would fall into anarchy, dishonour, and weakness.
Exsteros society resembles that of Terra's ancient, Northern European medieval culture. Those born into a ruling family - either a great or minor House - hold more status than that of a commoner. Unlike class systems on other worlds, however, the ability to fight and a willingness to die provides the keys to upward mobility. The commoner who proves himself capable in war could join a House's army, then through bravery, skill and personal merit, can eventually even go on to found their own House. A coward or scoundrel, however, will find himself tumbling down the social ladder. The worst receive discommendation - banishment by society.
Exsteros employ a simple system of noble titles, foregoing the counts, dukes, and barons of other cultures. Every house has but one Patriarch. His various brothers, uncles, nephews and children hold no formal titles, though they receive preferential treatment. They get the best training, command the best ships, live in the best Exsterosian styles, and lead in the greatest battles. Thus they perpetuate their standing in society, by ensuring the finest opportunities for themselves.
Exsterosians believes that blood runs true. The greater the deeds in a noble's lineage, the more exalted he appears in the eyes of Exsterosian society. Those of proud lineage are presumed to share the fine breeding of their forefathers. Thus members of the oldest families often look down upon the newer, less well-pedigreed warriors who rise in power within Exsteros' society. They believe one Exsterosian's achievements cannot measure up to the honor of a hundred generations. They say these upstarts have 'thin blood', a grave insult when uttered face-to-face. In their minds, no amount of genealogy can ennoble a coward or weakling.
The War Council sits at the top of the political order, but they hold little authority over the fiefs of individual Houses. Every Patriarch maintains absolute control over his own lands and military might. While the Sovereign typically dictates foreign policy and matters affecting the entire Exsterosian society, the War Council does not interfere with what is considered an internal House matter. Indeed, if a matter warrants their attention, something is very wrong.
In general, Exsterosian lords do not concern themselves with the day-to-day lives of their subjects. Noble warriors have little time to spend thinking about mundane things such as agricultural reports. In regards to producing the amount of food, materials, or weapons required, the Patriarch pays little mind. The lord maintains order in his territory. He makes the laws by which his subjects live - establishing everything from tax rates to criminal punishments.
House authority ends where the War Council begins. The Sovereign, backed by the War Council, does not sit still for any House. When a House attacks another House unwarranted, it violates Exsterosian treaty, and is dealt with sternly. With their limited power over Houses, the War Council must bring crude strength to bear - the threat of attack, confiscation, or discommendation. The combined force of just a few Great Houses is enough to bring most Houses to heel. Because of the challenge to House authority, the Council uses this measure sparingly. Finally, the Council serves as arbiter when Houses come into conflict, but even then its power is limited.
The populace of Exsteros are a proud, warlike, principled, and adhere to a strict code of honor. Exsterosian society is based on war and combat; ritual suicide is often preferred over living life as a crippled warrior, and may allow a warrior to die with honor. To be captured rather than killed in battle brings dishonor to not only the captive but his descendants. Death is depicted as a time for celebration, not grief. For the people of Exsteros believe in no burial rites, and dispose of corpses by the most expedient means available (usually immolation) and consider the body 'empty shells'.
The concept of the House (from the Exsterosian word caste, which literally translates as "tribe") finds its origins in ancient history, when families merged together for mutual protection from raiders. As society evolved and grew so did the Houses. Powerful families subsumed weaker ones. Thus the great Houses grew to become political as well as familial groupings, centers of power within Exsterosian society second only to the Sovereign himself (and later, the War Council).
The Houses divided Exsteros' territory between themselves. They rule directly over their lands with absolute authority. Little more than a federation of petty fiefdoms, bound together for mutual benefit, Exsterosian society resembles one of Earth's ancient feudal societies more than a modern era Imperial Civilised planet in the 41st Millennium.
Most Houses maintain their own military forces and training facilities, arsenals, and even shipyards. Successful Houses earn the devotion of their retainers through their great deeds. The more successful a House appears - winning battles and controlling vast tracts of land - the more warriors will want to join. Few Exsterosians want to seek their destiny with a weak House.
Every warrior of virtue and honor serves his house with undying devotion, willing to draw his sword and lay down his life at a moment's notice for the greater glory of the House. Even the lowliest servant hopes that through glorious battle and famous victories he might share in the glory and attain some measure of honour himself. Those who serve well hope their lord might formally adopt him into the family proper.
Greater and Lesser Houses
Exsterosian society does not distinguish between lesser and greater Houses in name or title, addressing both as caste. The difference lies in the size of their holdings and the might of their armies. Simply put, the stronger a House's army, the more land it can seize and hold, and thus, the larger it becomes. In this "world eat world" environment, a House's status and fortunes depend on its ability to dominate.
Great Houses control much of Exsteros' wealth through their military might, and get to decide its fate, much like the primitive chieftains of a war council. Other, lesser, Houses have far less influence, lacking the manpower to snatch it. They circle the edges of the pack, squabbling over the leavings, looking for new prizes for the taking. They seek out other lands to conquer, or look to absorb still weaker Houses. For survival, minor Houses often seek out alliances with Great Houses. Often, a powerful enemy casting a greedy eye over a House's territory can be bought off with an alliance. Alternately, the right Great House ally can scare off potential invaders. For their part, the Great Houses gather the lesser caste about them for use as pawns.
The relationship between Great Houses and their weaker brethren can become cutthroat and complex. Weaker houses look for protection, advantage, and the chance for greater honor by fighting behind the banner of a Great House. Victory swells the ranks of a minor House as much as a Great House. And every morsel of territory adds to the House's holdings. At the same time, these minor Houses look for signs of weakness, ready to pounce on a Great House ally and supplant it. The Great Houses use the lesser in turn, as pieces in the great game of politics and warfare; these they use to bolster their own armies, and they make excellent surrogates. Often, these alliances capitalize on existing rivalries; Exsterosians understand clearly the old Terran saying all too well, 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'.
Since the number of seats on the War Council is limited to those with the Sovereign's private trust, many Houses receive no representation and wield no influence. Perhaps the most dangerous House is the one who deserves to sit on the War Council, but doesn't. Disempowered and disenfranchised, these Houses represent the greatest threat to sitting War Council members.
The political maneuvering surrounding these potential upstarts can becomes furious. Their desire fueled by the promise of wealth and power should the challenger succeed in its bid to oust a sitting Great House, other Houses flock to the rival's standard. An enemy one day can become the next day's ally in the near-constant search for the 'right' alliance. Some 'lesser' Houses remain content to keep a low profile, influencing the Council Members by holding the threat of an overthrow over the sitting members' heads. Usually, however, if a House has the strength to make a move it will. Exsterosians never shrink from an opportunity to fight a stronger opponent.
At the opposite end of the political spectrum lie the newest and weakest Houses. Usually established when the War Council rewards a brave warrior with the honor of establishing his own House. These Houses rule over a few kilometers of land. Thousands of these Houses exist, and most don't survive for long. Most Warriors of this sort treat the title as an honorific, and continue to loyally serve their original House. Yet even the newly ennobled lord earns the right to field his own army and rule over whatever lands he can seize, perhaps one day succeeding in the long climb towards earning the private trust of the Sovereign to be allowed into the War Council.
The eldest dominant male leads each House. Exsterosians believe might makes right, and as a result their society is constructed around the strongest warriors. While positions of power are earned by force of arms, the position of Patriarch is hereditary. When a lord dies in battle, leadership passes down to his eldest living son. This by no means ensures succession. Far from being discouraged, fights between brothers over the right to rule ensure only the strongest leader assumes the title. Only a son may inherit the title of Patriarch as all others must fight for the privilege.
There are no old warriors. When a ruler's strength begins to fade he faces an inevitable challenge from one of his relatives. This ensures that the strongest and most cunning warriors rise to positions of power, but are removed when they lose their edge. A rightful challenger can only make the claim when he believes the current Patriarch no longer has the strength and intelligence to lead, or if the lord behaves dishonourably. For a Exsterosian ruler there is no greater honor than to die in battle against a worthy foe, especially if he is your own son.
Tradition allows warriors not 'of the blood' to duel for the position. Exsterosian society consider this right and proper, not disloyal; if the Patriarch were behaving appropriately, he wouldn't have been challenged in the first place. Should a simple warrior kill his master in a fair duel, he assumes the title. He undergoes the 'Blood Right', and he and his family ascend to head of the house, thus supplanting the family of the now-dead Patriarch. The new lord can expect challenges from the male relatives of the slain Patriarch, eager to restore their position. Although fair duels cannot, under the Code of Honor, be contested, envious relatives look for any excuse to issue a challenge. This period of a new lord's reign, known as the 'Time of Knives', can either strengthen the new Patriarch or speed his soul to death. To ensure their position, some banish the previous ruling family from the House altogether or arrange a political marriage.
Exsteros' Houses tend to take their names from their current leader. A name change typically occurs with the change in Patriarch, especially if he assumes power under especially auspicious circumstance. Some prefer to memorialize the name of a famous Patriarch by preserving it as the House name. Exsterosian scholars are known to make detailed studies of heredity and lineage to keep track of all the changes amongst the noble houses.
Although Exsterosian law discourages women from heading a House, they have great say over a House's affairs. The Mistress of the House, the lord's wife, manages finances, oversees marriages, and administers discipline with an iron fist. Alternatively, should a Patriarch die accidentally, without leaving a male heir, custom grants consideration to his wife (although only in exceptional circumstances) to become the Matriarch of the House with the approval of the Sovereign. Should she marry, however, her husband assumes all rights and privileges.
- Compliance of the Goros Spiral (ca. Mid 800s.M32) - This was a joint Imperial Compliance campaign conducted by multiple Adeptus Astartes Chapters, including the Tempest Knights and the Death Templars in a region of space known as the Goros Spiral. The Gorosites were well-versed in the art of building fortresses, and their strongholds were dug deep around narrow passes, remote hilltops and natural barriers in the landscape. Once again, the Tempest Knights were sent to a resistant star system to conduct brutal siege-warfare against formidable fortress-builders. The Gorosites knew their craft well and the campaign to take their world for the Imperium proved both bitter and hostile.
- 3rd Black Crusade (909.M32) - Abaddon the Despoiler launched his Third Black Crusade, sending the Daemon Prince Tallomin against the Cadian Gate in a reckless and bloody frontal assault. The daemonic horde that followed in Tallomin's wake accounts for the destruction of millions of lives and draws in Imperial Guard regiments and several Space Marine Chapters from across the Segmentum Obscurus. The Tempest Knights answer the Imperium's call to war and help with the defence of the Cadian Gate.
- Imdali Nebula War (Late.M32) - Almost the entire Tempest Knights Chapter takes to the field, and it is recorded that all three of the Sacred Standards of the Chapter flew above the scene of that great triumph.
- Red Stars Campaign (732-822.M33) - In a series of wars, the mineral-rich Kulgotha System is scoured of xenos and claimed by the Imperium of Man. Multiple Chapters including the Tempest Knights take part in many of these battles, including deploying in full Chapter strength at the climactic Battle of Vermilac Prime.
- Destruction of WAAAGH! Gloomrippa (892-898.M33) - The Tempest Knights' Chapter, alongside several Tekarn armoured regiments are besieged in the defence of the Hive World of Malcron by the hordes of the Ork Warboss Krugzad Gloomrippa. Despite vastly overwhelming odds, the Chapter successfully holds the planet's defence for six years until the siege is broken by the combined forces of the Night Reapers and War Bearers Chapters, fighting alongside a major taskforce from Battlefleet Caeleceus to break the orbital blockade that encircles the beleaguered world.
- The Cordia VI Campaign (475.M34) - The 6th Company of the Tempest Knigts Chapter advanced 4,000 kilometres in a bold, armour-borne operation, crossing the Burning Plains of Cordia VI's equatorial deserts and toppling the outflanked and ill-prepared rebel theocracy in a single night of retribution. The Tempest Knights instigated a purge of the population, after which the people of Cordia VI were declared free of heresy. Before taking their leave of the war zone, the Chapter asserted recruitment rights over the population, from which it draws Aspirants to this day.
- The Anteus Crusade (521-537.M34) - The Tempest Knights participated in the Anteus Crusade, which led to the conquest of the Kampala Sector for the Imperium, fighting alongside elements from their fellow Scions of Dorn Successor Chapters, the Death Templars and Holy Hospitallers 2nd Priory. Anteus was a long-isolated star system, only rediscovered by the Imperium in the mid 34th Millennium on the outer fringes of the galaxy. Attempts were made to integrate its worlds into the Imperium, but the system had long been prosperous and independent, and scorned Imperial interference. The first missionaries from the Missionaria Galaxia were slaughtered, but when a second group of Imperial priests came to the system they brought with them the three Scions of Dorn Chapters and brought back the Kampala Sector under Imperial Compliance.
- The Cleansing of Hive Jetreon (Unknown Date.M35) - The Cleansing of Hive Jetreon was a military campaign conducted by the Tempest Knights against a Tyranid Genestealer Cult discovered by the Imperial Inquisition to exist upon the Hive World of Hielara II. The cult was ultimately successfully purged from existence by the Tempest Knights' elite 1stCompany, 1st Terminator Squad.
- Smoldering of Wrath (965.M35) - The entire Tempest Knights chapter inflicted heavy losses on the Word Bearers, reclaiming several star systems in close proximity to the Maelstrom. Fighting was fiercest on the enslaved Shrine World of Pictoris, where the Forces of Chaos had covered the entire surface with blasphemous temples to the Dark Gods. The Tempest Knights put every single Traitor to the sword.
- Siege of Velorum Prime (405.M36) - The Tempest Knights and the Blades of Dorn both deploy their entire 1st Companies to end the five year deadlock in the Imperial assault against a rebel tyrant. Nigh on two hundred Terminators crack open the "unassailable" fortress and massacre the Traitors.
- The 100th Feast of Blades (549.M41) - The ravages of war imposed that only ten Chapters were in attendance at this Feast. The Tempest Knights' champion, Azrael Kain, won the competition after narrowly defeating the Iron Scorpions' champion in a ritual duel.
- The 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - As the end of the 41st Millennium drew closer, the first signs of Abaddon's long-feared return came in the form of numerous sightings of drifting vessels emerging from the Warp in the sectors of Imperial space surrounding the Eye of Terror. The Tempest Knights along with their fellow brother chapter the Death Templars, made all haste to the bastion world of Cadia. When they finally arrived, the Chapter's fleet astropaths received disturbing reports from the Hive World of Tabor, located within the Agripinaa Sector, that they were besieged by none other than the brutal World Eaters Khornate Berzerker, Khârn, the so-called "Betrayer," who had fallen upon that doomed world and shed the blood of its brave defenders in the name of the Blood God. The Imperial forces hoped to make gains upon Tabor and across the Agripinaa Sector by attempting to contain Khârn's mad rampage. But the blood-crazed berzerker was not alone, as he was followed by a sizable force comprised of Khorne Berzerkers. When the two opposing forces met upon the field of battle they stained the ground of Tabor red with blood. But in the end, the Tempest Knights and Death Templars were shattered as a cohesive force, as nearly half the both Chapters fell to the bite of Khârn's infamous chainaxe, Gorechild. As the followers of the Blood God hated all psykers, the majority of these casualties were from the Chapter's Librarius. The Chapter's spiritual leaders also suffered grievous losses as well. Both were almost completely wiped out. Despite their horrendous losses, the Tempest Knights nor the Death Templars would not leave the field of battle when an enemy still stood, but were forced to make a tactical withdrawal, when another large Word Eaters warband, Gladiator Group 138, arrived on Tybor to take part in the slaughter. The Death Templar's Lord Marshal Valdar swore a mighty oath against Khârn -- that he would seek the blood-mad killer across the width and breadth of the galaxy -- promising him that he would die by the Lord Marshal's hands. Valdar would be the one to finally end him and claim his grisly prize -- Khârn's head -- in retribution for all the slain Death Templars and Tempest Knights at the butcher's hands.
- Indomitus Crusade (999.M41) - At the climax of the 13th Black Crusade, the titanic forces unleashed upon Cadia, caused the doomed fortress world to break apart and be consumed by the ever-expanding Eye of Terror. With the veil of reality and immaterium finally fraying to the extreme, the Materium was ripped apart as a large warp storm of prodigious size, tore open across the width of the known galaxy - from the Eye of Terror to the Hadex Anomoly in the Eastern Fringe. To escape the doomed Agripinaa System, the Tempest Knights and Death Templars were forced to withdraw to escape the gaping tear in reality. Despite suffering grievous losses, the Tempest Knights and Death Templars continued to fight on, to perform their Emperor-given mandate of bringing death to the myriad of foes that assail Mankind and the Emperor's sovereign domain. In the meantime, a miracle had occurred on the Ultramarines' home world of Macragge - the resurrection of the long-dead Primarch Roboute Guilliman! Taking command of his Chapter, the Avenging Son fought a brilliant campaign, cleansing his home world of the foul taint of Chaos. He then launched his Terran Crusade towards Terra, in order to reach the Throneworld in order to speak with his father, the Emperor of Mankind. After much trial and tribulations, Guilliman reached his destination. After speaking with his father, Guilliman assumed command of the entirety of the Imperium's military forces as well as his former position as the Lord Commander of the Imperium. He then revealed his ultimate contingency plan that had been ten millennia in the making - the creation of the genetically superior transhuman warriors - the Primaris Space Marines. Launching his new armada to take the fight to Chaos, the Indomitus fleet encountered dozens of battered and bloodied Chapters, including the Tempest Knights and the Death Templars, and led by their Progenitors, the Imperial Fists. The Chapter Masters gathered aboard the Primarch's flagship and swore their fealty to the only known living son of the Emperor. Humbled, Guilliman then revealed the Primaris Space Marines. They were arrayed in the various livery of the Chapters that now stood before the Grand Master of the Tempest Knights and the Lord Marshall of the Death Templars. Guilliman presented them to the venerable commanders of the Adeptus Astartes, and ensured that those Chapters that had suffered significant losses would be bolstered by these superior gene-crafted warriors. With their Chapter's numbers fully restored, the Tempest Knights along with the Death Templars launched their crusade anew, intent on ridding the galaxy of the foul presence of the apostate, the heretic, xenos and daemonic.
As a Successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists Legion, the Tempest Knights share their genetic legacy with their genetic forebears, and have inherited many of the characteristics of their common Primarch, Rogal Dorn. The Chapter's gene-seed is highly stable, though like the Imperial Fist, the Tempest Knights' genome also lacks the Betcher's Gland that allows a Space Marine to spit corrosive acid, as well as the Sus-an Membrane that allows an Astartes to enter a life-sustaining state of deep hibernation. The Tempest Knights' gene-seed is remarkably stable and healthy, free of all other major mutations and Chaotic contamination.
Like their Progenitors, the Tempest Knights are more than willing to fight to the last, holding their ground and will see themselves triumph or die in the attempt. This expression of duty can become exaggerated in members of the Chapter after long periods in combat. In these instances the Battle-Brother sees only death; the death of his comrades, the death of his world, and the death of his foes. A Tempest Knight believes that the only righteous path lies in the expenditure of his life for these purposes and he faces his death with a stoic heart and a single-mindedness that can only lead to the complete annihilation of everything and everyone he faces, eventually including even himself and those who fight beside him.
The Tempest Knights are a hardened, veteran force fully able to embrace the concepts of the Codex Astartes, like their predecessors the Imperial Fists, adhering to the precepts of the Codex in spirit, but deviate in several regards. All ranks are able to make tactical decisions and are encouraged to act on their own initiative. The Tempest Knights combine all arms in flexible balanced battle groups each of which can present an opponent with a diversity of threats, then press their attack so swiftly that the foe is overwhelmed before he can react.
Specialist Ranks & Formations
- Templar Brethren - The Templar Brethren, or Templars, are the elite of the 1th Company. They are the Guardians of the Temple of Swords and the Chapter's most highly accomplished warriors. Warriors of unequalled zeal, the Templar Brethren's relentless determination and matchless skill are the hallmarks of this deadly company, whose punishing recruitment protocol ensured that only the finest Tempest Knights bare this proud heraldry. Though their duty bound them to the Temple of Swords, these dauntless warriors are found wherever the Tempest Knights' carry the Emperor's crusade to unify Mankind. They bare the best wargear that the armouries of the 1th Company can provide. With their superior skill in battle and the finest weapons at their disposal. Excelling in close combat, the Templar Brethren wield Power Swords in battle, whilst their Combat Shields provided much-needed protection as they fight on the frontline in addition to their ornate Armour. Few enemies of Mankind seldom survive the first shattering charge of the Templar Brethren and have little chance of overcoming their defences.
- Emperor's Champion - At the very height of the Battle of Terra, Siege of the Emperor's Palace during the Horus Heresy, Captain Sigismund, First Captain of the Imperial Fists Legion, was tasked by his Primarch Rogal Dorn with leading the ground battle whilst the Emperor, Dorn, and Sanguinius led the assault on the Traitor Warmaster's Battle-Barge. Sigismund was chosen as Emperor's Champion because he was filled with such devotion to the Father of Mankind, and to the Imperium and the Great Crusade that had created it, that he was a shining exemplar of all that the Legiones Astartes were and could be. The oath he took when he accepted the mantle of Emperor's Champion resounded through the ages, and was so weighty that it could never be broken. While Sigismund's beloved Emperor fell on that day, the Emperor's Champion prevailed and, with Horus defeated, the vile hosts on the surface were routed. Ever since the Battle of Terra, it has become a cherished tradition amongst the Tempest Knights to field one who the chaplains have proclaimed the Emperor's Champion. On the eve of battle, the Tempest Knight pray, fast, and meditate upon their duty, and it is not uncommon for one amongst their number to be blessed with some form of vision that speaks to him of his duty and shows him portents of things yet to come. The Battle-Brother then presents himself to the Chaplains and confesses his vision and if he is found true, is declared to be the Emperor's Champion. The Battle-Brother is ritually prepared for the coming battle, the attendants of the Reclusiam cladding him in the Armour of Faith and presenting him with the Black Sword. The Emperor's Champion will seek out the greatest champions and leaders amongst the ranks of the enemy and strike them down in the fury of single combat. In so doing, he acts as a shining beacon of faith by which the enemy is cast back and the warriors of the Emperor are driven to ever-greater acts of valour. Having taken up the trappings of the Emperor's Champion, the Battle-Brother remains as such only until his vision is fulfilled and he returns to the Watch Fortress. Only by the word of the Chaplains is his duty discharged, and he resumes his place in the ranks once more.
Though Exsteros is the Tempest Knights' home, it is not the only planet from which they actively recruit. The Tempest Knights established the practice of recruiting on many worlds in the Devolin Sector. The Chapter annually recruits from the surrounding system for potential Aspirants to bring back to Exsteros to conduct the Festival of the Battle of Wills. Through the course of this ceremony, Aspirants are subjected to a battery of trials that are used to evaluate their martial, mental, and spiritual prowess. Few of those who attempt the trial make it to the later stages. For those who do, the final challenge requires a worthy Aspirant to travel deep into the planet's forest and kill a Wyverns with their bare hands. Each year, there are few who manage to complete this brutally challenging test. However, those who successfully survive are far more likely to complete their initiation into the Tempest Knights Chapter than are Initiates with most other Chapters.
Upon recruitment, a Tempest Knight Neophyte will serve in the Chapter's 10th Company as a Scout Marine just as in any other Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter. Upon completing the ritual known as "The Blooding", the Neophyte goes on to become a full Battle-Brother of the Chapter and takes his place in one of the Tempest Knights' Reserve Companies. Failed Aspirants, primarily those whose bodies proved metabolically and/or immunologically unable to accept the Chapter's gene-seed and Astartes implants, become Chapter Serfs.
The Tempest Knights feel a strong contempt for people who worship the Emperor of Mankind as a God and adhere to the dictates of the Imperial Creed, and have on more than one occasion refused to help the Inquisition or the Ecclesiarchy. This behaviour has given them many high-ranking enemies within the bureaucracy of the Imperium but also has developed a reputation for the Tempest Knights of favouring steadfast justice and honesty. The Knights hold true to the memory of the Emperor's wishes that superstition and religion be cast aside by Mankind, though they continue to revere him as the paragon of what humanity should aspire to emulate.
Matters of Honour
The Tempest Knights are known to have a stern temperament, and guard their honour fervently. Even the most trivial of disagreements can easily escalate to the point where the symbolic shedding of blood seems the simplest way to determine who is in the right. Duels of honour are usually held in an arena located in the Chapter's Fortress-Monastery on Exsteros. Only a fully-fledged battle-brother is permitted to duel. A duel only begins once the terms of victory have been agreed upon by both combatants. The two combatants enter the arena, stepping forward onto the arena floor, stripped to the waist, and each are given a Exsterosian arming sword. Once ready, they will salute the cloaked umpire with their swords; then one another.
One of the combatants begins the duel by announcing the terms of victory. This usually meant, 'to the drawing of first blood'. His opponent would traditionally agree to the terms and the duel would begin in earnest. But if their opponent felt aggrieved enough by the situation, they could chose to fight 'to the death'. To refuse would be cowardice, or a trace of doubt in the rightness of their cause. To take the life of a battle-brother is almost unimaginable - a duel to the death by mutual agreement - the only way in which it could be done without incurring centuries of penitential exile. Even then, the survivor would bear an ineradicable stain on his honour for the rest of his life. In such cases both combatants would be given an arming sword and a misericorde (a long, narrow knife), which could be used to deliver the death stroke (the 'mercy stroke') to a seriously wounded opponent. These duels of honour would be overseen by the Chapter Master. Whoever met the conditions of the duel, be it first blood, or to the death, the duel would then cease -- honour having been satisfied.
Bonds that Strengthen
As Scions of Dorn, the Tempest Knights are known to take part in the Feast of Blades, a traditional competition that is held centennially to foster the bonds of brotherhood and maintain relations between the various Imperial Fists' Successor Chapters. This traditional contest helps to strengthen these bonds of fraternal friendship and to temper them through vigorous competition.
Notable Tempest Knights
- Grand Master Augustine Navarre - Augustine Navarre is the current Chapter Master of the Tempest Knights Chapter. It was his qualities of single-mindedness and stubborn determination in the face of overwhelming odds that saw him elevated above the rest of his fellow Knight-Brothers of the Chapter. As one of the finest warriors within the Chapter, Augustine is famed for his indifference to danger as well as possessing an uncommon talent for his battlefield cunning. He is a veteran warlord as renowned for his superlative tactics as he is for his exquisite swordsmanship skills in the dueling arena. Augustine is a consummate warrior and a well-regarded tactician amongst the senior ranks of the Adeptus Astartes, whose often striking insights into an enemy's plans and motivations make his voice one that is well-regarded amongst the ranks of Imperial command when on campaign.
- Misericorde - A misericorde is a traditional Exsterosian knife that is used to deliver the death stroke. In battle, the blade of these long, narrow knives are thin enough so that it can strike through the gaps between armour plates. Traditionally, this weapon was used to dispatch knights who had received mortal wounds, which were not always quickly fatal in the age of bladed combat; it could also be used as a means of killing an active adversary, as during a grappling struggle. The blade could be pushed through the visor or eye holes in the helm with the aim of piercing the brain, or thrust through holes or weak points in plate armor, such as under the arm, with the aim of piercing the heart. The Astartes of the Tempest Knights have maintained this tradition of utilising the misericorde, and often employ a power-weaponised version of these deadly blades in conjunction with an Exsterosian Powersword. These deadly blades are also utilised in the Chapter's ritual honour duels when the contest is 'to the death'.
Little is known about the make-up of the Tempest Knights' fleet, though the following vessels have been confirmed to belong to the Chapter:
- Salvation Of Glory (Unknown Class Battleship)
- Faithful Unto Death (Battle Barge)
- Divine Justice (Battle Barge)
- Raptoria (Strike Cruiser)
- Brimstone (Strike Cruiser)
- Stalker (Strike Cruiser)
The Tempest Knights' primarily wear black and maroon coloured Power Armour. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is black in colour. The white coloured squad specialty symbol -- Tactical, Devastator, Assault and Veteran -- is located on the right shoulder pauldron, and indicates squad specialty. A white coloured Roman numeral is stenciled in the centre of the squad specialty symbol, indicating squad number.
The Tempest Knights' Chapter badge is a pair of white-coloured, crossed double-edged swords, pointing downwards over a field of maroon.
The Blades of Dorn are a fellow Scions of Dorn Chapter that share a close bond with the Tempest Knights. Despite their progenitors corruption to the Ruinous Powers, the Tempest Knights do not hold them responsible for their forebear's actions. For the Blades of Dorn have earned the respect of the Tempest Knights through their courage, battle-prowess and honourable service to the Emperor of Mankind. Both Chapters have fought on dozens of occasions throughout their history.
The Death Templars are a Chapter that have battled alongside the Tempest Knights many times down the millennia, as both Chapters have entered into a special agreement where they would willingly lay down there lives for one another. The origin of this honour debt to one another is lost to the mists of time, but when these two Chapters fight side-by-side, the foes of Mankind are swept aside with contemptuous ease by righteous bolter fire and blade.
The Tempest Knights hold this cousin Chapter in high regard, for they have proven to be stalwart protectors of the Imperium's citizens as well as having proved themselves as capable warriors against the myriad of foes of Mankind. Like their Primarch, the Holy Hospitallers have proven time and again to be stoic in the face of overwhelming odds. They have proven themselves on the field of battle through their sound tactical planning and adaptability, and have proven to be staunch allies when they have fought alongside the Tempest Knights on several occasions.
The Tempest Knights utter contempt for these traitors of man have endured for millennium. For the Tempest Knights will stop at nothing to wipe out these traitors for the grievous act that nearly destroyed their homeworld. The Knights hatred for Word Bearers has no bounds and will purge the known galaxy of these bastards of chaos.
By the Tempest Knights
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About the Tempest Knights
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- "Come, mighty knights, come and face my Kinsmen. Come and test your blades against their warp blessed claws. If they fall, it is the warps will. If you fall, well, then it's no matter to you is it?"
- "Resplendent, aren't they? Nice swords. They're skilled with them apparently. Not that it matters, I bet they still can't deflect a bolt shell."
- — Obsidian Blades squad shadowing a Tempest Blades cohort.
- "Hmm. Not bad Templar, not bad. But you're gonna need much faster reflexes if you want to best Kerventes. I'm just the warm-up. "
- — Chapter master of the Wings of Salvaxes, Euilitus Ephrain
- "That's a fine blade, Knight, a fine blade indeed. Superb craftsmanship. I'll bet you have slain many foes of the Imperium with such a blade, but while you have no doubt slain hundreds with such a blade, with my cannons, I have slain billions."
- — Warmachines Siege Master