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The Ashen are a Loyalist Space Marine chapter of the 23rd 'Sentinel' Founding. They are a suspected Successor Chapter of the Raven Guard. However, gene-seed analysis and records of the chapter are fragmented and missing vital sections. Due to this, the Adeptus Administratum dispute any official claim of lineage. 

The Chapter is Codex-compliant but diverges in some aspects. They are a half-strength chapter, only mustering 500 fighting marines in 5 companies and they do not strictly adhere to the standard practice of Codex-proscribed markings. The Ashen are a little heard of chapter, mostly adhering to their sectors of space tasked with supporting local Imperial forces in fending off hostile incursions and attacks on assets and worlds.

Chapter History

The planet Cinere was invaded by sizable ork pirate forces in the latter part of the 37th Millennium. Initially thought to be the start of an Ork WAAAGH!, it was later found to be an audacious attempt by the Ork pirate boss, Ripear Glasseye, to claim the resource rich system as a base of operations. The Orks made planetside en mass, mostly unopposed. At the time The Ashen were not established. Planetary Defence Forces were robust but led by a complacent command, who although reported the event, dismissed offered aid.

The ork attack headed directly for the hive city Minander. The Planetary Defense Forces answered blunt and direct in response, setting up blockades and firing lines on the raised roads that ran from the hive over the shallow sludge lakes that surrounded it. Fighting conditions soon became impossible, with roads choked by the husks of burning vehicles and craters. The orks took to the sludge lakes wading through on foot and making swift inroads. Taken by surprise at this the defense forces were ordered into the lakes, fighting continued in knee deep industrial waste. Vehicles bogged down, men faltered struggling more in the resistance of the sludge than the larger orks. Command harried the troops with poor tactical decisions desperate not to allow the invaders to enter the hive city and take a foothold.

Fighting continued for 2 days until the "Deflagration". It is unknown what caused the initial reaction. It is speculated that the orks whilst cannibalizing a processing plant out in the waste lakes, set off a chain of explosions that ruptured holding tanks and sent burring liquids out into the sludge. This mix burnt so hot that the lakes began to pyrolyze and burn themselves, the flame front spreading swift and wide like a rolling wave. Orks and men alike could not move quick enough through the knee-deep lakes and burnt alive. Those that made it to the pockets of raised ground or small out stations suffocated as the air was heated and filled with smoke.

Both sides suffered catastrophic losses. After 4 days of intense burning and the sky darkening from smoke, the fires petered out exhausted of fuel. The hive city suffered damage on its outer walls, one notable area having buckled and collapsed from the heat, offering easy access to the internal service tracks and roads.  

Dried crusty grey ash was all that remained of the lakes. The skeletons of countless men and orks covered the beds, burnt to ash but still in identifiable shape, ashen skulls looking to the sky their jaws open in silent screams.

Over the 4 days of the Deflagration the orks had rallied finding their number greater than expected, they attacked again over the now dry and ashen lake beds.

It is rumored that urged on by the civilians of the hive, the remaining guard revolted against the command and its poor leadership. This was investigated in due course and although doubts exist, the dead nor the surviving have ever spoken of it to be true. Fragmented records indicate that much of the command were lost to the Deflagration having left their command stations to spur on the troops in person.

With so few of the Guard left to fight, the ordinary folk of the hive armed themselves with makeshift weapons and stood with the remnants of the fighting force. Men, women, soldiers, gangers, spanner monkeys, service engineers, the wealthy and poor all armed themselves with what they could to defend the weak, wounded and above all, home.

It is to note that after the unfortunate death of the high command, an SOS was sent out by the acting staff. The Raven Guard answered the call.

The orks made for the breached wall of the hive city. Fighting was brutal. Poorly armed civilians against orks were no match, but the bravery and selflessness of the civilian militia held them back just enough allowing the remnants of the better trained and equipped Planetary Defense Forces to effectively retaliate without being overrun. The fighting kicked up the dried crust of the lake beds, the skulls and bones of ash fell apart on contact and stirred into the air causing a thick fog that reduced visibility and cloged up lungs.

Fighting continued for 2 days, ork blade and bolter answered with lazgun and spanner, auto pistol and iron bar. Men and women were torn apart with ease and throw like rag dolls, but they fought on taking orks down by sheer tenacity and fevered group attacks. Those with respirators worked in small teams weaving through the ash fog and ducking behind burnt out wrecks to throw melta bombs at the ork vehicles. At the dawn of the 3rd day the Raven Guard arrived.

Three Thunderhawks landed at the city with their complement of Space Marine forces. They joined the rag tag militia in the ashen fog, its poor visibility no problem for their reticules and targeting systems. Over the next couple of days the remaining orks were destroyed, their makeshift camps burnt with strafing runs of promethium.

The Raven Guard were impressed at what they had seen. The men and women of Cinere were tenacious, selfless, innovative and above all, fighters, acting in coordinated and brave manoeuvres. They had not cowered away to die but fought to live. They looked upon the ash covered and bloodied people as the warriors they had become.

It was proposed that the people of the planet would make fine recruits for the Raven Guard. As history shows, they became a new Space marine chapter of their own, their inception part of the 23rd Sentinel Founding. They are known as 'The Ashen', named after the burnt and ashen bones of the Deflagration. They were supported through their infancy by the Raven Guard, imparting their teachings, battle doctrine and bequeathing the chapter a number of venerable and relic dreadnoughts to impart their wisdom and experience. 6 veteran marines were also permanently assigned, 5 acting as captains and the 6th as chapter master. In time the mantle of these roles were take by those of the Ashen whose disposition and example set them out as leaders.

Notable Campaigns

-- Records awaiting delivery by the Adeptus Administratum -- 

Chapter Homeworld

Departmento Cartographicae pict-file of Cinere, Adeptus Astartes homeworld of The Ashen.

The Ashen's chapter homeworld, Cinere, is located in the small system of Cera near the border of the Segmentum Tempestus and the Uhulis Sector. It is a cold planet of vast open scrub lands, pale, rocky outcrops and large open mines that scar the landscape. It is heavily polluted in areas, the earth stained or flooded with industrial runoff and waste.

Cinere has two distant moons. These and the systems dense asteroid belts are mined and taken planet side to be processed and manufactured in the industrial hive complexes. There are two main hive cities on the planet, Minander and Inchander. Minander is the larger and houses the mainstay of the populous and industry. It is surrounded by vast shallow lakes of polluted sludge and runoff. On approach to the landing docks it is said to look like an island in an emerald sea, that is until close enough to see the truth. Raised road run out from its limits and over the knee deep lakes providing access.

The planet due to is back water location acts as a way station and trade port for imperial shipping in the area. In its orbit are two large space stations, one for trade and fleet maintenance the other an industrial plant.

Fortress-Monastery

The Fortress Levamentum is the stronghold of the chapter. Set deep underground with a substantial surface presence of defensive structures, marshaling areas and landing pads, it dominates the scrub land it resides in.

It was built upon a holy site of the same name. People would make pilgrimage far from the hives to bath in the waters of the springs that bubbled up through the fishers. A shrine of the emperor was built around it and within its confines baths of the water. It was said to have healing powers divined to it by the emperors will. Analysis of the water showed that it harbored a fungi that if topically applied calmed and healed minor skin complaints but nothing more.

The shrine was incorporated into the outer fortress walls, attended to by the Adeptus Ministorum. Pilgrimages continue and the shrine all the more venerated for being the home of The Ashen, warriors of the Emperor.

Chapter Organisation

Chapter Structure

It is lost from records as to why the chapter never grew beyond 5 companies but this practice has stayed. Each Company acts as an independent element and unlike standard codex chapters, has a full assortment of troop types within. All 5 companies are considered battle companies with veterans and new recruits in all.

Structure-0.jpg

Command Ranks

Ranking follows the prescribed course as laid out in the Codex

Specialist Ranks

There are no specialist ranks that diverge from the Codex

Line Ranks

Ranking follows the prescribed course as laid out in the Codex

Specialist Units

None officially recorded as active.


Chapter Combat Doctrine

Ashen Assault Adeptus Astartes Veteran

Heavily influenced by the teaching of the Raven Guard and their lesser number than standard Chapters, Captains are independent and guide their company as they see fit to carry out the will of the Chapter Master. The Chapter Master will at times join his forces to lead and oversee his orders.

The Ashen generally follow the Codex Astartes although it does not define their fighting style. They prefer the use of troops and Dreadnoughts in coordinated small scale strategic assaults and ambushes. Their heavy use of dreadnoughts provides mobility and fire support both planet side and in ship based boarding actions where larger vehicles would not be permissible.

They also make use of local fighting forces, advising and leading them to best advantage.

They have humbly supported and fought alongside many other chapters all be it in small numbers, learning from and adapting their battle doctrine to the situation and need.    

Companies are rotated so that one is always stationed at its Fortress on Cinere. This gives down time for training, repairs and respite from war and provides a deterrent force for the area.

Chapter Gene-Seed

Gene seed analysis shows a strong correlation to that of Raven Guard lineage, though enough differential is present for it to be questioned. Records of the chapters founding held by the Adaptus Mechanics and Administratum are fragmented and missing vital sections so the validity of any official claim is disputed.  

Chapter Beliefs

The fallen are honored by the chapter for their sacrifice and brotherhood. The dead are reclaimed whenever possible from the field of battle and their armour or surviving parts of it salvaged and repaired.

The gene seed is taken, then the bodies cremated in homage to the Deflagration and the ashed bones left in its wake. Some of the ash is then blended with paint and applied to the left arm and pauldron of either the repaired armour or if no left arm or pauldron is present, to a currently serving set. All serving armour has the ashen paint of many of the fallen upon its left arm. This not is not only a symbolic gesture to the battle in which the chapter was founded from but to honor the chapters fallen and carry their spirits into battle.

Notable fallen brothers may have their ashes carried by company veterans in small urns about their person. It is considered an honor to carry such an urn and why the Veterans are called The Ashen Ones.

New recruits once accepted into a company have their faces dusted in the ash of the fallen so that they are born of ash and will likewise return to ash. 

It is a firm tradition and superstition of the chapter that yellow is a lucky colour. The humble origins of this is said to have started with a hive city smuggler during the fighting after the Deflagration. The name of the smuggler has been lost to time but the story of the yellow painted guns is legend.

After the Deflagration, the civilians took up makeshift arms to stand and fight with the remnants of the Planetary Defence Force. A smuggler took to distributed her illegal weapons cache to the civilians. It was said that despite the crude nature and state of the weapons, not one ever faltered a shot, jammed or burnt out even in the harsh fighting conditions. Any gun said to be painted with her yellow stock or grip, as was the custom of the smuggler to mark out her wares, was said to be 'Hell of-a yella,' and did its job flawlessly.  As such, chapter weapons are painted yellow.

The Chapter honours and respects the Emperor but as influenced by its founding chapter, does not venerate him with religious fervor. They are level headed, practical and hold true to the character of their founding.

Chapter Fleet

The chapter maintains a small fleet by space marine standards but it is suitable for the needs of transporting and effectively supporting each of the 5 companies independently. It has ship to ship offense and assault capabilities but is limited in is ability for planetary bombardment and large all out space fleet engagements.

Chapter Relics

Urn of the Nomad Soul

A Chapter relic that is temporarily bestowed unto a captain to be given to his chosen warrior to carry into battle. It is a small urn with the ashes of a fallen fighter from the time of the battle of the Deflagration. Originally a revered item in the Chapel of the Planetary Guard, there were many documented reports of it going missing only to be found days later in the very spot it should have been. Investigations proved unfruitful despite punishments being administered to chapel staff and reviews of servo skull Surveillance.

It was finally locked away to quell growing whispers. Some said it had a miraculous power of being overlooked and out of plain sight, others said it was a restless soul who moved to where it wanted to go.

The urn was in time destined to be released from the safe only for those given the task to find it missing. It revealed itself in due course to an Ashen marine who found it by chance sat upon the post outside of the chapel. It was gifted to the marine who wore it from his belt. The urn went on to develop into a remarkable superstition, the wearer swearing on many occasions that he had gone unseen by the enemy despite everything pointing to the contrary. This superstition was upheld by each wearer it was bequeathed to.

The urns providence grew and it became in time a relic of the chapter and an honor bestowed upon chosen men.

Chapter Appearance

Chapter Colours

The Ashen primarily wear dark purple power armour with ashen grey colouring the entire left arm and shoulder pauldron. Company or squad markings are rarely displayed but battle field role symbols are usually applied to the right pauldron.

Most infantry units do not wear a typical chapter badge but an artificer-wrought shoulder pauldron with shaped ashen skulls. Squad Sergeants and ranks above carry an ashen skull either attached atop the backpack or by lanyard to their persons.

Weapons, cloaks and sashes are of "lucky" yellow. Below, is an example Ashen bolter painted in 'lucky' yellow:

AshenBolter.jpg

Chapter Badge

The Ashen Skull and Raven symbolises the burnt bones of the fallen after the Deflagration and the rescue by the Raven Guard there after. It is a badge of remembrance and respect.

The Ashen Chapter icon.

Chapter Banner

The banner depicts the birth of the chapter. It shows the burning of the fallen into ash during the Deflagration. The Ashen Skull and Raven badge rising from the pyre to be born as The Ashen. The tails display honours and notable campaigns by their badges.

The Ashen Chapter Banner.

Relations

Allies

  • Montina Makran, 'The Padishah' - Montina Makrang, also known as the Padishah, is a Rogue Trader of small but notable standing. With her base of operations on Cinere, it was to be expected that favorable working relations with the Ashen would be forged. Marines from the chapter are occasionally deployed on secondment to the Rogue Trader at her request. In return, to ensure favorable future working relationship, Montina has a knack for finding and reclaiming relic dreadnought parts. It has not been unknown for her to return from a travel with the entire wreck of a dreadnought. These are utilized by the chapter and restored to their former glory and purpose.

Enemies

Notable Quotes

By The Ashen

About The Ashen

Twenty Third 'Sentinel' Founding Space Marine Chapters
Dark Angels Successors Adamantine KnightsAngels of AnnihilationRondo Knights
White Scars Successors Cobalt LeviathansDragons of Suzanoo

Lightning WraithsSons of NeptuneSteel TigersThousand BladesWorld Marauders

Space Wolves Successors
Imperial Fists Successors Brotherhood of the SwordDoom FistsEternal PaladinsIron GuardPlatinum SoulsSons of TyremeStorm ZealotsVoid Lions
Blood Angels Successors Argent Eagles
Iron Hands Successors Astral FistsFists of the GorgonGilded Knights
Ultramarines Successors Grey SteedsSpace NagaWar Angels
Salamanders Successors
Raven Guard Successors AccipitersCorvus ClawsVoid BasilisksWinds of Fury
Chimeric Lineage Imperial Brothers of the Sword
Unknown Lineage Adamant WardensArachnid WarriorsThe AshenClaws of ArktosConquistadorsHeralds of the StormIncursorsOnyx ExecutionersOrdinatorsPilgrims of Sanctus PenitentsStar Angels
Renegades Ghast Knights
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