The Wardens of Orask are a 7th Founding Successor Chapter of the honourable Ultramarines. The Wardens were one of several Adeptus Astartes Chapters created to help quell an unknown xenos threat from beyond the Imperium's borders in the Eastern Fringe, known as the Ghoul Stars, which threatened the security of that region of the galaxy. Due to their valiant efforts, they were recognised and fêted by the High Lords of Terra, and were granted the honour of garrisoning the sentinel world of Orask, a battlefront and bastion that has guarded the Imperium from the terrors beyond. A fleet-based Crusading Chapter, since their Founding, this stoic Chapter has willingly answered the call to fight against the myriad foes that have threatened the sanctity of the Imperium of Man across the width and breadth of the galaxy, and as such, have earned the respect and admiration of both the High Lords of Terra and several of their fellow Space Marine Chapters.
The Pale Wasting
The Wardens of Orask were created sometime during the first few centuries of M34, during the catastrophic event known as the Pale Wasting, when the Imperium was threatened with a 'star-spawned plague' of mysterious xenos whom hailed from Ghoul Stars. This mysterious region of space is a part of the Halo Stars located beyond the furthest reaches of known space, northeast of the Segmentum Ultima beyond the Eastern Fringe. The Wardens of Orask, alongside several other newly-created Chapters, were created as a defensive counter-measure to help fight against the xenos' 'nightmare engines' that swept away scores of worlds and slaughtered whole sectors. Granted a substantial fleet of warships, the Wardens of Orask became a fleet-based, highly mobile counter-strike force, which helped to stem the tide of the encroaching threat, and were later credited with having played a vital role in 'unmaking that which cannot die'. Much of the extant evidence relating to this threat has been censored or purposely destroyed, and those partial records which have been uncovered suggest that more than one Space Marine Chapter might have been completely destroyed in the course of the conflict.
Chapter Home World
During its existence, the Wardens of Orask have never established a formal fortress-monastery and are a fleet-based Chapter, having no official home world of their own. Instead, their fortress-monastery is situated aboard the massive Battleship Sol Invictus, which serves as their primary location for command operations and the Chapter's co-ordination. This mobile fortress-monastery grants the Chapter a greater level of flexibility for those instances when it becomes necessary to assemble multiple companies prior to embarking upon a Crusade. The rest of the Chapter serves within a fleet of Strike Cruisers and other Battle-Barges that were assigned to the Wardens of Orask long ago during the Chapter's inception.
At the very edge of the Iquathan Deeps in the northern Segmentum Ultima, near the border of the Ghoul Stars, sits the sentinel world of Orask. Orask is garrisoned not only by its own feudal, warlike people, for many Astra Militarum regiments and even special detachments of the Adeptus Astartes and demi-Legio's of the Titan Legions rotate through deployment there on a rolling basis. Such a powerful garrison is needed to man its planet-wide network of defences, and along with forces from the Imperial Navy's Battlefleet Ultima, sally forth into the surrounding star systems should the need arise, for Orask is a world where conflict is never far away. Situated at the nexus of one of the few viable Warp-routes through the Deeps, Orask has for millennia been a battlefront and bastion that has guarded the Imperium from the terrors beyond.
- The Pale Wasting (ca. Late M34) - Within the vast edifice of the Imperial Palace on Terra, there is a oft-forgotten stele mounted within that recognises the services of several Adeptus Astartes Chapters, including the newly created Wardens of Orask, for their actions against the Pale Wasting - a mysterious event that occurred sometime during the 34th Millennium. Extant evidence relating to this xenos threat from the Ghoul Stars has often been purposely occluded or outright erased from most official Imperial records. This lone artefact praises the Wardens of Orask and their allies, crediting their service for having "unmade that which cannot die". Partial records that have been uncovered hint that several Space Marine Chapters were completely destroyed in the final battles of what must have been a truly apocalyptic struggle. This campaign was where the Wardens earned some of their earliest recorded battle honours fighting alongside their fellow Scions of Guilliman, the brutal and bellicose Imperius Ravagers. The Wardens of Orask were one of several Chapters created during this tumultuous time in Imperial history, to take part in the campaign to quell the threat of the Pale Wasting, and though this is one of the Chapter's earliest recorded battle honours, the Wardens' own chronicles are curiously empty of any reference to this conflict. Were it not for such prominent recognition, the incident might be completely forgotten. It is also quite possible that this ancient threat may also account for the unusually large number of formerly human-inhabited Dead Worlds in the region.
- The Nova Terra Interregnum (Unknown Date.M35) - The Imperium of Man fractures into two interstellar empires, when the Ur-Council of Nova Terra dismissed the High Lords of Terra and claimed separate rule over the Imperium's worlds of the Segmentum Pacificus. The Wardens of Orask were one of several Chapters called upon by the High Lords of Terra to mobilise to this troubled region of the galaxy to help counteract the rapid erosion and contradiction of the Imperium's borders. Fighting alongside the newly created Imperial Fists' Successor Chapter - the Blades of Dorn - and their fellow Scions of Guilliman - the Imperius Ravagers - this powerful triumvirate deployed from one warzone to the next, fighting against secessionist forces as well as adding their strength to multiple ongoing campaigns. These three Chapters helped to tip the balance of several conflicts in the Imperium's favour.
- Battle of the Broadsword (Unknown Date.M35) - The Tallarn Desert Raiders Imperial Guard regiments suppress the Chaemos Rebellion with the assistance of the Warden of Orasks' 1st Crusade Fleet.
- Daylon Campaign (428.M35) - During the Daylon Campaign the Wardens of Orask commit a strike force of the 3rd and 6th Companies. The companies are garrisoned abroad the Emperor-class Battleship Morpheus during the operation. This force is initially responsible for spearheading the invasion of Daylon and neutralising the planetary defences. During the eventual retreat of all imperial forces from K'Tos, the Wardens are tasked with forming the rear guard and ensuring remaining Imperial forces and loyalists are able to flee in relative safety.
- Purging of Roduno (567.M35) - Chaos-inspired insurgence on the planet of Roduno is pacified.
- Apprehension of The Maw (585.M35) - The Chaos Spacehulk known as The Maw is boarded and captured by the Wardens of Orask's 2nd Crusade Fleet.
- Siege of Kordrake (659-661.M35) - During the Siege of Kordrake, a three year-long campaign recovers the world Kordrake from the Forces of Chaos.
- Hrud Rising (980.M35) - The Wardens of Orask, Silver Dominators, and Dark Angels take part in the task force cleansing the Hrud infestations that erupt across the Imperium at this time. With two of their three assigned sectors cleared, The Rock disappears as the Dark Angels leave the campaign to pursue their own objectives. The Chapter Master of the Silver Dominators files a complaint with the High Lords of Terra about the Dark Angels' behaviour, although no action is seen to be taken in response.
- 5th Black Crusade (723.M36) - Abaddon the Despoiler launched his 5th Black Crusade and began to scour the Elysia Sector, raiding hundreds of worlds and causing untold death and destruction. Several Adeptus Astartes Chapters, including the Wardens of Orask, responded in force, to help stem the so-called 'Tide of Blood'. On the world of Tarinth, the Despoiler lures two Space Marine Chapters - the Warhawks and Venerators - into a carefully laid trap. Doombreed, a notorious Daemon Prince of Khorne, declares war on the Adeptus Astartes. In a bitter last stand, both Loyalist Chapters were utterly destroyed, their skulls taken as trophies by the ancient Daemon Prince, for the Blood God. Hearing of the valorous last stand of these two fallen Chapters, the Wardens of Orask are incensed by the dire news and fight that much harder against Abaddon's forces. Though the Chapter sustains extensive casualties, the Wardens felt the cost in blood was worth the sacrifice, as they honoured their fallen cousin Chapters by slaying a large number of heretic forces, helping to drive them back into the Eye of Terror.
- Obliteration of Ork Waaagh! Bonesmasha (842.M36) - 2nd and 9th Company's lay siege to the Ork mega-stronghold named Fort Skullz. The Wardens of Orask are badly outnumbered but face down three days of Orks hurling themselves at their siege lines, defeating the xenos with precision bolter fire and a dozen thunderfire cannons.
- The Jorhelm Cluster (206.M37) - The Alpha Legion inspired rebellion at Klebentor II is crushed and the heretic's leader and his inner circle are captured. The Alpha Legion forces are pursued to a remote base hidden in the asteroid belt in the Inquathan Deeps Sector where they are destroyed.
- The Draxus Action (364.M37) - The planet Draxus is attacked by the Evil Blood Axes and issues a distress call. Scouts from the 10th Company are first to respond, followed by 1st company, defeating the Ork force.
- The Star-Killa Krew (380-405.M37) - An Ork Freeboota fleet of over one hundred ships ravages the northern region of the Jericho Reach, attacking and devastating Castobel, Aurum, and Alphos. The Wardens of Orasks' 3rd Crusade Fleet along with Deathwatch Codicier Kiataino masterminds a plan to destabilise the Ork forces before they can become entrenched, and succeeds in killing their Warboss and his immediate possible successors, forcing the Orks to turn on each other in a savage fight to establish dominance, neutralising the Ork threat.
- To Kill A God (433-451.M37) - The powerful Chaos Lord +++REDACTED+++, claiming to be a fifth Chaos God, rises to power within the Orcuz Sector, and soon, several worlds rise in open revolt. All across the surface of three Imperial worlds, the hidden covens of Chaos cultists, aided and abetted by this Chaos Lord and his Warband, the +++REDACTED+++, attack vital strategic locations. Within a matter of months, several other worlds fall into internecine conflict, and soon, nearly the entire sector declare their secession from the Imperium. To compound the problems for the Imperial defenders, reports soon reach Segmentum command that several more Heretic Astartes Warbands were involved in the fighting. The High Lords dispatch an Imperial retribution forces comprised of multiple Adeptus Astartes Chapters including - Wardens of Orask, Imperius Ravagers and the 6th Company of the Silver Dominators - as well as a demi-Legio of god-engines of the Legio Nox ('Lords of Night'), supporting Skitarii and Legio Cybernetica forces from a nearby forge world, as well as several Astra Militarum Regiments. The battle for control of the sector lasts for several decades, and is matched only in intensity and ferociousness by those Adeptus Astartes Chapters sent to quell the uprising, resulting in the death of millions of innocents as well as tens of thousands of heretic forces. The conflict culminates in a final assault upon the sector capital world of Khai-Mortanus, where the Chaos Lord and the bulk of his forces have taken refuge within the planet's capital hive city. The combined forces of the Wardens of Orask and their Astartes allies strike like thunderbolts of a wrathful god, and finally kill the Chaos Lord and wipe out his heretic forces. The world is brought back under Imperial compliance within the day.
- 9th Black Crusade (537.M38) - Abaddon the Despoiler and his Black Legion, launch the 9th Black Crusade out of the Eye of Terror intending to bring about the demise of the naval fortress of Cancephalus. The whole Crusade Chapter Fleet of the Wardens or Orask and many other Crusading Chapters are recalled by the High Lords of Terra to help deal with the rising threat of incursions from the Eye of Terror. During the defence of the Hive World of Corillia from a Chaotic attack by the Lamenters Space Marine Chapter, they held out alone against the Black Legion's onslaught for six solar weeks. The Lamenters suffered horrendous losses until the Ultramarines, Wardens of Orask, and White Scars led an Imperial battle group that broke though the Chaos warfleet to relieve Corillia.
- The Scouring of Bornalis (741.M38) - The Wardens of Orasks' 2nd Crusade Fleet liberates the planet of Bornalis from Chaos. The Task Force is composed of elements of the 10th, 5th, and 1st Companies and defeats a warband of Red Corsairs and Emperor's Children.
- Scourging of Skullrippa 328.M39 - The 3rd Crusade Fleet of the Wardens of Orask destroy the space hulk of the Ork Warboss Skullrippa.
- Fifty Planet Rebellion (578.M39) - The Wardens of Orask uncover a mad priest named Alldrec the Subverter. The Heretic visionary had led a swathe of planets on the borders of the Ghoul Stars Region to reject the rule of the Imperium. Within a decade, the Wardens of Orask suppress the Chaos Cultist uprisings and slay their leaders.
- Incursions of Unbelief (Unknown.M40) - The 1st and 3rd Crusade Fleets of the Wardens of Orask perform containment operations and engage a large incursion fleet comprised of several Chaos Warbands and Renegade Chapters led by the Red Corsairs from the Maelstrom.
- Defense of Proximo (324.M41) - The Wardens of Orasks' 2nd Crusade Fleet along with elements of the 3rd and 5th Companies defend Proximo from the vile Red Corsairs.
- The Defence of Orask (940-997.M41) - A most terrible assault occurred in 940.M41, when a splinter Hive Fleet Pythos of the Tyranid menace appeared, disoriented and twisted by its passage through the Ghoul Stars, and fell upon the Orask System like a ravenous beast. The great battle that ensued proved brief but bloody. The stoic defenders of Orask were backed by the entirety of the Wardens of Orask as well as a full company of the Red Talons Chapter and a Titan maniple from the Legio Magna. Despite horrific casualties that reached into the tens of thousands sustained within a mere matter of solar days, the valiant defenders were able to push back their monstrous attackers. Eventually they contained the threat and purged the vile xenos from Orask's blasted surface. In recognition of their tenacity and heroic actions in achieving such a hard-fought victory, the Lord of Macragge himself, Marneus Calgar, honoured the Wardens a Laurel of Defiance. However, evidence persists that some harbinger organisms escaped to the outer systems, and Orask may not have heard the last of the Great Devourer.
The Wardens of Orasks' gene-seed is consistent genetically, with that of other Chapters from the lineage of Roboute Guilliman. It is free from any known contamination, reproduces stably, and produces the full range of Space Marine organ implants. Because they are extremely active within multiple war zones, the Wardens of Orask are rigorous about harvesting and securing the Progenoid Glands from its fallen Battle-Brothers in a timely fashion. Recoveries made in the field are secured upon the nearest Chapter vessel in short order, and then returned to their Chapter flagship Sol Invictus for storage at the earliest possible opportunity. Currently, records indicate that the Chapter is sufficiently well supplied with gene-seed to accommodate even their prodigious needs.
Primarch's Curse: Crusader's Call
The Wardens of Orask are devoted servants of the Emperor and never refuse the call to arms or the chance to join a crusade against the enemies of the Imperium. Over the centuries, this has become a well-known aspect of the Chapter and elements of the Wardens of Orask have participated in hundreds of crusades across the galaxy from the murky depths of the Eastern Fringe to the dark and turbulent sectors surrounding the Eye of Terror.
As a fleet-based Chapter, this means that the entire Chapter is practically never in the same place at the same time, and though they might stay in contact, each fragment becomes a collection of companies and their vessels which can operate independently for great lengths of time. Though it means the Chapter is scattered across the stars, no member of the Wardens of Orask would ever refuse such a call to duty and takes it as a mark of honour and pride that their Chapter has such a valourous history. When the Chapter's genetic curse manifests in one of its Battle-Brothers, it usually progresses in three stages:
- Stage 1 - Unending Valour: The Battle-Brother has become filled with pride in the history of his Chapter's bravery and devotion and sees his own existence as a vital part of continuing its traditions. When his squad is required to do their duty he will make sure that it is carried out, squashing any doubt his fellow Battle-Brothers might have or any weakness they might show in the face of honour.
- Stage 2 - Duty through Sacrifice: True duty can only be proven in death or an equally potent sacrifice, a fact which is known to all true servants of the God-Emperor. The Battle-Brother knows that to prove himself he must be the one to stand in the way of the blade or shield his comrades from the blast, so that there can be no doubt about his devotion or his loyalty to the Emperor.
- Stage 3 - Lead the Charge: In boarding actions, the greatest honour goes to those first through the breech and first to face the foe. The Battle-Brother accepts that he must take this role as his honour demands it, and it is just another way to prove his courage and loyalty in the eyes of his peers. If there is a choice or a chance to lead a charge or be the first to face the enemy, the Battle-Brother must take it. Furthermore he will seek out such opportunities, volunteering for dangerous duties if they mean he will get to lead others into the fray. In combat, the Battle-Brother will also seek out the most dangerous or powerful-looking foes, even at the cost of ignoring closer or more pressing enemies to his brethren's tactical disadvantage.
As a fleet-based Chapter, the Wardens of Orask have no one single Chapter homeworld. Instead, they reside in their Crusade fleets, upon many Battle Barges, Strike Cruisers, training vessels, and gigantic forgeships. The Wardens of Orask institute Chapter keeps on every world they reclaim for the Emperor. The Chapter keeps main purpose are to recruit new Space Marines from the population, and to act as staging posts for mustering their Crusades. These Chapter keeps are sizeable, with chambers to accommodate two to three companies of Space Marines, but are far smaller than the fortress-monasteries of other Chapters.
The reserve of the Chapter's gene-seed is spread throughout all of its primary starships, stored in the Implantation Chambers aboard each vessel. These chambers are the most protected on any Warden of Orasks' starship and will be defended by them with their lives if need be, for these chambers contain the essence of the Chapter's future. The Chapter is based out of their ancient Relic Battleship Sol Invictus that serves as the mobile fortress-monastery of the Chapter.
- Tetrarchy - The Tetrachy is composed of four exalted officers of the Wardens of Orask known as the Tetrarchs who attend the Legatus Praetore as his personal advisors. The Tetrarchy exists outside the rest of the Chapter's regular command structure. Together the Tetrarchy functions as the soul of the Wardens of Orask, supporting their Chapter Master and steering the Chapter's temperament and decisions. Only those officers who possess the necessary qualities of strength and charisma are ever allowed to serve at their Chapter Master's side.
- Praetorians - Elite Terminator-armoured Veteran Marines of the elite 1st Company who act as the Legatus Praetore's personal Honour Guard.
- Triarii - (Singular: Triarius) A Terminator-armoured Veteran Marine.
- Vexillarii - (Singular: Vexillarius) Equivalent to a Veteran Marine.
- Lancearii - (Singular: Lanciarius) Equivalent to an Assault Marine.
- Principes (Singular: Princeps) Equivalent to a Tactical Marine.
- Ballistarii - (Singular: Ballistarius) Equivalent to a Devastator Marine.
- Hastati - (Singular: Hastatus) Equivalent to a Scout Marine.
- Tirones - (Singular: Tiro) A newly inducted Neophyte.
- Tetrarch - A Tetrarch is a specialty rank held by the four exalted officers of the Chapter that make up the Tetrarchy, who attends the Legatus Praetore as his personal advisors.
- Praetorian Prefect - First Captain and commander of the Legatus Praetore's Honour Guard (Praetorian). This specialty rank is only granted to the most eminent and distinguished warrior within the Chapter. He is a commander without equal and is held in the highest regard by his fellow battle-brothers.
- Prefect - Equivalent rank to a Master of the Marches. Assigned to one of the Chapter's Praetors, a Prefect is charged with not only leading an entire company in battle, but also with additional responsibility for overseeing the total deployment of their Chapter's fighting strength.
- Tesserarius - Equivalent rank to a Master of the Watch. Assigned to one of the Chapter's Praetors, a Tesserarius is charged with the responsibility of the defence of his Chapter's fortress-monastery and home world in the absence of the Legatus Praetore. This title is given to the commander of the designated company that is currently charged with the garrisoning of the fortress-monastery, which is allotted to a different company on a rotational basis.
- Praefectus Castrorum - Equivalent rank to a Master of Relics. Assigned to one of the Chapter's Praetors, a Praefectus Castorum is an unmatched expert in the tactics of long-ranged warfare. He is also the custodian of the Chapter's many technological masterpieces, the most dangerous of which are brought to the battlefield only in times of exceptional strife.
- Navarch - Equivalent rank to a Master of the Fleet. Assigned to one of the Chapter's Praetors, a Navarch possesses the most experience and greatest skill at planning and executing void-combat. His is given overall command of the Chapter fleet, and essentially serves as the Chapter's fleet admiral, commanding his flagship and all other space assets when they deploy for major engagement.
- Dominus Carnifice - Equivalent rank to a Lord Executioner. Assigned to the Praetor of the Chapter's elite 8th Assault Company.
- Prefectus Fabrorum - Equivalent rank to a Master of the Forge, the Chapter's senior-most Techmarine.
- Fabrorum - Equivalent rank to a Techmarine.
- Delegatus - A Delegatus is a specialty rank held by a mid-ranking Chapter officer, such as a Centurion, who is often granted this rank and tasked with specific missions by Chapter high command and formally dispatched to act in all matters with the full weight of their commander's authority. As such, they could mobilise the Chapter's resources to the full, deploy it's assets and, if performing a mission of vital strategic worth, assemble a strike force of chosen warriors.
- Pontifex Primus - Equivalent rank to a Reclusiarch of the Chapter.
- Pontiff - Equivalent rank to a Chaplain.
- Primus Medicae - Equivalent rank to a Chief Apothecary of the Chapter.
- Medicae - Equivalent rank to an Apothecary.
- Augur Primae - Equivalent rank to a Chief Librarian of the Chapter.
- Augurius - Equivalent rank to a Chapter Librarian.
- Signiferi - Equivalent rank to a Standard Bearer.
- Eques - A specialty designation given to a battle-brother who is a pilot of an aerial vehicle or a driver of an armoured vehicle.
- Legatus Praetore - Senior-most rank within the Wardens of Orask. Equivalent rank to a Chapter Master.
- Cohortarch - Equivalent rank to a Force Commander, this senior rank is granted to those who are charged with commanding a cohort comprised of at least four or more companies.
- Merarch - A senior rank granted to those who are charged with commanding a strike force comprised of at least three or more companies.
- Legatus - A temporary rank granted to a Praetor who is charged with commanding a strike force comprised of at least two companies.
- Praetor - Equivalent rank to a Captain.
- Tribune - A Tribune is a rank held by a senior Astartes line officer of the Chapter who serves as an executive officer and second-in-command to a company's Praetor. Serving as a battle-commander middle-tier line officer, they also take on more specialised functions such as a Shield-Lieutenant, given charge of a boarding party in a savage void battle. Tribunes are considered Praetors-in-training, and as such, are treated with the utmost respect by their subordinates.
- Centurion Primus - A Centurion Primus is a rank held by those junior line officers who hold seniority over other Centurions. These individuals are consummate warriors who have risen through the ranks of their Chapter and have already demonstrated their worth in the bloody fires of conflict, and have been recognized for their dedication, skill and tactical acumen.
- Centurion - A Centurion is a rank held by those Astartes junior line officers who have proven themselves on the field of battle. This rank is equivalent to a junior lieutenant.
- Decurion Primus - Equivalent rank to a Veteran Sergeant, the senior-most Sergeant within a company.
- Decurion - Equivalent rank to a Sergeant.
- Evocatus - Equivalent rank to a full battle-brother.
- Hastatus - Equivalent rank to a Scout Marine.
- Tiro - A novice, equivalent to a Neophyte.
- Trierarch - Equivalent rank to an Imperial Navy Captain, this specialty rank is assigned to one of the Chapter's mortal officers who possess a long history of space combat and commanding fleet engagements, such as a former or current commanding officer of the Imperial Navy who has been seconded to the Chapter under ancient inter-service agreements.
- Beneficiarii - (Singular: Beneficiarius) Calatores who serve as orderlies and perform various services for the various senior officers of the Chapter, such as the Reclusiarch and Primus Medicae.
- Calatores (Singular: Calator) This is a term when referring to the Chapter's human serfs who are charged with carrying out the day-to-day functions within the Chapter.
The Wardens of Orask do not have a Chapter home world, their recruiting is done by their Chapter Keeps. The Chapter Keeps are constructed on most worlds that are subjugated by the Wardens of Orask. These worlds are used as staging ground for Crusade forces and recruitment posts for the Chapter. Only the most skilled Aspirants are allowed to join, and if they pass the initial tests, they are implanted with the gene-seed organs that will eventually transform them into full Space Marines and Neophytes of the Chapter.
Order of Battle
|Legatus Praetore's Castrum|
|Praetorian Prefect (Equerry)||Praetorians (Honour Guard)||Tetrachy (Chapter Council)|
|Veteran Company||Battle Companies|
|1st Company||2nd Company||3rd Company||4th Company||5th Company|
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
|6th Company||7th Company||8th Company||9th Company||10th Company|
Chapter Combat Doctrine
As a proud Successor to the vaunted Ultramarines Chapter, the Wardens of Orask are unconventional for a Successor Chapter of Ultramarines, because they do not adhere to the rigid dictates of the Codex Astartes. The Wardens of Orask feel that to be bound by words set down an age ago is to risk failure to adapt to changing circumstances that could prove fatal to the Chapter and the broader Imperium. Their primary adaptations from its doctrines are all intended to grant the Chapter additional flexibility in keeping with their duties as constant Crusaders. With the exception of those changes, the Chapter still venerate their Primarch, just as the Ultramarines do. In fact, they look upon the Codex Astartes as the foundation for their way of life, but to follow its teachings literally without consideration for what they have learned and what they observe around them is not in their view wisdom, but blind orthodoxy. To believe in rigid dogma is a weakness of the mind and it is this very weakness that has caused so much stagnation within the wider Imperium.
The core of this adherence is represented in the Chapter's consistent use of combined arms. They maintain the necessary flexibility to address virtually any opponent. While Assault, Devastator, and Scout Squads are used in keeping with the prescriptions of the Codex, their proportionate numbers are carefully preserved. To the extent that they are available, vehicular assets are used as situations necessitate.
The Wardens of Orask place particular importance and reverence on safeguarding their Chapter's future and preserving its gene-seed. The Wardens have been devoted to embarking upon endless Crusades since the time of their Founding. Historically, the Wardens of Orask Chapter has also sent companies to assist Rogue Trader Houses, other Space Marine Chapters, and even answered planetary emergency calls throughout the galaxy. This willingness to aid the cause of humanity at any time and in any place exemplifies their devotion to service.
It is only in preparation for a major Crusade effort or upon occasions of major Chapter import that the companies gather for extended interactions. Such occasions represent the only opportunity for established veterans to reunite with Battle-Brothers from other companies, often friends that they knew during their time as an Initiate. These gatherings also represent an opportunity for promotions and transfers between companies. In this way, members promoted to the 1st Company may transfer to work with another company so that their experience as a Veteran Space Marine may be more easily differentiated. This is also when Space Marines are most commonly tithed to service for other duties, even duty with the Deathwatch.
Notable Wardens of Orask
- Legatus Praetore Lucius Sejanus - The current Ward-Master of the Wardens of Orask, Lucuis Sejanus is a cunning warrior and strategically brilliant commander. He is well known for having led his Chapter to victory in the fight for Orask which was invaded by a large force of Chaos Space Marines. He is also known for securing many other noteworthy victories that the Wardens of Orask have successfully claimed.
- Cingulum - The Cingulum is a belt formed from several studded straps of leather or a similar strong and flexible material, which serves as a place for the hanging of victorex and other accolades of valour. Such belts are common decorations amongst the Wardens of Orasks. The appearance of a cingulum also varies with the type of small, detailed plates that have been used to stud it and the choices of what terminal decorations hang upon it.
- Heraldry Scrolls - Scrolls worked into a Battle-Brother's armour, either as metalwork or a placard are popular in many Chapters, and the Wardens of Orask are no exception. This crest may display a motto or title, but most commonly it bears the Wardens of Orask's name so that his enemies know who brings their deaths, and tales of his deeds may travel.
- Honour Blades - Presented to champions of the Chapter, Honour Blades are a matching Broadsword and Poniard Power Sword set. Wielded together, the blades are perfectly matched and provide the champion with an expert defence and attack.
From their earliest surviving records, the Wardens of Orask have existed as a fleet-based Chapter. In the modern era, the basis for this decision is unclear. It might be that the decision was made early on during their inception, which has been preserved for traditional reasons rather than functional ones.
Their mighty Chapter fleet is led by the flagship Sol Invictus, a mighty Relic Battleship. This formidable vessel of ancient provenance was gifted to the Wardens by their progenitors at their inception. It is believed to be pre-Imperial in origin, constructed some time during the Dark Age of Technology, and has a long and glorious history. Ranging over 8 km long, it holds thousands of crew, battle-brothers and hundreds of war machines as well as swarms of smaller attack craft and transports.
To fulfil their duties, they possess several Battle-Barges, but their mobile fortress-monastery Sol Invitus, is the largest vessel of their fleet and serves as their gene-seed repository. This vessel also houses the Chapter's Librarium Sanctorum, the repository of the Chapter's collective knowledge which contains countless scrolls, data-logs tombs, and computational engines which store the Chapter's records, roles of honour, as well as ancient lore.
One critical limitation of a fleet-based operation is a restriction in the availability of new candidates for initiation. The Wardens of Orask have overcome this difficulty by recruiting from their Chapter keeps located on several worlds they have conquered over long millennia of their existence, as well as having long-established relations with several primary recruitment worlds, most of which are located in the Inquathan Deeps Sector in the Ultima Segmentum. These worlds range from Feral Worlds, colonised by the remnants of ancient Imperial civilisations, to Hive Worlds, where gangs fight daily with whatever weapons they can scrounge, living off the scrapings of Imperial society.
The Chapter fleet of the Wardens of Orask is known to contain the following starships:
- Sol Invitus (Relic Battleship - Unknown Class) - The Sol Invitus is a Relic Battleship that pre-dated the founding of the Imperium -- a veteran of centuries of nightmarish war amid the dark stars and aged in scars and honours. It is the personal flagship of Legatus Praetore Sejanus and serves essentially as the Chapter's mobile Fortress-Monastery, home to the Wardens of Orask's Reclusiam and the vaults containing all of the Chapter's relics and precious artefacts.
- Sword of Retribution (Apocalypse-Class Battleship) - The Sword of Retribution is a vessel known to be present in the Wardens of Orasks' Crusade fleet.
- Morpheus (Emperor-Class Battleship) - The Morpheus was the first vessel that carried the first Wardens of Orask beyond the Orask System. It is still in service in the 41st Millennium.
- Avenging Son (Relic Battleship - Unknown Class) - The Avenging Son is a Relic Battleship that pre-dated the founding of the Imperium -- a veteran of centuries of war and aged in scars and honours of victories.
- Nox Pervigilium (Battle Barge)
- Aurelius (Battle Barge)
- Thanatos (Battle Barge)
- Typhon (Battle Barge)
- Gladius Nova (Battle Barge) - Destroyed during the 13th Black Crusade against the Red Corsairs' Chaos Fleet.
- Menace of Truth (Grand Cruiser) - Destroyed during the 13th Black Crusade against the Red Corsairs' Chaos Fleet.
- Salvation (Strike Cruiser)
- Swift Vengeance (Strike Cruiser)
- Radiant Dawn (Strike Cruiser)
- Fortitude (Strike Cruiser)
- Titus (Strike Cruiser)
- Stenophilus (Strike Cruiser)
- Merito (Strike Cruiser)
- Manus Fidei (Strike Cruiser)
- Eternal Strength (Strike Cruiser) - Strike Cruiser that carried Task Force Onslaught to the Orask System. The Halberd earned much renown for its participation in the Gothic War.
- Shield of Faith (Strike Cruiser)
- Hammer of Vengeance (Strike Cruiser)
- Halberd (Strike Cruiser)
- Blade of Unity (Strike Cruiser) - Destroyed during the 13th Black Crusade against the Red Corsairs' Chaos Fleet.
- Triumph of Truth (Strike Cruiser) - Destroyed during the 13th Black Crusade against the Red Corsairs' Chaos Fleet.
- Dominus (Forge Ship) - Serves as the primary Armouries for the whole of the Crusade Chapter Fleets.
- Inferno (Destroyer)
- The Unbowed (Destroyer)
- Defiant (Destroyer)
- 20 Escorts
- 75 Thunderhawk gunships
The Power Armour of a Warden of Orask is predominantly black and copper. The Black colour serves as a sign, that like the legendary Sigismund and the black-armoured Chaplains of the Adeptus Astartes, it serve as a reminder of mortality's impermanent nature, and that only in death does their duty to the Emperor end. The white-coloured squad specialty symbols (Tactical, Assault, Devastator, or Veteran) are indicated on the right shoulder pauldron, while the Chapter icon is proudly worn on the left shoulder pauldron. The Roman numeral stenciled in copper on the right shoulder pauldron indicates squad number, while the gothic numeral on the right poleyn (knee guard) indicates company number.
The Wardens of Orasks' Chapter badge is a large stylised white skull centred on a field of black, which indicates the past sacrifices of the Chapter's fallen battle-brothers. A small black-coloured Omega letter drawn from the ancient Greek alphabet (an inverted version of the Chapter icon of their progenitors, the Ultramarines) is centred upon the skull's forehead.
Almost since their inception, the Wardens of Orask have been staunch allies of their fellow Scions of Guilliman, the brutal and bellicose Imperius Ravagers. Not long after their inception in the 34th Millennium, these two Chapters found themselves fighting alongside one another, to enforce the quarantine zone around the Ghoul Stars during the mysterious event known as the Pale Wasting. The Imperius Ravagers deployed half their Chapter to help stem the tide against a mysterious xenos invasion that swept across scores of Imperial worlds as "nightmare engines" slaughtered the populations of whole sectors. Finding themselves of like-mind and similar mien, these two Chapters ruthlessly executed their duties in the persecution of these deadly xenos. Much of what occurred during this tumultuous period in Imperial history has been censored or purposely destroyed, but what is known is that eleven Space Marine Chapters were lost in the final battles of this apocalyptic struggle. These Scions of Guilliman formed strong bonds of brotherhood, forged in blood and fire, as they willingly sacrificed themselves to stem the tide of this dire xenos threat. Since that dark age, the Wardens and the Imperius Ravagers have vowed to answer one another's call should the need arise, a debt that has been repaid only on a handful of occasions down the millennia.
The Spartiate Marines are a bellicose and ruthless Chapter that hails from the same proud lineage of Guilliman as the Wardens. Originally, they served as one of the Astartes Praeses, one of several Chapters charged with permanent overwatch over the Eye of Terror against incursions by the Forces of Chaos. Eventually, this Chapter found itself re-assigned to Sector Occident Prime, located in the Segmentum Solar, to defend the Imperium against Chaos incursions from the dual warp rifts known as the 'Hellgates'. The Wardens of Orask first crossed paths with their cousin-Chapter during the Third Hell Crusade in 514.M39, when the largest incursion of Heretic Astartes from the Hellgates launched a massive invasion, conquering and slaughtering whole populations on a score of Imperial worlds in several surrounding sectors. To stem the flow, the High Lords of Terra ordered the immediate mobilisation of several fleet-based Chapters to come to the aid of the Hell Warders Chapters, and halt the invasion and bring salvation to the imperilled planets. Upon their arrival, the Wardens of Orask co-ordinated their efforts with the Hell Warders Chapters. The Wardens and the Spartiate Marines found that their tactical doctrines complemented one another, and they were successful in freeing half a dozen systems from the tyranny of the Ruinous Powers. Since that time, these two Chapters have continued to enact a coordinated exchange program. This program fosters brotherhood between the two Chapters as well as helping to develop cultural understanding, regional expertise and interoperability.
The Blades of Dorn are a Sucessor Chapter descended from the proud lineage of the stoic Rogal Dorn. They were created during the tumultuous centuries of the Nova Terra Interregnum, sometime during the 35th Millennium, to help bring much needed security to the Imperium, which had been split in half following the secession of the Segmentum Pacificus from the Imperium of Man. The Blades of Dorn were one such Chapter created to help counteract the many outside threats to the unstable borders of the Imperium during this dark period of unrest and civil strife. The Wardens of Orask were one of several Adeptus Astartes Chapter to be called upon by the High Lords of Terra to mobilise to this troubled region of the galaxy to help counteract the rapid erosion and contradiction of the Imperium's borders.
The Wardens soon found themselves fighting alongside the newly created Blades of Dorn, which quickly garnered a reputation for being one of the most highly active Chapters during this conflict, as well as their fellow Scions of Guilliman - the brutal and bellicose Imperius Ravagers - deploying from warzone to warzone, fighting against secessionist forces as well as responding to various emergencies and adding their strength to multiple ongoing campaigns. Fighting alongside the Blades, these three Chapters helped to tip the balance of several conflicts in the Imperium's favour.
Forming unbreakable bonds of friendship and brotherhood in the heat of battle, the Wardens were one of the few Chapters that continued to support the Blades of Dorn following the fall from grace, and eventual excommunication, of their progenitors - the Crusaders of Dorn. Despite the aspersions, suspicions and outright hostility shown to the Blades, the Wardens stood by their cousin Chapter, and vehemently argued on their behalf, that they were both honorable and devoutly loyal, despite their progenitor's sins. Whenever called upon, the Wardens have eagerly answered the Blades' call, and have fought alongside this dedicated and stalwart Chapter several times down the millennia.
A fellow Scions of Guilliman Chapter, the Silver Centurions share a strong alliance with the Wardens of Orask. It is not known, with any certainty, when these two Chapters formed these bonds of kinship. However, Imperial scholars have determined that the Wardens of Orask and the Silver Centurions share a common hatred of the Emperor's Children Traitor Legion and have founded a friendship off of their mutual hatred for the whore-sons of Fulgrim. Down the millennia, the Silver Centurions have, on occasion, rushed to the aid of their brother Chapter when assistance was requested, without hesitation.
The Red Corsairs are a large Renegade warband that reside within the warp rift known as the Maelstrom. Made up of disparate Chaos Space Marines that have seceded from the Imperium, these renegades spend much of their time as space pirates, launching brutal raids on Imperial shipping and outposts. Led by their renegade master, Huron Blackheart, for the last century the Red Corsairs have continuously been a thorn in the Imperium's side, bringing misery and death to the domains that these renegades were previously sworn to protect. The Wardens of Orask hate the Red Corsairs above all else, for it was they who laid their Chapter low, destroying four of their ships during multiple void engagements during the recent 13th Black Crusade. The Wardens of Orask long for revenge, and will go out of their way to take part in any campaign against the Forces of Chaos, especially if the Red Corsairs are involved.
There have been many engagements throughout the millennium against this hated foe of the Wardens of Orask. For the Wardens will stop at nothing to wipe out these traitors for the grievous act that nearly took the life of their Primarch Roboute Guilliman. The Wardens hatred for these treacherous curs has no bounds as they will continue to purge the known galaxy of this elusive traitors until they are completely eradicated.
The vile Alpha Legion has continuously operated throughout the Ultima Segmentum since the bygone era of the Horus Heresy. They've continued their Long War against the Scions of Guilliman by stirring up dissension, rebellion and general causing chaos and mayhem throughout the Realms of Ultramar. These treacherous betrayers of Mankind have eluded the Wardens of Orasks many times. Lured into various ambushes set to terminate the Wardens have come to no avail. This enmity between them have endured into the late 41st Millennium, with no end in sight. Despite the ongoing conflict between these two forces, the Wardens remain ever vigilant for these most treacherous of Heretic Astartes.
By the Wardens of Orask
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About the Wardens of Orask
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