Hello everyone and welcome to Shadow Prophets. This is a pet project a few of us have thought about for a while, which is to create a blog to share with folks some of the hobby things we are working on. I suspect it will be a hodgepodge of stuff, but hopefully it will be entertaining.
For myself, I enjoy working on many projects and one can say I suffer from hobby ADHD. I have a lot of 40K armies, two 30K armies and recently got into Battlefleet Gothic. This means I hop around a lot and more or less work on whatever I feel like working on at the time. So, hopefully my posts will be varied. For my first few posts, I will post fluff/background I generated for my various armies. I tend to come up with extensive back stories for every tournament I go to.
For this first one, you can find the fluff I created for a 1,500 pts highlander tournament. I played Raptors chapter tactics and the idea was to have an entirely infiltrating army using scouts and Lias Issondon's warlord trait. I did ok until I got trounced by Dark Angels/Space Wolves super friends. Had a lot of fun with it though and loved writing the fluff. Hopefully you enjoy it too.
SILENT BLADES - FOUNDING AND TACTICS
The Silent Blades are a third founding chapter descended from the Imperial Fists, more specifically the 17th legion of the Imperial Fists. The 17th legion was unofficially known as the “Shadow Company”. While Rogal Dorn was always more focused on “honourable warfare”, every legion needed the capacity for infiltration and guerilla-style warfare. The Shadow Company, under Captain Garetius, provided that capacity. The Shadow Company contained a disproportionately large contingent of scouts and infiltrators and their tactics were more akin to those of the Raven Guard than the Imperial Fists. Nevertheless, they strove to uphold Rogal Dorn’s ideals and were particularly loyal to Captain Sigismund. During the crusades, the Shadow Company were employed primarily by Sigismund to soften the resistance in preparation for the indomitable advance of the regular Imperial Fists companies.
During the second founding, following the Horus Heresy, the Shadow Company followed Sigismund and became part of the Black Templars, with Captain Garetius becoming Marshal Garetius. The Shadow Company continued to have a lot of success within the Black Templars for over 300 years following the second founding. However, as the Black Templars became more pious and zealous, the tactics of the Shadow Company became less and less appreciated. Marshal Garetius petitioned for the Shadow Company to become its own Chapter and his request was granted.
To honour both the Black Templars and the Iron Fists, Garetius chose the livery of his new Chapter to be both the Templar Cross and the Imperial Fist emblem. He named his Chapter the Silent Blades to reflect the predilection of the Shadow Company for ambush attacks and guerilla warfare. Garetius chose as the home world of his Chapter the planet Coleanor, in the Galadian system near the Ghoul Stars. Coleanor was a death world, equally divided between scorching deserts and poisonous jungles, and its population was an ideal gene pool for the Silent Blades to recruit from. More importantly, there was only one stable exit point from the warp, which was located in the middle of an asteroid field that surrounded Coleanor. There was only one safe path for vessels emerging from the warp near Coleanor to safely reach the planet without being shredded by the asteroid field and Garetius made certain that the Coleanor way, as it became known, would be riddled with battle stations and defense points such that Coleanor was virtually impregnable. Following the construction of the defenses of the Coleanor way and their fortress monastery, the Silent Blades turned themselves once more to fighting the enemies of the Imperium. Thus began nine thousand years of glorious campaigning, with the Silent Blades’ tactics continuing to evolve to mold them into perfect infiltrators and guerilla warriors. In addition to the basic abilities contained in their gene seed, the Silent Blades’ recruiting pools probably contributed to the development of incomparable marksmanship skills within the chapter’s ranks with every weapon that fires bolt shells.
All was well with the Silent Blades and they were a respected fighting force in the Imperium, often fighting alongside the other descendants of Rogal Dorn. But, in the year 40.324, disaster struck Coleanor. While no enemies from without could ever strike at the home world of the Silent Blades, an enemy from within emerged. Unbeknownst to the Silent Blades and the populace of Coleanor, the Kloptyk Necron dynasty was slumbering at the core of Coleanor. When the forces of Overlord Jandek arose from slumber, they ascended to the planet surface, intent on annihilating the pesky humans, be they enhanced or not. The Silent Blades recalled all companies to Coleanor to deal with the treat, but they had underestimated the vastness of Jandek’s army. By the time the Silent Blades realized that a full chapter of Astartes was not going to be enough to deal with the treat, Jandek’s Cryptek council had put a veil over Coleanor such that communications of any kind could not be sent. The Silent Blades and the populace were on their own.
In true Shadow Company fashion, High Marshal Rebulus ordered an all-out guerilla warfare strategy against Jandek’s armies. The campaign lasted 30 years, with Jandek getting frustrated and mesmerized by his inability to wipe out the humans while continuing to sustain unacceptable losses. At the edge of his patience, Jandek ordered his entire dynasty to march with him, intending to raze the planet’s surface in its entirety to flush out the humans. This was exactly what Rebulus had intended. The entire Silent Blades chapter lied in wait, waiting for Jandek’s horde to be as far as possible from its necropolis. When Rebulus gave the signal, the Silent Blades struck at Chapter strength at the heart of the necropolis, destroying the teleportation machinery of the necrons and annihilating the Cryptek council guarding it.
With one fell swoop, Rebulus had achieved two tactical objectives of incalculable value. First, slaughtering the Crypteks lifted the veil covering Coleanor such that a distress signal could be sent. Second, he had destroyed the Necrons’ ability to phase out of battle when sustaining too much damage and they could now be properly destroyed. It took another two years for the relief force to arrive on Coleanor and with it came Inquisitors Kolemus and Herocles. What the relief force found was a planet completely devoid of organic life, a vast forlorn desert littered with Necron “body” parts. The relief force tracked Jandek’s host to the North Pole and found the Silent Blades entrenched in their fortress monastery and surrounded on all side by Jandek’s legions. The Silent Blade had fought a brutal strategic retreat with the Necrons, taking advantage of their increased agility to strike at the Necrons and withdraw before taking losses. The Necrons had followed the Silent Blades that way across the planet, leaving a literal trail of broken Necrons behind them. Inquisitor Kolemus ordered that the Silent Blades be airlifted out of the fortress and for the relief force to go head back to orbit. From there, cyclonic torpedoes were launched on Coleanor, destroying the Silent Blades’ home and the Necrons with it.
Rebulus spent days being debriefed by Kolemus and Herocles. Through this process, he discovered that the two Inquisitors formed an interesting duo, Kolemus being of the Ordo Malleus and Herocles being of the Ordo Xenos. Yet they worked together constantly, alternating between hunting demons and hunting xenos. Devoid of a home and with a newfound rage in his heart for the necrontyr and all things non-human, Rebulus pledged his Silent Blades to Kolemus and Herocles. In return, they were granted command of the battle barge “Doom Hammer”, which predated the Horus Heresy. Kolemus and Herocles also made sure that the Silent Blades were well stocked in recruits to keep themselves at chapter strength.
The Doom Hammer and the Silent Blades now more or less always follow Kolemus and Herocles in their endeavours and have taken to calling themselves the Coleanor Annihilation Force, in honour of their fallen home and comrades. Kolemus and Herocles are ecstatic with the arrangement as they gained an impressive amount of prestige within the inquisition for having a space marine chapter willingly at their beck and call. It also was fortuitous that the Silent Blades shadowy ways, marksmanship and predilection for guerilla warfare worked very well with the general goals and secrecy of the inquisition. Yet, for all the authority that they could wield over Rebulus and the Silent Blades, Kolemus and Herocles’ fondness for Rebulus as well as their humble assessment that Rebulus is vastly superior to them with respect to strategic warfare, lead the Inquisitors to treat Rebulus more like a friend. Rebulus thus continues to lead all efforts of the Coleanor Annihilation Force, but is happy to pursue the overall objectives set forth by the two Inquisitors. The Inquisition also gained in another way from the Kloptyk incident, as the fall of Coleanor became known. The Silent Blades now make it a point of pride to send more representatives for secondment to the Deathwatch than any other space marine chapters.
SILENT BLADES - RECENT HISTORY
For the last 5 years, Rebulus and a smaller subset of his forces have taken the strike cruiser Hope of Coleanor and have struck out with Inquisitor Kolemus for the system of Golmorian, near the Halo Stars. Kolemus had received more and more reports that the entire system emerged from a severe warp storm completely overrun by demons, cultist and traitor Astartes. While the Silent Blades’ preferred prey are the Necrons (and xenos of all kinds), they are loyal to Kolemus and more than willing to put their particular skills toward the defeat of another of humanity’s enemies. Slowly but surely, planets after planets have been cleansed by the Silent Blades and Kolemus. The Silent Blades typically will send a large contingent of scouts to gather intelligence, followed by Rebulus leading a careful infiltration of elite units with vast amounts of fire power. Once all the pieces are in play, the Silent Blades strike at the heart of the power base on a particular planet and eliminate the leadership. Once the top leaders have fallen, the planets become easy prey for the five Imperial Guard Regiments that accompany the Silent Blades and Kolemus. Kolemus was ready to savour the accolades he would receive from his fellow Inquisitors for this successful campaign, but he may yet be thwarted on the brink of victory. The Hope of Coleanor’s long range auspex has picked up a surge of xenos, demons, traitor Astartes and even other imperial forces, all converging toward the Silent Blades’ positions. Kolemus and Rebulus have sent a distress signal to the Doom Hammer and Herocles, but help may not arrive in time and, once more, Rebulus will have to demonstrate his ultimate strategic genius to defeat these maddened forces if he is to extricate his forces as well as Inquisitor Kolemus from the Golmorian system…
SILENT BLADES – HERALDRY
The Silent Blades primary heraldic colour is black, with the secondary heraldic colour being a deep vivid red. Throughout all levels of the Silent Blades, a red helmet denotes a sergeant. Interestingly, since they have begun their association with Inquisitors Kolemus and Herocles, as well as entered into a deeper commitment to the Deathwatch, the Silent Blades have vowed to keep their exploits secret. As such, they wear purity seals and adorn their vehicles with parchment, like all Astartes chapters, but they refrain from writing on them. Rather, only the chapter itself knows the deeds associated with each purity seal. Rather than taking away from their glory, the “silent seals”, as other chapters have dubbed them, are often found to be intimidating to enemies and allies alike. There is something disconcerting about being charged by a highly decorated squad without knowing who, or what, they have slain in the past to obtain such decorations.
Livery per unit type:
Scout squads bear black armour and red clothing with black shoulder pads. Scouts are only allowed to bear a white Templar cross, typically on their left shoulder.
Non-elite and non-scout infantry units bear black power armour and white shoulder pads. Full battle brothers are also granted the right to bear the Imperial Fists emblem in addition to the Templar Cross. The cross and emblems are typically black. Battle honours are often detonated by painting the ridge of the helmet a different colour, though only the members of the chapter know what those colours mean.
Non-command squad and non-honour guard elite units bear black power armour with silver shoulder pads. Typically, their armour is adorned in gold over black rather than the silver over black of the rest of the Silent Blades.
Techmarines bear red artificer armour with one white shoulder pad bearing the Templar cross. Command squad units bear black power armour and silver shoulder pads like other elite units. However, they are also granted the right to paint their helmets silver.
Captains typically bear black power armour, but will bear golden shoulder pads and a golden helmet. They can also be recognized by the iron halo they wear in battle.
Honour Guards bear silver artificer armour with golden shoulder pads and helmets.
Rebulus and the previous high marshals of the Silent Blades bear the “Shroud of Coleanor” into battle, a beautifully crafted artificer armour entirely gold plated with bronze trims and decorations. To honour his favoured company, the tenth, Rebulus only bears the Templar cross on his left shoulder pad and eschews the Imperial Fist emblem.
Inquisitor Kolemus was recruited very early on by Inquisitor Heronoclax. After serving in his henchman band for two decades, Kolemus was granted the Inquisitorial seal upon Heronoclax being killed by a rogue psyker during the cleansing of the Lirumax system. Kolemus dedicated his life to developing a vast network of spies and his own psychic abilities, all the better to root out demons and heretical cults. Kolemus befriended Inquisitor Herocles when the two decided to collaborate to eliminate a particularly nasty cult of dark elder slaneeshi worshipers. Kolemus saved Herocles’ life during the final battle and the two have been inseparable since then, generating a never before seen level of cooperation between the ordo Xenos and the ordo Malleus. Kolemus is a particularly powerful diviner and has acquired a knack for anticipating ambushes and alpha strikes. He generally likes to go into battle with Rebulus and Centurion Devastator Squad Virmus, lending his psychic skills to the squad and making sure they are never counter deployed. Kolemus’ biggest achievement is the liberation of the Silent Blades from the Kloptyk Necron dynasty and securing the pledge of High Marshal Rebulus that resulted in an entire chapter of Astartes pledged to his service.
HIGH MARSHAL REBULUS – THE “NEVERSEEN”
High Marshal Rebulus is the leader of the Silent Blades and a master of stealth, ambush and marksmanship. He is dubbed the “Neverseen” by those very few who have witnessed his ambushes and lived. Witness reports stated that he seemed to appear out of nowhere, with his prey dumbfounded at seeing this mighty warrior, clad in bright gold armour, seemingly materialize out of thin air while leading a substantial force poised for an alpha strike. When his prey starts to withdraw, they usually fall back into a carefully laid out cross fire from Rebulus’ scouts that have outflanked the prey’s position. Rebulus likes to boast that never has a prey escaped him and so far Kolemus has had no reason to doubt Rebulus’ claim. Rebulus prefers to deploy by infiltrating alongside Centurion Devastator Squad Virmus and Inquisitor Kolemus. While not opposed to a good melee, Rebulus is an unequalled marksman, firing shell after shell from his Heresy-era relic bolter, affectionately dubbed “Scythe” by Rebulus, and he considers it a personal failure when he gets tangled up in close combat.
STERNGUARD VETERAN SQUAD MILOS
Sergeant Milos is a long serving veteran of the Silent Blades and has been seconded three times to the Deathwatch, every time coming back covered in honour. Rebulus has tried in vain more times than he can remember to promote Milos to a captainship, but Milos has refused every time. Milos is convinced that strategic leadership is not for him, preferring to be dropped into a hot zone and blasting away at whatever highest threat needs killing. For his humility, battle honours and years of service, Milos is one of the most respected members of the Silent Blades and his opinions, though rarely given, carry a lot of weight with Rebulus, the company captains and his battle brothers generally. So well regarded is Squad Milos, that Rebulus eschews the use of a command squad and will simply request Squad Milos to be his “command squad” if protocol demands it. Squad Milos is filled with grizzled veterans, all armed with combi-meltas and the special ammunitions that is the staple of the Sternguards. Their honor roll is too long to record, but their latest achievement was the annihilation of the Chaos Knight Titan Grubax during the campaign to liberate the factory world of Kilinet.
TACTICAL SQUAD REVUS
Sergeant Revus and his tactical squad have been fighting together for the better part of fifty years. The squad was designed as an anti-armour specialist squad and was always kept at the codex minimum of five squad members. The squad typically carries a meltagun and Revus himself carries a combi-melta. It is not uncommon for the squad to carry melta bombs as well. Squad Revus is probably the most flexible tactical squad fighting under Rebulus in terms of preferred method of delivery. They are equally at ease in a razorback, rhino or drop pod. When pressed for an answer, Revus will admit that he takes a gleeful pleasure in deploying via drop pod to mess with the enemy’s heavy armour. Since the fall of Coleanor, he takes a particularly vicious pleasure in bursting open the war engines of the Necrons. The squad’s highest achievement, however, was the killing of the venerable dreadnought Harterix otherwise known as the Glacier of Travilaxia. During the campaign to bring the heel the rebellion of a Space Wolves’ warband rebellion against the authority of the Inquisition on Travilaxia, Harterix was carving a bloody path through the ranks of the Silent Blades, armed with his might axe “Icefang” and his shield “Russ’ Beard”. Revus requested his squad be deployed by drop pod within feet of the mad beast, which Rebulus obliged. Within seconds of landing a mere five feet from Harterix, Revus and brother Kytarius, the squad’s meltagun bearer, had fired two melta shots at the back of Harterix. Despite the protections against detonation affordable by his venerable status, Harterix was blown to smithereens. In true SilentBlades fashion, Rebulus declared that Revus and Kytarius should be granted the honour to paint the ridge of their helmets the color of pure snow as battle honour for killing the Glacier of Tracilazia – of course no one outside of the Silent Blades or the Inquisition would ever know that…
SCOUT SQUAD HORMENIC
Sergeant Hormenic has been in the tenth company of the Silent Blades for over six decades, having been identified by Rebulus as an incredible marksman and a great trainer for the chapter’s best snipers. His single greatest achievement is to have brought down Warboss Kirkuk Mak’ Turuuk Bryll with a single shot to the back of the head from a mile away during the Trivilam campaign against a vast Ork Waagh. Hormenic lied in wait, immobile, in the middle of the Ork encampment for 5 days, without food or water, before he felt he had the right shot he could take to bring down the beast. Following his kill, the Orks started to fight each other to fill the leadership void and the Silent Blades took advantage of the confusion to surround the Ork council grounds and lay it to waste. In the aftermath, Hormenic collected the head of Warboss Kirkuk and he wears his skull on his belt to this day. Squad Hormenic generally infiltrates ahead of the rest of the Silent Blades, relaying vital tactical information until Rebulus is ready to spring the trap, at which point Squad Hormenic will gun down important targets in the first few instants of the engagement. At Rebulus’ request, Hormenic has agreed to remain in the tenth company forever as this is where both he and Rebulus think he can better serve the goals of the Silent Blades.
SCOUT SQUAD FEREBUS
Sergeant Ferebus and his squad are relatively recent additions to the Silent Blades’ tenth company, having been inducted into the tenth mere months prior to Rebulus’ departure for the Golmorian system. The entire Squad was recruited by Inquisitor Kolemus, who found a gang of boys holding their own against a local organized crime syndicate in the Hive City of Tarceva on the planet Jolirax, while investigating a slaneeshi cult in the upper echelons of the city’s leadership. The boys helped Kolemus gain the upper hand in various altercations with both the traitorous nobility’s armed forces and the press gangs of the lower hive. He was so impressed with them that he brought them back to Rebulus who quickly saw their potential. Rebulus has been training them personally and has appointed Ferebus, the natural leader of the boys, as the squad’s sergeant. Squad Ferebus is equally divided between close combat specialists and marksmen, with the marksmen carrying a missile launcher into battle.
STORMTALON - BLADE OF FURY
Techmarine Titus currently pilots the Blade of Fury and has been doing so for the last twenty-five years. More often than not, the Blade of Fury is deployed to escort one of the chapter’s Stormravens. However, Grabbus, the Silent Blades’ Master of the Forge has taken note of the superior maneuvering skills of Titus and his great accuracy. Titus is particularly adept at combining the Blade of Fury’s skyhammer missiles with the power of the assault cannon to shred through lightly armoured vehicles and infantry squads alike. Titus has been known to hold objectives secured with the Blade of Fury for long periods until reinforcements arrive. Doing so typically only marginally reduces his accuracy. On the advice of Grabbus, Rebulus has started deploying Titus and his Blade of Fury more independently of the chapter’s Stormravens and he has not regretted it.
CENTURION DEVASTATOR SQUAD VIRMUS
Sergeant Virmus and his four squad mates had never been graduated beyond the chapter’s devastators. Such was their affinity for heavy weapons that Squad Virmus was often deployed to hold fire lanes entirely unsupported, the mix of heavy bolters and missile launchers preferred by the Squad being used with great efficacy to mow through infantry and armour alike. For Rebulus, there was never a suggestion that this squad should graduate to become an assault or a tactical squad. Squad Virmus fought together without losing a single member for more than seventy years, but their luck ran out in a particularly brutal battle against the Kartahk necron dynasty in the Farclyne system. A squad of deathmarks materialized out of thin air and took out two of its members before being brought down by Rebulus and his honour guard. Virmus was devastated and could not begin to fathom integrating new members into his squad. Rebulus suggested that he should not. Puzzled, Virmus queried Rebulus who maintained a mischievous smile while remaining silent. The next day, Virmus and his two remaining squad mates were summoned by Grabbus and were presented with centurion devastator war suits. Squad Virmus took to the centurion devastator war suits like a charm and has been terrorizing heavy infantry, monstrous creatures and heavy armour ever since. They used to deploy in a landraider, but have recently taken to infiltrate into superior firing positions alongside Rebulus and Inquisitor Kolemus.
DEVASTATOR SQUAD DENDRION
Sergeant Dendrion has been leading his squad for the past two decades. The squad is five man strong and carries two grav cannons into battle. Dendrion is famous for being a bit of a daredevil, often leading his squad to infiltrate aboard the rhino “Wrath of Coleanor” much deeper in enemy territory than other devastator squads would deem appropriate for such static, long range specialists. Yet those who see Squad Dendrion on the battlefield cannot deny the sheer horror that enemies of the chapter experience when they realize they are being pounded by a torrent of grav weaponry from what they believed was a secured flank. Dendrion’s aggressive deployment tactics often force enemies to shift their focus away from Centurion Devastator Squad Virmus, which in and of itself can lead to murderous results for heretics and xenos alike. Squad Dendrion most famous kill was bringing down a Heldrake on the fields of delusions on the demon infested world of Horacium, during the cleansing of the Gildebrar system.
TECHMARINE IRVUS’ THUNDERFIRE CANNON
Techmarine Irvus is the youngest techmarine serving the Silent Blades. Irvus came back from his secondment on Mars a mere fifteen years ago. Prior to going to Mars, Irvus had been operating as a member of a scout squad. Master of the Forge Grabbus had already taken an interest in Irvus, but the youngster was not yet ready to leave his squad mates. Unfortunately for Irvus, his squad was set upon by a cult of speed ork party on a routine scouting mission. Eight of Irvus’ squad mates perished and the squad’s sergeant was grievously wounded. Irvus and his sergeant were saved by a violent sandstorm, which the orks fled. Irvus carried his sergeant through the storm and back to base camp. When he staggered into camp, it looked as though Irvus had been flayed alive – most of his skin having been stripped clean by the sandstorm. His squad sergeant died of his wounds a short time thereafter. Following his recovery, Irvus accepted Grabbus’ offer and went on to be trained on Mars. Upon his return, Irvus displayed an affinity for the chapter’s thunderfire cannons and is without a doubt the best thunderfire cannon operator the chapter has at its disposal. Irvus has always refused plastic surgery and is hideously disfigured. When queried about it, he will often reply that it is good to carry a reminder of what is important in this world. Those words take meaning for those who have seen Irvus and his thunderfire cannon deployed against ork war bands. Irvus becomes mad with bloodlust and can be heard spitting out streams of curses while relentlessly pounding orkish positions. In such circumstances, it is not uncommon for Rebulus to have to tell Irvus that all the orks are dead and that he can stop the shelling…
Here are the original pics for more details on the minis.