The Black Thorn's color scheme
Non- Codex Chapter
Current Supreme Commander (Chapter Master)
The Briar Labyrinth
Heavy Assault, Siege Warfare, Anti- Chaos Warefare
Metallic Grey,Gunmetal Green, and Coal Black(markings)
"Make them Suffer!"
- "Forever a Thorn in the Archenemy's side."
- —Motto of the Black Thorns
The Black Thorns are 10th founding chapter descended from the Iron Hands. This battle- hardened chapter's first duty as a chapter was watching over the volatile Infernus Sector, known for it's proximity to a Minor Warp rift known as the Fracture. The High Lords of Terra feared that the Fracture would one day serve as a gateway for the forces of Chaos, and their fears were justified when the Fracture unleashed a horde of Daemons upon the Black Thorns' homeworld of Lorem. The young chapter barely managed to defeat the Daemons, loosing more than three quarters of it's forces in the process. But from that day forward, the Black Thorns became known as the heartless warriors they are now, believing that the cold, hard strength of steel shall always triumph over the Ruinous Powers.
The Black Thorns were created during the final days of the Nova Terra Interregnum, charged with safeguarding one of the places the Imperium neglected to watch over during the turmoil: the Infernus Sector. This sector was located at the very border of the Imperium, and was known only for the fact that within the Infernus Sector lay a minor Warp Rift known as the Fracture. While not as vast a rift as the Maelstrom, the Fracture did represent a threat if the Forces of Chaos ever spilled into the Materium. So, the High Lords authorized the creation of a new Space Marine chapter to guard the Infernus Sector from the Ruinous Powers. Created from the infamous Iron Hands Chapter, the Black Thorns were born.
The Black Thorns claimed the Death World of Lorem as their new homeworld. This miserable planet had once been a prosperous place until the Age of Strife, until a brutal civil war had torn it apart, escalating so far as to the point where a doomsday weapon of unknown origin was detonated, scouring Lorem of life. Those few who survived found their former home reduced to an irradiated wasteland where only the strongest survived. The Black Thorns felt right at home. They transformed the old system of fallout tunnels underneath the surface of Lorem into an underground fortress, naming it the Briar Labyrinth. They then settled in, recruiting from the small populations of non-mutated humans than somehow still survived on Lorem, slowly building up their forces, preparing for the day when the forces of chaos would spill out from the Fracture and into the Infernus Sector. That day came sooner than expected.
A Horde of Daemons suddenly burst from the Fracture, descending upon Lorem with unearthly fury and glee as they sensed new life upon the near- dead planet. The Black Thorns quickly mobilized to meet the threat with the full force of the chapter, eagerly attacking the Daemons head- on. That proved to be a catastrophe for the Black Thorns, as the sheer amount of Daemons simply proved to be to much for the young chapter. They were forced to give ground, their numbers reducing dramatically with each Daemonic assault. It seemed that all was lost for the Black Thorns, until a Space Marine by the name of Solaka convinced the Black Thorns to try a different strategy.
They retreated within the Briar Labyrinth, forcing the Daemons to pursue them within the under ground depths of Lorem. Within the maze of tunnels, the Daemons were cornered, ambushed, and destroyed. This new tactic allowed the Black Thorns to not only fend of the Daemons at their door, but eventually bring the fight to them. After a lengthy campaign with numerous losses, all the Daemons had been destroyed, and the Black Thorns praised Solaka for delivering them victory against impossible odds. Solaka became the first Supreme Commander of the Black Thorns, and his name is still praised by the Thorns to this day. The Black Thorns have since then fully rebuilt their chapter, and are ever watchful in case of yet another Daemonic incursion.
The Black Thorns emulate the Iron Hands, so it is no surprise that the structure of the two chapters is similar. Like the Iron Hands, the Black Thorns are divided up into 10 clan companies, each with it's own symbol, combat style, and traditions. They do not have Techmarines or Chaplains, but rather have Curates, Marines that take up both roles. They preach the mixed Imperial/Machine cult of the chapter as well as maintain the Black Thorn's armory. However, the Black Thorns, unlike the Iron Hands, have a Chapter Master known as Supreme Commander. The Supreme Commander along with the leaders of the Clan Companies, the Lord Commanders, make up the leadership of the Black Thorns.
The Black Thorns, however, do not allow the Supreme Commander to have the final say in all things. Rather, when a extremely critical decision is to be made, the Supreme Master convenes with the Lord Commanders over what is to be done. The Black Thorns do this so the best decisions can be reached.
Daemon Slayers - As the Black Thorns have been attacked time and time again by Daemonic forces, eventually a group of specialists was formed within the chapter to combat the Daemonic threat. Known as the Daemon Slayers, these Black Thorns are an elite cadre of Terminator-armored veterans who have time and time again faced down the forces of the Ruinous Powers and cast them back into the warp. Armed with high-quality wargear sanctified by the Curates, the Daemon Slayers have proved invaluable to the Black Thorns in combating the Archenemy. Daemon Slayers are identified by a daemon skull symbol painted in black on their chest plate in place of an Imperialis.
The Custodi Verbera - Also known as the Scourge Guard, this elite seven-marine unit serves as the Honor Guard of the Supreme Commander. Armed and armored with the most powerful wargear in the Chapter, the Custodi Verbera accompany the Supreme Commander at all times, fighting alongside him in battle and protecting him from would-be attackers. Typically, members of the Scourge Guard are handpicked from the ranks of Clan Gneral, as only the most seasoned of veterans are worthy of such a position.
- "Nothing save the Emperor is perfect. No stone is unbreakable, no weapon is invincible, no fortress is unassailable. Even the earth underneath your feet can suffer. Everything feels pain."
- —From the Liber Sinite
If an enemy should somehow push them back, the Black Thorns will make them suffer for it. Every step of the way the enemy will be dogged and damaged by the Black Thorns. Even if they are destined to fail, the Black Thorns shall make sure that the enemy's victory is a pyrrhic one. For example, during a daemonic incursion, the Black Thorns might hold the enemy while Exterminatus rains upon them, gladly sacrificing themselves to end the threat once and for all. Unfortunately, if a victory requires the sacrifice of the planet's civilian population, so be it. The Black Thorns have little time or patience for those who "get in their way". This has earned them grievances with many more humanitarian chapters such as the Salamanders.
It should also be noted since the Black Thorns homeworld is dangerously close to a Warp Rift, and the Black Thorns have had to fight off one Daemonic Horde after another for centuries. This has made the Black Thorns particularly adept at fighting the forces of Chaos, especially Daemons.
- Clan Gneral - Lord Commander Satar - This clan company is comprised of the veterans and elite of the Black Thorns. Their Clan Symbol is a rectangular shield.
- Clan Cadova - Lord Commander Belkas - This clan company holds the bulk of the Black Thorn's dreadnought's, which has earned this clan the nickname "the Undying". Their Clan Symbol is a pair of interlocking gears.
- Clan Oberon - Lord Commander Ardak - This clan company prefers mobility, and thus has a large number of Assault Squads. Their Clan Symbol is a breaking chain.
- Clan Zephros - Lord Commander Agerdan - This clan company is known for it's aggressive approach to battles, and thus are great at besieging enemy fortifications. Their Clan Symbol is a war hammer.
- Clan Dirgnas - Lord Commander Vesic - This clan company is better at defensive tactics and fortifying it's position. Their clan symbol is a crenelated castle tower.
- Clan Vegeris - Lord Commander Orthon - This clan company has a high amount of Thunderhawks, which it uses to conduct aerial troop drops and flyby attacks. Their Clan Symbol is a missile.
- Clan Drashad - Lord Commander Corbus - This clan company is known for it's preference of using scouts to sap and sabotage enemy fortifications before moving in for the kill. Their Clan Symbol is a mushroom cloud.
- Clan Sadar - Lord Commander Kota - This clan company is known to flank or ambush the enemy in order to gain the upper hand. Their Clan Symbol is a stylized eye.
- Clan Cadax - The Lost Clan - ++RECORDS DELETED++
- Clan Kopak - Lord Commander Lothar - This clan company serves to train the future members of the Black Thorns. Their Clan Symbol is a crescent moon.
The Noxos Incursion - The Black Thorns were dispatched to deal with a Daemonic incursion on the Agri-world of Noxos. Clan Company Cadova made planetfall only to find Noxos infested with Slaaneshi Daemons, which they quickly set about exterminating. Luckily, the Black Thorns managed to find the source of the incursion, a rogue psyker by the name of Jevik, and execute him, resulting in the closing of the warp portal. But, with his dying breath, Jevik managed to summon a Keeper of Secrets into the materium. The losses were great, but eventually the Black Thorns triumphed over the Greater Daemon when Lord Commander Belkas managed to decapitate the Keeper with his power axe, banishing it back to the warp. The Ordo Malleus would arrive later to make sure Noxos was free of taint.
The Second Battle for Lorem - The Fracture yawns open once again, releasing yet another horde of Daemons on to Lorem. Luckily, this time the Black Thorns are well prepared for them. While the battle was long, but by using the same hide-and-flank techniques as before, the Black Thorns manage to minimize casualties while at the same time efficiently destroying the Daemons.
The Purging of [DELETED] - This covert affair was a collaboration between the Black Thorns and Inquisitor [DELETED] of the Ordo [DELETED]. The goal of the operation was to send the entirety of Clan Company Cadax, led by Lord Commander [DELETED], to the Daemon World of [DELETED] to recover a pre- Imperial artifact of great importance to the Inquistion. Why exactly the Inquistor requested the Black Thorns' help is unknown, all though it is suspected that Inquisitor [DELETED] may have had ulterior motives. What is known is that the operation somehow went haywire, and Inquistor [DELETED] was forced to subject the Daemon World to Exterminatus, even while Clan Cadax was still trapped on the planet. Days later, Inquistor [DELETED] disappears, leaving no evidence that he even existed.
(MORE TO COME)
The Black Thorns are known to have the following ships in their Chapter Fleet:
- Iron Scourge (Battle- Barge)
- Anguish of Thousands (Battle- Barge)
- The Gorgon's Gaze (Battle- Barge)
- Manus' Vengeance (Strike Cruiser)
- Strength of Steel (Strike Cruiser)
- Bloodied Blade (Strike Cruiser)
- Painbringer (Strike Cruiser)
- "Life is pain. Through pain comes rage. Through rage comes strength. Through strength comes steel. Through steel comes pain. The cycle is unending."
- —The Litany of Anguish
Once the Black Thorns where like the rest of the Iron Hand's successors; bitter, proud, and forever awaiting their lost Primarch's return. But after millenia, the hard truth of the creed they themselves created slowly set in, and the Black Thorns came to the realization that Ferrus Manus, their beloved Progenitor, was never coming back. But rather than succumb to despair, they turned the grief of their Primarch's death into vengeance- fueled fury, and directed it outwards towards the enemies of the Imperium. While this belief may have angered the Iron Hands as well as several of their fellow successor chapters, the Black Thorns do not care much for their opinions, or anyone else's opinions for that matter.
The Black Thorns' creed teaches them that nothing save the Holy Emperor himself is perfect. Everything has flaws, everything dies, such is the nature of things. This fatalistic belief is what drives them to augment themselves with numerous bionics, for while the Black Thorn's know everything is flawed, that doesn't mean they can't improve themselves. The Curates, the spiritual leaders of the Black Thorns, teach that through the pain of the "steel" they augment themselves with comes the rage and strength to strike down their foes, the unending cycle known to the Black Thorns as the Litany of Anguish.
Unfortunately this Litany teaches the Black Thorns to do what must be done, not to do what is necessarily the right thing to do. This means that the Black Thorns will commit all their strength to combating the enemy, but not even give a thought to the innocent souls that could get caught in the crossfire. For the Black Thorns, the ends justify the means, so if civilian lives must be sacrificed to to win the day, so be it. This mindset has earned them many enemies, including more humanitarian Space Marine chapters such as the Salamanders.
The current Supreme Commander of the Black Thorns, Ultrix was a legend among the Black Thorns even from the start. When he was 14, still just another survivor scavenging for supplies, he and his friends were ambushed by a group of mutant marauders. During the fight, Ultrix was pushed into a grove of Razorthorn Briars, where he was pierced all over by the thorns. He struggled to free himself as the mutants slaughtered his friends right before him, but the thorns only dug deeper into his flesh, holding him fast. Eventually the mutants left, believing Ultrix to be dead, even as he still tried to escape the grasp of the briars, which only impaled more thorns into his skin.
Ultrix's life might have ended there if a patrol of Black Thorns, led by a Curate named Obelon, hadn't have happened to pass him by while scouting for potential recruits. The Space Marines found Ultrix bleeding out, held fast by the briar's thorns, and yet he still tried to escape. Something about the boy's sheer will to survive inspired Obelon to order his battle- brothers to free Ultrix, in which they took the boy back to the Briar Labyrith to heal his wounds. However, the thorns had pierced Ultrix almost to the bone, and even after he became an Astartes he still has the thin scars that criss- cross his entire body, an eternal testament to the struggle that almost killed him.
Chief Curate Umbarus Edit
Umbarus is possibly the oldest member of the Black Thorns that has not yet become a Dreadnought, and by far one of the most experienced. He has been a Space Marine for more than 800 years, and the years have certainly taken their toll. He has sustained so many injuries on the field of battle that his body is over 60% mechanical, and each bionic augment tells a story. He lost his right hand to a Chaos Space Marine's chainsword, and his entire left arm was amputated after getting hit with a blast of Tyranid bio- acid. He lost both legs to an unlucky skirmish with a band of Orkz involving several Bomb Squigs, and a good chunk of his skull had to be replaced after he got thrown through a building by an enraged Bloodthirster. But despite all of this, Umbarus has always pulled through, and he is still an inspirational figure for all his fellow Black Thorns.
Brother Arteron is a massive Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought and by far the most ancient of the few Contemptor Dreadnoughts the Black Thorns have. He was there as a battle- brother when the Black Thorns split off from the Iron Hands. He was there when the Daemons invaded Lorem, and he and his battle- brothers fought savagely to defend their new home. He was their when Kanac Solaka became the first Supreme Commander of the Black Thorns. He even still remembers almost dying at the hands of yet another horde of Daemons, and being interred forever within the mighty shell of the Contemptor Dreadnought. He still remembers it all.
Surprisingly, unlike many Dreadnoughts his age, Brother Arteron has an almost jovial demeanor, acting less like a war machine and more like the flesh- and- blood Space Marine he used to be. The Curates say this is because Arteron, after so many years, has finally became at peace with himself. But, he's still a juggernaut of destruction with centuries of experience, and this has been the downfall of many a fearsome foe.
Lord Commander Belkas was once one of the Black Thorn's best and brightest, a fearsome warrior, an able commander, and an experienced veteran. That changed the day he was nearly killed by a torrent of Warpflame during a heated battle against a Chaos Space Marine Sorcerer, sending him into a Sus- An Membrane coma. When he finally emerged from the death- sleep, he was... different. His face and body had been permanently scared by the unearthly fire, both his eyes had boiled in their sockets, and had to be replaced with bionic substitutes. But more importantly, his demeanor had changed. Gone was his determined yet eager personality, replaced with a cold, almost emotionless one. To this day, Belkas is given a wide berth, and their are even rumors that his very soul was scarred by the Sorcerer's attack.
Not often are the Black Thorns called in to serve on the Long Watch, as their demeanors and beliefs make them hostile and in some cases completely unrelateble to Space Marines of other chapters, especially those whose beliefs contradict their own. However, the sheer iron-hard resolve of a Black Thorn can make one a valuable member of a kill-team. One such example is Curate Rakon Kdarron, who serves on the Deathwatch as part of of Kill-Team Zeta.
Homeworld and RecruitmentEdit
- "It's not a question of whether you are ready to serve, it's a question of whether you are ready to suffer for your Emperor and your Imperium."
- —Lord Commander Lothar to a group of Neophytes
Lorem is a Death World, consisting of irradiated wastelands, ruined buildings, and sparse pockets of vegetation mostly consisting of briars and other thorny plants. Many mutants live on Lorem, the result of years of exposure of radiation, that prowl the surface of the planet in primitive tribes, raiding old settlements for supplies and fighting one another constantly just to survive. The non- mutated humans that still survive on Lorem live in the old network of underground tunnels, only emerging to scavenge for supplies. It's a hard life they live, as death can come at any moment, and basic resources such as food and water are extremely scarce. As a result, the inhabitants of Lorem are a race of survivors, tough, strong, and willing to do whatever it takes to survive, which makes them ideal recruitment material for the Black Thorns.
The Black Thorns keep the human population alive by occasionally "leaving" supplies within the tunnels, whereupon it is discovered by them. Recruits are usually only selected from those youths that show exceptional promise. They are confronted by a Curate one day, and given a choice, either they can die out in the wastes, or they can become an instrument of the Emperor's will. Most youths agree to serve, in which case they are taken within the Briar Labyrinth to become Neophytes. From there the Neophytes are subjected to a brutal series of tests, each one designed to test the Neophyte's resolve and willingness to suffer for their Emperor. These tests vary but all are painful in some way, especially the one where a neophyte has to survive a single day out in the wastelands of Lorem.
Chapter LiveryEditThe Black Thorns' colors are metallic grey, gunmetal green, and coal black. A black stripe on the helmet identifies the Marine as a Sergeant. The Marine's Clan Symbol is made out in black on the right shoulder, while the Squad symbol is made out in black on the right knee. Curates have black armor, Librarians have blue helmets or psychic hoods, and Apothicaries have white helmets.
Wreath of Thorns - Like the Laurels of Glory, a Wreath of Thorns is a ring of thorns typically painted in black around a Marines' helmet. This honor mark is only gifted to those who defeat powerful foes, as a sign of their ability to make the enemy "suffer".
Cog of Defiance - This metallic grey gear- shaped badge is typically wielded on to the chest of the Marine who earned it. It is a rare honor, as it is only gifted to those who survive against incredible odds and somehow manage to win the battle.
The Liber Sinite - Also known as the Book of Pain, this sacred book was written by Kanac Solaka, the first Supreme Master of Black Thorns. It contains the compiled traditions, beliefs, and mantras of the Black Thorns, and is as holy to them as the Codex Astartes is to the Ultramarines.
The Howling Blade - This relic chainsword is crafted in such a way that the weapon's rotating teeth actually "howl" as they move, giving the chainsword it's infamous name. Each adimantium tooth in the Howling Blade has it's own built- in power field, tripling the deadliness of the weapon. It is currently wielded by Supreme Commander Gnata.
The Fists of Manus - This pair of relic power fists was a gift from the Iron Hands to the Black Thorns upon the chapter's creation. These massive weapons are surprisingly lightweight, both of them painted silver in commemoration of the Primarch's legendary fleshmetal hands.
(feel free to add your own)
The Unbroken Spears and the Black Thorns have a history of conflict between the two chapters steaming from a cultural misunderstanding as the Black Thorns tried to place a wounded Unbroken Spear Marine into a Dreadnaught. However as this is viewed as a affront to the vision of Immortality the Unbroken Spears uphold and the marine in question was simply "lightly injured" the Unbroken Spears attacked their fellow battle brothers in a attempt to rescue their "tortured" Brother. Since then the Unbroken Spears and the Black Thorns have rarely willingly fought along side one another and have occasionally battled against one another.
The Star Reapers and the Black Thorns first crossed paths at the Battle for Sarresh, a war of attrition between the Imperium and a force of Chaos Space Marines. A company of Black Thorns were defendig an Imperial outpost from a massive Chaos Space Marine offensive, led by the Word Bearers and World Eaters. The Black Thorns put up a spirited defense but were out maneuvered by the Word Bearers commander Kor Decron. Unknown to the Black Thorns, the Star Reapers also deployed, setting an elaborate trap that slaughtered the Chaos forces, Kor Decron included. Diemos Korven, who commanded the relief force, saw the Black Thorn's tactics as plain stupidity and insulted the Black Thorns force commander right to the face, while Ultrix Gnata believed the Star Reapers to be cowards and weaklings. This inevitably ended in a brutal duel which was cut short when a Chaos artillery strike leveled half the surrounding area. The Star Reapers promptly dissipated to fight a new battle, leaving the Black Thorns to deal with the incoming Chaos counter attack.
- "... the true weakness of the Ruinous Powers lies in their chaotic nature. Daemons themselves are erratic and random, and if one knows how to exploit this, then one can triumph over them."
- —From the Liber Sinite
- "I've got heretics to kill and little time to waste so whatever your about to tell me, make it fast."
- —Lord Commander Belkas to an Imperial Commissar
(feel free to add your own)
- "Your Chapter is weak, body and soul; and your idiotic obsessions with the Emperor and your precious mechanics only strengthen my belief. You are all deluded and oblivious to the real world. Do not compare us "Supreme Commander", as we both know your Chapter is the lesser here"
- —Korven Diemos of the Star Reapers to Ultrix Gnata
- "Remember that time the Emperor was blindsided by one of his creations which caused an enormous civil war ending with our liege being confined to his own cadaver? You know who doesn't remember that? The Black Thorns."
- —Douchard Bagge after reading the Liber Sinite
- "No purchase on the Twisted Tree shall find, thorns beneath the love and judgement of it's righteous maker."
- —Ashur-El Artashumara's Dream Interpreter
- "Far from heretical, the inferior Black Thorns simply are too eager and misguided. They behave more like mortal men than Astartes and as such are worth the same, that alone is the only reason my Chapter has to doubt them"
- — Immortal Master Deus Hectis of the Unbroken Spears