Bronze Citadel (destroyed)
Currently unknown, est. -100
Perditas. Infected by the Midas Virus. Scattered across the Galaxy
The Bronze Claws were once a loyalist chapter of space marines created during the 3rd Founding. They were loyal to the Emperor of Mankind but their fascination with xenos technology would prove to be their downfall. In the early days of the current millenium when they released and were infected by the Midas Virus and the resulting purge scattered them across the galaxy.
Crucible of WarEdit
The Bronze Claws were founded as part of the 3rd Founding at the dawn of the 32nd Millenium. In their early days they preformed their duties well and with distinction, but their first and greatest challenge would almost destroy them. The Beast, one of the most powerful Ork Warboss to have ever lived succeeded in uniting much of the Ork race and waging war against the Imperium.
As a fairly new chapter, the Bronze Claws were way over their heads as a result were devastated. The resulting war was apocalyptic and nearly destroyed the chapter more than once. In their will to prove themselves in these dark times, they sought to fight every battle at every theatre they could. The war would come to their own doorstep and the Bronze Citadel was leveled in a terrible siege. In the Siege of Naraka alone, a full half the chapter was annihilated. But the Claws would not be bowed, even with the destruction of their Monastery and continued to fight wherever needed, participating in such actions as defending the Tartarus Line, the defense of Chulrue Ridge, the Titanomachy of Thantora and the War for Iron's World.
When the storm was finally over, little more than a hundred brothers remained but each one was battle hardened veteran of countless nightmarish battles. As such a hardened core of elites, the chapter survived to rebuild.
During the turbulent times of the Nova Interregnum in M35, the Imperium was struck civil wars between factions. In this time the Moirae Schism erupted and tore the Mechanicus apart. The heretical teachings of the Moirae Tech-creed and their apocalyptic messages spread throughout the Mechanicus and several Titan Legions and Space Marine chapters were swayed by their creed. The Bronze Claws were on their way to deal with the Nova Interregnum when they recieved words of the Schism.
As a chapter extremely closely affiliated with the Mechanicus, these heretical teachings quickly gained influence within the chapter. Many brothers began listening to and indeed heading these heretical message. Headed by the Captain of the 2nd Company, Omirah Sozen, a signifigant number of brothers embraced the radical doctrine of Moirae. While their forebearers, the Iron Hands, simply exiled the radicals, the chapter would not suffer the heretics to live. Discord and threats of seccesion erupted into all-out war as traditionals and radicals sought to destroy eachother.
The war nearly destroyed the Bronze Citadel and even after the radicals were expelled from Naraka and the death of Omirah, the traitors scattered and their war spilled out across dozens of battlefields as the radicals continued to fight. The chapter frequently battled on seccesstionist Forge Worlds and against insurgent chapters such as the Black Titans and Sigma Marines. The radicals frequently fought alongside renegade Tech-Guard regiments and even Titan Legions.
The civil war would rage for almost the entirety of the Moirae Schism and the Bronze Claws were divided for over two thousand years of conflict which almost destroyed the chapter. The Divide, as it came to be called, would only end after the last radical fell on the Fortress-World, Sharda. By the end, less than two hundred Bronze Claws remained. They were battered but unbowed.
The newely purged and reforged chapter would continue their battles against the insurgent elements and wage war to crush them.
Fall from GraceEdit
Despite repeated disasters and strife, the chapter would always recover and continued to be an effective force of the Emperor, but their decline was at hand. Since their conception the Claws have always been seekers of knowledge and have always worked to recover archeotech, relics and devote themselves to the study of machine lore. In early M40 the Bronze Claws undertook increasingly far off campaigns against alien empires, some of which have never been seen before by Man.
They encountered increasingly bizarre races such as the Gigas and the Kryschine and at one point the Necron Dynasty lead by the Golden King who wielded technology that defied conventional understanding. Chapter Master Mardius was faced with mounting odds. His chapter laid siege to the crystal fortresses of the Kryschine and was now entrenched defending a string of worlds against the Giga Empire where their Titan Hordes were mauling the chapter. They were isolated on the frontlines with a severly strained supply chain. Though supported by Legio Purga and Abominator along with their Tech Guard, casualties continued to rise.
To turn away from their crusades would be an admittance of weakness and would amount their entire effort to blunt failure. With exceedingly low supplies and increasingly depeserate for a edge, Mardius looked for a way to augment their arsenal and increase their combat effectiveness. In the battle for the Yastra Depression the Bronze Claws captured a xenos artillery postion before being beset by Gigan Titans. They were hardpressed to hold them off and especially with their heavy support running dangerously low in ammunition. In a act of true desperation and knowing full well the heresy of his descision, Mardius orderered the alien artillery brought up to combat the xeno Titans to conserve what resources they had left. Away from the eyes of their allies and imperial authorities they resort to using the xeno's weapons against them. The cannons proved to be an effective countermeasure to their war machines.
With supplies still dangerously low and now their Titan support threatening to retreat, they were forced to rely on the firepower of those cannons to take down the Gigan war machines.
(MORE TO FOLLOW)
What would eventually become the first nail in the chapter's coffin came from an unlikely place, their own homeworld, Naraka. In a stunning discovery, they discovered that the entire crust of Naraka's surface was infact hollow, host to the abandoned ruins of the long extinct Seraka race. As a matter of fact, exploration teams discovered that their homeworld was once the Throne World of the Seraka Empire.
Under their very feet was a complete arcology that spanned the entire subsurface of the planet. Wonderous and terrible, golden cities meshed into one, mile high spires scraped the roof and streets diverge and spiraled into eye-watering patterns. An almost complete record detailed the history of the Seraka race, a species with vast gene-wright skills who raise geno-armies to combat their foes. Long ago a terrible civil war brought their race to the brink of extinction, but did not cause it. At the end of every data log from civilian to military ended abruptly. Every message ended with a simple and ominous message; "++Death++"
It appeared that "something" had scoured them from existence.
But Mardius were far more concerned with the arcology under them. No xenos inhabited it anymore except for the skelatal remains of millions of geno-soldiers. But the entire culture was intact, its knowledge and technology were undamaged. For a chapter deeply rooted to the pursuit of knowledge, it was a irresistable opportunity. They pressed on and explored further, mapping out the arcology and taking technology back to the Citadel for study. Mardius was more than wary of this descision and still questioned its wisdom, but he eventually reasoned that knowledge was power and to understand was to obtain victory. He was fully prepared however to cease at the first sign of trouble and destroy the xeno-city, even if it would mean authorizing Exterminatus on Naraka.
But then they discovered it. In the lowest level in the ruins of a military facility they discovered a series of locked vaults of military function. The Bronze Claws refered to them as the Hyperion Catacombs. It took the Artisans weeks of work to finally breach its still active defenses.
Mardius implemented the first alien technology into their ranks in secret, starting with the recently founded Apocalypse Company. They started with something small but important by upgrading their communications equipment with Gigan circuitry, making them almost immune to battlefield interference.
Encouraged by this, they took it a step further. Thanks to the exhaunstive efforts of the Artisans, they were able to replace the Machine Spirit of their power armor with a base Xenos A.I. Improvements were immediate and dramatic. Autosenses were sharper and more accurate than ever before while combat preformance was easily tripled. Initial combat tests proved to be an overwelhming success, until one went berserk and ended up killing three others before having to be put down. This event was a harsh wakeup call for Mardius who began to consider undoing his reforms.
(MORE TO FOLLOW)
The Black Scouring Edit
With the death of Mardius, his student, Captain Vorshiel of the 3rd Company was elevated as Chapter Master of the Bronze Claws. Vorshiel was by far the brightest and most enthusiastic of Mardius' students. In the wake of Mardius' death a descision had to be made. Mardius' dying wish were to cease all research, to not go down a path that may spell the chapter's destruction. However in a shocking move, Vorshiel overuled that order. All projects and research were to be revived and redoubled.
New weapons from a myriad of races were captured for research and development. Within decades several weapons were successfully intergrated into their arsenal. Sardonian Atomic Destructors were dispensed in place of Bolters to great effect. Fractal Claws were salvaged from the Gigas and quickly replaced Power Fists and Lightning Claws. A series of modifications were made their power armor as well, new fusion packs reduced risk of overheat to nearly zero and doubled energy output while a ferro-fluid cooling system could reduced heat signatures to nearly nothing. At the forefront of these field tests, the Apocalypse Company became a army on its own.
To test these new weapons, Vorshiel authorized a series of strikes on the Graz'neroth Dynasty of the Necrons. In a series of skirmishes the Bronze Claws were actually able to best a force of Necrons, much to the wrath of the Golden King.
But despite such wonderous success or rather because of it, they quickly became insular and isolated themselves from the wider Imperium. They knew full well what their actions would mean if revealed and could not risk discover. They refused most communications even from other Astartes and operated on their own agenda.
Beyond the use of alien technology, even darker secrets lay in the lowest levels of the Monastery. In sealed Labortoriums kept secret from even the other Claws, Vorshiel and a chosen cabal of Artisans conducted a series of heinous experiments. The chapter's initiative had proven wonderous, never before had the Claws been stronger.
But Vorshiel had set his sights further and sought to not only improve the effectiveness of the chapter, but enhance the very genome of the Adeptus Astartes. His experiments tampered with the genetic codes of the sacred implants in a effort to produce his envisioned "Neo Astartes". More heinously he used alien sciences, xenos theorems and scientific formulas to spearhead his efforts. Many more sinister experiments played with even darker means that included but was not limited to the incorporation xenos metals into the Black Carapace and even the splicing of alien genes into the Astarte's genome itself. Some whisper that it was such close contact with vile technology that cause his fall to madness. In incubation tanks were his greatest creations, still prototypes and experimental, but beings that offered great promise. He named them the Khimera, and they would be his Ultima Legiones.
But his experiments would not go noticed forever. By accident his secret was discovered and the result was violent. His brothers were outraged and condemned both he and his experiments. Refusing to let his work be brought to nothing, Vorshiel rallied his followers and defended his experiments. Viscious close quarters fighting erupted in the darkest levels of the Citadel as the chapter tried to kill their insane Chapter Master and his cabal. Now truly mad, Vorshiel unleashed his alien-astartes hybrid abominations against his ignorant brothers.
At the height of the battle, the mad lord of the Claws unleashed his secret weapons, the Khimera. From their tanks, rampaged shattered mirrors of Astartes. The Khimera were silver skinned giants who towered over Astartes, perverse mockeries of Space Marines that bled black cruor. The abominations rampaged throughout the sacred halls of the Bronze Citadel killing anything in their path. Blades broke and bolt rounds simply bounced off the Khimera's steel-like skin as the abominations killed Astartes with their bare hands. Only with heavy weapons could the giant's armored skin be pierced and at the cost of over a hundred marines were all of Vorshiel's monsters were scoured from the Monastery.
In the aftermath Vorshiel was confronted by his own student Kierak Tozen and was slain in single combat. In the aftermath of what became known as the Black Scouring, Tozen became Chapter Master and undid his predecessor's mistakes. However the issue of their endeavors came into question, that should the chapter continue its research? Tozen considered this deeply but in the end believed that while Vorshiel had gone too far, that the course was not in error if in moderation.
So the Bronze Claws continued their work and remained insular from the wider Imperium. True to his word, Tozen destroyed Vorshiel's mistakes and implemented his own course of only augmenting their armory. Some of his initiatives included upgrading their fleet and the mining of xenos metals, one of which Tozen named Sezium. At Tozen's command, the Artisans developed their own variant of Power Armor, the Voldus Pattern, after the legendary chapter master who lead the chapter into war against The Beast. Constructed from the sum of the chapter's knowledge on technology, both imperial and alien, Tozen hoped to create a independant force of Claws to make the full use of the chapter's alien lore without bringing doom upon the chapter.
However despite their caution and their apparent clean escape, the final nail in the chapter's coffin had already been set. Exploration of the Serakan ruins proceeded parallel to their research. Years of exploration and only a few percent of it was mapped out. More and more they discovered wonderous creations crafted by the Seraka. Much of what lay in the Hyperion Catacombs was still under close survelliance. They had recently found another vault, not an uncommon occurance as of late, but this one was different. At the very bottom of the Catacombs was a supremely sealed vault unlike the others, multi-shielded and alien marking were everywhere and translations discovered that they were warnings of some kind. Knowledge was power and with the utmost caution they opended the vaults. What they found was a facility containing thousands of crystalline vials that held a strange golden mercury. Some of these vials were taken back to the monastery for study.
Unbeknownst to them, their secret was out. Inquisitor Larquiel had for some time now been observing the Claws. When they suddenly went into isolation and refused all forms of contact he suspected that they were hiding something. As he tracked them his noticed that the Claws traveled in an odd pattern, operating near alien civilizations and sometimes completely avoiding major warzones. His investigations brought him to worlds visited by the Claws where they are reported to have battled and detected odd energy readings and found bizzare scaldings of weapons discharge. More than that his found that many of these sites were home to alien ruins and more alarming, the remains of excavation sites. A picture began to form as Laquiel began to put the pieces together on the Bronze Claws activities.
Back on Naraka, the Bronze Claw's doom was upon them as they attempted to study the golden mercury.
(MORE TO FOLLOW)
For the most part the Claws were considered a Codex-compliant chapter and organized themselves into ten companies.
There was one exception where they merged the ranks of Techmarine and Apothecary called Artisans. The chapter maintained a unually high number of these Artisans who could attain high rank. As their name implies Artisans fullfilled another role as the chapter's artisans and artificers.
Specialist Units & FormationsEdit
- Apocalypse Company - Formerly known as the One Hundred, they once composed of the chapter's most elite brethern. Less remembered as a noble guard than a monsterous cadre, they were the first taint of the chapter's purity as they became increasingly open to xenos weaponry and were the first of their number to implement them in battle. With weapons such as Sardonian Atomic Destructors, Graviton Projectors, and Accelerator Hammers combined with alien-enhanced Terminator Armor, they became unbelievably devastating in war. In the end they were corrupted by the Virus like the rest of the chapter.
- The One Hundred - The Bronze Claw's designation for their 1st Company. Named in honour of the scant hundred marines who survived the war with The Beast, they represented the utmost elite and battle hardened brothers of the entire chapter. To be of the One Hundred was to be on level all it's own. Clad in Terminator Armor and armed with master crafted Thunder Hammers and in some cases relic Volkite Calivers, they were the speartip and final line of defense of the chapter. However under the reforms of Chapter Master Mardius they were disbanded and reorganized into the fell-named Apocalypse Company.
- The Artisans - An elite order of specially trained brethern. A merge of the roles of Techmarine and Apothecary. They became the guardians and primary researchers of alien lore and artifacts. They were marked by their highly artificed and ornate armor.
The chapter's greatest sin and ultimate downfall was the study and implementation of xenos technology. In an attempt to give his chapter the upper hand in their sieges, Chapter Master Mardius and those after him, though well intended, foolishly believed that they could incorporate the strengths of their defeated enemies into the arsenal of the Imperium without repercussion. Sometimes they took technology of vanquished races and tried to incorporate them into their ranks, either reverse engineering them or using them directly. Many of their greatest weapons were uncovered from the ruins of long dead alien empires.
They fielded many devastating weapons that exponentially enhanced their battle prowess. Though promising, their eagerness and curiousity ultimately lead to their Excommunication and corruption by the Midas Virus.
Here are some observed weaponry in their arsenal.
- Sardonian Atomic Destructors -
- Graviton Projectors - A heavy weapon wielded by Devastators. Designed to fire a concenrated bundle of gravity that collides with the target. The result was the targets near it being pulled in and crushed under extreme pressure.
- Fractal Claws - A weapon recovered from the war with the Giga Empire. Operating like a alien fusion of a Power Fist and Lightning Claws. As its name implies, its articulated blades are sharp on the fractal level, it does not cut, it simply parts the target.
- Gravitic Force-Shield Generator - A shielding device studied and copied from the extinct Seraka. Implementing it into their backpack power supply they warp the gravity around them into a tight defensive shield that redirects incoming projectiles.
- Slip-Step Drive - A Teleportation device salvaged from the Ori who used it for their strike troops. In a form of teleportation, they step forward and "slip" through micro-gaps between the Materium and the Warp like a scalpel and emerge in a different location. Only elite units such as the Apocalypse Company were granted access to it.
- Voldus Pattern Power Armor -
Since the chapter's conception the Claws have been knowledge seeker, always working to revcover archeotech and delve in the study of machine lore. Detachments of marines commonly accompanied Mechanicus Explorators in the search for lost technology.
They were exceedingly determined in both attack and defense but fought with icy calm and discipline bolter fire. After the reforms of Mardius they operated by using their alien-augmented forces most effeciently and to maximum effect.
The Bronze Claws upheld many traditions of the sons of Ferrus Manus. However in some regards they were an anomaly as Iron Hands successors. They continuously replaced flesh with bionics but with a less radical hatred for their flesh, simply viewing it as the most logical mode for being as combat effective as possible. They also held no qualms about aesthetics as they frequently added artistic details to their armor.
The Bronze Claws once possessed a large fleet of vessels to support them in their operations. After Mardius' reforms the fleet was upgraded with alien technology that exponentially increased it's strength.
However in the end it, along with the entire chapter, was corrupted by the Virus and scattered to become the Virus' infection vectors.
- Battle Barges (2)
- Minotaur -
- Throne of Talos -
- Strike Cruisers (7)
- Lord of Myran -
- Troy's Charge -
- Astra Umbra -
- Voldus' Shield -
- Marchiel's Helm -
- The Beast Arises (544.M32) -
- Siege of Naraka - With the rise of The Beast, his Waaagh! rampaged across the Imperium and the hammer of it fell on Naraka. The Cybork hordes of Warboss Boltjaw swarmed their homeworld, most of his boyz being rebuild with crude but potent bioniks. His flagship, a gargantuan dreadnought dubbed "Da Big One" literally ramed through the Claw's orbital defenses and attacked the Citadel. The 8th Company launched a suicidal boarding attack to assassinate Boltjaw by crashing their Strike Cruiser into it, but they fail and are slaughtered as a result. Despite their first line of defense being broken, the Bronze Claws stood ready to repel the invaders. The siege proved to be mercilessly brutal, never letting up for a moment. The magnitude of the war would literally leveled the Citadel and leave the Claws battling on top of the rubbled ruins that was once their home. Eventually after five companies were lost they had to retreat. In the final hours of the battle a mob of one hundred Meganobs broke down the gates and Chapter Master Marchiel was killed buying time for the rest to evacuate and Captain Voldus took command in his stead.
- Defense of the Tartarus Line -
- Titanomachy of Thantora - The Claws participate in the defense of Thantora. The war was defined by the magnitude of the Titan-level warfare that raged. A dozen Titan Legions of the Mechanicus defended it against a literal horde of Gargant. The Claws battled the orks, fighting amongst the footfalls of the God Machines who clashed around them, leading daring boarding attacks into breaches in the Gargant's skin. Eventually they proved victorious and the Gargant Horde was destroyed.
- War for Iron's World -
- Moirae Schism (M35) -
- The Divide (M35-37) -
- War against the Black Titans -
- War against the Sigma Marines -
- Siege of Sharda -
- Golgotha Crusade (Early M40) - All 10 Companies partake in a crusade in the Golgotha Stars of the Imperium's far southern fringes against encroaching xeno empires in the region. During the campaign the chapter lays siege to the Kryschine and were entrenched against the Gigas and suffers terrible losses. The campaigned marked the chapter's first use of xenos weapons.
- Defense of the Szabar Worlds -
- Battle of the Yastra Depression -
- The Black Scouring (Late M40) -
- Fall of Naraka (231.M41) -
- Corruption of Nzal (294.M41) -
Notable Bronze ClawsEdit
- Chapter Master Kierak Tozen - Last Chapter Master of the Bronze Claws. He was the protege of Vorshiel and after the Black Scouring he took up the mantle of Chapter Master and sought to continue his predecessors work. He was far more moderate than Vorshiel but more driven than Mardius. Ultimately despite his caution this would end with the chapter's damnation and the outbreak of the Midas Virus.
- Chapter Master Vorshiel - The successor to Mardius and by far the most radical Chapter Master the chapter had every seen. Inspired by his mentor's work and willingness to do what is nessecary, Vorshiel continued Mardius' work against his late lord's wishes and continued to study alien science. Not only that, he sought to take it a step further and dared to consider using alien science to enhance the Astartes genome itself. In his misguided attempt to aid humanity he created a myriad of alien-hybrid abominations, splicing the genes of Astartes and fusing them with a cornucopia of alien sciences. The eventual result would be the Khimera, silver skinned giants that caused the Black Scouring. In the end to stop his madness he was slayed by the young Captain of the 1st Company, Kierak Tozen.
- Chapter Master Mardius -
- Chapter Master Voldus -
- Sergeant Mars Vaanes - A member of the radicals under the teachings of Omirah Sozen during the Moirae Schism. He was recruited long after the initial start of the Civil War by the radicals and was trained to embraced the doctrine of the tech-creed of Moirae. He commanded his own company of renegades and radicals and fought under the banner of rebellious factions from Forge Worlds to other insurgent chapters. He would be the last radical to die and fell leading the defense of the rebellious fortress-world Sharda.
As their name implies the Bronze Claws wore armor of bronze. Though unlike their fellow scions of Ferrus Manus, the Iron Hands, the Claws did not scorn aesthetics.
Their artificers frequently added detailings to their armor, depicting notable victories or personal livery.
- Adeptus Mechanicus -
- Viral Lords -