Friday, May 6, 2011

The Sons of Minos Space Marine Chapter

Chapter Creation Date: 41st millennium, the twenty-sixth and last known founding.

Chapter Founding Origin: Strategic Prognostication. The Sons of Minos were founded originally to help guard against the Cythor Fiend threat in the Ghoul Stars region. This was a triumvirate alliance with the Death Spectres and the Iron Tusks Space Marine chapters already in the region.

Codex Organization: The Sons of Minos are a divergent codex chapter. The chapter structure itself closely resembles that as laid out in the Codex Astartes with a few notable differences. The veteran company is divided amongst the battle companies of the chapter instead of occupying the position of the first company, which is maintained by the Librarius and Headquarters staff with associated squads and attendees which number more than most staff attachments. There is no dedicated Devastator company in the chapter; in its place is an additional reserve Assault company. The tenth company is still a Scout company, but instead of traditionally housing new chapter recruits it is instead composed of veteran volunteers from the across the chapter’s other companies.

Codex Doctrine: Lighting strike. The Sons of Minos are masters of the assault being carried out with overwhelming force from an unexpected corner. Large numbers of maneuverable troops make this key, as well as thorough tactical planning. These strikes are usually preceded by large numbers of Scout missions used to disrupt the enemy and gain valuable intelligence and recon information.

Codex Demeanor: See, but don’t be seen. The Sons of Minos understand well the value of maintaining a silent, unseen vigil on the foe, striking only when its target is at its weakest and most unsuspecting. The Sons of Minos foster patience and wily cunning in their Battle-Brothers and regard those who charge headlong into combat, a tactic most unbecoming, as rash and unsubtle.

Current Status: The Sons of Minos chapter are currently considered under strength. Constant fighting and campaigning in the Ghoul Stars have dealt the chapter heavy losses and through oppressive attrition, their numbers are half that of a full-strength chapter. Under normal conditions, it would take a chapter with these losses several decades to build back up to nominal strength. With the recent, tragic development of the chapter’s Gene-seed flaw however (see below), the Sons of Minos may be looking at extinction.

Gene-seed Progenitor: The Minotaurs.

Gene-stock Purity: Altered Stock.

Gene-seed Deficiencies: Oversensitive Occulobe. This organ works exceptionally well in lowlight conditions. It allows the Space Marine to see in total darkness as if it were only lowlight and can see in lowlight conditions as if it were full light. However, if he removes his helmet in full light conditions he will suffer a -10 to all Awareness tests. Each Sons of Minos Space Marine has unnerving, glowing red eyes due to this defect.

Doomed. The chapter has lost its ability to replicate its Progenoid zygote. Unless the chapter’s Apothecaries can affect a cure, there will be no future generations of Battle-Brothers.

Chapter Flaw: Chapter cult. The Sons of Minos venerate the Emperor, its Progenitor Primarch, and its own heroes according to their own unique traditions. The chapter itself houses deeper secrets still and profane rituals those outsiders would balk at or even dare to deem heretical if the extent of the details were fully known. A Battle-Brother serving in the Deathwatch has to conceal the worst excesses of his chapter’s cult even from his most trusted and closest members of his Kill-Team.

Chapter Special Equipment: Mecha-Bestial Companions. Loping alongside the Sons of Minos in battle are often seen the Trauma Hounds, once majestic cyber-hounds used to patrol the Hive Worlds. Escaped into the wastes of Draconis Prime these Trauma Hounds found a way to survive and are once again brought to heel in the fight against the foes of mankind.

Chapter Special Vehicles. Due to the chapter’s reliance on flexibility in tactics and speed in execution, the Sons of Minos have a proportionately larger amount of Thunderhawk Gunships as well as Land Speeders and bikes.

Chapter Beliefs: Revere the Primarch. The Sons of Minos hold the Primarch of their Progenitor at the center of their belief system, venerating him above all others. Although the chapter worships the Emperor as the ultimate creator of the Legion and themselves, it is towards the Progenitor Primarch Cthonius that the bulk of their devotions are turned.

Founding Fathers: Chapter Primarch Cthonius was a decorated hero of renown in the Minotaurs chapter. His personal Gene-seed was directly in the creation of the Sons of Minos chapter. For this honor he was given direct command of the chapter itself upon its founding. Cthonius was a bold leader and laid the foundation of the steadfastness that became the hallmark of the chapter. He was a stalwart enemy of chaos and best known for routing the forces of Khorne during the Battle of Senlac Plains, single-handedly defeating the Chaos Prince Fury Loatheheart in hand-to-hand combat. Decades later, he and a sizeable portion of his fleet entourage, disappeared amidst vicious warp storms and were never seen again. There are many of those in the Sons of Minos chapter who feel he will one day return to the chapter in their hour of greatest need.

First Sergeant Helios, third tactical squad fifth company, assumed operational command during a catastrophically failed boarding action against the Eldar Craftworld Iybraesil. Due to his quick thinking and sound tactics, the remnants of the invasion force were able to survive by plunging deep into the heart of the massive Craftworld and staying hidden for weeks on end. He led the force by conducting a devastating series of guerilla raids for the following six months until an extraction could be mounted. In that time he and his force brought the Eldar to their knees, crippling the massive Craftworld itself and eliminating several key Farseers and Autarchs. This earned the Sons of Minos a fiercely hated enemy in the Eldar that lasts to this day.

Chapter Homeworld: Desolate wasteland. The homeworld of the Sons of Minos, Draconis Prime, once held promise and boasted no less than four hive-cities. When the bulk cruiser Mercy’s Hope crashed into the planet four centuries ago it wreaked havoc, knocking it three degrees out of its elliptical plane and causing environmental devastation on a global scale. What life was able to flee did so to Draconis Ceti, the tidally locked moon orbiting Draconis Prime originally set aside as a penal colony.

Life on the planet devolved into a brutal apocalyptic wasteland. Those left behind had to eek out an existence from a ravaged planet that turned brutal almost overnight. Draconis Ceti quickly boomed due to the influx of those fleeing the doomed planet below. What was once not much more than a prison planet (although it is in fact a moon) was quickly becoming an echo of the former world below, but with a much more malign system of rule. It is at this time when the Sons of Minos arrived.

Their arrival brought order to the moon and the planet as well as an immediate Imperial presence to the system. They quickly subjugated the wastelands of the larger Draconis Prime as their own and subsumed direct rule of Draconis Ceti as well. A ruling class was drafted from the populace of both planet and moon and this newly minted parliament was put into power on Draconis Ceti. On the planet below, Fortress-Monasteries were built along the highland mountains of the northern continent. Much of the southern hemisphere had been transformed into a shifting sea of ice and sludge due to the Mercy’s Hope catastrophe.

The moon of Draconis Ceti has quickly become the center of the populace in the region and has risen well from the ashes of Draconis Prime. Although the Sons of Minos rule absolute, they leave the actual governing up to those they put into charge. The only Space Marine presence on the moon is a large starport pointing galactic spinward maintained for the fleet in orbit.

A tertiary moon also exists around the planet, Draconis Nil. This is little more than an airless, frozen rock in high orbit above the tidal-locked duo below. Draconis Nil houses the chapter’s distant and long-range filters as well as planetary defenses.

Allies of the Chapter: The planetary defense force on Draconis Ceti, named the Draconian Blackwatch, was trained and put into service by Scouts of the Sons of Minos. Their ranks of the Blackwatch include all those who passed stringent physical and mental screenings by chapter strategists. The strength of this PDF rivals that of Imperial Guard seen on many similar planets, yet the High Lords of Terra didn’t sanction these particular troopers. They are autonomous in their day-to-day operations, but rely solely on the Sons of Minos when it comes to provisioning, training, and governing. Although the chapter is the self-appointed protectorate of the system, it is often the shoulders of the Blackwatch that this burden falls on for more mundane conflict, which is a task they engage tenaciously.

Enemies of the Chapter: The Sons of Minos have earned the scorn and hatred of the Eldar, particularly those of the Iybraesil Craftworld. The World Eaters Traitor Space Marines have also directed their wrath towards the chapter due to their crushing defeat at the hands of the chapter’s Primarch so many centuries ago. In both cases, the Sons of Minos match the ferocity of their adversaries with equal zeal and determination.


  1. I should point out the framework I used for this chapter creation was from the Deathwatch RPG rulebook and I handpicked most of the options/choices therein to match the idea I had for their background and history.

  2. I really need to pick up that Deathwatch book - this fluff is amazing!!

  3. Thanks! The fluff actually is pretty much all me, but the section headings and italicized items were provided by the book (I just expanded on them). Actually, the 'create your own chapter' rules are in Rites of Battle, a Deathwatch sourcebook

    The main rulebook is amazing and oozes with production value, it's worth owning even if you don't intend to start up a campaign anytime soon. Plus, it's 37% off on Amazon!

  4. You going to post the Carcharodons?

  5. I am, but it's littered with "Space Sharks" references throughout and I was a bit hesitant to change it all!

  6. So this sourcebook actually states that some rank and file marine, even a hero, would be venerated as a Primarch? I could understand venerating them as a Chapter Master, but no marine would venerate another marine as a Primarch.....

  7. Denise, yes and no. The 'revere the primarch' portion really refers to original founding chapters, like the Dark Angels, and those primarchs like El'Jonson.

    The book doesn't actually state a whole lot but it gives you jumping off points and 'hooks' if you will. I took some liberties here, making a successor chapter that became isolated and independent to the point where their Earth ties aren't as strong as others and they shrugged off the whole 'successor' mantle.

    Basically I'm grooming them to go renegade.

  8. Great background, Mik! I fear the seeds of Hersey have already taken root....

  9. Of course the seeds of Hersey are not too upsetting to the Imperium, at least not so much when compared to their attitude on heresy.... [D'oh!]

  10. Haha, of course! There's enough spiky chaos gods out there so I was thinking of trying to work the Lovecraft mythos in there somewhere. It is a *big* universe after all.

    That's on down the road though, they have plenty of "Go Emperor" centuries left in them!

  11. Very cool Mik. Well thought-out and written.

  12. Thanks Nick, the create-your-own-chapter template really let stretch my legs and come up with pretty much exactly what I've been envisioning for these guys for a while now.