Spectral Serpent Treatise


Origins & Geneseed

The Spectral Serpents can trace their lineage back to the Iron Hands Legion, and have maintained close ties to their father Legion since they were founded. However, unlike their father Legion, they have embraced the Codex: Astartes to the extent of adopting the Company structure specified in the Codex other the less orthodox Clan structure of the Iron Hands.

Homeworld & Home Region

The Spectral Serpents home world of Charomax lies deep in the nebulus region called Charomarth. Known as a region of nebulous clouds and vast tracks of asteroid belts floating in irregular orbits, Charomarth is one of the richest regions in the Gothic Segmentum. Not only is rich in mineral deposits but the vast nebula itself is counted amongst the most valuable resources for hydrogen, oxygen and other valuable gases.

Charomax itself is a planet deep in the Collarin nebula and is the crown of the Spectral Serpents small empire. A volcanic world of deep black rock with sulphurous clouds and high temperatures, Charomax is complete immicile to human life with the exception of sub-surface colonies which are maintained for the work force of miners, refinery personal and administratum clerks that ensure the smooth running of the mines and starport.

However, it is not the extreme temperatures, volcanic lava flows or geothermal instability that poses the greatest threat to the inhabitants, but the largest native creatures that infest the world's deeper tunnels and chambers. Since it was colonised, the humans on Charomax have been preyed upon by giant serpents large enough to pose a threat to even the Imperiums larger battle tanks. Diamond hard scales and razor-sharp teeth makes the serpents vicious enemies, easily capable of killing an Astartes in their vice-like coils and fangs.

Beliefs

The Spectral Serpents venerate the ancient serpents as much as they loath them, and they take a place of pride in Chapter legend and ritual.

The ritualised hunting and eventual slaying of one of these serpents is the final test of a Spectral Serpent Initiate must pass before he is deemed worthy of becoming one of the Chapter Brethren. To this end, all Spectral Serpent Astartes adorn their armour with the hides of the serpents they've slain as they see the fashioning of their snake-scale cloaks as the point when they finally become Battle Brethren and thus earn the right to wear their power armour.

Combat Doctrine

The Spectral Serpents follow the strictures of the Codex: Astartes as laid out by the Primarch of the Ultramarines with a few minor exceptions. One such exception is that they place greater emphasis on long range firepower rather than close combat. To this end, they can call upon greater numbers of Devastators at the expense of fewer Assault squads.

They also heavily favour the Vindicator over the other armoured fighting vehicles in the Astartes armoury. The reason for this is simple, in the deep confines of the underground tunnel network of Charomax, Vindicators provide them with the needed support to engage the larger serpents in their own lairs and can be utilised to clear or create new tunnels should the need arise.

Heraldry & Colour Scheme

The Spectral Serpent Astartes wear black power armour, with bleached bone shoulder and knee pads. Company colours are displayed by a coloured icon denoting the squad's type that is displayed proudly on the right shoulder.

Organisation

The Spectral Serpents adhere to the Codex: Astartes and maintain ten companies. However, unlike more traditional Chapters, the Chapters 1st Company not comprised of the Chapter's Veterans, but are instead another Battle Company entrusted with the protection of Charomax itself. The Chapter's Veterans are split amongst the nine Battle and Reserve companies.

Like it's father Legion, the Spectral Serpents maintain strong ties with the Adeptus Mechanicus, and have amongst the largest number of Techmarines for any Space Marine Chapter and a great many of their Space Marines are heavily augmented with bionics.

The Praetorians

The Praetorians are the Chapter's elite warriors, veterans without peer within the Chapter. Each Company maintains a squad of Praetorians, drawn from that companies most senior and veteran warriors.

Each Praetorian fights with either a bolt pistol, chainsword or combi-weapon of some type and each wears one of the venerated Praetorian suits of power armour. Finely crafted by the Chapter's small legion of Techmarines, each Praetorian suit is imbued with a small micro-turret mounting a heavily modified bolter above their right shoulder and additional ablative armour plating rivalling that of Artificer Armour.

The bolter turret allows the Praetorians to maintain a constant stream of firepower as they advance towards the enemy, and allows them to engage the enemy with blade and pistol without being encumbered by a large bolter.

It is the Chapter's Praetorians that are also given the right to wear the Chapter's few remaining suits of Tactical Dreadnought Armour, although the suits themselves are often kept under lock and key in the sacred vaults of Charomax lest they be lost forever to the Chapter and their use is only permitted with the direct consent of the Chapter Master, the venerable Vulnar.

Battle Cry

Purge the flesh and cleanse the stars!