One faction that remembers the heresies that they committed before Vandire eclipsed them is the Adeptus Mechanicus and their immense network of tech-priests. The Crosof sub-sector, in northern Segmentum Solar, was infested with Ork pirates. In M34, the brutal xenos began to increase their raids on the local systems. Battlefleet Solar was able to isolate the raids, herding the Orks into a single massive asteroid field. The glorious vessels blockaded the area while Space Marines from the Iron Hands and Wraithtalons attacked the three greenskin-cradling space hulks from the inside. The war wore on for almost three years, both sides too stubborn to relent. The Wraithtalons committed five full companies to the fight, while the Iron Hands only presented one. As the tunnel fighting continued, the munitions possessed by the Astartes began to get low, and both Chapters were forced to adapt. While the Wraithtalons began to alter their equipment in rather heretical ways, using the Orks as inspiration, the Iron Hands imported ten suits of Tactical Dreadnought armor. As their chapter was based in a different Segmentum, The Adepts of Mars stepped forward and simply shipped them to their long-time friends and allies. Enraged, the Wraithtalons? Strike Cruisers intercepted the convoy, looting the precious vessels and killing all on board. Mars was never warned of the Wraithtalons? treachery.
Without reinforcements, the Iron Hands were forced to withdraw, and the Wraithtalons pulled out soon after. Because of their jealousy, the Orks in the Crosof sub-sector remained unmolested for the next six millennia, and spawned thousands of Armageddon-bound vermin. And so time passed. Though some suspected the Wraithtalons of their sin, there was simply not enough evidence to do anything about it. Later, their deeds were hidden by Vandire?s betrayal, and so they passed out of the knowledge of the Inquisition. But the eyes of the Dark Angels are ever searching for their fallen kin, and knew of all of their successors. The Wraithtalons never became fully detached from their parents, and from time to time, Wraithtalons Strike Cruisers are still spotted fighting without support. Their enemies are everyone and everything, though they especially hate the mutant and the alien.
Background and Origin:
Extracting the Wraithtalons during a fight is like trying to get your wife out of one of the Lord Admiral's parties." - Attributed to Commodore Imil, during the Crosof campaign
The origins of the Wraithtalons are hazy at best. Some say that the first Chapter Master was a member of Lionel Jonson's Legion back in the days of the Heresy. Others, those who bother to look past the rhetoric, can see that this is unlikely. As best the Holy Inquisition can tell, the Adeptus Astartes Wraithtalons were of the Sixth Founding, descending from the Dark Angels and carrying on their legacy. No one has been able to guess the truth, however. The Wraithtalons are a challenge both to the relative stability of the Imperium of Man, and to those who attack its foundations.
To court the Wraithtalons is to court Death. Few live who have attempted it, and none know if it is truly possible. Only ancestry and some arcane loyalty bind the Chapter to the Imperium, for they show no regard for the sanctity of the Ecclesiarchy or of the purity of the human race. The Ordo Hereticus finds all records pertaining to these malefic entities eradicated. They suspect the truth, as do many, and soon there will be a reckoning between them.
The Sixth Founding was not an exceptional one, save that it was followed with relative rapidity by the Age of Apostasy and the treachery of Vandire. In the confusion that followed, the Wraithtalons cut all ties to the Imperium, save for those to the Dark Angels themselves. Their monolithic statues disappeared overnight, their battle honours were forgotten, and their crimes became obscured by the sands of time.
LEGIO INFITIALES VENIA
By Jameson Rohrer ( Acelor )
This article has been published with the kind permission of Jameson Rohrer. Planetary image created by Shadow Guard
None of us know where the Wraithtalons have chosen to make their nest. None of us really want to know. - Battle-Brother Ghes, during the Crosof campaign
The Wraithtalons are based in southern Segmentum Obscuras in a asteroid-dense system known as Jure. The coordinates of it are a secret to all save the Navis Nobilitae, who still consort with them for unknown reasons. Jure has five planets, three of them populated. The system's moons vary in their size and habitat, and are used as training centers for the Chapter.
The first world, Crises, is a burning ball of rock gradually spiraling inwards. In a few million years, the crimson planet will meet a hot and spectacular death, but for now it is content to melt.
The second, Tribulation, has an atmosphere that is not at all unbearable to humans, but its hostile surface makes life almost impossible. Its surface is covered in rock and sand. Its spin is almost identical in speed to Old Terra. From approximately eleven hundred to sixteen hundred hours, the heat is intense enough to melt iron. Nights are unbelievably cold. The only remotely habitable time is dusk, where the temperature stabilizes around forty-four degrees Celsius before plummeting into ten-hour winter. Tribulation is where the Chapter?s unaltered recruits are tested. Here the chosen are brought at age ten to eke out their living in the uncaring desert. Those who survive are taken into the Enclave, a slowly spinning disk of adamantium and ceramite eight hundred meters in diameter that perpetually hovers above the surface, following along in the days wake. Hundreds of servitors constantly crawl spider-like along the belly of the Enclave, tending to the millions of suspensor tiles as they have for millennia. The selected novices live in the Enclave's barracks and use it as a giant boot camp. Less than four percent of those who arrive at Tribulation survive long enough to be picked up by the Enclave, and perhaps a quarter of those trained at Enclave last for the three required years of basic training before moving on to augmentation.
The third world, Endra is much farther away from the sun than Tribulation or Crises and is of temperate climate. The people there are isolated from the rest of the Imperium and have not been contacted directly since the Emperor's Crusade. Individual continents have different levels of technology; ranging from pre-blackpowder to possessing primitive flying machines. The Chapter takes great interest in the ingenuity of the people that live on Endra, who create without the overseeing glare of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and many of their recruits study under Endra's various smiths to learn what they can of science. Thirteen percent of the Chapter's battle-brothers are drawn from Endra, though this number varies from century to century. Endra's people are governed by the Wraithtalons, who act as though they were of a higher caste. The Endrans almost revere their masters, and the most athletic are chosen in triennial competitions to face the dangers of Tribulation.
The fourth planet is Tenoch, a place almost as diverse in its climates as Old Terra. Lush jungles crowd the equatorial regions, ice dominates the poles, and deciduous forests fill the land between. Thousands of isolated tribes roam the world; from these most of the
novices are taken. At the south pole, a gigantic laboratory labors to duplicate lost technology, and at the north, a colossal factory churns out bolt shells and food products for the Wraithtalons to use.
The fifth planet is mostly bound in ice, and is the smallest, except for Crises. It has no name, but serves as a test bed for any experiments that might endanger a significant amount of a world.
The Wraithtalons live around a fortress monastery that usually drifts between Tribulation and Endra. The station itself is largely uninhabited; but serves as a resting place for the great libraries and what little remains of the Chapter?s tank companies. After severing ties with Mars, the Chapter needed a way to sustain itself. With an unbelievable amount of bribing, blackmail, and extortion, a few of the least reverent Adeptus Mechanicus Magisters were gathered to create new gene-seed cultivation facilities. The entire center of the monastery is given over to these vats, where the future of the Wraithtalons is insured. Most of the Chapter?s Space Marines live on board the Strike Cruisers of their respective Company. The Wraithtalons? three battle barges orbit the monastery and are almost permanent additions to the station; over a hundred altered but unassigned reserves are
kept on each.