An all female Adeptus Astartes chapter. Cry about it.
So, this started out with a player of mine wanting to play a female Space Marine because I said she could do so. However, as time went on I realized I couldn`t justify having female Astartes in already existing chapters. The cake was proverbially iced when she said she wanted to play a Black Templar female. There was just no freaking way I could make that work - not in game, not in my head, not at all. So, I spent all day creating this chapter based on the guidelines provided in Rites of Battle.
Let me know how I did (`DUDE CHICKS CANT BE SPACE MARINES, DER!!` Doesn`t exactly help and is pretty creatively limiting, so I politely ask that if you have a fundamental problem with this, do yourself a solid and leave now) and let me know if there is anything technical that looks funky or needs fixing. I am open to suggestions and constructive criticism. Thanks for taking the time to read - it is a wall of text. You have been warned.
Daughters of Death
Late in M39, with the increased threat and loss of worlds to Tyranid Hive Fleets, the Omega Vault revealed one of its most provocative and controversial treasures: An ancient Space Marine in Mk. IV Armor contained in stasis along with samples of its pure gene seed and instructions on the formation of an all female Space Marine contingent. The Space Marine herself remembered little of her past, perhaps mind wiped or suffering from Amnesia due to long-term stasis sleep. However, the memories she could pull up revealed murky memories of betrayal and millions of Astartes losing their lives at the hand of a great betrayer.
Why Was the Chapter Founded:
Increased hostilities in the Jericho Reach, including the coming of Tyranid Hive Fleets and Warp Anomalies, resulted in the opening of one of the vaults many mysterious chambers. Inside was a lone Space Marine in stasis and pure samples of gene seed from one of the Lost Primarchs with clear instructions for Imperial Biogeneticists and Cybergeneticists to create a unique Space Marine Chapter composed entirely of females. The implications that one or both of the Lost Primarchs was female sent ripples through the highest echelons of the Imperial Hierarchy, all the way up to the High Lords of Terra themselves. Arguments and schisms erupted over what to do with the new information and the Space Marine herself. Some argued that all evidence must be purged completely, while others argued that this information must be circulated - if not through the Imperium at large then at least through the other Astartes Chapters. A minority of the voices made the case that this was proof of the Emperor's plan to unite all of humanity, not just males, with male and female Astartes leading the way. At long last a compromise was made and it was decided that a small contingent of female Space Marines, thereby known as Adeptus Astartes Sororitae, would be maintained at all times within Watch Fortress Erioch as a permanent fixture of the Ordo Xenos`s Deathwatch. It then became the duty of all high ranking Xenos Inquisitors to keep an eye out for suitable female candidates for Astartes conversion while they visited various systems and planets within the Imperium.
When Was the Chapter Founded:
Early in M40, the Deathwatch chose to retain a force of Battle-Sisters much smaller than chapter strength, but strong enough to be fielded within various Kill-Teams at any given time within the Jericho Reach. These Battle-Sisters would train extensively in the art of Xenos warfare and remain as a highly guarded secret; those that serve alongside them always taking oaths of secrecy upon learning of their existence.
No information available. The Daughters of Death do not know of their origins or even of who their Primarch was, although whispers and rumors postulate that it was one of the two Lost Primarchs, and that at least one of the Lost Primarchs if not both were female. This and their recruitment style forces most Sisters to maintain individualistic demeanors.
"Individual." She is determined to earn honor by her own deeds, and not those of heroes long dead. While she venerates her unknown Primarch, the Emperor and her Mother Chapter Master, she knows that only her actions alone can bring honor to the Daughters of Death, the Deathwatch and the Emperor himself.
Codex Primarch's Curse:
Although their Primarch is unknown to them, the Daughters of Death still feel the effects of its curse when their spiritual or mental stability begins to falter. Often times when their minds and spirits have been damaged badly enough, their natural inclination to be healers and Apothecaries manifests itself into reckless disregard for their own safety.
Name: Blood of my Blood
Level 1 (I Feel Your Pain): The Marine takes every wound to her Battle-Brothers and Sisters as a personal failing on her part. If a particular wound is serious enough and a member of the Kill-Team has been reduced to 5 or fewer wounds, she will cease fighting in order to treat her injured fellow Astartes.
Level 2 (Everything for Everyone and Nothing for Myself): The Battle-Sister no longer administers to her own wounds when in battle, fearing that she may use up life saving medicines on herself that could potentially save others. When a member of the Kill-Team has been reduced to 10 or fewer wounds, she will immediately stop attacking the enemy to tend to them. She will only consider healing herself if all allies have been administered to and no threat or danger is present or near.
Level 3 (Reckless Abandon): The Battle-Sister no longer cares for her own well being. She will put herself willingly in the way of enemy fire to save an ally's life or pull them from harm. She will no longer consider healing herself and may only consider seeking treatment long after the mission has been completed and her allies have been properly cared for. When a member of the Kill-Team is reduced to 18 or fewer wounds, she will cease fighting in order to treat her injured allies.
Gene Stock Purity:
A New Generation/Altered Stock - Such Chapters often go on to define their own traditions and write their own histories, looking forward to the future more than back to the past. The Battle-Sisters of the Chapter may be shunned, for they appear different to their brethren.
Gene Seed Deficiencies:
"Sisters in Battle." The Battle-Sisters of the Daughters of Death Chapter contain an unusually high number of Apothecaries among their ranks. Due to this and the close proximity in which they interact with one another, and various other Chapters when attached to Kill-Teams, the Daughters of Death have a close comradeship with all Astartes regardless of how they are viewed by Brothers from other chapters. There is nothing that a Battle Sister would not do for her fellow Astartes, often leaving any differences she may have aside during battle and sacrificing her own well being to save a fellow Astartes.
"We Stand Alone." Because of their unique existence and focus on secrecy in all manners of dealings with other Imperial bodies, the Daughters of Death often find themselves untrusting and leery of outsiders. During the times when they are forced to work alongside other Imperial Forces, every effort is made to hide their identities, often taking extreme measures rather than allowing their existence to become common knowledge.
Chapter Master Mariana Cleara: The Founder of the Chapter is an object of myth as much as she is a living hero. Revealed in a stasis tube with little to no memories of her past, her existence secured the creation and propagation of the Daughters of Death. Those after her have served simultaneously as 'Chapter Master' and Chief Apothecary. Current Chapter Master, Battle-Sister Mariana Cleara serves the Deathwatch as a trusted adviser and councilor to the Watch Commander. She has seen many varied engagements within the Jericho Reach, andwhen she is deployed she is a force to be reckoned with. Few enemies are powerful enough to stand against her and many foes have paid the ultimate price for underestimating her abilities. In battle she carries the ancient power sword affectionately named "Death's Whisper" for both the lack of noise its power field emits and the hushed awe it creates when unsheathed. On her hip is a master crafted melta gun that has felled multitudes of Xenos and Chaos monstrosities alike. On her opposite hip, hanging from a long adamantine chain is the Book of the Daughters which contains all of the deeds and names of every Daughter to ever serve and die within the Deathwatch. They say the psychic energy of all the Sisters immortalized within provide extra protection for Master Mariana during battle.
As destructive as she is on the battlefield, Mariana displays an almost matronly quality in regards to her Battle-sisters; she personally oversees the creation of each new Daughter of Death, carefully monitoring their vital signs and easing their transitions from human beings into mighty Adeptus Astartes Sororitae. She never leaves the sides of those few whose bodies reject the genetic implants and personally grants them the Emperor's Peace - each loss carried personally on her shoulders and turned into a fuel to ignite against the enemies of the Imperium.
Her Power Armor is an ancient suit of beautifully maintained Mk. IV Plate, handed down through the Chapter Masters from the first mother herself. Master crafted, the suit of armor is naturally black ceramite with black and silver adamantine inlays. In the center of the plate is an incredibly intricate carving of a broken black heart being coiled by two snakes. She is one of a select few Daughters of Death to display only one Deathwatch shoulder Pauldron (most other Battle Sisters don identical Deathwatch Shoulder Pauldrons on each arm); her right shoulder pauldron is a depiction of a bowed angel's head, two hands clasped together in prayer. Her helmet is crafted elegantly in the visage of an emotionless face, androgynous in sex yet beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
Her eyes are a piercing blue and her hair is as black as her armor. She has a smooth creamy complexion, with a proud nose and high cheek bones. Most would consider her beautiful if they weren't terrified of the raw power she exudes. She stands tall at 7'3" and exhibits an air of authority that few could fail to appreciate. She is calm and calculating, always choosing her words before she speaks and as a result has made many friends within the Deathwatch. It is unknown how old she is, but given her battle experience and command presence it is postulated that Mariana was at least two centuries old before she was placed in stasis.
None. The Chapter uses Watch Station Erioch as its Fortress Monastery and is much smaller than a Codex Astartes compliant Chapter. As they are less a chapter than they are a small maintained fighting force overseen by the Ordo Xenos, the Daughters of Death rely on Ordo Xenos Inquisitors to bring back fresh recruits from the various worlds and planetary systems they come into contact with. Thus, philosophical and cultural beliefs may differ among Battle-Sisters of the Daughters of Death as much as they may between separate Space Marine Chapters.
"Unique Organization." Since the Daughters of Death are not a traditional Astartes Chapter, they do not, and because of their numbers cannot, adhere to the letter of the Codex Astartes. Much more akin to the specialist Grey Knights, the Daughters of Death do not comprise of companies, nor do they come close to the Codex approved 1,000 Astartes. They are versatile and trained to fight in any environment and situation, adapting as combat may change. They have no favored "style" of fighting and will use whatever is at their disposal to destroy the enemy. They are often loath to unnecessarily sacrifice any Imperial forces, especially themselves or other Astartes, but have been known to do so under the most dire of circumstances and only at the behest of those who are to be lost. Some more fanatical/puritanical Daughters choose to exemplify terror when putting down their enemies. More than one potential rebellion has been put down by the appearance of a single Daughter of Death in full battle regalia casting promises of destruction and sermons from the Emperor over her Vox unit.
Daughters of Death Characters:
As a result of the natural inclination for Daughters to become Apothecaries, all Daughters of Death characters start with Medicae as a trained skill. Another effect of living and operating exclusively within the confines of Watch Fortress Erioch has given the Daughters access to the many libraries and hypno-learning stations within the Fortress, as well as training in a multitude of Xenos-based fighting tactics. As a result, all Daughters characters start with +5 Intelligence and +5 Willpower and the Hatred (xenos - pick one) talent.
Daughters of Death also start with the "Natural and Adaptive" Solo Mode Ability. Pick one skill; at rank 1, the Daughter of Death may re-roll failed tests with this skill and the Medicae skill. At rank 4, the Daughter of Death gains +10 to all tests with this and the Medicae skill. At rank 8, the Daughter of Death gains a bonus degree of success.
Daughters of Death Squad Mode Abilities:
Name: Oath of Vengeance; Action: Free Action; Cost: 1; Sustained: No. When any member of the Kill Team suffers damage, the character receives a +4 bonus to Damage Rolls against the Attacker. At rank 5, this ability may be sustained.
Name: Only in Death; Action: Free Action; Cost: 3; Sustained: Yes. Daughters of Death are tenacious in their ability to stave off the effects of damage that would kill lesser beings. Through a mixture of medical expertise and stimulant use, the Daughters and those around them ignore the most grievous of their wounds. When active, the Space Marine and those within support range ignore the effects of any critical damage that would not kill them. Once this ability ends they suffer the full effects of any critical damage they may have received.
"You give up your humanity that the citizens of the Imperium may keep theirs. Pity or despise them, but never expect them to understand."
The Daughters of Death are recruited from a number of various worlds and as such bring much of their original cultures with them. They do, however, conform to a stringent belief that the Emperor is above all. He created the Primarchs in his own image, male and female alike. It is only because of the Emperor that their existence is possible. Belief in the Emperor as a deity is up to the individual Battle-Sister and a product of where they were from, how they were raised, and what they believe after being inducted into the Adeptus Astartes Sororitae. They are quick to denounce the Xenos and Warp entities as obvious opponents to the glory of humanity's galactic empire and can find themselves at odds with Imperial Institutions as well: the Ecclesiarchy especially. For some, their humanitarian inclinations towards healing extend to all of humanity, for others, their healing grace is reserved for fellow Astartes only - such is the extent of a chapter with so few, yet so varied individuals.
Under Strength. As their only designation at the moment, as agreed upon by the High Lords of Terra, is to supplement Kill-Teams with extra fire power, the Daughters of Death maintain a strength of around 200-250 Space Marines at any given time. They often operate in Kill-Teams of other Daughters with a Watch Captain accompanying then should they need it. When the need arises, Battle-Sisters may be selected to serve in various other Deathwatch Kill Teams as necessary.
"Onward, Sisters! For Glory, For Mariana, For the Emperor!"
The Daughters of Death wear no personal chapter heraldry. Instead, they wear two identical Deathwatch Shoulder Pauldrons on each arm. If a Sister gains particular renown, it is not unknown for their right pauldron to be removed and replaced by a custom fitting depicting something dear to that particular Sister. Chapter Commander and Chief Apothecary Mariana Cleo is an example of such a case, with a figure of an angel praying adorning her right shoulder pauldron. Other notable designs have been mythological beasts from the Sister's homeworld or visages of the Emperor himself.
As permanent members of the Deathwatch, the Daughters of Death have no livery to speak of. Their armor is jet black, as are their helmets. Their shoulder pauldrons and left arms are always completely silver, just as all Deathwatch. Their Apothecaries, however, bear one white line down the middle of their helmets, and a single white stud on their armor for every century of service.
Chapter Advance Table:
Xenos Bane (pg. 42, RoB). Trained extensively in the art of Xenos hunting, the Daughters of Death excel at purging the galaxy of the most vile alien threats to humanity.
Edited by pearldrum1, 20 October 2013 - 03:51 AM.