I got to playing around with the chapter geenrator from Rites of Battle. I wound up merely selecting about half the notes here, but it definitely helped guid the development along. Very interesting, as it were.
Name: Brazen Crows
Chapter Listing: 757th Space Marines – Brazen Crows
Gene Seed/Primarch: The Brazen Crows are presumed to descend from the Raven Guard, but have a fully functional gene-seed. For that reason, there’s some question as to whether or not they even descend from Corax’s genetic code. Some sour-minded Battle Brothers who experienced their obnoxious form of attack roll their eyes even claim the Crows fight more like Alpha Marines than anything else. Either way, the Brazen Crows merely smile quietly in response. They know well the value of secrecy and the power of mystery.
History: The 757th Space Marines, or Brazen Crows Chapter, has a long but not fabled history. Though not reclusive, the Crows’ preference for quiet execution of their duties helped keep them overlooked. The Crows hail from Firenze, a wealthy and beautiful planet known for its artists and commerce. While such a well-developed world would not normally supply excellent Space Marine recruits, planetary politics make it an unusually bountiful resource. Rather than resort to war, the inhabitants of Firenze use assassination, which has consequentially become a lawful means of settling vengeance or political matters. Naturally, almost anyone of interest is well-protected, leading to a permanent test of skills between hunters and hunted. Families of assassins exist, as well as many independent operators, and the numbers of bodyguards and counter-assassins are equally great. This gives the Crows a large supply of potential candidates to recruit from, each of whom will have familiarity with weaponry, a killer instinct, and possess the cunning to infiltrate well-guarded fortresses. Of such are the Crows made. The Crows were founded in the 37th Millennium, following the Age of Apostasy, after a reading of the Emperor’s Tarot suggested a Space Marine Chapter located in the Medician Spur would head of several threats. The Crows themselves like to claim they were a second Founding Chapter, but even they admit the evidence for that is thin indeed. Regardless, they did their job too well, largely maintaining the peace and prosperity of the region to the point that it was written off as a complete strategic backwater by the Imperial Guard, a decision which would carry terrible consequences. Though flexible enough to adapt as needed, the Brazen Crows favor quiet decapitation strikes. Surprisingly adept at stealth operations in Power Armor, the Crows still considered it worthwhile for full Battle-Brother to don Scout Armor for special operations. In this way, their best marksman and warriors could operate more easily, cover more ground, and enter confined space. The Crows use this talent to full effect by eliminating leaders or defenses, and gathering information about the enemy. Once properly weakened – and the Crows have a nasty habit of accomplishing all three with well-placed demolition charges and sniper fire from hidden observers – the rest of the Chapter would launch a surprise assault, decimating the enemy. Though some other Chapters (notably the Ultramarines) labeled the Crows cowards for their circumspect nature, it was undeniably successful. The Crows were even able to field extra companies, at once point possessing a standing force of seventeen full companies instead of the usual ten. After careful consideration, the Lords of Terra split six of the companies for a new Chapter around Cadia, and is now known as the Shadow Brethren Chapter. It would later be moved to a permanent fleet-based home, guarding the Imperial Navy’s flank around the Eye of Terror As best as is known, the Chapter was created from Raven Guard geneseed, purified under the watchful of the Magus Biologis. While sharing the dark hair of Raven Guard, the Brazen Crows do not suffer from any other mutation. At any rate, Corman Vanger was the first Chapter Master, and hailed from the Raven Guard. His rapid and variable assault tactics proved an invaluable aid to the Chapter’s early days, when it was developing its skills fighting orks of Warboss Biggutz’s Waaaaugh! They earned the bloody respect of the orks, eventually driving them back into the Eastern Reaches. The Brazen Crows paused only briefly to lick their wounds, before pursuing the enemy on the brief Crusade Avengeant in M37. Having disposed of one enemy for the foreseeable future, the 757th took the nom de plume Brazen Crows and settled in to rule the Medician Spur. Eager to rebuild the war-ravaged sector, the Brazen Crows took direct control of sector government, and of Firenze in particular. Like the Ultramarines, it’s hardly unusual for a marine to occupy a role in the planetary administration, though local representatives control most of the bureaucracy. The advantage for the marines is that none would dare strike against them, enabling them to control key offices against any interference, when necessary. Additionally, they can play the major families and powers against one another to keep the attrition high, and the flow of assassins steady. The Brazen Crows also made themselves available as people of Firenze, partly as Corman Vanger wished them to maintain a clear perspective of what, exactly, they were fighting for. This policy was enacted when the nearby Serpents of Blood Chapter began pogroms and “purifications” to sate their paranoia than defend against heresy or Chaos. During this time, the Chapter developed its identity, and the Chapter Librarian Vigilus Sanctus researched new warp powers designed to conceal marines. It was also during this era that the Marines grew to their greatest size and power, as they continually defeated enemies through surprise, while picking and choosing their alliances and involvement to best benefit themselves. The Deathwatch was a frequent friend, since the resources of the Crows let them spare more soldiers and gear than most new Chapters. Chapter Master Vanger died when he took three Brothers to battle orks - All of the orks. Everywhere. It did not go well, but legends say he was winning until the massive hangover finally caught up with him. Bardlom the Elder followed as Chapter Master. During a Chaos raid which broke past Cadia in M38, the Brazen Crows deployed their full force, for the second and last time in chapter history. Though the casualties were painful, they emerged with many battle honors and won the appreciation of several Imperial Guard regiments. It was this time that the growing Chapter was split, separating long-time Battle-Brothers. Chapter Master Bardlom elected to go with the new Chapter, believing that a new Chapter Master would only confuse matters at that point. A mysterious figure listed only as the Wraith succeeded the post. Yet that was not all which was lost. Librarian Sanctus struck down a Tzeentchian demon of terrible power in that war, but the psychic battle between them tore open a rift which sucked him into the maelstrom of the Warp. His final words were “Don’t worry! I’m sure I can steer this thiiiiiiiiing!” To this day, Battle Brothers of the Crows pray to the Emperor that the warp might reopen and return their treasured mentor, who had taught so many young recruits the ways of mental control and defense against sorcery. M39 and early M40 brought many small conflicts, but no great conflicts the Brazen Crows devoted themselves to rebuilding, adding many vehicles to their arsenal to as to more quickly move to aid allies. While the Medician Sector stayed rather quiet, barring a few outbreaks of heretical rebellion and a plague of raids by both “normal” and Dark Eldar, the Crows kept busy lending their aid to other Chapters, as well as the Imperial Guard and occasionally to other Imperial services. It was also during this time that, over the Crows’ objection, the Guard chose to shutter many Guard bases and move resources out of the sector. The Ultramarines and Cadian defenses benefited from the changes, whose combined influence alone or combined vastly exceeded the Crows’. These resources proved useful against Chaos and Tyrannid incursions, and were probably prompted by the Emperor’s Tarot, but the weakened defenses were never repaired or replaced except by minimal planetary defense garrisons which lacked the numbers and equipment to match the divisions of the Guard. Late M40 saw the Crows go into action at the behest of the Ordo Malleus, breaking the back of a Chaos Cult and sending some wretched sorcerers fleeing back to the Eye of Terror. A number of Chaos artifacts were claimed and locked in secure vaults in the Chapter’s signature-masked station. Wishing to deprive their foes of such weaponry, and having tasted the bloody fruits of those, the Crows further allied with the Inquisition to hunt down more Chaos Chapters and destroy or seal away as many daemon weapons, artifacts, or other blasphemous tools. For the first time, the Chapter was shaken by the loss of several brothers to madness, if not at least the corruption of Chaos. In addition, the Wraith was either still Chapter Master, or the Chapter Master was still listed as him, because he is counted among the fallen in those battles, slain by a mixed party of Berzerkers and Bloodthirsters who overwhelmed the Crows’ defenses at the Malfaller Line. If the Wraith was the original, he was nearly two thousand years old. Most Crows believe someone fiddled with the records for fun. His successor is unknown. M41 brought much hope, and many disappointments for the Crows, along with some new opportunities. After facing down a long renewal of Orky power, the Crows were called upon to stop new Chaos and Dark Eldar raids. This time the blasphemers were working together, at least informally, and proved far more difficult to stop. A self-proclaimed Alpha Marine detachment proved extremely resilient strategically, arriving to spearhead a Chaos rebellion and then vanishing to spark more fires before the Crows could even finish with the first. The Dark Elder were merciless, picking off members of the Crows’ staff when they could not locate or ambush the Crows. Yet they underestimated the ruthless toughness of the Brazen Crows. The Chapter Master used himself as bait and allowed the Dark Elder to assault his ship, while drawing upon Inquisitorial contacts to send a large Crow force to one of the worlds cultists were quietly infiltrating. The double-ruse worked, and the Dark Eldar were slaughtered while the Alpha Marines soon showed themselves and were hammered as they deployed planetside. However, the unknown Chapter Master’s shuttle was still overwhelmed by the numbers and speed of raiders, and detonated a rare Voidflare Bomb. Only a few survivors in pods returned, but the Dark Eldar evidently had enough. New Chapter Master Antedi enjoyed a brief period of respite, along with a strange run of luck. His reign was never dull, seeing as it began in nearly being killed by the Ordo Malleus for demon taint, followed by an abashed apology when they realized they were after the other Antedi – who ruled a warband in the Eye of Terror. His intended renewed campaign to reclaim a hundred systems from orks resulted in near disaster when half the Crows’ fleet malfunctioned simultaneously, and dropped from the warp before they left, giving the navigators splitting headaches. Every single ally drawn up for the invasion similr faced unexpected and uncontrollable delays. When the armada finally arrived, they launched a brutal ground campaign which resulted in nearly 15% casualties from bad shuttlecraft and friendly fire. It defeated no orks whatsoever, as the entire Waaaaaugh! Force had gotten bored and gone off to fight the Ultramarines instead. On the bright side, the adventure did succeed quite well. Much later, he swore the Crows to the Marangian Crusade, in which the Crows were repeatedly deployed, only to find that either the enemy were dug in deep with multiple redundant layers of auto-turrets and endless barrages of heavy weapons, forcing the Crows to fall back and regroup using mole-miners… or they had already been defeated and the Tactica Imperialis was weeks or months behind campaign updates. Antedi finally died when he fought a twin Chaos-mutated Mortixian Death-Tigers in the Grand Arena of Maranga amidst a mindfield. The event was broadcast live across the sector, and achieved an incredible 134% of the possible viewing audience. (Antedi had been captured when an Imperial communication sent him in the wrong direction. Legend has it that the large army of confused traitor guardsmen he ordered about took two days to figure out what was going on.) Eventually, the Crows returned to Firenze in force and in early M42 selected a new leader. Upon ascending to the post of Chapter Master, Urion V declared a Festival of Assassins, a periodic celebration in order to replenish the Chapter’s ranks with the finest good-hearted killing machines on the planet. This one did not go off as planned. While Urion played the game of Assassins and selected a few of those brave enough to try bagging him (they failed, obviously), he neglected to note the one scruffy kid who figured out who provided the catering for the ending celebrations. Long story short: when Urion went to award his chosen winners, he was blown up by the celebratory roast beast. The boy ran like hell and managed to evade the combined Arbites and Arbitrators for nearly two hours before being captured. Upon being caught, he was offered a choice: join the Space Marines or join Urion. As M42 continued, the Brazen Crows came under sudden attack by Chaos Marines on Firenze. Without any Imperial guard support and the loss of many naval assets to nearby sectors, the Crows were caught of-guard and with few allies. Sorcerers unleashed terrible warp energies and ordered lethal barrages onto the planet’s surface. Several units of Thousand Sons led the attack, and rumors swirled that a terrible Chaos Lord such as Mo-deph, Enkhili, or even Ahriman directed the battle. In order to push the Thousand Sons back, newly-appointed Chapter Master Veil Macchia I ordered the Crows to assault the Sons directly in their ships. The attack failed, and numerous Brothers died in the assault. The Chapter then prepared for a last-ditch defense on a barren, icy moon. However, the forces of Chaos withdrew as swiftly as they came. The remaining Brazen Crows figured the Emperor was with them, but it was not long until the horrible truth emerged: the Tzeentch-loving bastards were after the sealed vaults of artifacts, not the Crows themselves. Chapter Master Macchia ordered a total push without retreat, and renewed his attack. This time, the Crows did not relent. They caught the Thousand Sons out of their warp-tainted ships full of horrors by assaulting their own voidships. The battles swayed back and forth until finally, the forces of Chaos retreated. Their ships had been pounded brutally, while the bulk of their troops had been cut down to the last man. With naval reinforcements finally en route, they had little choice but to retreat with their few stolen prizes. For the Crows, it was an agonizing day. Nearly every last marine lay dead or horribly wounded, and it was the best they could manage to reclaim most of their fallen. The Ordo Malleus were called in to take away the remaining vault ships to a new location where they could still be guarded. As for the Crows, they could barely form a single combat-worthy company, let alone fight as a Chapter. Thus, while rebuilding, many younger Crows are being seconded to the Deathwatch, or lent out as scout squads to aid other Chapters. They have a long history of this form of semi-mercenary work, and it will aid the chapter’s rebuilding.
Livery: Deep blue-black armor with an embossed bronze crow on the shoulderpad.
Chapter Abilities: +2 Wounds and +5 to one attribute The Crows are far tougher than they admit, and their ability to endure punishment rival much more famed Chapters. They also use flexible combat doctrine to minimize their casualties, and so specialize however they like.
Equipment: If the crows have one weakness, it’s their stockpile of war machinery. Partly as a result of the overall quietude of their sector (compared to other, anyway) and recent losses, the Crows lack a great deal of heavy armaments. They tended to hand out a great deal of firepower to individuals, but their concept of fire support tends to top out at Devastator squadrons toting lascannons or missile launchers rather than Predator Annihilators and Dreadnaughts.
Brazen Crows Chapter Advances Silent Move +10 (300) Silent Move +20 (300) Concealment +10 (300) Concealment +20 (300) Peer (Officio Assasinorum) (300) - Firenze is a fertile recruiting ground for more than Marines. Some Crows even have relatives among the Assassinorum. Counter Attack (600) 7 Blademaster ? 8 Combat Master ? 9 Fleshrender ? 10 Furious Assault ? Two Weapon Wielder ?
[Not sure what direction to take this. I'll think about it. Suggestions welcome]
Solo Mode: Silent Death Brazen Crow power armor is specially adapted by the Adeptus Mechanus for their activities. It has only a -10 to Concealment and Silent Move. Rank 1: Can re-roll failures on Silent Move and Concealment Rank 4: +10 to both skills Rank 8: One extra degree of success with both skills
Squad Mode Offensive: Forward Retreat! (as per Tactical Finesse via Rites of Battle)
Squad Mode Defensive: Retreat to Nowhere Free Action, Cost 3, Sustained. The marine and all within Support range may make an immediate Concealment attempt. Rank 4: Any marine may use the Concealment result of the Marine activating Retreat to Nowhere.
Familiar – The Crows frequently train a breed of particularly bright raven from their homeworld. Along with some discreet augmetics, A Cyber Raven makes for a useful scout, or even battle companion in the right hands.
Game stats are mostly irrelevant. They die from a direct hit with any weapon and can’t damage anything worth killing. One might serve as a distraction at a critical moment. Cyber ravens can carry one small object weighing a few pounds, such as a grenade or datapad. Cyber Ravens have normal human senses and count as having Perception 40, though they are not smart enough to watch for ambushes understand much of what they see. The owner can communicate electronically and can view whatever the familiar sees. It can understand simple commands (with one noun and one verb.
Raven’s Claw – A weapon favored by Brazen Crows Assault Marines, the Raven’s Claw is a master-crafted mace. In the shape of a bird’s claw grasping an orb. Ranking marines, chaplains, or other leaders may obtain special versions with the Power Field and Tearing qualities for 15 requisition at the Honored level.
Cloak of Ravens – This half-cloak made of black feathers is normally worn draped over the arm. Those who bear it are said to have the favor of Corax. They are granted a +3 bonus of all Willpower rolls. Those who this Chapter Trapping are expected to do honor to Corax in turn, and must show cunning and courage in equal measure. Moreover, they are expected to save the battle-brothers of Chapter by any means necessary.