Warhammer-Wednesday

3

“AAAARRRRGHHHLRLAAARHAGLAARHLRG”

When a Chapter chooses a saw blade as their insignia, you know they aren’t kidding around.  At some point in the early history of the Imperium, a guy picked up a tablesaw and said “yes. This is what represents me as a person."  A Successor Chapter to the Blood Angels, the Flesh Tearers were named for their founding officer, Captain Nassir Amit, who in his time was known as the Flesh Tearer for his acute diplomatic skill and political clout.

Nah, he was actually known for diving headlong into close combat and messily reducing enemies to bite-size chunks with a custom-made sword and knife combo made with barbed edges, the source of his nickname.  The Flesh Tearers happily followed in his example, favoring toothed cutting weapons and chainblades big enough to dice Titans with.  Basically, if it looks like something the A.S.P.C.A. wants removed from slaughterhouses on the basis that its existence is inhumane, if the sight of it in use would make PETA faint dead away, the Flesh Tearers probably love it.

The Flesh Tearers are unique amongst the Astartes in that they are a pure assault force - no reserves, no dedicated devastators, just four companies of blood-hungry marines that roar into action with a battlecry described as an inarticulate scream that freezes the enemies of humanity with fear.  Ten minutes later there’s two thousand dead heretics, three dead Flesh Tearers, and several dozen swimming pools’ worth of blood that needs to be cleaned up by the Administratum.

“Strength in Purity!
The Red Scorpions are the darlings of Forge World, a subsidiary of Games Workshop that produces models for their various tabletop games (Warhammer Fantasy Battle, 40K, etc).  As such, you’ll see the Red Scorpions in book after book of Forge World’s catalogs and Warhammer 40K releases, with the various models and bitz painted up in the grey and gold of the Red Scorpions.

As a result of being Forge World’s flagship chapter, the Red Scorpions have a fair amount of background going for them.  As a chapter, their shtick is that they’re more pure than the pure and more orthodox than the orthodox.  That is to say, they adhere to the precepts of the Codex Astartes with a rigidity that even the Ultramarines don’t express, severely punishing rulebreakers and holding non-codex chapters in mistrust.  They are obsessed with their genetic purity, rigorously screening candidates for their trials, and even refusing to serve alongside Imperial-sanctioned mutants, believing that such proximity sullies their good name and undoes the strenuous effort they put into maintaining their high standards.

In fact, this obsession has led the Red Scorpions to behave fractiously when the Adeptus Mechanicus demands the regular tithe of gene-seed expected of Astartes chapters.  Although manifestly pure in quality (94%, a rate almost unheard-of), the Red Scorpions are known for handing over the absolute minimum and doggedly refusing to allow Mechanicus access to study any more of their precious stocks.

Their gene-seed isn’t the only thing the Red Scorpions are furtive about, either.  The true location of their homeworld is kept a secret to the other forces of the Imperium, as is the origin of the chapter.  This, in conjunction with their fanatical puritanism has led some 40K fans to speculate that they are, in fact, a loyalist chapter secretly descended from Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor’s Children and now daemon-prince of Slaanesh.  There is no solid proof of this, however, and the Red Scorpions themselves are, naturally, not talking.

Although high-handed and judgmental of their allies, the Red Scorpions are nonetheless a brutally effective fighting force, participating in both the Siege of Vraks and the infamous Badab War, as well as conducting long-term wars against both the ork and Tyranid races.

Pedro Kantor is the current master of the Crimson Fists, and is partially responsible for their unfortunate nickname of ‘Meximarines,’ in conjunction with third-edition hero character Captain Cortez.

At approximately 350 years of age, Kantor is a survivor of the disaster at Rynn’s World, and it is largely his grim determination that kept his chapter alive in the years following when the High Lords of Terra strongly debated disbanding the Crimson Fists.  He wields a power fist and a stormbolter named Dorn’s Arrow in honor of the primarch.  Fed by a back-mounted ammo drum, Dorn’s Arrow fires at twice the rate of a standard stormbolter with better penetration of rounds.

Kantor is a chapter master marked as much by his humanity as his single-minded determination to salvage his chapter from the grim losses of the siege of Rynn’s World.  Following the destruction of the chapter keep, Kantor was greatly displeased by Captain Cortez’ decision to rescue a mother and two children from the orks, as the devastating losses to the chapter meant that the Crimson Fists could not take chances with their lives for the sake of civilians.  Despite this, Kantor permitted the woman to accompany the men during their trek towards safe haven.  Of course, a mortal woman could never match the brutal pace set by the Astartes, and after some time her legs gave out beneath her.  Halting the procession, Kantor came back for the woman and her children, stating that “you did well to bring them this far.  It is time someone else carried you now."  And with that picked her up along with both children before rejoining his men.

On the tabletop, Pedro Kantor represents the Crimson Fists’ hatred of orks by granting his army the Preferred Enemy (orks) rule.  He also makes Sternguard Veteran units scoring, a nod to the chapter’s depleted numbers and their need to use hardened veterans to achieve objectives.  He can spray enemy units with fire from Dorn’s Arrow and, in critical moments, call down an orbital bombardment to crush the foe.

Lord High Commander Carab Culln is the chapter master of the Red Scorpions.  He evinces the chapter’s attitude in regards to their purity with his disdain of camouflage (calling it “the colors of fear”) and his extreme reluctance to permit his men to take the battlefield alongside Imperial beastmen or ogryns.

Carab Culln became chapter master when the previous holder of the position, Verant Ortys, was slain early in the Badab War by the treacherous Astral Claws in what would later become known as the Betrayal at Grief.  Culln rose to become commander of the loyalist forces during the war, opposing the Astral Claws and their secessionist allies.  A far cry from an armchair general, Culln personally led several of the key assaults during the campaign that eventually saw the Astral Claw rebellion defeated and Badab itself destroyed.

Carab Culln is also notable for the fact that he has three separate tabletop models!  Chronicling his rise to command, Culln can take the field as Veteran Sergeant, Commander, or Lord High Commander, (the latter two being the difference between captain and chapter master).

Despite his grouchy expression, Culln is also memorable for managing to become one of the few heroes of the Imperium made by GW that doesn’t look like he got run over by a train one night and had to be sewed back together.

Though the Emperor is but a husk hooked to a machine he has transcended his body and now only his will power remains. However, he is still needed as he is the one who guides the astronomicon which is a beacon for pyschic energy that causes a tear in reality. This beacon is essential to maintain the vast Imperium of Man. He does not create the energy but instead controls it in fact, thousands of psychics slowly drain their life force to power the machine. Beamed from Terra to pyschic mutants possesing a third eye on each ship, they sense this “light” and direct crews to through it essentially allowing travel through worm holes. Instead of taking millions of years to reach wherever one needs to go it takes only a matter of years. However, entering the warp is dangerous and unpredictable thus what feels like five years of travel in the warp could in reality be only twelve days. Also, as it is the realm of Chaos and thus it is the Emperor’s will that protects the ships who enter yet a threat of Chaotic incursion is always present. Without the Emperor forever connected on the Golden Throne the Imperium would crumble as all communications and travel would cease thus isolating each world to itself once more.