|Battle Cry||Sacrifice brings salvation!|
|Successors of||Flesh Tearers|
|Chapter Master||Xipet T'otec|
|Strength||600, not including the Death Company|
|Specialty||Shock Assault, Close-Quarters Actions (Space Hulk Purgation, Boarding Operations, Line-Breaker Attacks, 'Forlorn Hope' Objective Assaults), Decimation, Enforced Pacification, Terror Assaults, Psychological Warfare.|
|Colours||Black and Orange with Gold trim|
The Blood Jaguars are a chapter once again created from the Deathwatch Chapter creation table. The result was an Aztec-themed Flesh Tearers chapter. And it is glorious.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Chapter History
- 3 Chapter Homeworld
- 4 The Order of the Martyred Heart
- 5 Chapter Organization
- 6 Combat Doctrine
- 7 Gene-Seed
- 8 Important Members
- 9 Quotes
- 10 Deathwatch Rules
- 11 Gallery
The Blood Jaguars are an extremely violent and savage Loyalist Successor Chapter created during an Unknown Founding sometime in the 34th Millennium from the brutal and unforgiving Flesh Tearers, a Second Founding Successor Chapter of the heroic Blood Angels. Like their progenitors, the Blood Jaguars are known for their bloodthirsty nature in battle, ill-temper and bellicose nature. Though staunchly loyal to the Emperor and dedicated to their duty as protectors of the innocent, they are heavily afflicted by the genetic twin-flaws of their Primarch Sanguinius. This has resulted in the Chapter garnering an infamous reputation across the Imperium, due to their blood-rage and savage deeds said to have been performed by these Astartes.
The resulting brutality has led to their investigation on charges of heresy by the Inquisition on multiple occasions, though they have been cleared of suspicion at present. Like their genetic forebears, the Blood Jaguars are known for their bloodthirsty nature in battle, ill-temper and feared for the flaws of the Black Rage and Red Thirst that greatly affects them.
The Blood Jaguars are a chapter with a history of extreme violence, even for Astartes. Founded in M34 for the specific purpose of fighting Orks, specifically the threat imposed on the Oestalan Sector by the Orks of the Green Traverse, and parented by the infamous Flesh Tearers; they, like their predecessors, suffer from the genetic flaw known as the Black Rage at a higher rate than other Blood Angels successors. An attempt to correct this was made in their founding, but failed to prevent the Red Thirst and Black Rage from occurring at the same level as the rest of the Blood Angels successors. In fact, it may have made the Red Thirst even worse, if certain rumors whispered hold true.
At some point in time, the Blood Jaguars home sector was swallowed by a warp storm that lasted 2,000 years. During this time Xipet T'otec rose to the position of chapter master and enacted major reforms, earning him much respect in the chapter. After the warpstorm ended the Blood Jaguars emerged entirely divergent from the Codex Astartes. Gone were the Devastator squads, and in came chain bladed bolters, scout squads ripping apart Orks in frenzied close combat, and a Death Company whose acts of terror often inspire suicide in their enemies, as a preferable alternative to facing them in battle. Suspected of Khornate worship on multiple occasions though never found tainted, the Blood Jaguars have a rocky relationship with the rest of the Adeptus Astartes and the Inquisition. Despite this, the Chapter still sends Brothers to the Deathwatch, though the eye of suspicion never leaves them.
The Blood Jaguars homeworld, Tenocit, is a jungled hive world, notorious for its massive felinid predators, and large avian carnivores. Recruits are trained in the harsh jungles, expected to fight and kill predators with little more than stone knives they craft themselves and carry with them for the rest of their time with the chapter. Harsh survival and combat-trials are favoured over years of disciplined apprenticeship, to ensure that every Blood Jaguar will be able to adapt if separated from the group, as often happens in the dense jungles of Tenocit. A strong emphasis on self-sufficiency, coupled with relentless drills, forms an instinctive awareness of battlefield movements, momentum and finding weakness in the enemy lines. Indeed, particularly zealous Jaguars sometimes sacrifices themselves in displays of individual courage and bloodthirst, in order to sow terror in the hearts of opponents, creating panic and disorder where there previously were none.
Unlike the majority of Space Marines, Blood Jaguars truly believe in the God-Emperor, worshipping him in their own strange way as the Sun-Emperor. He is the light that guides, the light that protects, and they raise up blood stained hands clutching hearts in his name. Though their path of worship is pagan in nature the Ecclesiarchy are close friends with the Jaguars and though they do not work 'for' the Church, they do work closely 'with' them.
The Long Night and the Coming of C'rtez
Tenocit’s peaceful history was shattered in 427.M35, when a warpstorm engulfed the planet’s star system, isolating its inhabitants from the Imperium. When the storm commenced the stars went dark, and the Sun’s light dimmed. Given that the Sun holds deep significance for the people of Tenocit, as they believe it to be a representation of the God Emperor, there was mass panic. Thousands were sacrificed on the sacred alters to appease the angry gods, but they remained silent. Tenocit remained in perpetual dusk, the wan rays of the Sun only barely able to maintain life.
Catastrophic famine was all but certain if order failed. Hectares of jungle were cleared for agriculture and vast numbers of citizens went forth into the wilderness to find food. With communications even between Hives failing, each settlement soon became largely autonomous. Population levels steadily decreased, mainly through violence, hunger and the ever-constant sacrifices. It is said that the blood never dried on the great Altar of the Sun in Technochtitlan during the whole Long Night, such were the numbers of those offered up upon it.
With the Sun fading, it was perhaps inevitable that some citizens would turn to darker powers. Tenocit had always walked a fine line between faith and heresy thanks to its practice of human sacrifice, and with the coming of the Long Night, the line was crossed. Whispers spread that the Sun was darkened because the Emperor had died, and his light was fading. Hope, fear and desperation drove thousands into the worship of the Ruinous Powers. Hives began to discover hidden alters in the depths of their structures, where citizens had been sacrificed upon and their hearts offered to Chaos. Acts of terrorism against Imperial officials and offices sharply increased.
To maintain order, the Blood Jaguars were called upon to purge the Hives. The reputation of the Chapter was well known to Imperial officials on Tenocit, but they felt they had no other choice. The first hive to be cleansed was Technochtitlan. Level by level, hab by hab, the Blood Jaguars relentlessly sought out any trace of corruption. The cults present in the Hive made the suicidal choice to engage the Blood Jaguars openly, attacking the Astartes in a great battle on the holy square before the Temple of the Sun. They believed their dark gods would grant them victory. They did not.
After the massacre at the Temple, the remaining cultists on Tenocit began to slip away from the Hives, sensing that remaining hidden from the Blood Jaguars would be impossible. They sought the protection of the deep jungles and began to rebuild their numbers. The Astartes purge continued for eleven years before finally being declared successful. The comparatively small number of cultists caught in the later years was considered proof of effectiveness. But the Blood Jaguars were not convinced. They sensed that the battle was far from over.
Evidence for the cult’s continued existence was dramatically revealed in 484.M35 when a vast horde of screaming cultists swept out of the jungles and besieged the Hive of Heuxotla. Taken by surprise, the few Imperial defenders, mainly Arbetes units, were slaughtered in the first few hours. The cultists proceeded to butcher nearly three thousand citizens on impromptu alters to appease their patron gods. Yet as quickly as they arrived, they departed, melting back into the jungles. The Blood Jaguars were unable to respond fast enough.
Time and time again, the cultists followed this pattern. Small groups would instill terror by snatching captives from farms or outposts, whilst larger groups raided settlements and even Hives. The Blood Jaguars seemed powerless to stop this method of attack. Their numbers were too few and their communication lines severed due to the Warp storm. Punitive raids into the jungle netted few cultists, as the Astartes formations were too obvious. The Codex Astartes called for strong defences and surgical strikes to defeat this type of attack, but neither option was viable. New tactics were called for.
Captain Xipet T'otec of the Third Company was the first to suggest new methods. He argued for turning the terror tactics of the cultists against them. Instead of combat squads, individual brothers should be trained to operate independently, using the jungle as cover and sowing terror and disruption in the heart of the enemy. In the dense jungles, long ranged weaponry would be useless, so the Blood Jaguars should focus their training on hand to hand combat. T’otec faced great resistance from within the Chapter, but the Captain was given permission to follow these new tactics. Results at this point were more important than doctrine.
Captain T’otec’s ideas bore fruit. Over the next two years his Company successfully managed to eliminate three cultist groups in his assigned area, and attacks on Imperial citizens dropped by 57%. Intelligence gained from captives indicated that the terror tactics were working, as cultists were fleeing to other regions, terrified of T’otec’s "Jungle wraiths". Following this success, other Blood Jaguar companies began to follow T’otec’s doctrines, but it was only after the catastrophic Battle of the Monastery that they were adopted large scale.
Realising that the Blood Jaguars were proving to be far more troublesome foes than originally thought, cult leaders planned to go after the source, and planned a massed assault on the Blood Jaguar’s Fortress Monastery. Five separate cults, each dedicated to one of the major Chaos Gods, came together for the attack. The Blood Jaguars present at the Monastery included Chapter Master Tlacaelel, the whole of Fourth Company, and the majority of the company’s vehicles and Techmarines.
The attackers did not achieve complete surprise; Third Company intelligence had hinted at a major attack in the sector and the Blood Jaguars were on the alert. Nevertheless they did not anticipate that the cultists would be so bold as to attack the Monastery of the Gods. When the attack began, calls for aid were sent out to all Blood Jaguar forces on Tenocit once the scale of the assault became clear. The defence of the Fortress would have been far more effective had the Fourth Company not fallen to the Black Rage. Disdaining their superior positions in cover, they swept out to engage the cultists in close combat. Every Brother who fell claimed a hundred cultists, but numbers were on the side of the attackers. By the time re-enforcements from the Third Company arrived under Captain T’otec, the Monastery had fallen. Rushing inside, the Third Company commander was just in time to see the heart of Chapter Master Tlacaelel being offered as sacrifice to an unspeakable warp entity. Such was the strength of the offering that a Daemon Prince began to manifest, but T’otec ripped the cultist priest apart and disrupted the ritual. The Daemon screamed in defiance as the warp reclaimed it. T’otec stared into its eyes with pure hatred.
With their Chapter Master dead and their Monastery in ruins, the Blood Jaguars turned to the one Brother who had managed to defeat the cultists. Captain Xipet T’otec was made Chapter Master and his new tactics were put into full effect. Having lost their vehicles and most of their Techmarines, there was little other option. T’otec refused to rebuild the Monastery, declaring that until the Long Night ended, the Blood Jaguar’s place was in the field, holding off the forces of the Ruinous Powers.
Perhaps when Master T’otec made his declaration, he did not expect the storm to last as long as it did. For two hundred years, Tenocit was cut off from the Imperium. During this time, the Blood Jaguars put T’otec’s teachings into full effect, disdaining the Codex Astartes. Cultist numbers slowly decreased as their hidden strongholds were purged. By 631.M35, the Blood Jaguar victory seemed complete. And yet, the Long Night remained. Clearly there remained some final act left to play.
The climax of the Long Night struck late in 631.M35 when a hidden cult in the Hive of Xolotl enacted a blasphemous ritual. Desperate to end the Long Night, they seized the governor of Xolotl and offered his heart in sacrifice, along with the lives of every cult member in the Hive. The ritual succeeded, but not in the way the cultists expected. Instead of the Warp storm vanishing, reality was torn asunder and a Daemonic horde poured forth into Xolotl Hive. At its head was the Daemon Prince C’rtez, the same who had nearly been summoned in the Monastery of the Gods.
The Hive’s population stood no chance. Warp spawn slaughtered every citizen, but their lust for killing allowed the Blood Jaguars enough time to reach the Hive. What followed was a battle that entered into legend. It culminated in Chapter Master T’otec ripping out the heart of C’rtez atop the Hive spire. As he stood there and offered the heart up to the Sun, the skies cleared, and the light of the Sun Emperor flooded back. Although at dreadful cost, the Long Night was ended.
Imperial authorities were astonished when Tenocit emerged from the Warp storm. The Blood Jaguars themselves were equally amazed when they were informed that the Imperium had written off Tenocit as lost, as the Warp storm had lasted for over two thousand years. Imperial authorities on Tenocit explained that the Long Night had for them lasted merely two hundred years, a fact which the Inquisition went to great lengths to examine, before finally attributing the time dilation to the nature of the Warp itself.
Tenocit, homeworld of the Blood Jaguars, is a hive world unlike virtually any other, for instead of pollution-choked wastelands, the landscape of the planet is verdant primordial jungle. Tendrils of creepers and dense forest reach right up to the very walls around most hives on Tenocit, save for the planetary capital of Technochtitlan, which is situated at the centre of a vast lake. Technochtitlan Hive is separated into four sections; the Spire of the Stars being the primary spaceport, the Spire of the Sun being dedicated to the Ecclesiarchy, the Spire of Offerings houses the planetary governor and Administratum, and the Spire of the Earth is where workers live. The Hives of Tenocit are much more pyramidal than most Imperial Hives, which seems to have its roots in the cultural practices of the native peoples in the Age of Strife.
Tenocit’s unusually verdant geography owes its survival to two factors. The first is the high oxygen content of the atmosphere; around 38% as opposed to a more typical 21% on colonised worlds. This would be of little consequence if not for the second factor, which is a unique fungus, Mortem Sacco, that grows around the roots of most trees on Tenocit. This heterotroph looks unremarkable at first, save for the bulbous sack-like growths that characterise it, but it is how it produces these tubers that makes it invaluable. The fungus actively absorbs heavy metals and harmful chemicals from the soil and air, storing them in the growths it produces. When full, the sealed bulbs drop off and, protected by a tough shell, remain safely isolated for decades. The fungus does this for two reasons; the first is simply survival; by removing these harmful substances from the soil, the trees the fungus needs to grow on are more likely to survive and reach new heights. The other is that the storage of these materials is simply a by-product of the fungus taking in nutrients for itself.
The Imperium naturally has seen the value of Mortem Sacco and several unsuccessful attempts have been made to transplant the fungus to the many Imperial worlds choked by pollution. Unfortunately, Mortem Sacco requires a high level of atmospheric oxygen to survive, and on all the worlds it has been taken to thus far, it has failed to take hold. For the inhabitants of Tenocit, the fungus is considered a blessing from the Sun Emperor and the bulbs are regularly collected from accessible regions of jungle and brought to the Hives, where they are crushed and the industrial useful substances within them extracted. Collection of the bulbs can be highly profitable; one consortium has risen to the status of the nobility solely through harvesting.
Tenocit has many unusual species of flora and fauna, from the jewelled rotorbird to the mighty Onyaguara. The Onyaguara (Panthera Tenoceta) is a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the Tenocit food chain, and the Animal most commonly associated with the Blood Jaguars. A compact and well-muscled animal well adapted to Tenocit's Jungles, the Onyaguara is an opportunistic hunter and its diet encompasses at least 87 species, including unfortunate aspirants who happen to be too close to a hungry Onyaguara. An Aspirant who succeeds in escaping one is seen as marked by the Sun Emperor for great things. The Onyaguara has long been a symbol of power and strength to the nobles of Tenocet.
The Fortress Monastery of the Blood Jaguars sits atop the ruined Hive of Xolotl, deep in the untamed jungles of Tenocit. Formally the Hive governor’s palace, the Monastery is known by its local name of Tehuantepec, which loosely translated into low Gothic means “The hill of wild animals”. Another translation however is “The hill of Daemons”, and given the history of the Hive, this is quite fitting. The palace is situated on the site of the Blood Jaguar’s greatest victory; the defeat of the Daemon incursion lead by the Daemon Prince of Khorne, C’rtez. In the ruins of the governor’s mansion, the titanic warp spawn fought in single combat with T’otec, Chapter Master of the Blood Jaguars whilst his battle brothers engaged the daemon’s forces. Cornered, with no lines of retreat, every Blood Jaguar fought with unbridled ferocity, but it was T’otec who showed the greatest savagery. Though the Chapter Master’s skin was flayed from his body, he pressed on, and in one final move drove his barbed power fist deep into the daemon’s chest, and pulled out its still beating heart. With the death of their general the warp storm shuddered, and the remaining daemons and fled into the immaterium, leaving the Blood Jaguars standing amidst utter destruction. Their master finally collapsed from his wounds, but was interred in the holy sarcophagus of a Dreadnought, where he still resides.
At the centre of the monastery sits the Chapter’s most prized relic: the heart of C’rtez, still held firm by the gauntlet that plucked it from the daemon’s body. A stasis field prevents the heart from being reclaimed by the warp, and it is said that if ever it beats once more, C’rtez has been reborn, and the Chapter will stop at nothing to hunt down and destroy the beast again. On the walls that once held paintings and priceless trinkets, stone carvings tell the story of T’otec’s duel and the battle for the Hive, along with the history of the chapter. Where once the lord’s throne sat, a great altar has been erected, and it is here that heretics and daemons are sacrificed to the Sun Emperor.
The Dark Road to the Sun
The path to becoming a Blood Jaguar or a Sister of the Martyred Heart is not an easy one. The Jaguars and Sisters will only commence training when an aspirant has completed a long and dangerous task known as the Dark Road to the Sun. It is as much a spiritual journey as it is a physical one, and an aspirant who is deficient in either soul or body will not complete it. It is also a hidden journey, for the Blood Jaguars only reveal the first step. The rest must be uncovered by the aspirant.
Each year in the major hives, a contest known as the Ascent to Heaven is held. The objective seems simple enough; the contestants must start at the base of their Hive and ascend all the way to the very top spire. But three things make this task immeasurably harder. The first is that they cannot use any kind of transport. The second is that captured beasts from the jungle wilds are released into the Hive streets. The final is that the only weapons allowed are obsidian knives. Citizens in the Hive not participating in the contest remain either in their habs, or safely behind barricades. It goes without saying that normal life more or less ceases in the Hives when the festival is held, making the period a time of relaxation and recreation. The progress of the contestants is also eagerly followed, with live footage of their progress broadcast throughout the Hive.
Typically the finest contestants take around one week to reach the top of their Hive. When they reach the summit, the first ten to arrive find a lone figure waiting for them, clad in power armour. Typically this is the only chance that a citizen will ever see one of the elusive Blood Jaguars, and the competition for this honour is fierce. The giant will say nothing until presented with a feather, skull, or talon from a beast killed during the Ascent. If such a trophy is shown, the Blood Jaguar will speak these words and these words only: “The Dark Road awaits. You must walk it until you reach the Sun. Your first step has been taken. Seek now the Pyramids where blood was once spilled. They will lead you to your goal.”
These may seem like vague instructions, but it is not so. Nearby to each major hive is a Pyramid Altar in the jungle, typically overgrown and half consumed by greenery. Once, they were where the beating hearts of criminals were torn out and offered to the gods, but after the Long Night and the Inquisition’s arrival on Tenocit in the aftermath, the practice was deemed heretical and was suppressed. Their location is well known to locals of the Hive, but they are almost never visited, for fear of punishment by the Ecclesiarchy. Unbeknownst to the Inquisition however, the Blood Jaguars have co-opted the Pyramid Altars for their own purposes, inscribing the history of their chapter into the walls of these shrines, as well as the information needed to continue down the Dark Road.
Each altar contains information about how to reach the next Pyramid, but typically the information is only made clear if the aspirant has deciphered previous inscriptions. For example, one Pyramid tells the aspirant to “Seek out the place where rage consumed us”. These directions are useless without the knowledge that it was at the Monastery of the Gods that the Fourth Company succumbed to the Black Rage and were wiped out during the Long Night, and the location of the Monastery, both of which are inscribed on previous Pyramids.
The Dark Road eventually ends at the ruined Hive of Xolotl, deep in the wilderness. At the orders of the Inquisition the location of the Hive has been permanently removed from all records and maps due to the Daemonic incursion that occurred there, and as such it is not an easy place to find. The jungle has consumed the once mighty Hive, and now its appearance resembles that of a great outcrop of rock in the canopy, with trees, vines and creepers riddled through its structure. Inside, predators stalk along roads that once held bustling crowds, and fetid ponds accumulate in ancient cisterns. Here and there, traces of the titanic battle can be seen, but fears of lingering Daemonic forces are unfounded. The truth about what happened at Xolotl may have been suppressed, yet local superstition and folklore are not so easily covered up.
The Road is cyclical in nature. Now that the Aspirant has reached the final stage of their journey, he or she must complete the same step they took at the beginning, only this time, there is no waiting medicae to tend their wounds should they fall, and no easy pathways through the tangled maze of collapsed steel and crushing roots. Now they understand why the Blood Jaguars choose their members in this way. Just as the Jaguar themselves fought their way from the earth towards the sun, against impossible foes, so must the aspirant do the same. If the reach the top, they will emerge from darkness into the light, just as Tenocit did when C’rtez was slain. And waiting for them will be two figures. One they will recognise as a Blood Jaguar, but the other may be a mystery. Clad in power armour of a different kind, the figure is clearly female. She is a member of the Adepta Sororitas, of the Order of the Martyred Heart, and she will take any female who has walked the Dark Road with her instead. The Order considers knowledge of the Blood Jaguar’s history to be vital to understanding Tenocit and why the Order is important, and the process will have weeded out those lacking in faith. But first, aspirants of either sex face questions. Their knowledge of the inscriptions they have read will be tested, and if they are found lacking, they have failed. They may walk the path once more to gain its knowledge and try again.
If they pass the Test of Knowledge, the Test of Faith follows. The aspirant must offer up a bulb of Mortem Sacco which is then cracked open. Inside, most of the putrid chemicals and metals that the fungus has leeched out of the soil are mixed with psychotropic compounds by a Librarian. Each aspirant must then breathe the fumes in deeply. In their minds, they are transported to the past. They see the skies darken, and the screaming mobs tearing their flesh in the streets of the Hives. They see the altars running red with blood, but for each heart that is offered up, the heavens grow darker. They see the forces of the Great Enemy emerging from the jungles and the desperate battles against them. They see the Battle of the Monastery, where the Black Rage cost a Chapter its Master. Finally, they are placed in the Hive of Xolotl, on the day that C’rtez manifested. Male aspirants see themselves clad in the armour of Blood Jaguar, females as Sororitas. They must fight the battle as their forebears did, and this is no mock battle either. If you are slain in the dream, the best you can hope for is to wake up and find you have failed the test. It is not unheard of for aspirants to go insane from what they see and experience.
When C’rtez is slain and the Long Night ended, the dream ends, and the aspirants must face one final challenge, the Test of Strength. The dregs of poison in the Mortem Sacco pods they carried up the Hive are ingested. This represents the battle against corruption that any Blood Jaguar or Sororitas must face. The industrial sludge and metals will kill the weak, just as corruption will. Some fail at this final step. They will be revived and purged of the toxins, and allowed to walk the path once more. Strength can take time to gain. Perhaps with another journey, such strength can be found.
With success, the aspirant is deemed worthy. They have walked the Dark Road, and come through darkness; the forest canopy, their ignorance of Tenocit’s true history, the Long Night and the ruined Hive of Xolotl, and they have emerged into the light of the Sun. They have been reborn. Now they will be inducted into the ranks of the Blood Jaguars or Sororitas, where their training to fight the Sun Emperor’s myriad enemies will begin. They will travel to distant stars to fight unknown foes. But always the Light of the Sun Emperor will be with them. And if they fall in His service, their sacrifice shall not be in vain. For as always, Sacrifice Brings Salvation.
The Order of the Martyred Heart
Every year, many youths travel to attempt to climb the pyramid of the gods, to be chosen to become a Blood Jaguar. Both boys and girls set off, but only boys arrive at the pyramid for the rite of ascension. Stories and rumour spread from hive to hive, talking about horrific monsters that prey on those who travel in the thick jungle, or of the women being chosen by the Blood Jaguars as their brides.
The truth of the matter is a well kept secret.
On the far side of the planet from the Blood Jaguars' fortress-monastery lies a small convent of the Adepta Sororitas, located on an island in the middle of a colossal river, they are members of the Order of the Martyred Heart, an offshoot of the Order of the Valourous Heart. The Sisters track down each girl attempting to do what none have before done, and seize them, taking them back to their convent, where they are raised and trained in the lessons of the Martyred Heart.
The Martyred Heart and Blood Jaguars are allies, and it is not unknown for the Martyred Heart to provide artillery support for the Jaguars in battle.
The Martyred Heart are also unique in having a small stockpile of the incredibly rare Volkite Weapons, dating back to the Great Crusade itself. These Weapons are seen as symbols of the Sun-Emperor's divine judgement, and are both weapon and holy relic to the Sisters.
Though originally formed within the dictates of the Codex Astartes, the Blood Jaguars were forced to revise their Chapter organisation and tactics during the events of The Long Night and the Coming of C'rtez in M35. Though the Chapter attempted to initially adhere to the Codex, adjustments to the structure of the their companies were necessitated in order to fight against the upsurge of Chaos Cultists who utilized guerrilla and terror tactics in order to achieve their nefarious goals of mass destruction and death. Soon, the Blood Jaguars learned to adopt the use of such tactics and began to streamline their Chapter's organisational structure, with its echelons being biased in make-up towards line infantry formations. These formations became a hybrid of tactical/close assault troops for the main part, supported by dedicated scout squads and dedicated heavy assault units such as Terminators and specialized units of jump pack-equipped assault marines. This organisation lent itself well to a highly aggressive strategic posture and belligerent tactics, which while extremely costly in terms of casualties, are also highly effective. The rank structure of the Blood Jaguars remains simple and direct.
Each company is a self-sustaining entity, completely autonomous and quick to lend their aid to Imperial commanders across the galaxy, with or without the sanction of their Chapter Master. Despite some misgivings by their fellow Space Marine Chapters, this fluidity of command proves the presence of the Chapter's formidable discipline, not its absence. The Blood Jaguars maintain a high degree of flexibility in their deployments and structures, and in battle favor assault tactics over all else, however each battle-brother is fully expected to be proficient in Tactical, Assault and even Scout duties, as well as being skilled in the operation of all the Chapter's remaining vehicles. In theaters of war, individual squads are able to rapidly change their role to suit the mission and equipment on hand. In addition, the 1st Company has broken from the tradition of most Space Marine Chapters, as it is not a pure veteran force, as so few Blood Jaguars are able to withstand the pressure of the Black Rage long enough to gain such status. Instead, individual squads of Veteran Marines are formed within each company out of the most accomplished warriors they still possess.
Apothecaries are modified Sanguinary Priests, giving the blood of Sanguinius to Neophytes through a bloodletting ritual instead of by drinking. They favor obscuring masks and spend much time amongst themselves, their own little coven of priests.
Librarians also take on a religious role, leading many major services dedicated to the Sun Emperor (he who walks the darkest road shines brightest.) They decorate armor in midnight blue with solar designs, and are the most pious. Most of the Blood Jaguars respect them as some of the most important among their ranks.
The Centzon Tlaloc are the Blood Jaguar equivalent of the Sanguinary Guard found in the Blood Angel and their fellow Successor Chapters. They alone are allowed to wear the limited numbers of Terminator Armour the chapter has. They are known for their ardour and unwavering devotion, tasked with the ultimate safety of the Chapter Master. On rare occasions, they are also assigned as guards for other commanders as a sign of Xipet T'otec's favour.
The Tlīltik Ocelotl or 'Black Jaguars', are the Chapter's equivalent of the Blood Angels' infamous Death Company, which is not an actual part of the Blood Jaguars' standard organisation of ten companies. This company stands apart from the rest of the Chapter as a separate entity, and is made up of those battle-brothers who have completely succumbed to the psychosis of the Black Rage. These unstoppable and fanatical berserkers are led into battle by one of the Chapter's Tlamacazqui (Chaplains), who maintain a tenuous hold over this formation of psychotic killers. Every warrior in their ranks is a boon on the battlefield, possessed of righteous strength and holy fury. Armoured in black and gold, and marked by the symbolic wounds suffered by their fallen Primarch Sanguinius, the 'Black Jaguars' are a grim foreshadowing of the Blood Jaguars Chapter's final fate. Every warrior in their ranks is a boon on the battlefield, possessed of righteous strength and holy fury. Yet once the storm of war passes, madness and execution are all that await these tormented souls, driven past redemption by the curse in their tainted blood.
The Blood Jaguars maintain very few serfs, as the bulk of their failed aspirants either die during the Dark Road Under the Sun or are sacrificed (some even offering themselves in an attempt to make up for perceived sin.) Their Techmarines are also not terribly well-provisioned, and are very few in number, most of the chapter's weapons are heavily modified and very old. Many in the Mechanicus do not approve, and do not take many of their Battle-Brothers to Mars for training.
The Blood Jaguars use modified versions of standard Astartes wargear, including:
- Macahuitl-Pattern Chainsword - The Blood Jaguars use modified versions of standard Astartes wargear. Instead of utilise the standard-issue Chainsword, the Astartes of this Chapter prefer to use Macahuitl-Pattern Chainswords, which have two sides (to avoid jamming) and use obsidian-tipped teeth. These weapons are brutally effective in melee, spraying gore in all directions, but lack some penetration power and may even shatter under extreme stress.
- Tenocit-Pattern Bolters - Tenocit-pattern bolters are also utilised by the Chapter in lieu of the standard Ryza and Tigrus patterns commonly used by most Space Marine Chapters, and are often decorated with the bones of local megafauna and religious pictographs.
The Blood Jaguars Chapter sees no honour in any other form of combat than man to man, eye to eye. It eschews many other aspects of war, and always seeks to deliver the killing blow in person, at the very speartip of battle. Battle-Brothers from the Chapter are temperamentally or doctrinally ill-disposed towards other tactics, and are often overcome with the desire to witness in person the death of their foes. Some indulge in gristly rituals to prove their measure in close combat such as the taking of heads or ripping out the foe's still-beating heart before his very eyes.
Hand-to-hand combat is the Chapter's preferred form of warfare. Their primary goal is to successfully deliver the killing force of the Chapter, where they can inflict the most harm and come to grapple with their foes at close quarters. The Blood Jaguars have a preponderance of close combat weaponry habitually carried by its rank-and-file. In addition to the use of ubiquitous combat blades, even Battle-Brothers attached to reconnaissance squads and vehicle crews commonly carry chainblades, flay-cutters and mono-serrated bayonets, back-up knives and other assorted bladed weapons. In dedicated assault units this profusion of bloody killing tools is added to by a weapon that dates back to the ancient feral tribes of Tenocit, the or Macuahuitl, a traditional wooden war-club, its sides embedded with prismatic blades traditionally made from obsidian, which is capable of producing an edge sharper than high quality steel razor blades. This weapon has been adopted as the Macuahuitl-pattern chainsword, which has two sides, and whose chain mechanism incorporates obsidian-tipped teeth, which are brutally effective in close-quarters combat. This weapon is sometimes seen by outsiders as a symbol of the Blood Jaguars themselves - barbaric, brutal and savage - a remorseless killing machine with but one purpose - to slaughter the Sun Emperor's foes.
In battle, the Blood Jaguars are also known to make use of terror tactics, elevating fear itself as a weapon, and cowing entire star systems into submission through their fearful and bloody acts. These punishments are intended to be at their most visceral and personal, ensuring that they sow fear and confusion amongst their enemies. The Chapter's Scout Marines are masters of stealth, able to infiltrate a position quickly and silently. Once prepared, the Chapter will often launch sudden, shockingly brutal ambushes or unconventional attacks intended to thin an foe's ranks or simply sow chaos amongst the enemy. Sentries disappear from their assigned posts, only to show up later as headless corpses, or their heads displayed on wooden spikes, driving their prey into paroxysms of terror. Through the use of such brutal and bloody-handed tactics, the Chapter is able to ensure far less ultimate loss of life than a conventional war might have bought
Like all Chapters of The Blood, the Blood Jaguars too, bears all the hallmarks of lineage of the Blood Angels. This is especially true of the affliction known as the Black Rage - the all-consuming berserker rage caused by the psychic imprint of Sanguinius's final memories, which causes an afflicted battle-brother to lose himself, as he comes to believe he is the Great Angel himself, fighting during the Battle of Terra during the closing days of the Horus Heresy. Like their genetic forebears, the Blood Jaguars are also known to fall to the curse of the Black Rage far more often than members of any other Chapter descended from Sanguinius' lineage. This is believed to have been caused by extreme genetic-drift within their gene-seed, but their combat doctrines and military philosophy may also influence the frequency of the tragic psycho-genetic syndrome.
Unlike the Blood Angels and their other Successors, the Blood Jaguars are far further along in the descent into madness and their gene-seed carries a heightened version of the flaw which may well spell their complete annihilation within the space of a few short solar decades. This means that even the most mentally stable and strong-willed of the Blood Jaguars feels the touch of the Black Rage and the pull of the Red Thirst, knowing full well that it is only a matter of time before they succumb and the madness takes them completely.
For unknown reasons, the Blood Jaguars succumb to the Black Rage far more than many other Successor Chapter of the Blood Angels, and therefore these Astartes are currently dwindling in overall numbers. Numerous efforts have been taken to attempt to mitigate the sudden and severe onset of the Black Rage among the Chapter's Battle-Brothers. The adoption of nightly bloodletting and purification rituals have not been shown to assist Battle-Brothers in their efforts to resist the Black Rage, nor has it mitigated the syndrome's effects once a Space Marine has entered the latter stages of the curse.
Like many Chapters descended from the lineage of the Great Angel, the Blood Jaguars also suffer from the genetic flaw known as the Red Thirst, an overwhelming desire to physically taste their enemies' blood. Unfortunately, when this trait is combined with the Black Rage it can devolve into outright cannibalistic assaults by the enraged Space Marines. The cursed Astartes of the Blood Jaguars seem doomed to watch the ongoing collapse of their beloved Chapter. Even as they revel in the destruction of the Sun-Emperor's foes, they must also watch as their comrades give in to the curse of Sanguinius' gene-seed. In spite of this, they remain valiant servants of the Imperium. Rather than give in to woe and despair, they constantly strive to fight against the curse as bravely as they fight those who oppose Mankind. As true tragic heroes, the Blood Jaguars remain devoted to their cause, even in the face of ultimate defeat.
Primarch's Curse: Dark Fury
When the Chapter's genetic curse manifests itself in an affected Battle-Brother, it comes on in three stages:
- Stage 1 - Extreme Frenzy: The Battle-Brother completely loses control when he frenzies and finds it almost impossible to claw his way back to reason as long as there are foes to fight and blades drawn. Even when foes are not near, the madness of Frenzy grips him and he rages endlessly for battle and blood, howling out his anger and striking the ground with his blade. The Battle-Brother must take care, lest he lose control at any moment. Any time the Battle-Brother takes damage, is confronted with a clear threat, or is put in position of great stress, he must summon all his willpower in order to contain his fury for the duration of an encounter with an enemy.
- Stage 2 - Blood Madness: The Blood Jaguar's thirst for the blood of their foes when in the grips of the Red Thirst and long to see it spilled across the ground in great arcs and gouts. They also crave the feeling of hot blood on their skin and splattering across their armour, staining the dark red battle-plate a darker shade still. The Battle-Brother must engage foes in close combat if possible, either making melee attacks against them or shooting point blank with pistols so that their blood spills at his feet. When he downs a foe, he must resist the urge to hack or blast the foe's corpse apart. If the Battle-Brother is attacked by a new foe while he is in this state while hacking at another foe, he will turn his attention to his new attacker instead.
- Stage 3 - Animal Within: Near the end, an afflicted Blood Jaguar is little more than an animal filled with fury and madness striking out at all those around him. While he may still have lucid moments where he remembers the warrior he once was, these are fleeting and quickly gone to be replaced with only the thought of killing and the thirst for blood, and he will attack the nearest target (friend or foe) if there is more than one to choose from. At this point, the Battle-Brother is completely within the grip of the Black Rage and must be transferred to the 'Black Jaguars', the Chapter's Death Company.
Xipet T'otec: Current Chapter Master of the Blood Jaguars Chapter, Xipet T'otec is a figure of legend among the Blood Jaguars. Possessing bloodlust, self-control, and a tactical mind, he quickly rose through the ranks, becoming the Chapter Master in M38, while the warp storm still isolated Tenocit from the rest of the Imperium. Though changes to the battle doctrine of the Blood Jaguars had unofficially existed during their 2000 years of isolation, T'otec made these changes part of the standard organization of the Chapter, disregarding the Codex in many ways. Soon after, a warp incursion on their homeworld occurred, and the Blood Jaguars rose to meet it. T'otec faced C'rtez, a Daemon Prince of Khorne, in hand to hand combat; songs are still sung by the people of Tenocit of that day. Battered, broken, and skinned alive, T'otec emerged the victor, shoving his gauntlet into the Daemon Prince's chest and ripping his heart from his body before kicking the corpse off the top of the hab spire. Interred in the sacred hull of the chapter's relic Contemptor Dreadnought soon after, he still is officially the Chapter Master of the Blood Jaguars, though he has not been awakened in two centuries. With the coming of the Age of the Dark Imperium, it is rumored he walks again.
Quetzuma: Formerly known as Leon Galin, he was originally a veteran warrior and senior commander of the Flesh Tearers Chapter. Captain Galin was chosen to become the founder of the newly-incepted Blood Jaguars Chapter. Captain Galin was awarded this esteemed honour after a spectacular victory over a Drukhari raiding force. After coming to the world of Tenocit, he adopted a new name, Quetzuma, in honour of the people who lived there. While originally planning on following the dictates of the Codex Astartes and the teachings of his own chapter to the letter, but instead, he fell in love with the customs and culture of his adopted homeworld. He studied its myths and legends and, with the aid of a local Abbess of the Sisters of Battle, devised the unique customs and rituals of the Chapter from these myths. He met his end early, leading his young chapter against a large Ork WAAAGH!!! that threatened a nearby agri-world. Facing down the gargantuan Ork Warlord and his large retinue of Nobz, alone and cut off from support, Quetzuma fought through their ranks until only he and the great Warlord remained. Fighting tooth and nail, weapons lost to both, the great Quetzuma tore the throat of the massive Ork out with his fangs, while the warlord ripped the valiant warrior's arms from their sockets. Dying, he asked the Sanguinary Priests to perform the death ritual of his new homeworld. With bloody tears, the priest cut Quetzuma's heart from his chest. All the warriors present took a bite from the still-beating heart, taking a piece of their patriarch and spiritual father into themselves. The young warrior that swallowed the last mouthful of bloody organ was named Quetzuma's successor. This ritual lives on, and is performed for all the chapter masters upon their death, their heart shared amongst his closest companions with the new leader being chosen from among their ranks.
Magwar the Heart-Eater: The current head of the Blood Jaguar's chaplains, as a youth he was raised by the native temple priests and took the dark road to the sun at an especially early age. The men who raised him rejoiced, for if he should succeed they knew he would become a legend, and if he failed, his righteous heart would burn brightly in the Sun-Emperor's embrace. He became a Jaguar, and his zeal became strengthened. He took to the path of the chaplain, and lectures often on faith after a battle, the heart of a fallen enemy clenched in his fist and sacrificial dagger bloody. More than anything, he believes it is only through death that man is redeemed. He sees the carving of the heart from still living heretics as their path to salvation, as through their final suffering they can finally see the true glory of the Sun-Emperor. In a way, he envies his victims, as they become closer to his god in that final moment than he shall ever be in life. In many ways, he now leads the Chapter while their official master slumbers in his tomb.
Captain Tenoch: Captain of the Blood Jaguars 10th Company and Master of Recruits, Tenoch is a rough, nasty drill instructor that is considered something of a living Chapter relic. He has been the captain of the tenth company for as long as any living Jaguar can remember. Distinctive in his onyaguara pelt and constantly nursing a sniper rifle, he commands the initiates with a ruthlessness bordering on sadism. Some say he has a soft spot for the Sisters, but not to his face. Its said the Sisters have a name for him, 'Papa Jaguar'. Any Jaguar recruit who dares repeat it soon finds themselves in the sights of the eternally foul instructor.
"You will be of a different sacrifice. You have the honor of feeding the giver of life. Our altar is beneath you. His table is not. All psykers are meant for the life giver's table." - Blood Jaguar Chaplain, talking to a psyker captured and convicted of murder, formerly scheduled to meet execution as a sacrifice of the Blood Jaguars
"He who has walked the darkest road knows the light of the Sun best."
"We never forget. We merely lay in wait." - Motto of the Blood Jaguar scouts
"You shall not win this day, Daemon! I shall ensure Tenocit endures! Your bloodied master may not have this world! And when I send you to meet him, tell him of how you lost this day to the servants of the Sun-Emperor! I say to you, warpspawn - I CURSE YOU!!! I cast you out! Back to the warp-spawned, black pit of foulness from whence you came!" -Xipet T'otec before engaging C'rtez in battle atop Hive Xolotl
Primogenitor: Blood Angels
Predecessor: Flesh Tearers
Codex Demeanor: Purity Above All
Characteristic Modifiers: +5 to Toughness and Willpower
Chapter Flaw: Eye to Eye
Codex Adherence: Unique
Combat Specialty: Terror Tactics
Solo Mode: Uses the Flesh Tearers, as described in Honor the Chapter.
Attack Pattern: Uses the Flesh Tearers, as described in Honor the Chapter.
Defensive Stance: Courage Under Fire, as described in Rites of Battle.
Primarch's Curse: Uses the Flesh Tearers, as described in Honor the Chapter.
Chapter Advance Table: Uses the Flesh Tearers, as described in Honor the Chapter.
Psychic Powers: Uses the Flesh Tearers, as described in Honor the Chapter.
Restriction: Cannot be Devastators
Sacrificial Dagger: Replaces combat knife; +1 Pen
- Feathers: +1 Cohesion
- Jaguar Pelt: +1 damage with tearing melee weapons
- Skull: +3 Intimidate