|Battle Cry||"One Heart of Blood! One Heart of Iron! We Carry both in our Chests!"|
|Chapter Master||Puro Corazón|
|Strength||Half strength(About 500 Marines)|
|Specialty||Close quarters Combat/Terror tactics|
|Colours||Blue and Red|
Possibly one of the most metal Chapters fa/tg/uys have made with the creation tables, being an Ultrasmurfs succesor chapter that basically says 'Fuck the Codex' and LITERALLY takes out the hearts of their enemies, augments them, and then shove them into their own chest cavities. Yea... they are kinda crazy.
- 1 The Cardinal Knights
- 2 Homeworld
- 3 Specific Events/Campaigns
- 4 Chapter Leaders
- 4.1 Master of Sanctity, Chapter Master Puro Corazón, Heart Taker
- 4.2 Urbanus "Rage Maul" Tragar, 3rd Company Librarian Captain
- 4.3 Threld Grislom, "The War Hearts" 4th Company Chaplain Captain
- 4.4 Chief Apothecary Sangue, the Old Ultra
- 4.5 Captain Cyprian Megalos
- 4.6 Rhydian the Vartanian, "Master of Ceremony" 9th Company Captain-Maintainer
- 5 Original threads
The Cardinal Knights
Founded in early M39 as Ultramarine successors, the Cardinal Knights are largely unique in their organization as well as their rituals. Upon their creation a unique flaw was found in their gene seed. In spite of being founded from the stable gene seed of the Ultrasmurfs, the Secondary heart was not usable. It was filled with benign tumours and useless. Upon discovering this, the chapter began to evolve an unorthodox set of rituals, mainly involving replacing the second heart. Believing in the inherent weakness of their own heart the chapter sought out the hearts of worthy foes, heavily augmenting them with cybernetics, and using them to replace their own useless secondary hearts. In addition, a Neophyte must eat his own useless secondary heart before becoming a full scout, and it is not uncommon or a brother to have only one heart for long periods of time, until he can find a worthy one. Ork hearts are typically used due to their relative strength, the chapter will sometimes use the hearts of renegades as well since they already fit rather nicely, after extensive augmentation and purification of course.
Currently the Chapter is lead by their Master of Sanctity and Chapter Master Puro Corazon, who has been entombed within a dreadnought sarcophagus after slaying the previous chapter master who was possessed and became a Daemon Prince of Khorne. He slew him by cutting open his chest, ripping out his heart and shoving it into his own chest cavity to make certain the Daemon could not return to the Warp. Suffice to say, they are pretty blood thirsty and big into the 'Rip and Tear' of other, similarly berserker loyalist chapter(see:Flesh Tearers), and are known for fielding every marine with a power fist and chainsword in addition to their Bolter and/or Bolt pistol. Their talent for CQB and their fearful rituals as well as the common tribal iconography of their armour they are quite talented with Terror tactics, using their screaming berserker nature to their advantage.
Also unlike their Progenitor, the Knights have a unique command structure. The Reclusiam, Librarium and Chapter command are all one, and every captain is both a Captain and a Chaplain or a Captain and Librarian. They also field no Devastators, believing their heavy ranged weapons to often destroy worthy hearts.
Ashardalon, located in the Segmentum Ultima near the Dominion of Storms, is a civilized ice planet.
Prior to it's rediscovery in M36 the people of Ashardalon were split between the barbaric nomad tribes and the city folk, who possessed technology on a level similar to late M2 Terra. All of the planet's cities were situated around Ashardalon's equator, as only there could the planet's temperature be considered pleasant. The tribesmen had learned to deal with the lower temperatures and roamed the planet's tundras and glaciers. To this day, there is great distrust between the citydwellers and the nomadic tribes, with the civilized Imperial citizens believing the barbarians to be 'impure' and with the nomads believing the city folk to be foul sorcerers.
After their planet's rediscovery, life for the city folk has been relatively comfortable, for the 41st millenium. They are not very likely to be eaten by a verocious predator of die from an infection. However for the barbarians not much changed. The civilized people had no interest in sharing their newfound tech with what they percieved to be brutal savages.and thus the barbarians stick to their nomadic ways.
While the exact culture of the tribes is different from one to the next, certain beliefs are held by almost all. Even with their rudimentary understanding of the human body, they understand the importance of the heart. It pumps blood through their body and it is the heart that makes sure their bodies don't freeze. As such, a lot of the tribals' religious ceremonies involve the drinking and bathing in blood as well as the eating or stabbing of hearts, both human and beast.
When the prophecies leading up to the founding of the chapter were made and a homeworld for the new chapter was chosen, it quickly became obvious the the citydwellers would not provide the necessary neophytes required to create proper Astartes. Yet the Imperial citizens would not knowingly except the elevation of the barbarians into the ranks of the Astartes. As such, the recruitment of savages is largely done in secret.
Singular marines are sent out into the cold wastelands. There they observe hunters and warriors, looking for the strongest tribes. Then the marine speaks to the tribal leaders, stirring up feelings of anger and displeasure, manipulating the tribes into sending their warriors to attack the cities. While the attacks are always stopped before they deal significant damage, those barbarian warriors that are deemed worthy are then taken by the Cardinal Knights to become Space Marines.
Traitors from within
'Heart Taker' is the 9th Chapter Master of the Cardinal Knights, their 8th chapter master was Alma Escura, who lead the chapter for some 3 centuries before he started to hear a voice in his head, telling him to seek out certain hearts, giving him advice that always lead to victory. Little did he know that the voice was in fact a daemon of Khorne, who planned not only to use the chapter to allow him to enter reality once more, but also turn them into his own personal army.
For over 40 years he guided them, pointing Escura in the directions that would benefit him and his lord, and after a while, began to slowly enter into the body of the chapter master, waiting for its moment to emerge, whilst drinking the souls of those slain by the chapter.
Not all within the chapter however where convinced of the purity of their goals. The Master of Sanctity Puro Corazón in particular, found the battles the chapter fought in to be interesting, and so began to try and find a pattern within their deployments. He noticed certain things in his research.
He noticed how the chapter would go to worlds that didn't seem to need aid, only for them to arrive just in time for them to meet some foe of the Imperium and catch them unawares, leaving them easy pickings for the chapter.
He noticed how, though they did battle with the numerous agents of chaos, very rarely did they face the servants of the Blood God, and when they did, it seemed to be only when others were in need of their aid to finish off the minions of Khorne.
He noticed how their chapter master had grown in combat prowess, how none could match him in the sparring cages, how no foe seemed to be able to do much but slow him down on the field of battle, and how he had recently taken to drinking the blood of his vanquished foes.
He noticed how many times the number eight came up in battle reports, be they numbers of guard regiments they fought beside, the total number of troops they deployed or even the total death toll.
He noticed the patterns the chapters deployments seemed to make, patterns that looked unusual to Corazón.
He saw all these things, things that may just be coincidences, but if the High Chaplain knew one thing it was this: coincidences take a lot of planning.
And so he began to seek out other brothers in important positions who where uneasy about the chapters victories, Epistolary Via, who had felt something prodding at his mind for some time now, Techmarine Cámaras, who had become concerned by the instructions he was given regarding the hearts meant for Escura and his closes subordinates, and Chief Apothecary Sangue, the oldest member of the chapter, who was troubled by the refusal of some of their brother to allow their gene-seeds to be tested,and the chapter masters refusal to allow him to force them to submit to testing.
With these members of the chapter with him Corazón began to find those he deemed loyal to the chapter, and began to plan the downfall of the man he now believed to be in the clutches of Chaos.
Unbeknownst to Corazón however, the daemon's plan was reaching its endgame. Alma Escura announced a great celebration was to be had to commemorate 48 years of glorious victory. Each side, unknowingly, were planning to reveal their hands at this gathering.
At the height of festival, Escura stood to make a speech. He spoke of the battles they had fought, the hearts they had taken, and the glories that they had won, most of them alone. Alone, he spoke, because that was how the chapter was best, away from the Imperial Guard, away from other Space Marines, away from the Imperium entirely. And what thanks, he asked, had they gotten for these acts. None. Sure, the world's they battled on where grateful, but what could they offer ones as strong as they where, what could anyone in the Imperium offer them, really? The Imperium was dying, and why should they fight for the losing side, when there were other causes they could serve, with masters that would have greater rewards, gifts fitting of warriors of their standards. It was then that Corazón spoke up.
He stood and questioned who Escura masters where, what these gifts they could give them where, and just how he came to know of them. When no answer came, he pushed onwards, throwing all the evidence he had gathered in his eight years of research out into the open. He demanded that Alma Escura answer him one question, why did he secretly collect the skulls of his enemies? Corazón declared there was only one reason he would do so, that he served the Chaos God Khorne. The Chaplain decried that the chapter master of the Cardinal Knights was a heretic, a traitor and a willing daemonhost. He gave the assembled marines an ultimatum; stand with this villain and sell their souls to Chaos, or side with him and strike down this traitor to the chapter and The Imperium. The response was instantaneous. Brother turned on brother as the feasting hall desensitise into anarchy. What struck Corazón was the number who fought in his favour out-weighted those who turned their backs on all they had stood for. Seeing what he had caused, the Chaplain raised his Crozius and charged his former chapter master. But the daemon, fearing its host would perish here, choose this moment to ascend. Though their spirits may have merged long ago, it was only now that they fused in body. The traitor's form warped and twisted into a Champion of Khorne, a form Escura felt could finally allow him to feast on all the blood and hearts he could want. But Corazón would not allow this heresy to continue.
Though a lesser man may have balked at the sight of this beast, the Chaplain was consumed with a fervour unlike any other. Though the daemon was far stronger, it was still in a new body, and this was an advantage that could be used. The battle only lasted minutes, but it felt longer to Corazón, who pushed his body beyond what even he though he was capable of as he dueled with this beast of the Blood God.
Finally the creature grabbed him, crushing his torso as it did, and lifted him into the air. The thing laughed, and said that the Chaplain had picked the wrong side, that he should have sided with Chaos, and how he was fighting for a dead master in a dying empire. And it was in this moment of gloating that Corazón struck.
Activating the device that Via and Cámaras had created, he watched as the former chapter master staggered back, brought low by the null-field projector they had created. Broken, with both hearts punctured, Corazón knew what he had to do. He got to his feet, staggered over to the daemon, and plunged his power fist into the foul creature's chest, ripping out the thing's still beating heart. He took the organ, ripped it free from the tubes connecting it to Escura body and with his other hand, struck the beast with his Crozius in the head, killing the weakened creature as the null-field had sapped most of its strength. Now came the tricky part.
Taking his weapon, he cut a great rip in his chest and forced the demonic organ in to the hole it created, knowing that with both his hearts ruptured, he had moments to live otherwise.
The heart seemed to squeeze itself into the hole, as though eager to take hold of the Chaplain. With his foe slain and his prize taken, Puro Corazón allowed himself to fall into the blackness of unconsciousness.
The Siege of Tellarix
For 7 years, the 5th company of the Cardinal Knights alongside a detachment of Salamanders held this lone hive city against an Ork Waaaaaagh!! Lead by Big Boss Wall-crusha, a renowned Orkish siege general.
for 7 years the Orks assaulted the city, being thrown back by the salamanders promethium and the Knights bolters. 3 Years in however, they broke the walls. The remaining 4 years were spent in a deadly street by street siege, with the Knights fighting viciously for every block, very step, every inch whilst the salamanders provided fire and protected the civilians. In the end, Boss Crusha fell like the rest, the Captain of the Knights claiming his heart for himself.
Though savage throughout the siege, they never harmed a civilian in all their blood lust, never gave in to hate, or despair... only fighting their enemies. Though taken aback by their culture, the Salamanders respected their piety, abilities, and righteous fury... even with their strange heart fetish. The 5th company left with 62% casualties, the Salamanders left with only 22%, and the civilians lost 18%
Scouring of Goulfbadd
The backwater world of Goulfbadd had 1 strategically important place, its massive Adamantium mines. After the forces of a Slaaneshi warband came to claim it, the Knights were dispatched, the entire 8th company.
The Slaaneshi force was at first easily repulsed, and the eigtht believed the fight had been beneath them... until they came back full force days later.
Outnumbered, outgunned, and with no way to call for backup the Knights withdrew into the mines, and fought a vicious guerrilla war with the massive warband
8th company - Annihilated to a man
Slaaneshi's - 87% casualties
The warband was crushed by the Imperial forces sent as backup, the Knights had no survivors. What gene seed could be salvaged was returned to the chapter
Reform VS Fundamentals
Ever since Chapter Master Corazón gave himself to seal away the Daemon that had possessed Alma Escura a problem has arisen within the knights, many companies have fallen into overzealous tactics that often get many of their own marines killed. Chapter Captains that use this to their advantage do not mind spilling marine blood in order to achieve their goal, especially if it means capturing an enemy's heart and inspiring zealousness in their troops. As a result the Chapter has become disorganized and hectic. Only a handful of captains have taken to reforming their marines by using themselves as figures of leadership and moral guidance, as a result some companies are more disciplined and organized than others. Due to their weakened state from devastating campaigns an internal conflict would be incredibly costly on the chapter as a whole so all of the companies are hesitant to begin fighting over the matter. As it stands it's not clear if the more zealous and berserker like approach is better over more disciplined and devout disciples but sooner or later one side will make a move to erase the other.
Master of Sanctity, Chapter Master Puro Corazón, Heart Taker
Puro Corazón has served as both Chapter Master and Master of Sanctity for the Cardinal Knights for almost 400 years. He is their 9th chapter Master. However, the events that have led to his entitlement as Master of the Chapter is not one most would hope to experience, and he has not so much led his chapter for 400 years as much as been a part of it.
The son of a holy man in his tribe, whose name he does not remember. Upon being taken by Cardinal Knights he had the honour of being chosen by the warriors of the Emperor. His faith and righteousness were quickly determined, and the Master of Sanctity took the fresh Puro under his wing. Learning the ways of the Chapter, their rituals and practices, oaths of fury and purity, and most importantly the rights of burial and ritual embalming and mummification of fallen brothers. He learned quickly and by the time he was a full fledged brother and Chaplain the Master of Sanctity had named him as Successor.
Puro Corazzon served as the Master of Sanctity for a century under the Head Librarian and Chapter Master Alma Escura, who he greatly respected. However, such was not made to last. He watched as Alma Escura grew rather strange and distant, seemingly leading his Chapter to many great victories and yet isolating himself further and further. Corazón grew suspicious, and began to investigate both his Chapter Master and the Chapter's long string of victories. It was not long before he realized the terrible truth, something he had thought was true in his gut for a long time now... Alma Escura was a servant of Khorne.
At the Great celebration Corazón finally brought his evidence forward, accused Alma Escura of heresy and declared him a traitor to the Emperor before the assembled Chapter. As the battle of the celebration began his suspicions were confirmed when Escura became a Daemon prince before his very eyes. The two dueled for a short time, and were it not for the device Corazón's compatriots had created he would have lost it. In the end, Escura was slain by his hand, and Corazón took the heart of the foul Daemon into his own chest, in order to trap the foul creature in this realm in a cage of piety and purity.
Now the heart is both his maintainer and his destroyer, giving him great power at the cost of destroying his body as it cannot corrupt his soul. He now fights it's corrupting influence every day, ensconced in his great Sarcophagus.
The Master of Sanctity has since been placed on life support in a Dreadnought, specifically designed to assist in the extraction of the hearts of enemies. Though he is in a coma like state of deactivation most of the time, during brutal campaigns the Chapter Master is awakened, so that he may wreak havoc in the name of the Emperor, and satiate his hearts desire for blood, and suppress the horrible pain at his heart.
Urbanus "Rage Maul" Tragar, 3rd Company Librarian Captain
Fundamentalist Knight, tends to run very hot and cold. Is seemingly restrained most of the time, but is also known for his reckless abandon with which he wades into the enemy. Was notable as for being particularly on the fence when it came to the internal clash between Escura and Corazon. The close knit loyalty he has over his astartes and sway he commands over other companies has had him under close observation by those captains wishing for reform
In an engagement against an ork warboss, his crozius' maul was shattered and in a fit of rage, he proceeded to beat the greenskin to death with the broken instrument and finished it off by jamming the splintered stump into the beast's bloated-throat.
Those under his command rarely, if ever, bother to question his directives - the moment they set foot on the battlefield, they rush the enemy with chainswords in hand. The hearts of those they attempt to claim are often far too damaged to be of any use.
Threld Grislom, "The War Hearts" 4th Company Chaplain Captain
Threld Grislom, Chaplain Captain of the Cardinal Knights 4th company "The War Hearts". In these difficult times of being without an active Master of Sanctity many of the companies have began to devolve into berserker tactics in order to satisfy their bloodlust and take more hearts from worthy enemies, while some have found success with this other companies have began to suffer more casualties than usual in their pursuit of powerful hearts. The original Captain of the 4th company, Librarian Captain Solomar Caldius, led the company through many pursuits of powerful Ork hearts. During one of his crusades against an Ork colony the company was ambushed and flanked from the south by a squad of Ork meks. Rather than attempting to destroy the meks Captain Solomar saw opportunity to conquer yet another powerful Ork hearts. He rallied many of the marines near him and sent them with him on a zealous charge on the largest mek in the Ork squad. Threld, serving as his company's Champion at the time. Was left to defend him and his marine brothers against the flank to the north.
It was a savage fight , suffering many casualties as they were outnumbered by the Ork shootas . Threld and the surviving marines regrouped and looked to the south to see that Captain Solomar and the men he led in the charge had either been killed or broken ranks. The Ork Mekz now had no other target than Threld and his men. As they approached it was clear that the Orkz hadn’t come out of the battle undamaged, many of their squads lacked men and their meks showed signs of damage. As the largest Ork Mek approached Threld could see Solomar’s body hanging from a piece of metal on the Mek. Faced with this threat Threld acted quickly, leaving no time for his marine brothers to panic he began ordering them into positions and to prepare to defend to the last man. The Ork horde approached and he shouted to his brothers “Hold! Remember! Their flesh is weak! They merely shell themselves with metal, but our hearts beat with it! They may have warmachines, but remember brothers we have the purity of the machine WITHIN US! TRUST IN YOUR MECHANICAL BEATING AND IT WILL NEVER FALTER!” The ensuing fight was carnage, the Ork infantry never seemed to thin as the Cardinal Knights fired at them with their bolter pistols. Eventually Time had run out and the Orkz were in charging range. Threld stood in the middle of his men as they met the Ork stampede, their powerfists and chainswords plunging into green flesh. Threld stood amongst his men and covered the front lines with Bolter Rifle fire. The battle required many tactical fallbacks and regrouping but by the end only a handful of Ork stragglers remained. Most of the company had been defeated in the fight but the most hardened of the men still stood. Threld looked around the dead Marines, and then to the dead Captain’s body. He walked over to it and with his powerfist extracted Solomar Caldius’ original heart. In that moment Threld despised the man for destroying the company, but he knew that Solomar was regardless a great warrior and had taken many hearts in the field. Threld was made Chaplain Captain since he was the highest ranked survivor and put Solomar’s heart in his chest, as a way to honor the Company's past.
Once he was officially the leader of company he learned just how widespread the devolution of the Chapter was. Many Companies losses were unacceptably high. Threld decided he would be apart of the reformation to save the chapter from wiping itself out with ineffective and overzealous tactics. He was one of the first Captains to begin asserting himself to his company as their true commanding officer, in order to build morale and a better company attitude. Quickly he took the 4th company from zealous suicidal berserkers to well disciplined disciples of the machine. He appointed much of his command squad from the survivors of Solomar’s defeat and titled the “The Black Hearts” each of his command squad is trained to hold ranks among the mean and act as sub captains during battle.
Chief Apothecary Sangue, the Old Ultra
A patchwork man of exceptional age with a visage both afflicted and afflicting.
He lost his left arm to a possessed and androgynous slaaneshi warrior. His left arm now stops at the elbow and splits of into 4 mechandrites. One has tweezers, one has scalpels, one has a stitching machine and the other has a syringe and various types of anesthetic.
Orks ate his feet and everything from the knees down. He now has artificial talons that often remind people chaos assault marines but all to often bring to mind a large mechanical chicken.
He lost half his face to a lucky shot in an otherwise unremarkable civil uprising. He now has artificial eye and ear. After about thirty years he stuck another false eye above the first one to get extra spectrums. He can now see into the ultraviolet and infrared spectrums although extended periods of time with this mode engaged generally result in a headache. The ear has a built in radio.
A Dark Eldar with a shatter cannon fucked up the contents of his ribcage to the point where the other apothecaries decided it would be easier to just scoop the soup out and put some prosthetics in. He kept his trophy heart, heirloom of a previous hero. It was and is in good working condition and needed little surgery to repair it. It has beat for over 3,000 years and will hopefully beat for 3,000 more.
He keeps good care of his heart.
The best way of keeping good care of it was to keep it out of his chest when they put him back together.
It is in a diamond-glass jar with a miniature life support system. He keeps it on his desk. It freaks out visitors, as is almost certainly the intention
3,000 years of an ungentle life has resulted in all of his bones now being reinforced with adamantium to patch them back up.
All is teeth are ceramic implants of varying age.
What of the original components of the man remains at this point is unknown.
There is an in-chapter joke amongst the knights; "if it's not metal it's probably drugs".
Old Ultra is rather fond of performance enhancing substances. His flesh parts are old and tired and his cybernetics are of varying age and design built by generations of tech-marines and doesn't all fit together exactly 100%.
The drugs kind of make up the difference a bit.
He doesn't need them, he just really, really likes them.
Captain Cyprian Megalos
Once looked down upon by many in the chapter because his mother was one of the city-born and a shopkeeper. His father was a path-finder of one of the more approachable tribes that would often trade animal skins and meat for the produce of civilization.
Despite being the result of a shopkeeper and a tribe that barely remembered what war even was Cyprian Megalos is undoubtedly one of the worst nightmares the Cardinal Knights have ever inflicted upon the galaxy.
Word perfect in the chapter scripture, the Thorian Creed, the chants of the Scutum–Centaurus death faith and well versed in a hundred other blood drenched holy books.
His presence on the field of war has been likened unto a wrecking ball attached to a meat grinder covered in thermite. He is a baneblade that walks like a man and has hymns for engine noise.
And he sings, by Him on Earth he sings. With the voice of angels and the majesty of the old gods he sings. He has a face that looks like it was set on fire and put out with a cricket bat and from it issues forth a voice in song that would make the heavens weep. Drenched in red and smoking with the blood of the fallen and yet he stands immaculate in the eyes of his brothers and the mere mortals beneath him.
He is the voice of faith within the chapter, there are no other chaplains that are too proud to ask his interpretation on holy writ. He is, in a real way, a chaplain's chaplain.
He strides into war with his old and much repaired plasma pistol in one had and a crozius arcanum in the other. That crozius arcanum has taken more deamons than most Nobles of Ashardalon have had hot meals. The last thing in the material world all too many of the never-born see before being sent back to their hell is the winged Sanguinius that makes up its head. Possibly there are deamons now following him, intentionally seeking him out, with the intention of settling the score. He wouldn't know. They all look the same to him.
Rhydian the Vartanian, "Master of Ceremony" 9th Company Captain-Maintainer
Rhydian the Vartanian was, back in the old days, apprenticed to one of the shamans of his tribe out on the ice.
His particular tribe was one of the non-nomadic ones that dwelt around the hot springs of the far, far north.
His discovery was not dramatic. The tribe, as was their custom, sent out a messenger to say that another psyker had been born. The Knights sent an apothecary and one of their own psykers to examine the boy. Discovering that he was indeed psychic and also free of additional mutations and such he was taken by the Chapter for training.
Since his discovery he has gone forth and done great things.
His actual raw power is not actually that great. Mostly it just manifests as an uncanny gut feeling and some low to mid level telekinesis. Instead he mostly relies on cunning and underhanded tricks many astartes would consider dishonorable.
He is word perfect in chapter scripture but mostly uses this talent to make snarky and borderline irreverent comments on his fellow captains and the Chaplains.
Despite his not particually impressive abilities, for a Librarian, he is of the belief that psychics are the true inheritors of humanity and that the psyker master race will become dominant in time. It's not view that wins him many friends.
Vartan was the name of his tribe. Rhydian is the last of the Vartanians. The tribe, as an identity, died out about 300 years ago. A whole bunch of them migrated southwards to find a new life and a bunch of mammoth herders moved in to the vacated space. The cultures hybridized. They are now Kalathan tribe.
His trophy heart he took from a Tyrannid of the lictor group. It itches when tyranids are close.
The Cardinal Knights 9th company consists of additional Chaplains, Librarians and Apothecaries, replacing the usual Devastator company. Rarely operating as a stand-alone company, it's Marines are spread among other companies. The Captain-Maintainer is responsible for the protection of the traditions of the chapter.
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