The Diamond Watch of Cystral, ca. 766-999M38
The Diamond Watch is an unofficial loyalist space marine chapter in the Imperium Asunder setting, whom met their end on the frozen planet of Cystral. The chapter consisted of Space Marines from a variety of loyalist legions, led by the veteran Captain Romero Whitefall, and numbered less than a hundred men on its operational peak. Any and all information regarding the chapter was obtained long after the events which took place on Cystral, and only by chance, when rogue traders picked up an official Imperium superluminal SOS transmission, the cotents of which was sold to the highest bidder, which just happened to be an uneasy commissar with a bolt pistol.
The planet, located somewhere on the fringe of the North Eastern Sector, though the exact whereabouts are unknown, was described as little more than a dead rock of ice, with no strategic value to speak of. However, the events which took place there where inordinately more interesting than the planet itself, and has been studied by the Imperium ever since.
- 1 Trickery of the Warp (710-732M38)
- 2 Mists in the Snow (742-743M38)
- 3 Beneath the Ice (749-752M83)
- 4 The founding of the Diamond Watch (766M38)
- 5 The Cult of Cystral (793-865M38)
- 6 Exiled beyond the Gate (900M38)
- 7 Death & Finale (900-999M38)
- 8 Chapter Units
Trickery of the Warp (710-732M38)
According to the recovered transmission data, in the years of 710-732M38, and Imperium records would confirm this (if they hadn't been stricken), large hosts of civilian transports, engineers, tech-priests, Space Marines and other military personnel had begun disappearing without a trace. The only thing they had in common was that they were returning to Luna. It was all attributed to warp trickery at first, though the number of missing ships far exceeded the expected value in that time period. In fact, all of these ships, and their passengers, suddenly found themselves mysteriously encased inside a giant mountain of ice. The total ship count exceeded at least 40, with the number of passengers numbering in the hundreds of thousands, mostly consisting of civilians and workers. The ships did not disappear at the same time either, and when someone new arrived, they would often find themselves atop the dead and frozen remains of those whom had come before them. It wasn't until Space Marines began disappearing individually from ships during warp travel that anyone really cared though.
Due to the strong, shifting magnetic field surrounding the planet Cystral, all attempts at off-planet communication was deemed impossible, and with most ship systems shutting down upon arrival, both conventional and warp engines utterly ruined, there was little else to do but dig and hope for a way out. Life in the mountain of ice was harsh and unforgiving, which is to say, it was a normal, though slightly cold experience, for any man, woman and child working for the Imperium. After about a decade of digging and mapping out the numerous frozen tunnels, and several thousand lost to starvation and hypothermia, the de facto society of survivors managed to breach the outer walls of the mountain. What greeted them was a field of snow, a frozen tundra with howling winds, and flickering, almost incorporeal mists wandering them.
Mists in the Snow (742-743M38)
At the sight of possibly hostile xenos, the few space marines whom found themselves on the planet took immediate command, and leadership eventually passed to the veteran Captain Romero Whitefall. Several expeditions were launched to assess the threat levels, with more than one nerve-wracked guardsmen firing off into the sky, but the misty natives of the planet seemed to be little more than part of the scenery. By chance, a few among the expedition members possessed the psychic gift, and it was determined the mists gave of a weak warp presence, an echo of an echo, but it was enough to conclude that they were at least partly alive, and possibly aware of their surroundings too. Following the advice of the psykers, Captain Whitefall ordered the tech-priests to establish communications with the mist-like creatures, in order to ascertain their own current whereabouts. A few months later, an ancient linguistical cogitator had been found from the many forgotten hulls of one of the ships. The machine was able to detect and decipher the spoken language of the mist creatures (which was beyond the hearing range of humans) but it mostly translated to gibberish and meaninglessness. However, just before the tech-priests were ready to abandon the project, the machine spirit prevailed, and messages started flooding in.
The cries of the mist creatures was madness incarnate, describing concepts and events which could only be attributed to the unholy mouth of the Warp. Unspeakable acts of the flesh and purjery of the soul flooded from the vox units, low-pitched chants with the words uttered in reverse hailed the coming of the darkness, and the tendrils of chaos seemed but a hair's breadth away. (Un)fortunately, the exact details of what was said will never be known, as both the cogitator and the persons operating it were immediately executed for allowing such heresy to come forth, and the contents of the messages forbidden. Word of the taint spread however, and it became clear then, to most everyone, that whatever planet they were trapped on, it was not a good one, not by any measure. As such, further attempts at communicating with the mist shapes were promptly forbidden, in favor of exterminating them. Conventional weaponry caused the creatures no harm however, and while the psykers had moderate success, the warp backlash was deemed to great a risk for inflicting such measly damage. Bolter shells, laser beams, rays, radiation, plasma, even power weapons had little to no effect. Neither did the natives resist though, and what was initially planned to be a rather long military operation, ended within days. In the end, Cpt. Romero Whitefall ordered a ceasefire, to conserve resources, and instead chose to oversee the construction of defensive structures, with what little could be salvaged from this ships. It gave the people living in the mountain a familiar purpose, but an attack from the mist creatures never came, and as the years went by, the mandatory patrols became scarcer.
Beneath the Ice (749-752M83)
After years of struggling to survive the tundra wastes, the real issues were nowhere closer to be solved. Fresh water might have been plenty, by melting and purifying the ice, but food production from the hydroponic ship farms was steadily declining, and the heat provided by the fuel cells of the ships was beginning to ebb out. SOS signals and transmissions detailing their predicament had been sent every day since the incident with the linguistical cogitator, but still no reply came, and there was no indication of the signals even piercing the atmosphere. Morale was dropping, and something had to be done. The situation declined steadily for decades, and the impromptu human society stagnated and fell almost into ruin. Isolated from the Imperium decree, it was only by the iron will of the Space Marines that the people did not revert into primality.
By chance, one of the mindless servitors repurposed for mining ice found evidence of an underground complex beneath the mountain. Subterranean structural scans were conducted, and an image of a vast, ancient city began to form on the monitors. There was as good as chance as any to find food and fuel down there, seeing as the frozen tundra offered nothing but hypothermia. It was around 749M38 that the first expedition to find an entrance to the ruins below was sent out, and after many months of journey and precision mapping of the cavernous systems, an entrance was found. A massive door beckoned them to enter, cast in an alien silvery material, standing over 100 feet wide and 40 feet tall. As the scouts returnd, the mass emigration process was already in progress, people abandoning their makeshift lifes in a hurry, and preparing to decouple city ships from one another, and strip the vessels down to nut and bolt.
The founding of the Diamond Watch (766M38)
Aided by the xeno technology found in the city, which was still in working condition, and somehow easily interfaceable with Imperium technology, nearly one hundred thousand aging survivors found a new home beneath the ice. Whomever had inhabitated the city before them was long gone, and the dusty skeletal remains of that xeno race were burned in the reactors to make room for humanity. Native underground fauna was collected and studied, and used to reinvigorate the now underground hydroponic farming complexes. Morale and quality of life reached an all time high as babies were born, and smiles returned to the people, as if they had all found a second home. A great statue of the Emperor was carved out of ice in celebration, commissioned by Cpt. Romero Whitefall, and drawn up in the city, contained in a strange energy field which seemed to slow the passage of time, another courtesy of the dead xeno techology.
Giant plasma reactors, housed also near the nexus of the xeno city, now named the Silver City for the sparkling, silvery material the xeno structures were made of, was able to kickstart an industrial revolution, and soon the production of goods and services flowed like a miniature hive world. Scarcity and suffering became a thing of the past, as old tech was repurposed, and veins of ore were found, ready to be harvested. Yet Cpt. Romero Whitefall did not forget about what they had seen and heard above ground. Together with his trusted brothers, he declared the founding of a new Space Marine chapter, the Diamond Watch. Their purpose: to guard the silvery gate to the outside, and make sure none of those foul mist abominations ever found their way down into humanity's new home. At the same time, he hoped the statue of the Emperor would remind the people of their true heritage, if help should ever arrive.
The Cult of Cystral (793-865M38)
In this period of properity, there where those in the Silver City who grew complacent, and saught meaning beyond eternal servitude to the Emperor. They were mostly of the younger generations, the firstborn humans on Cystral, who rejected the teachings and wisdom of the absent Father. So the Cult of Cystral rose, dedicating themselves to the lost culture of the xeno civilization which they had built their city on. While it had first been necessary to rely on the xeno technology to stay alive, the cultist member went well and beyond, commiting acts of increasingly dangerous techno-heresy. Abominable experiments were carried out, spurred on by the tempting knowledge found in translating the runic scripts, databank terminals, and tomes spread around the ruins. Soon they had found a new god to revere, Uityxizl, the deity of the long dead inhabitants, and the construction of temples of worship began in secret.
It would take some years until the Diamond Watch discovered the existence of a cult in Silver City, and even longer before they had sufficient evidence to make judgement. By the time they were ready to take down the cult, circa 827M38, there were few members of the public whom remembered and revered the Imperium they had been separated from, seeing as many of them had died of old age and weakness. The statue of the Emperor stood as it did, but the respect and gratitude had faded with the years. Regardless, Cpt. Romero Whitefall made the decision to overturn the frail political system in place (a pseudo-democracy) and the first civil war on Cystral started.
Against the might and fortitude of the Diamond Watch, the Cult stood little chance. However, some had re-discovered ancient weaponry, capable of piercing through the Power Armor and fatally wounding the holy warriors of the Emperor. As such, while the civil war raged on, and the fractured people died left and right, so too did many of the brothers. In the end, it was not strength of arm that won the Diamond Watch the war, but their training, discipline, and propensity for strategy and tactics. The Cult was quelled, and the temples brought to ruin. However, the cost was great. The people now feared the Diamond Watch and mistrusted them greatly.
Exiled beyond the Gate (900M38)
With the shattering of the ice statue of the Emperor, the people of Silver City finally made the decision to exile the Diamond Watch, casting them out into the frozen tundra above ground, outside the great Silver Gate. The Imperium and its puppets were no longer welcome. Unwilling to spill the blood of the innocent (though ignorant) Cpt. Romero Whitefall agreed on the punishment for their "crimes against humanity" during the civil war. All but a select few of the brothers marched beyond the gate, the others staying behind to make sure that supplies would still reach the outside. It was a rough arrangement, but it was not an exile unto death, merely of democratic principles. For 99 years the exile was to last, where all who might have lived to see the atrocities of the civil war would be at peace in death.
Outside, on the frozen planet surface, the Space Marines were once again greeted by the mist creatures, and there were considerably more of them than that of nearly 200 years ago.
Death & Finale (900-999M38)
For the first few years, supplies kept coming steadily from the gate. The Diamond Watch, though exiled, were well fed, and the agreements of the exile were observed. In a sense, guarding the Silver City, which they still saw as their primary purpose, had not changed at all due to being banished. The only difference was the fact that they were now standing outside the gate, and not on the inside of the underground caverns.
The mists, now more numerous than ever, did still not display hostility towards the Space Marines. However, their behaviour had changed markedly. They had an alarming tendency to converge around the area (above ground) corresponding to Silver City. Some of the brothers noticed a growing cyclical pattern, the mists largely disappearing from the area a few years at a time, then reappearing, ever closer to the City and more numerous. The Captain of The Diamond Watch agreed that this was indeed noteworthy, and the message was passed beyond the Silver Gate. A reply never came, however, and soon the supplies stopped coming as well. Fortunately, the brothers had stockpiled and rationed greatly.
One early morning, all of the mists stopped shifting or flickering. It was a bright, clear day, and the white sun of Cystral had the snow glittering in its light. Suddenly, they felt more real, less incorporeal, perhaps even made of flesh and bone. One could recognize the shapes, belonging to this animal or that, but sometimes to a xeno race or even a human. Some of the Space Marines saw their dead comrades, from the war with the cult of Cystral. Finally, in the blink of an eye, all of the misty shapes turned the deepest black in color. Their psychic signature flared in the darkness of the void, as seen from a near-lifeless planet, and their high-pitched screams echoed between the icy mountains of the frozen tundra. At once, the sun was blotted out, eclipsed by a moon that wasn't there, and in the cover of darkness, the ravenous creatures attacked.
The light from the muzzle fire of bolters flashed in the darkness. The streams of rocket-propelled bullets lay stripes of gold in ones retina as they accelerated toward their target, tearing through black flesh and blacker blood with their diamantine tips. The creature's sharp claws screeched as the slid of the ceramic plates, barely scraping at the paint layer. One by one, the dark creatures fell to the might of the Diamon Watch. But there were so many of them.
Ammunition ran out quickly, but every single bullet had been used with 100% efficiency, often killing two, even three in one shot. The Diamond Watch had not neglected their training. When the clips ran empty, and the bolters jammed shut, the Space Marines drew their knifes or fists, snapped of claws or bones, fighting with all they got and could get their hands on. For hours they fought, killing several thousands, hundred thousands of the beasts. What had once began as a coordinated attack, became mindless slaughter. The fury of battle took many of the brothers, their inherent gene flaws triggering mutations whith irreparable damage, and leaving a violently shaking corpse in the blood-sprayed snow. After days of fightig in the unnatural eclipse, all but one brother had fallen: Captain Romero Whitefall.
Limping, and with blurred vision, he made it to the silver gate below. Ready to knock, he had to look behind him one last time, and he saw the darkness coiled and snaked lazily, the black beasts mere inches away. Suddenly he could hear a voice, speaking as if from the mouth of a thousands insects. It told him of a man clad in gold, standing against impossible odds, and choosing to take easy way out. It moaned of sacrifices and pacts broken. It screamed of the fate of all men, and all whom must die. The meaning of of existence itself was clear to the voice in the shadow. All this knowledge, all of it, would be parted with, if only Romero Whitefall, the Emperor's puppet, would open the door. That, he did not. Standing grimfaced, but like a diamond sparkling amongst blackest coal, he blocked the way. The darkness screamed at him, and soon a thousand hungry mouths took his flesh. In his last moment, Romero saw the golden figure of the Emperor in his mind. He was holding a scepter, and staring beyond an endless frozen field. Behind him were shadows on the snow, and before him materialized 20 mists. Then Romero died, and the beasts crashed through the silver door, and the fate of the Silver City was sealed.
As the Diamond Watch was at most a few hundred or less Space Marines from various legions, there is only available one HQ unit, and one Troop unit, which is really any troop unit that is a Space Marine. This army list is therefore not suited for most gameplay purposes. However, for skirmish battles set in the war against the cult of Cystral and/or the final battle with the mist beasts could find this list useful.
Captain Romero Whitefall
|WS||BS||S||T||W||I||A||Ld||Sv||Unit Type||Unit Composition||Point Cost|
|5||5||4||4||4||5||4||11||3+||Infantry (Character)||1 (Unique)||110|
Wargear: Power armour, Rosarius, Bolt Pistol, Cystral-Pulse Pistol (R:14", S:4, AP:4, Type: Pistol)
Gunslinger+: this model may fire twice in the shooting phase, once with each pistol. The targets can be separate.
Precision Aura: any allied models within 12" of this model can re-roll any 1's, once, when shooting or attacking in melee.
And They Shall Know No Fear, Chapter Tactics (Any), Feel No Pain, Independent Character
Basically any space marine unit from any chapter or legion from the Imperium Asunder setting would be appropriate here, as long as they are loyalists and Troop choice.
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