|Battle Cry||Strength in Purity!|
|Founding||Unknown, believed to be pre-35th Millennium|
|Successors of||Unknown, possibly Emperor's Children, or Ultramarines.|
|Chapter Master||Casan Sabius & Sirae Karagon|
|Primarch||Unknown (most likely Roboute Guilliman or Fulgrim.)|
|Specialty||Obsessing over the Codex Astartes, getting their dicks sucked by Forge World.|
|Colours||Medium Grey and Black inner Pauldron with yellow trim and helm stripe|
"No one is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart: for his purity, by definition, is unassailable."
- – James Baldwin
The Red Scorpions are a Codex-compliant crusading Chapter who value genetic purity above all else and really, really hate Mutants and Xenos (a lot!). Calling them zealots is an understatement. However, to that end, they are exceptional at righteously exterminating the enemies of the Imperium; and will do so all while reciting scripture from the Codex Astartes.
About the Red Scorpions
There are Codex compliant chapters, then there are the Ultramarines, and then several orders of magnitude more compliant than even some of the most obsessive son of Grandfather Smurf (*cough* Leandros *cough*) we have the Red Scorpions. These guys consider the Codex Astartes to be a religious scripture of divine importance (much like your Spiritual Liege and his breed of Ultrasmurfs) and follow its teachings to the letter (this is what their fluff states, at least; in practice, having apothecaries attached to tactical squads, having the chief librarian accompanied by honour guard, having the Chief Apothecary as second in command to the chapter master, blinging out their veterans gear, having a reduced scout company and sticking a helios launcher to a Land Raider chassis suggest they may not be THAT Codex compliant after all).
In addition to being even more Codex compliant than the Ultramarines it appears that the Chapter is also unique in that its gene-seed is even purer than that of the Smurfs and their successor chapters. In fact, they attach Apothecaries to many of their Tactical Squads, so they can be extra sure that their fallen brothers' gene-seed gets collected before anything happens to it. Then there’s the fact that they're Fundies on par with the Black Templars. Being one of the few Astartes chapters that actually subscribe to the Imperial Cult.
Anyway, this Chapter would be of little note were it not for Forge World having a colossal hard-on for them, so if you live in the UK and don't mind selling a kidney to bankroll it then you too can be the proud owner of an army of Space Nazis (they have dark grey uniforms, are obsessed with genetic purity, really hate mutants, are a crusading [i.e. warlike] chapter hiding a dark secret -- come on, somebody had to make the comparison).
Since Forge World loves them so much, the Deimos pattern predator and landraider armored proteus listed on their webstore (under the Horus Heresy section) are both painted with Red Scorpion paintjobs and have the Roman numeral for two on them. Since they are nestled in there with other Heresy-era vehicles with legion colour schemes that have their legion number in numerals on their hull somewhere, it kinda looks like the Red Scorpions are the lost second legion. Or that the vehicles are attached to the second company.
Also because of Forge World, they have access to lots of vintage wargear and they have a fetish for Mk IV Power Armour (which only FW sold decent, non-monopose models of for a long time), being one of the only two known chapters to still have the full schematics needed to produce it. (The other one being the Iron Hands) Also quite possibly the best special characters of any chapter; interestingly, they have eight (though four are the same dude), edging out ahead of everyone but the Ultrasmurfs, Space Wolves, and the Blood Angels.
- Space Wolves: 11+1 (Bran Redmaw has no datasheet of his own any more).
- Blood Angels: 7+1 (Tycho has two datasheets) (10 counting the other characters who can use their codex)
- Ultramarines: 8 (Calgar has three datasheets while Tigurius has two) (10 if you count other characters who can use Ultramarine chapter tactics)
- Red Scorpions: 8
- Dark Angels: 5
- Salamanders: 5 (coincidentally, three of those are forge world exclusive).
- Astral Claws: 4
- Minotaurs: 4
The Geneseed Question
Their isolationism and obsession with purity raises some interesting questions because the reason that so many Chapters are successors of the Ultramarines is because theirs is the purest geneseed of any of the loyalist Chapters (or at the very least tied with Lion El'Jonson of the Dark Angels). The only geneseed purer than Guilliman's is that of (pre-Heresy) Fulgrim, but for obvious reasons he isn't exactly the most reliable choice of Primarch. If he indeed was the Red Scorpions Primarch, they would probably want to keep it on the down low. Did I mention that coincidentally, the Red Scorpions are very secretive about their origins and even refuse to submit to genetic sampling by the Inquisition, instead insisting that they report directly to the Emprah himself? Just as planned. One of these days Fabius Bile is going to fuck with their gene-seed... and then they will RAGE harder than even Angry Marines ever could.
When speculating about chapters with possible traitor geneseed it is important to distinguish tactical and cultural traits from the purely "genetic" ones. Just because a chapter likes to siege doesn't mean they descend from the Iron Warriors, but if a chapter shows innate preference for rationalism or displays martyr complex, then perhaps they do carry the geneseed of Perturabo.
With the Red Scorpions, there are several parallels to be drawn to the pre-Fulgrim Emperor's Children:
- "Horus Heresy 1: Betrayal" mentions that "The nature of the IIIrd Legion's psychology meant that they would carry the precise meaning and intent of any order without deviation and with their last breath if needed." This carries striking similairities to their obsession with their beloved Codex Astartes, and implies said obsession is rooted within their gene-coding. This also contrasts with the post-Fulgrim legion, known to be a fighting force renowed for it's creative tactics and speed.
- According to the Inquisition; the IIIrd legion may not have literally deified the Emperor in the times of the Great Crusade, but the strength and passion of their belief in Him was equal to that of any later adherent of the Ecclesiarchy. With the Imperial Truth gone, there would be nothing stopping the Scorpions from embracing the Imperial Creed.
- Deimos-pattern, and lots of their Castaferrum dreadnoughts are MKIV (the non-boxnought variant of the regular dread). They are also not without actual Heresy-era relics: Proteus Raiders, a Spartan Assault Tank, and a pair of Leviathan dreads. The Chapter's oldest recorded action may be in M35, but their arsenal is that of a 2nd or 3rd Founding chapter. And unlike the Minotaurs, the provenance of their wargear cannot be explained by High Lords favoritism.
Forge World has created a rather neat history for them, that while nowhere near as complete as the one more popular chapters enjoy, is still deserving of some mention:
- The Berillia Massacres - The Shining Blades chapter turns renegade and renames itself The Flawless Host. They spend short of a century harassing and pillaging isolated imperial outposts until they decide to a assault a Red Scorpions strike cruiser and use the geneseed of the dead to bolster their ranks. Upon learning of this, the Scorpions recalled all of their companies to the sector where the Flawless Host was located and proceeded to beat the ever loving shit out of the Slaaneshi warband. The renegades swear to exact vengeance upon all those that dare tarnish their bishounen glory. This is the chapter's earliest recorded action, taking place in M34.
- Helios Campaign - The Red Scorpions are tasked with cleansing the world of Helios from Chaos Cults. Their paranoid asses cannot stand the idea of relying on the imperial guard for fire support, so they decide to create the Land Raider Helios instead.
- Second Aegisine Crusade - The chapter spearheads a Drop Pod assault upon a Forge World held by the Dark Mechanicus in order to secure a landing zone for their allied knight house and Titan legion to safely deploy. For nineteen hours the Chapter was forced to defend the foetid swamps of the landing zone against hordes of surgically mutilated abominations and Daemon Engines, but they refused to break. Once the war was over and the scorpions were taking their leave, Knights and Titans lined the route taken by the Red Scorpions as they marched to the landing zones, bowing to them in homage as they passed by.
- Ordon Rift Crusade - The Red Scorpions get lost while exploring the dangerous Ordon Rift region. Turns out they found out the rift was a cozy place and established their Fortress-Monastery in the orbit of the feral world of Zaebus Minoris. Where exactly this place is located differs depending on the galaxy map and the 40k editions, but it's somewhere around Ophelia, Krieg, Luther McIntyre, and Posul.
- The Crucible of Endikon IX - Oh boi, where do we even start with this one. Endikon IX was a hive world that had suffered for decades the attacks of Eldar Corsairs. When the reinforcements finally arrived, the resulting void battle between the Xenos and the Imperial Navy destroyed most of the imperial guard's troop carriers. As a means to counter the lack of manpower, the Raptors suggested engaging the Eldar in a series of hit-and-run strikes to wear down their forces. But the Scorpions, in their infinite wisdom, refused to have any part of what they deemed "cowardice in the face of the enemy" and proceeded to initiate a full drop assault without any support. The Imperium eventually won the battle but the Scorpions lost 67 out of the 83 battle-brothers that participated in the mission, as opposed to the Raptors who only lost a handful of brothers in a protracted harrying campaign to eliminate the remaining Aeldari. Despite this, the Red Scorpions proudly list Endikon IX amongst their greatest battle honours.
- Siege of Vraks - During the final phases of the conflict, the Scorpions donated a hundred Marines (from various companies) to the cause. Carab Culln himself would place the teleport homer that allowed the Terminators of the 1st Company to secure the Death Korps of Krieg a breach in the final wall before the assault of the citadel of Vraks itself.
- The Amphelion project - The Adeptus Mechanicus decide that it would be a good idea to keep a zoo of Tyranids on Beta Anphelion IV in order to study them. Contact is, naturally, lost and Inquisitor Solomon Lok of the Ordo Xenos gathers up some Red Scorpions and Detachment D-99 of the Elysian Drop Troops to investigate. Jurassic Park IN SPESSS ensues, and the Marines escape while leaving Lok and the Guard to die horribly. Though in the Scorpions defense, Lok attempted to leave Culln for dead at Amphelion and threatened the chapter when they refused to leave the planet without him. Wait, then what's the justification for leaving the Guardsmen to die? (They are just guardsmen, duh?)
- Badab War - You know this one: Lugft Huron declares independance from the High Lords of Terra, and a fuckton of chapters are sent his way to remind him why that is not a thing. Carab Culln leads the loyalists to victory against the Tyrant of Badab, and for their service, the High Lords reward the Red Scorpions with a "Vexilla Imperialis". This fancy banner quickly becomes one of the chapter's most prized relics and is given to Sirae Karagon.
- Indomitus Crusade - The Red Scorpions join Roboute Guilliman's damage control efforts in the aftermath of the Great Rift. At some point during the crusade, Culln is mortally wounded by a Tyranid known as "The Great Beast of Sarum" and is entombed inside a Leviathan Dreadnought. Casan Sabius becomes the Red Scorpions new Chapter Master.
06:00- Wake up: The Red Scorpions exit their beds. The beds are made out of only pure cotton sheets. Any sheet that is discovered to be less than 100% cotton is burned by the Reclusiarch for heresy. The offending Brother is then also burned for Heresy.
07:00 - Morning Firing Rites: The Red Scorpions prepare to shoot at the 100% biodegradable targets, and each Bolt that will be shot during the practice is carefully examined by the Techmarines in order to make sure each shot is as pure as possible. Any "unpure" bolt is carefully put into a hazardous waste container and shipped to Mars.
11:00 - Morning Battle Practice: The Red Scorpions, finally finishing their Firing Rites, proceed to engage each other in simulated combat. Battle brothers are encouraged to try and kill those they deem to have inferior geneseed, so that the purity of the chapter may yet remain intact.
13:00 - Afternoon Meal: A light meal of meat and fruit is served. Any food that you wish to consume must first get the approval of the Librarian, who compares the image in the cookbook to the current look of said food. Any food that does not resemble the image is burned for Heresy.
14:00 - Tactical Indoctrination: The Red Scorpions are educated on why they must follow the Codex Astartes as closely as possible. Any Battle brother who does not understand this concept is promptly punished with the proper application of a Crozius to his head for failure to try and be pure.
17:00 - Evening Firing Rites: The Red Scorpions fire off rounds at the targets yet again. It goes faster now, if only because the Techmarines had all afternoon to prepare for it.
18:00 - Evening Meal: A Grand feast of the finest, purest foods is prepared. Before the feast begins, the Librarian probes the serfs in order to ensure they cooked it correctly. Any serf that failed even slighty is forced to remake the food, then is turned into a servitor.
22:00 - Free time: The Red Scorpions spend the little time they have checking their Ancestry online and reading books about Eugenics. In their spare time, they will brag all over the Imperium about how their genetics are purer than any other chapter.
23:00 - Sleep: After growing bored of bragging about their amazing genetics, the Red Scorpions return to the purity of their bed. Any Battle brother who suffers from insomnia will often knock himself out to hide his inferior genetics, or pretend not needing to sleep to show superiority.
- Carab Culln: Became their chapter master during the Badab War when their previous one was killed. Led the Loyalist forces against the Tyrant's Legion. Is also awesome in game terms for a few reasons, one reason being that although he is one (in-fiction) character, he has FOUR different (in-game) character rules, from different times in his life:
- The Sergeant rules were from the Siege of Vraks, where he was a 2-wound sergeant for a Vanguard Veteran squad.
- The Terminator Captain rules in the Anphelion Project where he gets access to the sweet new Tears of the Scorpion which allow him to cause Instant Death and gives himself and his squad Counter-Attack and Stubborn.
- As a Chapter Master in the Badab War campaign he finally gets Eternal Warrior but trades his "Tear of the Scorpion" for the "Blade of the Scorpion", which allows him to make a smash attack like a Monstrous Creature. He also traded his squad upgrade for giving the whole army his Leadership score.
- The most recent (and therefore best rules) in his invalid carriage form, he strides into battle wearing the chapter's shiniest Leviathan Dreadnought suit. Comes Armed with Assault Cannon and Heavy Flamer which are both twinlinked, Powerclaw w/heavy bolter (that once per game, gets fired into close combat dealing mortal wounds but can't be fired afterwards) and Hunter-Killer missiles instead of a discharger because Phosphex is a lost technology. Also most likely some form of cream dispenser for all of his personal and your opponents butthurt. He will surely have special rules
onceif Fires of Cyraxus is ever released.
- Sevrin Loth: Their Chief Librarian. Respected enough that he gets his own honour guard, and the rest of the Red Scorpions sought his advice when trying to select their new chapter master after their previous one was slain. He is perhaps most famous for being the cheese Librarian with ML3 who picks his powers manually from one psychic discipline instead of rolling them and has a warp-charge-fueled 2++ save. Which no longer works. Curse you 7th Ed!
- Captain Casan Sabius: New named character from the forthcoming Imperial Armour: Fires of Cyraxus. Armed with a gloriously bald pate, Melta-combi Pistol and what is most likely a mastercrafted power sword. Promoted to acting Chapter Master after Culln got mortally wounded and interred to a Leviathan Dreadnought. When Fires got put on an indefinite delay, Forge World released his glorious Chapter Master version, armed with the same Blade of the Scorpion, but without the combi-pistol this time.
- Ancient Sirae Karagon: Since Sabius doesn't believe he is the legally rightful or worthy leader of the Red Scorpions, and since Culln isn't properly dead or out of commission, Sabius commands as the Lord-Regent until a new Chapter Master can be properly chosen and appointed. Karagon was promoted to Ancient-Invigilus and serves as Sabius's personal advisor and lieutenant. Has some awesome armor and a
hereticalgreen power sword. In an unforgivably lazy move, they didn't even bother to make rules for him, his "datasheet" just says to use him as a vanilla Red Scorpions Ancient.
- Veteran Sergeant Haas: Awesome sergeant with a bionic arm and the most bitchin' armour around. He's the only man you will ever see leading a Sternguard Veteran squad with artificer armour and giving them Relentless. Pretty much the perfect example of how the Red Scorpions love to give their veterans awesome equipment that even captains sometimes lack.
- Dreadnought-Brother Halar: A notable dreadnought for some reason, despite not being a venerable dreadnought. His first "death" was during an action alongside the Raptors chapter where they decided to throw clever tactics out the window and charge head-first into the enemy army, losing the majority of their battle force in the process, but the Red Scorpions still look at it as one of their finest achievements; meanwhile, the Raptors just facepalm. Halar's special rules give him +1 WS/A and if he dies but doesn't explode - he hangs around for another turn before finally succumbing. He dies properly in the Anphelion Project, and dies so hard that the Techmarines can't even repair his sarcophagus for another occupant (he wrestled a carnifex).
Forge World gave it a model (beacause of course they did). Sadly, it is now out of production.
A Kharybdis Assault Claw of the Chapter. (right)
GENEstealers? Not on my watch!