|Battle Cry||"We are Storm! We are Fury!"|
|Founding||Unknown (Was an established chapter in M36, though)|
|Successors of||Unknown (Probably Iron Hands or Ultramarines... or War Hounds)|
|Chapter Master||Ward-Master Lorgath Maclir|
|Primarch||Unknown (Probably Ferrus Manus or just Roboute Guilliman... or Angron)|
|Strength||Normally 1000 Marines, but they may be under strength, due to an ongoing crusade|
|Specialty||Armoured assault, being the William Wallace|
|Colours||Blue and silver|
The Storm Wardens are similar to the Blood Ravens, in that they were made by a company (in this case, Fantasy Flight Games) to be their personal chapter to
screw over however they see fit give lots of tough love to in their product (in this case, Deathwatch RPG). They also have a secret past with an unknown Primarch and Founding. However, unlike Relic, Fantasy Flight Games has actually told us what caused this.
The Storm Wardens fit into the 40K RPG canon by having their homeworld, Sacris, placed in the Calixis Sector, where Dark Heresy takes place. They also help, and sometimes spearhead, crusades in the northern Halo Stars. However, they never got as popular as everyone's favorite bloody thieves because those Magpies stole their popularity. So they've been forgotten by most of the fandom, and now that Fantasy Flight Games' contract with Games Workshop has expired, they're probably just going to fade from GW's memory too.
They are actually surprisingly fleshed out and have a few smaller stories and details given; something that we don't usually hear about from chapters that aren't one of the big ones. Many fa/tg/uys also like to believe that the Storm Wardens are the 40k
ripoff version of BRAVEHEARTS and attribute them with awful SCOTTISH accents (despite the fact their first chapter master was named after a Welsh Celtic hero, they do use claymores and the Scots and Welsh had quite a lot of back and forth culturally, Wallace is a name that suggests his family were Welsh in origin. The current Chapter Master is Maclir, which is pretty Gaelic, Irish, Manx or Scottish). They're also known as the Deathwatch chapter, because they came with the core rulebook (and they actually have a decent relationship with the Deathwatch in the fluff).
History and Notable Battles
A lot of their chapter history has been sealed away. An event, known as the Nemesis Incident (see below), caused the Storm Wardens to purge a lot of their history (and like every time this happens in 40k, somehow the Space Marines, who are supposed to be better at remembering and memorizing than an average human and live much much longer too, just forget it)(The space marines have used mind wipe techniques for ages, maybe FFG was just too lazy to explicitly state it was used by the Storm Wardens).
In M41 they have fought a considerable number of threats in and around the Calixis sector (which is where their home planet is). When something is too big for them to fight on their own, they usually team up with the Ordos Xenos or rally other chapters to their cause (sending their own battle brothers instead of a messenger, to show honor and respect).
There's two notable battles (or at least notable enough for FFG to put extra emphasis on them) during this focused on millennia. One involves a battle against the Orks, which shows just how the Storm Wardens' Chapter Master managed to go from captain to chapter master in such a short period of time. The other involves an attack against the Slaugth, which scarred the Chapter (and got a lot of its veterans promoted to the honour guard).
After the 13th Black Crusade the the Ork Warboss Kraazgrug showed a bit of cunning (for an Ork anyway) and took his Waaagh! to the Storm Warden's neighboring sector, hoping to take advantage of
the chaos everyone focusing their attention elsewhere. The Ork Waaagh! had made it to the last planet in the sector, when the Storm Wardens managed to find out about the invasion. The Storm Wardens then assembled an armoured spearhead to assault the Orks, and headed out, with Lorgath Maclir, who was only a captain at the time, leading the way. Probably saying something about rolling out.
This clever Warboss (or cowardly by Ork standards) managed to flank the space marines. So, instead of assaulting the Orks head on, Maclir decided to trick the Orks. The space marines sent some fast attack vehicles to assault and then retreat from the Orks, to lure them into a box canyon. There, the Orks were assaulted by a mass of heavy weapon fire and were all killed without a single survivor.
While that was a major success, they didn't have so much success against the Slaugth on the planet Vigil. They were forced to fight in tight and narrow spaces that wouldn't even allow the use of heavy armor and lost a lot of marines despite their adapting methodical tactics. Those who survived the battle wished that they had held more closely to the codex and followed its tactical advice. Since the now chapter master, Maclir, also liked the codex (but not in the thumping Ultrasmurf way), he promoted many of the surviving veteran members to his honour guard. This battle was so gruesome, that when making a Storm Warden character in Deathwatch, having memories of the battle is one of the past experience options.
Currently, the Storm Wardens are also involved in the Achilus Crusade, which according to the Storm Warden's Chapter Master, has no viewable end. They committed 7 full Companies (with possibly 50 more on guard duty) to the crusade (and convinced several dozen other chapters to send available aid). These forces were then lead by Maclir in the opening battles, and smashed opposing Tau forces. While they were hoping that the Imperium would be given a warm welcome by human forces, they were instead given the middle finger. This set back strained the Imperium's communication, who had hoped that they could use the worlds as a staging area, but the space marines kept calm and carried on, and managed to smash through Tau forces anyways. Maclir thought he could taste victory and finish the campaign in months (when he planned for it to take decades) and ordered all the space marine forces together, so that they could destroy the last of resistance and assault the capital of the region. Things hit the fan though when it turned out the populace of Jericho Reach didn't want to deal with the Imperium, because they had already turned to chaos. They attacked the, very thinned and strained, space marine forces and prevented their final chance at victory. Maclir has since become bitter about the crusade, and how it is now a war of attrition. Even though he could pull his Chapter out at any time. Besides, the Imperium should pull out, let Chaos mulch the Tau (and probably infect the Tau “human helpers”) then come back and kill everyone left.
Some of the more minor battles by the Storm Wardens include:
- Boarding a Chaos fleet's flagship, resulting in the destruction of said flagship and crippling of three of its escorts. For reference, boarding Chaos ships is usually forbidden as complete suicide.
- Fighting the Tyranids with the Space Wolves.
- Sending three companies to help a Rogue Trader in the Halo Stars, but when the Rogue Trader started burning too many worlds they left him to fight a war only they wanted.
- Capturing a pirate king, before he could have a chance to strike first, and holding him captive, so the Storm Wardens could make repairs to their ship in peace. Then launching him into space when they were finished.
- Rescuing a Navigator from a Feral World, only to end up getting launched through time and space.
As They Know It
As far as anyone in-universe is concerned, something called the Nemesis Incident happened some time during the end of the Age of Apostasy. The incident caused the Storm Wardens to seal their history (including information such as: who was their Primarch and when were they founded) and put both their first company and Chapter Master in stasis pods, somewhere deep in their fortress monastery. The crippled Chief Librarian during this incident, Brin Maxenat, wrote a tome discussing some of the things the chapter was doing during the Age of Apostasy, and read his works to his disciples. Upon his death, others in the Librarium read what he wrote and found out that there were different versions of the texts. Some of the differences were so big, that some thought they had been altered at some point, and schisms in the chapter nearly ensued. Several librarians decided to get together and figure out what was true, until one text was decided on. These texts were also named after those who compiled them, so if you're sensing some real world parallelisms, you're probably not too far off. Only senior officers are allowed access to the text though, and so only a select few in the chapter know of their happenings during this time. Some of the Dreadnoughts, who were also around at the time of the incident, actually know where the Veterans and Chapter Master are (somebody had to read those Space Marines their bed time story, tuck them in and plug in the nightlight). However, just like British royal guards, they just stand around silently. So, nobody is really sure which super secret sealed off part of the fortress they are in. Since the incident, the chapter has been rebuilt and a new Chapter Master has taken over. The chapter also has a legend of its old master one day returning from his stasis slumber to take back the chapter and bring it to new heights.
As We Know It
Like a lot of things in the 40k-verse we actually know a lot more than the characters; and thus, what really happened. The Nemesis Incident happened in 945.M36 and started when the Storm Wardens, along with help from the Ordos Xenos, attacked planets infested with Enslavers. Instead of just blowing the planets to kingdom come the chapter master, Owin Glendwyr, decided to send his men to fight the Enslavers head on. Probably so the planets could have some use for the Imperium, and citizens of the planets wouldn't be sacrificed. This came at a great cost though, as many Storm Wardens died, and the Inquisitor ended up Exterminatusing seven planets in the area anyways. However, the true cost of the battle wasn't realized until the Storm Wardens returned to their home planet, where they discovered that they had a lingering psychic ickiness that wouldn't go away, no matter how many times they took a bath. Instead of just doing what the Inquisition wanted and kill them all, Glendwyr made a deal. He and his infected first company would go into stasis, until a cure could be found, then their home planet would be declared a forbidden world and knowledge of the Nemesis Incident and the Storm Warden's chapter history would be purged from the records, just to be absolutely sure that the Enslaver taint couldn't spread somehow.
Since then, the Storm Wardens have rebuilt their first company and have chosen a new Chapter Master. These
noobs second best (which is the first loser) marines have called themselves the Inheritors, and only see themselves as the temps who are filling in.
The also have a special force within their Veteran Squads, called Tempest Blades. These guys wield insanely big two-handed claymores (or other equally huge weapons) that are as tall as they are (and space marines are already big) and go to town on the biggest and toughest enemies they can find and sometimes caber tossing the heaviest ones. They also have a stricter code and must nominate someone from within the Chapter to carry on their legacy at any cost.
The Storm Wardens are pragmatic fighters who like to adhere to tactics and strategy, and will adapt as needed. However, they also like shooting things with their big guns and have a go to strategy, they like to use, when it's appropriate. First, they bombard the enemy with their ships from orbit. Then, while the enemy's still in shock, they shell them with Predators and Land Raiders, which keep the Rhinos and Razorbacks alive long enough to let them unload their troops (where they then presumably slash as many things as they can with their huge claymores). Being the SPEHSS BRAVEHEARTS, their preferred method of combat is one-on-one honourable swordfighting. This sort of martial honour has raised a few questions over their lineage in relation to a certain seriously pissed-off motherfucker, but they've proven to be rather passable enough to not get any undue attention. Their preferred weaponry is a Power Weapon of some sort and a Storm Shield.
So just like their vidya gaem cousin, there's been some speculation about who their Primarch might be. Some have pointed to the smurfs, due to their love of the codex (and Ultramarines' successors make up fifty to sixty five percent of all successor chapters). Others have thought they might be World Eaters, because of similar colors and combat. However, the creator of the Storm Wardens at Fantasy Flight Games, Ross Watson, told us the biggest inspiration he had for making the chapter was a fanon chapter, along with some inspiration from Sons of Dorn (a novel about the Imperial Fists recruitment), Brothers of the Snake (a novel about the Iron Snakes) and Horus Heresy novels thrown in their for good measure]. This fanon chapter, called Warriors Eternal, was a successor of the Storm Lords, a White Scars Second Founding chapter. So, if Watson just thought of a carbon-copy of the Warriors Eternal, then the Storm Wardens' Primarch might also be Jaghatai Khan. However, Astartes usually take on physical characteristics similar to their primogenitor's features after they are implanted with their geneseed. That's how Salamanders and their successors turn literally black, or how Raven Guard and their successors lose their skin pigmentation, and how White Scars successors take on mongoloid/asian phenotypes as a result. By no accounts do these power-armored highlanders look asian like the White Scars and their successors do. Also, since the other "scottish chapter" has usually been the Iron Hands ("scottish" mostly due to the Iron Hands' independant clan structure and their original recruitment from Albia), you could also be of the opinion that the Storm Wardens share more similarities with the sons of Ferrus Manus. Of course, now that Games Workshop is in full control, they'll probably just go for their favorite boys in blue, assuming of course that they even remember that this Chapter exists. So, let's just never ask them.
For the lore-contrarians and/or World Eaters fans among you; upon close examination of the lore (and with a little "speculation" to fill in the gaps), there may be some credence behind the Storm Wardens being the descendants of Angron's Loyalist sons.
Firstly, the World Eaters recruited from Feudal and Feral Worlds throughout the Imperium during the Great Crusade due to extraordinarily high attrition rates. Sacris, the Storm Warden's current homeworld, is a Feral World with a notably fierce tribal-warrior culture that's practically tailor-made for Astartes recruitment (i.e. Celts in Space). And since at least one company of War Hounds was operating in that corner of Segmentum Obscurus (specifically the 88th Company deployed to the nearby Halo Stars), the chances of a passing XIIth Legion fleet taking one look at Sacris' human population and NOT calling dibs on the entire planet would be fairly low. Secondly, the Storm Wardens' preferred and specialized battle doctrine, using heavy firepower and armored assaults to deliver sword-swinging Space Marines directly into the thickest fighting, reads almost identically to how the World Eaters and War Hounds fought with combined-arms tactics and copious amounts of Rip and tear. And thirdly, the Chapter culture (martial discipline, general fixation with honorable melee combat and weaponry, settling arguments with one-on-one duels, etc.) and color scheme (blue armor with white pauldrons) of the 41st Millennium's Storm Wardens are, again, more than a little reminiscent of the Crusade-era War Hounds. Admittedly, any of these individual points could describe several Space Marine Chapters following the Heresy and Scouring. But when put together, the characteristics that define the Storm Wardens begin to look a lot like the XIIth Legion of old.
There is also that passage in the Deathwatch books where the Storm Wardens have had visions of a traitor Primarch who questioned them on their lineage.
The biggest leap in this theory is, of course, how the bloody hell a bunch of World Eaters ended up becoming the remarkably calm and honorable Storm Wardens we know today. The answer, as it always seems to be with Games Workshop, may in fact be Roboute Guilliman and the Ultramarines. The Thirteenth did take in Traitor Legion Loyalists during the Horus Heresy, with many theorized to have formed their own Successor Chapters during the Second Founding. Convinced that some of Angron's sons can actually be trusted, Guilliman would allow some of these loyal World Eaters to found their own chapter based on the noble ideals of the original War Hounds. Preferably somewhere far, FAR away from Ultramar. Sacris, literally on the opposite side of the galaxy and maybe even the Marines' original homeworld, would be chosen as their chapter homeworld. The newly christened "Storm Wardens" (named for their adopted Primarch's title of Lord-Warden during that one incident we do not speak of) would then go home to set up shop and keep watch over the Eye of Terror (and totally not Caliban or Medusa as Guilliman's guard/attack dogs).
Short version: War Hounds/World Eaters + Halfway decent fatherly influences + Seeing what a Space Marine Legion can do in the wrong hands + Sacris' isolated warrior culture + 10,000 years = Storm Wardens.
(This also goes a long way to explain why they buried their Chapter's history after the Nemesis Incident. A company of Enslaver-tainted Space Marines is scary enough. A company of Enslaver-tainted Space Marines in command of an entire chapter of World Eaters is something almost insanely more frightening.)
- Lorgath Maclir - The current Chapter Master (and apparently the chapter's favorite since the Nemesis Incident). He manages to love the Codex Astartes in a no homo kind of way.
- Owin Glendwyr - The old Chapter Master, who is currently taking a deep sleep, until the psychic STDs he and his 1st company caught can be cured.
- Brin Maxen - The crippled Chief Librarian during the Nemesis Incident, who couldn't do anything but write for the Chapter. He ended up making the only known source of information involving the Nemesis Incident that the Storm Wardens have.
- (No first name given) Varrus - the Third Company Captain during the Achilus Crusade
- Dougie McIsaac - Known for caber tossing a Chaos Terminator Lord to his doom.
- Old Man Henderson - Is believed to be hunting the gods of chaos to find Squats. "MUCKLE DAMRED CULTISTS 'AIR EH NAMBLIES BE KEEPIN' ME WEE MEN!?!?"
- Guts - Seriously, have you seen his sword and height? He doesn't even need his power armour.