The Caballeros Vulpones are a loyalist Space Marine Chapter with roots dating back to the Horus Heresy era, although it was founded in a very later date. They are a non-Codex Astartes compliant Chapter, as they are organized into Brotherhoods, rather than the standard companies, the fighting formations of specialised warfare skills. During each campaign the members of each Brotherhood create a different force, depending on the situation and commanded by a Captain. Each Brotherhood, except the II Brotherhood, is overseen by a Grand Master, where the Chapter is commanded by a Supreme Grand Master. There are nine Brotherhoods and the position of a Space Marine in each Brotherhood is not fixed· they can change between them if they want to pursue a different path. The chapter oversees the Vulpecula Sector in the northern reaches of the Eastern Fringe of the Ultima Segmentum. The Vulpecula Sector compromises of only two inhabitable systems - the Terminus System and the Polean System.
The initial force of the Caballeros Vulpones was on the border to make them an operable combat unit, and as such they had a larger than usual number of surfs, so that the Space Marines had enough time to train properly. It took more than 2000 years for the Chapter to reach its optimal fighting capacity.
After the battle of Istvaan V Drop Site massacre, a small team composed of Raven Guard, Iron Hands, Salamanders and limited number of Imperial Guard and loyalist members of the Traitor Legions, managed to get to 3 frigates and escape. The Warp Storms were too severe for the force to steer for Terra and all the Navigators, except one, died from the strain.
The remaining ships followed the one with the living astropath, who was on the verge of death. They encountered for the first time the Chaos daemons and they sustained heavy losses, till they managed to learn how to hold the entities at bay. Seeing that the situation may become hopeless they devised a plan to ++++DATA CORRUPTED++++ discarded the one main warp engine and they exploded it. +++DATA CORRUPTED++++ were just on the edge of the blast, as the Warp energy expanded much faster than in the Materium world. The blast worked as an emergency flare and in some months another lost frigate of the Space Wolves came into aid. This frigate came from a time after the Horus Heresy and they informed the ragtag force of what had happened, the Battle of Terra, the Astronomican, the Traitor Legions, the Dark Mechanicum and the loss of many Primarchs into the Warp, chasing the Traitors, their Primarch Leman Russ and his 13th Company included.
Their encounters with daemons and traitor Space Marines were not diminished the next centuries and they forced to use weapons from the fallen enemies. The Chaplains and the Wolf Priest were always guiding the dwindling numbers.
During the 8th Black Crusade, the Warp current belched out the Space Hulk over a former Forge World. Most of the Space Hulk systems have been repaired by Techpriests and Techmarines and there was no danger for drifting back in the Warp. There was already an Imperial Navy force fighting the Chaos forces and they aided them, both in orbit and with ground forces. At first the Imperial Navy suspected the worse and a team of Blood Angels and an Inquisitor were dispatched to investigate. When they teleported into the Space Hulk, they found a battle ready station, habitated by a ragtag loyalist Space Marines force and at first they were very suspicious for them. The unknown Space Marines seemed out of place and could not believe that it was the 37th Millenia, but recognised the Heraldry of the Sigilite in the Icon of the Inquisition, and the power it symbolised. When the Imperial forces ended the battle victorious, the Inquisitor decided that the Forge World was lost to Chaos and ordered its Exterminatus. The Space Hulk was guided in an undisclosed location, where the full populace of the Space Hulk (Space Marines, serfs, servitors, humans, techpriests) was scrutinised for taint by Chaos, an investigation that took for almost 600 years.
A battleforce identified as a loyalist Space Marine Chapter, emerges above a Forge World which is controlled by the Dark Mechanicum. A heavy battle ensued with the Chaos forces of the Dark Mechanicum. At the end of the battle, the world was declared tainted permanently by Chaos and an Exterminatus was issued.
Grim Harvest (666.M38) -
When the Space Hulks from the Lost Crusade appear all over sectors near Terra, the force of Caballeros Vulpones persuades the Inquisition and the Grey Knights to help them. Their battles and consequent purging, over the overwhelming numbers of mutants and chaos abominations aboard the Space Hulks surprise even the Grey Knights. These actions end the scrutiny that the Chapter endured for almost 600 years from Ordo Malleus.
The Chapter has been involved in operations against the Tyranid Hive Fleet Behemoth. Initially they thought the Hive Fleet to be compromised only by Genestealers, Broodlords and some other rare Tyranid forms they had already encountered in Space Hulks. The Chapter took heavy loses, especially the VII, VIII and IX Brotherhoods.
The Chapter has been involved in operations against the Tyranid Hive Fleet Moloch.
The Purging of Jollana (913.M41) -
A vanguard force of Caballeros Vulpones infiltrates Jollana and tries to secure and evacuate a sector of the planet that holds ancient and arcane knowledge. At the end, the main battle was fought on the other side of the planet, between the Grey Knights and Chaos Daemons.
As a result of (painful) lessons learned during their 3000 years in the Warp Storms, they believe that, although there are creatures named as daemons or gods, there is not such a thing, just names civilizations give to them. The Universe is a cruel place to be and it just is. This cold-thought approach helped them overcome the taints of Chaos and stay on the path of enlightenment.
As the roots of the Caballeros Vulpones were planted by Space Marines of the original Legions, the Chapter follows the Imperial Truth as it was declared by the Emperor of Mankind. They believe that the Emperor is an extremely powerful being, the rightful ruler of all mankind and the perfect image of humanity, but no matter how supreme, still a human being. They venerate him as a father figure, a spiritual guide, as a person of great wisdom and as the perfect image of human being. These beliefs, that are more rational and cold-logic than the other Space Marine Chapters, makes their relationship between the Ecclesiarchy and the Ordo Hereticus strained, at best. If not the Chapter's knowledge of the Warp and the purging of Space Hulks, they would have destroyed the survivors in the first place. However, they do believe that their souls will be at the side of the Emperor against Chaos when the End Times come.
The Arhats of the Chapter are the spiritual and philosophical guides of Caballeros Vulpones. They regularly screen the battle-brothers and if they find that a brother has been tainted by Chaos, something that has not happened so far, the brother is forced to repent and to do a suicide ritual. The ritual takes place in front of the whole chapter.
Pendants, tattoos and armour carvings
Since the process to become member of Caballeros Vulpones is to survive in different parts of the Polean System as an aspirant, it is expected to have a memento from each one. These fetishes do not have a religious purpose, they are worn as badges of honour and self-affirmation. The most usual are skulls of animals, worn as pendants around the neck or on the armour, but can also be finger rings, arm rings, earrings or any other shape and of various materials.
Another symbol between the brothers of Caballeros Vulpones are the tattoos and scarifications. These can depict various symbols and beliefs from the people of the Polean System or Imperial designs, or can also be quotes from wards and protections against the Warp. Some battle-brothers that have fought together for long time or hard battles do the same tattoo to signify their bond. Many of these are made as ceremonial events and some are major events and feasts of the Chapter
As the individualistic nature of the battle-brothers is promoted, it is expected for them to carve upon their armours their personal thoughts, beliefs, battles, inspirational quotes and protective wards against the Warp entities. This forms a special bond between them and the machine-spirit of their armour.
Each battle-brother has a standard personal equipment, most of it during their path as aspirants. These are:
Monofilament blade of the Machaera design
A sqarf, memento of their life before, usually red but can be any colour
A force sword of Tachi style
A grimoire, with the Code of the Caballeros Vulpones and personal observations and thoughts
A bandoleer, usually from leather of indigenous Polean animals
Death and funeral rites
Upon death, the remains of the battle-brothers are burned in a ceremonial pyre. The machine-spirit of the armour is connected with the repository of the machine-spirit of Iuominen and give her their knowledge of the battles they had taken part. After this, the armour machine-spirit is placed again with the fallen brother. Their ashes, along with their bones, cybernetic implants and their equipment are stored in a sarcophagus and they are placed in the mausoleum of the Fortress-Monastery. During this ceremony is devoutness, which ends with a great feast. The armours of the fallen brothers are put on display in the Fortress-Monastery, silent knights looking the corridors within. If the need arises, they are taken down and used as Chapter Relics, with the battle-brother etching his name and battles on it.
This is a tome containing various texts for war doctrine and philosophy.
Some of them are the Bushidō, the Spartiate, theCredo Legionario and others -saved in full or partial form from ancient transcripts-, Codex Astartes, the Book of Five Spheres and relative tomes from other Chapters and Liber Daemonicum. While it may appear to be a normal book or a scroll, opening it will reveal a series of flickering paper-thin screens that contain interactive information that can be brought to focus or enlarged, since the wealth of information is vast for a simple book to contain.
Despite that the initial force of the Chapter was organised from a variety of Legions with very different combat doctrines, their limited numbers under overwhelming number of enemies and limited supplies, made them employ infiltration and guerilla warfare tactics with fast attack elements. The tactics, rooting back to Raven Guard and the ease which can replace their lost limbs with artificial ones, rooted from Iron Hands, are the most prevalent to this day. The initial large numbers of surfs attending the Space Marines, and the teachings of the Salamanders, have let them close to the normal humans and they try to minimize the collateral damage. There are instances were they have stayed behind, to support the evacuation of the Imperial citizens, even in the direst of circumstances. The Chapter venerates the Legionnaires that organised first their Chapter force and have close ties with the original Chapters. The names of the loyalist members from the Traitor Legions are known only by the most seniors members of the Chapter.
The IX Brotherhood is named also Relictus Eversoras. They operate apart the main force of the Chapter, their mission to purge Space Hulks and retrieve archaeotech. Their force is supported by two Polean regiments and a team of Magii Explorators.
At first the ragtag force was recruiting from the humans of the flotilla. These were imperial citizens or Imperial Guard that had stranded in ships or planets in the Warp during the Horus Heresy. During the Long Walk they recruited from worlds encountered or from the Black Ships. The stamps of the Inquisition was enough for the Chapter to persuade the crews of the Black Ships. Their hard won knowledge with battling daemons make the Chapter to recruit only individuals with psyker potential. Along these screenings they also send possible recruits to Grey Knights and Exorcists Chapters.
When their Space Hulk reached the far fringes of the Milky Way Galaxy, deep into Sagittarius Arm, they intercepted plead for help from an unknown Imperial World. When they reached, they have found the Polean System, which was under attack from a Necron flotilla. They managed to triumph and they declared the system as their domain. The Polean System is habitat to sturdy men and women, as it has harsh conditions in the Deathworlds of the main planets and in the space mining. Caballeros Vulpones recruit now from them but their Fortress-Monastery resides in a star system close to Polean.
There is a special process to become a Space Marine of the Chapter, apart his psychic potential. There is almost no need to choose from rough candidates, the life in Polean System does it by itself. But for an aspirant to become recruited, he has to live for one year in each type of the harsh conditions of Polean Prime and its moon, Túnis. The aspirants have to battle beasts and the environments of toxic jungles, deadly seas, subzero temperatures and scorching deserts. After they should live one more year in the asteroid mining colonies, were they should live in the vacuum of space and dangerous space mining. This does not make them only acquainted with a variety of survival situations but during their long journey they should gather the materials needed to create their basic weaponry. In their last year they visit the Forge World of Hephaestus, where they should forge the equipment by themselves.
Only after this they can be recruited by the Chapter. Before the basic processes to make them Space Marines, they have to pass the last test. They have to be daemonhosts and overcome the daemon within. The surviving recruits start their life as Scouts. Many perish during the 6 year process, almost an Imperial Guard regiment each year, but it is a risk that the citizens are willing to make. The whole process is made so to mimic the Warp years and the Long Walk that Caballeros Vulpones made after their official founding.
The psychic potential of the Poleans is the norm, as almost all manifest such powers. An evolution that was made from a survival point, as they had no other means of communicating between their sparse settlements and their distance from the galactic core.
The original armour of Caballeros Vulpones was in the plain unpainted adamantium, with the right pauldron having the Imperial Aquila and the left the colour of the preferable Legion colour of each battle-brother.
After their foundation as an official Chapter they put on their pauldrons to the icon of their Chapter, the Greek letter Θ, with was a simple red circle and the Inquisition I turned 90º. Also, it is the 9th letter of the Greek numeral system, noting the number of the Brotherhoods the Chapter has.
After the purge of a Daemon World, their colour changed to burned brass. One of the Grand Masters was cut of from the main force and ended in a deep trench, where the Dark Mechanicus was dumping their waste. He couldn't find the exit and when he saw a huge fox-like creature he managed to escape, by dragging himself from the tail of the startled animal. During this his armour was splashed in the wastes and got the brass colour. When he managed to exit the trench, he found the remaining force engaged a desperate battle with the daemon machines of the Dark Mechanicus. He organised a counter-attack and they managed to overcome the enemies of the Imperium. After that, the fox head was implemented in their Chapter badge and they changed the colour to the burned brass of the armour of their Chapter Master.
The Fortress-Monastery of Caballeros Vulpones is the Space Hulk named "Whœnua Parakøre". It orbits the dead world of Terminus Prime, as an artificial moon. The endless wastes below are used as training grounds for the Chapter.
On board the Fortress Monastery, there are many relics, with some of them dating before the M31, as the Warp was never empty of such items. Most of the surviving tech-equipment has been returned to their parent Chapters, but there are still many that stay in the spaces of the Fortress Monastery. In the 6000 years of their habitation of the Space Hulk, they have converted it in a formidable base. The strained and twisted corridors of the derelicts have been blasted and made to vast alleyways, that house various uses. Large libraries and training areas have been created and there is always a place where someone can find a refuge and meditate.
In the underbelly of the Space Hulk is the spaceport, where the fleet of the Chapter can be found.
Terminus Pattern Bolter: This bolter is the distinctive weapon of the Chapter, as it is designed in a bullpup configuration, with the shell ejecting port on the front, just above the muzzle of the weapon. Its compact design makes it ideal for cqb and also provides more barrel length and more room in the front for cumbersome underbarrel attachments (ie. combi-plasma). It functions as any other Imperium bolter and takes the same ammunition, magazines and attachments.
Snípa: This sniper rifle is a helgun and can kill both flesh and corporeal enemies. It draws energy from magazines with high-power yield, instead of a backpack unit. It can also use the more common backpack unit. The weapons of this class are all with silencer and light shield.
Shield of Amikles: A type of storm shields used by the Chapter. They have built-in generators, thus provide more freedom of movement to the handler. The Mk1 pattern is round and Mk2 is an elongated rectangular and is used in Space Hulk boarding operations. If the generator depletes its energy, it can be powered by standard lasgun magazines, although with limited capacity.
The Chapter has 3 Battle Barges. One of them, The Ragnarok, is moving all the time.
Rau i Roto i te Hau (Battleship, Unknown Class) - The flagship of the fleet of Caballeros Vulpones. Despite her size and age (early M26), she is among the fastest ships of the fleet. She has been in numerous encounters and her speed, along her fearsome armoury, has saved a great deal of imperial citizens.
The Ragnarok (Battle-Barge) - This Battle-Barge houses almost all the members of the XI Brotherhood of Caballeros Vulpones, along with 2 regiments of Poleans and usually a small team of Techpriests. Its purpose is to locate Space Hulks throughout the galaxy and purge them, or destroy them if they are deemed lost. There are many times that she has worked with other vessels of Ordo Xenos and has seen extensive use in various Hive Fleets incursions. She is one of the oldest ships in the fleet, dating back to M33. Her sister ship (Iuominen) was the one that crashed in the Space Hulk that later became the Fortress Monastery of the Chapter. The arsenal of the ship is tremendous and can obliterate even a medium planet with ease. However, her weapons are used only for the destruction of Space Hulks or other huge celestial objects that may pose a threat for an Imperial world.
Iuominen (Battle-Barge) - This ship was crashed in the surface of the Space Hulk -that was later became the Fortress-Monastery of the Chapter- when it was captured by an unknown force. It was embeded into it and even to this day she lays there. Her Machine Spirit is controlling the Space Hulk and the original vessel is converted to the Great Halls of the Chapter. She is the sister-ship of the Ragnarok barge.
Hasámi (Battle-Barge) - This Battle-Barge was found as a derelict, drifting in space, near the galactic core. She was orbiting dangerously close to a blue hyper-giant star. It took the power of both Battle-Barges, at the time, along with 5 strike cruisers to haul her from the gravity well of the giant star. She is the bigger ship in the fleet, almost twice the size of a normal Battle-Barge. Date of construction is unknown but her Machine Spirit burns as hot as the star she was drifting for so many centuries.
three - destroyed during Hive Fleet Behemoth Battle
four (Vanguard Cruiser Class) - destroyed during Hive Fleet Behemoth battle
five (Vanguard Cruiser Class) - destroyed during Hive Fleet Kraken battle
Nova Frigates (10)
Gladius Frigates (20), 10 of them are converted to Rapid Strike configuration
Void Ship - Although the name suggests every ship capable of spaceflight, the Void Ship Class of Caballeros Vulpones is the perfect ship for entering stealthy enemy territory. They are somewhat comparable to Null Ships, in that they are impossible to detect even with psychic means and can mask their signature completely.
Cor Vitae Class - This handful of very specialised ships, named by the first of their class, are a version of Void Ship Class. They are designed to mask their signature as Tyranid vessels and at least two times they have destroyed the main ships of the Hive Mind, halting the progress of tendrils of Tyranid invasions. Externally they may look as tyranid vessels, but it is an illusion, Tyranid-like synthflesh covering the frame of a standard Void Ship Class cruiser. They take a lot of time to manufacture, as the carapace and the synthflesh have to grow with the ship, and the Machine Spirit reacts to the pseudo-organic matter as her own skin. No more than 10 have been made since their production begun at 784.M41.
Pluto Class - Another specialised version of the Void Ship Class. These vessels are designed to infiltrate Eldar and Dark Eldar space. They make a valuable tool in the arsenal of the Deathwatch, all of them on permanent loan to Ordo Xenos. At least 6 of them have been destroyed during the invasion of Hive Fleet Kraken.
Gaea and Chaos: These relics are a pair of master-crafted swords that date back to M32. They are wielded by the champion swordsman. One is said to shutter the body of the target into jutted fragments and the other to destroy it into molecular level.
Kogitsune-Maru: A relic type of sword, its burning blade can melt ceramite and wraithbone with ease.
La Estrella: A master crafted sword that can cut easily through anything, even daemons and corporeal entities. It is wielded by the most senior psykers of the Chapter.
Nyx: A relic armour that makes the wearer almost invisible and silent, even to auspexes and psykers.