Index Astartes: Sons of Ra
I've had this idea percolating in my brain for about 15 years, and every couple years, I end up painting a model and expanding the fluff, so it seems time to do it again.
The Sons of Ra
Founded in the late 42nd millenium, the Sons of Ra have distinguished themselves as a chapter with a fervent dogma and unshakable faith in the god Emperor.
The desert world Thothus was a relatively peaceful backwater planet, near the eastern fringe. The citizens paid their tithes when demanded and were well known for building great monuments. One of their kind though, sought for more than living a menial life upon a quiet planet, his name was Heru, one of the Emperors most trusted Seers. It was Heru that betrayed both the planetary governor and the emperor himself. Falling for a plan laid into action by Tzeentch, Heru slayed the Planetary Governor and defiled the Altar of the Emperor. His actions caused a gateway to open and himself acted as a conduit for Fateweaver. His body burst into a million pieces, which each in turn grew into a legion of Horrors. Other opportunistic daemons flooded from the gateway from the entire pantheon of Chaos gods, soon the planet was overrun.
The Blood Angels were the first to answer the distress call from Thothus. Upon planetfall, the Blood Angels were greeted by an awe inspiring sight. Massive stone statues of the Emperor and Primarchs, each being battered down by legions of daemons. The Blood Angels used many Stormravens and Thunderhawks to batter the Imperial Temple, volley after volley of bloodstrike missiles finally breached the thick stone walls, revealing a mind shattering swirl of dark energy, warping and twisting the rubble into new forms. Not as soon as the portal was revealed a blinding blast of light and crackle of energy flashed around the opening. Unbeknownst to the Blood Angels, the Grey Knights had also taken interest in the infestation. Acting quickly, the Grey Knights sealed the portal and began to aid the Blood Angels in cleansing the planet.
The Blood Angels, seeing a kindred spirit in their Craftsmanship and dedication to the Emperor, convinced the Grey Knights that Exterminatus would waste such a pious population. Reluctantly, the Grey Knights left the Blood Angels responsible for the inhabitants. Recruiting from the strongest warriors of the great delta tribes, the Blood Angels requested that a new chapter be formed from their genestock, and thus the Sons of Ra were born.
Thothus Prime is primarily a desert world, with temperate poles, each harboring a massive sea. Many Large rivers and deltas connect the northern and southern oceans, each controlled by a large tribe.
The Sons of Ra are most well noted for their rapid insertion tactics. Not wanting to engage in prolonged combat, they are often seen being deployed via Drop Pod or Storm Raven.
Due to the large number of Dreadnoughts within the chapter, they are more reluctant to deploy in tanks, since they would quickly outpace their venerable allies. It is not uncommon to have a vanguard force of Sons of Ra, fully mounted in Storm Ravens loaded with Dreadnoughts. If additional support is needed, they will often be aided by Assault Marines deploying from low flying Thunder Hawks or by Land Speeders which can keep up with the Storm Ravens.
The Sons of Ra adhere to the Codex Astartes in their company structure. The most obvious difference though between this chapter's equipment and those of other marines, is the disproportionately high number of Dreadnoughts and Storm Raven gunships.
Each battle company maintains 3-6 Dreadnoughts, and the first company currently has 11 fighting among it's ranks. The elders of the chapter, made up mostly of Librarians and Commanders are also often interred in the sarcophagus of a dreadnought, and are well known for entering battle in an elite Furioso Dreadnought.
To the Sons of Ra, the Emperor is the creator of all things, and through his conquests of the techno-barbarians, the Emperor is also the great messiah, the savior of civilization. His sons, the Primarchs, represent a pantheon of lesser gods, who all deserve their respect in kind. While they do not outwardly hate the traitor legions, they absolutely despise Chaos itself. To the Sons of Ra, Horus is not seen as the arch-nemesis, rather, he is the antitheses to the Emperor, as night is to the day. The Sons believe that the ultimate threat lies not in the souls of corrupt marines, but in their masters, the Chaos gods. This has raised suspicion with the Inquisition on multiple occasions, but each time they have been investigated, the Inquisitors have only found a chapter of marines with unwavering loyalties to The Emperor, their primarch and humanity.
As decedents from Blood Angels, the Sons of Ra are also subject to their flaw. When a Son of Ra is first showing signs of the flaw, a priest from the chapter will speak to the astartes in isolation. After consoling the spirit of the marine, the priest presents the marine with 2 items, a dagger and a vial. The dagger is so that the marine may take his life, by cutting out his own geneseed before bleeding to death at the priests feet, this is considered the only honorable death outside of war by the Sons of Ra, for giving their life so the chapter may live on is considered the ultimate self sacrifice. The vial contains a small sample of the Blood of Sanguinius, as well as a dose of a psykomorphic compound, consuming this will send the marine deep into the Black Rage, and they will be inducted into the Death Company. The afflicted marine may choose where and when to drink from the vial, but once they do, the effect is obviously irreversible.
After a battle, the bodies of fallen Death Company are recovered, and any who are near-fatally wounded may be permitted the chance to live on and serve the chapter in a Dreadnought. The chapter elders and priesthood will consult, if the marine has proven himself valorous in life, he will be permitted to continue to serve living death inside a Dreadnought. If the marine has not earned his place in a Dreadnought, he will be granted the death he has earned.
Varies between tribal origin.