Here’s one last faction writeup for our Caluphel Awakenings campaign! This one comes from Alex and focuses on his Salamanders Space Marine warband.
Long before the 41st millenium, during the Horus Heresy, the Primarch Vulkan had Forge Father T’kell hide nine of the powerful artifacts he had created in a hidden vault upon an unnamed world. He did this to ensure the artifacts would never fall into the hands of the traitor forces encroaching upon the loyal Imperium.
The artifacts were lost to history and hunted by loyalists, traitors, and xenos alike. The Salamanders did not recover any of the artifacts until the early 41st millenium, when Forge Father Vulkan Dir’san found the forge-ship Chalice of Fire along with the artifact known as the Eye of Vulkan drifting in space. This discovery kickstarted a new search for the rest of the artifacts. The Salamanders now have five of the nine and are still in their perpetual quest to obtain the final four.
Near the end of the 41st millenium, Techmarine Argos, the Salamanders’ Master of the Forge, discovered a clue as to the whereabouts of the vault that was meant to hide the artifacts upon the Chalice of Fire. The ship was designed to transport the artifacts to the massive vault that would hide them.
This spurred the full mobilization of a battle group meant to finally find the ancient vault once and for all and — hopefully — uncover more clues as to the whereabouts of the last four artifacts. The forces composing the battle group where the entire first company, elements of the second, third, and the seventh companies, and including large elements of the Salamanders armory and a sizable chunk of their fleet power.
The battle group was led by the Captain of the second company, Al’kehere, and Forge Father Vulkan He’stan. Now known as the Crusade of Fire, the battle group departed just as the Thirteenth Black Crusade got underway. As they were in transit, Cadia fell and the Cicatrix Maledictum formed and broke apart the fleet. Three quarters of the Crusader of Fire materialized from the warp southeast of Macragge. The rest of the fleet was lost to the warp, including the majority of the first company, the Forge Father, and almost the entirety of the Salamanders armor.
However, a beacon of light gave hope to the broken Crusade. The Salamanders’ ships picked up the astropathic calls of friendly Imperial forces in a nearby sector, above the world of Caluphel. Not knowing what had transpired or how long they had been lost in the warp, the Salamanders resolved to meet their Imperial allies — who, beyond the Crusade’s knowledge, were being reinforced by a new ally to the Imperium.
Captain Al’kehere was chosen to lead the Crusade of Fire for his knowledge of the area and its native xenos, experience he gained from prior engagements in the sector.
The captain was born near the middle of the 41st millenium to one of the few remaining nomadic tribes of Nocturne. He was discovered by the captain of the seventh company on a training mission as young Al’kehere was attempting to save his father from a firedrake with only his hammer.
It was a losing battle to be sure. The seventh company captain saved him and his father and rewarded him with a choice for his valor and courage. He would either escort them home, or Al’kehere could have the option to join the next batch of aspirants to join the seventh company.
Realizing it was an amazing honor to join the Salamanders’ ranks, he was encouraged by his father to accept the Captain’s offer. He managed to survive the grueling tests of the Salamanders and made it through his time as an aspirant to become a battle brother in the devastator core of the second company.
He rose quickly through the ranks of the second for the same courage that won him a place in the chapter’s ranks. By the end of the 41st millennium, he had achieved the rank of Captain and Master of the Watch for almost 400 years of exemplary service. During those four centuries, he perpetually fought for the Emperor and Vulkan, making him an ideal leader for the Crusade of Fire.