Night Hawks Space Marines

Home World
The Chapter calls home to Korak Prime, a secluded system on the edge of the Maelstrom. The binary system of Korak is fraught with unpredictable, if short-lived, warp storms which periodically cut the region of space off from the rest of the Imperium. Korak Prime exhibits a unique orbit within the system and follows a figure-eight pattern around both stars. This unique orbit causes periods of harsh draught when the planet passes between the stars. The people of Korak Prime live simple lives with much time spent rationing their limited supplies as the arrival of inter-system supplies is less than regular. The annual dry period forces the populace to roam the surface in search of fresh surface water to bring back to their home villages...
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This lifestyle has moulded the Night Hawks into the chapter as they are today. Following in the traditions of the White Scars, the Chapter focuses on rapid deployment and hit and run tactics. While the White Scars prefer to launch lightning fast strikes, the Night Hawks have perfected the art of hitting targets of opportunity before rapidly redeploying without the need to re-supply. A small contingent of Night Hawks cannot only change the tide of a battle but that of a war spanning an entire continent.

Beliefs
The people of Korak Prime are a spiritual people believing that the path of survival begins within oneself and practice an ancient form of numerology. Imperial anthropologists have traced the roots of these practices to the Gyptians of ancient Terra. The Night Hawks take portions of these beliefs with them through their transformation from tribesman to Space Marine. The number 9 has become sacred to the Chapter and shapes their organization. The ancient Gyptians believed that the planetary aspect of the number 9 was the moon; symbolic of the night. The Nine is the number of the unconscious and is seen as a regulator, resolving any discrepancies between the seven (experience) and the eight (instinct). Because of this, the Nine can be seen as the interface between the inner and outer self. Only by understanding the inner and outer self can one truly hold the corrupting taint of Chaos at bay.

Village elders routinely wear a simple tabard emblazoned with the heraldry of the village’s people. Upon recognition of veteran status, a Night Hawk dons a tabard bearing the Night Hawk crest.

The symbol of the Night Hawks is a winged talon wielding a sword. This symbolizes the Chapter’s doctrine of swiftly bringing might to bear.

Combat Doctrine
4th Company, 1st Squad led by Sgt. Arkavius
The Night Hawks are often tasked with undertaking prolonged missions behind enemy lines where abnormal weather systems or warp interference may prevent re-supply from orbit or even beyond system space. Preferring to operate at night, in contravention of the standard brightly armoured shock troop renowned across the Imperium, the Night Hawks prefer the subdued nature of their chapter colours. The fear induced on an unsuspecting enemy hit by a Night Hawks’ attack far surpasses that caused by a brightly coloured uniform.

Organization

Techmarine Thurion with conversion beamer
At full strength, the Chapter is made up of 9 companies. The 1st company is comprised of ninety veterans of the Chapter who ride Mars-pattern hover bikes in contrast to the standard tactical dreadnaught armour worn by codex chapter’s first companies. Captains of the Chapter’s companies form their command squads from members of the 1st as opposed to members of their own companies. Veterans of the company can best prove their worth and learn first hand those skills which may someday be required if their station rises to that of captain. The 2nd through 5th companies are made up of bike and assault bike squadrons totalling 90 marines and form the battle companies of the champter. These marines form 10 man groups dubbed ‘Murders’ reminiscent of the tactical squads of codex chapters. The sixth and seventh companies are reserve companies formed of 90 battle brothers on bikes and assault bikes respectively. The 8th company, or the “Hand of Eden", consists of 45 versatile Argonaut Land Speeders and the 90 crew required to operate them. The 9th company consists of the initiates of the Chapter who sit at the crossroads of the journey to master their inner and outer selves.

Honourguard assembled for Captian Izikael
during the Mrklo campaign
Due to each marine being issued a Space Marine bike and the large component of Argonauts which make up the 8th company, the Chapter has formed a strong bond with the Adepts of Mars. Over 30 techmarines are currently present within the Chapter and routinely accompany the Night Hawks to battle operating Argonauts and performing field repairs during prolonged deployments.

Captain Izikael, 4th Company
Maintaining such a vast stock of equipment requires a major portion of the chapters allotted wargear and as such tanks and drop pods are a rare commodity. Such ancient relics are held within the chapter armoury for all but the most dire of circumstances.

Gene-seed
Imperial records indicate that the Night Hawks Chapter was founded during the ninth founding early on in M33 from the White Scars’ gene-seed. The gene-seed appears stable if not more-so than that of the White Scars. Any apparent uncontrollable ferocity periodically displayed by the White Scars has not translated to the Night Hawks. Whether this is attributable to the meditations of the Marines or the stock in which their initiates are chosen is unknown.

Recruitment
Recruits are not actively sought out by the Night Hawks. Their presence on Korak is enough to inspire the young into attempting the trials. Each year, during the drought, those wishing to join the chapter must set out from Bottom's Reach and cross the southern desert. The Night Hawks Fortress Monastery is located at the southern pole of the planet and although close enough to the system's star to prevent polar ice caps from forming, the climate changes from a dry heat to a baren tundra as one passes the southern latitudes.
Leaving Bottom's Reach with only what can be placed in a pack, the hopefuls must survive the 2 month journy across the barrens. The extreme temperature changes and lack of resources puts the body and mind of each boy to the test. Those that complete the journey can begin the process of gene screening to ensure that they're compatible with the gene-seed. Those who are not genetically fit for implantation yet survive the journey receive the respect of the chapter; more than enough to ensure they rise quickly through the ranks of their tribe upon returning home.

The Night Hawks have no formal limit on induction and the 9th Company has ranged in size from 50 to well over 300 scouts in recent centuries. Here within the 9th Company the novitiates hone their phyisical and mental abilities and learn the battle and cultural traditions of the Night Hawks. A distinct hierarchy is present within the 9th. Recent recruits take to battle in the Argonaut Storms ever-present in the chapter. Once the novitiates have proven themselves ready, they can pilot the Storms or take to scout bikes to further their training. Upon achieving full maturity the marine is granted his 'wings'. This mark he will wear until death as a tatoo on his left shoulder and a matching insignia upon his left pauldron. These marines will either take their new battle armour and bike to a reserve company or those with the aptitude will stay in the 9th as scout sergeants to train the next generation.

4th Company 2nd Squad leg by Sgt. Bronnel
Battlecry
“To the Ends"







Typhon; former veteran sgt. 1st company;
fatally wounded 124 M39
As the tactics of the Nighthawks Chapter focus on lightning strikes and rapid redeployment, battlefield speed is of the utmost importance. Due to this universal truth, dreadnoughts do not have as prominent a role among the Chapter as they would among others of the Imperium. Dreadnoughts are even more rare among the Chapter and internment is considered the greatest honour. Only the brightest and most capable of battlefield minds receive this honour -although battle brothers oft consider it a curse. To be forever removed from the ability to ride into battle is a destiny that no true Nighthawk would long for. Despite this, those that prove their leadership abilities and strategic acumen over centuries of battle will inevitably fall and be interned inside a sarcophagus to provide their tactical expertise for centuries to come. It is said that no war council or campaign has been prosecuted in Nighthawk history without being overseen by a dreadnought of the Chapter. 


Nighthawk dreadnoughts are typically armed with long range firepower and powerful auspex units so as to provide them with the ability to oversee engagements from afar so that they may provide intel and long range fire support and not be left behind and without use. It goes without saying that the redeployment of a dreadnought is not without its problems so they do not usually accompany a strike where a tactical withdrawal is a high probability. Instead they will provide the Chapter's limited siege capability in situations which demand it.

Librarius
Librarians within the Night Hawks chapter are as prevalent as in any other and are an important force in battling the enemies of the Imperium. The Librarius holds a place of special office in the Night Hawks chapter and its higher ranking members are often granted Mars-Pattern jetbikes. The librarians spend much of their time in deep meditation divining the ebb and flow of the warp to predict where the Night Hawks will be needed most. Aligning themselves as receptors to the wind of fate is not a process easily undone and many librarians are struck with painful visions while deployed. The battle brother will awake from a trance with strands of fate written within their tomes and no memory of the incident. It is common for librarians to display this journal of their visions at the forefront of their charge to battle to dispel any thoughts that they are anything but the drivers of their own fate.


Armoury
The Night Hawks Chapter utilizes equipment not common to the Adeptus Astartes. Included among this list is the Mars-pattern hover bike. This STC was recovered from the 3rd moon of Korak Secundus late in M40. Following centuries of review by the Adepts of Mars, production on these bikes began and preliminary shipments were directed to the Night Hawks’ for use among the 1st company. The hover bike is not a true jetbike and is not capable of attaining heights of more than 1 metre above the ground's surface. What the hover bike does achieve is the ability to traverse uneven terrain with greater ease than a standard bike. The hover bike is also incapable of traversing bodies of water with a depth greater than 1 m as the gravemetric displacment field employed by the bike does not work with fluids.

Argonaut Land Speeder
The Argonaut-varient land speeder was created in M38.657 on the forge world of Aritek. The adept Primalus had a shortfall of the materials required to create the anti-grav plating which provides the land speeder with it’s low altitude flight abilities. The A ground-based land speeder variant was thereby created in an attempt to fulfill the battlefield role of a light assault vehicle. It was quickly realized that the lack of anti-grav plating and the systems required for it greatly increased the available cargo capacity of the vehicle. Though falling out of favour in the eyes of many of the Astartes, the Night Hawks found this new variant to compliment their combat doctrine almost perfectly. The drawback of being ground-based was of little concern as the Chapter utilized them as a long-range support vehicle capable of carrying their much needed supplies; the benefits far outweighing the costs. The reduction in materials required to construct the variant also weighed heavily in its favour as the Chapter already devoted much of its resources to bikes.

Argonaut Pattern Land Speeder Storm

Scouts of the Night Hawks 9th company are not born in the saddle; they must first earn the right to take to battle on their own bike. Those proving themselves in the blood of combat move up the ranks to either piloting a Storm or being granted a scout bike while remaining in the 9th. For all of the reasons that the Argonaut Pattern Land Speeder has become a staple in the chapter, so has the Argonaut Storm. The Argonaut Storm sports increased engine capacity versus the standard Argonaut to aid in pushing its larger chassis up to similar speeds. The vehicle is capable of carrying novitiates into battle as well as wounded brother-soldiers from it. Tow lines can be extended from the roof of the crew compartment which safely trail behind the vehicle for use in towing damaged equipment back from the front when required. The heavy reliance on Argonauts and bikes by the Night Hawks means that no equipment is forfieited lightly. The plume of dust left in the wake of the tri-thrusters pay homage to the coming storm and the namesake of the vehicle.


Achilles Pattern Land Raider
The venerable Achilles was not a thoughtless prize but a well considered gift from the Mechanicum. The Night Hawk's combat doctrine was well known to the Mechanicum as was their lack of tactical dreadnought armour and by extension, need for standard land raiders. As such, the Achilles, which is ill-suited to carry assault teams to battle hosts a thunderfire cannon, a symbolic weapon of the tech marines of the Adeptus Astartes. The weapon's tremor round's ability to disrupt enemy movement synergizes perfectly with the Night Hawks' practice of out manouvering their enemy. Permitting this oft-stationary weapon to be taken into battle by the fast moving Night Hawks on a nigh indestructible shrine chassis solidified the bond between Mars and Chapter, of whom both would call on one another innumerable times in the future.

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