The Aurora Chapter is a Loyalist Chapter of Space Marines that is a Second Founding Successor Chapter of the Ultramarines. Master of the lightning-fast armoured assault, the Chapter Armoury boasts more Land Raiders and Predators than many other Space Marine Chapters.
Many of these vehicles are ancient war relics that have fought for the Aurora Chapter since the Second Founding. Its vehicles are manufactured on its homeworld of Firestorm, a planet covered with industrial macrofactorums to rival most Forge Worlds in scale. Their output ensures that the Aurora Chapter's vehicles never need fear ammunition shortages.
The Aurora Chapter's name has become a byword for armoured assault across the Ultima Segmentum, which serves as its primary area of operations.
The origins of the Aurora Chapter can be traced back to the Great Crusade over ten millennia earlier, when it was still a part of the Ultramarines Legion, then known as the XIIIth Legion, before their reunification with their Primarch Roboute Guilliman.
Following their unification with their primarch, Guilliman quickly set about restructuring his Legion's operational doctrine and hierarchy to suit his personal tastes and style of leadership.
While the newly espoused doctrine of structured adaptability became deeply ingrained within many of the Legion's chapters, there were some notable deviations from this pattern. Some few individual chapters, through long held preference or some quirk of supply, maintained notable strengths of non-standard equipment or personnel.
One of the more noteworthy examples of this was the 4th Chapter, known within the Legion as the "Aurorans," who operated roughly five times as many armoured vehicles as a standard Legion chapter.
Before their unification with their primarch, the warrior brotherhood of the XIIIth had, at that time, only in the solar decades after their initial raising on Terra, begun to display its achievements visually.
But rather than take on a particular livery and iconography as a whole, individual companies who had come to prominence in a particularly important Imperial Compliance operation or campaign took on additions to their core Legion livery -- which maintained the post-Unification storm grey and gunmetal they had worn since the retaking of Sedna at the edge of the Sol System at the start of the Great Crusade -- to commemorate their greatest achievements.
The principally armoured formations of the XIII Legion helped halt an Ork advance on the ash plains of Cypra Mundi, and in doing so had saved a city of millions from a savage death. Afterwards they commemorated the battle by mirroring on their right pauldron the emerald light of the blazing aurora borealis that had riven the skies under which they had fought. Such honours were claimed as the Legion's strength made visible.
Following the end of the Horus Heresy, Roboute Guilliman was responsible for the restructuring of the Imperium's military forces. The vast Space Marine Legions would be broken down into numerous, smaller existing formations, known as a Chapter.
When the Second Founding of the Space Marines was decreed seven Terran years after the death of Horus and the end of his Heresy, most of the old Loyalist Legions divided into fewer than 5 Successor Chapters, but the Ultramarines were divided many times. The existing armoured formations of the Ultramarines 4th Chapter became a part of the newly founded "Aurora" Chapter.
Since that bygone era, the Aurora Chapter has always been known as the undisputed masters of armoured assault. They boast more Land Raiders and Predators than many other Space Marine Chapters. Ever since their creation, in the Second Founding, they have preferred massed spearheads led by heavily armoured main battle tanks, earning them renown throughout the Ultima Segmentum.
Sometime in 330.M41, there arose a destabilisation of relations between both the Aurora Chapter and their fellow scions of Guilliman -- the Emperor's Spears Chapter. Many Successor Chapters hold little affinity with their genetic forebears, but the Emperor's Spears are a key example in the rare cases of a Chapter detesting one of its kindred bloodlines to the point of coming to blows. In this instance, it was over a matter of honour.
During the Eukari Insurrection, a strike force of Emperor's Spears came into conflict with a vanguard of warriors from the Aurora Chapter, a close-bound descendant of the noble Ultramarines. However, the Emperor's Spears' 4th Warhost arrived to find the insurrection was already being fought by the Aurora Chapter -- technically a cousin bloodline to the Emperor's Spears.
Rather than greet the Emperor's Spears as brethren, the commander of the Aurora Chapter berated the Spears for requiring other warriors to fight their wars inside Elara's Veil. With typical hot blood, the Emperor's Spears replied with a planetary deployment right into the heart of the enemy capital, sustaining heavier losses than the Aurora Chapter's meticulously fought counter-offensive, but stealing all glory of the victory for themselves through three solar days and nights of brutal urban warfare.
With the Chaos warlord's still-bloody skull chained to his pauldron, the lord of the 4th Warhost -- Captain Trystance of the Arakanii -- voxed the Aurora Chapter commander and informed him that his warriors had no right to mark the battle on their war banners as a victory, since the Emperor's Spears had "done all the hard work."
The exact events that led to continued destabilisations in the Chapters' relations are unclear, though it seems both commanders eventually agreed to an honour duel to end the unrest. Even this engagement is the source of yet more conflict, as both Chapters claim their champion was victorious, and in the skirmish that followed, both Chapters claim the other side fired the first shot that led to several warships sustaining significant damage in the name of Adeptus Astartes pride.
A group of representatives from the Ultramarines, acting either as benevolent overseers or unwanted judges depending on which Chapter's perspective is being described at the time, later ruled in the Aurora Chapter's favour. They stated that the Emperor's Spears had acted according to rash, impulsive instincts rather than following the approved guidelines for multi-Chapter warfare laid out in the Codex Astartes and that the glory of the victory was to be equally shared.
Such was the bitterness that arose over the Ultramarines' perceived inflexibility (some archives list it as "favouritism"...) that Trystance of the 4th Warhost swore never to set foot on Macragge even if the planet was imperiled by threat of destruction.
No record exists of the Emperor's Spears and the Aurora Chapter fighting together since the event, though there is an apocryphal tale in the Liber Honora Astartes Quintia that says a cargo vessel arrives every ten standard years in the skies above Firestorm, homeworld of the Aurora Chapter, "declaring that it brings a tribute to the Spears' 'beloved cousins.'"
This gift is the same each decade: the ship has a hold full of seawater and several hundred abyssal vine-serpents, supposedly a despised -- and incredibly ugly -- breed of oceanic vermin on the Emperor's Spears' homeworld of Nemeton, with no nutritional value whatsover and a profoundly unpleasant taste.
- Armoured Assault on Grylos (282.M36) - The massed armoured spearheads of the Aurora Chapter broke the Ork invasion of Grylos.
- Eukari Insurrection (330.M41) - The Imperial world of Eukari was struck by a rebellion led by the forces of Chaos in 330.M41. In response, its planetary governor sent an astropathic plea for aid. As Eukari lay within the region of Elara's Veil, it was within the sphere of responsibility of the Emperor's Spears. The Chapter dispatched a strike force led by Captain Trystance to aid the world. When the Emperor's Spears force arrived, Trystance discovered that the Aurora Chapter was already fighting the rebels. The Aurora Chapter commander berated the Emperor's Spears upon their arrival for failing in their responsibilities to guard the Veil and requiring others to fight their wars for them. This angered Trystance and he ordered the Emperor's Spears' strike force to deploy right into the heart of the rebels' capital city. Though they suffered heavy causalities, over three solar days of fighting, the Spears killed the rebel Chaos Lord and thus earned the majority of the glory of the battle for themselves. Trystance then informed the Aurora Chapter's commander that they had had no right to mark the Battle of Eukari as a victory on their war banners, since the Emperor's Spears had actually carried out the operation that resulted in the defeat of the rebels. This led to a squabble between the two Astartes captains, which ended in an honour duel between both Chapter's champions. Yet even this failed to stop the bickering, as the duel proved inconclusive and both Chapters claimed they had won the contest. Eventually a shot rang out and both sides attacked in an internecine battle, which resulted in even their orbiting fleets unleashing their weapons upon one another and causing significant damage before a ceasefire was eventually declared to stem the losses. Since both Chapters were Ultramarines successors, the Ultramarines dispatched a group of representatives to finally end the conflict. Upon further review, the Ultramarines ruled in the Aurora Chapter's favour and held that the Emperor's Spears had acted impulsively. The Ultramarines arbitrators also found that the Emperor's Spears had not followed the dictums laid out in the Codex Astartes. As a result, the credit for the victory over the rebels was to be shared equally between the two Chapters. Though the Aurora Chapter was satisfied with this decision, Trystance was infuriated at the outcome, and vowed he would never set foot on the Ultramarines' homeworld of Macragge again even if the home of his primarch found itself imperiled. The Emperor's Spears bitterly claimed the outcome was the result of the Ultramarines' cultural inflexibility as a Chapter and their expressed preference for the Aurora Chapter as an organisation that was more compliant with the dictates of the Codex Astartes than the Emperor's Spears. Thereafter, the Emperor's Spears no longer had a close or cordial relationship with their two brother Chapters.
- Goru Heresy (650.M41) - When a Chaos-inspired nihilo-cult usurped power in the Goru System, the Aurora Chapter executed a lightning campaign that decapitated the heretics' inner circle and restored order to the region within ten days of their deployment. There was scant cause for celebration however, as the Chapter Master, Lord Herak Nhuson, was killed when the heretic leader unleashed a Warp fuelled psi-vortex as a dying act of spite.
- Redemption Rebellion (744.M41) - In 744.M41, after joining forces to defeat the Alpha Legion warband responsible for the Redemption Rebellion, the Aurora Chapter and the Knights of the Raven swore a bitter feud against each other, each blaming the other for their grievous losses. This conflict was only ended by the intervention of Ultramarines Chapter Master Marneus Calgar himself.
- Zeist Campaign (999.M41) - The Aurora Chapter heeded the call of the Ultramarines' Lord Macragge, Marneus Calgar, in the Eastern Fringes of the galaxy to take part in the Zeist Campaign against the T'au Empire in 999.M41. The Aurora Chapter provided armoured support in the form of Predators to help spearhead the assault on the T'au-occupied world of Augura. This world served as a staging point for the T'au forces during their Third Sphere Expansion campaign into Imperial space. But due to the overwhelming force provided by a combined task force assault of close to a dozen Space Marine Chapters, the T'au were forced to withdraw to protect more secure territory within their own borders. Unfortunately, though the Space Marines had won the war and stopped the T'au's seizure of Human territory, it was not possible to sanction a retaliatory thrust into T'au-held space as the individual Space Marine forces were required elsewhere in the galaxy to hold the line against the forces of Chaos during the height of the 13th Black Crusade.
- Reconquest of the Forsarr Sector (999.M41) - Three standard years after the fall of the sector's vital Hive World capital of Forsarr in the Segmentum Tempestus, the Administratum finally recongnised the true threat posed by WAAAGH! Garaghak. The Aurora Chapter joined a powerful coalition with their brethren of the Revilers and the Death Eagles as well as a demi-legio of Titans of the Legio Astraman and several regiments of Imperial Guard and Ecclesiarchal troops. They took the fight to the Orks and reclaimed the Forsarr Sector for the Emperor. It is unknown if the fact that the Raven Guard's homeworld of Deliverance is also located in the Forsarr Sector prompted this deployment.
Controversy Over Founding Date
Sources have conflicted concerning the date of this Chapter's Founding; while some claim the Aurora Chapter to be one of the Ultramarines' Second Founding Chapters, others place the date of its foundation as much later.
Countless millions of indentured menials work the munitorums night and day to feed the mighty guns of the Aurora Chapter's tank companies, ensuring that their weapons need never fall silent.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Aurora Chapter's Astartes are known to be the undisputed masters of the armoured assault, and the Chapter boasts more Land Raiders and Predators than any other Chapter (or indeed, several Chapters combined).
Their preferred method of battle is therefore, unsurprisingly, a massed attack led by heavily armoured Space Marine battle tanks, a strategy that has earned them renown throughout the Ultima Segmentum and beyond.
- Remembrance - Remembrance is a master-crafted Astartes Thunder Hammer. Though the members of the Deathwatch are sworn to set aside their ties to their Chapter during the service in the Long Vigil, they remain Space Marines, forever battle-brothers of the Adeptus Astartes. When the Aurora Chapter lost a task force in the Jericho Reach to unknown xenos foes during the Reach's Age of Shadow, it was the Deathwatch who rescued the survivors and returned the gene-seed of the fallen. Among the losses was a venerable Land Raider tank, ruined beyond repair. The Forge Master of Watch Fortress Erioch at the time took it upon himself to forge its main axle anew as a mighty Thunder Hammer, so that the noble machine could avenge its destruction. Those who have wielded the weapon in battle swear it strikes with the force of a tank bearing down on its foe.
A black High Gothic numeral, designating squad number, is stenciled in black in the centre of it.
The colour of the shoulder pauldron trim designates company number as prescribed by the Codex Astartes -- i.e., White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), etc.
If promoted to sergeant, a battle-brother displays a red skull on his helm.
The Aurora Chapter's badge is a black, lower case Greek letter Alpha turned on its right side inside a white, twelve-pointed star centred on a field of green.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet), pg. 14
- Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pp. 22–23
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 30, 48
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 30, 141
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 110
- Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition) (Revised Codex), pg. 26
- Codex: Space Marines (9th Edition), pg. 46
- Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pp. 9, 41
- Deathwatch - Honour the Chapter (RPG), pg. 132
- Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pg. 20
- Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid On Kastorel-Novem, pg. 77
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 70, 73, 80-81
- White Dwarf 460 (January 2021), "Index Astartes: Emperor's Spears" by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, pp. 44-45