The Night Swords is a Codex Astartes-compliant Loyalist Space Marine Chapter of unknown Founding created in the 32nd Millennium from the stoic lineage of the Imperial Fists. Almost nothing is known about this reclusive Chapter in current Imperial records save that it hails from the barren world of Lavantia located in the Segmentum Tempestus. Lavantia is a world whose population lives in teeming hive cities, surrounded by vast deserts. The Night Swords maintain a fortress-monastery far out in the arid desert wastes, away from the civilian population. Perhaps the most notable event for this Chapter in recent centuries has been its recovery of the remains of multiple ancient Land Raiders Proteus, which were used to construct the first of these ancient vehicles since the time of the Great Crusade.
The Night Swords Chapter was formed from the venerable and heroic Imperial Fists on orders from the High Lords of Terra in the 32nd Millennium to take part in an Imperial Crusade against the remnants of the Traitor Legions that had fled to the hellish realms of the Eye of Terror and had once more begun to assault the Imperium in great numbers. During this Crusade, the Night Swords' first Chapter Master earned great renown for the battles he fought in against the Forces of Chaos. Since that time, that legendary warrior has continued to be venerated and is the most celebrated figure of legend within the Chapter's history. Currently, in the late 41st Millennium, the Night Swords are understrength, but continue to rebuild their Chapter's numbers.
The Night Swords excel in lightning assaults and rapid strikes -- traits which permeate every facet of this Chapter's character. They are as quick to anger as they are to jest. The Battle-Brothers of this Chapter are also known to be impatient and headstrong, yet display great personal initiative. While they are not rash and foolhardy, as befits Scions of Rogal Dorn, the Night Swords believe in the value of immediate action over protracted planning, often chomping at the bit in order to come to grips with their foes.
The Night Swords maintain the spiritual beliefs of their homeworld of Lavantia, believing that their fallen heroes reside in its deepest deserts as elemental spirits. The Chapter's Chaplains are known to make regular pilgrimages into the dune seas of Lavantia, often residing in simple caves for many solar days and nights until thirst and exposure cause them to undergo overpowering visions in which they receive the wisdom of their predecessors. These practices have put the Night Swords at odds with the Ecclesiarchy, who consider such esoteric beliefs a rejection of the Imperial Creed.
The Night Swords often recruit from amongst the most vicious of their world's underhive gangs. Only those gangers who manage to survive the thousand-kilometre-trek from the hive city, through the arid wastes and raging dust storms to reach the Chapter's fortress-monastery, are given the chance to become a Night Swords Aspirant. This exposure trial is extremely arduous for a people who are used to living in the confined darkness of an underhive.
Like their progenitors, the Night Swords also suffer the loss of both the Betcher's Gland and Sus-an Membrane gene-seed organs. In addition, the Chapter suffers from a further genetic defect which has resulted in Night Swords Battle-Brothers only being able to speak with a ghostly whisper, reminiscent of their homeworld's desert zephyrs. Many outside the Chapter find their hushed voices deeply disturbing.
Currently, the Night Swords are severely understrength. The Chapter is undergoing a period of rebuilding in which every Battle-Brother is an invaluable resource whose life must not be thrown away fighting impossible odds. Those few Battle-Brothers selected to serve a vigil with the xenos-hunting Deathwatch are especially keen to ensure that should they fall in combat, their Watch Station's Apothecaries will at all costs recover their gene-seed and return it to the Chapter to aid the rebuilding effort.
Notable Night Swords
- Master of the Forge Isak Siavash - Isak Siavash is the Master of the Forge of the Night Swords Chapter who was involved in the construction of the first new Land Raider Proteus since the time of the Great Crusade. While many Land Raiders Proteus still in use by the Adeptus Astartes in the late 41st Millennium hark back to the Great Crusade, a small number have been returned to service after having been lost for countless Terran centuries. The Land Raider Proteus known as the Simurgh Rex is another type of machine still, and has only recently entered the service of the Night Swords Chapter. The vehicle is the result of the combined efforts of many generations of Night Swords Techmarines, who between them recovered the remains of over a dozen wrecked Land Raiders Proteus from as many battlefields over the length and breadth of the Imperium. Though each vehicle was so badly damaged and decayed as to be entirely beyond repair, each contributed components to the construction of the Simurgh Rex, a Land Raider Proteus completed in 330.M41 by Isak Siavash. The very last component to be interred within the war machine was the Augury Web, five of which had been previously located over the millennia, all proving damaged beyond the ability of the Chapter's forge to repair. The work of his predecessors complete, Siavash now seeks a still greater technical challenge upon the battlefields of the Imperium and beyond, one so grand it too is not likely to be completed for many thousands of standard years.
The Night Swords' Chapter primarily wears white Power Armour. The exact squad specialty markings and company designations used by this Chapter are not listed in current Imperial records.
The Night Swords' Chapter badge is a winged, curved sword centred upon a field of white.
- Deathwatch: Rites of Battle (RPG), pp. 19, 43
- Imperial Armour Volume Two (Second Edition) - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pp. 8, 37