- "The existence of the Alien is a problem with but one solution: Extermination. When Mankind is alone in the cosmos, only then will we have achieved our destiny."
- — Lucretius Corvo, first Chapter Master of the Novamarines
The Novamarines is a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter and Second Founding Successor of the Ultramarines Legion. An ancient and proud Chapter, the Novamarines are hard-line adherents of the Codex Astartes who consider the writ of this sacred text, penned by their blessed Primarch Roboute Guilliman, to be divinely ordained law. In the past, they have been known to draw blood against those who would stray too far from the Codex.
The Novamarines' virtue and honour are such that they have been held up as an example to other Chapters of what it means to be of the Adeptus Astartes, much like their parent Chapter. They have no known Successor Chapters, at least not officially, but they are believed to have had the honour of their brethren being selected to provide a portion of the gene-seed used in the Founding of several Ultramarines Successor Chapters in the past, notably the Dark Sons and the Angels of Fury. While the Angels of Fury are officially counted as an Ultramarines Successor, they were aided and trained from their inception by the Novamarines.
The Novamarines is one of the proud Primogenitor Chapters, the Firstborn Successor Chapters sired by the Ultramarines Legion during the Second Founding. The Chapter's homeworld of Honourum is to be found in the galactic north of the Ultima Segmentum, a great distance from the Ultramarines' Realm of Ultramar. The region is sparsely populated and its proximity to the Halo Stars means that the Chapter's sphere of influence and area of operations are large indeed.
The Halo Stars, as well as the vast tracts of unexplored Wilderness Space around Honourum, are host to all manner of ancient threats, nascent alien empires and as-yet undiscovered lost human colony worlds from the Age of Strife. As a consequence, the Novamarines have seen action against a wide range of enemies, from terrible xenos monstrosities to isolationist human realms that refuse to bow to the rule of the Emperor of Mankind. Perhaps partly because the Novamarines operated across such a wide area, the Chapter has very rarely gathered all 10 of its companies in one place. As far as can be ascertained, this has not occurred since the 37th Millennium, so active and far-flung are its companies' operations.
As a Primogenitor Chapter of the Ultramarines, the Novamarines maintain close links to the present-day Ultramarines and their other Successor Chapters. The great distance between Honourum and Macragge means that the Chapter is unable to send representatives to the court of Marneus Calgar as often as its brother Chapters, but every Novamarine aspires to make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Primarch on Macragge at least once in his lifetime. Those that have done so traditionally mark the fact by adorning their battle helms with a laurel wreath, a mark of honour that the Chapter's Scout Marines behold with awe and dream of one day earning for themselves.
The Novamarines contributed a large force to the continuing battle against the expansion of the T'au Empire during the Damocles Gulf Crusade in the mid-8th century of the 41st Millennium, based far to the galactic south of the Ultima Segmentum. This deployment surpassed the demands of normal operations on the Chapter and took on the dimensions of a full Imperial Crusade, scouring the upstart aliens from several star systems in and around the Lithesh Sector and earning many glorious battle honours in the process.
When the Crusade force was ordered by the Inquisitor Lord Kryptman to redirect to Macragge to face the onslaught of the Tyranids' Hive Fleet Behemoth, the Novamarines sped to the side of their Progenitors. In the aftermath of the Battle of Macragge, the Novamarines' contingent remained in the region for several solar months, rearming and refitting before making for the Jericho Reach.
The Chapter's first battles in the Reach were fought exclusively against the T'au of the Velk'han Sept, which included a series of fleet engagements rimward of the Black Reef. The Novamarines have recently taken losses from which they are rebuilding following a series of less-than-successful assaults on the traitorous human warlords of the world of Iphigenia.
- "We do not judge ourselves as lesser men are judged. For us to face the foe without fear and without retreat or surrender are a simple expectation. Victory, too, is seen as our right; the due reward for setting foot on the field of battle. For a Battle-Brother to earn distinction within the Adeptus Astartes he must go beyond what commanders and captains expect of him and make himself worthy of the Emperor."
- — Brother-Librarian Hancarn of the Novamarines Chapter
After the tragedy of the Horus Heresy, the Imperium's military structures were reformed so that no one man would ever again be permitted to command the incredible power of an entire Space Marine Legion. No matter how noble and loyal an Imperial commander might seem, this level of power offered too much of an opportunity for corruption and disaster.
Roboute Guilliman, the Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion, first Lord Commander of the Imperium, and author of the Codex Astartes, proposed a solution to permanently resolve this threat. Under his direction, all of the surviving members of the Loyalist Space Marine Legions were to be divided into 1,000-member Chapters. The Primarch set an example by immediately dividing his own XIII Legion into appropriately-sized Successor Chapters, which became known as the Primogenitor Chapters of the Ultramarines.
The Novamarines was one of the Chapters directly created by Primarch Guilliman during this so-called Second Founding. As he created the Chapter, the Primarch appointed Lucretius Corvo, of the 90th "Nova" Company, Ninth Chapter, Ultramarines Legion, as its first Chapter Master. Corvo was a highly honoured Captain of the Ultramarines Legion who had led his company in countless successful engagements during the Great Crusade and served as one of the Ultramarines' Champions during the vicious fighting against the apostate Word Bearers Legion on the planet Astagar during the Heresy. During this particularly brutal six-day-long battle, Corvo led a desperate counterattack against an enemy force many times his own unit's number. His chosen band managed to destroy a Traitor Warlord-class Battle Titan and break the siege.
As recognition for his tenacity and heroic actions, a Laurel of Defiance was awarded to Corvo by Roboute Guilliman himself. This sacred object is still enshrined at the Novamarines' fortress-monastery, the Fortress Novum. Having previously granted Corvo numerous honours during his lengthy service within the Ultramarines Legion, Guilliman trusted the Space Marine implicitly. It is for these reasons that the Primarch was comfortable in assigning Captain Corvo the responsibility of command as he forged the notion of independent Space Marine Chapters.
At their founding, the Novamarines were given the guardianship of the pre-Imperial Fortress World of Honourum by the Ultramarines' Primarch. This sacred site had once marked the furthest northward extent of the XIII Legion's advance into the galactic north of the Ultima Segmentum. At their Founding, the Novamarines swore an oath to defend the Ultima Segmentum from the enemies of Mankind, and in almost eight thousand Terran years they have not wavered once in this charge.
Though the Chapter is not focused upon crusading, it often commits a portion of its resources to such causes as well as to answering pleas for assistance from worlds far from their home. This willingness to commit their forces to action over such a broad area often means that Novamarines companies are isolated for standard centuries at a time. In spite of this degree of isolation, their traditions and their sense of brotherhood have consistently remained strong, partly because of their strong loyalty to the Codex Astartes and the traditions established by the Ultramarines Legion.
- The Battle of Thessala (121.M31) - The Novamarines accompanied their parent Chapter and five other Ultramarines Successor Chapters in battle against the remnants of the Emperor's Children Traitor Legion over the world of Thessala under the command of their Primarch Roboute Guilliman, then the Lord Commander of the Imperium. Their 6th Company was among the boarding parties sent to assault the Pride of the Emperor, the Gloriana-class flagship of the III Legion, to disable its core systems. While they were successful in their mission, their Primarch was mortally injured in his fight against the Daemon Primarch Fulgrim and the Loyalists soon retreated back to their craft. Guilliman would not recover from the wound and would be placed in stasis and returned to Macragge, eventually to be interred within the Temple of Correction for the next 10,000 standard years, until he was resurrected during the Ultramar Campaign of the 13th Black Crusade.
- The Pale Wasting (Unknown Date.M34) - A stelae mounted within the Imperial Palace on Terra recognises the services of the Novamarines for their action against the Pale Wasting that occurred in the 34th Millennium. This artefact praises the Chapter and credits their work for having "unmade that which cannot die." This campaign was where the Novamarines earned some of their earliest recorded battle honours. During the dark and terrible times known to later historians as the Nova Terra Interregnum, when the Imperium fractured into warrior factions during this tumultuous period, there exists in what records remain from this era scattered and veiled references to a great threat arising from the Ghoul Stars. Much of the extant evidence relating to this threat has been censored or purposely destroyed, but there are contradictory indications which describe the nature of the threat as both a "star-spawned plague" that swept away scores of worlds and as "nightmare engines" slaughtering whole sectors. Those partial records which have been uncovered suggest that the threat was xenos in nature and that more than one Space Marine Chapter may have been completely destroyed in the course of the conflict. The Novamarines took part in the campaign to quell the threat of the Pale Wasting, and though this is one of the Chapter's earliest recorded battle honours, the Chapter's own chronicles are curiously empty of any reference to this conflict. Were it not for such prominent recognition, the incident might be completely forgotten.
- The Lok'Kroll Xenocide (119.M37-164.M37) - The Lok'Kroll Xenocide was an Imperial Crusade carried out by the Novamarines against the foul Lok'kroll xenos from 119.M37 through 164.M37. This campaign is notable for being the last time the Novamarines fought together at full Chapter strength. The Novamarines had volunteered to be at the forefront of carrying out an Edict of Extermination against the Lok'kroll. These hulking invertebrate aliens, having damned themselves in the worship of the Ruinous Powers, had risen up within the span of no more than a Terran century to carve out a pocket empire to the galactic south of the Warp anomaly known as the Storm of the Emperor's Wrath in the Segmentum Ultima. Given their rapid expansion and the massacre of several Imperial colonies and mining outposts in the region, the decision was thereby taken by the Imperium to scour them from the stars before they could grow into a greater threat. Under the Novamarines' direction, the alien demesnes were systematically blockaded by squadrons from the Imperial Navy's Battlefleet Ultima, while the Novamarines, supported by the 109th Phyrus Army Group of the Astra Militarum and numerous Deathwatch Kill-teams, attacked and destroyed the isolated Lok'kroll outposts and nest-worlds one at a time, often employing Exterminatus-class weaponry sanctioned by the edict. Nothing now remains of the Lok'kroll save for a few taxidermically-preserved specimens at the Bastion Geniticus on the world of Varsavia.
- Cleansing of the Death of Integrity (887.M39) - In 887.M39, the Space Hulk Death of Integrity was seen near the world of Vol Secundus. The ancient ruin had been encountered twice before in recent centuries, each time preceding the appearance of Tyranid forces upon nearby worlds. A general call for immediate Adeptus Astartes assistance was issued, with members of the 1st Companies of both the Novamarines and the Blood Drinkers Chapters responding to the call for assistance. Exhibiting a tremendous amount of cooperation, the two Chapters deployed nearly 200 Space Marines equipped with Terminator Armour to the massive hulk. Over the course of two solar months, the combined forces thoroughly purged the Space Hulk of a rampant Genestealer infestation. Both Chapters suffered losses, as the xenos were well-suited for battle within the cramped and toxic environment. Though the battle was costly in terms of damage to armour and loss of life, the ultimate prize was stunning. Hidden deep within the hulk's ruins was a remarkably well-preserved Standard Template Construct (STC) database containing information on countless lost technologies. The Adeptus Mechanicus gladly accepted this priceless artefact and went so far as to repay each Chapter with a newly commissioned Strike Cruiser.
- Damocles Gulf Crusade and Lithesh Sector Crusades (740's.M41) - The Novamarines were also involved in the Damocles Gulf Crusade and the Lithesh Sector Crusade -- both conflicts fought by the Imperium against the rapidly expanding T'au Empire.
- The Luxor Uprising (812.M41) - The Luxor Uprising was a recent campaign conducted by the Novamarines on the industrial Hive World of Luxor in 812.M41. The cruel ruling Oligarchs of this world were overthrown by a workers' uprising backed by the insidious Heretic Astartess of the Alpha Legion, with several of that Traitor Legion's warbands making planetfall in surprise attacks to support the revolt. The planet itself was a lynch-pin of the Departmento Munitorum-dominated Helioret Sector which was vital to the wider supply of war materiel to the northern Segmentum Ultima. The Novamarines rightly feared that should Luxor fall, it could start a chain reaction that might leave a hundred other worlds vulnerable. Without the time to wait for reinforcements or for the slow grinding wheels of the Segmentum authorities to act, the Novamarines gathered what forces they could and attacked immediately before the rebels could crush all local resistance and become entrenched. In the swift, savage war that followed, the Novamarines excelled in the urban fighting over Luxor's war-torn hive-citadels, bringing their superior combat abilities to bear in the tangled warrens of shattered rubble, cancelling out the rebels' massive advantage in numbers. The Chapter's Land Raiders and Predators likewise proved their supremacy over the Traitors' tanks, which were crewed by inexperienced conscripts. The Astartes armour destroyed them in huge numbers. The war tipped in the Chapter's favour when the Novamarines assault reserves cornered and overran the Alpha Legion forces guiding the failing rebellion in an anarchic battle at the planet's principal starport. A Terminator-led attack struck the deathblow and finished the encircled Alpha Legion Astartes, putting the few survivors to flight. With the remaining Traitors driven back in disarray from their initial gains and cut off from the Alpha Legion's command and direction, the Novamarines led the rallying Imperial Loyalists in a brutal offensive which left over 400,000 recidivists dead and restored Luxor to Imperial rule within a Terran year.
- The Badab War (901-908.M41) - Delayed by numerous conflicts the Chapter was already engaged in, a Novamarines contingent finally arrived in the Badab warzone in 906.M41 in response to the first calls for aid from the Inquisition. The Novamarines responded primarily because of their revulsion to the Astral Claws' Renegade Chapter Master Lufgt Huron and the rebel forces' presumption and arrogance at defying the Imperium. The Novamarines were quick to apply themselves to saving their Loyalist allies against the barbarous Executioners Chapter. At the request of the Loyalists' High Commander Carab Culln of the Red Scorpions Chapter, the Novamarines remained in several smaller, highly mobile taskforces for the remainder of the war, guarding Imperial shipping and fighting small-scale and intense battles on several Frontier Worlds. The Novamarines withdrew their forces in 908.M41 to defend their homeworld against the impending threat of a growing Ork WAAAGH!, amongst many other problems plaguing the Ultima Segmentum.
- 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - The Novamarines contributed six full companies to the defence of the Cadian Sector against the Forces of Chaos during the 13th Black Crusade. The Novamarines 2nd Company was destroyed during the Fall of Cadia by the forces of Chaos while assisting the 185th Cadian Shock Troopers Regiment.
- Plague Wars (ca. 999.M41-111.M42) - The Novamarines contributed 6 companies to the defence of Ultramar during the Plague Wars, a campaign which cost the life of their Chapter Master Bardan Dovaro when he fell defending the Starfort Galatan from a boarding attack by Nurgle's Plague Fleets.
Being a proud Successor Chapter of the Ultramarines, the Novamarines Chapter is amongst the most strict adherents of the Codex Astartes and its divine tenets. The Novamarines have continued to rigorously enforce the Codex's mandates despite their companies being scattered across the length and breadth of the Imperium throughout their long and glorious history. They are very proud of maintaining the honourifics and titles employed by their parent Chapter, the Ultramarines, despite the galaxy-spanning distance from the realms of Ultramar.
Another notable feature is that this Chapter maintains many ancient relics in fully operable condition from the bygone days before the Horus Heresy. This includes a full complement of Terminator Armour to equip its entire Veteran 1st Company if needed, as well as extensive arsenals of early pattern Predators, Vindicators and Whirlwind armoured personnel carriers and numerous Dreadnoughts lovingly maintained with great reverence by its Chapter's forge.
The Novamarines is not a strictly fleet-based Chapter. Often the Novamarines have had cause to divide their warriors and disperse them over vast areas of the galaxy to fulfill their duties. This wide dispersal over such a vast area has meant that the Chapter has seldom fought together as a whole. The Novamarines have not fought as a whole Chapter since the 37th Millennium.
Whilst their strength may be divided, in the past this has been advantageous, as the Novamarines have been able to be the first to answer the call of their fellow Chapters in need. A recent example would be their intervention in the defense of Obsidia, the homeworld of the Sable Swords Chapter. Their timely intercession prevented Obsidia from being overrun by mutant hordes whilst the majority of the Sable Swords were engaged elsewhere. A solemn oath of eternal debt was sworn by the Sable Swords to the Novamarines for their valiant rescue of their homeworld, something not taken lightly by the Chapter.
Although the Novamarines have confronted the enemies of Mankind in every guise over their long history, they have perhaps had their most extensive experience in combating the alien in all its horror, and are boundless in their hatred for all non-human intelligences. They have conducted systematic purges of a great many xenoforms, and their expertise in this area coupled with their reputation as faithful scions of the Ultramarines, has meant that the Novamarines Battle-Brothers have often served within the ranks of the Deathwatch and maintain unusually close ties to the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos.
Like their fellow Astartes Chapters, the Novamarines also maintain a Librarium of potent psykers who are highly talented and trained to master the power of the Warp at the highest levels. Each Chapter selects its Librarians in its own way, either from seed worlds, as it does with the bulk of its Initiates, or from the ranks of gifted psykers brought to the Scholastica Psykana of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. Most Chapters train and test chosen psykers following the ancient doctrines laid out in the Codex Astartes. Librarians of the Novamarines are trained in this way, and, with few minor traditional variances, have been taught to live by the word of the Codex. Novamarines Librarians have a number of unique psychic abilities only used by the psykers of their Chapter, including:
- Ancestral Strength - Drawing on his pure Ultramarines heritage, the Novamarines Librarian boosts his physical abilities for a time, making him more formidable in battle. Such a boost is not without its dangers, and even increasing the raw potential of the Librarian for a short time can have negative effects, draining what was strengthened after the power wears off.
- Sky-Sight - The Novamarines Librarian lifts his consciousness and gazes down upon a battlefield from on high, picking out details on the ground that even the most sophisticated of sensors might miss which he can relay to his brethren to increase their tactical advantages. However, while he is gazing at the battlefield, his mind is elsewhere and he is vulnerable to attack and unable to adequately defend himself.
- Vulnerability - The Novamarines Librarian can psychically exploit a vulnerability in his foe, making it more susceptible to a certain attack or form of damage. This can be especially useful against powerful foes which would normally be very resistant to injury, giving the Librarian's squad a chance to deal damage and defeat it.
The Novamarines believe that it is their solemn duty to extinguish all blasphemous xenos so that the Imperium can control the galaxy without fear of reprisal. The Chapter's brethren believe that no xenos can ever be trusted. There is no point in attempting to find diplomatic solutions with these creatures as there is no acceptable point of discussion. Elimination is the only option that Novamarines Battle-Brothers can condone.
Because of their intolerance of xenos, the Novamarines enthusiastically second some of their most experienced and capable members for service in the Deathwatch. This service is considered a distinctive honour and privilege by the Chapter's Battle-Brothers. In this way, the Novamarines can glean information about xenos that are not part of their Chapter's direct experience, just as the Deathwatch can discover ways of dealing with additional xenosforms. This consistent involvement with the Deathwatch has granted the Chapter unusually close ties to the organisation and the Inquisition's Ordo Xenos.
Novamarines are also often fonts of much knowledge about the galaxy, especially the wilds of the Ultima Segmentum. While this may not be strict knowledge in the way an Imperial Adept or scholar would see it, the odds are that the Novamarine Battle-Brother or one of the members of his Chapter have seen or visited a world or faced an alien foe that relates to a Kill-team's current situation. While not a complete understanding or clinical view of the subject or planet, the Novamarine will likely know something about it, usually in the form of a tale passed on to him by one of his brothers.
Primarch Roboute Guilliman granted the Novamarines rule over the planet Honourum at the time of their founding, where they constructed their great fortress-monastery, the Fortress Novum. Throughout its ten millennia of existence, the Chapter has guarded and exploited Honourum's resources responsibly. When they received the right of its fealty, the Feral World represented the northern border of the Segmentum Ultima. Since that time, the secured region has significantly expanded, but the Chapter's responsibility for maintaining security throughout the broader region has not changed.
The world of Honourum is characterised by brutal storms, savage seas, and barren mountains. Possessing only one significant landmass, it is a craggy tumult of rearing mountain peaks surrounded by boiling seas and lashed by constant lightning storms. Each and every mountaintop has long since been planed flat by the Chapter's Techmarines, and they now play host to row upon row of strange statuaries immortalising the Chapter's greatest heroes. The best young warriors from the planet's indigenous barbarian tribes, from which the Novamarines recruit, partake in elaborate ritual duels amongst each other for the honour of standing as sentinels over these statues -- a duty they hold dearer than their own lives.
Most of Honourum's native life forms are primitive plants and lichens. Its fauna largely consists of ocean-dwelling invertebrates. Many of the more sophisticated organisms employ potent toxins that are as effective against humanity as they are against the planet's native species. Heavy metal contamination is present in many of the world's regions, leading to toxicity among many of its plant species. It is as though the planet actively attempts to defend against the intrusion of any life.
The feral human population consists of nomadic tribes of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers. These savages migrate constantly to avoid the worst of the planet's brutal climate and to constantly scavenge for any available food. They lack the resources or the ability to effectively establish mines or to refine and shape sophisticated metals. Those who can survive in this harsh environment have proven to be exceptional candidates to become Novamarines Astartes.
In addition to its homeworld, the Chapter also maintains sovereignty over several nearby star systems, and its officers are expected to serve a term overseeing the administration of each world prior to their advancement to higher rank.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Novamarines Chapter stays extremely focused on maintaining the letter and intent behind the Codex Astartes. As such, its military approaches are true to its core tenets. These Space Marines follow the sacred work's instructions as regards their organisation, their tactics, and even their ongoing training methods. For situations where the Codex offers a directive, the Chapter follows it precisely.
For those far less common instances where its direction is unclear, it rigorously attempts to interpret its intent, and proceed in a fashion that is most consistent with other material presented in the tome. In keeping with the Codex, each of the Chapter's companies is assigned specific duties consistent with their designated roles. Except when they return for resupply, the four Battle Companies are often engaged in extended patrols throughout the Ultima Segmentum.
It is noteworthy that the Novamarines are exceptionally willing to offer their assistance to any who need it. Throughout their history, this has included virtually every Imperial Adepta and organisation. This includes the Inquisition, the Departmento Munitorum, and even Rogue Traders. Even more noteworthy is that it has also often included other Space Marine Chapters. Upon countless occasions, the Novamarines have despatched substantial numbers of units to aid the Battle-Brothers of other Chapters in overcoming threats far beyond the boundaries of the Ultima Segmentum.
In spite of their extensive history of engagements, the Novamarines have successfully maintained a substantially well-equipped Armoury. This includes a number of pieces of wargear and numerous vehicles that have been maintained since the time of their founding. Some of this equipment has been preserved intact and functional since the time of the Great Crusade. While not all of these are used on a regular basis, their supply of Terminator Armour is sufficient to equip the entirety of their 1st Company.
Similarly, the Chapter has a large enough supply of Dreadnoughts that it has been able to preserve the living memories of many of the Chapter's most worthy Battle-Brothers. The Chapter's forge continuously spends its time maintaining and reconstructing this reserve, so that it is never found wanting in times of dire need.
In the same way that the Chapter's standard wargear has been well preserved across the millennia, its collection of war-relics has also continuously expanded. Within the hallowed halls of its fortress-monastery, there are hundreds of unique designs collected throughout its history. In times of desperation or to honour a warrior's success, these relics are selectively assigned for field use. As many of these items are beyond the specific scope of the Codex Astartes, they are seldom fielded even by those who have earned them.
The Novamarines believe that it is their right and duty to follow the example set by their Primarch and their parent Legion. It is their understanding and firm belief that the only appropriate way to maintain this is by adhering strictly to the dictates of the Codex Astartes. The sacred text represents a beacon for their lives, as it guides them through their decisions and constantly enables them to act in accordance with their duties. Keeping true to it is one of the most vital aspects of their existence as a Chapter. Such loyalty to the text has aided the Novamarines in keeping their traditions largely unchanged since the time of their founding.
In sharp contrast with their secular views of Imperial religion like most Space Marines, they consider the Codex Astartes to be a divinely-inspired work. They never comment upon what deity might have inspired it, but the work is considered to be more than just a treatise on war. For the Novamarines, the tome is a guide for how to perform virtually every action. It must be considered, obeyed, and applied constantly through their lives. While they acknowledge that not all Space Marine Chapters are so devoted in their rigourous application of the Codex' instructions, they prefer to set themselves as an example for how it must be obeyed.
Like most Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, the Novamarines are not adherents of the Imperial Cult. They hold the deepest respect for the Emperor, their Primarch, and those Space Marines who have served their Chapter in past eras. They do not, however, worship any of these individuals as gods or divine beings. Rather, they believe that all of these were supremely talented but still mortal men who reshaped the galaxy and are thus worthy of emulation and veneration.
For the Novamarines, these people serve as the ideal examples of human behaviour to emulate. While this may require that they hold themselves to an impossibly high standard, they are readily accepting of that responsibility. These Battle-Brothers gladly embrace the challenge of perfection, and rigourously accept punishment and perform penance for those times that they fail to achieve it.
During their ten Terran millennia of service, the Novamarines have fought against countless foes and established a well-respected history of successful endeavours. Though they have served the Imperium in diverse ways, one of their primary focuses has been against the threat of xenos encroachment. Since its founding, the Chapter has preserved a devotion to eliminating all xenos, which dates back to the time of the Great Crusade. This Monodominant belief, as the political factions of the Inquisition now term it, is a core of the Chapter's beliefs and creates a characteristic theme through many of its most famous campaigns.
The Novamarines' homeworld of Honourum is an Imperial Feral World that has a small population made up of barbaric, Stone Age hunter-gatherer tribes. These simple and hard people have provided recruits to the ranks of the Novamarines since their founding. During a Neophyte's indoctrination into the Chapter, all vestiges of his former life are stripped away and replaced through mental conditioning and psycho-indoctrination with the pattern of thinking and culture of those native to Ultramar. The only idiosyncrasy of Honourum's tribal natives that is retained is the practice of ritually tattooing their skin. Each Battle-Brother's skin becomes an illustration of his career and his life, with designs and sigils depicting where he has travelled throughout the galaxy and the campaigns he has fought in.
When the Chapter's members reunite, they often spend hours displaying their most recent tattoos as they recount the successes and tragedies that led to the latest artwork. Their tattoos take on the quartered appearance of the Novamarines' own colours, which is itself based upon Lucretius Corvo's original personal heraldry. The members of the Chapter believe that these tattooed images serve to armour their soul from the predations of dark spirits, and that it is by this roll of deeds recorded on their skins, when they reach the realm of Death, that the Emperor will judge their worth.
- "The galaxy is scarcely large enough for humanity's needs. The xenos must be cleansed so that we can claim what is ours by divine mandate."
- —Novamarines Chaplain Gustus Fiore
The Novamarines' gene-seed is completely consistent with that of their progenitor Chapter, the Ultramarines. In keeping with the noble lineage of Roboute Guilliman, it shows no signs of Chaos contamination or mutation and produces the full range of Space Marine organ implants.
Their reserves have been sufficient that the Adeptus Administratum is believed to have used Novamarines gene-seed as the basis for the creation of several Successor Chapters. The care that they take to preserve their gene-seed is much the same as that they show towards their sacred duty to defend the Ultima Segmentum and to carefully maintain the many ancient war machines in their care. All of these elements represent the core of the Chapter's traditions, which are considered absolutely vital for its preservation.
Primarch's Curse: Revile the Xenos
While all Space Marines have hatred of the enemies of Mankind, especially those which lurk among the stars preying on the worlds of the Imperium, the Novamarines have fostered a deep revulsion for xenos beyond even that of most of their kind. This is fostered from a thousand battlefields across thousands of light years of space and a history which has seen the Chapter clash with the greatest and vilest of the galaxy's aliens time and again.
At first, this hatred is indistinguishable from that of a normal member of the Adeptus Astartes, forming only the staunch disdain required to face them in combat and turn away their insidious advances against the domain of the Emperor. In time it grows, encompassing all forms of alien life, even those of little interest or threat to the Imperium, until eventually they cannot bear to see the xenos live, even at the cost of prudent tactics and the strained measures of battlefield diplomacy. When the Chapter's genetic curse manifests itself in an affected Battle-Brother, it comes on in three stages:
- Stage 1 - Favoured Targets: The Novamarine goes out of his way to target the xenos, ensuring he never misses a chance to strike a blow against the dark cloud of alien aggression closing in on the Imperium. Given a choice, he will always favour taking on alien enemies or making strikes against objectives which will do the most harm to the xenos, even if there is more glory in an alternative cause of action.
- Stage 2 - Almost Human: There are countless kinds of xenos in the galaxy and not all are as obvious as the great hordes of Orks, the enigmatic Aeldari, ravening Tyranids, or the insidious T'au. Some come in forms which are not too distant from humanity, or from cultures which are benign and of little or no threat. The Battle-Brother is not fooled by such pale representations of the xenos form, and sees the alien everywhere, even influencing human worlds where mutation can easily disguise alien corruption. The Battle-Brother extends his hatred of xenos to anyone or anything which shows even the slightest hint of xenos taint, whether from contact with aliens or alien blood. In his eyes, these tainted humans and benign aliens are no better than true xenos and should be dealt with as such.
- Stage 3 - Foe Eternal: No alien can ever be an ally of the Battle-Brother, and under no circumstances will the xenos ever stop being the most hated of his foes. Even in situations where a temporary alliance with alien forces (such as to fight a greater foe) would be prudent, the Battle-Brother will not stomach it, considering his own kind as Traitors should they follow it through. In situations where there is diplomacy between xenos and the Imperium, such as a ceasefire or exchange of prisoners, the Battle-Brother will refuse to take part, discontented with any kind of truce against a foe which only deserves death. In situations where the Battle-Brother is forced to deal peacefully with xenos (such as orders from his commanders or the will of his squad), he must summon forth all of his willpower for a single encounter, even then remaining hostile, though restraining his violence.
- Chapter Master Lucretius Corvo - Lucretius Corvo was the first Chapter Master of the Novamarines who was originally a highly honoured Captain of the 90th Company, 9th Chapter, XIII Legion. He led his company in countless successful engagements during the Great Crusade and served as one the Ultramarines' Champions during the vicious fighting against the apostate Word Bearers Legion on the planet Astagar during the Heresy. In this particularly brutal six-solar-day-long battle, Corvo led a desperate counterattack against an enemy force many times his own unit's number. His chosen band managed to destroy a Traitor Warlord-class Titan and break the siege. As recognition for his tenacity and heroic actions, a Laurel of Defiance was awarded to Corvo by Primarch Roboute Guilliman himself. The Novamarines' use of a quartered livery is based upon Lucretius Corvo's own personal heraldry. After the Second Founding, Corvo was chosen to become the first Chapter Master of the Novamarines, one of the first Primogenitor Successor Chapters of the Ultramarines.
- Chapter Master Gaius Hadraichus - Gaius Hadraichus was the Chapter Master of the Novamarines who served during the late 41st Millennium. The date and circumstances of his death remain unknown.
- Chapter Master Bardan Dovaro - Bardan Dovaro had become the Chapter Master of the Novamarines by the time the Indomitus Crusade came to an end at the Battle of Raukos in ca. 111.M42. He and his Chapter were later among the Imperium's forces that Lord Commander of the Imperium Guilliman led to Ultramar's defence during the Plague Wars. Dovaro was slain in that conflict when he fell defending the Starfort Galatan from a boarding assault by Nurgle's Plague Fleets.
- Captain Mordacai Blaylock - Mordacai Blaylock, "The Stormbreaker," the Captain of the elite 1st Company of the Novamarines, is one of the greatest warriors in the Chapter'slong history. This no-nonsense officer's physical bravery is legendary, even amongst his fellow Astartes. Commanding the 1st Company for the last five solar decades, age has not diminished his strength nor his wits. During the lamentable conflict known as the Badab War, Captain Mordacai Blaylock commanded the Novamarines taskforce that served with the Loyalists. The Novamarines' reason for intervention was simple: a deep-seated revulsion at what they believed was Lufgt Huron and his Space Marine allies' unforgivable presumption and arrogance. The Novamarines Chapter was well-disposed to the overall command of the Loyalist assault by the Red Scorpions, as it knew that Chapter to be firm in the tenets of the Codex Astartes and to possess a hatred of the alien that matched its own. Captain Blaylock most notably came to the aid of the beleaguered Howling Griffons forces who had been driven back in bloody disarray by the Secessionist Executioners Chapter. The Novamarines quickly applied their forces to saving their brethren from further attack, intercepting several Executioners raiding forces with mixed success. With the aid of fleet elements the Novamarines managed to check the Executioners' attacks in the Khymaran Drift. At the behest of Lord High Commander Carab Culln, the Magister Millitant of the Loyalist forces, the Novamarines performed a crucial role in combating Secessionist raiders, as well as conducting punishing attacks against the Ork and Eldar Corsairs who sought to use the anarchy of the conflict to pursue their own dark purposes uncontested. Captain Mordacai Blaylock and the Novamarines withdrew from the conflict in 908.M41, having gained much renown for themselves and their Chapter.
- Corben Nayle - Brother Nayle was an accomplished Battle-Brother before his arrival at Watch Fortress Erioch, and his skills in fighting xenos have only improved during his stay. Prior to his secondment to the Deathwatch, the Space Marine participated in a 20-year-long expedition through the star systems on the galactic rim, near the Ultima Segmentum. As part of his tactical reviews, he began to carefully study different techniques by which various xenoforms employ their natural weapons. He requested an assignment with the Deathwatch immediately after his successful and honourable return from that expedition. Since his arrival within the Jericho Reach, Brother Nayle has constantly studied xenos during his missions and those under containment at the Watch Fortress. The central focus of his studies is to identify a universally applicable approach to melee encounters with xenos that responds appropriately to the various forms of natural weapons. As he continues to expand his studies, he often requests that other Astartes provide any available information to him that they uncover through the course of their missions. While he has shown little sign of completing his treatise, it is clear that he has become a very capable melee combatant against xenos forces.
- Ancient Horest Cain - There are very few Space Marine Dreadnoughts in service to the Deathwatch. Most who fall in battle and earn the privilege to continue their service are first returned to their Chapter of origin. Only a select few individuals become so devoted to the Deathwatch that they continue to remain in its service for centuries after their first death. The stories of the few Deathwatch Dreadnoughts within the Jericho Reach are mostly the stuff of rumour and legend. Many individuals' tales have been lost as Battle-Brothers completed their tours of service and returned to their original Chapter. The legends of Ancient Brother Cain are shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, as there are no known documents to verify the stories he recounts. It is clear that his frame bears the iconography of the Novamarines in addition to his own. It is also clear that he is a loyal member of the Deathwatch who has proven his value to the organisation countless times since he was interred within his metal frame. However, it is unknown why he never returned to his original Chapter, and it is even more curious that the Novamarines claim to have no records of ever seconding an Astartes by his name to the Deathwatch.
- Libris Anomalus - The warriors of the Novamarines have accumulated a great deal of alien-hunting lore and combat technique in their vigil over the Halo Stars, which has led to strong ties between the Chapter and the like-minded Deathwatch. One of the Codiciers of the Novamarines brought a valuable data-libram to Watch Fortress Erioch, containing millennia of the Chapter's collected knowledge. Partial copies have been disseminated to other Watch-Fortresses, but the value of the libram is such that it spends more time in use than available to scribes -- notwithstanding the Terran centuries it would take to fully reproduce such a vast archive.
- Laurels of Ultramar - Part of the close ties between the Novamarines and the Ultramarines included a desire by the Chapter's Battle-Brothers to pay homage to the tomb of their Primarch on Macragge, while he lay in stasis. Many Battle-Brothers made this pilgrimage at least once during their lives and used it to strengthen their resolve as well as their connections with the Ultramarines Chapter. A Battle-Brother who completed this pilgrimage would receive the Laurels of Ultramar, which he wore with honour upon his helm or some other portion of his Power Armour. It is unknown what became of this tradition since the resurrection of the Novamarines' Primarch.
The Novamarines' first Chapter Master, Lucretius Corvo, was profoundly devoted to his Primarch and to the Codex Astartes which Guilliman had penned. His first step to distinguish his new Chapter from its predecessors was to establish its colours and iconography. The squad specialty symbol is presented as an outline; this more discrete iconography best displays the Chapter's quartered heraldry.
The Novamarines wear a unique quartered cobalt-blue and bone-white Power Armour. The Chapter's rare use of a quartered livery is based upon Lucretius Corvo's own personal heraldry, further setting its first Master's stamp upon the Chapter.
A black Imperial Gothic numeral is stenciled in the centre of it, indicating squad number.
The Novamarines do not use company markings.
The Novamarines' Chapter badge is a white skull on a field of navy blue, surrounded by a white stylised star that resembles an Iron Halo. This symbol is based on the personal family heraldry of the ancient Corvo line, the family of the Chapter's first Master -- a dark blue, hallowed, spiked circle, intended to be a stylised sunburst.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet)
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 31
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition), pg. 16
- Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition) (Revised Codex), pg. 27
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 109
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 8, 32, 141
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 25
- Dark Imperium (Novel) by Guy Haley, pp. 39, 468
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pp. 74-81
- Deathwatch: Rites of Battle (RPG), pg. 55
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pg. 20
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 31, 39, 47, 116-123, 171
- Warhammer 40,000: Compilation, "Genestealers"
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC Game)
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (8th Edition), pg. 158
- White Dwarf 101 (UK), "Index Astartes: The Badab Uprising" by Rick Priestley
- Sedition's Gate (Anthology) by Nick Kyme, Chris Wraight, Guy Haley, Rob Sanders, and David Annandale, "The Laurel of Defiance" by Guy Haley, pp. 40-55
- Pharos (Novel) by Guy Haley
- Defenders of Mankind (Anthology) by David Annandale and Guy Haley (Cover Photo)