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Armoury

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The Armoury is an integral part of a Space Marine Chapter, forming part of its headquarter staff and led by a Master of the Forge.[1a] The Armoury is responsible for the creation, maintenance, storage and operation of the many Space Marine Vehicles used by the Chapter in battle.[2a]

Organization

The Master of the Forge is the Chapter's most senior Techmarine, well-versed in even the most arcane areas of scientific knowledge. Answering directly to the Chapter Master, he is responsible for everything that goes on within the Armoury, allocating weapons and vehicles as needed or storing them within the Chapter's heavy armour pool.[2a] For this reason the Master of the Forge will rarely go into battle himself, as his vast store knowledge is particularly priceless. In times of great need, though, he will gladly march to war, wielding some of the Chapter's most wondrous and awe-inspiring weaponry which only his wisdom can maintain.[1a]

Besides the Master of the Forge, the Armoury is home to the rest of the Chapter's Techmarines, trained for many years on an allied Forge World or Mars itself in the mysterious ways of the Adeptus Mechanicus. For this reason there is some level of distrust between them and their fellow battle-brothers, but Techmarines are vital to the continued upkeep of the many weapons and war-machines, some of which are ancient beyond all recollection.[1b]

The Armoury also includes the various crew members for its armoured fighting vehicles. Known as Custodians, most of these Space Marines are drawn from the Chapter's Reserve Companies. Custodians plug into their vehicle's spinal interfaces, which connect with their Power Armour and Black Carapace, allowing for much greater control of its systems.[2c] For a Space Marine to be assigned to the Armoury is considered a great honour, as Custodians must suppress their physical self and learn to command their vehicles' controls and systems as instinctively as they would their own limbs.[1c]

Construction

For most Chapters, the Armoury's forges are located within their Fortress-monastery, where Techmarines assisted by Servitors, Techno-mats and other levied humans man its esoteric machinery. When a vehicle is to be produced, the basic chassis is built, its parts blessed and its future prognosticated. Interpretation of these omens indicate what the vehicle's Machine Spirit is and so which variant it will become. For example, a Rhino chassis is constructed, and upon reading its future it may be earmarked to become a Vindicator. Once completed, the vehicle is given a unique identifier during the ceremony of naming, and the ceremony of awakening rouses its Machine Spirit from slumber.[2b]

Some forges lack the necessary equipment or resources to produce all of the required vehicles and weaponry. Instead these items are produced on allied Forge Worlds, based upon ancient charters and oaths of agreement between it and a specific Chapter, where they are constructed and shipped to order. Such construction is strictly monitored and secured against, to prevent any advanced technology from falling into the wrong hands.[2b]

Deployment

Though each Company within the Chapter maintains their own store of light vehicles, such as Rhinos and Land Speeders, heavy armour is kept within the Armoury's motor pool and deployed only on a mission-by-mission basis. The only exception is the Chapter's 1st Company, which maintains a permanent store of Land Raiders for their personal need.[2b]

Space Marine heavy armour is always used for a specific mission, such as breaking an enemy strong-point, in close coordination with their battle-brothers. Their small numbers and priceless technology preclude their use for extended periods of time, such as a prolonged siege. On extended campaigns, these forces will normally be recalled to their orbiting Battle Barge to rearm and refit prior to subsequent redeployment.[2c]

Sources