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The Chapter named Carcharodon Astra —translated into Low Gothic as the Space Sharks, but known more widely as the Carcharodons - is a Space Marine Chapter of unknown provenance that has relatively recently carved for itself a dark and brutal legend in the bloody wake of the Badab War. Much of the information surrounding its history is shrouded in myth or allegory, but fragmented pieces of data point to it already being in existence as early as late M32, during the Astropath Wars. One thing is for certain, however: that the Chapter was given a sacred duty to travel the empty spaces beyond the Imperium's borders, seemingly forever, to seek out and destroy the enemies of Mankind.[3d]
The title Shade Lord, only known to have been used by exiled Raven Guard Commander Arkhas Fal during the Great Crusade, is used by Lord Tyberos of the Carcharodons, indicating that Arkhas Fal may have gone on to be the founder of that Chapter known as the Forgotten One.[7a]
The Badab War
The Carcharodons' entry into the Badab War was as sudden as it was unexpected. The Chapter's fleet, led by the battle barge Nicor and composed of a mix of medium and light warships, arrived without warning at the edge of the Golgothan Wastes, and was initially met with alarm by Loyalist and Secessionist alike. After a quick conference with the leaders of the Loyalists, however, the Chapter's alignment became clear, and the Carcharodons were warily accepted into forces of the Imperium.[3a]
The Chapter quickly established a bloody reputation for itself as it engaged in a campaign of systematic annihilation of the worlds of the Endymion Cluster, whose inhabitants still owed some loyalty to the Mantis Warriors. Planet after planet was placed under a scorched world policy, their infrastructure smashed and countless multitudes slain, which forced the hand of the Mantis Warriors, whose honour would not allow them to stand by and see people suffer. This played into the plans of the Carcharodons quite nicely, and soon all resistance from the Mantis Warriors was crushed, their days as an effective fighting force over.[3b]
Unable to deny their effectiveness despite his own misgivings, Commander Carab Culln gave the Carcharodons the responsibility of attacking the primary infrastructure of Badab Primaris, while the Star Phantoms prosecuted the attack on Lufgt Huron's seat of power. The Chapter interpreted the orders in their usual brutally efficient manner, and sabotaged the reactor cores of the primary hives located on the planet. The resultant tectonic upheaval broke the back of the Secessionist forces, but also kick-started the process of the world's demise. Countless Loyalists died in the hurried retreat that followed, and to this day it is said that the Star Phantoms hold the Chapter in ire for what happened[3h].
With the reign of the Tyrant of Badab at its end, the Carcharodons would return one final time to the Endymion Cluster, and aided the Fire Angels in bringing back the worlds there into compliance. With the blessings of the Fire Angels, whose dominion over the Cluster had been granted at the cessation of hostilities, the Chapter visited the Tranquility system. There their dark legend would be sealed. The hidden fortresses of the Mantis Warriors were ransacked of supplies and war materiel, and a whole generation of the system's young men were taken away to replace the losses the Chapter had incurred during the war, forced to fight each other to the death to see who would be worthy to join the Carcharodons' ranks.[3c]
With that the Carcharodon fleet disappeared, apparently returning to the dark void above the galactic plane.[3c]
- M32 - The Solar Rebellion
- 888.M32 - The Astropath Wars
- In 860.M33 the Carcharodons were convened as part of the Pentarchy of Blood to enact the judgement of the High Lords of Terra, systematically destroying eleven chapters of the Adeptus Astartes judged Traitoris Perdita, ending the War of the False Primarch.[5a]
- 811.M37 - The 7th Black Crusade. The Carcharodons appear to aid the Blood Angels[3g]
- 211.M41 - The Carcharodons aid an Explorator Fleet against Ork Terror Ships[3g]
- ~800s.M41 - The Battle of Zartak
- 901-912.M41 - Badab War (See Above).
- ???.M41 - Defeating a Genestealer Cult on the Shrine World of Piety V. Aided by the Ashen Claws.
The Carcharodons Gene-seed is of unknown origins but is quite unique. Prone to degeneration and mutation and exhibiting features similar to Raven Guard gene-seed, Carcharodons have a pale, almost deathly pallor. They are also known for their liquid-black eyes and vicious nature, frequently disregarding civilian casualties in conflict.[3f]
Organization and Tactics
The Carcharodons roughly follow the organizational tenets laid down in the Codex Astartes, but otherwise show considerable variation with regards to tactics. In particular, their preference for shock assaults and close combat make them similar to the Black Templars, at least in the eyes of the Fire Angels Marines that accompanied them during the length of the Badab campaign. The forces observed during the war show that, on the surface, the Carcharodons were deployed similarly to what might be expected of a Codex Battle Company, although it was noted that it was augmented by an auxiliary force of Scouts, Assault Squads known as Devourers, and dedicated squads of Terminator-armored Veterans known as Red Brethren.[3f]
Although the Chapter seemed to maintain a sizable amount of armoured vehicles, the Carcharodons as a whole seemed to prefer infantry-based strategies, relying on the battle-prowess of its Marines to carry the day. Lightning assaults presaged by reconnaissance by small scouting forces was commonly observed, with surprise often the key factor in carrying the attack through. When resistance proves too heavy or the reaction of the enemy too swift, the Chapter's forces often quickly withdraw, to avoid heavy losses and, more importantly, to strike at another direction. This is repeated again and again until a weakness is eventually found, upon which the full brunt of the assault forces are brought to bear to bring the encounter to a swift end.[3g]
The Chapter's armory was noted to consist mostly of old-style suits of Power Armor, particularly the Mark-V Heresy Pattern, and weaponry. The Carcharodons' complement of Terminator Armour in particular showed modification or augmentation in unorthodox ways to keep them combat worthy.[3f]
The Carcharodons acquire new recruits during bloody events known as Red Tithes. Red Tithes see the Carcharodons descend on an Imperial world, kidnapping many for trials while taking many more as slaves or Chapter Serfs. The strongest and most promising recruits however are taken to be inducted as Initiates. In events known as Grey Tithes, the Carcharodons acquire Archaeotech and trade them with the Adeptus Mechanicus for new weapons and equipment.
- Tyberos, the Red Wake - The overall commander of the Chapter during the Badab War, Tyberos is a sinister figure rarely seen outside of his ancient suit of Terminator Armour, and whose otherwise soft voice promised a swift demise.[3k] Leader of the Red Brethren of the 1st Company.
- Te Kahurangi, the Pale Nomad - Chief Librarian.
- Bail Sharr - Reaper Prime (Captain) of the 3rd Company.
- Akia - Reaper Prime of the 3rd Company before Bail Sharr.
- Kahu - Strike Leader (Sergeant) of the Red Wrath, a Terminator Squad of the 1st Company.
- Nikora - Chaplain of the 3rd Company.
- Tama - Apothecary of the 3rd Company.
- Uthulu - Techmarine of the 3rd Company.
- Signifier Niko - Standard Bearer of the 3rd Company.
- Dorthor - Strike Leader of the 3rd Company, 1st Tactical Squad.
- Nuritona - Strike Leader of the 3rd Company, 2nd Tactical Squad.
- Ruak - Strike Leader of the 3rd Company, 3rd Tactical Squad.
- Ekara - Strike Leader of the 3rd Company, 4th Tactical Squad.
- Kartli - Strike Leader of the 3rd Company, 5th Tactical Squad.
- Waraki - Strike Leader of the 3rd Company, 10th Devastator Squad.
- Ari - Strike Leader of the 3rd Company. He leads the Scout elements of the Company.
- Nicor - Battle Barge[3k]
- White Maw - Exile-era Tyrant Class Cruiser
- Grey Harvest - Sword Class Frigate
- Void Revenant - Wrath Hammer Class Escort
Prior to Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, the Space Sharks were noted to have been given the homeworld of the rebellious Mantis Warriors. They were noted to have extensively used Drop Pod assaults against the hives of Badab, and were said to have nursed a longstanding distrust of the Mantis Warriors and Lamenters.
- The Judges, In Their Hunger (Short Story), by David Annandale
- Carcharodons: Red Tithe (Novel)
- The Trial of the Mantis Warriors (Short Story) by C.S. Goto - Legends of the Space Marines, pgs. 377-427
- 1: Index Astartes White Dwarf #101 (1988), pg. 71
- 2: Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, [Needs Citation]
- 3: Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two
- 4: Forge World model (last accessed 5 June 2015)
- 5: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Second Edition
- 6: Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter pg. 89
- 7: Carcharodons: Red Tithe (Novel)
- 7a: Chapter 1
- 8: Carcharodons: Outer Dark (Novel)
- Space Marines Collectors' Guide (2002), pg. 5
- Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1992), pg. 168
- White Dwarf #101; Index Astartes 88/101 (1988) pg. 73