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Silver Skulls

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Victory does not always rest with the big guns, but if we rest in front of them we shall be lost.

Lord Commander Argentius, Chapter Master of the Silver Skulls[6d][13]
Marine Basic Data Chapter Symbol
SilverSkullsPrimaris.jpg
- Silver Skulls -
Founding Chapter: Ultramarines[24]
Founding: Possibly Second Founding[Note 1]
Known Descendants: Unknown
Chapter Master: Argentius[13]
Homeworld: Varsavia (current) [2a][6a]; Lyria (former) [31]
Fortress-Monastery: Argent Mons[19]
Colours: Steel color armor, silver helmet, and black shoulder guards. Right shoulder markings are in company color. Symbol is a stylized silver skull.[22]
Specialty: Siege Warfare[30c] and the use of Prognosticators
Strength: Unknown
Battle Cry: Primus inter pares[14a]
(First Amongst Equals)
SilverSkullsShoulder.JPG
Miniature
ArgentusMini.jpg

The Silver Skulls are listed as an Ultramarines Successor Chapter.[24] However their gene-seed records are "inconclusive" and under investigation by the Ordo Hereticus.[30a][30b]

Background

The Silver Skulls were created during the Second Founding, in the days following the Horus Heresy. Originally the Silver Skull's homeworld was known as Lyria. Sometime in M33 the world was rendered a Dead World when the Silver Skulls enacted the sanction of Exterminatus upon it, to prevent it from falling under the control of the forces of Nurgle.[31]

Since then, the chapter's homeworld has been the planet of Varsavia in the Ultima Segmentum, on the boarder of the Segmentum Obscurus and near the Gildar Rift, and now in the area known as Imperium Nihilus. Here the Silver Skulls are surrounded by numerous Xenos species, recently fighting costly yet significant battles against the Dark Eldar and Necrons.[15]

The Silver Skulls also patrol the nearby Gildar Rift, accepting the challenges of maintaining peace in the sector, despite it being a plain and inglorious duty.[32a]

After the opening of the Great Rift, the Silver Skulls have been amongst the most active of all Chapters fighting against the forces of Chaos and are now fighting on many fronts across.[24]

Notable Campaigns

  • In M35 the Silver Skulls along with the Howling Griffons aided the Salamanders in an invasion of Commorragh. However this invasion ultimately assisted Asdrubael Vect as he orchestrated it in order to topple Commorragh's noble houses and leave the city open for his rise to power.[4]
  • Suppressing the Cult of the Red Heresy during the Plague of Unbelief with the aid of the mysterious Cypher.
  • 679.M36: The Silver Skulls' 7th Company were deployed in support of the Beta-Garmon IV Expeditionary Force[11], aiding the Rogue Trader Khorlu to re-discover and conquer the fabled Beta-Garmon System in the Veil of Kanth region. For their sacrifice and aid in helping him secure the System, Khorlu later ceded them the planet Beta-Garmon IV, considered the jewel of this System.[23]
  • 165.M37: The Antecanis Massacre: During the 9th Black Crusade, Abaddon, the Black Legion and their allies attack and decimate the Hive World of Antecanis with the aim of denying the Imperial Naval Shipyards at Cancephalus with their source of manpower. As Chaos rampages across the planet, the Silver Skulls are the first to arrive and harry the Chaos fleet in hit and run attacks, denying orbital support to Chaos ground forces. Finally, with Imperial reinforcements inbound, Abaddon loads the Black Legion ships with slaves and plunder and breaks the Silver Skulls blockade of the system, leaving his allies behind to distract the Imperium. [2b]
  • 770-791.M38: The Great Malagantine Purge. The Silver Skulls are one of five Space Marine Chapters in a group referred to as the Manus Irae. This group is ordered by the High Lords to "Spare none and set a bloody, fearful example to the realm of Mankind" by cleansing the Malagantine Sector. The reasons remain to this day unknown to anyone, not even the Inquisition, with the knowledge hidden in the vaults of Terra.[12a]
  • 698.M41: The Corinth Crusade. The Silver Skulls were part of combined Space Marine force led by Marneus Calgar, consisting of the Angels of Absolution, Lamenters, Marines Errant, Scythes of the Emperor, the Ultramarines and over fifty Imperial Guard Regiments. During a seven year crusade the force inflicted a series of major defeats on Waaagh! Skargor in the Corinth system within the Ork empire of Charadon. By the time the crusade finished, Waaagh! Skargor was destroyed and the invasion of Waaagh! Argluk was delayed for thirty years.[7][12b]
  • 954.M41: The imminent attack by the Soulmaw. The Silver Skulls' Librarians suspected an imminent attack by the Daemonic warband, the Soulmaw, on their homeworld. Most of the chapter was absent from Varsavia due to answering a distress call from the Silver Skull vassal world of Aragave which was being ravaged by an unidentified warband of Daemons. The Daemons quickly vanished as soon as the Silver Skulls forces arrived, successfully luring them away from Varsavia. This could have be in retribution for Librarian Lucius Clave reportedly destroying the Soulmaw champion years before in 892.M40 during the scouring of Ammas.[10] In 956.M41, the Soulmaw assaulted the Silver Skulls homeworld, but they managed to resist the attack.
  • 998.M41: The Third War for Armageddon. Records show them to have been deployed to Armageddon during the Third War. Here they deployed seven out of ten companies of Space Marines to fight the Orks.[3]
  • 999.M41: The Zeist Campaign. The Silver Skulls heeded the call of Lord Macragge, and provided tactical squads to fight for the liberation of Augura (a staging point for the Tau forces).[6b]
  • Late M41 - the Lazar Blockade[5a]
  • The Yria Massacre
  • The Gildar Rift (M41, exact date unknown) - after destroying a Red Corsairs battle force, the Silver Skulls under Captain Daerys Arrun pursue the renegade fugitives to a string of inhabited worlds across the Gildar Rift, wiping them out in a matter of weeks.[6a][14x]
  • The Purging — (M41, exact date unknown) - Receiving distress signals from the planet Equinox, a small detachment of Silver Skulls arrived, with the aim of cleansing the planet of the influence of Chaos. They tirelessly swept through the city-states of Equinox one by one in a bloody massacre. The population, already halved by disease and starvation, was halved again and whole areas of city-states were used as mass graves. The Silver Skulls left as quickly as they had struck, fading to nothing more than a bloody memory in the collective consciousness of the survivors.[17]
  • The Second Relief of Mordian - M42. The Silver Skulls aid the Iron Hands and their successor chapters against Chaos forces.[26]
  • The Battle of Horestis (M41, date unknown) - Prognosticator Vorxec Calvarus leads 50 battle-brothers against Nurgle cultists, but most are exposed to a Virus Bomb. After narrowly surviving, Calvarus endures 49 days of agony before he turns to Nurgle and forms a band of raiders.[29]
  • Battle of Skataurus — year unknown. There Silver Skulls found that only Centurion Assault Squad could make headway through the rubble of previously proud avenues of the main city. Heretics of Skataurus soon understand that not dug-in tanks, not reinforced bunkers of the hive could stop the hulking warriors. Massed cultist ambushes also proved useless and soon rebellion was suppressed.[25]
  • The War of Beasts on Vigilus in early M42 — The Silver Skulls send a single company.[26]
Silver Skulls Captain [18b]

Culture

The Silver Skulls are recruited from the fierce tribesmen of Varsavia and this culture has bled into the Chapter. They bury their warriors upon Varsavia's moon of Pax Argentius, believing that the spirits of their ancestors watch over them. The ashes of the fallen are placed in urns and put on display after prayer rituals. The honored dead include not just warriors but also Chapter Serfs.[14c] The Chapter homeworld's culture has also given them a fearful reputation as headhunters.[28] As part of its post-battle rituals, the Chapter selects the heads of the most powerful enemies, flense flesh from bone and layer the skulls in a coat of silver to be displayed within the Fortress-Monastery.[13][15] The Silver Skulls also tattoo the skin of their entire bodies in honour markings, with the face being the last area to be marked; the right to do so earned in battle.[13]

Presumably, the chapter did not have these cultural influences when their homeworld was the planet of Lyria.[31]

The current Chapter Master of the Silver Skulls always bears the name of Argentius upon assuming command. Currently, they are on their 27th bearer of the name.[13] Likewise, their Chief Prognosticator bears the name of Vashiro, meaning "The One Who Sees". The current "Vashiro" has held the name for over 500 years.[19]

Organization

The Silver Skulls organize themselves primarily along the lines written in the Codex Astartes, however the 9th Company has been altered from a reserve Devastator Company into a designated "Siege" company, with the 9th Company's captain holding the title of "Siege Captain".[30c]

The chapter hosts two orders of Chapter Champions:

  • The Prognosticars, elite battle-psykers and part of the Prognosticatum.[14b]
  • The Talriktug, the chapter's elite non-psychic warriors and considered second only to the Prognosticars, part of the 1st Company.[19]

The Silver Skulls paint their company signifier as a number on their knee pad, while their squad number is paints upon their backpack. They also paint their role signifier on their right pauldron (with the signified painted in the company's colour), while they place their chapter emblem on their left pauldron.

Combat Doctrine

The Silver Skulls primarily hold to the tenants and tactics of the Codex Astartes, however they further specialize in siege warfare. In battle, the chapter is known for being relentless, efficient, and extremely pragmatic, not adverse to using whatever tactics it takes to win. When engaged in melee combat, they are known for their barbaric brutality[19][21][31]

Their most notable aspect is the use of Prognosticators, the Silver Skulls Librarians and partial spiritual advisor alongside their Chaplains.[13][15] These warriors are the seers of the Chapter, reading the Emperor's Tarot or Rune-stones for divination of the future, granting the squads and companies they are attached to an edge for the coming battle.[13][15] The Chapter takes the readings seriously, as such that on some occasions, the Prognosticators have counselled against the Chapter becoming embroiled in a particular war, however this can prove problematic as the honour of the chapter at times demands that they take part in a battle they know will end in defeat. Despite this somewhat fickle nature, the Chapter is known to fight with honour the length and breadth of the Imperium.[15]

Geneseed

The Silver Skulls claim[8] and are believed to be descendants of the Ultramarines Chapter, however, with the passage of time this remains unconfirmed, although they behave as a Codex Chapter[15] and fight alongside the Primogenitor Chapters as if they were their own kin[15]. During the Thirteenth Black Crusade, the Primarch Guilliman returned to the Imperium and the Chapter was recognized as one of the Scions of Guilliman.[24]

The Silver Skulls' geneseed has also been under the investigation by the Ordo Hereticus. For unknown reasons, the chapter's geneseed records were so heavily classified that Inquisitor Liandra Callis struggled to obtain them, despite visiting the genevaults of Terra itself. However, the inquisitor eventually completed her investigation. While the chapter was shown to be free of taint or mutation, when the results of the investigation were presented to the Silver Skulls leadership, it was feared that their origins could cause a schism within the chapter were the rest of the SIlver Skulls to learn of it.[30d]

Known Chapter Elements

Chapter Fleet

Notable Silver Skulls

Chapter Master

  • Lord Commander Argentius — Silver Skulls' 27th Chapter Master. The current "Argentius" is believed to be "Artreus", formerly captain of 6th Company[13]

Prognosticatum

Apothecarion

Armorium

1st Company - ‘Fortius quo fidelias’ "Strength through loyalty"

2nd Company

3rd Company

4th Company

6th Company

8th Company - Vincit Qui Patitur "He who endures, conquers"

9th Company

10th Company

Other

Unknown Company

  • Captain Alkon - (deceased)
  • Captain Sinopa [14c]
  • Veteran Sergeant Igneus - (deceased) possessed and corrupted by a lesser daemon of Nurgle in M33, causing the fall of Lyria. Slain 8,000 years later by a combined Silver Skulls and Eldar force.[31]
  • Brother Varlen - (deceased) Defended their original homeworld of Lyria until it was wiped clean of life.[31]

Relics

Relics
Relic Name Relic Type Notes Source
Argent Guide Emperor's Tarot Gifted to Watch Fortress Erioch and used by members of the chaptered seconded to them. [15]
Silverstrike Stalker Bolt Rifle Mastercrafted. Wielded by Captain Argentus Chapter Approved 2018, pg. 17
Soul Render Force Sword Wielded by Prognosticator Rhondus [34]

Images


Notes

  • Note 1: The Silver Skulls are listed as hailing from a later Founding (not 1st or 2nd) in Chapter Approved 2001[20], however, in other sources[18a] it is stated that the Silver Skulls are indeed a 2nd Founding Chapter.

Trivia


  • While there is no proven connection, the Silver Skulls hold a number of striking similarities to the heresy-era Iron Warriors, including: their armour colors, iconography, and specialization.
  • During the Horus Heresy a force of Iron Warriors, known as the Sons of Dantioch, remained loyal to the Emperor. These Iron Warriors were recruited by Ultramarines Tetrarch Tauro Nicodemus to aid in the defense of Imperium Secundus.[32]
  • The leader of the Sons of Dantioch was Warsmith Barabas Dantioch, who wore a unique mask styled as the Iron Warriors' skull emblem.[32]
  • 2nd Company Captain Eddan Bourne's quote "Show me a fortress and I'll show you a ruin." echoes a statement by Barabas Dantioch: "Show me a palace and I’ll show you how an Iron Warrior would take it.".[32]
  • The Silver Skull's destroying their own homeworld, to deny it's use by the enemy, was a signature tactic used by Dantioch.[31][32]
  • These issues, combined with the ambiguous origins of their geneseed and being recognized as Scions of Guilliman has lead to speculation that the Silver Skulls are in actuality the descendants of the Sons of Dantioch who were accepted as honourary Ultramarines for defending Ultramar/Imperium Secundus.

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