Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saturday Fluff: Spirit Eagles Space Marines Chapter 1

This week, I'm going to present a space marine chapter I had originally created to play- the Spirit Eagles. When I first revisited the 40K universe a little over a year ago, my initial intent was to create my own space marine chapter to field against my friends.  Borrowing heavily names and customs from the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest, the Spirit Eagles were born. Personally, I had to create the fluff before I could set about creating unique rules for this chapter and I was provided that stroke of inspiration while on a flight to the east coast. Over the course of a year, I have lost interest in the idea of playing a fluff marine army. However, I have not lost interest in the story surrounding that fluff chapter, the Spirit Eagles. So, for this Saturday Fluff post (albeit late), I present the Spirit Eagles!

Early Migration from Terra
Spirit Eagle space marines can trace their history to old Terra. At that  time their peoples called themselves "People of the Eagle Spirit" and were one of the first peoples to migrate off-planet to populate a new, and distant world. Their journey spanned hundreds of years until finally reaching a planet able to support life. It is said that when such a planet was visible to the colony ship(s), it reflected such verdant greens and  blues it were as though the planet greeted the Peoples of the Eagle Spirit warmly. Many chorused greetings in the old tongue, "Kla Hai Um, Kla Hai UM, Kla HAI UM, KLA HAI UM!". The chorus reverberated into a chant which sprung from millions of lips forming a mighty crescendo as the settler ships drew closer to the lush, beautiful planet. The planet was dubbed, "Klikitat" an ancient word meaning "beyond".

The Ferocious Jewel
As settlers arrived planet side, they separated and dispersed into their relative tribes of hereditary descent. Each tribe nominated a representative to speak for them. Each representative, in turn, would meet with other tribal representatives in what would later be dubbed the, "First Annual Meeting of the Spirit Eagles". During this meeting delegates divided the surface of Klikitat in portions for each tribe represented. During this meeting tribal delegates agreed upon many things to safeguard and ensure that the bond remained strong between all Peoples' of the Eagle Spirit. The peoples long maintained a strong spiritual bond with animals and  nature on old Terra, and that bond carried over to life found on Klikitat. A balanced symbiosis was maintained between nature and humanity which led to a golden age of happiness and prosperity. Over time there existed many unique tribes of  peoples, however, each tribe recognized the other as sisters' and  brothers' of the Eagle. Wars between tribes were unrealistic as competition for land or resources were  handled in controlled ways- through ceremony and games of competition. These customs are honored and adhered to through present day. The adaptation of war by the inhabitants of Klikitat by no means signaled a weak or martially inept populace- quite the contrary. The wilds of Klikitat cradled and disgorged such ferocious beasts upon the human population that provided her inhabitants with plenty of opportunity to hone marshal training. For all of Klikitat's beauty and fertile promise the planet harbored many dangers and perils deep in her forests and jungles, proving a constant threat to the planet's settlers.

The People's Rite of Passage
When adolescents come of age a set of trials are set before them to become peoples' of their relative tribes. Each tribe's rites of indoctrination differ, however every rite of passage successfully completed by an aspirant culminates into one final trial of spiritually bonding with an animal familiar. If a warrior errant is successful, then that warrior and his chosen familiar are bound spiritually to one another for life. An Eagle will only ever bond with a human once in it's lifetime. As a manner of  honor and reciprocation, a warrior will never seek another animal  familiar for the rest of his or her life. A warrior aspirant is naturally drawn to their relative animal  familiar, be it eagle, wolf or bear. The martial prowess and physical trials required to live on Klikitat would prove beneficial to the Peoples' of the Spirit Eagle; for at some point Klikitat, including a large swathe of space surrounding the planet, would be swallowed by a violent warp storm.

Warp Storm Cabal:
Approximately 1600 years after the first settlers set foot upon Klikitat, a violent warp storm (later dubbed "Cabal") engulfed the planet. Cabal isolated Klikitat and countless other planets from the rest of the Empire and would do so for hundreds of years. The ravaging warp storm claimed any ship foolish enough to travel too close, so it did not take long before the area of space that Cabal encompassed was avoided by all but the most foolhardy. It wasn't long before the entire breadth of space consumed by the vicious warp storm was deemed unsafe and off limits by the Imperium of Man. The planet Klikitat, along with countless other worlds victim to Cabal, was removed from maps and navigational charts to discourage the curious. Over time the planet was stricken from the collective memory of the Human Empire- a casualty to the unforgiving warp.

For many long centuries the planet of  Klikitat was isolated  from contact with the Imperium of Man. During these dark days, the planet's inhabitants drew their unique customs and heritage ever closer. As technology on the planet slowly eroded, the human spirit rallied and strengthened. As if the planet had been preparing it's people for the coming trial, Cabal introduced the People of the Eagle Spirit to the vile forces of chaos. Such perversions and evil paled any prior trial the inhabitants of Klikitat had faced. Like a raw piece of earth thrown into a furnace, the Peoples of the Spirit Eagle's abilities would be stretched, tested and tempered by the reviled forces of the warp.

Continued in chapter 2


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