Thursday, 18 February 2016

Dusk Knights - background fluff!

The Dusk Knights are a Knightly Order of Space Marines, hailing from the Planet St Olav’s Fall.

The planet of St Olav’s Fall is largely mountainous and inhospitable. Known mainly for being the location where the pilgrim’s ship carrying the famous St Olav crashed following a disastrous ambush by Ork forces, killing all on board. The Black Templars VIIth crusade fleet responded to the initial distress call and routed the Orks in a brutal void engagement, their particular skills at fleet boarding actions destroying a substantial portion of the Ork fleet, which then fled the system to regroup.
The Marshal of the Fleet however was a pious man, and learning of the death of St Olav he decided to found a shrine on the planet below. Having gained special dispensation from the Black Templars High Marshal, the newly titled Grand Master Haakon founded a new Space Marine Chapter on the planet, recruiting from amongst the hardy mountain tribes that populated its surface.

St Olav’s Fall is a harsh world, giving up little of itself to its inhabitants. It is most notable for long periods of dusk due to the many moons that orbit it - eclipses are a common sight in its skies and there is little light even at the height of day. The mountains are also occupied by the fearsome creatures known as Glorms. These creatures have a highly evolved appearance, camouflaging themselves amongst the bare rock of the mountains and pouncing on unwary travellers, tearing them limb from limb and shredding their innards with powerful stony talons. Their particular method of hunting is enhanced by yet another of the planet’s environmental quirks, which results in the mountain regions being permanently enveloped in a thick mist, making visibility extremely difficult over distance.

The Dusk Knights, as they have become known, have had to adapt their tactics to this and consequently they favour close-ranged weaponry. In particular, their squads make prolific use of power fists, which is a badge of rank for their sergeants as much as their deep red helmets. These particular planetary conditions also mean that the Dusk Knights make extensive use of drop pods, rather than the tracked transports of other chapters, which would be next to useless on their homeworld.

The planet is now often a place of pilgrimage for the faithful of the Imperium, and several hundred years after the shrine was founded, the Dusk Knights made a powerful ally. It seemed that the void conflict that saw the planet renamed and the founding of the Dusk Knights was no mere chance encounter, as many battles had raged in space around the planet in the following years. Once such conflict saw another skyfall incident, though this one was to benefit the world significantly. Once again a ship travelling the stars had been forced out of the warp near the planet and was critically damaged by piratical Ork raiders. This time however, it was a transport of House Seraphus that was damaged, and the ship managed to make a comparatively safe landing not far from the Shrine of St Olav. House Seraphus was one of the noble Knight Houses, and in thanks for their safe deliverance, the master of the House pledged to guard the Shrine for eternity. St Olav’s Fall therefore is an almost unique example of a Knightly House and a Space Marine Chapter sharing the same homeworld, and the two forces are often to be found battling alongside each other against the Imperium’s enemies.