Monday, 13 July 2015

The Laniidae

'Legend would have it that the Astartes know no fear. A funny tale, almost as if our transhumanity was not enough to intimidate. I feared something once, the same thing most of us would tell you. A small death on some forgotten hellhole, my deeds unremembered. When I was pierced upon the thorns, I saw the manner of my end.

I do not die inglorious.'

Rylo Zelaange, Sargeant, I Squad, I Company, Crimson Shrikes Adeptus Astartes

'Within the first company of the Crimson Shrikes, informally known as the 'Thorn Wreath', there exists a distinct group of elites. Warriors that turn the tide of wars, turning certain defeat into outright victory. They fight exclusively clad in Terminator armour, teleporting into the heaviest fighting in a battle. We know them as the Laniidae.

When the Crimson Shrikes were founded, a cadre of twenty-nine neophytes were initially trained by three veteran warriors of their parent chapter, the Raven Guard. In honour of this, the Laniidae number exactly thirty-two Astartes at all times, never more, never less. They do not fight as per Codex structure, but in loose brotherhoods of between five to eight Astartes. To join the Laniidae is to become almost legend within the Shrikes, and rare is the Captain who was not directly promoted from their ranks.

When a member of the Laniidae is killed, the rest of the First Company will meet and nominate one brother from each squad of the company, for a total of seven potentials. These seven are taken by the Laniidae squad they potentially will join into the wilderness of the Shrikes homeworld. There, the potentials and Laniidae will begin a great hunt for one of the great araknowyms that live within the megafauna. Immune to weaponary that would level a Baneblade, the hunt is long and arduous, and allows the Laniidae to decipher who will be the best fit for the unit. This will not only be at a physical level, but spiritually as well. When the hunt ends, the Laniidae will choose a successor for their fallen brother. The remaining Shrikes (if any survive) will return to their squads, never speaking of their ordeal. The new Laniidae will bcome a darker, morose soul, and some believe that the visions that take place during the First Company initiation ritual are somehow enhanced, telling the Laniidae of his eventual death. Whatever the truth of this, the Laniidae are shock troops beyond compare, willing to throw themselves into battles that even other Shrikes would consider unwinnable.

Squad Zelaange were foremost within the fighting during the Shrine War, taking on missions that other would have considered suicide. The fact that not one brother of the squad was killed is testamount to both the strength of Terminator armour, and the skill and self-belief of the Laniidae wearing it. It is however rumoured that Squad Zelaange were somehow aware that none of them would die during the conflict, and this resulted in their almost suicidal attacks, knowing this would not be their time to meet the God-Emperor. Whatever the truth, the Laniidae are heroes all.'

'Rituals of the Raven Guard and Successors' - Tominas Rotajz


  1. Excellent background Kobrakei. It's in keeping with the grim dark fiction of the 40k universe yet original. Well done, I look forward to more. Thanks

  2. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed, it's a bit of background I've been thinking over for a little while so it's good to hear people like it :)