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- "Fools who tempt the desert's wrath quickly learn the error of their ways."
- ― A common Ak'Une Proverb
An enigmatic and ancient Chapter of Space Marines, the Dune Dragons have long been a mystery amongst their fellow Astartes. Hailing from the sweeping deserts of the Feudal World of Ak'Une, known as Isisar Majoris in the standard Imperial Lexicon, the Dune Dragons are warriors who prize swiftness, durability, and precision above all else in battle. Soaring into battle within their vast Land Speeder squadrons, or crushing through enemy ranks with their mighty Predator Tank formations, the Dune Dragons place the utmost faith in the Machine Spirit, venerating the Omnissiah equally with the Emperor, holding them as parts of the same being.
Their origins unknown, and they themselves often unwilling to discuss the inner workings of their Chapter to outsiders, the Dune Dragons are often the source of conjecture and myth, their fellow Astartes and other parties privy to the nature of the Space Marine Legions of old often confused as to the Chapter's linage. Their affinity for technology and veneration of the Omnissiah would almost certainly mark them out as Iron Hands successors. However, their possession of ancient wargear, including examples of Archotech seen no where else, combined with their aloof personalities, would also seem to suggest a connection to the Unforgiven of the Dark Angels. But most befuddling of all is the Chapter's martial traditions, valuing speed and ferocity, and the tradition of honoring their commanders with the title of Khan makes some certain of a White Scars linage. The Dune Dragons neither confirm nor deny any of these theories, seeming to revel in the enigmatic wake of their Chapter, often seeking to be as inscrutable as the deserts from whence they hail.
Vengeance of the Desert Edit
Borne of the Third Founding, the Dune Dragons were once known by another, long forgotten title held only in the archives of the most ancient brother Chapters and Inquisitorial enclaves. The Dune Dragons were once known as the Drakeling Lords, their linage of succession lost to time and calamity. The Chapter served with minor distinction, mostly prosecuting punitive raids on rebellious settlements and drifting far into the forgotten reaches of wild space in search of esoteric technologies or xenos to vanquish and worlds to conquer in the name of the Imperium. But then, in the year M33, the Chapter seemingly vanished. Presumed destroyed in the lost regions of Segementum Pacificus, the Drakeling Lords were quietly added to the long standing list of casualties suffered by the Imperium of Man in its never ending wars. Then, in M34, an Explorator fleet came across the desert world of Isisar Majoris, and came face to face with the Drakeling Lords reborn. A Chapter of Space Marines calling themselves the Dune Dragons were embroiled in a brutal war for control of a region now dubbed the Mondli Sector on the edge of the western rim of the galaxy, fighting against the Orks of the massive WAAAGH! Spitshank and elements of Craftworlds Hagdan Ya and Wihtalisai.
The ancient Drakeling Lords had come to the Mondli Sector to purge of it the pervasive xenos taint that shrouded its worlds in darkness, and during their first campaigns were decimated during the infamous Gorlech Reach Massacre, where the Chapter's forces were overwhelmed by joint Eldar and Ork forces working in tandem. The of the Mondli Sector, foreseeing the Drakeling Lords as the harbingers of their doom, set out to destroy them, manipulating the Orkish hordes in the Sector as a buffer for their elite kill teams. During the battle, the Chapter Master and his Command Squad were slain, and several other officers lost their lives. Grievously wounded, the surviving Drakeling Lords took flight, intercepted over the world their descendants would call home, Ak'Une. Forced to land, the Drakeling Lords were forced to fight on their heels as the Eldar ravaged their ranks. Deep in the desert, the Chapter was forced to abandon much of their heavier weaponry, and rely on what Fast Attack assets they had left.
Dune Dragon Gene-Seed is, for the most part, Chimeric in nature, impossible to trace to any of the original Loyalist Legions due to minor mutations in the genetic markers. These genetic markers, usually stable and clear in most Chapters, constantly shift even when the sample is in laboratory conditions, shifting in its appearance from linage to linage. This strange mutation is often attributed to a period where the Chapter was trapped in a freak Warp Storm, which the Apothecaries claim twisted their Gene-Seed in subtle but so far non-hazardous ways. The Chapter has long kept close watch on the development of the Gene-Seed, and has tithed unusually generous amounts to the Imperium in hopes of catching any potential mutations before they become permanent and infect the Chapter's otherwise pure gene-seed.
Other minor mutations include subtle alterations in overall size, with Battle-Brothers generally being shorter on average than the standard Space Marine, subtle shifts in the coloration of the iris to a golden hue, and finally, the acceleration in the growth of body and facial hair. This final mutation has led to an honored Chapter tradition of sporting intricately styled beards, though they are almost always maintained to a level that such facial hair does not interfere with an Astarte's helmet.
Being on very good terms with the Adeptus Mechanicus for their missions alongside Explorator fleets and apparently having a horde of Archotech to rival that of the Dark Angels, it is no surprise that the Dune Dragons have access to various forms of esoteric wargear not seen outside of their ranks.
Isisar-Pattern Grenade Launcher Edit
Rhino Charger Edit
A rapid, open topped variant of the traditional Rhino Armored Personnel Carrier, the Rhino Charger sacrifices armor and protection for raw speed and maneuverability, as well as giving its occupants the opportunity to utilize heavy weaponry on the charge. Looking for all the world like a smaller version of the Great Crusade era Rhino Advancer, the Rhino Charger comes armed with a forward heavy weapon mount to be utilized by the co-pilot within his armored seat within the Rhino Charger's cab, and its engines are significantly more powerful, taking full advantage of the dramatically decreased weight of the Rhino Charger when compared to the standard Rhino.
Land Speeder Dragon Edit
The Land Speeder Dragon is a heavy design of the standard Land Speeder, comparable to the Land Speeder Vengeance of the Dark Angels, though its weaponry is markedly less potent. Considered by some to be the bastard offspring of a Land Speeder Storm and Land Speeder Tornado, the Land Speeder Dragon comes armed with three separate heavy weapons and enough space to transport up to six fully armored Space Marines. (including the pilot and co-pilot) While bearing the usual Co-Pilot weapon and the nose mounted weapon, the Land Speeder Dragon also has an overhead weapon mount at the center of the vehicle. The overhead mount is traditionally a Heavy Bolter or Plasma Cannon, while the Co-Pilot mount is usually either a Multi-Melta or Heavy Flamer. The nose mount varies from engagement to engagement, either coming armed with a Cerberus Launcher, Assault Cannon, or Plasma Cannon. The personnel mounts on the side of the Land Speeder Dragon allow for two fully armored Space Marines to stand in relative safety, and fire their weapons. Meanwhile the third seat next to the rear gunners platform is usually reserved for the SaKhan of the squad, usually armed with a Missile Launcher to give the deadly platform all the more punch.
Combat Doctrine Edit
Hailing from the vast deserts and having access to a considerable stockpile of skimmer type vehicles, it is little wonder that the Dune Dragons value speed and maneuverability over the typical heavy handed assaults proscribed in the Codex Astartes. Generally speaking, the Dune Dragons seek to hamstring the enemy with savage assaults with their hyper mobile heavy weapons platforms, and then swoop in with the main body of their force to obliterate all that remains. Siege warfare and urban assaults are generally considered unfavorable engagements, but the Chapter can often rely on its exotic heavy weaponry and dedicated armored squadrons to rely on brute force when maneuverability falters.
The Dune Dragons doctrine usually emphasizes ruthless, unrelenting combat, utilizing their durable Astartes physiology as their main advantage as Battle-Brothers seldom need sleep or rest, and thus can continue battle almost indefinitely if adequately supplied. The use of Scout Marines deep within enemy lines and raiding strikes on vulnerable enemy positions is often a hallmark of the Chapter's combat doctrine, as is using the terrain against the foe whenever possible.
Chapter Fleet Edit
Specialist Ranks/Formations Edit
The IlKhan is the foremost leader of the Chapter, ruling with the same power as a Codex Chapter Master.
Equivalent in rank to a Codex Captain, the Khans of the Dune Dragons are expected to be paragons of the Chapter, peerless commanders and nigh relentless combatants.
Though somewhat exotic in terms of a title, the rank of SaKhan is functionally identical to that of a Codex Brother Sergeant.
Naft Squads Edit
A formation borne of the Chapter's particular love for indirect fire weapons and rapid assaults, the Dune Dragons Naft Squads are units of Astartes grenadiers. Armed each with a pair of Bolt Pistols, a Combat Knife, and a Isisar-Pattern Astartes Grenade Launcher, Naft Squads are usually embarked upon a Land Speeder Dragon or the Rhino Charger so that they may deliver rapid fire barrages before disembarking for an assault. Naft Squad SaKhans may come armed with an Inferno Pistol and Chainsword, or a Plasma Pistol and Chainsword. Two Battle-Brothers of the squad can also opt to carry Missile Launchers into battle as well.
The Dune Dragons elite First Company almost always deploy clad entirely in suits of Terminator armor, usually of the archaic Cataphractii Pattern. Known amongst their Battle-Brothers as the Duneblades,
Notable Battles Edit
Notable Individuals Edit
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