: Aodh CailpeachChapter
: Storm WardensChapter Demeanour
: Storm Wardens are fierce in a fight, yet honourable nonetheless; whilst their nature as a fairly isolated chapter leaves other chapters with a sense of aloofness and unapproachability, those who do gain their companionship are esteemed and protected as brothers themselves. They tend to spend the night before an action in meticulous planning, sharing quiet camraderie with their fellow warriors, and amongst their seniors engaging in ritualised duels to earn the glory of vanguarding an action.
Whilst they enjoy debate and crafting points to support their arguments and plans, something often seen as insubordinate by outsiders, dispute is a foreign word once a course of action has been agreed upon, as they hold their word to be their bond, with personal honour in particular most important of all forms. To that end, many Storm Wardens will intentionally seek the champions and commanders of enemy forces to pit themselves against, fighting with fervor yet maintaining the tactics and stratagems discussed prior.Personal Demeanour
: True to form, Aodh is as honourable as any of his brethren, though he in particular gives his word less willingly than most, reserving his vows for crucial situations. This could be taken as either less or more honourable a path, depending on how one takes it, with a varied spread within the rest of the Chapter; in Aodh's mind at least, casually offering one's promise means little if it is as casually broken, and thus they should be reserved for when they must count.
Much like his brethren, too, Aodh is quite keen on facing off against grand foes - should a champion of an enemy present itself, be it commander or squadron leader, he will happily pit himself against it without a second thought about his own safety. Unlike most Storm Wardens, he tends to put vows to slay an enemy over his chapter's meticulous planning, and in the heat of war often makes these vows much more spontaneously than he normally would; in the past, he has gained great honour from glorious kills that has propelled him up the ranks swiftly, but has also broken rank to battle an opponent that he feels has slighted him or his squadron, and in one notable instance laid low a particular Ork Warboss who had killed multiple of his closer battle-brothers, suffering both grievous injuries and the ire of his Company Captain, who had made fighting the Warboss his own burden.
With this in mind, it is worth noting that Aodh is not otherwise particularly impulsive. Even in combat, he tries to ensure his shots and strikes are cleanly made, no matter the weapon he wields, and he does his best to pick his words carefully with his allies and rivals alike, though he does have it in mind that he does not necessarily match up to a Primaris Marine in either strength or experience, partially what motivates his aggressive stance against the champions of the Imperium's enemies. For these enemies, of course, no quarter is given nor any niceties offered, and he considers the vow he made long ago- the vow all Space Marines make, to protect the Imperium from its enemies- to be of the utmost importance in all circumstances.Speciality
: Assault Marine - Specialists in melee combat, though in Aodh's case he is fairly well-versed in ranged combat and general tactics thanks to how he has progressed through the Storm Wardens' Companies prior to Sergeanthood.Rank
: Assault Sergeant, 3rd Company.Power Armour History
: Aodh's armour has previously been worn by a succession of Assault Marines, all with a keen interest in closing to melee range as soon as possible. In particular, a previous wearer and his squadron assisted in routing and annihilating a force of Tyranids assailing a world, thanks to their rapid action in taking out the Hive Tyrant controlling those in the area mere minutes after combat was joined, and this rapidity of action has carried over ever since, rendering the user's movements that much more immediate in all areas.Description
: Even in spite of his relatively young age, Aodh is quite a scarred individual. A combination of duels in the name of honour and more than a few fights he probably ought to have avoided have provided quite an array of wounds over time, including a healed-over cut ranging up the side of his head and past his left temple, and a particularly savaged right arm and abdomen after a battle with an Ork Warboss, these much fresher scars than most on his body, and in many places outright rebuilt with artificial materials. Other than this, he is not necessarily striking, with the typical bulky build of a Storm Warden and the muscles to match his melee acumen; light skin presents where black carapace ports and scar tissue do not, baby blue eyes remain aware and alert at all times, and a crew cut of brown hair tops his skull, service studs aside. Lastly, the tattoo of his clan of origin is marked in electric blue on his right cheek, a burning cloud over an animalistic human skull.
His power armour, under normal circumstances, bears the same colours as any normal Storm Warden - primarily blue, with light silver-grey colours on their boots, greaves, hands, and pauldrons, with the markings of his chapter and company in blue on the left and right pauldrons respectively. Additionally, joining the lightning bolt shield on the left is the Iron Skull indicating his sergeantry in red, further accompanied by the painting of his armour's helm in red, though it lacks the white stripe indicating additional veterancy, as well as the Imperialis carved on his chestplate signifying both righteous victory over the Imperium's enemies and loyalty to Emperor, Imperium, and the Chapter. It is also clear to a keen eye that it has suffered damage in the past, despite repair and repainting, with slightly different component makes or ceramite textures on some areas, again specifically the right arm and abdomen. Naturally, once properly inducted into the Deathwatch, this will be fully blacked out, save a gunmetal left arm with scripted pauldron and the chapter colours and symbol on the right pauldron. Outside of armour, he sticks to the typical robes of a Space Marine, again largely blue and silver-grey, with the chapter symbol on his chest, and again replaced with all-black Deathwatch robes bearing the Storm Wardens' lightning bolt shield on the chest.Skills
: Beyond the typical mental, physical, and martial abilities of any Space Marine, Aodh is particularly skilled when it comes to melee combat, and one-on-one duels with heavy weapons most of all. This is perhaps a given for an Assault Sergeant, and no less for many Storm Wardens, but in Aodh's case especially, he has proven his melee acumen time and again in one-on-one combat against a wide variety of alien enemies, surprisingly not just a matter of besting one's prime foe, but of remaining vigilant enough to ensure that a less honourable enemy doesn't attack from behind whilst one is occupied, a situation that has presented itself to Aodh in the past, as well as maintaining the reflexes and agility to evade attacks from both primary and secondary opponents when blocking such attacks is an unlikely option.
As a sergeant, of course, he also bears a significant degree of tactical skill, able to direct his fellow Marines and lesser men toward the best, or at least the worthiest, course of action in battle. To some extent, though, he is also quite keen in wider-scale strategic matters, a side-effect of regular pre-battle discussions with his fellow Storm Wardens regarding all manner of future foes both potential and real, not to mention a keen debater on these and other topics.
Thanks to the Calixis Sector's relative proximity to the Eye of Terror, and consequently to the Northwestern tip of the Great Rift, Aodh has also faced more than his fair share of daemonic activity even prior to the arrival of the Indomitus Crusade, and has if nothing else a great deal of experience fending off Chaos daemons and heretics alike, alongside a keen awareness of what does or does not constitute daemonic activity both subtle and gross.History
: Aodh's life began, as one may expect, on the Forbidden World of Sacris, wherein one presumes Aodh the Child stood out among his peers even in youth, consequently succeeded in besting the planetary hazards and ritual combats of the Chapter's recruitment trials, and was borne to Highcastle to be reborn as Aodh the Neophyte. Several years and many implants later came his first mission as a Scout Marine, a relatively simple endeavour to execute a Tau Ethereal and his bodyguards. In short, slight complications were present in the form of more troops than expected, but ultimately, the squad survived this and several other missions mostly intact, and soon enough, a particularly daring takedown of a Fire Warrior captain by Aodh himself proved his worth in particular to the Scout Sergeant. And so the Black Carapace was implanted, and Aodh the Neophyte ascended to become Aodh the Astartes.
Consequently, Aodh experienced something of a cruel irony when, not half a decade after the fact of his full acceptance into the Storm Wardens, the Cicatrix Maledictum
ripped the Imperium in half, and the Primaris Marines first made their presence known to the galaxy not long after, reaching the Calixis Sector comparatively swiftly in the process thanks to the Nachmund Gauntlet's proximity. The existential horror of the Storm Wardens' homeworld being left without the Astronomican and in the midst of potential destruction by the hordes of the Warp might have crushed lesser men than the Space Marines, the Wardens themselves only overcoming the issue until Guilliman's arrival through their innate stubbornness; indeed, through this gauntlet Aodh found himself tested time and again, never succumbing to the temptations of Chaos as some of his brothers did, and in reaffirming his loyalty to Emperor and Chapter alike earned the honour of bearing the Imperialis just as with many of his brothers before him, in his case a few weeks before the Indomitus Crusade finally alleviated the chapter's woes.
Yet whilst daemon and traitor alike did not shake the Storm Wardens' overall faith, it was something of a shock for Aodh personally to realise that not only did he lack the potency of the new breed of superhuman Guilliman presented to refill the Storm Wardens' ranks, strong enough to wield their claymores but one-handed and quick as lightning to boot, but he also lacked the experience that older Firstborn were looked up to for, for they had all of course faced down damnation and made it flinch. In other words, he was practically beneath notice... and it was perhaps this that drove him to such particular ambitions, to prove he could exceed what he considered a lack of ability.
The reality, apparently, was quite the opposite. It took a lot of skill, after all, to repeatedly best foes that by all rights had every opportunity to end the life of a young Space Marine, especially in a campaign as aggressive as the Indomitus Crusade. Every opportunity he could, he would aim to personally kill the leaders of a given horde, frequently sustaining injuries in the moment and, less often, censure after the fact as a result; in many cases, too, he found himself making a hurried vow to slay even lesser foes for the simple crime of attacking his squadron, forcing him to break ranks to finish them off before returning as if no error had been made on his part.
Naturally, whilst the feats he achieved were in concert substantial, so too were the numerous faults in his judgement, likely slowing his rise in rank from meteoric to merely rapid; nonetheless, he eventually persevered to rise through the various companies, passing through the Reserve Companies after forty years, then through the four Battle Companies within the next three decades. He had proven himself enough in close quarters to earn his Iron Skull and become an Assault Sergeant of the 8th Company in his eighth or ninth decade of service, and finally rose to a 3rd Company Assault Sergeant by the Indomitus Crusade's official end, known for both his substantial battle skill and his sometimes-reckless behaviour.
It would be this reckless behaviour that led to the gruesome wounds on his arm and chest. Some time after the Crusade's end, as the Storm Wardens 3rd Company fought to eradicate an Orkish threat on another world in the Calixis Sector, several members of his squadron were cut down by gunfire from the Warboss known as Dreddnort, an undeniable slight against his honour and theirs. To that end, Aodh made his inevitable vow, and charged the hulking creature without fear - and without awareness that the Third Company's Captain Calum Chulaine had also vowed to slay the beast, held at bay merely by a morass of Nobs guarding the greenskin. Nonetheless, their fight was relatively swift; an exchange of gunfire as they approached, and a melee that ended with Aodh's blade knocked aside, and his body and arm gripped and crushed by Dreddnort's power klaw, one blade even going so far as to pierce into the Marine's heart. Even as this happened, however, Aodh's free hand gripped his claymore tightly, and brought it round to first remove the crown of the Warboss' head, and then to pierce it through the thing's jaw and brain, twisted until it fell lifeless and dropped Aodh to the ground.
He awoke from his slumber well after the battle had ended, brought out of suspended animation in an apothecarium with much of his body healed to functionality, but much also rebuilt out of necessity, including a bionic replacement for the destroyed heart lost to the Warboss' klaw. Not long afterward, Captain Chulaine demanded his presence, questioning his actions, and noting that if not for the last conscious warrior of his squadron from that fight, none would even have been aware it was Aodh who had performed the kill. Even so, the Captain was strangely lacking in obvious fury, instead ultimately commending Aodh's quick hand in the face of death, and making it known that this had drawn the attention of the Tempest Blades within the Storm Warden's 1st Company. If a more glorious and honourable path than death as a Tempest Blade was available, Aodh could not see it.
But, it was not to be his path, at least not for the time being. Instead of promotion to veterancy of any sort, Aodh received word upon the Deathwatch's next call for recruits that his captain had, indeed, seen fit to recommend him for his alien-hunting skill, with his physical ability and spiritual sanctity confirmed by Apothecary and Chaplain respectively. Aodh highly suspected that Captain Chulaine had instigated this series of events purposely, as an indirect punishment for allowing his oath to supercede his captain's - whilst technically an honour to be seconded to the Deathwatch, it was also very convenient that it removed him from the wider chapter and the eye of the Tempest Blades. Nonetheless, it wasn't an honour that could be refused, and Aodh did his best to accept it graciously, setting off as soon as the shuttle came for him, toward a future that he hoped would prove honourable in its own way.Equipment and Armament
- Mk. VI Corvus power armour - Slightly less protective than the Mk. VII Aquila pattern, Corvus power armour makes up for this with enhanced agility and auto-senses by comparison. Also carried are three batches of repair cement, to ensure the armour remains intact and environmentally sealed in the heat of combat.
- Jump pack - With limited flight capabilities, the user is more than capable of moving at great speeds across a battlefield, especially toward greater foes than would otherwise be accessible, so as to mow them down in a hail of bolts or tear them asunder with blade in hand.
- Godwyn-pattern bolt pistol with shot selector - Standard-issue bolt pistol, able to choose between up to three different bolt types. For Aodh's purposes, however, all three are occupied by standard bolt clips under normal circumstances, simply rendering a "reload" much simpler.
- Chainsword - Standard-issue Astartes chainsword, about twice the size of an equivalent human-scale weapon. With rending adamantine teeth, the chainsword can cut through most forms of armour as readily as it will eviscerate flesh and bone.
- Sacris claymore - A version of the primitive claymores on the Storm Wardens' homeworld, upsized and improved for Astartes use; each requires two hands to make proper use of, and in many cases such as Aodh's is wielded in place of the more typical Astartes combat knife.
- Frag & krak grenades - Explosives. Frag grenades have a wider spread of shrapnel and work better against light armour, whilst krak grenades do much heavier concussive damage in a more concentrated region.
- Tempest Amulet - A small leather pouch containing a chunk of rock, fused into glass by Sacris' wild storms and wrapped in prayer scripts. It serves not only as a focus for Aodh's force of will, but as a reminder that any individual can affect great changes through that will in tandem with great strength, all the more pertinent for the superhuman Astartes.
: Due to the particular circumstances of the Noctis Aeterna
, Sacris and the Calixis Sector's uncomfortably close position to the Great Rift, and his homeworld's pre-existing Ogryn population and the chapter's consequent acclimation to such matters, Aodh bears a much more relaxed stance toward abhumans than many Imperials might consider acceptable for a Space Marine. This, however, comes not from laxity, but from knowing through experience where the lines between acceptable and unacceptable genetic deviation are located, as well as how to tell whether that deviation is natural or Chaos-inspired. Thus, he is much less likely to view relatively minor physical alterations negatively that other Marines might find detestable, in humans or even in other Astartes.