Second Founding (31st Millennium)
The Aurora Chapter is a Loyalist Chapter of Space Marines that is a Second Founding Successor Chapter of the Ultramarines. Master of the lightning-fast armoured assault, the Aurora Chapter possess a sizeable armoury. Its vehicles are manufactured on its homeworld of Firestorm, a planet covered with industrial macro-complexes to rival most Forge Worlds in scale. Its name has become a byword for armoured assault across the Ultima Segmentum of the Imperium of Man that serves as its primary area of operations.
The origins of the Aurora Chapter can be traced back to the Great Crusade over ten millennia earlier, when it was still a part of the Ultramarines Legion, then known as the XIII Legion, before their reunification with their Primarch Roboute Guilliman. Following their unification with their Primarch, Guilliman quickly set about restructuring his Legion's operational doctrine and hierarchy to suit his personal tastes and style of leadership. While the newly espoused doctrine of structured adaptability became deeply ingrained within many of the Legion's chapters, there were some notable deviations from this pattern. Some few individual chapters, through long held preference or some quirk of supply, maintained notable strengths of non-standard equipment or personnel. One of the more noteworthy examples of this, was the 4th Chapter, known within the Legion as the Aurorans, who operated roughly five times as many armoured vehicles as a standard chapter.
Before their unification with their Primarch, the warrior brotherhood of the XIII had, at that time, only in the decades after their initial raising on Terra, begun to display its achievements visually. But rather than take on a particular livery and iconography as a whole, individual companies who had come to prominence in a particularly important Compliance operation or campaign took on additions to their core Legion livery -- which maintained the post-Unification storm grey and gunmetal they had worn since Sedna -- to commemorate their greatest achievements. The principally armoured formations of the XIII Legion helped halt an Ork advance on the ash plains of Cypra Mundi, and in doing so had saved a city of millions from a savage death. Afterwards they commemorated the battle by mirroring on their right pauldron the emerald light of the blazing aurora borealis that had riven the skies under which they had fought. Such honours were claimed as the Legion's strength made visible.
Following the end of the Horus Heresy, Roboute Guilliman was responsible for the restructuring of the Imperium's military forces. The vast Space Marine Legions would be broken down into numerous, smaller existing formations, known as a Chapter. When the Second Founding of the Space Marines was decreed seven years after the death of Horus and the end of his Heresy, most of the old Loyalist Legions divided into fewer than 5 Successor Chapters, but the Ultramarines were divided many times. The existing armoured formations of the Ultramarines 4th Chapter became a part of the newly founded "Aurora" Chapter.
Since that bygone era, the Aurora Chapter has always been known as the undisputed masters of armoured assault. They boast more Land Raiders and Predators than many other Space Marine Chapters. Ever since their creation, in the Second Founding, they have preferred massed spearheads led by heavily armoured main battle tanks, earning them renown throughout the Ultima Segmentum. The Aurora Chapter's homeworld, Firestorm, harbours vast industrial complexes, which together are large enough to rival the manufacturing output of several Adeptus Mechanicus Forge Worlds. Countless millions of indentured menials work the munitorums night and day to feed the mighty guns of the Aurora Chapter's tank companies, ensuring that their weapons need never fall silent. Heeding the summons of Ultramarines Chapter Master Marneus Calgar, the Aurora Chapter recently deployed on the Zeist Campaign in support of the Ultramarines against the emergent Tau Empire.
- Armoured Assault on Grylos (282.M36) - The massed armoured spearheads of the Aurora Chapter broke the Ork invasion of Grylos.
- Goru Heresy (650.M41) - When a Chaos-inspired nihilo-cult usurped power in the Goru System, the Aurora Chapter executed a lightning campaign that decapitated the heretics' inner circle and restored order to the region within ten days of their deployment. There was scant cause for celebration however, as the Chapter Master, Lord Herak Nhuson, was killed when the heretic leader unleashed a Warp fuelled psi-vortex as a dying act of spite.
- Redemption Rebellion (744.M41) - In 744.M41, after joining forces to defeat the Alpha Legion warband responsible for the Redemption Rebellion, the Aurora Chapter and the Knights of the Raven swore a bitter feud against each other, each blaming the other for their grievous losses. This conflict was only ended by the intervention of Ultramarines Chapter Master Marneus Calgar himself.
- The Zeist Campaign (999.M41) - The Aurora Chapter heeded the call of the Ultramarines' Lord Macragge, Marneus Calgar, in the Eastern Fringes of the galaxy to take part in the Zeist Campaign against the Tau Empire in 999.M41. The Aurora Chapter provided armoured support in the form of Predators to help spearhead the assault on the Tau-occupied world of Augura. This world served as a staging point for the Tau forces during their Third Sphere Expansion campaign into Imperial space. But due to the overwhelming force provided by a combined task force assault of close to a dozen Space Marine Chapters, the Tau were forced to withdraw to protect more secure territory within their own borders. Unfortunately, though the Space Marines had won the war and stopped the Tau's seizure of human territory, it was not possible to sanction a retaliatory thrust into Tau-held space as the individual Space Marine forces were required elsewhere in the galaxy to hold the line against the Forces of Chaos during the height of the 13th Black Crusade.
- Reconquest of the Forsarr Sector (999.M41) - Three standard years after the fall of the sector's vital Hive World capital of Forsarr in the Segmentum Tempestus, the Administratum finally recongnised the true threat posed by WAAAGH! Garaghak. The Aurora Chapter joined a powerful coalition with their brethren of the Revilers and the Death Eagles as well as a demi-legio of Titans of the Legio Astraman and several regiments of Imperial Guard and Ecclesiarchal troops. They took the fight to the Orks and reclaimed the Forsarr Sector for the Emperor. It is unknown if the fact that the Raven Guard's homeworld of Deliverance is also located in the Forsarr Sector prompted this deployment.
Controversy Over Founding Date
Sources have conflicted concerning the date of this Chapter's Founding; while some claim the Aurora Chapter to be one of the Ultramarines' Second Founding Chapters, others place the date of its foundation as much later.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Aurora Chapter's Astartes are known to be the undisputed masters of the armoured assault, and the Chapter boasts more Land Raiders and Predators than any other Chapter (or indeed, several Chapters combined). Their preferred method of battle is therefore, unsurprisingly, a massed attack led by heavily armoured Space Marine tanks, a strategy that has earned them renown throughout the Ultima Segmentum and beyond.
- Remembrance - Remembrance is a master-crafted Astartes Thunder Hammer. Though the members of the Deathwatch are sworn to set aside their ties to their Chapter during the service in the Long Vigil, they remain Space Marines, forever Battle-Brothers of the Adeptus Astartes. When the Aurora Chapter lost a task force in the Jericho Reach to unknown xenos foes during the Reach's Age of Shadow, it was the Deathwatch who rescued the survivors and returned the gene-seed of the fallen. Among the losses was a venerable Land Raider tank, ruined beyond repair. The Forge Master of Watch Fortress Erioch at the time took it upon himself to forge its main axle anew as a mighty Thunder Hammer, so that the noble machine could avenge its destruction. Those who have wielded the weapon in battle swear it strikes with the force of a tank bearing down on its foe.
The Aurora Chapter's Power Armour is painted dark green. A white squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator or Veteran) is indicated on the right shoulder guard, with a black Roman numeral, designating squad number, stenciled in black in the centre of it. The colour of the shoulder guard trim displays company number as prescribed by the Codex Astartes, i.e. White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), etc. If promoted to Sergeant, a battle-brother displays a red skull on his helmet.
The Aurora Chapter's badge is a black, lower case Greek letter Alpha turned on its right side inside a white, twelve-pointed star centred on a field of green.
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 110
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 30, 141
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 30, 48
- Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pp. 22–23
- Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pp. 9, 41
- Deathwatch - Honour the Chapter (RPG), pg. 132
- Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pg. 20
- Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid On Kastorel-Novem, pg. 77
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest by Alan Bligh, pp. 70, 73, 80-81