21st 'Cursed' Founding (36th Millennium allegedly)
Captain Vetala (de facto Chapter Master)
Krodha (Dead World)
Orange & Black
The Tiger Claws were a former Loyalist Space Marine Chapter descended from the Astral Claws Chapter. Declared destroyed over fourteen centuries earlier and effectively a dead Chapter, a lone strike cruiser reappeared after having been trapped in the Warp and subjected to severe time distortion. Their world having been rendered lifeless and their Chapter an all forgotten legend, the acting Chapter Master travelled to Holy Terra in an attempt to petition for the release of their Chapter's Gene-Seed in an effort to rebuild their lost Chapter. But subsequently the Tiger Claws envoy disappeared without trace while awaiting to petition their position and was summarily dismissed. It was later found in 908.M41 during the conflict known as the Badab War that the Astral Claws Chapter Master Lufgt Huron had in fact deliberately withheld his Chapter's gene-seed, not to replenish the Chapter's own losses, but at first in order to help save their near extinct kin, the Tiger Claws Chapter. The last remnants of which had sought sanctuary with them in secret. Huron and his fellow hid them within the Astral Claws' own ranks. Only 200 Astral Claws survived the final Imperial assault upon their homeworld of Badab Primaris, and these Astartes, all corrupted by Chaos, fled with the maimed body of their leader into the Maelstrom, where they founded a new Renegade Space Marine Warband known as the Red Corsairs. They then proceeded to carve out their own renegade empire within this hellish realm. It is possible that some of the Astral Claws brethren were in fact Tiger Claws, and now survive among the Red Corsairs.
In 680.M41, far distant from the Maelstrom Zone, a sequence of events was later to prove to have dreadful ramifications for the Astral Claws Chapter. The Bakasurra, a strike cruiser belonging to the Tiger Claws, reappeared on the edge of the Segmentum Pacificus, containing over a hundred battle-brothers of a Chapter declared destroyed circa 280.M40, over fourteen centuries before. The ship appeared to have been subject to severe time distortion in the Warp, and for those on board no more than a few months had elapsed. After making contact with the Storm Wings Space Marine strike force and aiding them in battle against Eldar slavers, the Tiger Claws were resupplied and made their way back to the location of their fortress-monastery on Krodha. There they found that in their long absence their ancient sun had expanded and rendered their world a lifeless, irradiated husk, and that their Chapter was nothing more than an all but forgotten legend. Captain Vetala of the Tiger Claws, now the de facto master of what was effectively a dead Chapter, travelled to Holy Terra to petition for the release of the Chapter's gene-seed and the right and title to rebuild the Tiger Claws. Captain Vetala disappeared without a trace while awaiting his petition's hearing and as a result his suit was summarily dismissed. Rumours in inquisitorial circles darkly hinted that the lost Chapter was considered tainted by some, and was part of the so-called 'Cursed Founding' better left dead. The Bakasurra, last seen conducting operations in the region of their Chapter's dead home world could not be located by ships sent to the area to track them down.
Centuries later, the Astral Claws' hubris resulted in their Chapter secretly absorbing the remnants of their long-lost Successor Chapter, the Tiger Claws, into their ranks and ultimately led to Lufgt Huron's dreams of expanding his Chapter into a force with the strength of one of the Space Marine Legions of antiquity, in order to pacify the Maelstrom permanently and crush Mankind's enemies. Some Imperial scholars contend that when the last remaining Tiger Claws survivors were taken into the Astral Claws midst, these once-loyal brothers grasped a poisonous viper to their hearts, thus causing them to eventually cause them to fall from grace.
As the source of their parent Chapter, the Astral Claws remains suppressed, there is still speculation that its provenance ranged from basic Ultramarines stock, to that of the Dark Angels, pointing to the supposed un-degraded quality of their gene-seed as well as certain factors of temperament and style of warfare. But due to the Order of Obliteration passed by the High Lords of Terra, this conclusive order was carried out after the conclusion of the Badab War to remove from official record all signs and evidence of the existence of the Astral Claws. Upon the disappearance of their senior surviving officer, rumours in Inquisitorial circles darkly hinted that the lost Chapter was considered tainted by some, and was a part of the so-called Cursed 21st Founding, and were therefore better left dead. The truth of who the Tiger Claws' genetic forebears were, will more than likely never be known.
Notable Tiger ClawsEdit
- Captain Vetala - Captain Vetala was the commander of the Tiger Claws' strike cruiser The Bakasurra that disappeared over fourteen centuries earlier into the Warp and was subject to severe time distortion. When the ship finally reemerged in 680.M41, there were over a hundred surviving battle-brothers, with Captain Vetala being the senior surviving officer and now de facto Chapter Master. When he travelled to Terra in an attempt to release his Chapter's gene-seed stores in order to rebuild his dead Chapter, he disappeared without trace while awaiting his petition's hearing.
- Captain Corien Sumatris, The Tyrant's Champion, Warden of Piraeus - Corien Sumatris was the Captain of the Astral Claws 2nd Company. A mysterious figure, even within his own Chapter, amber-eyed and grey of countenance, Sumatris rose swiftly to prominence first as one of Huron's Honour Guard. His fierce savagery paved his way up the ranks, and by the the outbreak of the Badab War, he had not only been made Captain of the 2nd Battle Company, but had also gained the wardenship of the world of Piraeus within the Tyrant's demesne. He also won the coveted title of "Tyrant's Champion," slaying the Chapter's 1st Company Captain in order to attain the honour in ritual combat. He came to be one of Huron's most trusted officers. This favoritism was distrusted by some within the Chapter who believed him a "lost son," which is to say a scion of the Tiger Claws Chapter given a new identity and concealed in the Astral Claws' ranks prior to the war. Sumatris was believed to have been killed in action leading the defence of the fortress station of Sentinel-Sigma on the edge of the Badab System just before the final siege of Badab Primaris, although his body was never conclusively identified afterward by the Inquisitorial forensic conclave.
- The Bakasurra (Strike Cruiser) - A lone Tiger Claws ship that disappeared into the Warp over fourteen centuries earlier and didn't reemerge until mid-M41, containing over a hundred battle-brothers of the long dead Chapter.
The Tiger Claws Chapter colours were primarily black, with orange on the autoreactive shoulder plates with black trim, as well as orange on the lower legs that faded into black on the upper legs. The Tiger Claws were originally depicted in a tiger-striped camouflage pattern.
The Tiger Claws Chapter Badge is a black tiger's head facing to the left profile, similar in appearance to that of their parent Chapter, the Astral Claws, on a field of orange. The Tiger Claws' original Chapter Badge was a regular tiger-striped pattern head facing towards the front.
In the original iteration of the Badab War which appeared in the Warhammer 40,000 Compendium, "The Badab War" article by Rick Priestly, the Tiger Claws was the primary Chapter that were responsible for this civil conflict. In its newest iteration, re-released in Forge World's Imperial Armour Volumes Nine & Ten - The Badab War, Parts One & Two, the name of the Tyrant of Badab's Chapter has been changed to the name Astral Claws. In the updated background information the Tiger Claws Chapter has instead become a Successor Chapter of the Astral Claws.
- Warhammer 40,000 Compendium, "The Badab War" by Rick Priestly, pp. 33-35
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War, Part One
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War, Part Two