In the 41st millennium, the High Lords of Terra decreed that there should be a new founding of Adeptus Astartes, which would be known as the 26th Founding. The Crimson Hunters Chapter was born from this. They are successors of the Novamarines and thus their patriarch is Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines. They were originally created and tasked to cleanse the area around the Ghoul Stars where a large and menacing Ork presence resided. The Crimson Hunters were to stop the further spread of the greenskins and to take back the planets that had been overrun with the Ork infestation.
The Crimson Hunters geneseed came from the Novamarines and their training also came from this source. A cadre of Veterans from the Novamarines were tasked with the training and initial running of the chapter. These Veterans elected Zekial Arghus to become the first Chapter Master of the Crimson Hunters. Zekial and the other Veterans saw to it that the Chapter would get off to a flying start, seeking battle as soon as they were ready for operations.
They soon found the battle they sought on a world called Tarantus. This world was located just outside the Ghoul Stars area and its inhabitants appeared to be tribespeople. However these people were at war with the Orks of Waaagh! Garskab, and they appeared to be losing. Zekial immediately ordered elements of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Companies to battle. The primitive tribespeople hailed the Crimson Hunters as bloody incarnations of their beloved Great Panther when they realized that the Marines also fought for their cause. Soon enough the Orks outnumbered the Marines, and the Crimson Hunters began to suffer heavy casualties. Zekial and Warboss Garskab met in the swirling inferno of battle. The pair struggled for hours locked in a terribly bloody combat, whilst the war raged around them until Zekial finally managed to parry Garskab’s relentless attack and retaliate with a ferocious strike of his own, his power sword slashing into the Orks throat.
Garskab was dead. The Crimson Hunters who were still battling rejoiced as they saw the Orks begin to lose heart. This was the time to push their advantage and the Battle Brothers renewed fighting in earnest, slashing and hacking with a tenacity unknown even to themselves. After many more days the Greenskins had been eliminated but not without heavy losses for the Crimson Hunters. They had received 65% casualties of their battle ready companies.
Tarantus is a small forest filled Feral World with many large predators and deadly plant life. It is located just outside the area known as the Ghoul Stars. The planet is a feral world, its inhabitants all belonging to different tribes with frequent skirmishing breaking out for land or gain. However all of the tribes recognize the Chapter as their overall leaders and revere them as the Hunters From The Stars. The tribes of the planet are all united in one thing, their religion. They all believe that Panthers are the greatest predators and they worship the Great Panther as the one to show all how to hunt their prey and to live only for the hunt. This ethos quickly became part of the Chapters beliefs. This is due to that fact that the Crimson Hunters needed to rebuild the chapter and so they set about recruiting the populace of Tarantus. This heavy recruiting process led to the cult of the Great Panther becoming extremely wide spread in the Chapter until it eventually was recognized by all within the Crimson Hunters.
However the Crimson Hunters believe the Emperor is one with the Great Panther and they worship him as such. They believe they should be as like to Him as possible; using lighting strikes, devastating power and fast thinking, all of which are qualities a Panther possess’. Lately the chapter have come to see themselves as Monks of the Panther wearing their robes at all times even during battle to show their complete and utter devotion to the Great Panther, the Emperor
The Chapter’s Fortress-Monastery is located in the depths of the forest where only the most determined, or most foolish, will find them. This is yet another trial for any would-be Chapter hopefuls. The Space Port is located nearby and is guarded by Crimson Hunters as it is the only space port on the planet and it is vital for arms and armour transports. The main value of the planet for the Crimson Hunters is its wealth of strong and healthy recruits and the planets vast areas for trials, to weed out the weak from the strong. These trials are known as the Clawpath.
This is the ultimate test an aspirant must endure and for many this is the culmination of their experience, this is where they make or break their chance of being inducted into the Chapter. This trial is for the young aspirant to spend ten days and ten nights in the deadly forest. During this time they must survive against the predators, the elements and the poisonous plants that reside within. Their main objective, however is to track down and kill a forest bear and bring its head back to their trial master.
However the Crimson Hunters do deviate very slightly. This is because they use a council of the most senior members of each company to make all the Chapters decisions rather than relying on the opinions and knowledge of the Chapter Master alone. The Crimson Hunters call this council The Panther’s Judgement as it is where all the possible courses of action are set forth and judged. Currently this council has proved to be very successful and has allowed more opinions to be taken into consideration and more possible undertakings performed.
The Crimson Hunters used this tactic to much success especially during the campaign against the Orks on the planet Arketam. The Crimson Hunters successfully captured and then proceeded to defend the capital city’s space port under the command of the newest Chapter Master Paratus Nox. Their precise fire patterns killed the less well entrenched and the more aggressive Orks whilst their devastating assault killed the remaining, stubborn stragglers. During their defence of the space port they used their long range weapons to decimate the greenskins as they blindly charged across the city towards them, after which they charged triumphantly into the remaining horde of Orks and let green flesh taste chainsword.
This change came about rather quickly, mainly as the chapter gained more and more recruits, to replace the large numbers lost fighting for Tarantus, where this worship was already deeply embedded. Since masses’ and masses’ of recruits were joining the Crimson Hunters much of the mental indoctrination which would be rigorously performed was much more difficult to perform because of the large numbers of recruits joining the chapter and because of the dwindling numbers of Chaplains and Librarians. Many of the Marines could remember the ideology behind the cult of the Great Panther, so ndeep were their ideals embedded, and after learning about the Emperor these Marines made the connection that they are one and the same being. Once the worship of the Great Panther was firmly rooted in the Chapter it was only a small step further forwards before the Chapter began to see themselves as Monks of the Great Panther, servants to do his bidding and to show this devotion the Crimson Hunters began wearing robes.
The Crimson Hunters perform a ritual every fifty years on their Fortress – Monastery on Tarantus. It is known as The Gathering of Hunters and it is a great time of celebration for the whole Chapter. Every Crimson Hunter attends and it is the duty of every company to capture a live Bear from Tarantus’ forests. Later in the celebration’s nine bears are used in sport, every company selects a champion who then proceeds to fight the bear in single combat and unarmed. These tend to be spectacularly bloody and skilful fights as the Marine tries to strangle or perhaps even rip off one of the bears limbs. The final bear is used in the last ceremony of the celebrations, this bear is sacrificed to the Great Panther, the Emperor.
The geneseed of the Crimson Hunters is derived from Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines. However the Chapter does not directly take their geneseed from the Ultramarines, their geneseed comes from the Novamarines an early Ultramarine successor Chapter.
The geneseed has remained pure despite its age and there does not appear to be any glaringly dangerous defects. The Crimson Hunters do not often dwell upon their heritage but they do believe Roboute Gulliman was an extraordinary leader and they respect him as such.