Index Astartes: Carcharodons

Index Astartes: Carcharadons

[//'From the depths, we come for you.'+]
[//sinistra ad dextram:paul_h/@the_midnightmare; chris/@the_unbroken_blade; dennis_k/@the_iron_within; joe_a@armageddon_bound+]

'Hysse eyes blacc rollêd in hysse head, and that mouthe devillish broke open... I kennt then that I dead wass in alle likelihode. Prays be! The blessed-Tyrant thenne broke through to my right; and my Masterman crackêd a hammerre over the slat-armoured brute. The discharge of hysse impact blinded me for a moment, made mine teeth ache... I... I kennt not what happened thereafterre. Though heard I a cracc, like the fire of mine las-rifle. I blinking wasse. I must have lost my... Anyway, in my ears I couldde dimmleigh hear the blessed-Tyrant's roar of triumf turn to one of pain, pain most felle. I turned then, and ranne therefrom, and look back I confesse I could notte.'
[//Fusilier Boasot, Calydon Garrison.+]


'They emerged from the outer darkness, with no seeming forebears, contacts or connection with the broader Imperium.'

It is a phrase that could describe the Silver Stars pseudolegion at the heart of the entire conflict – but it applies equally well to the Carcharadons, a Chapter of whom little was known prior to the War of the False Primarch, and of which little was learned during it.

It is not so much that the Carcharadons were hostile to their allies, rather that they seemed utterly disinterested in communication or mutual support. If formally requested, Carcharadon emissaries would attend Pentarchy councils or respond to Master Enoch's increasingly frustrated demands for information, but the representatives – frequently simple line warriors, rather than officers – displayed little more than cold-eyed disinterest in proceedings before departing.


In stark contrast to the Chapter's cold attitude, however, was their single minded ferocity in combat. The Carcharadons hauntingly fought as though the quiet of the the void itself enshrouded them, leading to a daunting reputation amongst the Partisan defenders, who found this strange and silent foe most unsettling.

The Carcharadons were notable in departing the conflict before officially rescinding the Edict, another example of an idiosyncratic loyalty to the Throne that seemed at once paradoxically instinctual and coolly plotted.


Warcry  None. The Chapter was notable for its disquieting practise of fighting in near-complete silence.

Cognomen  Carcharodons Astra was the term pedantically insisted upon by Master Inquisitor Enoch in all references to the Chapter, but they were far more commonly known either simply as Carcharadons or Space Sharks; the latter proving far more frequent during the period under study; particularly after the Chapter's expansion following the Edict of the Diet of Fools.

Founding  Unknown: poss. Second [+//021.M31/]. None of the Chapter's various appelations are apparent in the Librarium Bodleia; and nor do they appear as part of the Raven Guard's records of their successors. Indeed, the creation of the entire Chapter is seemingly absent from Imperial record. Whether this is the all-too-frequent consequence of the extent of Imperial history, or a result of active redaction following the War of the False Primarch is unknown. 

As a result, their Founding is largely speculative, based largely on the proportion of early armour marks witnessed in use during the early part of the war. All we can say for sure is that the Chapter existed prior to the war, and thus likely falls between first and Fifth foundings – and perhaps even as late as the Seventh. A final tantalising possibility is that the Chapter's records were redacted prior to the War of the False Primarch; perhaps as a result of the Astropath Wars, which involved a Chapter obliquely termed the 'Cardon Stars'. 

Gene-Seed  spec. [+/XIXcorvus_c/+][?]; note unrecognised generunes in recovered (though notably degraded) battlefield casualties.

[//Carcharadon forces during the Defence of Oblitus Vega. This squad was one of the few to survive the combined assault of the Inheritors and Red Fish. The unhelmed marine shows the peculiar alterations to the skin and sclera present on nearly all Carcharadons Astra in the early war.+]

Successor Chapters  [//None recognised+]

Chapter Master  Within the Space Sharks, the rank of Chapter Master is, by tradition, referred to by the honorific 'Shadelord'. At the start of conflict; the dominant officer was Shadelord Puru Moango [honorif.val={true} 'The Bull Shark'; ]. Following the events of the Outrage at Frith, he was succeeded by Moro Oihi, formerly of the Third. 

Homeworld  Reflecting the difficulty of ascertaining details of this highly-redacted conflict – even of those Chapters loyal to the High Lords during the period, the records of the Sharks' actions during the War are scanty. M41-contemporaneous records note the Chapter as having recently taken the Mantis Warriors' former demesne of Ootheca as a homeworld; having previously operated under the unusual Nomad-Predation operational pattern – but this must be taken in the context of the Chapter's shrouded founding and the general patchiness of their history.

A fragment of plate-record, recovered in M37 from a Carcharadon shuttle found drifting in the Myrea system, gives a tantalising suggestion that Lamnid Solum had been abandoned by the Chapter's homeworld some five centuries prior to the War, owing to the attack. This partial insight is rendered still more curious by the nature of the world. This swollen and ancient gas giant would be highly unusual as a Chapter homeworld owing to its nature, but its location – some light years beyond the Rim of the Galaxy and at a considerable astrographical distance from Imperial space – makes it utterly singular. If, and it remains highly speculative, the Chapter did reside here for a period, it seems that some event or other translated it from its position; and perhaps rendered it uninhabitable or non-viable.

[//identspec. Lamnid Solum+]
[//REEL: No further dataspool+]

Fortress Monastery  The much-battered Battle Barge Nicor served the Chapter as a fortress-monastery during the War of the False Primarch. It was boarded and captured by a combination of Void Barons and Riven Lords remnants towards the end of the War, but was brutally recaptured shortly afterwards.

Appearance  Clad in grey, with sable pauldron fields and white faceplates, the Carcharadon Astra's heradlry is bleak and cold and forbidding. Spurning Codex-standard markings, the Sharks are instead heavily personalised, adorned with beads, simple geometric markings and patterns that clearly have cultural significance to the Chapter.

[//Typical combat squad of the Chapter. Note the irregular weaponry and broad variety of armour marks in display. This added to the Chapter's already heterogenous appearance+]

Despite the across-the-board personalisation of their armour, there is clearly some form of uniformity within Company-analogues. Kneepads are frequently marked in fields or sections of black, and the Chapter icon –a turning predatory shark – is borne on the left pauldron, as is common across the Adeptus Astartes.
[//Chapter icon+]

Following the Chapter's rapid expansion during the Sorrowful Years, hundreds of Carcharadon recruits were forced through initiate stages, leading to a greater diversity in appearance. With the Chapter never showing particular uniformity beyond their basic scheme, their personalisation became hugely diverse. Trophies parts – heads, skulls and long bones in particular – were notable amongst those Carcharadons fighting in the Pythinia Subsector, for example, while the Sanctram theatre saw more than three hundred Carcharadons bearing the Chapter's Rose of the Pentarchy variant on their right pauldron, in place of Tactical markings.

[//Rose of the Pentarchy, Carcharadon variant; Sanctram+]

The Chapter demonstrated a high-quality apothecarion, quite at odds with their untamed appearance. To these specialists was attributed the apparent success of their expansion in the wake of the Edict of the Diet of Fools. 

Huge numbers the force-inducted warriors went on to become successful initiates. Increasingly, however, some were spotted in the field marked with a bold 'red maw' symbol, or bearing additional white markings on the forehead – often stripes, dotted lines, concentric circles, spirals or crenellation. Initially assumed to be some form of honorific, it soon became clear that these warriors were being preferentially used for high-risk or casualty-heavy duties; thrown at the Partisan forces in forlorn hope assaults. Those so-marked became infamous towards the middle period of the war as bloodthirsty berserkers, nearly as likely to maim and kill civilians and allies as the enemy.

[//Brother of the Red Maw+]

When we stare into the void
It stares back into us
When we match our souls against the void
It strives against us
Should we fail against the void
It shall consume us
Should the void become us
We shall bring it's fury to His foes.
[//Catechism of the Red-Marked+]

Besides the exception of those given to the Red Maw, the Chapter makes little visual distinction between ranks and roles. Veterans, such as the Tactical Dreadnought Armour-equipped battle brother pictured below, tend to bear a greater amount or complexity of personalisation, but this is far from a hard-and-fast rule. 

[//Tactical Dreadnought Armour-equipped 'Terminator' Veteran, wielding a decidedly non-Codex approved armament.+]

The Carcharadons operated without sentiment or forbearance. Whether operating against the fiercest Astartes foes amongst the Partisans, or a village of defenceless civilians, this Chapter evinced direct, swift and brutal assaults, aiming to utterly overwhelm the foe in the shortest time. Their weaponry and battle-tactics reflected this approach, with the Chapter favouring assault weaponry and the close confines of boarding actions.

During this period at least, equipment was distributed seemingly without form or favour. Not for the Carcharadons the reservation of particular weapons or relics – their armoury seemed to be distributed on an ad-hoc and pragmatic basis.


Disposition during the War of the False Primarch

Early war

Summoned to the black-skied world of Teo Sentimental for the initial Pentarchy conclave, Shadelord Puru Moango accepted the assumption of overall command by Jan Velghor of the Flesh Eaters with indifference, and departed almost immediately. Thereafter, until the events of the Edict of the Diet of Fools, the bulk of the Carcharadons operated largely autonomously. Small elements of what appear to be their Eighth and Tenth Companies remained with the Extinction Fleets, with little apparent explanation. 

As the Red Talons and Death Eagles II fortified Sector Heliopolis and the other Pentarchy Chapters prepared to invade the Corewards worlds of Morqub the Carcharadons seemingly bypassed the region entirely, emerging in the Venture's End wastes, wilderness space to the galactic north west of Morqub. Here they lurked in the outer dark, as though waiting for some signal. 


Roaming Predation

Given their flexible and adaptable approach, it is usually difficult to characterise a single approach for an Astartes Chapter, but the nature of the Carcharadon's idiosyncratic way of war was as distinctive as it was effective. Showing little of the persistence demonstrated by the Death Eagles or the Red Talons (indeed, the latter showed such an unwilliness to back down that their operations frequently descended into self-damaging stubborness), Carcharadon forces that met stiff resistance showed a marked tendency to withdraw and seek another approach – or, where strategic needs were otherwise met, simply to move on. 

[//Strike Commander Moro Oihi of the Third Company. Pictured during the Early War, the Strike Commander would go on to become the Chapter's new Shadelord+]

As the Carcharadons had little need for territorial gains in Morqub, this mobile marauding strategy proved hugely effective against the Partisan Chapters, pinned as they were against the Coreward Front. Although the 'Primarch' was able to effectively counter the push of the Pentarchy on the Delphurnean League, the presence of a Chapter roaming in the Rimwards region made it difficult to prosecute and take advantage of withdrawing Pentarchy forces. 

Although the Carcharadons' approach frequently left heavily-defended fastnesses unassailed, this again played into the Pentarchy's favour, leaving Partisan garrisons staffed by idle Astartes forces, sorely needed across the Delphurnean Region, but unable to decamp for fear of the Carcharadons returning in their absence, or ambushing them in the deep dark.

As their allies became embroiled across the Delphurnean League, defenders of Morqub were drawn away from the Rimwards reaches. It was at this point that the Carcharadons began to prowl, moving corewards and striking at targets of opportunity. Whether this was part of a co-ordinated strategy on the part of Velghor and the rest of the Pentarchy, or the Carcharadons were acting without reference to their allies, is unrecorded.


Whispers and lies

Beyond small Carcharadon Strike Forces being involved alongside other Pentarchy elements in the larger battles of Bastion-Sextant and the Acylus Affair, the Chapter's involvement in the War at this stage was minor. This partially accounts for the scanty records of the Chapter's action – but cannot wholly account for the inconsistencies in reports, nor for the Chapter's seeming appearance in Chapter strength in more than one place simultaneously. Of all the Pentarchy – even the secretive and dismissive Red Talons – the Carcharadons are most shrouded in mystery and confusion; and their actions throughout the war can frequently be pieced together only through tertiary sources, or through substantial cross-checking of contradictory secondary sources.

As an illustration, we are told in the Index De Bello that the Carcharadons had suffered relatively few casualties prior to the contentious events on the Forgeworld Kadath. Whether owing to the Carcharadons' recalcitrance of more general spotty record-keeping, this seemingly huge battle is largely otherwise unattested – certainly the remnants of the Wormwood Sons' excavated records make little more than cryptic records to actions against the Chapter during this period. While the Index De Bello cited seems to give a complete overview, a number of seeming contradictions throw the entire account into doubt. 

If the report is true, the battle saw the Carcharadons deploy in toto, their colossal fleet translating in-system and – alongside a small contingent of Charnel Guard – confronting the entire Firebreak Chapter along with elements of the Inheritors. The Wormwood Sons, hitherto believed neutral, arrived as a third party and subsequently joined the Partisans. 

[//Carcharadons Dreadnoughts formed a surprisingly large proportion of the forces left on board as point defence during the Chapter's deployment to Kadath.+]

The battle proved simultaneously indecisive and yet with marked consequences. The Carcharadons had temporarily silenced a key regional Forgeworld and spoiled the Partisans' hope of good relations with same. However, while they had caused considerably damage to the Firebreak and Inheritors in the region, they had been seriously mauled themselves. Should this account be taken as true, it marks one of the first Chapter-strength deployments anywhere in the War.


Throwing doubt as to the veracity of the Kadathian campaign is the simultaneous Tannbach Atrocityattested by the chronicler Ad-Lagh to have involved 'more than seven hundred of the Space Sharks'. This supposedly took place in Sector Heliopolis, many hundreds of light years away from Kadath, and so chronologically close as to make it near impossible for both campaigns to have occurred, barring extremely disrupted warp transit.

Credited as forcing the Marines Saturnine to declare their support for the False Primarch, Ad-Lagh's report states that a fleet 'of the Carcharadons Astra' roamed through the supposedly neutral region and performed orbital bombardment on several planets of the cluster, before making one of their infamous 'Grey Tithes' on Tannbach's moon. After a short siege, a substantial proportion of the Marines Saturnine were believed to have decamped to Frith.

[//The 'Grey Tithe' was a euphemism for the Chapter's recruitment measures: forced abduction of local forces as the Chapter fleet advanced. The Scouts thus produced should – one assumes – have demonstrated a considerable phenotypic range; but as this typical pict-capture demonstrates, nearly all Scouts showed a most peculiar grey skintype and all-black eyes; perhaps caused by the Chapter's geneseed.+]

This truth of this account, of course, is also open to question. For example, it does not explain why the Space Sharks should have assaulted a seemingly neutral region – for neither Tannbach nor the Marines Saturnine were to reveal their Partisan sympathies until later in the war. 

Even allowing for the the Carcharadons notoriously  uncommunicative methods, it beggars belief that they would not have reported the hitherto-unknown presence of a hostile Astartes Chapter to the Orthodox forces as a whole. Even the most reasonable explanation that allows for both Tannbach and Kadath to have occurred requires the Carcharadons to have forces – both fleet and Astartes – far in excess of Codex restrictions; and numbering some three to four thousand at the beginning of the period. 

[//Image captured on Tannbach (Tarentus Tertiary)


Mid War

Assuming the Kadath Campaign to be the more likely, the Carcharadons seemingly pressed corewards, perhaps intending to liaise with the victorious forces of the Death Eagles II in the Nonesuch Rift. If this was their intent, then it was foiled. The Death Eagles II had been confronted with the advance of the Void Barons, Riven Lords and Jade Talons and brutally smashed aside, losing their Chapter Master Broso and at least two Companies of Marines in the process. Far from finding planets sympathetic to their cause, the Carcharadons repeatedly approached hostile or battle-torn systems that threatened to drain their strength further. 

Maintaining their strategy of striking and withdrawing, the Carcharadon fleet spent some years divided and prowling across the anti-spinwards (galactic north) regions of Morqub, engaging and harrying isolated Inheritors, Argent Heralds and Red Fish garrisons. While records are patchy, it appears that the Carcharadon forces – while successful in their marauding campaign – were being gradually winnowed by the entrenched Partisans. It is unclear whether Shadelord Moango recruited during this period, but if the theory that they were overstrength prior to the war is true, then it perhaps accounts for how the Carcharadons managed to operate without detection during the reconstruction of the Delphurnean League in the Sorrowful Years. The entire Carcharadon presence could move to one of the numerous colossal regions of wilderness space between key systems, there to 'go dark' through the simple expedient of avoiding rearmament, refuelling or communication with neutral worlds. Perhaps the ships further powered down, their Astartes' complements entering sus-an sleep until required.

Such is pure conjecture, but it does perhaps explain why Strike leader Te Kohu and Strike Commander Moro Oihi answered Enoch's summons and attended the Edict of the Diet of Fools in place of the Shadelord.  


Outrage on Frith: Death of the Firebreak

[//Officers of the Space Shark's Third Company during deployment on Frith, bearing the High Lords' own seal. These documents were fought over as bitterly as the Partisans' famed Caputmori banners.+]

Following the Edict, the Carcharadons next emerged in the Frith system, homeworld of the Firebreak, aiming to bypass the decaying system pickets through the expedient – as with Kadath – of translating powered down, and re-igniting power only within the arx-sphere. As it transpired, even this approach was unnecessarily cautious.

The sacking of the Firebreak's homeworld is attested more completely elsewhere, but the following account is generally accepted within the Orthodox Inquisition as accurate, even if its dashing author himself later aligning himself with the False Primarch:

The Sharks emerged into a system still filled with the glittering remains of craft dating back to the War of the Beast. Both greenskin and Imperial wreckage hung in the void, unreclaimed and uncleared. Provided with such a baffle, the Nicor and its sinister attendants advanced untroubled – though as it would transpire, the few remaining weapon systems were all but unattended in any case. Most hung near-destroyed in that centuries-old war; still vainly awaited servicing and repair. Others, however, appeared to have been recently eviscerated by some third party.

Making planetfall, Shadelord Moango led a number of probing lightning attacks, his intention to find and assault the Firebreak fortress monastery, known only by its title, the Peaks of Urisel. Puru Moango wanted to push for a quick and decisive victory after the Caracharodons had to leave Tannbach empty handed. In this, he was frustrated. The Peaks were hidden, and even the scanty caravans and settlements we did find proved unable to guide us.

Over the next eleven days, it gradually became clear that a conflict had occurred – and recently. Had we arrived even weeks later, the world of glass would have buried the faint traces that remained. It would later be revealed that a small Charnel Guard advance fleet had arrived – for what purpose is unclear – and that the majority of the Firebreak garrison was absent; perhaps pursuing this mysterious attacker. 

Moango's own account suggests that the traitors to the High Lords had been driven back to the Peaks of Urisel by the Charnel Guard. I cannot say this for sure; but if it is the case, it was well that they were: only the spoor of recent battle eventually allowed the Carcharadons to catch the scent of their prey. They might otherwise have wandered the pitiless wastes of the World of Glass for many human lifetimes, never stumbling upon the hidden byway to the Firebreaks' Fortress-Monastery. 

In the end, the battle was swift. Six hundred Sharks faced barely three-score Firebreak. Despite delivering a bitter fight, in which they made full use of the planet's incredible climate as much as the fortress monasteries’ patchy remaining defence mechanisms – the Master of the Keep, Captain Vur Zharal, was eventually overwhelmed.

It was a three-fold tragedy for the Firebreak. The Chapter's fighting strength had been drawn away to Kadath; and then the garrison drawn away from home, leaving a skeleton defence already weakened by centuries of deprivation and want. That meagre defence proved incapable of protecting its most precious treasures – the genevault, and the Chapter's holiest of holies, the Gardens of Serenity.

[//Meeting Orion, Inquisitor Angustiae, Ordo Luminae+]

Besides Angustiae's account, we are told that it was the Carcharodons' 3rd company, under Strike Commander Moro Oihi, that found a way underneath the glass surface and fought their way to the shield generators. Here, they were able to breach the security barriers and detonate the shield generators – the last remaining hope of the Firebreak. With shields down, Puru Moango teleported his personal Company – the Red Brethren – inside the fortress to swipe away the remaining resistance.

[//Deployment of a Contemptor-chassis warrior-tomb.+]

Once access had been gained, Moango and the Red Brethren – a formation quite distinct from the later Red-Maw – tore through the defences, despite Vur Zharal's efforts. Three Dreadnought Talons were involved in the close-in fighting, but in truth, this was a hammer to shatter an egg. From the arrival of hte Sharks, the Firebreak had no hope of survival.

Worse was the reason for the Carcharadon's actions. Quite besides the destruction of a Partisan homeworld, Moango consigned the Firebreak to a slow and dismal death by taking the geneseed vault, still in the slow process of being replenished. This became known to the surviving Firebreak as the Second Reaping.


Mid war: Monstrous intent

The death of an Astartes Chapter is a terrible event – but not so rare as to be unheard-of. Indeed, such is the danger and pressure upon even the mighty Astartes that it is the fate of most founded Chapters to eventually meet their demise. Chapter heraldry, homeworlds and even titles are frequently re-used.

However, when executed by their fellow Astartes, the event is usually performed with some sense of decorum or honour. So precious a resource are the Astartes that a Chapter defeated by Imperial forces can sue for peace in a number of circumstances. If adjudged free of corruption by the Inquisition – or occasionally even the High Lords themselves – the penitent Chapter might enter a temporary Crusade of Penance, cede their homeworld, or have their officer corps executed and replaced. After the punishment has been inflicted, many Chapters go on to serve once more.

This would not be the case for the Firebreak. Citing the free hand given him by the Edict of the Diet of Fools, Moango apparently committed what many amongst the Partisans considered abominable – using the Firebreak's geneseed banks to replenish and enlarge his own Chapter. The resulting Scouts were supposedly deployed during the small-scale fighting of the Sorrowful Years, harrying and disrupting the worlds of the Delphurnean League.

[//Sighted operating on the worlds of Strabo's Star+]

Such rumours were never confirmed – the then-compromised Inquisitor Angustiae being the only witness, and he became infamous for his creation and distribution of black propaganda against the 'Fell Pentarchy' that stiffened and broadened sympathies for the partisan cause. 

While not confirmed, it is notable that a number of Scout Kill Teams operating on Strabo's Star alongside Flesh Eaters were identified by Space Shark markings, but bore little physical resemblance to their grey-skinned brethren. 


[//Sector map with principal belligerents+]

Following the Outrage on Frith, the Carcharadons broke up into smaller fleets that ranged across Morqub and Heliopolis alike. As the 'Primarch's' counter-invasion of Heliopolis began, Chapter Master Gorn of the Charnel Guard issued orders – supposedly on the authority of the decreasingly visible Master Velghor – requested that the Carcharadons fortify the Cambyses and Pythinia regions.

Gathering his newly-swollen forces, Shadelord Moango deployed the bulk of his fleet in Cambyses, to aid in the defence of the Cardinal Worlds there. This region would prove bloody and vital; with the Eccleisarchy – split by the divisive figure of Morgetheon, Partisan Ecclesiarch – embroiled in a fanatical and explosive war, only fuelled by the arrival of the partisan Riven Lords, Wormwood Sons and with the region's own Iron Guard following Morgetheon into the arms of Volnoscere.


Bitter Wormwood: the Dantin campaign

Through relative proximity to their homeworld of Chernobog, the Wormwood Sons had pledged support to the Firebreak as part of their half-hearted allegiance to Volnoscere – but their efforts had arrived too late, arriving at Frith to find the unsettling sight of a demolished Chapter fortress world. 

The broken vow had sat uneasily with the usually unsentimental Wormwood Sons, and they had pursued a number of limited void conflicts during the Sorrowful Years, with the intention of winnowing the Carcharodons. In the event, the broken-up fleet of the Carcharadons had usually managed to evade engagement – but now that both Chapters stood in full, the Partisans intended to revenge their allies.

[//Archaic Despoiler-type line infantry squad. Use of chainaxes was notable within the Chapter; although no particular reverence was seemingly attached to these weapons. +]

With no intention of withdrawing further, the Carcharadons and Wormwood Sons fought a fierce war across the Cardinal Worlds and their tributaries, with Company-strength battles eventually coalsescing on the desert worlds of the Dantin system as the warlords tussled for supremacy. 

While Company-strength contests occurred on a number of the planets, Dantin Secondary was the site of the largest conflict, the Dantine Desert War. Here the Wormwood Sons, in concert with the Iron Guard won a pyrrhic victory over the Carcharadons.

[//Codex-approved Camouflage scheme, Dantine Desert War+]

The reeling Carcharadons were forced to fall back as the Riven Lords fleet, fresh from a victory over the Death Eagles I on Osseomunda, threatened to encircle Dantine. It was at this point that astrotelepathic transmissions between Julijos Toth of the Riven Lords and an unknown – but clearly senior – figure in the Marines Saturnine were incepted by the Carcharodons.

As they had suspected, the Marines Saturnine in the Tannbach Cluster had declared for the Primarch, and  it was with a sense of triumph that Moango authorised the battleships that he had left behind in the Tannbach Cluster to attack the Marines Saturnine's bases in the Carcharadons' distinctive hit and run attacks, softening the prey for the arrival of the bulk of the remaining Carcharadons.


Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten: Signs and Portents

Keen to engage the Marines Saturnine, Moango took a swift Nomad Predation fleet made up of some of his veteran warriors – the First, Fourth and Sixth, to liase with the Third, who were deployed in the key Tarentus system of the Tannbach Cluster. It is a mark of how large the Carcharadons had become following the Sorrowful Years (or, of course, how large they already were) that this division still left between eight and nineteen Strikeforces of Company strength or greater in place in the Cambyses subsector to oppose the Partisans there.


When Moango's Nomad Predation fleet arrived in the Tarentus system, they immediately engaged with the Marines Saturnine's fleet. The few Partisan vessels in the region appeared no match for the Pentarchy fleet. 

With grim satisfaction, the Bullshark managed to manoeuvre his vanguard vessels close to the Resolute-in-the-Face-of-Certain-Demise, flagship of the Marines Saturnine, by sacrificing a pair of Imperial cruisers. After trading fire for some minutes, the Nicor's substantial bombardment brought down the Resolute's shields, giving the Sharks a brief window in which to launch a boarding assault with a mix of Thunderhawks, drop pods and boarding torpedos. Seeking to replicate his success on Frith, Moango elected to teleport across with his 1st company. 

Fighting on board was immediately fierce and losses on both sides high. As marines of the Carcharodons Third, Fourth and Sixth companies battled their way through corridors filled with Marines Saturnine Astartes, chapter serfs and navy troopers; the Bullshark and the Red Brethren forced their way forward to the bridge. What occurred here has never been substantiated, the report being redacted with a signature similar to those that pronounced final judgement on the False Primarch itself. 

[//Last confirmed pict-capture of the Red Brethren on board the Resolute-in-the-Face-of-Certain-Demise +]

Later to become Shadelord in place of his slain Master, Strike Commander Moro Oihi of the Third Company was the first of the supporting Company commanders to fight his way forward. His report was sequestered internally, and later turned over to the Inquisition – but on whose authority it is impossible to say. That the report later became associated with Custodian Alaud-Dīn Malrhaan, on behalf of Captain-General Braxon Leionidon Mercutial of the Adeptus Custodes himself seems likely, for few without the express and direct permission of a High Lord would have been able to enact such bindings.

The redacted text below gives a heavily bowdlerised account, supposedly forcibly intracted from the machine-spirits of Moro Oihi's armour following the conclusion of the War.
[TS: XI-IX] With the aim of enfilading the bridge, the Carcharadon Vanguard enters a peculiar dome-like structure immediately aft of the Resolute's bridge. 

[TS: XI-XIV] Strike Commander Oihi reaches the bridge to relieve the First Company. A gap in the Marines Saturnine line is opened. Shadelord Moango is witnessed moving to engage a colossal warrior, with a speculative Preysight-ident of Chapter Master. 
A voxwash sweep conducted later revealed Enlil-Anu to have been positively identified as combat non-effective in Sector Morqub at this time.
[TS: XV-XVI] As Moango closes with the warrior, teleporter wash fills the peculiar dome-structure. Oihi alerts his forces to a trap as Silver Stars and Wormwood Sons Astartes appear on the bridge and counter-assault.

[TS:XV-XVII] Visual contact lost with Shadelord. Casualties begin to mount; Oihi and Third Strikeforce are driven back. Kill-debt confirmation on Codicier Kar'ao. He will be remembered.

[TS: XVI-I] Sixth Company elements force the breach; tentative visual contact with Shadelord re-established; heavily corrupted by remnant void-wash, partially cleared by Codicier Kar'ao's death. 

[TS: XVI-III] Moango struck by the enemy Champion's colossal maul. Initial connecting hit appears to overload the refractor shield. Moango ducks the ponderous backswing and rakes the Champion's armour in return.

[TS: XVI-IV] Kill-debt confirmation on Strike Commander Koloa, Sixth Company. He will be remembered. Tactical probability of loss registered by Oihi. Moango struck again – Oihi has visual confirmation that the second hit has buckled Tactical Dreadnought Armour. 

[TS: XVI-VI] Third hit confirmed. Helm all but destroyed – Kill-debt probable on Moango. 

[TS: XVI-VII] Warrior ident returned: {source-ref: incerto}. Downed Shadelord struck a fourth time; flattening the helm and left shoulder region entirely. Kill-debt confirmation on Shadelord Moango, First Company. He will be remembered.

Having seen his Shadelord destroyed by the strange figure – initially misidentified as Enlil-Anu, but subsequently revised to have potentially been a rare sighting of the being known as 'Lamassu' – Moro Oihi assumed command and managed a fighting retreat for the surviving forces from certain annihilation.



Thanks to their heavily-modified ships and the damage caused to the Marines Saturnine's Fleet, the Carcharodons were able to flee from the cluster to regroup in relatively good order – though they were harried by Silver Stars vessels before they could make good their escape. 

Having taken heavy casualties, and with the bulk of the Red Brethren lost along with several ships, the Space Sharks invested Moro Oihi as their new Shadelord. Electing not to rejoin the bulk of the fleet, Oihi led his own Company to Moreaumunda Lesser, then under the dubious stewardship of the Red Talons. Here he used his newfound authority to claim more than one thousand recruits on the planet already tithed to the Carcharadons. These warriors had been invested on the planet with the Carcharadons' own geneseed – and as discussed earlier, likely with a proportion of geneseed stolen from Frith – under the watchful eye of the Chapter's Chaplain Tamatoa.

[//Mark VI armour was not simply common, but near-universal for the Carcharadons' Auxiliary Companies – that is, those that were appended to the older warriors.+]

Pausing only to launch another Grey Tithe on the worlds of the system, the newly-replenished fleet fast-tracked the promotion of their already numerous Scout Companies to full Astartes, equipping them with the Mark VI plate already flooding off the manufactorum floors of Coldforge

With new recruits and battle brothers to fill the numerous gaps that had appeared in their ranks, Moro Oihi elected to baptise the new void brothers in the blood of those who ambushed his chapter on the flagship of the Marines Saturnine, while he would lead the remainder of the Chapter against the Wormwood Sons. 

It was during the warp translation that the new Shadelord's astropaths received a message from the Anvil of Hatred, a battle barge of the Red Talons. It seemed the Wormwood Sons had made more than one enemy. The combined fleet churned through the warp to Chernobog to bring an end to the Wormwood Sons.

[//Carcharodons: unknown Company – events of the Shield World Offensive, Late War+]




'In light of their true actions, and without recourse to withdraw it, the Edict shall instead be granted in perpetuity; that the Carcharadons Astra might bring suffering to the foes of Him-on-Terra beyond the pale of the Imperium of Man. 

Despatch, therefore, the Carcharadons Astra into the outer darkness, in pursuit of They-That-Are-Forgotten, in order that the fate of The Forgotten One may be visited upon each of his byblow followers, that they may pollute the Imperium no longer. Further, to bring the wrath of the One True Master of Mankind, and under him the Twelve High Lords, to His, and their, enemies, to the betterment of humanity. 

In the Great Darks beyond shall they thus be set evermore, never again to transact or consort with the remainder of his servants. There shall said Chapter ravage the foes of Mankind, bring woe to them and their strongholds. In their hiding places shall they seek them, draw them and end them; they shall set about the Traitor, the alien, and the Renegade without mercy, and harrow them in their places of strength.'

[//Mythos Angelica Mortis, dictated by the Secretariat Militum of Terra, M35+]