My fellow Americans (and foreigners), I present a very special army this Independence Day. Behold the epic win of reader Sam Fenwick’s Stars of Dorn!
The Stars of Dorn hail from the planet of Amorica, which bears a freakish resemblance to a nation out of ancient Terra’s distant past. They fight for the Emperor, Amorica and Mom’s apple pie. The Stars display more passion than skill and are notorious for their lack of firing discipline. At least one continent of Amorica is dedicated solely to the production of ammunition and their allies quickly realise the importance of standing to the rear of any Star attack force…
In order to fully understand the Stars of Dorn you must go back to the age of strife. When the Dark Age of technology collapsed, scores of human worlds were left isolated and eventually reverted to a feral state. One such world was that of Amorica on the Eastern Fringe. Unfortunately for its population, its fall from grace was the result of an extremely bloody Ork Waaagh which left millions dead and the pitiful survivors were enslaved and put to work in vast factories, churning out arms and ammo for their brutal masters. This state of affairs lasted until the 34th millenium when the Orks embarked on another Waaagh of massive proportions. However, so caught up in their barbaric lust for destruction, the vast majority of the Ork population left Amorica, leaving only a few behind to oversee the human slaves. This was to prove their undoing. Generations of brutal treatment, exposure to the harshest working conditions and the barbarism that passes for Ork Kulture had resulted in a force to be reckoned with. Two weeks to the day after the Waaagh was launched, every last Ork was butchered, the vast majority dying from blades, which seemed to have come from no-where.
By the 39th millenium, the Amoricans had developed a vibrant yet crude culture, still pervaded with Ork influences and had reached an industrialised but pre-interstellar level of technology. The most important organisations on Amorica were large corporations, whose “Lawyerz” or contract killers kept the population in line with displays of sickening violence against criminals and other scum, recorded live for the gratification of the blood-thirsty masses.
In the year 39,726, the Amoricans made contact with the Imperium, in the form of a number of stinging attacks on isolated farm worlds on the eastern fringe. Initially the raids were mistaken as the handiwork of Orks, but when it became clear that the blood of Imperial citizens had been shed by human hands, a Crimson Fist strike force was sent to teach the savages the true nature of the galaxy and humanity’s place within it. After the seat of Amorican rule (Da White Hut) had been targeted with a full orbital strike and the Amorican CEO had been defeated in a head-butting competition with the Crimson Fists Captain Horront, the Amoricans swiftly accepted Imperial rule.
Oddly enough, faith in the Emperor spread like wild-fire. However, acceptance of their place within the Dominion of the Imperium of Man was harder to come by. It was not that the Amoricans objected to the idea, it was more that their fierce martial pride resented the thought of being subjugated by in their minds, lesser, girlier men. In time, this sentiment would have disappeared, but fate intervened.
The rise of the Tau Empire coupled with the arrival of Hive Fleet, sent shockwaves through the Segmentum Ultima. The need for heightened vigilance against the xenos scum, caused the High Lords of Terra to order the founding of several new space marine chapters. One such chapter was the Stars of Dorn, founded in honour of the actions of the Crimson Fists all those centuries before. In order to ensure that the new chapter upheld the finest traditions of the Adeptus Astrates, the Stars of Dorn were formed around a battle company of the Crimson Fists, who became the chapter’s first company. Sixty-six years to the day after their founding, the Chapter lost the majority of its ranking officers and a large chunk of its first company in a large-scale engagement against the Orks on Valtosh IX, to the disgust of many of the Amorican born Stars.
After a monumental number of challenges, head-butting competitions and a drinking contest that lasted the better part of a month, Arnlod Schwazenkegger was sworn in as the new Chapter Master of the Stars of Dorn. Born and raised as an Amorican, Arnlod had very firm ideas about the future of the chapter. Ideas that would have called down the wrath of the Inquisition, were it not preoccupied with the onslaught that was Hive Fleet Kraken. As luck would have it, the Governor of Amorica, Georgius Dumus was without an heir, a state no doubt aided by his fondness for vast quantities of Amorican Fungus beer. It was simple work for Arnlod to “persuade” the governor to bequeath Governorship of the planet in perpetuity to the Stars of Dorn. This achieved, Arnlod began to do his best to limit the influence of Imperial culture. Master Schwazenkegger also ordered the majority of the chapter to strike the Imperial Eagle from their insignia and heraldry, as an act of penance for the loss of their heritage. Instead, it is now used as the chapter’s highest medal of honour, reserved for only the most renowned and distinguished veterans. Master Schwazenkegger has said promised that the Stars of Dorn as a whole can only reclaim the right to bear the Eagle when their deeds are ranked as highly as those of the Imperial Fists. This is essentially impossible, as there is no way that the Stars of Dorn will ever be able to come out of the shadow of those who held the Imperial Palace against the hordes of the Great Betrayer, a fact that Arnlod is fully aware of.
Unlike most chapters, particularly those descended from the Dark Angels, The Stars of Dorn keep close ties with their human families. In actual fact one of the main reasons why the Amorican population is so keen to see their sons become Space Marine aspirants, is the fact that if their son is successful and becomes a Marine of renown, the subsequent sponsorship deals will make them rich. Typical sponsors include Zubweiser, the Emperor of Fungus beers and Kil-Cola. Every Amorican year, the Marines return to their families to commemorate the day Amorica threw off the shackles of Ork repression. This typically involves the consumption of vast quantities of fungus beer and apple pie.
The first recorded contact Amorican culture had with the Tau Empire was in 40,753, in the form of attempted diplomatic overtures by the Water caste. Despite being encouraged by the Amorican’s seemingly independent streak, it was not a success for the Tau. The mere suggestion that everyone work together for the common good in the absence of individual profit, filled the Amorican populace with stark loathing. The Tau delegation found themselves as the main course in a banquet that should have been held in their honour. When word of the Damocles crusade reached the Fists, the decision was instant. The entire Chapter would be mobilised against the “Blue kommie bastards”.
In terms of combat doctrine, the Stars of Dorn diverge notably from the Imperial Fists and their successors. Their lust for battle is so great that they take risks that even other marines would balk at, trusting to their armour and their natural toughness. Some whisper that such an attitude may also have arisen thanks to the masochistic tendencies that are often granted as a side effect of Imperial Fist geneseed. Even immediately after their initiation, which involves dropping them off on one of Amorica’s continents, the Middle West, which is still infested by Orks, new recruits are trained not on the firing range, but on the battlefield. As a logistical necessity, this gung-ho approach has forced Chapter Command to order the training of every single marine who shows the slightest inkling of medical skill in the ways of the apothercarium. The lack of formal training coupled with the deep-rooted Ork influence in Amorican culture, means that even other space marines find the Stars lack of apparent professionalism and raw enthusiasm for a good scrap disconcerting.
Unlike the majority of other chapters, the wargear of the Stars of Dorn is not handed down. On a marine’s death, their weapons and armour are ritually dismantled and smelted down. A new battle brother must buy his arms and armour from the chapter foundaries, putting him in immense debt, which is typically only repaid after at last a century of service. Stars of Dorn earn “kredit” per enemy kill and for each successful mission. Once a Star has obtained their own reputation and following on Star-TV, they can make their own sponsorship deals. Once they have paid off their debt to the chapter they are free to commission additional wargear and embellishments to their armour from the foundries as well as financially supporting their descendents back on Amorica. This flies in the face of the Codex Astrates, but the Stars of Dorn cannot shake off their capitalist upbringing.
The Stars of Dorn make a point of always going into battle with embedded reporters who broadcast the finest slaughter to “the folks back home”. As a consequence of this, the Stars of Dorn excel at propaganda and one of the first signs of their presence in a battle zone is a flood of cheap merchandise in Star of Dorn colours. Due to this approach, their customary abandon once on the battlefield is tempered with a surprising level of caution at the tactical level. Targets that other chapters would engage on the ground despite a high level of risk, in order to prevent collateral damage to Imperial personnel are typically subject to orbital barrage or air-strike by the Stars’ thunderhawks. Star vehicles are often crudely daubed with advertising for their corporate sponsors together with a variety of obscene comments designed to mock and vilify the foe. Despite their independent streak, The Stars of Dorn venerate their Primarch and the Emperor with an almost unhealthy level of devotion. Such is their dedication that every marine tries to ensure that the last words on their lips are: “Rooooooooggggaaalllll Doooooorrrrrrnnnn”.
HeraldryThe Stars of Dorn, like the Crimson Fists, wear predominantly blue armour, decorated with stars and white and red chevrons, which represent the flag of the Amorican Republic. Their armour and vehicles are also “decorated” with corporate logos and advertising.
Warcries“Amorica, Frack yeah!”
“Get some, Get some, Get some!”
The Stars of Dorn are also well known for their butchery of the Imperial language and tend to treat most missions as an excuse to broadcast a deafening series of insults and curses. In fact, many Stars actually have developed their own continuous literanies of purgation. One prime example of this is Brother Jackson, who actually deafened several eldar harlequins with his own unique version that began with the words “Let me speak to you from the book of Ezekiel for a moment.”
The 4th company was dispatched to Cadia and the surrounding sector, in order to bolster the Imperial forces and help blunt the onslaught of Abbadon’s thirteenth black crusade. Regrettably, the Stars found themselves up against the Despoiler’s crack troops and wave after wave of daemonic hordes. Despite reaping a bloody tally and notably banishing the Khornate daemon known as “Skulltaker” with a devasting volley of bolter-fire, Captain Kilgore was forced to order a retreat back to Amorica, after the company fell below operational strength and was forced to replenish its losses.