So, my 40k chapter. Nothing else is jumping to mind right now, so maybe I’ll go into that fluff I came up with to justify my mixed bag of paintjobs.
Some time in the last few centuries, my otherwise unrecorded chapter was lost to the warp. Came through in mostly one piece but no idea where, and upon exiting slammed into a space hulk. Unable to leave, the chapter really only had one option, and so began the purge. The hulk had drifted largely uncontrolled for ages, and we were not the first ship to make contact. Basically, a massive fused graveyard of dozens of alien ships.
We lost most of our fast attack squads almost immediately, but began to work our way slowly, methodically, through the hulk. Using a combination of techmarine tools and heavy weaponry, we changed the very nature of the hulk as we went, destroying small tunnels and complex crawlways in favour of massive, defendable spaces and vaulted passages we could drive heavy tanks and dreadnoughts through. As we worked our way through the hulk we came across almost every faction, cannibalizing the weapons and armour of our fallen enemies and incorporating allies into our own forces. Small pockets of lost deathwatch kill teams, entire companies from chapters that had failed to purge the hulk themselves, and occasionally the remnants of lost chapters that had suffered a fate too much like our own. There was no option to retreat, or to destroy the hulk from afar; we were trapped on the hulk with only two options. Advance or die.
And advance we did. We only moved forward, never back. Failed offensives meant the loss of entire squads or even companies, and with no homeworld to bolster our ranks our only recruits came from those other lost marines that we came across as we proceeded. Eventually our chapter name was abandoned or lost, in favour of the name given by our enemies. The Unyielding.
Over the course of centuries we would eventually purge the hulk entirely and claim it as our own. Drifting through space, it has become our homeworld, salvaged like our weapons of war and turned to a new and greater purpose.
Or something like that.
My most painted company is the 5th. One ‘recruit’ squad is still in its original faction colours (a multitude if companies, though, so I’d label them as the last remnants of an annihilated chapter). They’ve joined recently enough that they have not taken on any Unyielding chapter or company markings.
I still haven’t come up with a chapter iconography I like, nor have I decided what to do with tanks. The nature of the chapter limits the likelihood of a full surviving armoury, so I may assign most of them to specific companies. I expect the 5th will at that point gain a vindicator.