First in a series of preliminary reports
(Translated to Imperial Gothic from High Mahaduyanan)
++MEMORANDUM TO: [REDACTED], Ordo Astartes++
++FROM: Inquisitor Varman Kumar++
PER YOUR DIRECTIVE, I am conducting a multi-year investigation of the Adeptus Astartes Chapter known as the “Fighting Tigers of Veda.” I agree with your assessment that because I am a native of the planet, and one who has interacted with the Tigers on several occasions in the past, I will have insights and access to information that another Inquisitor would not.
As noted in your memorandum dated 2129002.M42, previous reports on this Space Marine Chapter suffered from a lack of crucial details; presented contradictory depictions of personnel, organizational structure, operations, and accounts of events; and reported “facts” that are, at best, confusing and out of keeping with standard Imperial practices, and are, at worse, heretical.
My investigation is ongoing, but below are preliminary findings, subject to further refinement. Collection of this information has been extremely difficult due to several factors, chief among them being the Tigers’ reluctance to provide or confirm it.
The most important revelation I have uncovered is that many “facts” that had been reported about the Fighting Tigers of Veda are wrong.
Founding and Affiliated Chapters
As of yet, I have been unable to verify the founding of the Fighting Tigers. Various documents that I discovered from a variety of sources listed them as having been established during either the Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, or Eleventh Founding. Historical records from Veda give no clear time as to when the Tigers arrived on the planet. Similarly, I have thus far been unable to determine the chapter’s number, often listed as 531.
Some previous reports named the Progenitor Legion of the Tigers as the Ultramarines; my research indicates that the actual Legion was the White Scars. Fighting Tiger lore implies that the infamous Astral Claws and Tiger Claws Chapters (who later became the Red Corsairs Heretic Astartes) are related to them, possibly as successors. As of this writing, I have been unable to verify this claim.
Arrival on Veda
For their first recorded action, the Fighting Tigers successfully liberated the native human population of the planet Veda (also noted as “Vedah” in some documents) from a faction of Drukhari (or “Dark Eldar”) whose name translates into “Kabal of the Ozone [sic] Scorpions.”
After liberating Veda, the Fighting Tigers were ordered to establish a base there, from which to: 1) guard Veda’s system and those nearby against attacks originating from the Maelstrom; 2) launch incursions into the Maelstrom to root out hostile forces therein; and 3) locate and recover any archeotech that might be present in Veda’s solar system or neighboring systems.
Shortly after settling on Veda, the Tigers adopted the native culture, including names, languages, deities, customs, and traditions, replacing the ones that had before. There is some historical debate on whether the “Fighting Tigers” were called this before they came to the planet, or assumed the name after learning of the existence of Vedic tigers. My brief research into the question has been inconclusive, and as it is of mere academic interest, I have not pursued it further.
Veda is a Feudal World, the 9th among the 19 planets and dwarf planets of the Bagha (or “Regulus Secundus”) system, which lies east of the Maelstrom, in the Ultima Segmentum. Ancient Vedic texts indicate that the planet was settled by humans early in the Age of Technology, in the 15th Millennium. During the Age of Strife, civilization declined to its present status of low technology and agrarian culture. The human population of Veda is currently about 10 million.
Please see my subsequent report, “Fighting Tigers of Veda: Homeworld” for additional details.
Previous documents asserted that to adequately patrol their large and mostly unsettled homeworld, the Fighting Tigers divided into two castes, or Jatis, one based on each of Veda’s continents. Each Jatis was equivalent in size (about 500 Marines, plus attendants) and organization, taking its name from its home continent (Mahaduyana or Ghuyarashtra), and its markings from the tigers found there (see “Heraldry,” below).
While my research confirms that there are, indeed, two factions of Adeptus Astartes on the planet—one based in the north, the other in the south—they are two distinct Chapters. The Space Marines of “Jatis Mahaduyana” are the actual Fighting Tigers; those of “Jatis Ghuyarashtra” belong to a successor Chapter, the “Sabretooths,” formed shortly after the Drukhari were driven from Veda. Because the two Chapters have so often coordinated missions, and bear similar heraldry (see below), outsiders have mistakenly believed that they belong to the same organization.
Adding to the confusion is the existence of an allied force of powered-armored warriors identified as the “White Tigers.” These have, in the past, been erroneously identified as “female Space Marines” belonging to the Fighting Tigers of Veda. Please see below and my forthcoming report.
(In the interests of simplicity in this and subsequent reports, I will, unless otherwise noted, use the terms “Fighting Tigers” and “Fighting Tigers of Veda” to include all three factions)
Recently, to address multiple threats, the Fighting Tigers have divided into Shikars (loosely translated to as “Hunts”), small, autonomous, self-contained forces analogous to the Crusades of the Black Templars. While some of these armies have a mix of personnel from two or even all three factions, most are formed from a single group.
Please see my subsequent report, “Fighting Tigers of Veda: Organization” for additional details.
Fighting Tigers wear black armor, with orange helmets and shoulder pads marked with black stripes. Sometimes, greaves and/or backpacks may also be orange and striped. Sabretooths have similar patterns, in brown and mustard. White Tigers have either black or brown as a base color for the armor, with white helmets, shoulder pads, etc., and matching stripes of black or brown. Vehicles of each faction are painted similarly, with a multitude of stripes.
Below are several verifiable occurrences from Fighting Tiger history. In subsequent reports, I will discuss several of these events in more depth.
- 34th Millennium. Veda captured by Kabal of the Ozone Scorpions, who enslave the populace. Fighting Tigers Chapter established under Chapter Master Shiva Naguradiku. Tigers defeat Ozone Scorpions, assume rule of Veda, and set up permanent base on planet surface. Tigers learn of and ally with native “ghost tygers” to defeat and banish rakshasas. Tigers begin expeditions to recover archeotech from worlds in and near Maelstrom.
- 35th Millennium. “Shindering of the Templars” event: Warband Bloodcomet cripples Fighting Tigers, ravages Veda before exhausting their strength and succumbing to counterattack. During rebuilding efforts, Tigers temporarily under command of Ultramarines Captain Lucius Tiberius Britannicus. Rajas Suryah Ashukka and Shrendi Vushtar return Fighting Tigers to full strength.
- 36th Millennium. Pacts of Friendship are established with the Space Wolves; Tigers and Wolves battle the Aeldari Warhost known as “The Lotus Storm of Impossible Contemplation.” First appearance of “White Tigers,” also known as “Tigers of Kali.” Tigers develop the Vedic Siege Gun (Mark I).
- 37th Millennium. The Rigsamayajur, the holy verses and history of the Tigers, is written. The Apex Predator Variant is first developed, using recovered STC. Tigers exterminate the Dvergar of the Angrboda Nebula. Baalzephon Zgorch, former commander of the Warband Bloodcomet, returns with the Saracens (Heretic Astartes).
- 38th Millennium. Reign of Raja Rama Ayodhya, “the Exalted Prince.” Tigers wipe out several Blood Axe and Goff clans. Tigers first begin (and later abandon) explorations of the planet Ghaatti.
- 39th Millennium. Tigers battle Church of the Poisoned Mind (Genestealer Cult) and Godfrey’s Desert Vipers (rebellious Astra Militarum) on Qellizarr. Tigers suffer the Choudhury Incident but ultimately prevail.
- 40th Millennium. Fighting Tigers first engage Hive Fleet Ravana. Tigers land on Kurinda, suffer heavy casualties, cease exploration of this world. Kavita Chavan, hero of the Dakr Conflict, rescues Raja Amar Vedantam from the Sii-gesh hordes at the cost of his own life.
- 41st Millennium. Fighting Tigers ordered not to engage Astral Claws during Badab War. Fighting Tigers annihilate Saracens. Tigers conduct unsuccessful campaigns for the Blood Deserts of Auros IX. Ozone Scorpions return to Veda and battle Space Wolves guarding planet while Tigers on Auros IX. Raja Shamhiir Taletri of Jatis Ghuyarashtra /Sabretooths removed from office and goes Renegade, forming the Fearful Symmetry Chaos Daemon host.
- 42nd Millennium. The Great Rift (Cicatrix Maledictum) further isolates Veda. Raja Rama Ayodhya returns to assume command of Jatis Ghuyarashtra/Sabretooths. Fighting Tigers split into Shikars.
“Female Fighting Tiger Space Marines”
In closing, I must address a long-standing fallacy pertaining to the Fighting Tigers of Veda: namely, that the Chapter includes “female Space Marines.” This is, of course, impossible, as it is well known that all Adeptus Astartes must be male, because the geneseed zygotes used to transform recruits from ordinary humans into Space Marines are keyed to male hormones and genetic structure.
Nevertheless, this erroneous, even heretical belief has been perpetuated throughout the Tigers’ long history through discredited narratives, falsified vid-footage, and disinformation spread deliberately by enemies—and possibly by the Tigers themselves, though for what purpose, I cannot speculate. I will expound on this topic in an upcoming report, “Fighting Tigers of Veda: ‘Female Space Marines.’”
The key fact is that the Fighting Tigers of Veda do not currently have, nor ever had, “female Space Marines” serving in their Chapter.
As stated, my investigations are ongoing, and more reports will be forthcoming. Please contact me by the usual channels if you have follow-up questions or concerns.
Varman Kumar, Inquisitor
Kenton Kilgore writes killer SF/F for young adults and adults who are still young. The Fighting Tigers of Veda appear in his latest novel, Stray Cats, which you can find here.
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