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  1. So, here's my entry for this IG Challenge. It's based on a sidebar from my IT: Black Hammers, but it's one I thought had potential to be expanded into a proper story. Word count is over 2k so I'm actually in for a Silver on this Challenge! :D Anyway, c+c is, as always, very welcome! For The Emperor Lord Julien van de Carmetine stood with the favoured members of his court and looked down across the Carmetine Plaza from the grand balcony of his palace. Three dozen courtesan dancers whirled elegantly in perfect synchronicity with the flawless playing of his personal orchestra. Six Companies of the Carmetine Household Guard stood at attention in their crimson and gold uniforms, ceremonial laslocks and long halberds shouldered precisely. At the centre of the square stood a great bronze statue, the top of its head almost level with the balcony they stood upon. Commisioned by Julien and only completed and installed a few days ago, it depicted the Dark Prince himself, a glorious being of grace and power, surrounded by cavorting spirits. An observer might well note that the statue's long, elegant limbs and beautiful face held many similarities to Julien's own proud bearing and aquiline features. First Adviser Cascus, an older man gross with gluttonous excess, bustled out to the balcony from within the palace, panting between words and performing a florid, if slightly hurried bow. "My most noble and vigorous Lord, I have returned. Your new allies approach, they bring a gift from their master who even now leads the assault against your hated foes." Lord Julien nodded, unsurprised at the thought that even the traitor Astartes came to offer him tribute. It was all too fitting that now, as House Carmetine came into its birthright, that such servants of the Powers should arrive to do obeisance before him. For countless decades, the proud scions of Tybur-Al's Hive Secundus had been forced to bow and scrape towards the tyrants of Hive Primus. Despite its vast wealth and wisdom, Julien's family had been sidelined and ignored - although admittedly, this had allowed the members of the House to focus on enjoying their riches, and their extravagant feasts and revelries had become famous across the planet. Under Julien, however, the Van de Carmetines had prepared to right the wrongs done to them, to cast off the shackles of the planetary governor and the Imperium itself and bring a new age of perfection and glory to Tybur-Al. The armies built by Julien had stood ready to begin their revolution and by some dark fortitude, the Astartes had arrived exactly on time! Well, near exactly. Perhaps ideally General Equerìsta and his staff might have been given another six months, or a year, to complete the training and equipment of Secundus' forces… but undoubtedly the advantages of having a spearhead of the mightiest warriors known to humanity would outweigh any deficiencies in tactics or ammunition? By most accounts, their assault against Hive Primus was already in full flow. A smaller group, aboard a single transport, had requested - in truth demanded - an audience with House Carmetine. "And what do you make of them, Cascus? Are they as grand as the legends suggest?" Cascus paused uncomfortably, wiping his brow with a delicate silk handkerchief as he pondered his next words. "They are... they are not quite as I expected, my grand Lord... they..." Guard Captain Toreda spoke softly, "They have arrived, Lord." Taken aback, Julien spun to look out into darkness at the far edge of the plaza. He had expected a grand procession of troops marching in perfect formation, heard far before they were seen, splendid even beyond his own personal Guard. Instead the Astartes warriors, clad in black and perhaps only a score in number, were quietly moving in two files down either side of the grand promenade that crossed the plaza towards the palace. Each squad walked with their weapons held ready, with a casual yet alert gait that seemed more suited to a patrol traversing enemy territory than a visiting honour guard. However, Julien had to concede that in spite of their informal approach, the Astartes had an imposing presence, their bulky shapes surrounded by an aura of power and fear. Between the advancing squads a third unit also approached, in a similarly loose formation. Even at this distance, Julien could see that although fewer in numbers, they were even more imposing, dwarfing the power armoured troopers. Could these perhaps be the mythical 'Terminators'? Finally, behind this central squad another group appeared at the plaza's edge. These smaller figures, perhaps a half dozen in number, were clearly not Astartes. Human servants of some sort? They clustered around and struggled to carry a long, obviously heavy object. Julien's curiosity was piqued - could this be the gift Cascus mentioned? As the Astartes drew closer, he could make out more details of their appearance. The Lord sniffed, understanding Cascus' prior reticence. The vaunted warriors looked to be nothing more than filthy savages! Their black and white armour plates were mismatched and battered, covered in random sigils, dirty furs and scraps of skin and bone. Though most wore full armour a few went unhelmed, displaying long, shaggy beards or wearing crude leather hoods. All wore one icon in common, a simple warhammer clearly visible white on black, though Julien had no idea of its meaning. The music of his Orchestra faltered as the Traitor Marines moved implacably forward to stand before the balcony, musicians silenced and displaced by towering warriors. A few even left their instruments behind them on the ground in their hurry. Dancers likewise stuttered to a stop, looking nervously from their master to his guests. One of the massive brutes at the centre stepped forward. Julien frowned at the Terminator, his own nascent gifts making him suddenly aware of a disturbing aura of authority and psychic power that surrounded the giant. He was older, his long white beard caught up in scraggly braids, and his skin was lined and weather-beaten. His armour was even more covered in sigils and totems than his men and a large and ancient looking leather-bound book hung from his waist. Some kind of primitive Sorcerer? The psyker looked up at the palace and called out, his voice cold and harshly accented. "I am Abartach of the Black Hammers. Who rules here?" Lord Julien stepped forward, flanked by Cascus and his personal herald. The First Cryer had a deep, booming voice that carried across the square. "You have the honour of addressing Lord Julien Van de Carmetine, scion of the House Van de Carmetine, undisputed master of Hive Secundus, rightful Lord of Tybur-Al…" As the herald continued, the Sorcerer looked curiously at Julien, then at the statue beside him, then back at the Lord on his balcony. He spoke again, interrupting the cryer in a gruff but amused rumble. "You think yourself a suitable avatar for the Dark Prince himself, then?" Lord Julien frowned, unsure if he was more offended by the barbarian's disrespectful tone or by his ruining of the cryer's perfect protocol. He leaned forward on the balustrade. "Are you mocking me, sir?" he hissed. "Even for an Astartes, that would be very unwise. My powers are beyond your understanding! I will soon rule this planet in the name of Slaanesh and those who stand against me will suffer..." Then, to Julien's stunned amazement, the grizzled old psyker ignored his words and turned away from the balcony towards the bondsmen who were depositing the long bundle at the base of the great bronze statue. Calmly he bent down to the object. It was wrapped in mismatched furs, these held in place by leather thongs and crudely carved stone clasps. Long strips of parchment inscribed with runes and chaotic symbols wove between the clasps. Julien's tirade stuttered to a stop as Abartach reached out with his massively armoured gauntlets, tearing off seals, ripping through parchments and crushing stone charms into powder. Carefully he unwrapped the furs, revealing the object within. He called out, "We bring a gift to this world." The old Astartes carefully lifted it from its wrappings and held it up for all to see. It was a long spear, a brutal, broad-bladed weapon formed of brass and gore-blackened steel. Even clad in his monstrous armour, the weapon was still slightly too big for the Sorcerer, seeming proportioned for an even larger user. Julien looked down at it with distaste, even repulsion. Something about the spear felt wrong, even more so than the old psyker. It felt like an enemy. His heightened senses could immediately pick out the smell of fresh blood in the air around the plaza, though he could see no source. Abartach continued, "This is the Spear of C'Harak, Bloodthirster of the Sixth Rank. The HeartEater, Khorne's Huntsman, Bane of Tranquility. For nearly six millennia the Spear has held C'Harak's essence prisoner, allowing no outlet for his fury and bloodlust." He paused, looking up at Julien with a cold, mirthless grin. Then he spun the great spear around in his hands, turned and drove its blade through the heart of the great statue with a deafening clang. In the horrified silence that followed, Abartach spoke in a satisfied whisper that only Julien's exceptional hearing could make out. "You are welcome to one another." Incandescent with rage, Julien turned to order Toreda to take the mad old psyker and his troops into custody. Before he could speak, Abartach whispered again, even more softly. Julien paused for a fraction of a second, dumbfounded. What had the Sorcerer said? It sounded like… "For the Emperor." With a roar like some gargantuan beast, the heavy cannon carried by one of the other Terminators opened fire, followed immediately by the bolt guns carried by the rest of the Black Hammers. Household Guard and performers scattered en masse, desperately seeking cover from the thunderously loud fusillade. Chips of stone burst from the balcony and Cascus was torn apart by a torrent of shells. His blood misted and sizzled against the edge of Julien's personal force field and for a moment the Lord was blinded. "Return fire!" he screamed at his underlings from behind the thick balustrade. "I will have their heads mounted above my gates for this treachery! I will…" Julien's vision cleared and as he peered down onto the plaza he could see Guardsmen unshouldering their weapons and readying to return fire over the scores of fallen bodies of what had been their front ranks. But the Black Hammers were no longer attacking. In fact, they had used the chaos caused by their first volley to do the opposite, retreating across the plaza and away into the darkness. "What in the name of the Dark Prince is happening here?" Julien shrieked, turning to look back into the palace. "Where have they gone?" "My Lord?" Toreda ducked forward, cradling a limp and bloody left arm. He seemed equally bemused, though that might have been shock from his wound. "Report from Comms, my Lord. Message from Hive Primus. The invaders have been repulsed, they pulled out again with barely a shot fired, before the defence had even put together a proper counterattack?" Julien whirled again, trying to pierce the blackness beyond the square, trying to understand the madness of the Astartes actions. As he did, he noticed something odd. The bloody vapour that still filled the air above Cascus' remains was not settling as it should. Rather it moved, drawn in a gradually forming spiral as though by some invisible force out over the lip of the balcony. The Lord Carmetine stepped forward and saw with growing fear that the bloody trail was not alone, being joined by similar liquid spirals from the countless corpses in the plaza and flowing together at a central point. The spear buried in Julien's statue. Julien gaped, the unease within him growing stronger and stronger, turning into sick horror. Something, a vast bloody crimson shape, was forming beside the hideous weapon. In the air around him, Julien could feel a pressure building. He almost felt he could hear the blowing of brazen horns, then a bellowing growl of rage and hatred echoed across the plaza. With a whimper of abject terror, the true master of Tybur-Al fled into his palace, desperate to find some refuge and yet knowing that there would be none. *** Abartach led his squads quickly up through the great Hive towards the landing pad, watching for any possible counter by its confused soldiery. He expected none. The Black Hammers strike had been too swift, too hard and too inexplicable for the enemy Command to respond effectively, even if given double the meager amount of time they actually had left. He grinned. Just as the Codex dictated. The psyker activated his comm link. "Lord Agamon? Mission accomplished. Package delivered." He listened for a moment, then nodded. "Aye Lord. Pulling out. Rendezvous in 18 minutes." ***
  2. Ok, running on fumes and with no formatting whatsoever, but I finally got commissar Muran finished last night and the slates written up. Let's get started, shall we? HQ. Power: 6 Colonel Zevan Zenara: 70 points points: no: Name M WS BS S T W A Ld Sv 1 Col. Zenara 6" 3+ 3+ 3 3 4 4 9 4+ weapon: range type S AP D plasma pistol 12" Pistol 1 7 -3 1 (overcharged) 12" Pistol 1 8 -3 2. an unmofified hitroll of 1 with this profile destroys the bearer after shooting this weapon. power sword - melee U frag grenade 6" grenade d6 3 No wargear options Abilities: Voice of Command Hatred (Orks): may reroll all hit rolls against Orks Refractor Field Senior Officer Regimental Commander: This Model must be your Warlord, unless an <Imperium> <Supreme Commander> is in your army. This model grants a single Command Point if your army is Battleforged Mechanized Commander: This Model can issue orders while embarked in a <Cantorellian 23rd> or <Cantorellian SEAL Team> dedicated Transport (measuring ranges from any point on the vehicle) and is treated as being within 3" of a Vox-Caster. when doing so, these orders can only be issued to friendly <Cantorellian 23rd> or <Cantorellian SEAL Team> units. Warlord Trait: Old Grudges A consummate commander, and a lifelong mecnanized infantry officer, the Colonel was recently wounded in action prior to the attachment of my company to his regiment for the upcoming campaign. His current augmetic is of fairly high quality, and has not much diminished his reputed swordsmanship skills--which are only fair-to-middling by my own standards, but against his own men and other mortals, he seems to do fairly well. His strategies are also decently competent, or at least not glaringly incompetent. I trust his command instincts, and while a part of me chafes at submitting to an authority other than my Shogun, the more rational part of me makes it clear to me that he is capable of overseeing strategic command of our operations. Commissar Nykkole Muran: 5 power, 60 points No Name M WS BS S T W A Ld Sv 1 Commissar Muran 6" 2+ 3+ 3 3 4 3 9 4+ Wargear: Plasma pistol (see Codex: Astra Militarum) power lance: S+1, AP-3, 1 Damage. This weapon has D3+1 damage if the user charged or was charged this turn Abilities: Aura of Discipline, Refractor Field, Summary Execution (see Codex: Astra Militarum) Bionic eye: this model may reroll a single failed hit roll of one per phase. As I have previously noted in other dataslates, the senior commissar is not overly...anything to anyone in the regiment, except perhaps somewhat harsh. She maintains good discipline of herself and her troops, practices martial exercises as laid out in Imperial handbooks, and keeps mostly to herself. In my few interactions with her--mainly disciplinary in nature, dealing with minor pranks and inconveniences caused by her men--she has been curt, but there is something behind the facade of duty, which I am unable to discern. Perhaps her aide, Lieutenant Cythos, would be willing to discuss it with me or a Scout operative. But then perhaps not. And I have little reason to pry. Techpriest Dak-323/mk12: power: 3 points: 45 No Name M WS BS S T W A Ld Sv 1 Enginseer Dak-323/mk12 6 3+ 4+ 4 4 4 3 8 3+ wargear: laspistol, omnissiahan axe, servo-arm (see Codex: astra militarum) abilities: bionics, Master of Machines (see codex astra militarum) Sentinel Caretaker: when performing the Master of Machines ability, if the Target is a <Cantorellian 23rd> Sentinel, then you may treat a roll of 1 or 2 on the D6 as a 3 (so the model would regain 2 wounds). One of the more field-deployable enginseers the regiment employs. I am given to understand that Dak-323/mk12 (hereafter referred to as Dak-323, or they, by their own request) is one of the few remaining enginseers from the Dolrunus regiment. While they are a capable techpriest, I find that their most pleasing quality is their obesience to those they percieves to be above them in the pecking order. After three and a half centuries of being snubbed by all but a scant few Mechanicus personnel, I find an irrational pleasure in having one show me and my company the respect we deserve. Dak-323 has already, on my orders, effected repairs on thirteen percent of our current armoury, blessed and improved seventy four percent of our armours and weapons, and ensured of their own volition that a portion of fuel and ammunition reserves be transferred in excess of required Astartes-Mechanicus treaty. Of all the Cantorellian troopers and personnel, I think that I find them my favorite (aside from Pvt. Mellenkamp, who is growing on me like some kind of fungus).
  3. I played my first game of 40k a few days ago! Or rather, 40-k lite - neither me nor my elder brother are particularly quick at rules and much, much too used to old-school Space Crusade. …Which we generally house-ruled a bit anyway. Anyhow, this basically meant we played on a gameboard with squares instead of an 'open field', and we plain missed out a bunch of additional rules, keeping it extra-basic for ease of memory. The rules we forgot about include, but were not limited to: Charges the non-turn player ALSO being able to fight in a melee Acts of Faith Basically every part of Power From Pain except the "Feel no Pain" effect I'm new, forgiveness please. Anyhow, some of this came back to bite me, in the best traditions of gaming. --==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--== The game, then; It was Sisters (and a single space marine Lieutenant for story reasons) vs Dark Eldar, on a points level probably way below the standard for most games. 15 power for the Imperium vs 13 power (and eventual reinforcements) for the Dark Eldar. The Imperium player could score victory points by claiming (standing next to) up to three objectives (represented by paint pots, because I have no suitable objectives at the moment) at a rate of 1 per turn, or by killing the enemy warlord, Idarileth Skinsplitter the Succubus, for a bonus of 3 points. The Dark Eldar player, keeping it simple, would get a point for every dead Imperium model. If they wiped the Imperium faction out, they won by default. Killing the Space Marine Lieutenant would earn 3 points, for parity and to add a little tension. We had 6 turns to grab as many points as possible. The Dark Eldar were placed by throwing dice from a long way off and putting squads where they landed (to represent them already being inside the building), whereas the Sisters were deployed on a pre-determined board edge. Now, on to the narrative required by the Iron Gauntlet, and then the battle itself. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= "So what is the story with Saint Ifrida, then?" Sister Naritha asked, for the third time that week. "I'll tell you once you show me the Dark Eldar," Acemund replied, again. It had been a long few weeks since the contingent from the Order of the Iron Tower had left the company of Captain Barodian and the Storm Eater. Ace had spent much of it in the engine rooms, trying to avoid the prying questions of his travelling companions. Given Naritha's penchant for pestering Ace with questions, this hadn't been the unqualified success he'd hoped for. Meeting with Barodian had worked out for the best, however. Ace had managed to secure the deal he'd hoped for - once he'd hunted down Idarileth Skinsplitter, he had permission to reveal the truth behind the story of the honoured Saint to the Order of the Iron Tower. The clunk of footsteps betrayed the rapid approach of another battle sister, and Estrel popped her head around the corner, gasping for breath. "There you two are! Sister Superior Ramara says you'll need to get ready for action - we've almost arrived!" Sister Estrel called out to Naritha and Acemund. "Arrived where?" Ace replied, bemused. "We haven't been travelling that long, have we?" "We didn't need to," Naritha shrugged. "We were only heading to Cironus." Cironus. The planet where Idarileth Skinsplitter and her comanding Archon, Mephirion the Bleak, had slaughtered the rest of Ace's squad, back when he had just freshly made the rank of sergeant. They'd left Ace for dead, but the White Hawks were, as a rule of thumb, difficult to kill. And good at holding grudges. Idarileth held her own grudge, of course - Ace had killed one of her daughters during the battle, and the Kabal of the Shattered World placed something of an emphasis on family - enough so that Ace's survival had enraged the Succubus into making foolish moves in an attempt to draw him out. It was a trap, surely. It had to be. But Ace hadn't come all this way to turn away from vengeance. Not when it was so close. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= "This must be strange for you," Naritha remarked, as Ace and the sisters made their way away from the landing pad. "Being back here after... what was it, five hundred years?" "Two hundred and seven." Ace grunted. "And no, it isn't strange. I don't recognize this part of the world at all. When I flew here with the Hawks, we fought closer to the poles. It was much, much colder there." There was a long moment of silence as the party continued to walk, before Naritha asked; "Are you alright? You aren't as... talkative as usual." Ace stopped dead in his tracks and fixed Naritha with a hard stare. "I've waited two hundred years for this. I have a chance to kill the creature that killed nine of the brothers that I fought, bled and killed besides for a century. But make no mistake - it is only a chance. This could go wrong and end in death, for all of us. So if I'm not talking, it's because I'm watching everything, and looking for the inevitable trap. I appreciate the attempt at companionship, Naritha, but now is really not the time." Naritha looked taken aback for a moment, and Superior Ramara looked back at the two of them, a glint of amusement in her eyes. "Easy now, Space Marine. We're on the right track," Ramara gestured ahead. "We'll know more once Karinda and Safyl get back." A scant few minutes later, the vox crackled into life. "This is Safyl to Superior Ramara - we've found them. There's an old temple ahead - they've set up camp there." -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= There weren't any guards. Every sense Ace possessed was screaming that this had to be an ambush, but thankfully the Order of the Iron Tower weren't so stupid as to walk blindly into it. The two Sister Superiors, Ramara and Lenadra, motioned their squads around to the side of the temple, moving quietly towards it. The structure was worn and dilapidated in places. Odd symbols showed veneration of the Emperor in strange aspects, such as Cironus' moon, or as a being of blinding fire. After some quiet contemplation, Lenadra gestured to Safyl, and sketched the outline of a door in the air with her pistol. Safyl nodded, brought her meltagun up, and blasted a neat, rectangular hole in the wall with practiced efficiency. Immediately there was a great hue and cry from within the temple, voices calling out in alien tongues. Drukhari. The Kabal of the Shattered World lurked within. Ace stepped forward, drawing both his chainaxes. "In case of ambush, I'll go first." Ramara shrugged. "After you, Space Marine." -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Inside the temple, there was a thrumming in the air, as well as the panicked voices of Dark Eldar in the distance. They were coming to investigate the noise - of course they were. There was a voice amongst the throng - female, authoritative, and without mercy. It should have blended in to the rest of the noise, but the voice of Acemund's hated enemy stood out to him like a ray of sunlight through the clouds. Despite himself, a savage grin formed on Ace's face. Oh please, Emperor and ancestors, let her not realise I'm here, he thought. "Over there," sister Karinda voxed, pointing the other way down the corridor. "They're building some kind of... device. It looks like a controller for something...?" "Whatever it is," Superior Lenadra voxed back, "We're going to shut it down." The tone of the distant voices had changed now. War-chants could be heard as the enemy began to close in. Ace's hands itched to activate his chainaxes, but he forced himself to wait. The machine Karinda had spotted began thrumming, a heinous, pulsing sound as the device began charging up. "Weapons ready, sisters," Ramara voxed. "We're in for a fight!" -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Deployment: Here we go then; the battle at last. Please imagine complex and foul xeno devices where the paint pots are! Nothing happened in the first turn, save for movement. Dark Eldar first, then Imperium. I forgot to take a picture of the end of the first Imperial turn, but I'll recap. The Wracks drew the short straw, being able to rush almost up to the corner of the objective room next to the left-hand group of sisters, but not without getting in range of Estrel's heavy Flamer. Under a torrent of searing flame, three Wracks were put out of their misery, leaving the remaining two out of sight. Then came the counter attack. The Wracks rushed into battle fearlessly, weapons swinging. Estrel survives the onslaught, relying on the strength of her armour to ward off the attack. On the other end of the battlefield, a kabalite warrior steps out and takes a shot at Ace. His armour keeps him from taking a wound, but it sure does make him mad. At this point, I am seriously impressed with the durability of my troops. And then not worrying about forgetting some of the rules comes back to bite me, because we totally skipped charging, with the result that: Ace thumbs the activation runes on his chainaxes (count-as lightning claws on my lieutenant), looses a mighty roar, and... moves his usual 6", stopping short of the kabal warriors. The sisters cut loose with a hail of fire and sister Izumi's heavy bolter shreds one vile xeno into tiny chunks. The warriors respond by forming a firing line, and the Emissary of the Legio Bolter and Chainsword has a moment to experience regret: Fortunately for Ace, he takes seven splinter gun shots at point blank and suffers only a single wound for his trouble. Roaring in fury and hate, the Hawk of Talhon makes ready to push through the storm of firepower. Meanwhile, Estrel does her best to push back against the wracks, but their continued striking with their poison weapons overcomes her armour, and Estrel falls before the Drukhari Flesh-constructs. I forgot to take a picture of the next turn, but let me summarize, narratively. Estrel falls; even as she slumps to the floor, her sister Bethana screams in grief and fury, rushing the alien creatures alongside Superior Ramara and her power sword. The two strike with the limitless fury of the righteous and vengeful, and the Wracks are obliterated. Ace crashes into the kabalite warriors like a thunderstorm breaking, cutting down two of them in a frenetic whirlwind of devastation. Safyl vaporises one warrior with her Melta, and Lenadra drops another with a careful shot from her pistol. Then, as the last kabalite warrior falls back, the Succubus arrives. Idarileth Skinsplitter rushes around the corner and charges into Ace. (Kind of - it wasn't a Charge move, but you get what I mean) I insisted on taking that pic partway through my brother's move. He wasn't thrilled, but the narrative needed it. Hated enemies, long-separated, finally joined in battle. Uttering curses and fury in her alien tongue, Idarileth managed to score two wounds with her Archite Glaive, leaving Ace with a single wound remaining. "Pitiful wretch!" Idarileth snarled. "You won't escape me this time!" Ace grunted a reply, gamely ignoring the deep wounds the xeno had scored on him. "At least your brothers put up a fight," Idarileth sneered. "You can't ev-" Ace suddenly threw himself forward, the pain forgotten, striking relentlessly at the Succubus, reciting the names of his fallen brothers with each swing of his axes. "Beremont! Garril! Yandir! Jorcan! Runis! Macharan! Tumol! Olsius! Morgamus!" (This really looks like Ace is recoiling from taking a smack in the face, which is more or less what happened in this turn) Meanwhile, Ramara's squad is interrupted by the arrival of some Kabalite warriors, while in the distance more Wracks can be heard marching in unison down the distant corridors. Despite the alien's best efforts, the Sisters hold, making a criminal amount of armour saves. The Emperor protects! Acemund was in over his head, and he knew it. There was no realistic way he could keep up with the Succubus - she was too fast, too capable. All his training had barely made any difference, he realised bitterly. "Get around the corner," he heard Lenadra call out on the vox. Avoiding a wild strike from Idarileth, Ace moved awkwardly around the succubus, ducking clear of the corner of the corridor as he did so. Lenadra, Naritha, and the rest of the squad following Ace raced into the fray. Idarileth turned to bring her Agonizer into play against the valiant sisters, and Ace dropped one of his chainaxes, reaching out with the speed of a striking snake, and grasped the whip firmly. Pain shot through him, more so as the Succubus wrenched her weapon free of the Space Marine's grip, but in that time Lenadra's sword found it's mark, cutting Idarileth's leg. Naritha, swinging her bolterin both hands like a club, caught Idarileth in the chest. There was the crunch of breaking bones, and the enraged Succubus staggered back, glaring ice-cold hatred at the sisters. Ignoring Ace, she launched a ferocious blow at Naritha with her Glaive. The Sororitas barely had time to raise a hand before the blow struck, but Superior Lenadra was already moving - stepping across Naritha, she took the strike in her stead, collapsing backwards with a vicious wound in her chest. (In game terms: my brother decided to kill the Battle sisters for easy VP. However, Idarileth failed all but one of her attacks - the one he aimed at Lenadra. Ace would have landed all four of his attacks, and wounded with all four, except Idarileth kept making her Dodge save!) (Naritha clobbering Idarileth with a bolter still worked fine, I guess I just need sharper chainaxes) Meanwhile, the Dark Eldar on the other front concentrated their fire on Superior Ramara. The sheer volume of firepower directed at her meant, inevitably, something found it's mark, and she fell to her knees, struggling to rise, leaning on her sword, a desperate prayer to The Emperor on her lips. Bethana, still screaming the name of her fallen sister, loosed a tide of cleansing fire over the cackling xenos, slaying two of them. Karinda's bolter managed to punch through the armour of another, but Power from Pain spared the Dark Eldar another casualty. Acemund of Talhon struck as though The Emperor himself guided his hand. Idarileth's supernatural speed availed her nought. Landing two ferocious blows in rapid succession, the wounded marine found himself slumping to one knee even as the Succubus stumbled in front of him. Ace dropped his remaining chainaxe as Idarileth slumped forward against him, pushing her back roughly, so she fell to her knees barely a pace away from him. In one quick motion, Ace wrenched his helmet free. Blood trickled from his face as he fixed the injured Succubus with a grim stare. Idarileth looked, for the first time, frightened. "You're not-" Ace began, drawing his combat knife. In the blink of an eye, Idarileth lashed him with her Agonizer - not a killing strike, but enough to make Ace drop his knife with a roar of anguish. As the Drukhari tensed to leap to her feet, sister Safyl brought the weight of her meltagun down on the back of Idarileth's head. There was a sickening crunch, and the Succubus crumpled like wet paper. Ace stared at the broken body of his most hated foe, then turned a rueful gaze on Safyl, who reached down to help the Space Marine upright. "Sorry. I know you wanted to kill her." "...It's fine." Ace sighed, and took Safyl's hand as the sororitas leaned into pulling him upright. "A dead enemy is a dead enemy." A familiar voice came over the vox, audibly shaking. "This is Bethana - we l-lost Estrel and Superior Ramara... I think that's all of the aliens." It wasn't, of course. One cheeky kabalite warrior took another couple of shots at Ace but missed both of them, so I'm skipping over that. I did take a picture though, so there it is, one Warrior's poor accuracy immortalized for all to see. The Final Turn: The advancing Wracks moved into cover, seeking to make it impossible for Bethana and company to engage. To be fair, they were too far away to successfully reach me anyhow. Likewise the other Kabalite warriors, who couldn't reach the heavily injured space marine or any of Safyl's squad. -+- So with Idarileth dead for 3 points, and two devices activated in one turn, that's 5 Imperial Victory Points, scored against the Kabal's 3 Victory Points for slain Battle Sisters. IMPERIAL VICTORY ACHIEVED! -+- -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- "Put an axe in that machine. You're hurt, leave the fighting to us," Naritha ordered Ace. The White Hawk couldn't help but spare a glance to where Lenadra had fallen. She was sat, slumped against the wall, her eyes closed, a peaceful expression on her face. Sister Uthenya knelt beside her, a hand on her Superior's shoulder as she recited a benediction to The Emperor. "Now!" Naritha roared, breaking Ace from his reverie. Wordlessly the Space Marine picked up his axe, stumbled to the xeno device in front of him, and hacked it clean in half with a double-handed strike. The rumbling noise it had been producing faltered and grew silent. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Bethana scrambled over to her sister, dropping to her knees and lifting Estrel into an embrace as she wept openly. "Bethana, there's more Eldar incoming," sister Karinda reminded her, as gently as she could under the circumstances. Bethana didn't reply instantly. "We need you," Sister Oriko urged, glancing nervously down the corridor. Bethana let loose a deep, shuddering sigh. "Oh Estrel, why didn't you wait for me?" She sobbed, mournfully. There was a clattering at the corner. Oriko and Karinda turned their attention to the approaching Warriors, filling the corridor with a hail of bolts, roaring the battle cry of the Order. "Forged in Faith! Tempered in War!" Bethana began lowering her sister to the floor. Estrel let out a sudden gasp, her eyes flickering open as she yelped in pain. "Estrel!" Bethana practically squealed. "You're alive?" "I-I'm alive?" Estrel echoed, bewilderment on her face. "Bethie, I saw Him! I saw the Emperor! I-I mean, I think I did..." Estrel squeezed her sister's hand. "Sisters!" Oriko shouted, pleadingly, as splinter rounds pinged off her armour. Bethana grabbed her flamer, her expression grim, but her eyes bright. "Tell me later, Estrel. I'm not letting any more of us die today!" -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Clearing out the remnants of the Drukhari didn't take long. Their alien devices were disabled and destroyed, and found to link to what looked like a crude attempt at shaping a webway portal from plasteel parts, in the back of the cathedral. Sister Uthenya had voxed through to a nearby Navy vessel, and they'd sent word to the nearest Order forces. Reinforcements, with explosives enough to flatten the temple, were incoming. Sisters Superior Ramara and Lenadra were carried out of the temple. The sisters of the Iron Tower - Estrel miraculously still amongst them - saw to the bodies, washing them, binding their wounds, cleaning and polishing their weapons and armour. Acemund sat and watched the sisters go about their work. He could see the pain in their eyes, but he could tell by the practiced nature of their actions that the Order of the Iron Tower were no strangers to the pain of loss. After a long interval, replete with prayers and hard work in equal measure, Naritha came and sat by Ace. She said nothing, and the two of them simply sat, keeping vigil over the bodies of the slain. After an hour or so, Naritha's stomach began to gurgle. She was about to excuse herself and search out some food when Ace spoke. "She fled, in the end. Saint Ifrida. She led an army at Syphrian against the traitorous Hatecrowned. The White Hawks and the Brotherhood of Crows had kill-teams assigned to the Saint's protection. The Hatecrowned and the cults accompanying them simply terrified her, and she listened to her fear. She died running, being shot in the back by cultists." "She fled? There's stories about Ifrida's courage." Naritha said, mildly. "I grew up hearing them." "That's all they were, stories." Acemund shrugged. "The Church asked both Chapters to keep silent on the matter, after the fact." Ace turned his gaze to the sky. "Ifrida was sainted as a healer - she cured the Grey Withering, after all - and mostly she's only lionized as a great warrior because that's what inspires people to fight." After a long moment, Naritha shrugged. "I don't know what Ramara hoped to do with that information. I'm not even sure it's worth telling to the rest of the Order." "That's up to you." Ace shrugged, and turned his attention back to the bodies of Ramara and Lenadra. "What I do know is that those two women died so your Order could fulfil a promise, and they showed courage in the face of death, far beyond anything Saint Ifrida herself did." "I wonder what stories will be told of them?" Naritha sighed. Ace turned to face Naritha, and smiled for the first time since making planetfall. "Good ones. I guarantee it." "They'd better be," Naritha countered. "Don't overshadow them with your own vengeance." "About that..." Acemund sighed. "That wasn't Idarileth." "What?" Naritha looked at Ace, puzzled. "I've seen the pict-captures - they looked just like her." "It was her daughter," Ace continued. "The one I killed at the last battle at Cironus. I recongized her eyes, just before Safyl broke her skull open. I assume the Kabal's flesh-smiths adjusted her to look like her mother with some fell sorcery or the like." Ace waved a hand dismissively. "She knew I wanted vengeance on her mother. I've been hunting the wrong enemy all this time." Naritha opened her mouth to reply, but hesitated. "In any case, she's dead." Ace shrugged. "And about to be cremated by a lot of firepower. I doubt she's going to come back for a third round." "What will you do now?" Naritha asked, warily. "Go back to the Legio," Ace replied. "My mission's over. There will be more, inevitably." Naritha nodded a few times. "This is farewell, then?" "Oh, no. It'd take The Emperor himself to keep me from attending your sisters' death ceremony. I owe them at least that much. And by then I'll have finished the saga of their last stand. It would be only fair to recite it, and to show that they will be remembered in halls far beyond here." "Maybe it'll become as popular as Saint Ifrida's tales," Naritha mused. "It might," Ace replied. "Who knows? Maybe the tale will get as far as Terra itself." "Perhaps even The Emperor will hear it one day," Naritha said, a genuine smile creeping across her face. "Maybe one day," Ace agreed, solemnly. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Phew, that's finally done. And with it, my battle report for the Iron Gauntlet 2020. Hopefully it was even done in time! This was a lot of fun - I'll probably do another report like this if I get chance to play again. We might even use all the rules next time! Anyhow - if you've read this far, thank you very much for putting up with my badly-played game, clunky story and poorly explained narrative (I swear it makes sense in the wider context of the Iron Gauntlet stuff). EDIT: Fixed some clunky grammar.
  4. "Everybody hold on!" yelled the driver, and the occupants of the Chimera felt themselves thrown around in their restraints as their driver began to take evasive action. The IFV shook as an impact rattled the ground--T'au munitions, to be sure. "All platoons, report in!" Captain Burke half-yelled into his mic. "First Platoon, no casualties, sir!" after a few seconds' delay. "Second Platoon, all accounted for, sir!" "Fourth Platoon, we've lost a squad but we still have our heavy guns!" "Fifth Platoon, this is Sergeant First Class Evenson. We lost our command track, but otherwise we're fit for fight." "Third Platoon, come in! Third platoon, report!" the captain asked. His adjutant grabbed his arm. "Sir, third platoon was leading the formation. There's no chance they survived if the T'au volley targeted on the center of our line!" The captain slammed the receiver down into its cradle. "Emperor damn it! We can't lose a fifth of our firepower and expect to win this!" "We can if we contact the Firepower, sir!" the lieutenant shouted. Burke nailed Hartmann with a glare. "And if I do that we surrender all the glory of this battle to the Dawn Blades. Except that damned crazy Apothecary, none of them have a stake in this. These frakking Tau have cost the Guard a lot of good men and I'll be ashamed to go to the Golden Throne and tell the God-Emperor we failed to exact vengeance for them. The Astartes stay in orbit! Now get me the Colonel on the line! We have our own elites and I intend to use them! And find out where the hell our sentinel support went off to!” "Aye Aye Captain!" Lieutenant Hartmann turned to his communications officer and began to contact Regimental HQ to see about acquiring some Scion support, and the accompanying air support. A short company of mechanized infantry against a numerically and technologically superior Tau battlewing. It hardly seemed fair. For the Tau. =][= Cantorellia=][= Captain Broklaw hunched his Sentinel down below a wall, dropping the frame of his combat walker out of sight. Volleys of light speared over his position as a hail of pulse fire came his way. Glancing down at his tac net, he could see that the fifth company was strung out behind him in a loose formation, their walkers dodging under fire. Smoke trails and tracer rounds denoted their return fire. Taking several seconds to reorder his thoughts, the captain began barking orders over the vox, instructing his men to prepare for a coordinated assault. After a count of five on his vox, the Captain's walker sprung from the ruin along with seventy-odd other light combat walkers, guns blazing. While the Tau Shieldwall had been well sited to defend against an attack, it was manned to only repel probing attacks and provide a warning in case of a concentrated assault. Such as this one. Just because the Cantorellians had been cautious on their approach didn't mean that they didn't have the means to break this defensive line in a matter of minutes. Volleys of missiles and light beams lanced from his troops' weapon mounts, and the gunrig that formed the left anchorpoint of the line shuddered and then exploded as a lascannon beam found a reactor and detonated it. With the gunrig destroyed, the Fire Warriors manning the wall began to fall back, executing smooth movements that would have put a group of Cadians to shame as they executed their retreat. The right gunrig continued to fire on automatic as it was abandoned, but a second volley of rockets silenced it as well, blowing the railgun off of its mount and destroying its hover-plates. As it died, however, it began to hiss a light green vapor, which the Captain instantly recognized as the deadly chemical weapon the sept had deployed some fifty years prior, and which had killed uncounted millions of guardsmen and a not inconsiderable number of Astartes already. Fortunately, despite its lethality, it was still a gas, and there were certain countermeasures against that. "CBRN protocols, now!" Canner shouted into the vox, sealing his Sentinel's vents as he did so. Screens flickered on and provided him a camera view of the battlefield, with a targeting grid for his laacannon overlaid on top. He didn’t like the techheads much, but they certainly knew how to coax the most out of a machine’s spirit. Within the next several minutes, Fifth Company had destroyed the remains of the shieldwall and run down the surviving infantry—mechanical walkers moved far faster and just as agile as foot-bound troops did, and the Fire Warriors had brought little anti-tank weaponry. There were a few casualties here and there, with lucky shots from pulse rifles finding joints or ammunition feeds, but on the whole the operation had been executed within excellent parameters. After the mop-up, Captain Broklaw called the platoon commanders together for a brief meeting. “Alright people, we’ve got our outflank. Now it’s time to support the Third’s assault. Second and Third platoons, you take the left echelon. Fourth and Fifth will be on the right. I’ll take first platoon and drive the spear. Relay the news it down the line, take a quick break and reload your weapons, we move in three. Third company’s got little time left before they hit the Tau lines. Any questions?” “No sir!” Was the general response. That was good. Everyone had been extensively briefed on the mission prior to departing on it. If anyone had had any questions, there would have been...problems. Two minutes and thirty seconds later, the entire company, minus three damaged or destroyed sentinels, was on the march again into the plains. =][=Cantorellia=][= The vox hissed as the Valkyrie gunship rattled through the air. Captain Jameson smacked the receiving button, opening the line. “SEAL team here,” he screamed, his voice cutting through the engine’s roar. “Captain, Lieutenant Hartmann with Third company, we’ve got some T’au arse we’re fixing to kick, if you and your team would care to join us. We’ve lost a platoon in the charge and could really, REALLY use a hand with manpower. Colonel’s already authorized your deviation from your current target. The Captain checked his datapad and saw a pending message from Colonel Zenara. “Lieutenant, I’ve got the approval right here. We will divert in thirty seconds. You and your commander will have five cans of whoop-arse in four minutes, fifteen seconds. Transmit your attack plans to my pad. Jameson out.” He cut the connection and opened another one to his platoon. “Alright ladies, we’ve got a hot drop coming up here in a couple minutes. Rack your slides and saddle up, people. You have four minutes to get ready, and then we’re in freefall to kill some xenos. Ride the waves!” “And die upon them!” Came the echo from his command squad, and across the vox. It was the traditional SEAL battlecry, rallying cry, and generic morale yell, and it never failed to bring a savage smile to the Scion commander’s face. He stood up and attached his hook to the drop rail, and cut the connection on the vox. “Alright boys,” he said, turning to his command squad, “looks like we get a chance to spill xeno blood today.” He drew his sidearm and gave it a quick once-over, double-checking that the powerpack was connected properly, before pulling his power sword out of its sheathe just enough to ensure it was there. “How many bluies we killing today, Captain?” Asked Staff Sergeant Piers. “As many as you can gun down with that plasma gun, Piers, and then some,” the Captain promised. “We all buttoned up, boys?” A round of resounding ayes answered his inquiry. “Alright then!” He turned to the ramp and keyed the built-in vox in his helmet, closing the visor as he did so. “Ensign Morgan, how are we for bullets?” “Sir, we have a full load of ammunition and we are two minutes out from the drop zone. Pucker up everybody, you’re going to want to wish you’re going to miss this. I don’t know what kinda flak these guys are going to have set up, but for damn sure what they’ve got is going to hurt bad if we get hit.” “Roger that ensign, I trust your shooting to get us safely to the ground.” “Yes sir,” came the reply. Jameson could hear the prideful smirk in his voice. It was well earned, of course. The only reason Morgan wasn’t a higher rank was due to his typical sailor’s habit of getting drunk and disorderly on shore leave. His combat record was otherwise impeccable, and had gotten multiple commendations for bravery under fire. There was a reason he was the Captain’s preferred pilot. =][=Cantorellia=][= Shas’Vre Me’lek Des’mon kept an idle eye on the skies above as his contingent of Hammerheads fired continual rail gun blasts against the horizon. The Gue’la tracked machines were coming across the field, belching smoke from smokestacks and smokescreen grenades. “Shas’el,” he asked, glancing down into the body of the hover tank, “when will the Gue’la be in effective range?” “Two minutes, sir,” his subordinate answered. “Very good. Continue firing as you have solutions. Release the drones from their mounts when the Gue’la come in range.” “Yes sir.” The Shas’Vre looked at the sky. Suddenly, there were some...what were those specks, exactly? And were they...growing larger? What the hell were those? =][=Cantorellian=][= Captain Broklaw smirked as his company emerged from the tall grasses. Whoever the T’au commander was, he was stupid for trusting another commander for protecting his back lines. Fifth company had blown through that defense line like it was nothing; but had it been connected to his own command he would have had warning of what was coming. He didn’t have that now. He keyed the command vox and let it cast static on the line four times, as had been prearranged with Third company. He then switched back over to the company vox and let out a ululating yell. It echoed back across the vox from a hundred xenocidal troopers as the company broke into a run in their walkers. Cries of alarm came from the Tau lines as their tanks and gunships slowly swung around to face them, as well as a swarm of drones arising from various locations across the battle line. A hail of gunfire rose to meet them as the Cantorellians advanced into a slowly increasing patter of pulse fire. For the most part it splashed off the armor, but some walkers took enough damage to put them to the ground. The trio of Hammerheads finally came about and began to open fire, their railguns sounding off bolts of death. A Devilfish caught several lascannon shots and caught fire before crashing into the ground and carving a furrow several meters long before exploding. As the firepower became too intense, Broklaw gave the order to scatter. The platoons broke away from each other, putting distance between them to avoid being caught in a crossfire. Once they were properly undercover, Candon Broklaw laughed as the armored first of the Emperor crashed into the now-turned T’au lines. =][=Cantorellian=][= “Alright, drop the ramp in three, two, one!” “For Cantorellia and the Emperor!” Came the battle cry as the sergeant’s men charged out the back of the Chimera. They rapidly took up defensive positions and began to open fire on the Tau lines. Whoever the commander was, Gunnery Sergeant Rainwater reflected as he shot a Fire Warrior in the back, he was an idiot. =][=Cantorellian=][= The wind howled around the Captain’s face as he hurtled toward the ground. HALO insertions had been a favorite of his ever since he’d first jumped out of a Valkyrie. When he was 150 meters up, he triggered his grav chute and felt himself be yanked up as gravity lessened its pull upon him thanks to the techpriests’ works. He drew his weapons as he reached fifty meters, and at five he killed the pack and cut a Tau clean in half with the downstroke of his sword. His command squad landed around him and promptly opened fire, scything down a fireteam of breachers who were caught off guard. A hundred meters away, third squad closed in on a Hammerhead and managed to get a melta bomb up something approximating a tailpipe, with a few plasma shots into the main gun for good measure. As a result, it shuddered twice before crashing into the ground, useless. Under a triple-pronged assault of mechanized infantry, several Sentinel troops, and the SEAL platoon’s firepower, the T’au line was quickly being crippled. Eventually, however, the T’au managed to get their lines in order, and the hovertanks managed to find some cover from the attacks. What ensued was a long, drawn-out firefight, with reinforcements trickling in for both sides over the span of two hours. Additional SEAL squads and Valkyrie air strikes against the T’au lines were counteracted by T’au air strikes and a few Crisis teams that were in the vicinity. Eventually, though, despite close to ten percent casualties, the Cantorellian forces managed to win the day. The commanders of the three strike teams came together to conference once the battle was over. =][=Cantorellian=][= Shas’El Me’Lek Al’wra double-checked his fusion blaster. He was eligible for a more advanced battlesuit, but the stealth capabilities of his XV-25 as well as the weapon it carried had been his preferred weapon for a very long time. He’d just gotten word that a batch of Gue’la regulars had broken one of his key defensive lines. It would require retaking. Allowing the breach to remain would threaten a key supply line, which was of course the reasons the Gue’la had attacked there. There was also the matter of the Gue’ron’sha force. Too many targets had already been destroyed by their forces. But he would deal with that after destroying the Gue’la regulars. =][=Cantorellian=][= Captain Burke quickly took command of the meeting—which he held in his command track—though he spent much of it moaning and muttering under his breath as a medic tended a pulse burn on his upper left arm. “Alright men, we’ve got our breakout. Regiment wants us to hold this position until the irregulars can get here and fortify the area, which means we have two days for the PDF to get their arses in gear and march in here. Captain Jameson, the colonel has authorized one squad of your platoon to remain behind and bolster our lines. The rest of your team is free to go and carry out the operation we diverted you from—would you stop that?” He snapped at the medic, who had just applied an antiseptic wipe to the wound. “Sir, if I don’t clean this the wound is going to get infected.” “Do you have to clean it this minute?” “If you don’t cooperate I can and will sedate you, sir, so that I can. If you want to keep operational command, you will allow me to do this right now.” “Fine.” The captain turned to the map table in front of him. “Candon, I want two platoons out as pickets, one platoon in reserve for mobile fire support, and your other two platoons anchoring our flanks.” He pointed on the map to indicate the ends of the line. “My company will array themselves behind these ridges, using the craters and wrecks as cover where needed for our Chimeras. Unfortunately, we’ve taken some serious casualties, so we’ll have to be concentrated somewhat to prevent a weak spot in our lines.” Candon leaned over the table, and looked at Captain Burke. “When can we expect reinforcements from regiment?” “First company will be arriving tomorrow night, about ten hours ahead of the PDF,” Burke answered. He quickly consulted his datapad. “And if we absolutely have to, there is a squad of Astartes assigned to our regiment who can be here in two hours by Stormraven.” “But if we do that we admit we’re not strong enough to handle it, or isn’t that right, Captain?” commented Lt. Hartmann. He was given a slap to the face for his troubles. “Lieutenant, I believe you have duties *elsewhere*,” the captain growled. “Aye sir,” muttered the Lieutenant, rubbing his bruised cheek as he left. Burke groaned as the medic finished bandaging the wound. “Alright sir, if you need that dressing changed, come see me. And if I see you outside of a chimera during a firefight for any reason except escaping it’s burning hulk, you and I are going to have problems,” he threatened. “Ahh. You’re dismissed, Corporal.” “Aye sir,” he said with a salute. The captain returned it with his left arm, his right occupied in a sling. “What sort of chemical measures can we expect, Captain Burke?” Broklaw asked. “We’re expecting the Silence at a minimum, and maybe some other experimental weapons as well. Tell your men to keep their masks on them at all times. One whiff of the stuff and you’re dead.” “Understood. I’ll have my men stay in their walkers as much as they can.” He replaced his cap upon his head. “I’ll have my boys start spreading out, but if you’ve got a tech priest or two laying around I’ve got some troops could use the help.” Burke nodded. “I’ll see what I can do. Captain Jameson, do you need anything before your rides come pick you up?” “No, I think we have everything. Third squad will stay behind with you along with their Valkyrie, Captain, and they’ll be under your direct command til regiment decides otherwise. I’ll be departing in fifteen minutes.” With that he departed the command track, joining up with his waiting command squad. “A day and a half for the T’au to launch a counterattack whenever they thrones-damned feel like.” Burke sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. He sincerely hoped that Captain Broklaw would be able to scout and screen any incoming forces—it would mostly be fast-attack units, he figured, and mounted units like he had used to break the T’au’s lines. It would be a race of reinforcements. Perhaps he should have held more of the SEAL teams back. He had a hunch by the time all was said and done, he would have liked to have had them fighting along side his troops. Fin....for now.
  5. This thread is to function as a repository for those completing the second challenge of the Iron Gauntlet, as well as a place for challengers to post models for feedback and 'ooh, pretty' comments. Challenge the Second is open to both returning challengers from challenge one, as well as new challengers who have a desire to build or paint a DIY force. List of Participants (to be updated): Ace Debonair commissar_roach Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch Gederas Focslain Grotsmasha Lexington Lysimachus Trokair UtariOnzo Valkia the Bloody
  6. Index Questoris: House Ishard The Legend Ask any member of House Ishard, noble house of the Questoris Imperialis, and they will tell you the same story of their founding, for all are taught the tale as soon as they are able to sit long enough to listen. The legend goes that the founding of House Ishard came before the dark days of the Horus Heresy. The planet they come from, Novala, was a garden like agri world settled during the Age of Strife when human settlers arrived in vast colonisation ships. As contact was lost with Terra the planet fell into warring smaller kingdoms of psuedo fuedal techno barbarians where the planets aristocracy dueled with lance and sword over the planets vast green fields. These duels often escalated into full fledged wars that could span continents and involve hundred of warriors. When these conflicts truly escalated it wasn’t uncommon for the planets aristocracy to take to the field in their ancient war machines, known as Knights. These relic war machines were heralds of a bygone era and were as devastating as they were rare. Vast battle cannons would level whole fortresses and massive feet crushed scores of warriors. To command one of these war machines was the highest of honours among the planets nobility yet even amoungst the knightly houses the rule of the aristocracy was supreme. Those houses determined to be more pure and noble lorded over the lesser houses, using their position to use these lower houses to brutally oppress the planets other inhabitants. One of these so called lesser knight pilots was a young noble by the name of Tristain. Tristain served as a squire for the King of Lothaine, one of the smaller kingdoms on the shores of one of the worlds great seas. He was an indentured warrior, piloting one of the armiger class knights, whom was often sent on whatever menial and demeaning tasks his King Marek could think of. Despite this Tristain served with honour and distinction, never once balking from the tasks he was set. It was during once such task he faced in one on one combat the champion of one of the greater kingdoms. Despite he being only in an armiger helverine and the enemy piloting a paladin class knight he was able to bring down the foe, although taking great damage in the process. In recognition for his deed in honour of his lord he was given a slightly less menial task. He was sent to retrieve a new wife for his King, the Princess Ishard of Kaenwall, whom was promised to his liege lord in exchange for military alliances. The young Tristain, now bereft of his crippled knight mount, set out on foot and then by sea to the Kingdom of Kaenwall where he met and set out again with the young lady Ishard. While on the journey back, however, the two grew close and eventually fell in love. When they returned to the court of Lothaine Tristain did his duty and handed over to his King his new bride, despite it breaking his heart to do so. Despite his noble intentions, however, the young Tristain couldn’t deny his heart and the two kept up a secret affair whilst Tristain stayed at court. It was an state of affairs that wasn’t to last as Marek became jealous of the attention his young bride showed the young knight. Although he never discovered their affair he had his suspicions and so King Marek sent Tristain on a impossible quest that would certainly be his death. Learning of this the Princess Ishard begged Tristain not to go, but to run away with her. But to Tristain to abandon his duty would be worse then dying and so he set out on the quest he had been given. What the quest itself was is never certain. Indeed it is said that the tale of Tristain’s great quest varies on whatever lesson the Preceptor at the time is attempting to teach but what part of the tale that remains the same is that without a knightly mount it would have been impossible and Tristain’s warmachine was still crippled from his duel. He prayed to whatever god was listening and was said to have been sent a vision of a white leopard that led him to the sea shore where he could see a wooded isle. He would eventually sail to the island after repeated dreams of the leopard and found on the isle a cave that led deep beneath the earth. What had seemed an island soon turned out to be the remains of one of the great colonial ships that had brought his people to the world in the first place and the cave one of the remaining entries to the catacomb of ship works beneath. Within this ancient structure Tristain managed to stumble across a great store of the ancient war machines that had laid dormant here for so long. Tristain was able to activate one of these ancient knights, a massive Cerastus Knight-Castigator. He would take this relic of glorious wars past and go on to complete his task as given. When he returned to Marek the king was surprised but not disappointed for he now had a rare and highly powered relic in the Cerastus, despite its Throne Mechanicum refusing to accept him as pilot. Still, the King reasoned, Tristain was his loyal servant and would pilot it in his name. Tristain and Ishard soon resumed their affair, despite initial hesitations, but were soon discovered in the midst of their tryst in King Marek’s garden. He flew into a rage and attempted to slay the young knight whom fled. Marek locked Ishard away in his fortress and Tristain fled back to the isle where he had discovered the Cerastus, taking the war machine with him. It was here he was visited by another vision where the leopard led him to where he saw himself at the head of a great army that freed all on his world from the oppression of the planets nobility to live as equals. Filled with new hope at this vision, and perhaps some prompting from the lost voices of the Cerastus’ Throne Mechanicum, he set himself a new quest. Soon the legend of Sir Tristain Hopebringer began to spread many were drawn to his banner, that of six emerald leopards on a field of white. Despite his love for Ishard never waining he married the Princess of another Kingdom, Ishard of the White Hands, for her name and her beauty. Despite living together for a long time in the castle Tristain had built on the Isle, Tristain still pined for Ishard of Kaenwall and his new wife knew it. Still the two ruled side by side and began to forge a new kingdom of freemen. Eventually his actions drew the attention of King Marek whom led a band of himself and his five best knights to slay the knight whom had dared defy him. They made battle, six against one, on the shore beside Tristain’s isle and despite being out numbered Tristain managed to best the six sent against him. As Tristain confronted in person the wounded King Marek the King struck him with a poisonous blade before he died. Tristain was taken to his castle where he lay dying. He was visited by a wise man whom told his that only his true love could cure his and he sent word to the now Queen Ishard of Kaenwall to come to his aid. He told his messenger to fly white sails on their ship when they returned if Ishard same and black sails if she didn’t. When word came of the messengers return the dying Tristain asked his wife what coloured sails the ship flew. She, in a fit of jealousy, told him the sails were black. Broken hearted the young Tristain breathed his last, as Ishard of Kaenwall made her way from the docks. Queen Ishard had brought her young son to see his father for she had soon discovered she was with child during Tristain’s exile. When she found her lover’s body she was broken hearted but swore Tristain and her son would continue his father’s legacy. On the day he came of age and was able to take over piloting his father’s Cerastus knight it is said she made her way to Tristain’s grave where she lay down and died from grief, her duty done. Tristain’s son, whom his mother had also named Tristain, would prove worthy of his namesake and father’s legacy and would forge a new knightly house and kingdom that would eventually rise to dominance on Novala. A house he named for his mother as House Ishard, whilst still taking his father’s crest. And so was House Ishard formed. Leopard Ascendant Or so the legend goes. It was been passed down for countless millennia, often changing and changing back on subsequent retelling. No matter their original myth the knights of House Ishard soon lived up to their founder’s legacy following the arrival of the Emperor’s Great Crusade. Although the Emperor himself didn’t arrive on Novala his warriors did. Novala put up no resistance to their arrival. House Ishard’s ruler, Tristain the Younger’s great grandson Palanis Ishard, immediately recognized the Divine Authority of the Emperor’s emissaries and bent the knee, with much of his house holds warriors joining the Crusade. They would go on to win great glory for the house only for much of their glory to be undone in the dark days of the Heresy that followed. Indeed much of the forces that left Novala ended up being destroyed when they refused to renounce their loyalty to Terra by the forces they fought alongside. In the millenia that have followed, however, House Ishard have proven themselves worthy of their founder’s legacy time and time again on countless worlds and against innumerable foes. Where the Imperium’s need is at its greatest the Knights of House Ishard are often to be found, fighting for the common man from the cruelty of tyrants.
  7. This thread is to function as a repository for those completing the Final Challenge of the Iron Gauntlet, as well as a place for challengers to post snippets of their stories for feedback and constructive critisicm. This challenge is open to all who have participated in any of the previous challenges, as well as those who wish to join this challenge with a story about a DIY organization. First Round of Participants (8-17-2020 to 10-17-2020): TechCaptain Harlan Skorus Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch Second Round of Participants (10-17-2020 to 12-17-2020): fThird Round of Participants (12-17-2020 to 2-17-2021) h
  8. This thread is to function as a repository for those completing the third challenge of the Iron Gauntlet, though links to seperate battle reports are both encouraged and required. This challenge is open to all who have participated in any of the previous challenges, as well as anyone who wishes to post a battle report of a game played with a DIY organization force. Those who participated in challenge two are required to use a majority of the force created in challenge two, though that force does not have to be a majority of your army (e.g. Johnny painted Guard, and chooses to bring three squads of infantry and a company commander, which is a force greater than half his original force of six infantry and a company commander. He is allowed to bring a detachment of Adeptus Astartes which by unit count may number more than half of his force.) First Round of Participants (8-17-2020 to 10-17-2020): sSecond Round of Participants (10-17-2020 to 12-17-2020): fThird Round of Participants (12-17-2020 to 2-17-2021) h
  9. This thread is to function as a repository for those completing the penultimate challenge of the Iron Gauntlet, as well as a place for challengers to post models and rules for feedback and either 'ooh, pretty' or 'come on, that's OP!' comments. This challenge is open to all who have participated in any of the previous challenges, as well as those who wish to join this challenge with DIY characters. First Round of Participants (8-17-2020 to 10-17-2020): LySiMachus Trokair Focslain Llagos_Tyrant Second Round of Participants (10-17-2020 to 12-17-2020): TechCaptain Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch Third Round of Participants (12-17-2020 to 2-17-2021) h
  10. So, as part of the Iron Gauntlet Challenges I committed to playing a game between 17th Dec and 17th Feb. I chose Kill Team obvs, using the 2 teams I'd built and painted during an earlier Challenge. 125pt Kill Teams as follows: Emperor's Blade (Salamanders) Adeptus Astartes Brother Sgt Rufus - 20pts (Special datasheet inc. Combat Specialist) Sister Superior Phoebe - 17pts (Special datasheet) *see my Kill Team thread for the sheets. Brother Andronicus (Sniper Specialist) - 16pts Intercessor Gunner, Bolt Rifle, Aux Grenade Launcher Brother Herodian - 15pts Intercessor, Bolt Rifle Sister Julia - 12pts Tactical Marine Sister Lydia - 16pts Company Veteran, Flamer Sister Dorcas (Heavy Specialist) - 16pts Tactical Marine Gunner, Heavy Bolter Marcus, Chapter Serf (Leader Specialist) - 13pts Scout Sgt, Sniper Rifle, Camo Cloak V. Black Hammers (Renegade Chapter) Heretic Astartes Berzerker Champion (Combat Specialist) - 20pts Plasma Pistol, Power Axe Terminator Champion - 35pts Mark of Slaanesh, Combi-plasma, Lightning Claw Chaos Space Marine Gunner (Sniper Specialist) - 16pts Mark of Slaanesh, Plasma Gun Chaos Space Marine Gunner - 16pts Mark of Slaanesh, Heavy Bolter Chaos Space Marine - 12pts Bolter Chaos Cultist Champion (Leader Specialist) - 5pts Autogun Chaos Cultist Gunner (Demolitions Specialist) - 8pts Flamer Chaos Cultist Gunner - 5pts Heavy Stubber Chaos Cultist - 4pts Autogun Chaos Cultist - 4pts Autogun Mission was a standard Matched Play Sweep and Clear on the board below: Emperor's Blade won Strategic Advantage 6-5 and chose the top right corner. Deployment followed as shown in the next pic, HA set aside a CP for the Termi to Teleport Strike. Next post I'll get into the first turn! Thanks for looking!
  11. So below is my attempt of a fiction piece for the last challenge of the Iron Gauntlet. My original plan had been to dramatize the battle report from the previous challenge from the point of view of my Sisters of Battle. But alas I never managed to get the battle report done due to the current world issues so instead what I have written is a precursor to the scenario my opponent and I had devised for that battle report. For reference it was going to be an ambush by Genestealer Cult of a Priest (and his supporting crusaders) who had to hold out for a few turns before being rescued by the Sisters. So the below is the reason why the priest was out in a place to be ambushed. I am aware that the word count is too low to actually complete the challenge, but with a week to go this is what I have and padding it for the sake of a word limit would not do. If I can think of some further bit that is can add to improve it I will. Edit: Added a second bit, the further set up the ambush for when the actual game gets played. Wrote it in a bit of the rush, but it should be just enough for the deadline is tomorrow. Faith and Bandits in the Lowlands --- For attention of: His Reverence Cardinal Bernardo Justo Location: Hive Signus – St Kiodrus Cathedral – Cardinals Office. Sender: Missionary Karand ost Merenif 4.373.891.M41 His Most Reverend Eminence Forgive this humble servant for the breach in protocol in writing to you directly. However I see no other course of action open to me in my duties to him on Terra and his representative, His Eminence, here on Maruntie IV. I am a Missionary who brings the faith to the scattered communities in the lowlands, traveling amongst them to see to their spiritual need. While they make up but a fraction of your flock and far from the Hive and Cathedral Ward I bid thee to hear my concerns. I speak not just for myself but for those fellow priest that serve these far flung parishes, I have spoken to many of them and we all have found that in recent months our reports and requests have fallen on deaf ears or simply never arrived at the Pontifex and Decons offices charged with oversight of these remote parishes. To be concise there are two points we wish to put to you, the first is for you to send a representative with the power to adjudge doctrinal integrity of a rising and spreading faith out here in the lowlands. What little the local preachers and I, in my travels have learned, is that this new sect appears to be within the dictates of doctrine permissible, but I am no scholar of High Edicts but just a traveling priest. Furthermore both the consistency of this new creed amongst scattered communities, and that fact that I am yet to meet a prophet, priest or preacher, just local adherence leaves me with a sense of unease. It is always a blessing when the common folk find faith beyond the everyday work and show such adamant venerance and zeal. However I have trodden the ways and paths between these scattered folk for near on a decade and the change over time speaks of a powerful and charismatic speaker, and yet no such person is in evidence. The other request I have is for you to petition the nobel Governor and the Magistrate of the Adeptus Arbites to send forces to hunt down and deal with an increasing outlaw and bandit problem. There have been raids and ambushes that are more than just the normal bands of scavengers taking a target of opportunity. Before my days here I served alongside several imperial guard regiments and the description of local survivors of these raids, plus one I lived through myself while in a supply convoy from the hive to one of the larger mining towns, speak to a degree of training and coordination that is more befitting a platoon than scavengers. I recently spoke to Mr Mordecai Drisso, chief overseer at one of the largest mining towns here in the lowlands, and he reported looses of both shipments sent back to the Hive for processing and equipment to these raiders. One of Mr Drisso staff, Nyska Thrace, later told me that they estimate a fourteen percent decrees in output from their mines due to the raiders, with another few percent lost due to low morale and difficulty in finding replacement workers for those killed in the raids. Furthermore those mines operated by the Nobel Houses of Hive Signus have increased their onsite guards and their convoys have mercenary escorts these days. Mines, towns and other settlements without such patronage are still vulnerable however. Whilst this second request is a civil issue at heart, and not within your spiritual purview, I besiege you to make it your concern. Out here in the lowlands life is hard and tough, and matters of the faith, despite our best attempts, a secondary concern. These raids and the burden they bring could lead our flocks astray. This brings me back to my first request, this new creed may prove to be a way to bind and reinforce the faithful out here, but as I have noted I have my reservations and pray that you will send a representative to asses. Yours, forever faithful Karand ost Merenif Though of the day: Vigilance is a blessing, do not squander that gift. --- Mordecai passed the slate to his Magus, Nyska Thrace, and stared at the brothers in front of him. The two were part of one of the Jackal squad charged with patrolling their terroity and keep an eye out for any threats to the family. They had sped into town on their bikes and run up to his office in broad daylight, against orders, for the town was not completely theirs yet. However he had to concede that to them the intercepted letter would be alarming. He vaguely remembered the priest of the dead god who had wondered into town some weeks ago. He had asked questions, and while he had been initially suspicious of the priest the more they talked the more his concern for the people seemed genuine. Needing to maintain the families cover they had gone along with his line of thought that raiders were to blame for any unrest. Mordecai knew the actual raiders where dead, hunted to extension by the family, but as a cover they may yet be of use. “Summon the Nexos.” He commanded the two and dismissed them. “We should have killed him when he was here” Nyska commented, “ not spin more lies to hide the ores we took to sell on the black market. He was disturbingly close to the matter for an outsider, and if they had not intercept the message we would have been caught unaware.” Moving to the cabinet the Primus poured a glass of Amasec for each of them before replying. “Always so quick to kill Magus? Maybe you are right, but at the time he appeared no threat, and after the incident with the House inspector we could not risk it then. In fact, this may yet prove useful, a lure to draw the dead god’s followers out from their Hive fortress. Let us see what the Nexos and father say.”
  12. Index Tyrannicus: Hive Fleet Titan “There was a silence across the warp. A deep and fathomless depth that swallowed all light and though that tried to cross it. I saw this void and new its name; death. The Great Devourer had come for us all” Astropath Eborus Kol - Assigned to 45th Golustrum Infantry (KIA M.41) The Shadow Approaches What is believed to be the first hints at what was to come for the Imperium were recorded late in M41, prior to the events of the Fall of Cadia and the nightmarish hell that was unleashed on the Imperium following. The Le’Okar rogue trader dynasty complained to authorities of the Sub Sector Incogni of several vessels disappearing without a trace to the galactic north of the sub sector. This was an area of space bordering on the lawless region known as The Bleak, home to countless orkish warbands and any number of other raiders, human and otherwise, and sub sector command wrote it off as simple pirate raids and promised to increase patrols of Imperial Navy in the area and the issue was dropped. It was only when the Navy patrols also began to disappear if they ranged to far out did Imperial Authorities began to take notice. A task force was put together under the command of Commander Heronimus of the Imperial Navy. Perhaps hinting that they knew the reality of the threat the Deathwatch of Watch Fortress Arbarus sent a strike force along with the fleet. When queried as to why they gave no answer, stating that they needed to give no answer as to how and why they carried out their duties. At first the expedition was a great success. They plunged into The Bleak like a blade, cutting a path towards the last know coordinates of the lost navy patrols. It wasn’t long, however, before hints at the threat that was to come became apparent. The fleet encountered a number of orkish warbands pushing out towards Imperial space and, although they outnumbered the Imperial fleet many fold, they showed no interest of engaging and continued to push on. Wondering is this was part of some greater threat brewing Heronimus sent word back to Imperial command but as they moved further and further from Imperial Space it became harder and harder to communicate. Last contact with the force was recorded in 758.M41, a rather run of the mill message stating that the fleet hadn’t encountered anything other then the orkish warbands and was requesting clearance to return. When sub sector command attempted to reply they were met with silence and it was assumed Heronimus’s fleet had simply gone beyond astropathic reach and the Imperium waited for a reply. First Contact The reply, when it came, was a highly chilling. A desperate broken message from Librarian Astermon of the Deathwatch “Beware, the devourer comes…”. After that contact was lost and no attempts to reach the Librarian or the rest of the fleet were successful. Imperial command began to marshal what forces it could to provide a defence. Astermon’s message was a warning, but a warning as to what was unclear. Many in Imperial command hypothesized some force of Ork under the command of one called the devourer whilst other supposed some sort of traitorous force. Only the voices of the Ordo Xenos suggested the possibility of Tyranids but Sub SEcotr Incogni was far removed from any yet known encounters with the race and so for the most part the words of warning were ignored. Even as Imperial forces marshaled contact was lost with the frontier world of Omos. Astropaths under imperial command described it as though one day the world was there, the next it wasn’t, as if swallowed by a great shadow in the warp. A few weeks later another world vanished, this one a mining world closer to the more settled region of Incogni. Again it was described as if the planet had simply disappeared. Desperate for answers as another two worlds vanished Sub-Sector command petitioned for aid and the nearby forces of the Ascarron Crusade, a combined force of Astartes from the Iron Heralds and Warborne as well as elements of other branches of the Imperial war machine, including Knight House Ishard and any number of regiments of the Imperial Guard, soon arrived in the area. Under mounting pressure from elements of the Deathwatch these forces pushed towards where contact was being lost. It would be on the world of Golustrum they would have their answer as, whilst stopping for supplies, the Imperial fleet was assaulted by the vanguard forces of a vast Tyranid Hive Fleet. Titan Rises Code named Hive Fleet Titan the tyranid fleet fell upon the surprised Imperial forces with all the ferocity their race is known for. Mycetic spores rained from the skies as Imperial battleships, both Navy and Astartes, dueled with vast bioships in orbit. On the ground defenders hurridly maned great anti air batteries that spat flak into the skies, scything down a vast number of xeno organisms. But despite their fire an even greater number of the creatures made planet fall and soon the entire egri world became a vast battlefield as brave Imperial forces sold their lives dearly. Caught unprepared the Imperial forces still fought valiantly, led in large part by the mighty astartes of the Iron Heralds and Warborne. But with every death the defenders grew weaker and the tyranids stronger as they devoured the planets biomass and regurgitated it into more bio forms to assault the planets defenders. Despite all efforts of the Imperial forces the fate of Golustrum soon became apparent. Imperial command ordered a withdrawal of all defenders from the planet. A bitter taste in their mouths the defenders began a fighting retreat towards the planets space ports. What few civilians remained on the planet were first before being followed by what guardsmen could be spared whilst the astartes held on while they could. Finally at the planets last space port the Astartes of the Warborne, led by Captain Sulla, declared he would hold the forces as long as he could while the Heralds safe guarded the fleet. He declared they would detonate the spaceports massive thermic plasma reactor banks in a hope to cause a massive chain reaction that would wipe all life from the planet in an attempt to deny the Tyranids what biomass they could. The last transports fled as Golustrum’s space port was enveloped in a vast white hot explosion as Sulla was true to his word. Unfortunately the explosion didn’t do as hoped and Golustrum was consumed. Imperium Defiant The survivors of Golustrum pulled back with the vanguard of the Hive Fleet hard behind them. They were beaten, but not broken. Captain Hectos of the Iron Heralds sent word to the remaining forces of the Ascarron Crusade; they would lure the Hive Fleet to the planet Ascarron itself where Imperial forces, having taken the fortress world from the seperatists, were even greater in number. It was there he hoped to break the Hive Fleet on the anvil of Ascarron’s fortresses. At Golustrum they had been caught unaware. On Ascarron they would not. The Deathwatch had marshaled what forces it could spare and sent them there as well. At Ascarron they would hold or sub sector Incogni would fall. It wasn’t long after the survivors of Golustrum arrived that the first shadow in the warp fell on Ascarron. As guardsmen looked the heavens and offered prayers to the God Emperor the vast bio ships began to blot out the sky. Appearing as a vast brown reaching nebula that snaked from beyond to blot out the sun the horror of Hive Fleet Titan arrived. Marines of the Iron Heralds as well as what few survivors of the Warborne that had remained on Ascarron double checked their gear and anointed their bolter rounds and the Knights of House Ishard prepared their great engines of war. Then the maw of the devourer closed on the world and its defenders. Golustrum’s defences had been impressive, but Ascarron had been turned into a veritably unassailable fortress. Whilst many of its defenes had been destroyed when the Imperium had taken it many more had been returned to service as word had been sent of the Hive Fleets approach. As the first spores rained from the sky they were blasted apart by the planets guns before they even made entry. Even that didn’t dissuade the vast organism’s assault as more and more spores rained down. Despite their fire power the guns weren’t able to destroy all the invaders and several spores struck the ground, unleashing creatures onto the planets surface. Swarms of smaller gaunt organisms threw themselves at the fortress worlds walls, to be blasted apart by the defenders guns. As more and more spores rained some of the creatures reached the walls, only to be unable to gain access. Imperial command began to feel secure, perhaps at Ascarron they would hold. More and more waves of xenos threw themselves at the walls to be gunned down and victory seemed likely. Then the first sounds of combat were heard within the city. Great tunneling creatures began to erupt from the ground, striking at the cities defence batteries. Losses were quick until astartes assault marine forces retaliated, striking at the mawlocs and trygons from the skies. Nest waves of flying creatures struck as the next wave of tunneling creatures stuck, attempting to counter the astartes, but they were cut apart by anti air. When the next wave struck they targeted the anti air batteries. And so it went, the Hive Fleet becoming recognised for its fast evolution to combat the Imperial Defenders. The battle raged on as Imperial forces slew wave after wave of the attackers, burning and destroying what bodies fell both allied and enemy to rob the Tyranids of biomass. But slowly they were being pushed back as the amount of xenos seemed without end. Captain Hectos’s plan was desperate. He hoped to bleed as much as he could from the Hive Fleet before revealing his master stroke. As they fought to a stale mate on Ascarron Imperial Navy forces were gathering nearby. Hectos knew, on advice from the Ordo Xenos, that the only way to defeat the Tyranids was to defeat the Hive Fleets. Sensing the moment to strike was now or never he sent word through what Librarians he could, hoping word would reach the Navy forces, then turned back to the defence at hand. The Hammer Strikes At first it seemed word had not reached the fleet and that Ascarron was doomed to fall. Tyranids broke through to the final inner fortess of Hive Chazol, where Hectos led his defense. Across the planet reports filtered through of Imperial positions slowly being overwhelmed. Hectos, gravely wounded through the defence, swore he would sell his life and the lives of his brothers dearly. He planted the standard of the Third Company in the central plaza of the Planetary Governors palace and swore that on this spot they would stand to their last. And then hope arrived. A massive fleet of Imperial star ships emerged from warp space their guns firing. Caught off guard and weakened by their constant fighting on the surface the starving hive fleet rapidly fell to the guns of the Navy. The surprise didn’t last long, however. Even as defenders on the planet surged forward at the suddenly distracted xeno bioforms on the surface the Hive Fleet began to react to the new threat. Massive bioships made to swallow Imperial Navy ships in the darkness of the void. The Fall of Cadia In the end Imperial victory on Ascarron would actually be caused by events in a system far away. As Abaddon the Despoiler finally brought ruin to Cadia and the Cicatrix Maledictum tore itself across the Imperium the entirety of Sub Sector Incongi would be wracked by warp storms that spread from the Bleak and Ascarron would be no different. Warp lightening cracked from the skies as daemons flooded through to real space. A great host of the Blood God Khorne assaulted the planet and its defenders, as well as those in space above the planet. The vast bioships were attacked from within by legions of Bloodletters, hacking the apart. As they writhed in pain the Imperial ships, despite facing their own assaults continued to pummel the bioships with weapon fire. Several vessels, their crews fast being overwhelmed overloaded their reactors and crashed their vessels into the enemy, taking out great swarths of the fleet in the firey detonations of the ships. Other’s crashed to the planet surface hoping to find safety in the fortress worlds wards. The combined assault from the warp as well as the final sacrifice of the navy forces would prove too much to the tyranid fleet and what little resemblance of synapse control remained on the surface soon evaporated. Victory against the Tyranids had been achieved, as the remaining forces on the planet fast reverted to more animalstic behaviors. Ascarron wasn’t saved yet, however, as Imperial forces would still have to survive the next horrific years of battling the demonic invasion on their world. The Shadow Returns Hive Fleet Titan was defeated at Ascarron. In the years following the eventual setting of the Warp storms Imperial Forces led by the Ordo Xenos and the Iron Heralds, now supplemented by the Primaris reinforcements, would work to scour the remaining xenos from the worlds that had fallen under the shadow of Titan. Eventually reaching as far as Golustrum. On the once verdant world, now reduced to an ashen waste, they chose to erect a new fortress, to rival that of the now decimated Ascarron. They would be prepared, in case the tyranids ever returned. Recent reports have come to light. Far ranging ships in the Bleak have begun to disappear and attempts to contact them have met with what seems to be a great shadow blocking the light of the Astronomicon. It is a shadow far greater then what marked the arrival of the first vanguard of Titan. One faint and broken signal has echoed across the void; “Beware. The devourer comes…”
  13. FOREWORD: The New Eden Rifles started life as one of my entries to the last Iron Gauntlet. I know its slightly cheating to copy them from where I left off with them last time but as I will rework large amounts of the article as well as my other large number of entries I figured all good. I have copied the whole article across from where I finished it last time, a very rough collection of ideas that, if I am honest, fell short of what I wanted from these guys. I will, in the interest of the challenge, leave things as they were and then make notes in this colour afterwards on the main points/changes I am going to make. These are changes taken from, for the most part, comments made on the previous article as well as my own ideas. I know I have left starting the challenge late but I am hoping to make good on my vows. GENERAL THOUGHTS The New Eden Rifles were/are based primarily off the Australian and New Zealand Army Core, or ANZACs. Most notably from around the World War 1 and 2 period. Today (25/4) is ANZAC Day. This is the day each year we in Australia (and I think New Zealand) hold services at dawn commemorating the sacrifices these soldiers have made for those of us whom remain free. I figure today is as a good a point as any to start reworking these. The ANZACs were known for their plucky attitude, their irreverence and general lack of respect for authority and their unquenchable spirit of mateship. They were also sent into the worst situations as their commanders at the time seemed to view them as expendable as they were just the "colonials". During the two World Wars the ANZAC's were plunged into grinding trench warfare on the beaches of Gallipoli and then later the fields of Flanders. It is this unbreakable spirit even after they were defeated at Gallipoli that I want to capture with these guard. So anyway, onto the article. The New Eden Rifles Renowned for their stoic steadfast nature and their stubborn refusal to accept defeat the New Eden Rifles have gained a name across the length of the Imperium as all but unbreakable in defence and just as determined in assault. The New Eden Rifles regiments combine a defiant nature with a plucky and almost irreverent attitude to war and their enemies that has, on occasion, caused their allies to question their reliability on the field of battle but once battle is joined they quickly change their minds. The New Eden regiments are siege masters without equal in the Sub-Sector Incogni meeting their enemies with unbroken trench works and shelling them relentlessly from artillery batteries. Going to rework the first line. As per comments by Ferrus on my first draft its far to grandous for guardsmen. Also they aren't seige masters but rather determined and gritty troops with a perchance for trench warfare. I may rework it into comments along the lines of: "This defiant nature combined with a gritty and down to earth attitude and a steely resolve in the face of adversity has made them ideal for the grinding realities of trench warfare. Dug in trench positions combined with relentless shelling from artillery batteries has turned aside many an enemy assault over the years". Regimental History The planet that would become known as New Eden was discovered in the later days of the Great Crusade. Noted for its virgin arable lands and harsh but beautiful landscape its was inhabited by a primitive hunter gatherer nomads whose technology was equivalent to ancient Terran Stone Age. It was quickly earmarked for settlement and before long settlers arrived from across the vast expanse of space. Its lands were perfect for farming and soon the surface was dotted by vast sprawling farming estates ruled over by wealthy nobles whose lands were worked in turn by criminals, slaves and indentured freemen supplemented by those natives of the planet whom had been deemed useful for integration with the Imperium at large. Qualified overseers and tradesmen arrived from across the breadth of humanities worlds to help supply the farm workers and soon New Eden was a flourishing Agri World supplying foodstuffs across much of Sub-Sector Incogni and further afield. It was not to last however and in the closing days of M.39 the region of space that Sub Sector Incogni bordered on, known as the Bleak Stars, became a hot bed of activity for the xeno species known as the Orks. A lawless region that had escaped the reach of the Emperor’s Great Crusade it easily was subdued by the by the beastial xenos and soon they would push into Imperial help space. Faced with Xeno invasions across multiple Sub-Sectors, including Incognil, the Imperial High Command was unable to meet every push against the xenos and in the vast bloated bureaucracy of the Imperium Incogni and New Eden were either forgotten or deemed unimportant and resources were sent elsewhere. As orkoid vessels pushed into the sector what little Imperial forces that were their were quickly brushed aside. Deciding to cut their losses and regroup on one of the newly established fortress worlds Sub Sector Incogni was declared a loss and the Imperium turned its back on those whom still dwelt there. Declared lost by the Imperium the world of New Eden was far from fallen. Its PDF stood defiant against the off-world xenos. Defences were quickly set up and soon New Eden’s farmlands were divided by sprawling trench works and make-shift bunkers. The planets defenders prepared to sell their lives dearly and it wasn’t long before the Orks arrived on-world. Expecting to find frightened farmers and flimsy defences, like they had on the rest of the Imperium’s worlds so far, the orks were instead surprised to find stoic lines of defenders in their path. Their would be no easy victory on New Eden. Steadfast defiance and unbreakable determination met bestial and unthinking rage and it wasn’t long before New Eden’s verdant fields were turned into a bloody quagmire of blasted apart corpses, both xeno and human, and craters bloomed across the ground like pox marks. But the orks are a race bred for war, they thrive on it, and whilst the ork numbers seemed exhaustible the PDFs were not. Despite their intractable defence their numbers began to dwindle and so the Planetary Governor issued a decree, known forever after as simply “The Emperor’s Call”. A lotto would be taken with every citizen of New Eden, from the lowest criminal slave labourer to the Planetary Governor himself, entered. A day of the year would be drawn at random and every person born on New Eden on that day would be drafted into service in the PDF. It was an initiative the Governor would prove himself committed to when his only child, a daughter, was taken in the first Call. His position was simple, New Eden would stand even if he had to spend every last drop of blood on the planet to do so. When Imperial Forces eventually pushed the orks back in the early days of M.40 they expected to arrive in Incogni to find destroyed worlds overrun by greenskins. Instead they found New Eden still standing, her once verdant fields covered in vast elaborate trench works and defensive positions that ran like spider webs across every clear surface. And when the trench works had fallen the men and women of New Eden had fought for every inch of their cities. Roads were choked with razor wine and make-shift tank traps. Machines and animals, once used to tend to farms or clear land had been turned to war. Weed spraying trucks had been outfitted into crude flame thrower tanks and plows had been reforged into dozer blades. Despite being abandoned for as long as it had New Eden still held on defiant. The newly arrived Imperial crusade quickly helped the New Eden inhabitants reclaim their planet. As the last orkoid was burned in righteous fire Lord Commander Ferius, commander of the Imperial Crusade, commented on that is was as If by the Emperor’s divine providence itself that the world had held. He promised them whatever aid they needed to restore New Eden to its former glory, a gift for their loyalty, when the orks were pushed back to the Bleak. It was a surprise to him when the commander of the planets defenders, the former Planetary Governor whom himself had been taken in the thirteenth Call, declared that he and his men would come with them to see the orks driven from the Imperium for good. Thus was the 1st New Eden Rifles formed. Lord Commander Ferius was good to his word and ensured aid to the planet following the defeat of the orks and it wasn’t long before New Eden was recovering. Crater’s were turned to water supplies and the trenches were kept, a reminder of the regiments proud past. It wouldn’t be long before they would be used again, however, with the orks of the Bleak rising again and again to threaten the Imperium throughout the next few Millennium. This section I want to remain mostly as it is. Its enough of a nod to Australia's convict colonial heritage while, at the same time, being very 40k. It also hints at the determined nature of the people as well as give reasons for their general disregard and disrespect of authority figures. It was asked in my last draft as to what made the Planetary Governor so competent as to allow his daughter to be drafted and would I elaborate on him further but I don't think I need to. I like the idea that, like the rest of the original defenders of New Eden, he is just another unamed determined face, united in the belief New Eden wouldn't fall. "The Emperor's Call" is both my attempt for another unique hook with the regiment but also a hint to the "Draft" that occurred during the World Wars. Although I believe that was done by year rather then day. It was a well liked idea in the previous draft and is here to stay. The only thing I may change in this section is the geography. The Bleak and Sub Sector Incogni are where my Iron Heralds are based and it was an attempt to link the two forces. I have, however, since shifted focus on my astartes to return to my Star Leopards and may move New Eden to a different area entirely so as to separate them into their own stand alone force. Notable Campaigns Pilium Crusade (M.39) The newly founded 1st New Eden Rifles accompany Lord Commander Ferius on his next crusade following his success against the orks, along with many other regiments and no less then two companies of the Space Marines against the traitor forces near the warp storm known as the Pilium Anomaly. Despite great success contact against the enemy eventually the contact is lost with the forces after they enter the Anomaly itself and eventually they crusade is considered lost. May rework to make more like Gallipoli. A grinding trench war that, due to an equally determined enemy and some... less then competant decisions at the start of the conflict resulted in a loss. Was originally added to show that the Imperium is a dark place and the greatest storied heroes often get lost quite... inconsequentially. Fall of Gokh (M.39) The 22nd New Eden Rifles form part of the Imperial Forces besieging the seccesionist forces on the world of Gokh. Despite horrendous casualties on both side, including losses due to the employing of Phosphex artillery by the planets defenders the Imperial forces are victorious and the Secessionists are put to the sword. A nod to the Western Front where the allied troops and ANZAC's were often gassed and it was a horrifying grinding trench battle that caused the loss of thousands of lives. It was, however, eventually an Allied victory. Just 40kified a little. Will expand this a little more I think. The Battle of Bridge 432 (M.40) Assisting the forces of the Iron Heralds Astartes Chapter elements of the 34th and 22nd New Eden Rifles help hold of a previously unknown Xeno species known as the Desmerax. The turning point of the battle comes when the Rifles hold the Bridge, designation 432, against countless waves of xenos before the Heralds can eliminate the xeno leaders, breaking their forces and sending them back into the Bleak. The Second Battle for New Eden (M.40) Although it has come under constant assault over the years from orks as well as other xeno races the second major invasion of New Eden came in the later part of M.40 when a vast force of Traitor Astartes sworn to the Blood God, Khorne, invaded. The New Eden Rifles would stand firm as always and the waves of frothing madmen were met with ranks of sustained fire and constant artillery bombardment. The invasion would be broken and the planet held, but not before extensive damage was caused again to the planets farming again. Just general nods to how awesome they are at holding the line as well as hints towards their ties with the Iron Heralds. Will probably leave these as they are. The Charge of the 4th New Eden Light Horse Brigade (M.41) On the desert world of Bar-Shava Imperial Forces had been fought to a long standing stale mate against traitor forces. Facing impressive trench works and bristling gun emplacements the forces of the Guard were unable to push any further forwards without sustaining heavy casualties. Several sorties from the infantry and tank brigades had simply caused substantial losses on the Imperial forces without gaining any true ground. Knowing that a victory here was essential to capturing the world Captain Johanne Winters of the 4th New Eden Light Horse Brigade ordered his men charge straight into the gun lines. Seen as a suicidal assault Johanne was determined his men would break the enemies lines. It was a ploy that worked when surprised by this seemingly mad man and his men’s charge the traitors guard fled their positions or surrendered in a panic, unsure how else to react. With the gun lines broken with minimal casualties the Imperial forces went on to secure victory and Johanne was awarded the Star of Terra, one of only two Guardsmen of New Eden to ever receive the award. At Beershaba the 4th Australian Light Horse Division of the British Forces mounted an assault on the well defended town when Allied forces were unable to take in and its vital wells. The men mounted a seemingly suicidal charge into the Turkish machine guns and trenches. Despite not having the typical equipment of cavalry used in this way (sabres etc) they only charged with bayonetted rifles. The Turks were surprised by this seemingly mad move a lot of the Turks surrendered when the Australians reached their lines. One account of an Australian of the battle is that his horse was shot out from underneath his and he fell into one of the trenches. He was dazed and disorientated but when he managed to recover the multiple turkish soldiers in the trench were waiting for him to recover so they could surrender. History lesson aside I grew up on tales of these guys heroism and, although I have learned a perhaps less heroic account of the conflict I still love it and had to include a nod. Besides, rough riders... The Black WAAAAAGH!!! (M.41) Ork Warboss Drizog Blacktoof leads a vast orkish invasion from the Bleak into Sub-Sector Megara, sector of the Iron Heralds homeworld and neighbouring sub sector to Incogni. No less then seven combined regiments of the New Eden Rifles, including the 13th New Eden Rifles led by the heroic Colonel Katrin Pendt and the 4th New Eden Light Horse, still led by the unflappable Johanne, are deployed to help the Iron Heralds defend their homeworld. Joined by forces from throughout the Sub-Sectors the Orks are eventually defeated when Drizog is slain by Chapter Master Seric in single combat. Colonel Katrin is awarded a relic bolter by the Chapter Master due to her part in the defence on the Pelion Fields. I'll rename the ork here as I have since been informed Blacktoof is a canon ork. Other then that whether I keep this or not is determined on whether I move the planet or not. Homeworld Its vast farmlands tended by criminals, slaves and indentured common folk New Eden is somewhat of a melting pot of cultures from across the immediate area of the Imperium. This peculiar blend of different cultures had strangely bred a strong bond between the planets inhabitants. It is a camaraderie that serves them well both in the fields as when as on the battle fields. Although officially an Agri World New Eden has started to bare many similarities to a Fortress World. With the ever present orkoid threat in the Bleak Stars as well as the fact that the Imperium never truly recovered from the losses from the first orkish invasion means that New Eden is frequently assaulted by disparate ork warbands, although nothing on full WAAAAGH!!! status. The New Eden PDF is well drilled and experienced, working to maintain the vast trench networks and gun emplacements that have become as much a part of New Eden’s landscape as its sweeping farmlands. Most native born New Edene, as they are called, end up working on the planets farms as either overseers or qualified craftsmen of some sort on the farms or in one of the three major hive settlements on the city that have grown around the planets space ports. These hubs are a vast market of sorts with food stuffs and other farmed goods being exported across much of the nearby Imperium and all sorts of criminals and farm machinery arriving daily to feed the labour needs of the vast farming estates. Might expand this a little but for the most part it says what I want it to say. I do want to expand a little on the planets natives as well as perhaps expand on the planets use as an Agri world. A question was asked in the first draft so may include a little on the Imperial Cult but as its pretty standard not sure. Recruitment There are two ways one can end up in service in the Guard on New Eden. The first is service within the planets PDF and is typically a voluntary commission. Any and all, from lowest criminal to highest noble, are welcome to swear their lives to the service in the PDF and if they do so they are trained and equipped to defend their homeworld and can expect to spend the rest of their lives in the trenches of New Eden, either keeping them repaired or fighting in them. The other way is through the Emperor’s Call. A practice established in the early defence of the planet it has been kept as a standard practice to help meet the Imperial Tithe alongside the planets food output. Much like the first Calls a date will be drawn at random and any and all those born on that day must report to their local recruitment centre where they will be deemed fit for service or otherwise. Even those unfit for direct service will often find themselves drafted for service into the regiments support crews. These recruits are then stationed with the PDF for a short while to receive basic training and equipment before being sent off world in service to the Emperor. It is this way that the New Eden Rifles Regiments are usually split equally amongst men and women and recruits will range from criminals and poor labourers to the highest ranking nobles. All are equal once they answer the call however and the regiments original officers are drawn from PDF where their service and experience has given them the skills needed to lead the newly founded regiment. It is not uncommon for ab-humans to be sent to New Eden for service on the various farms. Each have their own uses in the vast Agri complexes and these services can serve equally well in the Guard. Because of this they aren’t exempt from the Call, just like any and all on the planet. Again I will probably expand on this but for the most part I am somewhat happy. Will include a little bit about psykers and Commissariat here though. Regiment Organisation Regiments from New Eden are typically divided into separate core formations depending upon their previous skills and employment. The most common of these are the regiments of ‘Rifles’. These tend to follow the standard size and layout as prescribed in the Tactica Imperialis. It is these regiments that most think of when they think of the regiments of New Eden. Implacable in defence and attack they have a down to business attitude matched with an almost irreverent attitude towards war and their enemy that mas many doubt their effectiveness until they see them in battle. New Edene have a strong sense of camaraderie that will often see them going to great lengths to save a wounded comrade. It is this combined with their never say die attitude that has seen them stand defiant when many other regiments have fallen. Other forms of regiments drawn from New Eden often relate to specialisations that the drafted soldiers had before their Call. Regiments such as the ‘Light Horse’ regiments formed of those herdsmen whose job was to ride animals similar to the now extinct horses of ancient Terra to shepherd the vast herds of farm animals on New Eden as they make their way across the landscape. Others are formed from the farm vehicle operators drafted into ‘Armour’ or ‘Artillery’ regiments depending on the needs at the time. It isn’t uncommon for New Eden Regiments to serve alongside each other in warzones where Imperial Commanders just refer to them as ‘New Eden Rifles’, but not in front of the soldiers themselves whom seem to have developed a friendly competitiveness between regiment types. Will fluff out more specialist formations (storm troopers) and maybe add a pic or two of "standard" regiment formation. Regiment Wargear The standard New Eden Trooper is equipped as follows: 1x M36 Lasgun: The standard work horse of the Astra Militarum the M36 is one of the most common patterns of lasgun in the Imperium at large. All guardsmen receive one upon being inducted to the guard. It has been commented that a lasgun is far more valuable to the Imperium then the man whom hold it, a saying that the New Edene regiments take objection too. It is from this weapon that the New Eden Rifles get their name. 4x Charge packs: Standard ammunition pack for most imperium las weaponry. Can be recharged crudely by throwing into a camp fire. This does reduce the life of the charge pack however. A fair trade off as far as the New Eden Rifles are concerned, not that they would admit this in front of the Commissariat. 2x Frag Grenades: Standard Imperial Issue fragmentation grenades 2x Krak Grenades: Standard Imperial Issue krak grenades. 1x Auto Pistol: A favourite side arm amongst Astra Militarum forces. Issued to troopers to use as a last resort. The New Eden Rifles tend to favour them once enemies have breached their trench lines, favouring the smaller size in the close quarters. 2x Auto Pistol Magazines: Standard Imperial Issue magazines for an Auto pistol containing solid metal jacket rounds, 1x Combat Knife: Good for cutting enemies if all else fails. Or your field rations if all chewing fails. Just don't let the Brass catch you doing the later. 1x New Eden Trooper Uniform: Typically dark grey combat fatigues similar in style to the plain thick grey clothes worn by the planets farm workers. Indeed it has been noted that they may be the surplus of exactly that. They are sometimes, but rarely, changed with slight camouflage patterns depending on the warzone the trooper is fighting in. They are designed to offer protecting in even inclement weather although only to a point. 1x Flak Armour: Standard Imperial Issue flak armour, based off the design worn by Cadian Shock Troopers. Not that the New Edenes care about where it comes from as its often the only thing between them and a bloody death on some back water world of the Imperium. The helmet often has an inbuilt short range vox suite 1x Rucksack with Entrenching Gear: Masters of trench warfare most every New Eden Rifleman is provided with basic gear for entrenchment, including shovels and wire cutters. More specialised units within the regiments are provided with more gear and training for full trench construction. 1x Basic Field dressing: For very, very basic emergency first aid (Increases trooper survival by 1.5% compared to untreated wounds) 1x Sleeping Bag or Blanket: Sleeping in luxury… 1x Mess Kit, stale dry rations and two days (mostly clean) water: eating only the finest foods… 1x Dog Tags: When you need to know who that bloody mess was. 1x Rechargeable lamp pack: Basic hand held lamp pack, good for late night reading. 1x Imperial Infantryman’s Uplifting Primer: Standard issue text that covers everything from how to on gear maintenance, combat tactics, field first aid and prayers and guide to proper devotion to the God Emperor. Commissariat recommends this to to be the ONLY thing you are reading at night. Punishment for loosing or damaging this text is severe. Other more specialised regiments or troopers may be issued with: Heavy Weaponry consisting of possibly: Mortar, Heavy Bolter, Lascannon, Auto Cannon or Missile Launcher. Usually issued to two man teams due to the size and encumbrance of the weapon. Specialised Weaponry consisting of possibly: Flamer, Grenade Launcher, Plasma Gun, Sniper Las-Rifle. Depending of situational needs Medical Kit: Slightly more comprehensive kit issued to company medic for first aid in combat situations. Vox Caster: Standard communication device issued to ensure good communication in battle environments. New Eden Proto-Steed: A strange blend of bio-mechanics and nature creating a steed similar to the horses of ancient Terra. Ridden into battle by particularly fool hardy troopers. NOTE: Add Slouch hats... Joking aside, however, this was inspires by notes I found on other regiments and I think its adds something to the regiment. I want to destandarise these guys a little. The humour is definitely staying here though as it speaks to the character of the regiment. Regimental Markings New Eden regiments tend to follow a fairly standard regimental marking system, with squads being issued a unique three digit number upon enlistment. Command staff are typically issued a two digit number with a skull in the middle and more elite or specialised regiments have three digit numbers starting with a zero. Regiments are often issues with a second number, typically the date of their birth date and the reason they were called in the draft. Regardless all troopers, from the lowliest conscript to the highest ranking officer, carry the rising sun symbol of New Eden on their left shoulder pad. Will expand a little and maybe destandardise here a little too. They were based of Cadian models to begin with but I am thinking when I get back to collecting that may change. Of course I dont just want them Austrialians in Space (Looking at you GW Regiments...) Notable Regiments 1st New Eden Rifles: Founded following the liberation of their homeworld from orks the 1st New Eden Rifles continued on their glorious service until they disappeared into the Pilium Anomaly along with the rest of the Crusade they were with. Only their regimental standard was ever recovered and it rests with honour on Terra in the Hall of Heroes. In honour to the first scions of New Eden the number was retired with honour. 4th New Eden Light Horse Brigade: One of the first founded regiment of Light Horse designation the 4th New Eden Light Horse has served faithfully since then, having fought the length and breadth of the Imperium. They have been all but wiped out on several occasions but they are always rebuilt and continue to serve faithfully. They are currently commanded by Captain Johanne Winters, a unflappable scion of New Eden’s noble houses possessed of steel nerves and unshakable courage. 13th New Eden Rifles:”Katrin’s Own”: 22nd New Eden Rifles “The Blood Hounds”: 34th New Eden Rifles: 102nd New Eden Mechanised“The Free-born” : The first regiment ever from New Eden to consist entirely of the free children of indentured criminals on New Eden it was formed specially at request of Inquisitor Stromnash to serve during the Siege of the White Spire. Following the Imperial victory they were released back into Imperial service. 255th New Eden Heavy Armour Division “The God Killers”: Notable Heroes Colonel Katrin Pendt: TBA Captain Johanne Winters TBA Lord Commissar Jon Abram TBA First Lieutenant Sharia Tothe TBA Major Luthias Brom TBA Will actually fluff these out. The 13th is the actual guard army I am collecting so will fluff those a bit. Examples will be "The God Killers" - named for killing Titans and perhaps adding some other heroes that are dead or otherwise not involved with the 13th... CLOSING NOTES I have lots to expand with these guys and a few bits to take out. I know I haven't given people much reworking to go off but I would love some general thoughts before I get too far into the rework so - Thoughts away.
  14. REGIMENT:.....................Dimarian Shieldbreakers FOUNDED:............................................222.M36 HOMEWORLD:..........................................Dimari REGIMENT COUNT:.........................830 Recorded SPECIALISATION:....Infantry Assault, Close-Quarters "Without a doubt the most disorderly, bloody-minded, indignant, exasperating, slovenly, vicious bastards one could ever have the pleasure of committing to the Emperor's grace." Commissar Gaston de'Phere, Regimental Commissar of the 115th Dimarian Shieldbreakers, during Waaagh! Gurgor 072-081.M42 The Dimarian Shieldbreakers are Regiments of the Imperial Guard recruited from the Feudal World of Dimari. Whilst lacking some of the sophistication of Regiments sourced from more advanced worlds, Dimarians are known to be stubborn warriors, if ill-disciplined. They are often deployed as light infantry skirmish screens or massed infantry charges. Founding "Dimarians? Ho-ing great! Someone else can bleed for a change." Captain Quintara, 6th Chiloan Mountainmen, during the unkown Waaagh! 009.M41 When the Rogue Trader Lady Jaste Astaaen chanced across Dimari during the period of conquest that followed the discovery of the Barus sector in late M35, she was surprised to find a planet with a functioning, albeit primitive, native society. It did not take a grand effort to bring Dimari back into the Imperial fold, and a period of slow enlightenment for the Dimarians followed. Astaaen’s family ruled over the planet from their stronghold of Laedinus, and for the most part, the natives were left in peace, quickly falling into subservience - or so it was thought - to the Imperium. Two rebellions against Imperial rule, coming in quick succession in 199.M36 and 218.M36, disabused the Astaaen of their success in placating the natives. While both rebellions were quashed with relative ease - the wooden shields and crude weaponry of the Dimarians little match for the shotguns and slug-throwers that Aunust Astaaen’s retinue and mercenaries were equipped with - they showed that certainly the clans most local to the Imperial capital had not taken well to a distant imposition of rule. Moreover, they should that the clans were willing to war; were stubborn and intractable, even in the face of overwhelming odds; and that while the local clans had lost the majority of their strength in the rebellions, others further afield would still pose significant threats in the future if left unchecked. The answer was a simple, obvious one. In order to rob them of their strength, Aunust enacted a tithe of manpower from each clan, and enforced this law more proactively than previously. At a large training complex just outside of Laedinus, these first recruits were trained in a manner befitting the Imperial Guard, and so the first regiment of the Dimarian Shieldbreakers was formed. Homeworld "The Regiments of the Astra Militarum are near-always a reflection of how they conduct themselves before conscription. Dimari is every bit the backwater it's soldiery would have you believe." Marshall Theor, 11th Army Group, defending Bulara from the Jagged Gauntlet 227.M39 Dimari, a Feudal World, is located in the Mechar System, of the Maya Subsector, in the Barus Sector. Landmass consists of one modestly large continent flanks to the west by thousands of miles of archipelagos; the remainder of the planet is given over to a large, salty ocean. The climate is temperate, but prone to savage storms that batter the coastal archipelago - especially it’s western tip, where the storms are fierce enough that it is barely habitated (and likely would not be, if there was not such fierce competition for limited space elsewhere on the planet). Ruled by descendants of Jaste Astaaen for a millenia, the Astaaen family were eventually deposed as tyrants, and the planet has since been under the rule of those from the Warxes noble house. The natives tend to live in island clans on the archipelagos and on the coastal areas of the singular continent known as Carnaevii. At the time of the planet’s discovery by the Imperium, the archipelago clans were violent outcasts looked down upon by their continent-dwelling kin; the larger mineral wealth of the continental mainland and increased amount of farmland for exploitation led to a larger, more developed society. With the arrival of the Astaaen, this changed dramatically; the mainland’s mineral wealth was claimed by the Astaaen to offer to the Imperium as a planetary tithe, until the raising of the Shieldbreaker regiments replaced this with a more useful resource. Those natives who lived on the mainland were offered a choice - to integrate into the Astaaen, Imperial culture and be uplifted; or be banished to the wild coastlines and archipelagos to eke out a life among their more familiar kin. Most chose the former, and are largely unrecognisable today. Those who resisted were forcibly deported by the Astaaen to nearby mining worlds of Rorecht and Kinvia, in an act known as the “Dimari Diaspora”. Local economy is largely based on exploiting what mining wealth remains, both by the coastal natives and the Imperial city. The varied minerals and ores of Dimari are used widely for the creation of armour and weaponry for the native clans, and household items both for native and Imperial settlers; but while reasonably rich in mineral wealth, Dimari’s mining does not provide valuable enough materials to the modern Imperium to warrant the Administratum stepping in to mechanise the process. Some whisper that the Planetary Governors of the Warxes family have also stepped in on occasion to protect the inhabitants of the world from excessive outside influence, concerned by both diaspora or dilution of the planet’s main export - the men it conscripts into the Shieldbreaker Regiments. Secondary to mining is fishing, the raising of domestic livestock, and using what land is not too wind-swept to cultivate local edible fauna. One central Imperial city-settlement, Laedinus, exists in the center of Carnaevii. Great families, descended from the original Imperials who colonised the planet, play their political games here in the modest and sole bastion of Imperial presence on the planet. While by no means unknown to the native Dimarians, they largely keep themselves distant from the inlanders, or Sygh-treys in the parlance of the Dimarians (much of what the Imperium knows of the Dimarian native tongue can be traced to the works of Lexilogist Missionary Emmet Grock; few native Dimarians learn to write in low gothic). Some Dimarians seeking better lives, or who over time cleave closer to the Imperial creed, do uproot themselves and travel to Laedinus; should they ever return to their archipelago clans, they are invariably treated coldly as outcasts. The Clans have no central form of united government, and so it is hard to define an important settlement in conventional terms; each clan is a local entity, and each settlement is of equally ultimate importance, depending on the viewpoint of the clan who rules it. The standings of various clans wax and wane over the years; none have eclipsed the total strength of Clan Carew, who ruled over their empire of one hundred and sixty nine islands at the time of Astaaen rule. For the settlement with the most cultural capital, one could perhaps point to the ruins of Tre war Venydh, where the ancient king Ythur held court in Dimarian myth. Native Beliefs & Culture "To offend one clan is to instantly gain friendship with seven others." Emmet Grock, Missionary and Lexicologist, unknown M36 It did not take long for the first missionaries to bend Dimarian religion to fit the Imperial creed. The belief most prominent was in the warrior-god known as the Duw-Myghtern, Ythur, a legendary king who united the people against the evil practitioners of witchcraft who held the planet in their thrall. To those of the clergy, the analogies were obvious - clearly Ythur is the Emperor, with the nine holy Primarchs as the Marheks, fabled Knight-Companions of Ythur, battling against numerous trials set by the mutated foes of the Great Enemy, led by their arch-commander Mordus and his cabal of witches, now known as the nine demons of the Warp. Those few who have been condemned for more rigorous study of Dimari beliefs claim that it is likely the worship of Duw-Myghtern Ythur is rooted in a real King who united many clans millenia ago, most probably against a coven of psykers and heretics who lived in the sea-carved caves of the archipelago cliffs - a claim violently contested by the Ecclesiarchy. The rest of Dimarian spirituality tends towards veneration of ancestors, with multiple Tassens revered as guiding spirits of certain disciplines - there is a Tassans for axecraft, a Tassans for husbandry, a Tassans of revelry, so on and so forth. One of the most revered among the Shieldbreakers is Tassans Mihal - the patron or war. Different clans hold different Tassens in esteem, or have different names for the same Tassans - for example Mihal may also be known as Myghal depending on which clan one is from, and Perran of the archipelago mines may also be known as Piranus of the mines to those on the mainland. Ancestor worship extends beyond the Tassens themselves and into more esoteric beliefs; the storms that assail the archipelagos, for example, are know to the clans as the Bockas Dhu; Dimari funeral rites among the clan involve the ashes of the dead being scattered to the sea, and it is said that storms occur when a spirit’s yearning for a return to life grows too great. Veneration for ancestor and prior accomplishments are held in high esteem amongst Dimari society - and perhaps, although cruel to say, responsible for their lack of forward advancement. However, it is likely that the planet having never progressed further than a feudal state of being is down to their clan existence and geographical interests. The coastal archipelago has shaped Dimari culture through all its aspects - food, as an example, is based around what can be sourced on the windy islands. The strong fishing and seafood culinary base of Dimari is complemented by large, sturdy quadrupedal bovids known as Buhes who are farmed for red meat, and root vegetables and low-lying bush fruits that can survive the wild winds. The Pasti is one dish that has mirrored the Shieldbreaker’s transition to space-born warriors: formerly a miner’s dish, those among the Dimari Shieldbreakers with basic cooking knowledge produce these for their comrades, using whatever meat and vegetable substitutes that can be found pressed into a hard pastry wrapping that protects the filling from dirty battlefield hands. Travel on the archipelago is treacherous; islands range in size but are typically small, thus necessitating a significant amount of sea travel. For those who wish to venture further afield than their own island clans, knowledge or superstition that helps predict the movement of the great storms is a necessity. As such, the Dimari tend to be not well travelled, prefering to contain themselves to their more immediate surroundings. This in turn presents it’s own problems - when everyone focuses on the close by, small amount of land available, who has a right to what traits or islands, and how do they establish this? It is here that the Dimari show their warlike tendencies, shedding blood over the size of land that would hardly be considered a lowborn’s private garden on an Agri world. Such tendency to small, local and savage conflicts, combined with the need for space to safely farm and fish in quantities enough to provide for one’s community, leads invariably to the culture of the Archipelago clans. There is no central governing council among the archipelago clans; they focus entirely on those close by, and a clan’s worst enemy will always be the nearest possible contender in a geographic sense. Alliances between clans are rare and short-lived, preferring to exist in a state of near-constant tension and conflict. When clans go to war, they do so wielding a ceremonial axe that each warrior is gifted on their 10th nameday. A one-handed steel axe, the Bool Kas (or more colloquially to the Dimarians, a Skooskyjya) is inscribed with tribal markings and records of victories, and often features a large and deadly spike affixed to the rear of the blade. These weapons will be paired with crude shields and armour crafted from local materials, heavy and unwieldy, or additional close-combat weaponry. Clans do not use elaborate tactics, and battlefields of their native harsh geographical and geological settings tend to reduce battles to chaotic melees rather than disciplined ranks. Warriors are predominantly male; with a high rate of battlefield attrition, females are kept primarily to more traditional, domestic roles in society. This is not to say they are defenceless; they are also presented with a Bool Kas, and while not expected to use it, will defend homes with violence should it ever be a desperate necessity. Clans are defined by a rigid, patriarchal hierarchy. Each clan will be led by a Myghtern, who will rule with an iron fist. They are not always the largest and most ferocious warriors, but tend to lean in this direction, with conflict being a staple of Dimarian life. Pennsevigyon are the direct successors to the Myghtern, selected through merit rather than through lineage where the two do not overlap. Clans will have permanently appointed Kaptenow, who’s job is to train and lead the warriors of the clan in battle, and appoint Hembrenkysi, a kind of sub-leader, to serve below them leading small units at times of war. Those who live on the archipelago are naturally untrusting of outsiders - again likely linked back to the fierce competition for space. Those who live inland of the Carnaevii coastline are seen as soft, weak and decadent, and rarely welcomed into coastal or archipelago communities. This welcoming manner is usually just that however; Dimari clans prefer to expend their energy enacting violence against those they can claim resources from, rather than travellers with little to give. For their part, the inland peoples have become more and more subsumed into Laedinus and the Imperial culture, and are not seen as native Dimari any longer. The tithe enacted on the manpower of the clans tends to be met with a mixture of responses. Some grumble, cursing the interference of far-off Laedinus on their lifestyles, draining the clans often of the youngest and most virile. Some - often those young, fiery warriors - see it as an opportunity to escape an endless cycle of clan-based competition. Some clans see it just as a type of civic duty, others an exalted religious duty to the service of Ythur. A wide range of social classes therefore end up being tithed, from green youth through to clan warlords or heirs. Structure "Whad'eedo? Well Sir, 'e's from the Tregowan, an' by all rights a bleddy Tevelwas." Sergeant Jhody Roders, 40th Dimarian Shieldbreakers, shortly before summary execution under Art. 3680/35k 763.M41 The organisation of Dimarian Shieldbreaker regiments stands as a reflection of the Dimarians themselves: chaotic and unorganised on the surface, until one sees past the facade of turmoil. Regiments are organised along the same lines as most at a high level, with concessions to change being found at Platoon and Company levels. Platoons tend to contain more standard infantry squads than is expected among other regiments, with sometimes up to as many as ten under each platoon command. It is also common to see large numbers of conscripts - known as Tus Yowynk - in many platoons. These are less likely to be the get of veteran soldiers as they are simply the impetuous and direct youths for whom basic training is seen as an attempt by some far-off beaurocrat to impose unnecessary knowledge and authority over born fighting men. On the other hand, special weapon squads are rare and heavy weapon squads rarer; some rare platoons might be lucky enough to have both a special weapons and heavy weapons squads attached, but many go without one or the other, and some go without either. Where platoons are large but unsophisticated, this only rings half true at the company level. Most regiments in more civilised forces tend towards limiting company size to five or six platoons, while Dimarian Shieldbreaker companies will usually only be comprised of two or three platoons; Dimari culture being as hierarchical as it is, the Commissariat assigned to this tricky posting will quickly come to learn the the proud, clan-affiliated Dimari will willingly shed blood over who is more deserving - perceived or realistically - for a posting in line with their previous authority. By offering a wider array of leadership positions and smaller company structures, this helps facilitate a more cohesive and battle-ready force than the more standard alternative. Invariably, most leadership postings seem to be assigned to those who have proven and demonstrated leadership qualities from their prior lives, with the majority of Lieutenants, Captains and Colonels coming from the many Hembrenkysi, Kaptenow, Pennsevigyon and Myghternedh who volunteer from the archipelago clans. Indeed, the clan culture of Dimari that permeates it’s guardsmen is one of the regiment’s most striking qualities. Fatigues of greys, blues and blacks are most commonly paired with a Losten Kar: a thick woven skirt, bearing clan colours and patterns individual to the soldier’s heritage. Brawls between soldiers from different clans are common; where it is a more immediate offense they tend to be forgiven and forgotten as quickly as the insult was given, but when the result of a specific clan feud, these will often end up in blood, death and the commissar’s office. Depending on their size, a clan will often be responsible for populating entire platoons, and on some occasions companies - Officers need to exhibit a serious force of will, through reputation or brutal authoritarianship, to keep their troops in line. Commissars are found embedded within each company, spreading among the platoons; despite the Dimarian’s unruly nature requiring regular disciplinary action outside of combat, once on the battlefield they are surprisingly willing to shed blood in the name of the Emperor and need little further encouragement. Ministorum Priests are welcomed as warriors, redoubtable and enthusiastic as the Shieldbreakers; but those who come to understand the Dimarian dialect find the amount of foul language they hear uncouth and off-putting, and Dimarians find the constant religious preaching an irritant when they are exposed to it for extended periods of time. Other regimental attachments are rare to non-existent; Enginseers have little to do, and Psykers are shunned to the point of Dimarians refusing to serve alongside them. Combat Doctrine "Bramm an gath. Doesn't matter which way we go anymore. WITH ME, SKOOSKYJYAS!" Captain Matyn Rown, 88th Dimarian Shieldbreakers, upon being surrounded during the Pacification of Korvakan 546-563.M36 The Dimarian Shieldbreaker regiments are, in the vast majority of cases, lightly armed and lightly armoured. Most infantry squads will contain no weapons other than the standard-issue lasguns they are prescribed with at creation, and few vehicles will be found as part of the regiment. Where larger weaponry or artillery is permanently attached to a regiment of Shieldbreakers, it will more often than not be deployed to position by beasts of burden known as Ohen. Dimarians, by nature, are more at home with simple and efficient tactics rather than complex military maneuvers. When working in combination with other, more disciplined forces, they tend to work best deployed in one of three fashions. As light skirmishers, their fierce independence and stubborn nature can be assets when screening the flanks of a larger force, or securing difficult terrain ahead of a larger force’s arrival. Alternatively, they are commonly deployed as a mass of line infantry, where their intractable numbers can fix an opponent in place for other forces to move into position. A third task that the feudal guardsmen relish is as a large close-assault force. All Dimarians carry a ceremonial weapon from their homeworld, a one handed steel axe known as a Bool Kas. Many Bool Kas also feature a large and deadly spike affixed to the rear of the blade. These weapons are put to brutal use in the melee of close combat, whom the sturdy and robust Dimarians have proved themselves adept at. Many choose to supplement their lethality by affixing daggers or metal spike to the butt of their lasguns, allowing them for use as impromptu club-like pickaxe in combat, and others will wear rings of alloyed metals under their regulation flak armour, which offers additional protection when tackling enemies face-to-face. Where ranged weapons more powerful than the standard issue lasgun are required (or permitted), flamethrowers are most commonly seen: mobile and capable of taking down infantry in cover when skirmishing for position, warding off enemy assaults allowing Dimarians to gain the initiative when fighting on the line, and softening entrenched positions on the way to hand-to-hand combat. Moreover, they are simple and easy to maintain compared to the more archaic and specialised plasma guns or meltaguns, and do not require the precision and forethought needed for effective deployment of a grenade launcher. Mortars are favoured as a method of light artillery support, primarily for their ability to fire over friendly troops rather than around them; a stark advantage, considering the often unruly Shieldbreaker advances. Light and easily portable, they allow Dimarians to maintain pressure and suppression on an enemy while other squads advance to melee, at which point the mortar team will often pack up and rush to join. Notable Personnel "Find me that Dimarian. He puts half my own staff to shame." Lord General Irio Rusan Vaygoth, Commander of 3rd Army Group, on hearing of the Orcan Expeditions 081.M42 Marshall Lorrigan Skale - formerly the Colonel of the famous Dimarian 18th "Crossaxes", Skale was already Myghtern of the mighty Clan Skale and reknowned as a vicious warrior before he relinquished his seat to submit himself to the Imperial tithe. He is one of the few Dimarians to have risen above the ranks of regimental command, having been identified and requested by Lord General Vaygoth after Skale’s rearguard prevented a catastrophic collapse of Imperial forces during the recent Orcan Expeditions. Skale currently serves on the General Staff under Lord General Vaygoth, assisting Lord Marshall Alexander Voss in the vanguard of Battlegroup Vor, while the 18th have been requisitioned by Inquisitor Jasten Felixar of the Ordo Xenos to lead more excursions to Orcan I, II and III. Major Jory Splann - serving in the 429th Shieldbreakers in M38, Major Splann’s regiment was part of an army tackling a rampaging ork Waagh! on the far-off planet of Corpingnon. The fledgling and lightly supported Imperial force was thrown together hastily, and after a number of defeats, were in full retreat from the planet. In an effort to turn back the onrushing tide of Greenskins from the one spaceport still transporting Imperial troops off planet, Major Splann rallied his handful of remaining men and charged into the centre of the Orks, distracting them long enough to allow the Imperials to retreat in good order. When a larger force arrived to recapture the planet, Splann’s Bool Kas and the 429th Regimental Banner were recovered from where the bodies of his men and him lay in a city plaza, intermingled with hundreds of dead Orks. Splann’s Bool Kas has now been affixed to the banner pole of the 429th, and has been proudly carried in battles into the 42nd Millenia. Colonel Amandry Thark - Amandry Thark leads the 71st Dimarian Shieldbreakers as part of the 4th Barus Army against the Ork Warlord Skargutz Urgul, the Black Skar Boyz and their Feral Ork allies on the feral world of Obol. Proving to be an unconventional commander (by the Dimarian's loose standards), he led the 71st in their nightime raid on the camp of Skargutz's lieutenant, the Wyrdboy Garak dag Krull. Thark showed remarkable restraint in luring the Orks into the fire of his disciplined gunline, but lost both an arm and a leg battling Garak dag Krull before the Wyrdboy was gunned down. Considered too valuable as one of the few Dimarians to impose something resembling conventional battle tactics on a Shieldbreaker regiment, Thark was saved and given cybernetic limbs to sustain him; thus marking the Colonel as a fearsome warlord among his own regiment, but an outcast to Dimarians outside of the 71st.
  15. The Cantorellian 23rd http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/igbeta2.php?b62c=@hsbXm_hr3uf.hS1g2@@@.hyvFn__@@@hyvFn___..h1VNSh1VNS_@h1VNSiakk7&grid=TRUE Cantorellian Guardsman in Standard Duty Uniform Date:...............072.046M42 Ref:................LBC//DAI By:.................Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch Re:.................Astra Militarum - Cantorellian 23rd Thought:........."The Ocean is relentless. So are we." A curious hybrid regiment, the Cantorellian 23rd is an all-male unit, with twinned focuses of Sentinels and mechanized combat. Origins of the Cantorellian 23rd Founding: The regiment was founded in 200M37, ready and capable to take the fight to the Emperors enemies among the stars, as their predecessors had also done. Designated as Mechanized Infantry regiment and equipped for amphibious assault operations, the Cantorellian 23rd prepared to move out. First Campaign: In 202 M37, after a period of training and preparation, the Cantorellian 23rd was deployed to the desert planet of Arkanit, a critical mining planet that sourced material for a nearby forgeworld, that had come under assault by the perfidious Eldar for reasons unknown. The planet was subject to a multiregimental war, with Imperial forces scattered across the planet in an effort to deny territory to the Eldar, secure mining facilities, and find the xeno base of operations. Once they arrived in-system, the 23rd was deployed as security for a Valhallan rocket artillery regiment that came under frequent attack, at a base in the middle of nowhere, where the Valhallans were well-positioned to shell any battlegrounds anywhere they chose. However, once the Cantorellians had spent some time on the planet, they began to chafe at the lack of combat that they were undergoing. The Valhallans, miserable as they were under the blazing heat of the desert, at least could and did engage in battle, launching volleys of rockets intermittently at Eldar actions for fire support. The Cantorellians, though, did not see combat at all for more than three months, outside of blunting scouting parties of only a few Windriders. Thus, aching for battle and a way to prove his regiment as both capable and fearsome, the Colonel devised a plan to get some, and perhaps end the conflict. When next the Eldar scouting parties arrived at the artillery base, expecting only the furious but measured reprisal that usually greeted them, the Windriders were instead greeted by a hail of flushing fire and the roar en masse of Chimeras and Valkyries spinning up their engines for a pursuit. Quickly turning about, the Eldar began to flee, chased by the growling machines of the Cantorellian 23rd. Following an hourslong chase to the edge of the continent, towards the planets sole ocean, with the Chimeras of the Guard following behind and the Valkyries of the Stormtroopers tracking the Eldar from above, the Windriders turned out over the ocean, seeking to lose the Cantorellians. Undeterred, the Cantorellians charged into the ocean, their Chimeras rigged as usual for amphibious operations. The eldar quickly departed, running along the coast in an effort to ditch their pursuers. However, with the air cover of the Tempestus' gunships, the Eldar could not escape the view of the Imperium. The Eldar were tracked to a cave system some one hundred miles up the coast, where they disappeared from aerial view. With hardly any hesitation, once they arrived the Chimeras of the 23rd drove headlong into defensive fire onto the beach, offloading their contents into what became a brutal cave fight that lasted for several hours, turned in the Imperiums favor with the arrival of the Tempestus by way of a hidden passage to the surface, just large enough for a man, outflanking and destroying the eldar webway gate that they used to reinforce their troops, as well as an escape point. After another hour or two of intense fighting, the Eldar were subdued and defeated, with moderate casualties on the part of the Imperials, including 10 percent of the Tempestus force. At the conclusion of the campaign, which mainly involved cleanup of the remaining forces and investigating in the Eldars goal on the planet--a task left to the capable hands of the Inquisition--the Colonel was commended for his quick thinking, and then assigned to a Generals staff command, where his bright ideas could be filtered through Imperial bureaucracy to prevent more such harebrained schemes like abandoning ones allies on a chase for glory. The Major was promoted to fill his place, and he went on to lead the regiment in several more uneventful campaigns before succumbing to an Eldar Brightlance when his command vehicle exploded. 362.M39: In a rare stroke of Munitorum competence, the Cantorellian 23rd find themselves deployed to wipe out a chaos uprising on an ocean planet known for its undersea promethium reserves. The 23rd, with support from the Cantorellian 31st Armored, find themselves instrumental in staging an amphibious assault on the heretics main base, crushing it in a concentrated blow after three months of Naval bombardment. 739M41: The Cantorellian 23rd find themselves under attack by a Necron raider force while on Garrison duty on an Adeptus Mechanicus forgeworld. The 23rd will drive them off, with heavy casualties. They will not see the Necrons again in the lifetime of any man in the regiment. 992M41: The Merging Deployed to the hive world of Varru IV as part of a defensive task force, in preparation for a Tyranid invasion. Not a week after the regiments arrival, and with hardly any time to spare before the Tyranid fleet darkens the Mandeville point of the Varrunis system, a Genestealer Cult uprising took place, throwing Varru IV into chaos. As a recently arrived regiment, the 23rd was one of the few units completely uninfected, they spent several days policing and eliminating infected Guard regiments. One regiment, a Sentinel regiment, from the world of Dolrunus, had approximately half of its regiment infected with genestealer infestation due to its prolonged stay on Varru IV, in support of a Knightly house from Dolrunus. After clearing the remaining genestealers from the command structure, only about a third remained after the regimental infighting. The 23rd took command of the situation, absorbing the Dolrunus regiment into their table of organization. After the fighting was over, and the tyranids were driven off, the Cantorellian 23rd permanently absorbed the Dolrunus regiment, adding several Sentinel squadrons to their ranks, along with a hefty cache of bionics and other mechanicus tools. The 23rd requested an official redesignation from the Cantorellian gubernatorial house, who granted both the change from Mechanized to Mechanized-Sentinel and a commensurate equipment increase. The Cantorellian 23rd then spent a few years on a munitorum training planet, establishing command and control protocols, combined tactics, and a plethora of other integration exercises, resulting in an almost-seamless regiment at the end of it. 012.M42: Swimming in Shark-Infested Waters The Cantorellian 23rd, recently having acquired Commissar Nykkole Jayn, is attacked in transit by a Necron warship. The 23rds transport ships were boarded, but the attackers were repelled at heavy cost, and the warship itself was driven off by a Dawn Blades Battle Barge, bearing three companies of Astartes. Following a three month campaign, the 23rd with support of the Dawn Blades tracks down and destroys the moon base that the warship came from. The 23rd then returns to Cantorellia for resupply, with promise of future cooperation between the two organizations. Organization The 23rd operates nominally at 8 companies, broken down into three Sentinel companies, four mechanized infantry companies, and a headquarters company. However, due to manpower constraints, one company, usually the 8th, is typically critically undermanned, and only nominally available for combat operations. Any men in this company are usually assigned to the Headquarters company for additional security, liaison work, specialist work, and additional bodies where needed. It is a rare day indeed when all 8 companies are at full fighting strength. The Headquarters company houses much of the Regimental support staff, as well as a Militarum Tempestus stormtrooper platoon, courtesy of the Cantorellian gubernatorial house, which mandated that each regiment would maintain such a force, and granted by gubernatorial decree the necessary rights and equipment for such. It also liaises with other Imperial organizations, and typically finds itself in command of or acting in concert with armored assets, abhuman auxiliary units, and whatever other assets are in theatre and available for deployment with the Cantorellian 23rd. Homeworld and Cultural Influence Cantorellia is an ocean world, with far less landmass than any other habitable planet in the system and subsector. Despite the disadvantages the planet poses to Imperial supremacy, it has done well for itself in the six millennia since it has been settled. Imperial governance has turned the disadvantages of the planet into vast resources, using the many fish and other seafood to supply food for other planets, and taking vast quantities of water from the planet's oceans to other planets, for hydration purposes, industrial uses, or weapons production, whatever is needed. In order to balance the loss of water versus the needs of the planet for water, excess elemental gas from other planets is transported to Cantorellia, where chemical processes and arcane sciences turn the gas back into the liquid that all human life requires. In addition to seafood and water, the planet also exports men, as all Imperial planets do, in the Imperial Tithe. So it was in early M37 that the Cantorellian 23rd was tithed and created, designated an amphibious assault/mechanized infantry regiment of two thousand men. Cantorellian regiments are often exported with enough dried, tinned seafood to keep them fed for decades or more, with regular shipments in resupply and reinforcement convoys. As a result of this, few find Cantorellians anything approaching pleasant to be around, with the smell of fish always permeating their breath and their equipment. However, when called upon for formal events or to host high-ranking Imperial officials, the regiment's cooks find themselves capable of what they consider to be great feats of oceanic delicacy, and most who dine with the regiment's officers at such events would tend to agree, though there are some dishes that no one but Cantorellians will touch. On special events, like Founding Day or the conclusion of a major campaign, the rank and file of the regiment will partake in these feasts, but these events are rare, and never occur more than once or twice a year. Combat Doctrine -armored sentinel platoons will generally provide outrider support to mechanized columns -scout sentinels tend to outflank the enemy, as well as provide reconnaissance to the regiment. they work to drive the enemy to a battle with the regiment's main formation, for hammer and anvil maneuvers -due to their homeworld's watery state, the Cantorellian 23rd, and all Cantorellian regiments, are adept at amphibious warfare, though the addition of walkers does tend to complicate matters, with limited waterproofing equipment available to the regiment, one or two companies usually have to be airdropped into the battlezone or shipped on dedicated barges to ensure they reach shore -in concordance with typical Imperial Doctrine concerning mechanized units, the 23rd is often deployed alongside armored regiments to provide assistance in whatever manner is needed. One regiment that the 23rd deploys alongside with somewhat unusual frequency is the Cantorellian 31st Armored -due to their relationship with their homeworld, where it is a constant struggle between the ocean and its inhabitants, where giving up is fruitless and often permanent, Cantorellian regiments almost never surrender or retreat, and rarely have disciplinary issues when it comes to desertion. As a result, a typical unit will only have two or three commissars. The 23rd has two, one at the regimental level, and one to oversee the first company. Personnel Author Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch is the commanding officer (Daimyo, by chapter tradition due to his membership in the Samurai company prior to his officer posting) of the Dawn Blades Second Company, and renowned across the chapter for successfully penetrating the Necron tomb world of Seranon to retrieve several Adeptus Mechanicus Magi, at great cost to his company and in spite of the burning enmity between the chapter and the Adeptus Mechanicus. He also succeeded in stealing several pieces of Necron technology for study and analysis by chapter Techmarines and Legio scientists. The moniker 'Phaeron' was added to his title after this feat, in mocking of the Necrons he had defeated--he was their Phaeron, their master. A capable swordsman and a skilled tactician, he fought for four decades in the Dawn Blades Samurai Company before ascending to the rank of Daimyo following the death of the Second Comapny's previous commander. He visits the Legio Fortress on occasion, though how he is capable is currently unknown by the Legio, as his Strike Cruiser was last noted on the far side of the Noctis Aeterna. <<description of the regiment's typical personnel and its TO+E>> -due to their deep. intrinsic relationship with their homeworld, where it is a constant struggle between the ocean and its inhabitants, where giving up is fruitless and often permanent, Cantorellian regiments almost never surrender or retreat, and rarely have disciplinary issues when it comes to desertion. As a result, a typical Cantorellian unit will only have two or three commissars. The 23rd has two, one at the regimental level, and one to oversee the first company. Most Guardsmen of the 23rd have, as is typical, a deep tan or dark skin, as the sun beats down harsh on the people of Cantorellia. A tiny minority of the regiment, however, boasts a pale, almost pasty skin, from those few men tithed who spend their whole lives belowdecks on ship, or in the massive desalination plants that line the oceans of Cantorellia Many of the Guardsmen spent much of their formative years on fishing boats, and grow up strong and swarthy, with mouths to match. While most Guard regiments have the typical Gothic lexicon of swears and curses, when angered Cantorellian troopers will often spill forth a tide of invective that can leave other Imperials gobsmacked at the impropriety. On rare occasions, when in conflict with xeno forces capable of understanding the tirade, some Cantorellian soldiers have been known to frighten their enemies with their creative and crude use of language, and the sheer anger that backstops the words. Cantorellian troopers are issued three types of uniforms, though only two of them, the combat uniform and duty uniform, are worn on anything approaching a regular basis. The combat uniform consists of a set of fatigues and flak armor with a blue, light blue, and sand-color camouflage pattern. The duty uniform is a monochrome blue, with a hat to match (attached to this datafile please find an image of a Cantorellian trooper in duty uniform). The dress uniform is a deep ocean blue, with sky-blue highlight and trim, and some gold detail for those of the rank of sergeant, captain, or above, for enlisted and officer respectively. The dress uniform is required for high-profile events like Founding Day, as well as parades, victory celebrations, and is authorized for use outside of these events, but the opportunities for such are quite rare, as the Cantorellian 23rd spends little time in civilian sectors, as befits a regiment of the Imperial Guard and its duties. The Dolrunus regiment, upon their subsuming into the 23rd, brought with them a cache of both bionics and Skitarii weaponry. Such equipment is often given to those troopers who prove themselves worthy of such tools of war, most often veterans and sergeants. Certain line troops who distinguish themselves in battle or discipline may earn the right to carry such arms into battle, or receive a replacement body part if circumstances necessitate it. Notable Personnel -Colonel Zevan Zenara: Current commanding officer of the Cantorellian 23rd Mechanized/Sentinel Regiment. Lost his left arm in an ork Kommando attack on his regimental Command Post. Despite his wounds, and with the aid of a young medic who saved his life, Zevan proceeded to dispatch most of the ork assailants, before the quick-reaction force was able to respond and deal with the threat. Fitted for an augmetic arm from the regimental cache shortly afterward, and awarded the Medallion Crimson at the conclusion of the campaign. -Major Crysis Rand: Second in command of the Cantorellian 23rd, and very much a man of the line troops. Spends much of his time with the rank-and-file of the regiment, ensuring they are in good fighting trim and capable of completing their mission. I suspect more than six in ten men of the regiment would take a lasbolt for him, which in my experience is a ratio far in excess of most Guard forces and commanding officers. -Captain Candon 'Kanner' Broklaw: Great grand-nephew of General Ruput Broklaw of 597th Valhallan Ice Warriors fame, the Captain commands the Sentinel forces of the 23rd, often leading the charge in his own walker. Earned his nickname from the sheer number of Killa Kans he destroyed in close quarters with his Sentinel chainsaw--or so I'm told. Guard tales are so often sensationalized, and I haven't the time to attempt to ferret out the truth. Nonetheless, he is a competent commander, though he does have a bit of a wild streak. -Regimental Colour Sergeant Lawrence James: To attempt to describe the Regimental Colour Sergeant is a notably difficult task, primarily due to his reticence to answer any inquiries that are not directly related to the mission at hand. This includes, but is not limited to: his favored hobbies; his preferred alcoholic beverage; anything about his family (or lack thereof); questions of his preferred devotional prayer; where and how he acquired the swagger stick he uses as a melee weapon, despite having been issued a chainsword; what hes doing that evening, and would the sergeant like to have a meal with the Astartes officer asking him the question. However, when a reasonable concern is brought to him, the Regimental Colour Sergeant ensures it is taken care of, be it additional supplies from the quartermaster, questions of enlisted morale, tactical and strategic guidance for new officers, or simply a man who backs up his men over outsiders. Not many soldiers like the RCM as a person (mostly owed to the fact he hardly allows himself to exist as a person), but I have not met a man in the regiment who does not respect the RCM. -Regimental Commissar Nykkole Muran: Currently the chief commissar for the Cantorellian 23rd. She is new to the unit as of this writing, within the last five years. Her predecessor was killed in an unfortunate danger close accident--or so it's claimed by those few troops I've been able to speak of. Wields an heirloom power lance entrusted to her Scholam by her father, and has an augmetic eye from a stray lasbolt, gained while fighting a rebellion on her first posting with a Cadian unit two years before her transfer to the 23rd. While she is not well-liked, and carries a harsh demeanor, she is generally regarded as a fair disciplinarian, according to Militarum guidelines. -Lieutenant Cythos: Personal aide to Commissar Muran, and the second of two females in the entire regiment. She requested a transder to the 23rd to serve as Commissar Muran's adjutant, following the pair meeting on a Munitorum hub planet. Her mother was a decorated tank commander in the Cantorellian 31st Armored regiment, who earned commendation for a decisive maneuver that turned the tide against a horde of chaos cultists. Lt. Cythos herself is quite the hero as well, according to the citation I pulled from regimental records, indicating a fervent assault against tyranid swarms even after her unit was almost entirely wiped out, earning among other planetary honors the Triple Skull, as one of four surviving members of the Cantorellian 151st Infantry Regiment (citation attached). No one knows her first name, and it is not listed on any of her medal citations, promotion warrant, medical records, or personnel rosters. Nevertheless, it appears she manages to navigate the regiment skillfully and without issue, being both immediately recognizable and with some degree of Commissarial authority, in addition to her own rank. -Private Jones Mellenkamp: Though it pains me to do so, I suppose I must at least mention my attache for the impending campaign. He seems eager to please, but for Throne's sake the boy is hardly 18 standard years old. Manpower may be the Solis-Imperator's currency, but I'm not sure this note is worth spending right now. A couple of years, perhaps, and he'll be a proper soldier. But not quite yet. Personal Notes I have observed that an air of tension exists between the Mechanicum priests and support personnel and the command staff of the regiment. From what I have learnt of the Sentinel regiment's homeworld, the underlings don't trust the higher-ups very much, and when the 23rd absorbed the other regiment, they absorbed certain cultural norms as well. Cantorellian tradition demands absolute loyalty to those in command, as it is the only way to survive. Dolrunus tradition dictates absolute loyalty to those in command by force and on pain of punishment. The command staff orders them on expectation, and the Dolrunus men and mechanicus personnel obey out of fear. Commissar Tred Pond, deceased about fifteen years now, was a large part of ensuring that there was some modicum of understanding between the factions, though I understand he may have eaten an 'accidental' mortar shred shortly after beginning the integration work--I'm given to understand he was not well liked. Interaction with the Legio currently none -one private jones mellankamp as an aide-de-camp, advisor, and envoy between myself and the 23rd for an upcoming campaign. Related Articles Currently none. Will update as further intelligence arrives at the Legio. Placeholder removed. Enough ideas in place now.
  16. =][= Space Reserved for Model Pictures =][= "The Emperor Protects most those who Protect themselves." ~ First Tenet of the Iron Creed Background and Origins: "Do these people - good and faithful in their praise of Him - not deserve the protection of the Church?" ~ Cardinal Ebritius von Lochlane, taken from his collected Missives to the Cardinals, 062.M40 The Glastheim Rifts have long been a site where corruption and heresy fester under the surface. The malevolent forces within the Rift cannot directly overpower the Imperium's forces, but instead seek to subvert them, sowing dissent and treachery in the hearts and minds of formerly loyal citizens. During 031.M40, Ebritius von Lochlane, a Cardinal of some repute within the local branch of the Eccelsiarchy, hatched a daring plan to bolster the will and loyalty of the faithful around the Rifts. Under his guidance, a cluster of stately cathedrals were constructed on key worlds along the southern edge of the Glastheim Rifts, each one a gilded and proud monument to the glory of Him on Terra. Once these cathedrals were completed, Ebritius paid an official visit to the comparatively isolated world of Zhelnyka, where he had a vision of The Emperor and undertook a solitary pilgrimage into the mountains there. When he returned to civilisation two days later, he carried with him an old white robe, which he stated was the lost robe of Saint Ashla the Pure, whose tomb he had discovered in the mountains. Ordaining the construction of another church - one topped by a tower of polished metal, as he claimed The Emperor had instructed him to make. With this underway, von Lochlane decreed his cathedrals part of a traditional Pilgrimage route, leading from beyond the Rifts towards Holy Terra. Whether or not von Lochlane had truly beheld a vision of The Emperor quickly became a moot point. Pilgrims flocked in their billions to visit these holy sites and pay their respects to the remnant of the beloved Saint Ashla. Fiendish cultists sought to infiltrate the ranks of the faithful, but were rooted out by the vigilant priests and publicly destroyed to the roars of approval from the pious. Cardinal von Lochlane, using these displays to demonstrate the level of danger that could befall the faitfhul on their pilgrimage, rallied enough support that a sanction mandating the creation of an Order of the Adepta Sororitas was passed. Their mission was simple - protect the pilgrimage routes, and eradicate any and all traces of heresy to be found around the Glastheim Rifts. Orginally taken from and trained by a small convent associated with the Order of the Sacred Rose, these newly ordained Battle Sisters took the name "The Order of the Iron Tower", after the sacred site where Saint Ashla's robe had been found. Even while the Order was in transit to the Rifts, Cardinal von Lochlane, aided by the masses of pilgrims, continued to travel the circumference of the Glastheim Rifts, building churches and cathedrals on auspicious worlds as they did so. By 456.M40, thanks to the tireless work of the devoted and faithful, a complete circuit of holy sites was established around the perimeter of the Glastheim Rifts, and the numbers of devout citizens who prostrated themselves at the cathedrals of the Glastheim Pilgrimage continued to grow almost daily. Recognizing the need for the Order of the Iron Tower to remain highly mobile to protect this densely populated realm, the Ecclesiarchy under von Lochlane and his successors had forged strong bonds with a naumber of spacefaring allies. Most obvious of these was the attachment to the Dalchebor Rogue Trader dynasty, whose founders shared a distant heritage with Cardinal von Lochlane himself. It was eventually agreed to loan the Order the Dalchebor's Flagship, the King's Gambit, for the purpose of transporting the Adepta Sororitas in exchange for favourable trade rights on the shrine worlds of the Glastheim Pilgrimage. Alongside the Rogue traders, the priests made sure to make an ally of Forge-World Valstrax, the largest and most capable Mechanicus-held planet in the Glastheim Rifts. Putting aside small yet faultlessly constructed churches for the worship of the Omnissiah on many of the shrine worlds around the Rifts and conducting additional sermons with a decidedly Mechanicus-friendly bent, the Cardinals won the respect of the Valstraxi. In turn, their Forge World supplied the Order of the Iron Tower with a purpose-built manufactorum-vessel named the Argent Victory. This mighty vessel was designed to fabricate entire sections of cathedrals and churches for ease of construction on worlds where such resources were scarce. Finally, the influx of devout citizens inspired great faith in many of the regiments and navies of the Glastheim Rifts. In particular, Battlefleet Albanastra is made up largely of the descendants of pilgrims who settled in the Glastheim Rifts, for whom the glory of the Church is something they hold dear. The Cardinals who came after von Lochlane made a point of impressing upon Battlefleet Albanastra the importance of safeguarding the Glastheim Pilgrimages, and the devout officers were only to happy to agree, lending a portion of their fleet to transport and escort the Order of the Iron Tower along the pilgrimage routes. Some of these ships accompany the Argent Victory, and others act as an escort for the King's Gambit. The rest defend a Naval Transport vessel dubbed the Spirit of Albanastra, where the final contingent of Adepta Sororitas dwell. Early History: "War is our shrine, and our guns our chorus - so stand, and sing with us!" ~ Canoness Aragi, Order of the Iron Tower, before the battle of Byrnfeldt Hive, 249.M40 A Battle Sister of the Order of the Iron Tower The Order of the Iron Tower has had a battle-worn and turbulent history since arriving at the Glastheim Rifts. The Sisters have often been at the forefront of what has been dubbed "The War of Faith" by the Eccelsiarchy - pitted against the insidious plots and corruptions instigated by the heretics in the heart of the Glastheim Rifts. The heretics have proven to be persistent, planting the seeds of rebellion through artifice and cunning. Coming before Imperial citizens in the guise of devout, beneficent servants of their 'Great Gods', making false promises of salvation and glory to ensnare the weak-willed, and turn them, by degrees, to the cause of Chaos. The Order of the Iron Tower, from their earliest days, has shown no mercy to the corrupted. They quickly came to specialise in hunting down and exposing these heretical and deviant cults. The Order swiftly came to discover that even Shrine Worlds - and even worlds on the Pilgrimage Routes - were not immune to the seductive whispers of heresy. And yet despite the Order's perpetual vigil, these dark cults would sometimes muster their strength and take hideous action - making pacts with fell powers, razing or defacing religious sites, murdering those they could not corrupt and besieging settlements that clung to the true faith of the God-Emperor. Such brazen heresy could only meet with one fate - the violent retribuition of the righteous. The Order of the Iron Tower fought tooth and nail to cast down each and every blasphemous uprising. In the early years, the Order often found themselves fighting alone as the resolve of the pilgrims or citizens they stood to defend wavered and failed. And yet, sometimes those who fled would come back. Inspired by the absolute resolve of the Order of the Iron Tower, pilgrims and Imperial citizens alike that found their courage would charge into the fight, often with only the shirt on their back for protection, and hurl themselves into the ranks of the enemy with zealous fury. Those that chose to stand and fight alongside the Sisterhood were honoured in the aftermath, and those that died in the attempt were given a martyr's burial. It was these times, where the Sisters bore witness to the flight of cowards and the fall of the valiant, that shaped the creed of the Order of the Iron Tower. In their hours of need, the only miracle the Sisters witnessed was the miracle of human courage. Thus, the Order decided, it was the miracle of courage that was The Emperor's true gift to His people, and the means by which He judges them. Divine Intervention was not inexplicable salvation at the last minute, but rather it was the shipment of arms and armour that had arrived the month before the enemy attacked. It was the preacher whose impassioned sermon inspired a quatermaster to open the door to the armoury. It was the retired Guardsman who rallied those around him for one last charge. Though the Order of the Iron Tower speak openly of Him on Terra and his obvious Divinity, they warn people against the expectation of miracles. That The Emperor had, in His wisdom, built the Imperium for His people across the galaxy was in itself a miracle beyond equal. That the enemy could be overcome by those with the will to stand and fight was proof that The Emperor watches over His Imperium. The simple act of fighting in His name was to show true devotion to The Emperor. This creed, though at first mockingly derided as "miracles in the mundane" by detractors, quickly caught on within the Order. The impassioned sermon given by Canoness Aragi in the hours before the battle of Byrnfeldt Hive saw the loyalists within the city muster in their near-entirety and march to war with the Sisterhood, turning what would have been a brutal, protracted guerrilla combat action into a complete rout in the favour of the Imperials. Over time, what has come to be known as "The Iron Creed" by religious figures around the Glastheim Rifts has gone on to define the character of the Order of the Iron Tower. Those that follow the Iron Creed are steadfast, courageous and resolute even in the face of annihilation. The Iron Creed caused something of a stir amongst local Ecclesiarchical circles, and was the source of much intense debate amongst theologists for many years. However, the Order's absolute dedication to the Church, proven over several centuries of servitude, and their willingness to fight even the most heinous of foes with neither respite nor hesitation has earned the Order of the Iron Tower the respect of the clergy around the Glastheim Rifts. One quirk of the Iron Creed that often stays within the Order is a distrust bordering on emnity with the Space Marines. Though the Glastheim Rifts are protected from invasion by the so-called 'Silver Circle', an alliance of Space Marine Chapters, the Order of the Iron Tower have little tolerance for would-be protectors who waste the majority of their time focusing on battle with aliens instead of eradicating the Great Enemy lurking within the Rifts. Nevertheless, with a history spanning several centuries of hard-fought battles against the most perfidious and twisted of foes, the Order of the Iron Tower remains not only a bastion of Faith, but a true shield against the darkness around the Glastheim Rifts. Recent History: "We cannot promise divinity, but we can promise intervention." - Canoness Abithara, 067.M42 In the aftermath of the awakening of the Great Rift, the Order of the Iron Tower have taken an ever-more aggressive fight to the constant lurking spectre of heresy. Stretched thin at times, and struggling to protect the entirety of the Glastheim Pilgrimage route, it is not uncommon to see Sisters of the Iron Tower accompanied by bands of fanatical warrior-pilgrims, dour and steadfast Imperial regiments, or even the techno-savants of the Adeptus Mechanicus as they take to the fields of war. The Order has proven to be a long-enduring thorn in the side of the Blades of Atracia, the Warband of heretics who mastermind the endless cult uprisings around the Rifts. More of these white-clad heretic Astartes have perished at the hands of the Order of the Iron Tower than in battle with any other force. In 009.M42, a shipment of weapons and armour bound for the Spirit of Albanastra went missing. Two months later, the Spirit came across the corpse-strewn debris of the Forge-ship that had made the journey. A dozen years later, the Order of the Iron Tower were alerted to the presence of what appeared to be another Order in the Glastheim Rifts; a force calling themselves the Order of the Light Unceasing. Investigations, carried out discreetly, soon revealed that this "Order" was false. They wore stolen, repainted armour and accompanied the Blades of Atracia on their vile crusade to convert faithful citizens to the worship of the "Great Gods". A careful campaign of misdirection and espionage by members of the clergy eventually brought this false Order to battle as they attempted to sway the world of Mastari to darkness. The Order of the Iron Tower enclosed them, attacking from all sides. As soon as the battle began, the Order of the Light Unceasing abandoned all pretence, sacrificing dozens of converts and even some of their own number to flood the battlefield with a tide of Daemons. Though this bought time for a handful of the imposter Sororitas to flee, most of the Order of the Light Unceasing were wiped out that day. In 188.M42, a rare co-ordinated strike alongside the Warminds Chapter of Space Marines saw the sisters aboard the Argent Victory engage the Blades of Atracia in orbit around the factory-moon of Ausbech, successfully boarding their Strike Cruiser Spear of Truth and fighting a ferocious battle against roughly a hundred Chaos Space Marines and their innumerable serfs and servants. Though victory came at the cost of over three hundred and fifty slain Sisters, the battle culminated in Sister Estelda martyring herself to strike down the Riftmark leading the Blades of Atracia, dealing a truly decisive blow to the heretics' plans and shattering their co-ordination in that quadrant of the Rifts for many years afterward. No matter what perils may yet come, The Order of the Iron Tower stands vigil, their faith still strong and their discipline unwavering. [More to be added at a later date, if needed] Homeworld: "All the strength in the world won't help you if you lack the courage to use it. Stand up, girl. Keep fighting!" ~ Sister Katusa, Order of the Iron Tower, to an aspirant The Order of the Iron Tower do not recruit from a single world, but instead take suitable candidates from the shrine worlds along the Glastheim Pilgrimage route. Each of the fleets the Order accompanies has facilities suitable for the training and development of prospective recruits. Potential recruits for the Order are thoroughly screened at all steps of their training, lest the foulness of corruption lurk within their hearts. The training itself is highly intense, a series of brutal combat drills and trials interwoven with study of the Iron Creed, its philosophies and virtues. Of the worlds the Order draws recruits from, three in particular are known to produce a high volume of suitable candidates for the Sisterhood. In the south of the Glastheim Rifts lays Narrigost, a world that has withstood over a dozen sieges by the faithless and the heretical. Every city is a fortification, and even the churches on Narrigost are designed to withstand siege situations and repel invaders. Sisters hailing from Narrigost tend to be uncompromising and zealous in equal measure, their faith and grit armouring their minds as solidly as the armour that protects their bodies. In the East of the Rifts is Sagitar's World, a mostly-frozen world that was, at one time, owned wholly by the Valstrax Mechanicus. Lost to the Imperium after an attack by the Blades of Atracia, Cardinal von Lochlane spearheaded the reclaimation himself in the final years before his death. Though he claimed the surface for the Imperium at large, von Lochlane bequeathed the mineral wealth of Sagitar's World back to Valstrax, building small churches to the Omnissiah and allowing the Forgeworld to re-open the mining camps that had survived the Heretic's attack intact. Recruits coming from Sagitar's World generally have a greater affinity with machines than their Sisters, and are a Canoness's first choice for diplomacy whenever the Valstraxi are involved. Finally, on the northernmost edge of the Pilgrimage routes is Koruke, a hive world built on a foundation of strict customs that focus on proper veneration of The Emperor. Resolute discipline and a reverence for authority - especially religious authority - are virtually universal traits amongst the people of Koruke, making them excellent servants of the Church. Recruits from Koruke frequently exemplify these traits, staying calm and taking only decisive actions even under fire. With most of the Order's divisions having a mix of recruits from all three worlds, plus more than a dozen others besides, the Order of the Iron Tower has no shortage of recruits. If life around the Glastheim Rifts was anything besides an eternal war of attrition against ungodly forces, the Order would no doubt thrive. Life in the Rifts being what it is, however, the Sisterhood often needs to undertake extensive recruitment drives in the wake of the horrific battles they face on a constant basis. Beliefs: "To fight for The Emperor is to fight with honour. There can be no such thing as an unjust battle fought in His name." - Canoness Sefaya, 922.M40 The Iron Creed, as touched upon earlier, is the collected tenets of the Order of the Iron Tower. Serving as both the Order's religious centre and military guide, the Iron Creed is in many ways the heart of the Order. Even within their creed, however the Order of the Iron Tower is perhaps best defined at their very core by the first line of their creed: "The Emperor protects most those who Protect themselves." Or, in more traditional terms, if you fight to preserve His Imperium, then He will give you the strength to do so. Cowardice is a sin against The Emperor, but to show courage is to praise Him. But to dismiss the above as the be-all and end-all of the Iron Creed would be a mistake - the Creed itself has adapted somewhat over the centuries, as historic battles and influential Canonesses have left their marks on the Order. The Iron Creed has always placed a focus on disciplined combat over blind zeal, but it was Canoness Masuyo in 724.M40 who first penned a detailed sermon on how it behooved the Order to value survival equally to martyrdom, in order show an example of how one should live for The Emperor, and not just how one should die for Him. Masuyo was a great advocate of endurance as a virtue, and stated several times throughout her life that survival was simply a matter of supplies - always preparing for a longer, fiercer fight than you expect to face. After the protracted, casualty-heavy campaign against the Cult of Bliss in 905.M40, this teaching took a stronger hold, alongside the rise of Canoness Sefaya. The Canoness had long been of the opinion that honour had no place on the battlefield, and was more than happy to vanquish heretics through tactics previously considered 'underhanded' by the Order. Setting traps, cutting off supply lines, starving heretics to death or otherwise fighting the enemy where they could not defend themselves. After Sefaya's death in 916.M40 and the eventual promotion of many of her students to prominent roles, the Order of the Iron Tower adopted many of her teachings into their doctrines, pairing the Order's already fierce resolve with a keenly vindictive mindset and greater grasp of long-term strategic planning. In such ways, the Iron Creed has adapted over the centuries. While other Orders will recount great miracles of faith and salvation, made possible by the direct intervention of Him on Terra, the Order of the Iron Tower's history is almost entirely bereft of such examples. The Sororitas of the Iron Tower instead view such miracles as vanishingly rare and precious things, given only to those who enact His will with all their heart, mind, body and soul. Miracles are neither to be asked for nor expected by followers of the Iron Creed - He has already given you your weapons, your armour, your training, and your courage. To ask more of The Emperor would be gross disrespect of the gifts He has already given you. Those who claim to have witnessed miracles - outside of the distinguished ranks of the Ecclesiarchy - are treated with extreme scepticism by the Order of the Iron Tower. The Order's dislike of the Adeptus Astartes partially stems from the percieved preoccupation of the Silver Circle with the xenos surrounding the Glastheim Rifts, but also from the Order's multiple clashes with Heretic Astartes. The warbands that have dwelt in the Rifts over the millennia have been the Order's ultimate foe, but have also caused the Sororitas to view Space Marines as little more than fallible, corruptible, pompous weapons of war, rather than Emperor-ordained Angels of Death. Combat Doctrines: "Afraid? That's natural. But overcoming that fear is the path to victory, and to The Emperor." ~ Sister Superior Purnama to her squadmates, before the battle of Helnist Field, 114.M41 The Order of the Iron Tower is a fairly flexible combat force, equally adept at defending cities or rooting out heretic encampments. Often the Sororitas are accompanied by their numerous allies, be they fanatical pilgrims, sly Rogue Traders or dispassionate servants of the Mechanicus. In most situations, these allies will bow to the whims of the Adepta Sororitas once battle is inevitable, such is the renown of the Order's mastery of combat. Warfare as undertaken by Order of the Iron Tower is primarily conducted as close-range firefights where possible, to better utilise their blessed flamer and melta weapons. However, the Order typically avoids melee combat save for as a last resort. Sisters who have undertaken the vows of penance and become Repentia, or those bound to Penitent Engines, are generally reserved for counter-assualt tactics, or planned ambushes to tie up particularly vicious foes and buy their sisters time to reposition and better entrench themselves against the foe. Organisation: "Sixteen more martyred today. A dozen prospects picked up from the Pilgrim Fleet. No idea how long they'll last." ~ Private writings of Canoness Marel, 335.M41 Thanks to the ancient pacts and accords made in the time of Cardinal von Lochlane, The Order of the Iron Tower consists primarily of three Preceptories, each one assigned to one of the fleets patrolling the Glastheim Pilgrimage. The precise number of Adepta Sororitas in the Order of the Iron Tower is constantly in flux. By the nature of the conflicts they face, every battle is simply part of a larger war of attrition. Few indeed are the battles won without loss of life. With each conflict, the list of the martyred grows, and every woman in the Order is confronted with their own mortality on a near-daily basis. This is, however, offset by the large amount of recruits the Order can draw upon. With more than a dozen worlds serving as potential recruitment grounds even before drawing on willing young women in the Pilgrim Fleets, the Order of the Iron Tower boasts a seemingly never-ending supply of fresh recruits. Besides the main fleets, supplementary garrison forces exist on a handful of key Shrine Worlds, usually consisting of a dozen or less Battle Sisters assigned to the defence of sites of religious significance. Handfuls of Sisters can also be assigned as bodyguards for notable members of the Imperial Clergy, or as safeguards for the Order's numerous allies. At such, the Order's numbers have fluctuated wildly over the millennia. At rare times, the Order has had more trained Sororitas than they had Power Armour for them to wear. At other times, the Order has had over half its' stock of weapons and armour kept ensconced in blessed shrines aboard their ships, awaiting new owners. Regardless of their numbers, the resolve of the Sisterhood has never wavered - cowardice is a betrayal of The Emperor, and the Iron Creed binds the Order to their courage. Battlecry: Call: "Forged in Faith!" Response: "Tempered in War!" --=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-- EDIT 17/04/2020: Added a handful of quotes, hopefully snappy and suitable enough for the Order of the Iron Tower. As always, thoughts, opinions, criticisms and stern reprimands for doing this all wrong always welcome.
  17. If you're looking to flex your DIY lore-writing skills as well as get some models painted over the next few months, look no further! We have just the event for you! Liberalia Martiale 2020: The Iron Gauntlet
  18. If you're looking to flex your DIY lore-writing skills as well as get some models painted over the next few months, look no further! We have just the event for you! Liberalia Martiale 2020: The Iron Gauntlet
  19. If you're looking to flex your DIY lore-writing skills as well as get some models painted over the next few months, look no further! We have just the event for you! Liberalia Martiale 2020: The Iron Gauntlet
  20. If you're looking to flex your DIY lore-writing skills as well as get some models painted over the next few months, look no further! We have just the event for you! Liberalia Martiale 2020: The Iron Gauntlet
  21. There was a rumbling in the fortress. What was rumbling, few could identify. It was not anything tangible to be felt, and produced no noise to be heard, even to the genehanced ear of an Astartes, or one of the many xenos species that maintained something akin to an embassy. No, it was not a rumbling that any scientist would call such, nothing seismic or mechanical. It was a call, however, and those that needed to hear it, did. A psychic summons, from the Deepest, Darkest Depths of the Liber. And it would be terrible to behold. =][= A lone marine hurried down the halls of the Legio Fortress, his silvery kimono stained with ink and soot from the arts both calligraphic and metallurgical, weapons clattering against each other as he ran. He had heard this call only once before, and it had stretched him to his absolute limits. Astartes did not know fear, but a heavy anticipation had begun to build in his heart. Nimbly he dodged and moved throughout the sparse crowds that occupied this part of the fortress. He rapidly descended the levels, passing human fighters, acolytes, and adepts, the dark mirrors of his own kind and their infernal masters, aeldari witches and warriors, chittering hybrid, silent Necron figures, orks of colossal size, T’au battlesuits, ravening horrors, a chronal rift, the denizens of the fortress strategium, and countless other marines, all the whole hearing the faint rumbling in his mind, before he finally reached his destination. Before him stood the massive, unforgiving gates of the Liber. Here was the domain of so many projects, finished and not, abandoned and loved, where volumes and volumes detailed countless chapters, regiments, orders, and countless organizations, tribes, and so much more. Wasting hardly not a moment to stand slack-jawed in awe, quickly the marine withdrew from his belt a code cylinder, tapping it briefly to the melta he wore on his hip before pressing it to the scanner beside the entryway. With a brief flash of light and a puff of incense, the door began to grind open, dust shaking from its frame. As he entered the Liber’s main hall, the smell of ink, parchment, and old books filled his senses. Flickering light danced and battled against the pervasive gloom of this ancient library, and the Astartes’ bionic eye swiftly compensated for the darkness, leaving him half-blind in the shadow. However, his eyes could have been hewn from his head, and he still would have known where to go. The rumbling guided the marine to an ancient stairwell, which he knew to lead down below, where unfinished works were condemned to lay. The rumbling grew louder in his mind as he went, and the nearer he drew the clearer it became. It was no mere rumble, as quickly became apparent. Rather, it was thousands of chants all at once. If he focused, the marine could catch snippets of phrases, detailing the minutia of chapters, their planets, orders and their monasteries, regiments and their traditions. Passing an office with the letters SP engraved in the door, and ignoring both the data-scriveners and his own cramped workspace further down the hall, the marine arrived at a door with a single letter, a D, engraved upon it. He rose his fist and rapped twice, the knocks echoing eerily throughout the hall. Slowly, the stone slab swung open, revealing behind it a marine in black, skull-faced armor. The first marine knelt. “Hail, Chaplain Dosjetka.” “Hail, Daimyo Lenoch,” the armored figure responded. “Rise.” The captain did as ordered. “I came as soon as I heard the call.” Gravely the chaplain nodded. “You understand what this means, do you not?” “I do,” Lenoch replied, making the sign of the aquila as he did so. “Then be ready, cousin.” The chaplain slowly turned to gaze upon an empty glass case, with only dust to mark what used to reside within. “For the Iron Gauntlet is upon us, and we cannot be found wanting.” =][= Hail brothers and sisters of the Liber! Once again the Liberalia has come around and we have ourselves the honour of being the centre of attention. Regardless, I would like to ask both Liberites and other members of B&C to dust off any old DIYs they have and give them another shot. Now's the time to crank out the old creativity. The IRON GAUNTLET returns! After so three years gone, it comes back - with thanks to @Olis for running it back in 2017 and providing me with the majority of the text here*, and thanks to Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch for the opening story snippet - and a welcome sight it is. Now, of course, just entering is not enough! There is a an expectation that we will have members who will accomplish all five challenges. If the old Iron Gauntlet challenges are anything to go by, they will not be many! But, certainly, those who push themselves and achieve all that is asked of them, then they shall be rewarded with a specific and unique badge. But do not be daunted. This is supposed to be fun... in a roundabout way. If you think you can only complete specific challenges, then only enter those ones. There is nothing here saying that you must complete them all or automatically fail. Do what you can. Just remember the idea is to push yourself. To register for this Challenge or any others make the following statement: I, <your name>, of the <Chapter/Warband/Regiment/Klan/Craftworld/Sept/Legio/Gang/other organisation name> take up your Challenges. I vow, before my brothers and sisters of the B&C to complete Challenge <challenge number> and submit it to the Liber before the deadline. I vow to support my fellow challengers to the best of my ability. May the Emperor/the Dark Gods/Gork and Mork/Hive Mind/other 40k deity/Brother Argos curse me if I fail. [Please leave a link to your article so I can update the first post.] Feel free to add [iron Gauntlet 2020] or [iG 2020] to your DIY thread title to show to all that you have taken up one of the most arduous challenges there is on the B&C! Now, in the interest of allowing folks to get themselves organised, the subsequent challenges can be found in the tab below: Hidden Content And finally, I'd like to wish you all the best of luck for the upcoming challenges! Remember to push back the boundaries of what you thought you could achieve and, most importantly, have fun! P.S. If you have an issue or question and you haven't gotten a reply in a couple of days from one of the Mods, feel free to send a PM to the Moderators on the list below (make sure to include them all in the PM so whoever sees it first can answer):@Brother Cambrius @Brother Lunkhead Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch @Dosjetka @Kelborn *due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I unfortunately don't have the time to write down my own intro for this event so I just copy/pasted Olis' from three years ago. No shame! Frequently Asked Questions: Q: Can one vow for one Challenge at a time or even skip some of the Challenges? A: Yes and yes. Q: Where should the threads for each Challenge go? A: That's up to you, so long as you follow forum rules concerning where things go. You can keep all of you efforts in one thread here in the Liber, or have a thread here for the DIY lore, a thread in the WIP/HOH forum for Challenge 2, one in the Battle Reports subforum for Challenge 3, etc. Q: Can models be assembled before Challenge 2 begins? A: Yes, so long as they are painted during the duration of the Challenge. Q: Can I start painting my models before Challenge 2? A: Other than undercoating them, no. Q: Can allies of my DIY organisation be included in my vows for Challenges 2 and/or 4? A: Yes, so long as they have been fleshed out in some detail in your Challenge 1 article. However, models representing your organisation must make up at least half of the models/units vowed. Q: Can characters in Challenge 4 be based on models painted for Challenge 2 or models that we have already created outside of the Iron Gauntlet? A. Yes and yes
  22. CHAPTER DATAFILE CHAPTER NAME: ................THE THUNDER FISTSFOUNDING CHAPTER: ............RAMPAGERS [WHITE SCARS] FOUNDING: ....................6TH [M.33] CHAPTER MASTER: ..............VUQAR SARGSYAN CHAPTER WORLD: ...............AUREC III [HIVE WORLD] FORTRESS MONASTERY: ..........THE STORM TOWER COMBAT DOCTRINE: .............ASSAULT CURRENT STRENGTH: ............~1000 ASTARTES KNOWN DESCENDANTS: ...........UNKNOWN BATTLE-CRY: ..................UNKNOWN My colours I wear openly, they proclaim louder than any words, ‘I am proud to live — I am proud to die.’ –Commander Carab Culln, Red Scorpions Chapter Founded to reinforce the mustering forces of the Sarlevin Crusade;Led by Lord-Militant Vahagn de Sarlou; First Chapter Master was the Rampagers' former 9th Company Captain, Kharvog Ujumm; During the Sarlevin Crusade, Chapter Master led his warriors from the front. He is responsible for the utter eradication of a minor alien species, known as the Chasnith, who used to have a small empire on the fringes of the Ghoul Stars; While the majority of the Chapter was engaged in the Sarlevin Crusade, it was the Captain of the 10th Company who was left in charge of recruitment and acquisition of war matériel for the rest of his brethren; At the conclusion of the Crusade, the Chapter Master selects the world of Oloq-Tharsk, the site of a bitter struggle between the Thunder Fists and the Chasnith, as his Chapter's home world. Kharvog Ujumm and his Captains were impressed by the fighting spirit and fierce loyalty displayed by the local population. Individual Markings & Heraldry Thunder Fist Astartes mark their armour in a variety of ways with names and/or symbols of notable campaigns they fought in, various bits of Imperial iconography, unit- or gang-related markings, etc. They have also developed the habit of "tagging" a location where they might stay for a longer period of time with their Chapter symbol effectively making it their "turf", even if it's just for the duration of a single battle or campaign, and enact swift retribution on whoever decides it's a good idea to come onto their territory before the conflict comes to an end. Primary designation: Hive World; Secondary designation: Desert World; Fortress-Monastery: the Storm Tower; Recruit mostly from the gang-infested hives, aspirants much reach the Storm Tower alive (crossing the deserts that separate the relatively secure hives and the Fortress-Monastery; Establish Chapter Keeps on worlds they have fought on if it makes sense to (i.e. good genetic stock or resources for Chapter forges). White Scars' through their parent Chapter, the Rampagers; Flaw: hyper-aggressivity. Aforementioned flaw thought to be caused by a mutation of the sus-an membrane but due to its usefulness to the Chapter, further study has never been approved or publically undertaken. Relationship with the Martian Priesthood Thunder Fists sent to Mars for the training that all future Techmarines must undergo have more hurdles to overcome because they must repaint the majority of their armour in Martian red and pledge alliegeance to both their Chapter and the Omnissiah: seen as dishonourable/straight-up bad due to their inherent pride in their own colours.As a result of this, Thunder Fists have less Techmarines than a usual Chapter might have as fewer aspirants manage to shed their hubris. The few Techmarines the Chapter does have live far more secluded lives than normal, and are even considered as borderline traitors by some members, as they're effectively wearing some other organisation's "colours" more prominently than their "own". With every passing moment, countless loyal subjects of the Emperor are slain by the myriad of Mankind's enemies. Thus, swiftness and determination are the key to keep these foes at bay and the Imperium standing and the Thunder Fists espouse this view in all aspects of their lives; Like their Primarch, the Thunder Fists possess a fierce sense of honour, are loyal to their allies, and are ruthless in the prosecution of their goals; Jaghatai Khan is viewed as a peerless warrior, a cunning general, and above all a loyal son to the Emperor, he is the subject of intense reverence amongst the Chapter's members; Merit and ability are what get warriors elevated through the ranks of the Chapter, and actions are worth thousands of words; Promotion of a warrior is decided by the brethren that warrior shall subsequently command in the form of a vote: the result must be unanimous as any other result would suggest a lack of trust in the future leader. Ironically for the Chapter and its temperament, this can occasionally unfold into a lengthy process where tempers run high as impatience grows. Such occasions always end with spilled blood as the would-be candidate his supporters inevitably come to blows with stubborn naysayers; Colours are worn with pride regardless of circumstance; Erosion of trust is seen as a grave matter and reneging an oath mean mutilation or death for the oathbreaker at the hands of the Company Chaplains; Chaos is seen by the Chapter as the gravest of threats to Makind and the Imperium, traitors are mercilessly hunted down and executed. Recent History The Chapter was until very recently over-strength due to a combination of two factors. Firstly, Librarians saw portents of doom shortly before the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum, resulting in an attempt by the Chapter leadership to limit the number of engagements (which wasn't always successful, with some Companies/Squads rebelling and going to war anyway, and suffering consequences at the hands of their Chaplains later) and boosting recruitment. More recently, the Chapter has been reinforced with Primaris Marines. This unprecedented situation has led the Chapter Master to launch a massive Crusade where (almost?) the whole Chapter goes to war against the forces of Chaos that have emerged from the Cicatrix/local Warp anomaly. As can be expected, losses are mounting and efforts are underway across the Fists' recruitment worlds to replenish the Companies' ranks. Modus operanti focusses on assault and close-range firepower support; Tactical Squads are deployed equipped with close combat weapons/combat blade attachements; Squads are generally deploy in either a unit transport or are equipped with individual transportation, such as jump packs, bikes, or Land Speeders; Very rare for the Thunder Fists to stay for long "on foot", though can happen if the battlefield conditions are not conducive to the use of surface or near-surface transportation. One less Devastator Squad per Battle Company which is replaced with an extra Assault Squad; 1st Company mostly made up of Vanguard Veteran/Assault Terminator Squads; Due to the aggressive and implusive nature of the Thunder Fists, each Company has a cadre of Chaplains rather than the usual single Chaplain attached to it to make sure discipline and order are maintained and that matters of honour and disputes are resolved in such a way that it doesn't impede on morale or battle-effectivenes. N/A (WIP) Uncategorised ideas: Used Terminator "Titanhammer" Squad to destroy 1+ Chaos Titans, earning the enmity of that Legio and the respect of a Loyalist Legio (canon or DIY?); Has a strong alliance with another Space Marine Chapter (canon, my own DIY, someone else' DIY?); Good relationship with the Adeptus Arbites (what situation could have lead to this?); Nemesis Chaos Space Marine warband (canon, my own DIY, someone else's DIY?); Fought off a Waaagh!, earned their grudging respect and enmity.
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