Children you call them? They can pull a trigger just as well as veterans, and they have the spirit of a bull narthax.
Call them children if you wish – I call them troops.
-Colonel Marus Cullen, Pannonia 5th Infantry Regiment
Ewan Webber – The Scribeguard
By ancient treaty, every four-three years, a vast Administratum brownship strikes ultralow orbit over Salmagundi, opens its yawning arcades, and dumps a demi-segmuntum’s worth of notes, receipts, purchase orders and inter-office memoranda onto the plains below. Under the greenish sunlight, Salmagundi’s rival Bibliarchs send their vassals out to comb the paper fields for treasure. Scribeguard regiments sent offworld show how lucrative Salmagundi’s datamining trade can be. However, the lengths to which Scribeguard troopers will go to acquire printed matter–and their eagerness to commit it to memory–can, to those not steeped in the laws of logomancy, sometimes lead to the appearance of tactical error. Seneschal Tach (Salmagundi “Iuvenis” Five-Five), clad in ancient carapace armour, carries the SJVV seal. Tach is accompanied by a rare, vat-grown Anthrodact called Threeandone, who usefully ports Tach’s ceremonial power mace and intones ancient song lyrics. Troopers Doch and Polliop carry heavy lasmuskets, but they are steady shots thanks to the calming airborne molds their rebreathers propagate. Vellin, Logomancer 2ndClass, tracks and moderates the regiment’s expenditures, providing comfort to all by directing medical servitors or dispatching the wounded according to his interpretation of the useful and arcane spreadsheets contained within his scrapbook.
ItsWhatEvan – The Gælropan Iron Woad’s 5th Infantry Division
The Gælropan Iron Woad’s 5th Infantry Division were one of many regiments sent into the Crataegus Fragmentum. Ten millennia after the Imperium achieved compliance on Gælropa III, the population is still heavily scrutinized. The Gælropan’s heritage of Druidic leadership and “tree-shaper” psyker covens led the Imperium to be fearful of the planet’s loyalty when conflict broke out in the Crataegus Fragmentum. However, the fears of the Imperial officials were never justified. The Gælropans were masters of subterranean assault, which served them well within the labyrthine corridors of the Thorn Moons. These seasoned warriors boasted an average of 21 hour lifespan in battle and fought ferociously for every inch of ground. Utilizing the Mark II.c Heavy Lasgun and Mole Launchers alongside a cadre of Hades Breaching Drills, the Gælropans were well equipped to face the myriad horrors writhing within the Thorn Moons. While it is still too early to say how significant their contribution was to the overall campaign, the Iron Woads certainly fought valiantly and nobly to bring the Will of The Emperor to the Crataegus Fragmentum.
-Historitor Klomandus, Excerpt of “Crataegan Conflict: A Summary Of The Thorn Moons Crusade”
Koernl – The Black Phallanx Penal Crusade
Mortis Causa Iter Facere
Lost in time are the true origins of this fleet based “regiment”.
Ancient texts state that they once fought under the banner of the Ecclesiarchy….
Hence they roam the galaxy as a kind of shadow-fleet, vaguely independent and under no strict authority. Lead by the “Warden Prime” they are frequently “used” by Inquisitors of various Ordos.
They recruit from the worlds they come by and “specialize” in mopping up the dregs of society and all able bodied death sentenced. They regularly “recruit” from prison worlds and penal colonies not seldom picking criminals right from the noose with ancient writs of “pardon through repentance”.
Once in the bowels of the crusade ship, the convicts are rigorously selected, brainwashed and sleep-tought battle-doctrines, trained every day awaiting their first deployment as “Dead”.
Each Dead is trained in different fighting styles using either shield,spear or stubcarbine.
Formations are coreographed and hypno-conditioned keywords trigger rages of battle-frenzy.
While their gear and armour are ramshackle and threadbare at best, each convict equipped with only one of the trained weapons, the only way to break a Black Phallanx battle line is to wipe it out completely.
Necaros – The Lucky Few
We are survivors, born in the mud, baptized by chemical weapons, we learned to walk within the trenches, our nursery rhymes the constant shelling. On the fringes of the galaxy we fought a war for generations. Slowly turning our world poisonous, and draining it’s resources to maintain the front lines. This was the only life we knew, us versus them.
The Shadow Beyond the Warp had infiltrated our world, it’s Harbingers growing in number, hidden within our ranks. The Xenos threat had spread across both sides, and had revealed itself all at once. Our world fell to the sudden attack. Everyone died.
We are the survivors, the lucky few that made it off world.
In the darkness of the Void we were circled by Wolves, and conscripted as foot soldiers in their jihad. Now we march against the Thorn Moons, lush deathworlds, unlike anything we had ever seen. But, we are survivors, the best and strongest of our world. We have been forced into this new war, but have begun to question if it is justified. The rumors that we are suppressing an ancient truth have spread across the ranks, and we secretly believe we may be the enemy.
ProminusIV – The Hammerers of Grace
Isaam el-Ramin, tutor, mentor and bitter veteran, thought about his two daughters as he gazed at the Immaterium from the viewport of the Hammer of Grace. Back home, Issem and Najla were the property of the al-Samad family. Slaves, Isaam thought as he felt his anger rise. But not for much longer —
32 standard days ago, an old friend and rogue trader, told Isaam he had seen a plant on the Thorn Moons that is rumoured to grow in the harshest of environments, and if there is one harsh environment in the Imperium, it is Prominus IV, home. Understanding the potential value of green vegetation for a planet covered in ash wastes and rad-lakes, Isaam devised a plan.
He carefully told sergeant Shareef, his hot-headed protégé, about the rumoured plant. Shareef was eager to make a name for himself and show that his rank is based on experience and not the fact that he is the son of a high ranking commander and rich family. He thus used his name and rank to get himself, Isaam, and their rag-tag squad onto the Hammer of Grace which, not so coincidentally, was heading for the Thorn Moons.
Vision of Rhynn – The Tetrivm
“..these, my friend, are the Tetrivm soldiers of Umbralys, criminal abominations who don’t know any of the aspirations and the sacrifices of the common men. They live their shameful lives on the dirtiest battlefields of the Thorn Moons, trying to buy their redemption with their very blood, with the last qualms inherited from their past lives. Fortunately, my friend, very few of them survive as long; fortunately, my friend, only few of us got his craved Imperial absolution… unfortunately, my friend, the Tetrivm changes all of us.. for worse”
Last registered conversation of an ex-absolved Umbralyte criminal, before his termination.
The Tetrivm is a fighting structure born on the penal colony of Umbralys. These squads are made by four condemned men who fight for the Imperial Absolution, under the command of the brutal Praetors. If the imperial absolution isn’t persuasive enough, the lethal whips of their guardians and the miniaturized explosive charges implanted behind their cerebellums are the definitive deterrents for obeying the brutal questionable orders.
These men fight remorseless and are mainly used for behind-the-line and black-ops unofficial missions. For their intrinsic nature, these missions are often suicidal, but even if the rate of casualties in Tetrivms are very high, Umbralys provides constantly an equal amount of new “recruits”.
ServiceStuds – Oroan Assault Grenadiers
The original provenance of the Oroan Assault Grenadiers belongs to the Taraxis System on the Northern fringes of the Ghoul Stars. Curiously, tithed regiments from the system are officially on record as raised from Ataraxia Prime itself. Though the common practice, it seems, is that letters of exemption are purchased by the noble-born Ataraxians and a hefty tribute is paid to the savage tribes of the neighboring Oroan moons (cross ref. A.p/762) for a suitable replacement to ‘volunteer’ as their proxy.
In fact it seems that receiving word of your proxy Oroan’s deeds, medals, and promotion is a mark of pride for Ataraxian aristocracy.
Though the Oroans themselves care little for the Ataraxians, they quite enjoy the arrangement. Born into the collapsed ruins of pre-Dark Age orbital plates, the tribes of tech-barbarians have little to trade other than ferocious young warriors eager to bleed the stars.
Due to the increasing demands of Imperial Commanders requesting the use of Oroans as scouts. Regiments are often divided up into smaller Hunter Cadres led by a single Bashar. These smaller units have consistently proven extremely adaptable, inventive, and victorious in the face of whatever the galaxy throws at them.
Shenordak – Forlorn Hope Imperial Guard
Recipient: Munitorum Sector Command, Jassria IV
Author: Scribe Van Cliin, Tertiary Bureaucratic Adept
Subject: Proper ecological exploitation
My Lords, I wish to bring to your attention that the recent sanctioned recruiting for the so-called Thornmoon Crusade has resulted in, perhaps, permanent damage to the ability of the Forlorn Hope Imperial Guard and Planetary Defence Force to maintain normal force-levels.
I assume that you are aware of the importance of the native Rending Beast, Halcyonides Horriblis, in outfitting the so-called beast rider squadrons of the PDF. The beasts have defied all attempts at captive breeding, necessitating dangerous expeditions into the ruins of the abandoned hive cities to locate and capture their young. The local feudal nobility base their power on the number of beasts they control.
In righteous anticipation of the crusade, according to local herald-servitors, 1 274 beasts have been captured, extirpating the creatures from 87% of their hive city habitats. Estimations by the planetary magos-ecologis indicates that for the populations to return to a stable breeding level, a 125 years recruiting moratorium must be placed on beast rider squadrons into imperial guard formations, or there will be a permanent loss of beast riders for the Emperor’s armed forces.
Wudugast – Sarkisian 7th
Raised from the sprawling tech-slums of Sarkis V the majority of recruits to the Sarkisian 7th start life as manufactorum-thralls. Escape from toil and brutality comes through joining the workers militias that guard the great mills from the gang violence that often spills over from the rust-warrens beyond. In times of need these troops are inducted into the ranks of the Astra Militarum and, with the Sarkis system falling close to the Thorn Moons, it was inevitable that many thousands would be dispatched following the outbreak of war.
Alas the demands of the Imperium left little time to train or equip the new regiments and although the men of the Sarkisian 7th were naturals at fighting in the narrow crawlspaces of their homeworld, the forests of the Thorn Moons, so similar on paper to the hive-warrens, proved disastrously different once they made planetfall. Despite early triumphs the regiment suffered devastating losses but Sarkisians are not easily defeated. Calling upon the resourcefulness that served them well in the lightless depths of their hives the shattered regiment has begun to regroup and strike back.
Sadly with so many fighting men sent off-world Sarkis V has been left dangerously under-guarded and the hive-world itself now calls for aid against planet wide revolts and mutant uprisings.
This is the second part of the brilliant Off World Crusaders where the description of exotic home worlds or the history of the regiments play an important role in bringing them to life.
Such a joy to see the diversity and high degree of creativity and world building present here. The next post in the Thorn Moon Regiments series will be with a new category!