Kierdale’s World is a shrineworld located in the galactic west, the nearest other Imperial settlement being the Adeptus Mechanicus-claimed world of Alceforge. Settled long ago during the Great Crusade with a name now long-forgotten, the colony was cut off from the Imperium for many millennia by warp storms during the centuries following the Horus Heresy and, starved of communication and trade, civilization reverted to a feudal state. This regression was far from smooth: noble houses who had once sworn loyalty to the planetary Imperial governor waged war against one another. None but the Ecclesiarchy were safe. The members of the priesthood shrewdly chose to side with whoever was in power at the time. These civil wars seemed fated to continue endlessly until one of the priesthood’s friars returned to the head temple professing to have witnessed a vision of the end of days.
This priest was brother Kierdale.
It was Kierdale’s great charisma and oratory skill which managed firstly to convince his superiors of the veracity of his claims and secondly to unite most of the noble houses. Those that refused to believe soon changed their minds when a Greenskin hulk was spotted entering orbit above the planet. Those who did not flock to Kierdale and the ecclisiarchy’s banner found themselves butchered by the first Greenskin assaults. Friar Kierdale himself refused to remain at the head temple and instead returned to his wandering ways, accompanied by a chosen band of comrades, lending aid where he could. It was during one of the first clashes with the Xenos that Kierdale lost his left arm, hacked off by one of the foul beings and later replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic.
Under friar Kierdale and the priesthood’s leadership the Greenskins were first driven back and finally wiped out, the climactic battle taking place upon the plains were the Orks hulk had crashlanded. Friar Kierdale fell in combat that day and Lord Burnett, leader of the majority of the household troops who took part in the action and slayer of the Ork warboss himself, chose to rename the planet in honour of the prophet. He also proclaimed that all future ruling lords of the Burnett house would bear the title Lord Kierdale.
The plains where the final battle occurred were named the Kierdale Downs and, after the taint of the Xenos had been removed, a statue of friar Kierdale was erected upon the site.
When Kierdale’s World was finally reunited with the greater Imperium, lord Kierdale was recognized as and instated as the Imperial governor. While Adeptus Mechanicus representatives from Alceforge attempt to replace the planet’s aged technology with that more equal to the majority of the Imperium, this has permeated little further than the garrison itself: the Kierdale’s Worlders on the whole clung to their old ways. While the garrison's guardsmen are armed akin to those in countless regiments across the Imperium it is a common sight to see Kierdale’s World conscripts wielding antique-looking lasguns with wooden stocks, cables connecting them to bulky powerpacks at their belts.
Another noted aspect of Kierdale’s World is the presence of abhumans. While the cult of the Emperor is strong, so is the taint of Chaos ever-present. Household slaves who worked the mines on the planet’s two high-gravity moons Gog and Magog developed large, overly-muscled bodies while their brains became stunted. These muscular brutes too saw combat against that Greenskin onslaught, defending their homeland and earning many laurels, such that Gogmagogs (kindred to homo sapiens gigantus) now in the 41st millennium serve in the planet’s military.
The taint of chaos was most commonly seen in offspring identified as homo sapiens variatus. Initially destroyed upon the orders of the ecclisiarchy in bloody pogroms, these mutants came to gain recognition thanks again to the actions of friar Kierdale. It was his disputes with his superiors in the church on the mutant-issue which saw him `granted` friar-status and sent out to preach across the planet, and his choosing of a `beastman` bodyguard during the wars against the Greenskins that saw them gain, if not recognition, a chance for redemption in the eyes of the Emperor. Hence the formation of penal legionnaire units lead by minor members of the priesthood. Indeed a beastman named Mister Tumnos earned his freedom (and subsequent immediate conscription into the Kierdale’s World garrison) and redemption in saving the life of the current Lord Kierdale. Mister Tumnos now serves in the lord’s command squad.
In recent years Kierdale’s Shrineworld has become home to a small band of homo sapiens rotundus refugees who were conducting offworld trade when their homeworld was consumed by the Great Devourer. These exiles are too few to form a genetically viable continuation of their species and, while they staunchly eschew the Imperial Cult (a fact which the populace of the Shrineworld take an exceedingly dim view of) they have sworn to sell their lives in the defence of their new home, earning a modicum of protection via the Adeptus Mechanicus' representatives on the planet (and the hunger those engineers have for access to the exiles' technology).
Following tradition, the garrison of Kierdale’s World is manned by household troops of the planet’s various noble houses, overseen by the ecclisiarchy. Guardsmen take pride in their uniforms which, while being of a fashion non-native to Kierdale's World (it is in the majority most similar to that worn by the Iron Guard of Mordia), they see as a sign of their having been chosen for service in the Emperor's own Hammer. While the vast majority of homes on Kierdale's World have las-muskets which are heirlooms, passed down and lovingly cared for since the days of friar Kierdale, the garrison itself is armed with standard-pattern lasrifles. When a conscript gives up his family's weapon (often passing it on to a son or daughter) and takes up one of the garrison's own weapons it symbolises he is no longer merely to protect his homeworld but rather the Imperium itself.
When war comes to the sector which Kierdale’s World calls home (an all too often, if not continuous, occurrence), the garrison is called upon to dispatch forces. In dire occasions the majority of Kierdale’s World garrison can be dispatched to fight on foreign soil, and Fraternis Militia (conscripts) units can be raised. The nomadic trader tribes of the World’s equatorial desert regions can also be pressed into combat, their gaudy silk-clad yet ferocious warriors in stark contrast to the pristine household guardsmen.
While most household troops go to war in their pristine uniforms, some (usually those who have seen regular combat) often don more battle-worthy armour and fatigues. Nevertheless, a unit’s battlefield role is indicated by coloured markings upon their armour and uniform in a manner akin to that of Arcadian regiments (c.f. the Arcadian 5th):
Units fulfilling a command role such as company command squads display yellow markings.
Units in a support role have blue markings. Examples include heavy weapon squads and dedicated transports.
Assault units such as cavalry and many veteran units are marked with green.
Infantry squads and other such line/tactical units are indicated by red markings.
White indicates conscripts.
Black indicates penitents.
Infantry display these colours on hat bands, trouser stripes and epaulets (in the case of those wearing `soft` armour) or as a vertical stripe over the helmet and the front, back and lower side trim of shoulder pads (in the case of those wearing `hard` armour). Should an officer wear an aiguillette, the primary colour will be that of his unit type, with yellow or gold tips indicating his command position. Dual roles are indicated by combining two colours in these locations.
This medic (white crescent trim) is assigned to a company command squad (yellow epaulets and hat band). Were he assigned to a platoon command squad he would have white trim on red epaulets.
This veteran is a member of a company command squad, hence his yellow markings.
This lieutenant commands a platoon command squad, hence his yellow hat band and the fact that his epaulets are yellow trimmed with red and his aiguillette is yellow tipped with red. Note that while platoons may include support and/or assault elements (heavy and special weapon squads) their colours are not indicated on the markings of the platoon command squad.
This sergeant commands an infantry squad, hence his red hat band and the fact that his epaulets are red trimmed with yellow and his aiguillette is red tipped with yellow.
This guardsman belongs to an infantry squad, hence his red markings.
This sharpshooter belongs to a special weapons squad, hence his blue markings.
His squad leader here too has a blue stripe and blue trim. As he is not a sergeant he lacks yellow markings (which would be a single yellow stripe along the top trim of the shoulder pads).
This guardsman is a member of a veteran unit assigned to a close-assault role (tank-hunting, specifically) and so has green markings. Note that many veteran units dirty up their unit markings in the field to reduce their visibility.
His sergeant: green trim and yellow command additions, weathered.
This unit of homo sapiens variatus has a non-regulation standard in black, indicating their penitent status. Their custodian, a junior priest, has black trim upon his armour to indicate their role and his acceptance of leading the flock to their retribution.
Ground vehicles primarily display these colours upon heraldic shields (mounted on the right side of any turret present), and occasionally other locations.
This Medusa fulfills a support role and so its shield has a blue background.
This is the shield of a Chimera transport assigned to a command squad, thus it displays both blue and yellow, with added red to reflect the squad’s role in commanding line units. The golden wreath indicates the high rank of the officer aboard.
One common marking seen upon infantry is a skull on the shoulder pad.
This indicates a heroic action by the individual. It is coloured as per the individual’s role and/or unit type. The above image shows a master of ordnance’s shoulder armour, then that of a special weapon squad leader and a penitent squad custodian’s.
Edited by Kierdale, 14 June 2017 - 11:33 PM.