The Euryalean Stoneborn
Engaged in a perpetual struggle to cleanse the subterranean tunnels of their home world of Orks, the regiments of Euryale have become experts at fighting at close quarters and in confined areas. Although lacking the parade-ground discipline of other regiments, the Stoneborn are ferocious warriors, honour-bound to spill the blood of their enemies or die in the effort.
Euryale is the seventh planet of the Vitharr system, which lies on the Cygnus Arm of the Segmentum Obscurus. An industrial mining world, Euryale’s surface consists of a single major landmass, and a large proportion of the water on the planet exists in the many rivers and lakes that negotiate the planet’s vast mountain ranges.
The world was first colonised by refugees from Medusa, the home world of the Iron Hands Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, during the chaotic period that followed the galactic civil war. In honour of their Medusan heritage, the planet was given the name of another gorgon from ancient Terran myth, Euryale.
Euryale was poorly suited for large-scale agriculture however and, despite the enormous potential of the planet's rich mineral seams, the early settlers struggled to eek out an existence, relying heavily on pastoral farming to support the growing colony. Indeed, it was only once the Euryaleans began to forge close partnerships with other nearby planetary systems that the population began to grow and thrive. Each playing to their strengths, Euryale agreed to trade with the lush, verdant world Vitharr, exchanging precious metals and gems for a steady supply of food.
As the settlements developed over the centuries, the specialised industries of each planet grew in kind. Vitharr is now a breadbasket world, contributing the lion's share of its produce to the Imperial war machine and using what little remains to feed the inhabitants of the local star system. Euryale on the other hand has been almost cored like an apple to provide huge quantities of iron, zinc, copper and aluminium for the forgeworlds of the Mechanicum: the planet is now littered with the vast craters and labyrinthine depths of former mines. Virtually picked clean, only small-scale mining continues on Euryale. Nevertheless, mining continues to dominate the world's economy. Raw materials are now extracted from nearby asteroids and moons and brought Euryale to be processed and refined, before being sent further afield.
Euryale and Vitharr have not always been such close allies, however. In circa 700M39, Vitharr began expanding its reach and took control ofseveral other neighbouring planets, including the desert world Nomos (the fourth planet) and the densely populated Amphiarus (the sixth planet). Whilst the sparse Nomosian peoples embraced the leadership of Vitharr, Amphiarius required firmer persuasion. After a sixth-month blockade, Amphiarus capitulated - the planet's food supplied having been exhausted three months earlier. Growing in confidence, when Vitharr moved to conquer Euryale, it attempted to over-awe the Euryaleans with a great show of force. The planet's orbital defences were quickly dismantled by the Vitharr fleet, and the nascent empire's army was deployed en masse to the surface. The Vitharri forces were unprepared for the kind of war facing them on Euryale, however. Within months of landing, Euryale's cities had emptied, its citizens retreating to the comparative safety of the world's vast mining systems. The labyrinthine systems were a death trap for any enemy forces sent in to root out the Euryaleans - entire regiments disappeared within their depths - either destroyed directly, or simply trapped and left for dead by a controlled cave-in. Far from content to castle themselves within their subterranean refuges, the Euryaleans launched attack after attack from the network. Vastly outnumbered by the Vitharri the Euryaleans could not face the invaders in open combat, instead the mining systems gave the Euryaleans the opportunity to pick when and where they would fight, and it is from this conflict that the warriors of Euryale earned their epithet 'Stoneborn' - the soldiers appearing to simply materialise from within the rocks themselves.
With neither side able to secure a convincing victory over the other, the war deteriorated into a brutal war of attrition.The conflict dragged on for four more years before the Vitharri were forced to abandon their conquest. Although the war was brought to a close with the departure of the last Vitharri soldier, the two sides did not agree on a permanent truce and it was only around 150 years later that the two sides were able to bury the hatchet.
Edited by CyderPirate, 14 April 2015 - 09:27 PM.