Jump to content

Welcome to The Bolter and Chainsword
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

IL X - The Fire Keepers


  • Please log in to reply
354 replies to this topic

#351
simison

simison

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 6,791 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Faction: Halcyon Wardens, Blood Angels

Unit Organization and Structure within the Legion

 

Although Niklaas would substantially modify the Legion's upper command, he did little to change how the Legion arranged itself elsewhere. Instead, a higher emphasis was placed on self-sufficiency. The Tribes, which had replaced the standard Chapters, were expected to be able to wage war with minimal outside support, be it Mechanicum, Imperial Army or fellow Legions. As such, each Tribe was a miniature Legion unto itself, able to field every kind of unit as the situation demanded. While Tribes would display their own idiosyncrasies as the Great Crusade progressed, these differences were muted by their all-encompassing pragmatism. Even their battalion-analogues, the renamed Divisions, could reasonably be expected to operate independently upward to several years. 

 

What enhanced the Fire Keepers' ability to remain on deployment was their technical expertise. Although the Tenth Legion had always displayed a subtle inclination toward the mechanical, Niklaas would bring this latent gift to the fore. Where the the Iron Bears combined art and technology in new, unique ways and the Steel Legion were the undisputed matters of cybernetics outside the Mechanicum, the Fire Keepers were undoubtedly the pragmatic utilitarians of their artisan cousins. Every weapon and tool created was to serve a purpose without being burdened by ostentation, except in rare circumstances. While most Legionaries are expected to master basic maintenance of their own arms and armour, the Fire Keepers went a step further with most members being able to make intermediate repairs normally left to the techmarines of other Legions. This was further capitalised by what the Imperial Army nicknamed the 'Keeper pack'. Invented by Niklaas, it was a kit that enabled a Fire Keeper to perform either more advanced repairs or granted an edge when constructing fortifications. It was not unheard of for each squad within a Tribe to possess at least one Keeper pack. 

 

Ironically, it was due to this straightforward style that cemented their close alliance to the Mechanicum, who had nothing but admiration for the enlightened logic of the Fire Keepers' crafting. This close relationship proved fruitful in two ways. First, the Fire Keepers could rightfully boast (if they possessed the inclination) of fielding the most techmarines of any Legion. This enabled to keep more equipment and combat vehicles operational in the field longer than many of their fellow Legions. Second, the Mechanicum proved much more willing to resupply Fire Keeper fleets, giving the entire Tenth Legion a wider network of ports and systems to support their campaigns. 


Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
The Second Son: Narrative of the BOTL Vth Legion Primarch

 

Brotherhood of the Lost has arrived on Patreon

 

gallery_92945_11930_24196.png

 


#352
simison

simison

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 6,791 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Faction: Halcyon Wardens, Blood Angels

Read where I last left off. I find it double ironic that I was just about to explore the FK's relationship with the Mechanicum and the Imperial Army back then. Think I'll move some of the Mechanicum stuff to that chapter and keep the additional logistical support here. See if it makes sense that way.


Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
The Second Son: Narrative of the BOTL Vth Legion Primarch

 

Brotherhood of the Lost has arrived on Patreon

 

gallery_92945_11930_24196.png

 


#353
Beren

Beren

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 342 posts
Exemplary Battle third draft.
It's a bit long. The pre-existing exemp is a little short so it balances out a bit buy I might cut out a bit of the pre-battle stuff. Not sure about numbers or timespan.


The Salvation of Vendris


The Vendrisan Confederation was a minor human civilization that had begun to sprout in the latter days of the Age of Strife. Its cities stood tall and hosted a refined culture even as wary sentries stood guard upon its boundaries. Like many such civilizations it would come into the fold of the Great Crusade willingly. Unlike most it would be its ships that came across Imperial worlds first and in desperate search of aid.

The Burners of Halderoth were named after the first world the Vendrisans recorded them as having destroyed. Since then they had cut a swathe across the Confederation's territory. Their terrible war machines and genetically twisted warriors tore through all resistance and razed every city and settlement before them. For all their societal sophistication the Vendrisans were near helpless. As it became clear that the war as it stood could only end one way, courier ships were flung forth from the border furthest from the xenos incursion to seek any form of help that they could find. It was an act of desperation, but a successful one.

Detailed analysis of the limited information brought by the courier vessels identified both the Vendrisan holdings as an asset to the Crusade and the Burners of Halderoth a viable threat should they continue their rampage unopposed. The forces required to eradicate the Xenos empire entirely were not immediately available, according to the best estimations based on the data provided, but if the Vendrisans could be reinforced their remaining worlds could serve both as a buffer between the Xenos and the Imperium and as staging ground for later xenocides. To this end a significant taskforce of the Imperialis Armada and the Imperial Army were drawn from surrounding garrisons and nearby fleets. From further afield came the Fire Keepers tribe of Intarabus; more than eighteen thousand Astartes from a Legion specialized in siege craft. Leading them was Chief Captain Hadzor at the appointment of Niklaas himself.

By the time the taskforce had mustered, set out and arrived in Vendrisan space the situation had only worsened. The beleaguered confederation had lost two thirds of its territory and only a belated rearguard action stood between the xenos horde and the capital planet of Vendris itself. This was where the Tenth determined that they would make their stand. Seeing their only hope of salvation, let alone victory, the Vendrisans were eager to oblige the ceramite clad giants at the head of the reinforcing fleet.

Often it is in the heat of battle that the Astartes are most lauded, where their full war-sculpted nature comes to the fore. It would however be negligent to focus solely upon the battle itself when it was as much the preparations the Fire Keepers made beforehand that carried the day. Once the main body of the relief force had been deposited upon the planetary surface the bulk of the fleet was dispatched to the faltering rearguard actions in the Aventi system. They were under orders to slow the enemy advance and cover the extraction of veteran units fighting running battles across the wastelands, preferably whilst avoiding heavy casualties themselves. Meanwhile, Hadzor was overseeing mass fortification upon Vendris itself. Outlying and ill defended outposts were abandoned and their locations marked for later bombardments. Cities and vital facilities became fortresses girded by the flattened zones of killing grounds. Where feasible such enclaves were made as self sufficient as possible. Where not their supply lines became bastions in their own right. Vendris would become a fortress.

Under the Chief Captain’s authority resources were stripped from the well trained but unblooded troops of the planetary army and were re-allocated to newly formed units conglomerated from the survivors of colonies now in ashes. These veterans knew the foe best. Survivors who had fought in the earliest days of the wars now found themselves holding important tactical and advisory positions for the Fire Keepers. Those civilians not engaged in construction or other vital tasks were trained and armed to a lesser standard, often more in the hope of raising their morale and limiting the numbers necessary to defend them rather than through any genuine expectation that they would prove useful. Hundreds from each bastion became shell loaders for artillery or the like.

Despite this it was the accompanying Imperial Army regiments that the Tenth would rely upon the most, for they had greater discipline and experience than the local forces and greater numbers than their offworld kin. The vast majority were ensconced firmly in fortifications that they had helped to build, readying themselves for a brutal war of attrition over an indeterminate time period. A smaller number - shock troops, mechanised and armoured detachments all - became what were in essence strategic flying squads to reinforce where needed and seize opportunities to sally forth against the enemy. All of this at Tribe Intarabus’ behest.

The Legionaries themselves were dispersed across the planetary defense network. To the natives the iconography upon their hulking forms represented the flames of hope and their eventual triumph. Workers redoubled their toils in their presence while militia found themselves emboldened. Veterans were more cynical and thought instead of the flames that had consumed their homes as xenos monstrosities tore through them. Nevertheless, the presence of the Astartes was an undeniable boon that stoked the mortal’s desire for vengeance. Out of all the mortal warriors the soldiers of the Imperial Army knew the Fire Keepers best and simply obeyed orders in the knowledge that the sons of Obsailes would hold the breach. All this preparation took place within three weeks. Upon the fourth the same blaze that claimed Halderoth fell upon Vendris.

The six months that followed held many battles, glorious victories and bitter retreats alike. At first the Xenos marauders utilised the same tactics that had brought them victory countless times before, shock assaults inflicting carnage that sent Vendrisans scampering and against which even the confederation's veterans could do little more than hinder as they fell back. This time was different. Where the Imperial Army regiments stood the line held. Where the Fire Keepers stood the natives rallied and the line first broke their aggressors then hurled them back. The records of both the Fire Keepers and the Vendrisans cover the numerous engagements of the siege extensively. For the sake of maintaining the focus of this work I will depict one of the few significant engagements that the Fire Keepers participated in a concentrated manner.

It would later be known as the sally upon the Valsen Plain. With Vendris proving a far more difficult target than anticipated the Burners of Halderoth began to set down their own structures upon the planets surface in anticipation of a drawn out siege. Early on these were entirely logistical in nature and minimal in defense, something that the Chief Captain would make them pay for. The largest of these was the Valsen Plain compound. It held significant quantaties of ammunition and formed barracks for the surrounding xenos war packs but lacked defenses anywhere near the scale of those constructed by the Fire Keepers. As soon as the Xenos' incaution was apparent a strike force was assembled from Samadaur Shock Trooper and Naskine Ferrophract regiments. The spearpoint of the operation would be the bulk of the Intarabus' heavy tanks supported by select infantry formations. With the Xenos still complacent in their superiority the attack was entirely unanticipated. While Astartes warmachines burst through the compound’s comparatively flimsy structure and Maveshalak heavy weapons specialists poured fire into clustered Xenos struggling to respond, mortal regiments swept around the facility's flanks and fullisaded any enemy that revealed itself to them. It took but a brief time for nearby detachments of the incensed Xenos to bring their own engines of destruction to bear as they launched a fierce counterattack. The Legionaries took heavy casualties holding the rubble of the cast down stucture as their supporting units withdrew. Only when the Auxilia were well adanced in their withdrawal did Hadzor signal the retreat. Even then they formed a stalwart fighting retreat. Though Astartes and mortals alike had eventually been forced to withdraw, the strike disrupted the Xenos assault in that sector for weeks. Months later and the pyres built from the corpses of the creatures slaughtered there smouldered for days as part of the victory celebrations.

When a full Imperial Expeditionary fleet finally arrived at Vendris they found the planets vital facilities preserved and their foe’s strength sapped by a war that had drawn on for longer than they were prepared for. The Imperial forces had not escaped unscathed:The Tenth’s dispersed deployment had resulted in numerous casualties and some regiments such as the 12th Odoacerian Foederati were reduced to below half strength. In places it was only the rising capabilities of the native forces as they were exposed to war that prevented yet more severe losses. Regardless, Vendris was intact. Despite sustainining injuries himself, Chief Captain Hadzor was satisfied with the outcome. The Fire Keepers of Tribe Intarabus were celebrated as heroes not merely for their strength as warriors but for their skill at siegecraft. Long after the Fire Keepers had departed to finish what they had begun on the Valsen Plain, the walls of Vendris remained manned and maintained. Such lessons proved to be the Fire Keepers' second salvation of Vendris when, decades later, these bastions stood against forces of the Insurrection.

Edited by Beren, 23 October 2018 - 06:52 PM.


#354
bluntblade

bluntblade

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 7,938 posts
  • Location:Herts
  • Faction: Inkspillers
  In a consummate defence, properly fought from a well-prepared fortress, one may perceive one of the salutary lessons of war. In no scenario do we see more clearly the advantage in pulling a battle onto one’s own terms. One must not see the limitations of walls, instead find the killing grounds into which the foe may be drawn. Let the foe feel the disdain of one's volleys, the contemptuous ease with which their forlorn hopes are smashed. Behind the facade of an immense and redoubtable army, find a throng of bored soldiers ready to be ground down by their own inaction. Thus a scenario most often equated with desperation may be exploited by the astute warlord to inflict a consummate defeat.
Excerpt from Niklaas' treatise On Stone As Weapon

Edited by bluntblade, 20 October 2018 - 05:29 PM.

  • SanguiniusReborn, Demus Ragnok and simison like this

#355
simison

simison

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 6,791 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Faction: Halcyon Wardens, Blood Angels

The early controversies soon fell by the wayside. While a few elements would always view the Fire Keepers with suspicion, Niklaas’ infamy was eclipsed by the likes of Morro’s and Raktra’s own fell reputations. So long as the Fire Keepers maintained the Great Crusade’s steady advance, their eccentricities were tolerated.

 

Tolerated was perhaps the best word to describe their place in the Legiones Astartes. Although few could complain about their history of victories, they earned little in the way of affection. Their pessimistic view of reality often proved a stumbling block to those who would be their friends, and the Tenth rarely attempted to build bonds. There were exceptions, of course. The closest Legion to the Fire Keepers were none other than the boisterous Iron Bears. Daer'dd was the rare individual who could break through his brother's dark spirits, through the use of their shared love of creation. Although favouring different styles, the two Primarchs were by far the most talented crafters of their brotherhood, a skill shared by their respective sons. In war, the Fire Keepers' natural inclination toward defence formed a perfect symbiosis with the Iron Bears' aggressive tactics. This was especially demonstrated on the fields of Panugatea in the campaign against the hated Nephilim. The Fire Keepers would establish the main line and absorb the initial assaults while supported by Iron Bear heavy support. At the climax of these battles, the Iron Bears would launch massive flank attacks that routed their foes. 

 

Ironically enough, the Fire Keepers were also much admired by the Imperial Army and the Mechanicum. Although the Fire Keepers did not treat the Army soldiers of the Imperium with any special consideration, their professionalism was much kinder treatment than more brutal Legions. The Fire Keepers' fortification, in particular, protected mortal and transhuman warriors with equal regard. Especially in contested territories, the well-crafted fortresses of the Tenth could dramatically improve the survival chances of the Imperial regiments.

 

This was demonstrated amply by the [???] raid.

 

As such, the news of an incoming Fire Keeper expeditionary fleet or an assignment to a Fire Keepers' base was often met with great cheer.

 

No such overt emotional reaction ever revealed itself among the Mechanicum.

 


Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
The Second Son: Narrative of the BOTL Vth Legion Primarch

 

Brotherhood of the Lost has arrived on Patreon

 

gallery_92945_11930_24196.png

 





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users