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IL X - The Fire Keepers


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#376
simison

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Fire Keepers

Jehu

The First Patriarch

The red-headed commander of the Second Tribe is undoubtedly Niklaas’ most favored son. The Primarch’s Blood-Brother is a fiery, idealistic warrior who has somehow escaped his legion’s dour nature despite the centuries. It is said that Jehu represents everything Niklaas wishes he could be: a shining and resolute flame leading humanity out of the darkness. Without a doubt, Jehu is the finest offensive strategist among the legions. Preferring to leave the building to the famed War Guilds, Jehu would rather take lead his brothers ever forward against the enemy.

Jehu is one of the precious few individuals who can reliably lift Niklaas from his foreboding thoughts. As such, he provides an important sanguine balance to his Primarch’s melancholic nature.

The First Patriarch often s deploys for war wielding the scimitar *Righteous Fury* as he coordinated the advance toward the enemy in artificer plate forged by his own hand. The hand flamer *Purifier* is his constant companion.

Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


#377
simison

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State of the Twelfth, 002.M31

 

The Vanishing forced an unusual role upon the Fire Keepers. Long had they been unofficial agents of justice for the few mortals who had fallen briefly under their domain. With the general breakdown inflicted by the Vanishing, the Fire Keepers found themselves pressed into service as both warriors and judges. The extensive Chaplaincy of the Twelfth found itself filling in gaps of governance as rebels and mobs slaughtered local governors and wrecked judicial systems. As uncomfortable as they found their position, the Fire Keeper chaplains continued to serve the new role until the Imperium had recovered enough to send new replacements.

 

What had been intended as a temporary status soon became a new possiblity when the Conclave of Terra declared Legionaries could serve in the Administratum. Unlike other Legions who would gleefully take advantage of this new precedent, Niklaas ultimately led his sons away from it. The Fire Keepers were called to contain the Ork Ullanor Empire, until the Emperor was found and the Imperium could pool its strength for a killing stroke.

 

The majority of the legion would answer this call and complete the lengthy travel for this campaign. However, exceptions existed. No small number of Chaplains continued their duties as agents of Order where infrastructure remain broken. Among the Fire Keeper stronghold worlds, the Administratum denoted them and other Legionary recruitment worlds as the lowest priority for sending replacements due to how well they had weathered the crisis. Thus, even without Niklaas' encouragement, more than a few of his sons would continue to fulfill the service the Vanishing had forced upon them.


Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


#378
Darkcommander

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Fire Keepers 'Strato-Keep' Aerial Fortress

 

Brought about by the single-minded focus of the XIIth the Corsair proved too tempting an opportunity to pass up. Working with the adepts of Mars it was adapted to the coming crusade and the needs of the passionate sons of Niklaas, turning it into a veritable flying fortress. Able to deploy itself from orbit and support defensive actions or acting as a hub or air power the powerful volcano lances that spear from the sky are a wondrous show of annihilation.

 

Design

As has come to be expected of their ilk, the Forge-Masters of the XIIth made a specific focus of those changes survivability but whether influenced by Martian minds or not, a surprising amount of offensive capability. This change was substantial enough to shake the normal confidence of those who may have observed the fire-obsessed sons of Niklaas up until that point, as they witnessed a forest of light spearing down to reduce a nigh-impregnable xenos fortress to naught but rubble or have the earth quake under the gravitic bombardment of a bomb barrage.

 

Armament

In place of the Corsair's extensive bomb bay, the frame of the aircraft has been modified to hold some of the heaviest weaponry available. A single large turret is mounted on the underside of the fuselage, replacing the bomb bay all together. A single MkIII Synne Volcano Cannon points downward to rain down titan-grade firepower on enemy fortifications and war engines below. The array to mount such a formidable weapon as well as the power required are so great that the gun must be mounted directly to adamantium frame and rest for 5 full minutes between shots to recharge from the plasma generator. While this limits the ordnance capacity and taxes the Iota-Nominal Reactor it has been deemed acceptable offsets to the firepower it is able to command. While this does limit the Strato-Keep's ordnance payload to wing-mounted pylons only these are still more than enough to mount devastating barrages of ordnance to follow up on a volcano blast annihilating a fortification below. To operate the weapon the bombardier is given control of the weapons system and able to target it using a separate console. Though accurate, targeting requires skill and usually some sort of assistance from ground forces in the case of a moving target like a titan.

The final change in design the Fire Keepers made was a specialist munitions loadout, using two specially designed pylons to fit a salvo of cruise-missiles with a special graviton warhead at the tip of each one. To accommodate the missiles a single pylon is fitted with two sets of clamps on either side, being able to hold 2 missiles in total. Named the 'Redemption' Missile after the Primarch's personal hammer, it has shown it's destructive power many times over against both entire armies and once-thought impregnable fortress'. The graviton warheads work on the principle of creating a large field of gravity around the point of impact, making everything within the blast area to weigh so much that it crushes troops, tanks and causes foundations and walls to crumble under their own weight. The warheads can be altered by the Techmarine managing the munitions before they're loaded into the bomber, allowing it to compensate for the local world's gravity and to vary the radius of effect if precision is needed. Due to the powerful nature of the warheads they can only be kept in limited amounts on the aircraft as the graviton projection devices inside the warheads can interfere with some of the more delicate machinery within the cockpit. This rarely leads to occasional system malfunctions but the effect is lessened as the payload is dropped as there is currently no way to shield against the combined gravitational effects.

 

  • 1 pylon can accommodate

    • 1x Anti-Ship Torpedo

    • 2x Redemption Missiles

    • 5x Apocalypse Missiles in a missile pod

    • 9x Large Guided Plasma/Melta Bombs on a bomb ejector rack

    • 36x High Explosive/Incendiary Bombs on a bomb ejector rack

 

Defensive Systems

As is typical with more Fire Keeper designs, the Strato-Keep swaps out the ceramite armour for plates of solid adamantium moulded with armaplas into the airframe. Ceramite is instead used specifically on the outer layer of the aircraft, with several thick sheets lining the fuselage and small ablative plates layered over the wings and around the cockpit. The outer layer of the craft is then covered in a layer of reflective paint that helps dissipate energy attacks with moderate efficiency. The use of multiple layers of differing armour types allows the armour to defeat a wide range of weaponry and blunt the effects of anti-vehicle attacks such as lascannon blasts. With all this added weight it drastically reduces the speed the standard variant relies on, only being able to move half as fast as the original Corsair.

The amount of defence turrets has also been increased, providing more survivability as well as killing potential against enemy aircraft. 3 twin-linked Hydra Long-Barrel Autocannon turrets have been installed with 2 on the underside of each wing, and one on the chin. With all these turrets linked together with a system of multi-feeds that lead to them, allow the turrets switch between Flak, Armour-Piercing and Plasma-tipped ammunition. Coupled with the replacement of the servitor-controllers with automata-grade cotrex-brains. These brains, while still imprinted with the usual firmware and wetware of their Legio Cybernetica counterparts, are linked to a Defensive Operator's command station, allowing for a rapid change in tactics or orders mid-mission. The versatility and reaction speed this allows the defensive array to be devastating against almost any aircraft or anti-air missile fielded against it .

 

 

Technical Specifications

Type: Orbital Bomber, Aerial Fortress

Vehicle Name: Strato-Keep

Forge World of Origin: Magnos Omircron

Known Variants: N/A

Crew: Pilot, Co-Pilot, Bombardier, Defensive Systems Operator, Techmarine, 7x Slaved Cortex-Brains

Powerplant: Iota-Nominal Type Plasma Reactor

Empty Weight: 348 tonnes

Loaded Weight: 416 tonnes

Length: 64m

Wingspan: 76m

Height: 18m

Operational Ceiling: N/A

Cruise Speed: 900kmh (559mph/Mach 0.7)

Max Speed: 1000kmh (621mph/Mach 0.8)

Range: 84,000km (Before Plasma heat-bleed and coolant replacement needed)

Main Armament: 1x MkIII Synne Volcano Cannon

Secondary Armament: 2 Wing-Mounted Pylons allowing up to 34,000kg's (75,000lbs) of ordnance.

Tertiary Armament: 7x Twin-linked Hydra Long-Barrel Autocannon turrets

Main Ammunition: Charged by Iota-Nominal Reactor

Secondary Ammunition: See Strato-Keep Armament

Tertiary Ammunition: 8000 rounds per turret (variable ammunition)

Armour

-Superstructure: 123mm

-Hull: 179mm

 

Famous Battles:

The Defeat of WAAAGH! Skullkrak – Under the Fire Keeper

 

Notable Strato-Keep Bombers:

Onyx Scale – Personal Corsair of Thirgen of the Fire Keepers Tribe Barinthus



#379
TrajantheGreat

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The Long Vigil

 

Within the Fire Keepers Legion, over time a unique rite of passage has emerged for the initiates. Those that have survived the various tests and trials; up until the final implantation of the Black Carapace, are deemed lacking in just one trait. Discipline is a major element of the Legion, and to be expected of all its sons.

 

To test an initiates' discipline, they are abandoned on one of the several Death Worlds the Legion has visited. The only three pieces of equipment that they receive, is an Astartes combat knife, a jar of lamp oil and a lamp, which is already alight.

 

The Initiate is expected to survive the harsh environment they may find themselves in, such as the irradiated wasteland of a desert world, or the vast expanse of frozen tundra on an ice world. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, the initiate must keep their lamp lit at all times. This is told to them, to be of utmost importance.

 

Upon the planet, the Initiate may soon realise the scope of the task with which he is faced. On an Arctic world, the Initiate may find that even as soon as he emerges from the hold of the Thunderhawk, sharp winds may threaten the frail life of his charge.

 

We're he to shield the lantern with his own body, he would be directly taking the full force of the cold, and the wind. So finding shelter would become a priority. Avoiding the wild animals native to their respective homeworlds is of itself a challenge. And where few would threaten a full Astartes, this isn't the case. With just one free hand, every engagement is potentially life threatening.

 

If the lamp remains lit, it brings another benefit for the Initiate. It reduces their need for light sources, and provides a source with which to easily make a fire. Many of the initiates will naturally find that what starts as a mere task, becomes almost a labour of love.

 

Different Astartes have approached the task in different manners, which also helps to show their superiors their mindsets. Some opt to build a little nest of sorts within their chosen shelter, refilling the lamp before they go hunting for food. Their artificial little structure around the lantern will shelter it from the wind, and conceal it from enemies until they return. Of course, there is always the risk that something could happen to put the light out whilst they are absent, not to mention the fast burning oil needs regular refilling.

 

Others prefer to keep the lantern with them at all times, constantly at arms length and within sight. Such a manner brings with it its own unique threats. The lantern is fragile, and one wrong impact or drop would render their Vigil redundant, and the light could scare away potential prey.

 

And, very rarely, there is a third option. On those worlds where several initiates have been dropped, the potential exists for them to work as a team. One amongst them will take responsibility for the lamps of his peers, whilst they hunt or rest, only to switch with one of them later. Despite some of the traditionalists arguing this is against the spirit of the test and a particularly heated debate within the Circles of the Chaplaincy, it was deemed a suitable method to pass. It was agreed that the discipline required to keep the lanterns of the others alight, despite having no personal stake, was a virtue of its own right.

 

Several of the initiates have had to fight off wild creatures drawn in by the light of the flame, and at no point has an Initiate been able to rest easy, the accumulated effort up to this point, now resting on the fragile flame of their charge.

 

It isn't uncommon for initiates to have "lost" their lamp oil, or run out before the allotted time. When this has occurred, a new test begins.  The Legion is known for its value on the ability to think for oneself, hence their value of the Circles of Chaplaincy and their seemingly endless debates. Those who find themselves able to keep the lantern alight, by burning any natural fuel of their respective deathworlds, are held in high regard, and are rumoured to have a future in leadership.

 

It is possible to pass the trial without presenting a lit lantern to the Legion. However, such a process will involve the Chaplain in charge of their recruitment and several of his peers, assessing the initiates every action. The attitude these unfortunates bring to their criticism is considered a telling display of their readiness to join the Legion.

 

Those who provide a lit lantern to their superiors upon their return, are granted the right to have a small tattoo of their success upon their right beast, a small commemoration of a feat of almost superhuman attention and devotion.



#380
TrajantheGreat

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Tarriq Daviduus

 

Tarriq had always been small in stature compared to his brothers. He had trained harder than most to make up for this, and although his aiming and target practice was above average, his combat drills left much to be desired. Indeed, his brief service in the assault companies was unremarkable, save for his undauntable spirit and the marks of a leader inside his soul. Were he only more skilled with a blade, it is doubtful he would have been reassigned. However, tactical brilliance and an unwavering spirit only gets you so far in a brutal melee.

 

After his fourth consecutive major injury, he was reallocated to the Legion's armoury as a tank gunner. After all, even a blunted tool can be put to good use. Within the turret of his first Predator, he quickly garnered attention for his unerring marksmanship, and knowledge of the vehicle and its tactics. By the time he had served with distinction as both a gunner and a driver, it was only a matter of time before he received a command of his own.

 

When it happened, during a compliance campaign, unremarkable save for the large number of armoured units available to nascent human inhabitants, he was up against poor odds. With a handful of armoured units, Tarriq was required to hold position against a superior enemy force, including illegally modified Leman Russ variants. Tarriq's force began by setting up tank traps and ferrocrete barriers. Able to hide their own vehicles behind them, their Predators’ high turrets were still on display whilst the enemy Leman Russ were unable to make use of them effectively. Tarriq, leading the Predator Destructor pattern Squadron, and a singular damaged Predator with Lascannons, held their preordained positions for 23 hours, their chosen battlefield littered with the corpse of their foes. Even the Predators under his command seemed inspired by his masterful leadership and calm disposition, their machine spirits working harder than ever, overcoming crippling damage to remain operational for as long as possible. By the time the relief force arrived in the form of the massed armour formations of the Imperial Army, they found an immobilised Predator with a gash in its Hull and its pilot on display, mercilessly trading fire with a Leman Russ. Its commander, Tarriq himself, firing his bolt pistol at the enemy driver's vision slits. The limping Predator Annihilator, shielded by its commander, was able to deal with the foe, just in the nick of time.

 

Rewarded for his skill and tenacity, Tarriq found himself ascending the ranks, a hero in the making. Indeed, his masterful command was responsible for a number of victories, the Fire Keeper's armorium remaining a small, but skilled part of the Legion.

 

Upon Ullanor, during the disastrous decision to build a veritable fortress Palace to welcome the Imperial Regent, he was one of the few to speak out against the frivolous display of artsmanship and skill, advising the maintenance of the defensive lines. Unfortunately, the Chaplain Sovereigns disagreed, their belief being that there was a legal responsibility for the Legion to ensure the safety of their guests. Even with the entire armorium at his disposal, when Tarriq relented and took his assigned role as the armoured shield of the new foundations, he chose his favoured mount, the Predator Destructor, the Loyalty of Obsailes.

 

Later analysis would dictate that his decision was perhaps his fatal mistake. Yet the facts remain, that as the Ork horde fell upon the armoured convoy, fighting with minimal infantry support, it was Tarriq in his Predator that was personally responsible for the crippling of their armoured elements. Against all advice and odds, Tarriq took his Squadron into the front lines, and then advanced on into the Ork lines. He engaged the enemy wagons and gun vehicles without support, and it became apparent that it was a losing battle. Unwilling to let the mainstay of the Ork firepower reach the defensive lines intact, Tarriq continued his manoeuvres, the Squadron operating in perfect synchronicity, weaving through enemy fire, breaking the lines of infantry, and slowly whittling down the enemy armour. As the conflict drew to a close, the Loyalty of Obsailes, with both its sponsons damaged, one track lost, the gunner dead, and the armour compromised in a dozen places was the sole survivor. Ork boyz in their dozens were swarming the tank, even as Tarriq hauled the corpse of the gunner out of his seat and took command of the main turret, with its final shot. The last of the Ork vehicles, a monstrous gun wagon of impossible armour, given its speed hurtled towards the defensive lines. Its momentum, let alone its firepower, would give the Orks the breach they needed. The heavy front armour of the monster shrugged off the shots of a dozen tanks, the gun opening up in kind.

 

Tarriq was said to have ordered that no tank break position, as he made his final shot, even as the first Orks hauled themselves into his vehicle. The shot was true, a virtually impossible shot, arcing through the air, and descending into the rear upper armour of the beasts' vehicle, detonating the ammunition stored within. Even as it exploded in a ball of flames, the Loyalty of Obsailes and its commander were lost, not in a blaze of glory, but with the angry descent of a horde of axes, swords and meaty fists. There was nothing of the vehicle to be salvaged, the Ork lootas clearing it up quickly, and of Tarriq's armour and geneseed, there was no sign.

 

Perhaps, if Tarriq had not been pressed in the Legion's vainglorious display of majesty, his skill and knowledge could have been put to better use during the day's to come.






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