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Posted 10 September 2017 - 07:10 PM
Nothing really stopping us from giving him something that looks like this Ceratus Custodian Fanart:
- MikhalLeNoir, Kelborn and bluntblade like this
Posted 16 September 2017 - 09:27 AM
Posted 19 September 2017 - 11:17 AM
The Scions Hospitaller
Numeration: XIXth Legion
Primogenitor: Pionus Santor
Cognomen (prior): the Nineteenth, Stygian Phantoms
Observed strategic tendencies:
Notable domains: Iona (homeworld)
“Some look askance at us for our ways. What kind of warrior can a surgeon be, they ask. I do not know how, but they fail to recognise this; no man has a better understanding of the ways a person can die than a man of medicine. The warrior might take a head with his axe, but the surgeon need only cut the right nerves, open the right arteries. Make him your enemy and you have but one consolation; yours will be a clean death.”
A Legion of reserved, calculating warriors, the Scions Hospitaller were nonetheless every bit as deadly as any other. Drawing on the expertise of their primarch, they brought a surgeon’s precision to their operations, both to save lives and slay the opponents of the Great Crusade. While they met xenos and abhumans with a merciless onslaught, they were quick to extend a hand to humans both within and without the Imperium, earning respect from many of the peers as well as the common soldiers of the Imperium.
Under the guidance of their sire, the Scions displayed a great pride in always seeking to improve themselves and the weapons and armour they trusted to keep them alive as they took the light of Unity into the darkest reaches of the Galaxy. However, although Pionus sought to improve Mankind, he responded with fury to those who went too far in altering it, and once-human cultures found only destruction at the hands of the XIXth Legion.
Besides their medical preeminence, they quickly established a reputation as underwater specialists, a legacy of Pionus scouring the bleak depths of Iona and fighting monsters that stood between him and the archeotech that could aid his people. These trenches became a proving ground for legionaries, and a close relationship with the XVIth Legion served to reinforce this expertise.
Indeed, during the Qarith War, the two Legions fought together in what has been described as the most perfect submarine action ever fought by the forces of Mankind. Together, they struck a vital blow against one of the most vile xenos powers ever to threaten Man's dominance over the Galaxy. Decades later, however, this battle would gain a bitter, bloodstained postscript.
Initially drawn from the Atlanta Wastes around the fortress city of Mariana, the XIXth Legion developed a reputation as superlative warriors, even by the standards of the Legiones Astartes. While many of their peers relied on unit cohesion and discipline, the XIXth drew on the culture of the assassins who had prowled the rooftops and alleys of Mariana. This enabled them to enter the war against the Sudafrik Tyrants despite their small size. Later on they adapted, turning their skills to use in open combat as well as stealth as they were eclipsed by other Legions in clandestine methods. The result was a highly individualistic style and a virtuoso emphasis on skill with the warrior’s chosen weapon.
This was swiftly demonstrated in their campaigns against the Urshek armies occupying the Asiatic Hives. Kalagann had fallen by this time, but his surviving lieutenants carved out their own domains and resisted the Imperial advance. Xiarek Chu was one such warlord, ruling through fear of his clone-brutes and his Steelfiend Brethren, a caste of genhanced fanatics known for their prowess. The Phantoms took it upon themselves to eradicate these foes, and when the gates of Huanglu they were the first into the fortress. Here they met the Steelfiends and carved through their ranks, tearing out the heart of Xiarek Chu’s army and breaking the last remnant of the Urshek hold over this region.
Naming themselves the Stygian Phantoms, the XIXth won dazzling victories and earned renown for dazzling feats of arms. In particular, their battles against the Eldar saw them heralded as some of the finest swordsmen in the Imperium, and they gained a reputation for grandiose, complex strategies. However, they also met with criticism from some quarters where they were perceived as glory hounds, unwilling to work alongside other Legions and adapt to their methods. At the same time, their culture of individual prowess resulted in several near disasters when disciplined opponents exploited their loose formations and convoluted strategies, and they saw a greater attrition rate among neophytes than most Legions.
Three decades after the Crusade moved beyond Sol, the Phantoms gained a new Legion Master in the form of Antonidas, a grim warrior from Anatolia. His mien set him apart from many of the XIXth, and worked hard to curb some of their excesses and yoke them back to the economical ways of the old Mariannan assassins. However, he met stubborn resistance from many of his captains. Despite their stable gene-seed, their numbers fluctuated, narrowly avoiding total disaster at Sulairn and losing over 10,000 warriors. Consequently, the Phantoms remained one of the smallest Legions for decades.
Child of the Sea
Unlike most of his brothers, Pionus Santor’s pod did not come to rest on land. Instead he was set afloat on the seas that covered Iona, save for a single continent. By chance, the pod entered the atmosphere within sit of this landmass, and was spotted by a scientist named Archimados, stargazing with his daughter Inna. Iona had begun as a scientific outpost, and its inhabitants turned all their knowledge towards keeping their civilisation intact. They succeeded in this, but they knew little comfort during their lives. Conflict was kept in check largely by the danger of violence damaging the undersea structures so many people inhabited.
Expeditions were occasionally mounted to the abyssal trenches, where some facilities were known to have sunk. However, almost all who ventured into those depths were devoured by the creatures that lived there, and those facilities found were often buried by tectonic activity or ruined beyond use by the pressure of the water. As the population's resources were denuded, these voyages became steadily more infrequent, and despair loomed in their minds.
Archimados was one of the leading scientists seeking a way to stave off this glacial collapse, and in an unusual display of superstition took the infant primarch as a good omen of sorts. Aside from anything else, Pionus was a new element that must surely change the equation in some way. Just how much he would do so, no one could imagine.
The child's rapid growth and incredible stature were a source of fear as well as awe, but mostly he was treated with clinical, scientific curiosity. As a result the young primarch regarded himself with a distressing sense of confusion, fortunately eased by his adoptive family. Nonetheless, as his understanding outstripped that of Iona's leading scientists, he worked to understand his unique gifts, and began to put these lessons to use.
The high gravity of Iona had resulted in its people developing dense bones and a higher muscle mass than baseline humans. These adaptations also meant that they were well-equipped to receive the improvements that Pionus devised to help them and improve their lives. These were initially based on enhancing their senses and physical strength, and a resounding success. However, as Pionus began more esoteric work on replicating his pulmonary and cardiovascular gifts, he ran up against the limits of Iona's technology. Seeking a solution, he turned to the submerged facilities in the abysses.
To deal with the monsters that stood in his way, Pionus turned his intellect toward arming himself and the other would-be explorers. This extended beyond their weapons and armour to include understanding the creatures; Pionus began by hunting smaller beasts, dissecting his kills to glean information on how they might be brought down with relative ease. These lessons were interwoven with his other research, leading to the creation of barbed nets and stabbing spears, employing a crude variety of disruptor fields.
Thus armed, Pionus led his expeditions into the depths. These were far from easy, and the explorers faced monsters stronger and more terrible than any they had encountered before. Yet their daring was rewarded as they located several lost bases and retrieved STC templates and lost devices. With these Pionus was able to advance his campaign to grant Iona's people greater vitality and abilities, and for the first time in centuries the undersea settlements began to expand. This process gathered pace over the years, and when the Halcyon Wardens drew near, their leaders perceived a world prospering under a primarch's direction.
On meeting with Alexandros, Pionus felt true kinship with another being for the first time, and to his own surprise had to struggle to restrain his emotions. After enquiring diligently about the Imperium he asked for a meeting with his father and Legion commanders, at which he subsequently swore allegiance and pledged himself to the Great Crusade.
In keeping with this, Iona became both a recruitment world and a hub of research into ways in which the Astartes might make war more effectively. The cities expanded, fed by Imperial resources, and the submarine bases salvaged and restored. The one pristine base Pionus had located, which had served as his personal laboratorium, grew to an artificer armatorium. Over the years it played a small but significant role in the development of technologies such as Terminator armour, as well as the Scions’ signature waveblades.
The great dangers of underwater combat, in which a single blow could spell death, had left Pionus with a relentless urge to avoid any unnecessary injuries or losses. Consequently, he was troubled by what he saw as the wasteful practices of the Stygian Phantoms, but also wary of forcing change on them. Seeking political advice from Alexandros, he built up support among the officers of the Legion, identifying aspects of their culture and methods which could provide a foundation for his vision. Fortunately in Antonidas he found an indispensable ally, and quickly gained an understanding of the men he was to command.
Those close to the Primarch at this time said his demeanour was that of an inmate released from prison. Pionus would in time make his way to Terra, but for now he occupied himself with improving his homeworld and the Legion he had assumed command of. He apprenticed himself to the most accomplished of his brothers, learning what it took to lead the Emperor’s armies.
Pionus took the Phantoms’ emphasis on personal excellence and turned it to his own purposes, aiming to create a Legion that would serve mankind more effectively. Instead of prioritising elaborate, dramatic kills, the XIXth began to prize clean victories. At the same time, Pionus encouraged a more compassionate attitude toward the common soldier and an appreciation for what a unified force could achieve, reserving particular praise for the Legion’s apothecaries. Traditionally viewed with some disdain by their comrades, Pionus cast their expertise in a new light; always seeking ways to understand and bring down an enemy as well as to support their brothers, they were potentially the most lethal men in the Legion.
These changing attitudes were borne out both by a surge of Astartes seeking to learn the apothecary’s methods and more cohesive unit tactics during the XIXth’s battles. Some within the Legion resisted the changes, and continued to perform remarkable feats of arms, but were increasingly overshadowed by the “new” XIXth Legion. As both Ionan and Terran recruits embraced their Primarch’s ways, the old guard shrank in numbers but eventually found a niche within a new order. Most visibly, Antonidas’ elite assault cadre remained and kept their black pearl armour, while the rest of the Legion adopted the white that usually marked a Legion’s medicae, trimmed with arterial red.
Pionus applied his analytical skills to finding ways in which his sons could support and learn from their fellow Legions. Sometimes these efforts met with hostility from his brothers, but others responded with gratitude and respect, especially for the Astartes lives that the men of the XIXth worked diligently to save. This gave rise to a new name for the Legion: the Scions Hospitalier.
Hunters of the Depths
Under the tutelage of their Primarch and the XVIth Legion, the Scions swiftly became the Imperium’s most renowned underwater combatants, and their tally of victories rapidly increased on land and in the void. In cutting out the egotism which had afflicted so many of their number before, the Legion had enabled themselves to wage war with the kind of unity seen among the Halcyon Wardens. Relations with their comrades, be they mortals, Mechanicum or fellow Astartes, improved dramatically, and a peculiar friendship developed between the Scions and the Iron Bears. However, this was not universal; Pionus clashed with Raktra on Punicia over the latter’s merciless conduct, the two Legions almost coming to blows even while the campaign was underway.
Within two decades of the reunion, with Pionus had instituted a policy in which the Scions were divided into several expeditionary fleets, with each intended to be self-sustaining. While being dispersed in this meant they won fewer massive, overwhelming victories than some of their fellows, it did gain them experience in myriad theatres of war. For the first time, their strength was near-constant. In times of need multiple fleets would converge to combat an especially powerful enemy, as seen during the Malacos Purge.
In contrast to the Drowned, insular and distrustful of anything but their own strength, wits and resolve, the Scions assembled an impressive array of war machines with which to perfect the art of submarine warfare. Cybernetica maniples and extensively modified gunships featured prominently in their arsenals, and their campaign in the Mothran Abyss earned them the allegiance of the Legio Gojira and the Knight House Toho. With such forces at their side, their rolls of honour only grew, and at times Pionus would hold overall command in campaigns with his “younger” brothers.
In this, and so many other things, Pionus drew comparisons to Kozja Darzales. Found only a year apart, the two were alike in their talents, yet remarkably divergent in character. Kozja was imperious, ordering his Legion entirely according to his will and creating its auxiliary elements from the armies he had founded on his homeworld. Pionus adapted his Legion from what he found, entrusting much to his lieutenants and seeking out suitable mortal armies to support his campaigns. It is not necessary to look far to see parallels with how they each approached the genetic sciences, and this issue above all would divide them.
Yet until the new millennium, such matters merely lurked in the background, and it was in politics and military doctrine that Pionus and Kozja differed most clearly. Here we can see shortcomings which, perhaps, kept both from consideration for the rank of Warmaster. Neither commanded the loyalty of their brothers quite as effortlessly as Icarion, nor did they possess Alexandros’ knack for political manoeuvring. For his part, Pionus dedicated himself to the Crusade, and made his Legion into some of the best-loved champions of Mankind.
By common consensus, their finest hour was the Qarith War, which saw Pionus rally almost the entire Legion to confront the foul xenos for which the conflict was named. While the Crimson Lions and Steel Legion had successfully stalled the Qarith’s advance, it was the Scions and The Drowned who made it possible to push the amphibious monsters back, taking the fight to them in their watery strongholds. After several years of savage combat, the two Legions spearheaded the attack on Qarith Prime itself, crushing the aliens underfoot. The Scions departed to aid the Iron Bears in the conquest of Laeran, before returning for the Qarith Triumph.
While many of their cousins were dismayed at the Emperor's return to Terra and the appointment of Alexandros as Warmaster, the Scions took it in their stride. Indeed, Pionus and several of his captains acclaimed Alexandros' choice from the very beginning. Over the following decades Pionus would remain a consistent ally of the Warmaster, dedicated to preserving the unity of the Crusade.
However, when the work of Vizenko brought the simmering conflicts over gene-augmentation to the surface, the Scions forced to take a side. After the Triumph Pionus began to put out feelers to other Legions, fearing that if their work continued they would utterly estrange the Astartes from the people they were meant to serve, and endanger his own dreams for elevating the whole of Mankind. He also privately attempted to warn Kozja, but his cautions were ignored.
Within a decade, matters came to a head with the Vizenko, and Pionus felt forced to take the stand against his brother's Legion. He managed to salvage something of the compromise he had hoped for on gene-augmentation, but at a cost. To those on the other side his actions smacked of hypocrisy, alienating The Drowned, Warbringers and a large portion of the Eagle Warriors and harming already sour relations with the Berserkers of Uran.
In the aftermath of their hollow victory the Scions proceeded as before, serving with distinction on several collaborative campaigns, included one celebrated war alongside the Lightning Bearers against the slaver-lords of the Ngyverug. They were closest of all, however, to the Iron Bears and Halcyon Wardens, and when Icarion turned against the Emperor he knew that Pionus would never side with him. The Scions were marked for death.
- Slips likes this
Posted 09 October 2017 - 09:15 PM
Following the reunion with their primarch, the Scions Hospitaller continued their gene-father’s diligent acquisition of archeotech, and made full use of the lore of Terra and Mars available to them. Fostering close ties with the Adeptus Mechanicus, they were often granted the first chance to study the Standard Template Constructs recovered in their campaigns before handing them over. The result is an array of weapons and armour unique to the XIXth Legion.
Wave blades have been an integral part of the Scions’ arsenal since the reunion, having been designed by the primarch on Iona. Using a hyper-dense ore found only in Iona, they rely on inbuilt micro-grav impulsers to function effectively. As a result of the added weight, the offer a more powerful swing than typical power weapons, and have served the Scions well against armoured foes such as the Malacos. Though rare, a few have been forged for warriors in other Legions as a mark of friendship, and the Scions treat any Astartes who bears one with immense respect as a result.
The rest of the Scions’ wargear is tailored largely to their focus on underwater campaigns; perhaps best known are the Phaeton-pattern Stormeagles used for aquatic deployments. This specialisation is mirrored in the Mechanicus detachments seconded to the XIXth, which have undergone extensive modifications to support the Scions beneath the waves. The Legion’s artificers also developed a pattern of jump pack that can function both in the void and underwater, as well as sophisticated sonar emitters that allow a legionary to “see” his surroundings in dark or murky conditions.
The legionaries themselves are immediately recognisable in their streamlined armour, optimised for battle in the crushing depths of the ocean. At the time of the Insurrection they favoured the Cyma sub-pattern of Mk IV and the Cetus variant of Cataphracti Terminator armour, although their suits of Mk III, Indomitus and Tartaros suits were likewise altered. These were kept fully sealed in the field, the Scions disdaining the carefree practice of going into battle without making full use of the protection available to them.
Posted 10 October 2017 - 09:27 PM
Earning his spurs in the Solar Conquests, Antonidas displayed an exceptional gift for bladework early on, and rose swiftly to high rank within the Stygian Phantoms. Troubled by the hubris that so often infected his brothers, he achieved his position as much with his level head as skill, saving his warriors from near disaster on multiple occasions. His response to the problems he perceived was to embark on a programme of reform, although he found that many of his captains dragged their feet, resenting his command. The discovery of Pionus, therefore, would prove a positive boon to the Legion Master.
Antonidas served as First Captain of the Scions Hospitalier from the reunion with his Primarch, during which time his reputation as a fearsome warrior only grew. Grim and taciturn to all but his closest brothers, he adapted the finesse of the Stygian Phantoms to fit the surgical ways of the new XIXth Legion, and performed both stealth missions and fast attacks with lethal precision. His military mind was no less deadly, and he would give the Traitors ample reason to rue their failure to kill him.
The First Solar War would see Antonidas lead his brothers independently of his master for much of the campaign, as he often had during the Great Crusade,min a bid to slow the invading forces. At Revan, he took charge of the Scions’ frontline defences, accounting personally for dozens of Warbringers both during the long retreat and in the ferocious counterattacks which followed.
A forearm-mounted blade, Hoarfrost was unique among the weapons discovered during the Great Crusade. A relic recovered on Natnuat Prime, the materials used in its construction defied classification by even the most knowledgeable Adepts. It resembled a shard of the void itself, and emanated a lethal chill rather than the heat of a power weapon.
- Slips likes this
Posted 15 October 2017 - 09:53 PM
It is for good reason that the Qarith War has gained such significance among the campaigns of the Great Crusade. The aliens were a menace to rival any other, and all the more abhorrent for their origins. For just as Medusa, Huron and Madrigal were found in the few surviving records of Old Night, so too was Qarith Prime famous as a paragon of human civilisation. As the Age of Strife descended, however, some combination of uninhibited gene-manipulation and outright mutation twisted the Qarith people so proundly that they could no longer even be called abhuman. When their true nature was discovered, one senior Adept of the Magos Biologis remarked that the Qarith had undergone in five millenia a degree of degeneration that ought to have taken aeons.
Now they butchered their way across the Galactic south, preying on baseline humanity for fresh stock and amassing frightful arsenals as they constructed their empire. Even Ork hordes and Mechanicum Forge Worlds fell under their attacks in the centuries before contact with the Imperium. several Ork Waaaghs! have since been linked to the Qarith, driven out of their own territory and seeking either to flee or amass the stength to retaliate. At the time, however, their apparance was utterly unexpected, and the Imperium would pay dearly. It is reckoned by many historians and military scholars that, had the Emperor’s armies not been bolstered by the fruits of conquest and tempered by nearly two centuries of war, they might have suffered even more than they did in the Rangdan Xenocides.
The Qarith certainly exacted a murderous toll, overunning swathes of Imperial worlds and laying waste to Legiones Astartes Chapters, Imperial Army regiments and Titan Legions. Elements of ten Legions ultimately participated in the fighting, which raged for six years. The Steel Legion were the first to engage the Qarith, and swiftly became embroiled in savage combat over several systems. The conflict soon drew in the Crimson Lions and Predators, and Hectarion went so far as to summon almost his entire Legion to the theatre. Elements of the Halcyon Wardens and Lightning Bearers, their Primarchs and main strength embroiled in the Koloss Syntheticide, set forth. Even a small detachment of Grave Stalkers took a hand, and a last-ditch attack by the Qarith on Imperial space would be interdicted by the Iron Bears. The most reliable records put the number of Army troops in the region of thirty million.
But the Qarith’s aptitude for thriving on Water Worlds and other, similarly inhospitable planets, ensured that two Legions above all would prove vital to breaking them. The Scions Hospitalier and the Drowned arrived, fleet by fleet, over six months, and before long Pionus Santor had assumed overall command of the campaign. He was the earliest found of the Primarchs in this theatre, and neither Morro nor Hectarion would countenance deferring to one another.
For two years the Imperial advance was a slow, grinding affair, fought across hundreds of worlds, and several times it was necessary to repulse Qarith incursions into Imperial territory as well as press the attack. Pionus had assembled over three quarters of his Legion, and seven of the Scions’ senior Déka echelon served directly under him. This force he dispersed widely among the Imperial forces, keeping between a third and half of them at his side throughout. Along with their fellows in the XVI Legion, the Scions prioritised the ocean worlds where the Qarith abounded, and in these uniquely unforgiving warzones they crossed blades with the xenos again and again. Alchem-weapons normally held in reserve were unleashed dozens of times in the urge to extirpate the Qarith. Compliant populations became ravening monsters, forcing the Imperium to put them to the sword. Whether on land, sea or in the void, the fighting had a truly existential ferocity to it.
When Antonidas and Cassandros, the First and Seventh Captains of the Scions, discovered the once-human origins of the Qarith, and confirmed the existence of psychic “queen” organisms, the Imperials gained the advantage they needed to cripple Qarith forces. These creatures gave the Qarith their pretenatural coordination, and killing them was shown to cast the xenos into disarray. The offensive gained momentum, though they still bled for every inch of soil, and three years later Legiones Astartes vessels tore free of the Warp, and into the Qarith home system.
Battles still raged over nineteen other systems, and Pionus had found it expedient to blockade several points along Warp routes to the system, but this was still a flotilla capable of breaking worlds with ease. The four Glorianas formed spearheads, and carved through the fleets and defence stations in their path. The Qarith system boasted six planets, each with a number of moons, and detachments peeled off to assault them as they progressed. Some were broken open with cyclonic torpedoes or massed bombardments followed by swift deployments of space marines and Army troops, but Qarith Prime would clearly prove a far harder prize to take.
Pionus and his brothers might have simply blasted the world to atoms, if not for the Emperor’s instructions. Qarith Prime was too important for such a fate. In its fall, it must become a monument to the inexorable advance of Mankind. To this end, the Astartes must make planetfall and scour the Qarith from every corner and crevasse of the world. The world was, like Old Earth hundreds of aeons before, covered with water, save for a supercontinent to the planet’s south pole. The first blows would have to land here, to carve out a foothold from which the XIXth and XVIth could take to the seas, while their cousins completed the land conquest.
The Qarith were as aware of this as the invaders; the landmass was forested from shore to shore with fortifications. Defence shields glimmered over their grotesque spires, and high walls and bunkers ran the length of the coastline. Submersibles lurked in the seas, laden with ordnance to be turned against descending aircraft. Missile silos placed among the fortifications undoubtedly held the atomic and alchem payloads that the Qarith had used so destructively before. Any first wave would be shattered within minutes of landing if the defences were allowed to stand.
The solution, Antonidas reasoned, was to target not the landmass, but the oceans. Three ships taken from the enemy were dragged to high orbit and positioned to plummet onto shallow regions of the sea fifty kilometres apart, close to the coast. Ranging from six to fourteen kilometres in length, the massive vessels struck with cataclysmic force. Submersibles close by were destroyed or scattered by the resulting tidal waves, and tectonic shocks laid waste to the coastal defences.
Into the shallow water of the breaches, drop-pods and gunships descended while bombers launched pinpoint attacks on the silos beyond. At one, the Drowned led the way, supported by the Predators. At the second, Hectarion led his warriors from the front, covered by the Steel Legion’s superlative gunnery. But the largest was assaulted by the Scions Hospitalier: fully half the XIXth, accompanied by the Lightning Bearers and Halcyon Wardens.
The V Legion contingent was especially important to Pionus’ plans, owing to their prowess in phalanx warfare, while the Scions made little use of breacher units. Backed up by heavy support squads and gunship fire, these carbed out an initial foothold which was swiftly expanded by the arrival of regular companies. The Qarith were already responding, directing hundreds of thousands of warriors to the breaches. Pionus made landfall at the heart of the crater with the entire Depthstrider elite, the first time the Terminators had brought their full power to bear in a single place.
On either side of the command force, the Déka captains led their troops into contact. Each had been assigned a taskforce consisting of several battalions. Odyssalas broke the Qarith line at his location with a spearhead of Cybernetica robots and dreadnoughts. As the machines carved their way through the infantry, his veteran companies struck at the xenos' exposed flanks, matched every step of the way by the Lightning Bearers under Sentinel Empyon. Nonetheless, their progress was resisted tenaciously as the enemy responded. Gunfire rained down from passages built into the ravaged walls, and beyond these were several kilometres of bunkers, depots and hangars, all fortified and well-garrisoned. Qarith walkers, foul insectoid contraptions, were already taking to the field in response to the dreadnoughts and automata. To counter this, Devastator squads were brought forward, guarded by breachers and veterans, turning heavy weapons against the enemy line-breakers. Others turned their guns to the sea, from which the Qarith emerged to strike at the invaders' rear.
The Astartes paid in blood for every stride they took, with thousands falling wounded or slain at each escalade. The initial hours of the battle were to prove among the costliest of the Great Crusade. Power armour and breacher shields could only weather so much. Warriors were mutilated by shot and blade, and energy weapons and explosives simply obliterated many warriors and vehicles. But steep as the price was, they inflicted worse upon the xenos. Bombers scoured guns from the vast walls, and as fighter wings clashed and siege tanks brought down still more of the fortifications, the balance shifted steadily in favour of the Astartes.
With the enemy locked in combat with Bepheros’ taskforce, Antonidas led a host of assault marines to capture the towers beyond the walls, aiming to prevent the enemy from installing any field artillery there. With Qarith armour and war machines, roughly analogous to Titans, rapidly approaching, this was vital to the Scions’ offensive, for it would allow them to deploy tanks and their own behemoths unimpeded. The Scions paid heavily, but they were unfaltering in the advance and Antonidas was ever the finest war leader they possessed. Under his leadership the Scions stormed the spires. Rapier guns and Thunderfire cannon were installed there and upon the walls, and with the beachhead secure Pionus could bring down the full might of his strike force.
The Knights of House Toho were the first to engage, emerging from their landers with battle-horns blaring and their guns already seeking out targets. With them came the first tanks and yet more tactical squads, followed by the full might of the Titan Legio Gojira. Existing breaches in the walls were widened by their guns, and new ones torn open. War machines and tanks that would have troubled the Scions' dreadnoughts and automata were little more than a nuisance to Gojira, and they set about the enemy Titan-analogues with their accustomed ferocity. The Nightguard Rex Monstra, the Legio's Primus, accounted for a dozen enemy machines in this phase of the battle.
In dozens of places along the battlefront shield walls fragmented, disengaging swiftly. After so many engagements, the Qarith recognised the ruse and fell into retreat, but even so they were savaged by massed bolter fire and cut down in their thousands as Predators, Land Raiders and Sicaran battle tanks rumbled through gaps in the XIXth Legion formations. With the second wave, the Scions discarded the phalanx, falling seamlessly into the next phase of their attack as the first regrouped and moved out in their wake. Behind them came the proud cohorts of the Solar Auxilia and war maniples from other Titan Legions. By the time the Qarith had mustered their second counterattack, the armies had swollen to millions of troops and contested hundred of kilometres.
Moving inland, the Scions formed up around the Knights and Titans, bringing in Legion and Army aircraft to support the advance. Over two days of constant fighting the Imperial juggernaut forced its way seventy kilometres into the interior, deploying more men and machines every hour. Through it all, Pionus was on the front lines, relentless and unstoppable. He drove his men on, even when they had to force their way over mounds of corpses, both metal and flesh. The scenes captured in picts and helm-feeds strain credulity with their sheer scale and violence. Rad-clouds and dust plunged the world into darkness, with even the bulk of hives swallowed up in the gloom. Beneath these tortured skies the Emperor's armies laid waste the foul works of the Qarith, but never without cost. On the second day Cassandros was slain by horde of elite Qarith warriors, and his company only saved from destruction by the Second Brotherhood and Legate Sauhan of the Wardens.
With ever more Army regiments landing to consolidate their gains and link the Space Marine forces, Pionus left the ground war to Hectarion and took to the sea. Morro did likewise, and the Scions and Drowned began their campaign of extermination with all the tenacity it required. Above and below the water, infrastructure was made the first priority for destruction. Without power, defence systems fell silent, sustenance became harder to replenish and the failure of waste filtration spread disease throughout Qarith populations. Then the Emperor’s soldiers would turn their guns upon the factories and spawning hives.
Fought over four months, the battles beneath the waves took many forms. Amphibious gunships and fighters harried vast Qarith submersibles, Phantom squads descended into hives to loose sudden carnage, and armies of space marines and their Cybernetica allies gave battle on the ocean floor, fighting in the monstrous shadows of Toho and Gojira. Solar Auxilia, marinaded in void combat, ably supported the Scions while the Drowned worked alone. The great hives of the aliens were broken open and purged of life. For all their might, they had been constructed with the expectation that any enemy would want to take them. Once an invader decided to simply destroy them, the pressure of the sea could be used to do much of the work in tearing them down.
When the Astartes came to the final fortress, it was with little of the bombast that had accompanied planetfall. The Qarith had built it into a huge crevasse, pulling all their remaining forces back to it for a last stand. Pionus, however, saw no reason to indulge them, and the majority of the armies which had assaulted the world were already moving on to new campaigns when the last phase began. Automata were equipped to tunnel deep into the crust, carving out tunnels which were filled with explosives. Detonated from afar, these opened voids that were swiftly filled by the water, tearing loose whole districts of the fortress and sending them to the bottom of the trench. The Scions and Drowned followed, Titans and Knights reducing stone to molten slag while the Astartes delved into the tunnels, using rad-weaponry and flesh-eater alchem weapons to ensure that no trace of the xenos remained. The kill-teams prowled the ruins for four days until Pionus was satisfied that the last of the Qarth were slain.
Setting a course for Laeran, he left Qarith Prime to the Mechanicum, who would shape it in preparation for the epochal Triumph. The explosion in remembrancer works depicting the war for Qarith Prime testifies to the importance men had already begun to ascribe to the campaign, as a turning point in the Crusade. Yet the immensity of the conquest would be overshadowed within a year, and the victory parade would change the destiny of Mankind perhaps more profoundly than any battle fought in the Crusade.
Edited by bluntblade, Yesterday, 10:16 PM.
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Posted 17 October 2017 - 01:38 AM
Posted 18 October 2017 - 07:14 AM
Not quite sure; it'd be specialised gear for water combat in that case since normally, a Bolter is more efficient for a Marine to use than a Hotshot Lasgun despite them being able to power them from their powerplants. Also, if the lasweapons inner workings are damaged in any ways, it might easily be rendered nonfunctional; ie: the emitter lense.
Volkite beams seem more worthwhile since they would essentially boil the water around them as they travelled essentially causing: https://en.wikipedia...Supercavitation due to their Deflagrating Effect whereas las weapons in 40k just transfer a lot of energy to a single localized point.
Bolt Shells, being rocket propelled to an extent might also still be useable due to the aboves Supercavitation being a possibility for the shells to achieve or might have specialized bolt shells that do just that.
Posted 18 October 2017 - 03:22 PM
Proud Creator of the Scarlet Sentinels, AKA Redcoats in Spaaaaace!!!
Posted 18 October 2017 - 04:15 PM
It might be worth discussing which underwater weaponry we might want to see rules for. One of the ideas for Book 2 was that Book 2C would contain rules for BotL specific gear, one section of which would obviously be Underwater Weaponry, available to all legions in underwater missions and available to the Scions and Drowned in all missions due to their rather larger arsenals of it.
On that subject, how about, rather than going for a complete change of their standard weaponry, the Drowned and Scions use a specialized bolter round for underwater operations which, rules wise, could negate the effect that our rules for underwater combat have on a weapon's range?
Edited by Sigismund229, 18 October 2017 - 04:16 PM.
The IIIrd legion, the Crimson Lions formerly known as the Blood Wolves. http://www.bolterand...-crimson-lions/
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