IXth Legion - The Warbringers
Host Unyielding, Golden-Armed vanguard, War-Made
Numeration: IXth Legion
Primogenitor: Kozja Zladislawik Urafos-Asklep Svatogor Deventyzem Darzalas, High King of all Strelians, Grand Prince of the Oneiron Cluster, Urafos of the Asklepian Order, Commander of the Bogatyrs, Shaper of Hosts, Primarch of the IX Legion Astartes: the Voitely.
Cognomen (Prior): Steel Guard, "Stalwart Ninth" - unofficial, given during the second Compliance of Ganymede by Imperial Army legates
Observed Strategic Tendencies: Heavy infantry gun-line advances, joint-action with Auxilia troops (especially efficient synergy with Strelan "New Dozen" regiments), massed Terminator assaults
Noteworthy Domains: Strela, Oneiron Cluster, Segmentum Obscurus
Few names bear as much meaning as that of the Warbringers. For decades the stalwart vanguard of the Great Crusade, they would earn fame in the hearts of lesser men for their nobility and value of auxiliary lives. Advancing before them as a single tide, never falling back, the Warbringers were an example of Astartes nobility. Their primarch, Kozja Darzalas, was known to the other legions as the savior of the XIth and XVIIth, although the former would later be destroyed by unknown fates. Some say it is that strife for correcting flaws which led the legion to a darker path of genetic re-engineering, one which would ultimately see its actions censured at Baal by the Emperor himself. Humiliated, their apothecarion shattered, the Warbringers sought to shine again, but the world is so made that they never got the chance to, for the Stormborn comforted them in the righteousness of their forbidden actions, ensuing that they would follow in his path of destruction across the Galaxy. But, as History has shown, a coat turned once can easily be turned once more, and the Warbringers along with the Warriors of Peace and Steel Legion would prove instrumental to the Stormlord's demise.
Origins: A Tide of Steel
The original recruits of what would become the Ninth Legion were mustered from the various bellicose city-states of Pansylvania, a loose and unstable confederacy of merc-families and fortified conurbations lodged between the powerful Terawatt Clans and the states of Europa. A region prone to conflict even during the millennia prior to Old Night, its inhabitants were united in the belief that their race had been created for war by the gods themselves. When the Emperor and his Thunder Warriors came to the Pansylvanians, he was met by volleys of fire from antiquated weapons and iron discipline, much like what he would later see from the Ironsides of Albia. However, unlike the Albians, the Pansylvanians complied quickly once they realized that they were fighting War incarnate. It was upon the ruins of the White Fortress that the council of warlords was assembled before the Emperor, and in this bleak display they all swore allegiance, some with reluctance, most with eagerness, but all on their own accord. When the Imperium sought recruits for the Legiones Astartes project, the warriors of Pansylvania heartily gave their child soldiers, for the opportunity to be forged for war was too great to pass. In time, additional recruits would be gathered from Jermanic and Urshine stock, owing to shared cultural ancestry. Early documentation attests that the IXth legion's geneseed put terrible strain on the subject. Whether this was a defect, or a deliberate measure designed to weed out the weaker elements from the proto-Legio, is left to speculation. Despite this apparent biological elitism, many survived the rough treatment of implantation, furthering the Pansylvanian belief that they had been created as warriors.
This in turn was distilled in the legion as purposeful and unbreakable discipline in battle, exemplified by its earliest recorded battle: the destruction of the Valerian Neanthropes from the Oxitanian hive. For millenia a bastion of forbidden knowledge, the single hive of the pseudo-region of Oxitania hosted many bright alchemysts, flesh-shapers, and gene-wrights. Yet they refused to bow to the nascent Imperium; those few diplomats that returned had been subjected to unspeakable experiments. In the eyes of the Emperor, such defiance would not go unanswered. War was declared. From the arcologies came an army of augmented tech-barbarians in partial power armour. Against them walked four companies of the newborn IXth, the two forces roughly matched in numbers and materiel. But the Neanthropes, for all their augmentations, fought as a disorganised horde, each one rampaging in his way. In contrast, the Astartes marched in line, never once breaking formation even at the peak of the battle. Though they may have been stronger or quicker, the Valerians were quickly beat by superior discipline and coordination, a veritable tide of steel and ceramite crashing against them. In the aftermath of the battle, a macabre scene showed the corpses of the enemy commanders crucified as a last display of superiority by the Ninth. The Hive was subsequently sacked, its esoteric savants enslaved, and its arcologies left to burn. Such was the price for those who would not comply.
During the Dark Age of Technology, Strela was an industrial world, famed for its production of vehicles of all sorts. However with the advent of the Age of Strife it was engulfed in warp-storms, cut from its client-worlds, leading to great famines. War erupted for the control of the planet's rare fertile lands, and the great factories were destroyed to make way for the growth of cultures, their machinery salvaged as weapons. It was on that world, drowned in ceaseless war, that a comet struck the sky, bearing within it what would become the nineteenth primarch. The pod crashed on the ruins of a battlefield, as the victors were tending to their wounded and burying their dead. The strange contraption was far too advanced to be of Strelian design, and too ominous to have been a mere weapon. Scavengers rushed toward it, eager to steal whatever riches it might have contained. Inside they found only a child, whom they left in a shell-crater, instead choosing to recycle the pod's plating as armour. The infant primarch crawled through the hell-scape, only to cross the path of medical officers desperately trying to save a maimed soldier. These were more considerate, and took the child as a fellow tribe-member. He was given the name Kozja, a hero of ancient legends said to have emerged from among the dead.
Early on, Kozja displayed great curiosity towards life, owing to his kinship with the “corpse-walkers”, these brave few who ventured on the battlefields in desperate search of survivors. His posthuman intellect granted him an almost instinctive understanding of human biology, and after a few years he grew to be the greatest surgeon of the Darzalas host. But still war raged upon Strela, and the primarch put his skills at use, at first devising drugs to increase the combat effectiveness of his troops. The first battle involving these augmented warriors was a triumph, and Kozja saw an opportunity to test his scientific prowess. From then on, he would strive to make his soldiers stronger, hardier, superior to their foes in every way. This way, he thought, his nation could conquer the whole planet, and Strela would at last know peace. But he also sought to emulate his own, inhuman design, for he had quickly discovered his nature as a post-human, an experiment lost in the wastes. Attempt to reverse-engineer his body led to no concrete results, but he learnt a great deal on genetics. These, rather than combat drugs, were the way forward.
In ten years the Darzalans grew to prominence, their Genetnik Cossacks overwhelming all foes, unifying the main continents, famine being eradicated by the creation of hardier crops. Soon there was but one foe remaining: Zalmoxis, a kingdom entrenched in a mountainous massif, protected by a sprawl of fortresses, and whose soldiers wore powered plate armour, not dissimilar to those used on Terra during Old Night. The people of Darzalas had elected for Kozja to lead the offensive from the forefront, as their general and creator. Genetnik flesh clashed with rebel steel. Augmented muscles struggled against hydraulic pistons. Combat drugs and nerve-staples denied both sides the feeling of pain, as bullets and axes sundered armor plates. Kozja himself ensured that each citadel taken would hoist his heraldry of two crossed swords. While both forces were roughly equal at an individual level, the cossacks had the advantage of numbers, while their foes were working with a limited and dwindling arsenal of power-suits, without which they were doomed in close quarters. So it is that by the time Kozja came to depose the opposing king, his guard were the only ones left with the fabled armours, the rest fighting with whatever rifle they could scavenge.
When Kozja returned to his homeland, it was as a hero. The celebrations for his victory in the last campaign culminated in his crowning as King of the Strelians, the alabaster and gold of the planet's past glories restored upon him. Delegations from every nation came to bow before him. The last of these delegations went unannounced, giants in armours even greater than those of the Zalmoxites. The three foremost were a figure of authority in white and black, a mighty polearm in his hands; a smaller leader in purple armour, bearing a mighty shield; but the most intriguing was the gold-clad man. Kozja felt him as many things, a ruler, a warrior, a wizard, but here he saw him as a creator and gene-wright. As if hearing all the questions in his head, the giant extended his hand and declared: “Kozja Darzalas, subject Nine of Twenty, I am the Emperor of Mankind. I created you and your brothers to lead Humanity to reunite the Galaxy, as you created your host to unite this world. From your blood did I make these warriors, the ninth Legio Astartes. Do you accept your duty, and take command of your sons and legion?”
The answer was immediate: “If such is my birthright, then let it be my duty to lead them across the Stars. For Mankind, and for your Empire.”
A Legion healed
In contrast to other primarchs, the circumstances of Kozja's reunification with his legion are particularly well documented. While all of them spent some time on Terra in the presence of their Father – with the notable exceptions of Yucahu of the IVth – to learn the matters of the Imperium and train on warfare, Darzalas was then sent to the Selenar gene-cults, a pilgrimage Pionus Santor and the Jade General would later follow in their times. Sources are contradictory on the duration of his stay on Luna, extremes placing it between six months and three years, followed by a return to Strela and him taking command of his Legion in 832.M30. What he learnt there is subject to much conjecture, but it is known for a fact that he assisted the gene-wrights in their attempts to correct the flaws in the implantation process of the XIth and XVIIth legions. While these flaws were not corrected, they were at least stabilised, leaving little more than five hundred warriors in each proto-Legion, referred to as Alpha-groups by official imperial authorities. To the Alabaster Prince, they would be known as the Precious Thousand, taken under the wings of the Warbringers and elevated to positions of command, wary of having their elusive progenoids lost on some desolate battlefield. With the gift of hindsight, one cannot help but see how this assignment led to Darzalas believing he would inherit of the Astartes Project once the Crusade ended, sowing the first seeds of successionist – and later secessionist – sentiments in his mind.
Units and Formation structure within the Legion
Legion Command Hierarchy
The Ninth legion, once it was reunited with its primarch, was restructured not on the model of their sire's hosts, but rather on the long-lost aristocracy of ancient Strela, a return to a more noble past. Directly under the primarch stood a council of six hand-picked commanders, the Pernach, to advise and inform Darzalas on the affairs of the Legion and campaigns in progress. The highest standard rank was the Knyaz, roughly analog to the Terran-standard Lord Commander, leading a Principate. Beneath them served Boyars who led Marches, to whom fealty was sworn by Voiavodes – centurions by the Terran standard. Oftentimes two officers of equal rank assigned to the same campaign would clash, for while their hierarchical position were equivalent, none would accept to defer to the other, wishing to uphold their personal honour in the absence of explicit order. These quarrels would be solved not by dueling, but by endless comparisons of lineage, stateholding, titles and achievements.
The legion's Orders however operated on a different aristocracy. The Bogatyrs used only four formal levels, which were not relevant on the individual's position in the wider legion, at least officially. These were the High-Master, singular leader of the fraternity who invariably had a seat in the Pernach; under him were Masters, who could induct and advise, but were ultimately of little importance in the hierarchy of the Order. The main body of the Bogatyrs were Men-at-Arms, regardless of whether they were highly reputed knyazi or lowly seargents – a lack of distinction that was mostly theoretical as official rank would seldom remain unnoticed. Finally Squires were newly-induced members who had not yet surpassed themselves, but showed promising enough to be granted the azure heraldry.
The hierarchy of the Asklepians was comparatively complex, an intricate system of merit, individual actions, relation with non-Astartes personnel, and informal titles. These were due to a cultural blend of Darzalan and Selenite gene-wrights, legion apothecaries, and the influence of the XI and XVII legions even after reunion with their respective lords. What is understood is that the Atrifos was the highest denomination, and served as the primarch's equerry. Other titles included Kalapsi, Syanocron, Isom-Octal and Adexin. These bore the purple of the original medicants of Darzalas, who raised the Primarch, the fraternity of Asklepias, and were bound by a code known as the Iso-cratic oath.
Owing to their aristocratic background, heraldry formed an integral part of the Warbringers structure, to levels of importance and complexity only matched by the Knightly Houses in matters of imperial armed forces. The white plate was invariably adorned by a golden right arm, the most commonly given explanation being that of the Astartes brightness leading the purity of mankind. The black pauldron rims and adornments are of an unknown meaning, but assumed to hold one to the members of the legion. Although the legion's emblem –two crossed swords pointing downwards– can be thought to represent the Warbringers' nature as great swordsmen, there is no evidence to this, from their preference of gun-line warfare to Darzalas himself wielding a mace rather than a sword. Rather, it is a symbol of war in general, and the wars of Strelan unity in particular. The fact that they point downward is not innocuous: the IXth fights to protect humanity, not to sate its own bloodthirst. A sizable amount warriors chose to add decorative shields upon their armour, to display the arms of their birth province, serving as additional identifiers. Cloaks, although not as prevalent as the XII legion leg-skirts, were a staple of officer uniform, bearing many adornments of personal significance. Their main color is an indicator of the individual's position within the legion: white for line officers, azure for members of the Bogatyr order, sable for those of the Tryzub guard, and purpure for Asklepians.
Veterancy was marked by spreading the gold to either the helm or the left pauldron, and otherr segments of the armour, making senior members of the Bogatyrs sometimes mistakable for Wardens of Light. Conversely, an extension of the black scheme was a sign of dishonour, these legionnaires who had utterly failed their legion and primarch covering their entire right arm, and adorning the Bar Sinister of bastard sons.
Legiones Astartes (Warbringers)
⋅Legiones Astartes: Units with this special rule may always attempt to regroup at their normal Leadership value, regardless of casualties.
⋅Lead by Example: Ever mindful of exemplifying nobility in the eyes of humankind, the Warbringers shun the use of destructive weaponry. An army using LA(W) may not take rad grenades, phosphex bombs, or Destroyer squads.
⋅Tide of Steel: If an unit has been shot by a model with the LA(W) rule, allies may re-roll 1s to hit when shooting at the same target.
⋅Stigmata of the Prosecution: After the prosecution of the legion at Baal, its apothecarion was crippled by decree of the Emperor. Apothecarion detachments may only be taken in armies that have a Chaplain or Primus Medicae consul, with a limit of one detachment per consul.
⋅The Storm Marching: Units with access to weapon with the Heavy type may purchase Suspensor Webs for those weapons for +5 points. This must be applied to all eligible weapons in the squad.
⋅Host Unyielding: Units with this special rule are immune to Pinning.
Streltsy Marksmen Squad
Streltsy Marksmen Squad (190pts) Heavy Support
Strelets: WS:4 BS:4 S:4 T:4 W:1 I:4 A:1 Ld:8 Sv:3+
Streltsy Miecznik: WS:4 BS:4 S:4 T:4 W:1 I:4 A:1 Ld:9 Sv:3+
1 Strelets Miecznik
Strelets Miecznik: Infantry (Character)
Frag & Krak grenades
⋅Legiones Astartes (Warbringers)
⋅The Streltsy Marksmen Squad may take:
-5 additional Strelets ………+25 points each
⋅The entire squad may exchange their autocannons for one of the following weapons:
-Rotor Cannon ………………Free
-Lascannons …………………+15 points each
⋅The squad's Miecznik may take any of the following options:
-Exchange their autocannon for a nuncio-vox and power weapon………+5 points
-Artificer armor ………………+10 points
-Augury scanner ……………+5 points
-Melta bomb …………………+5 points
Shatter shot: after a unit has been shot by Streltsy, any ally shooting at the same target does so at +1BS
Anti-armor rounds: attacks made against vehicles gain Rending.
Edited by Lord Thørn, 28 November 2017 - 09:30 PM.