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IL XIV - The Dune Serpents

dune serpents brotherhood of the lost XIV Azus

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#201
simison

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State of the Fourteenth, 002.M31

 

The Vanishing would leave a light touch upon the Dune Serpents. Rare among his brothers, Azus Bahmut had complete confidence in the Emperor's eventual return, which filtered down to his sons. Instead, the Dune Serpents continued operations with the same duty as before.

 

The Conclave of Terra would simply highlight which enemies they were to focus on. With the wave of rebellions wracking Imperial authority across the galaxy, the Dune Serpents were deployed to the outer reaches of Segmentum Ultima to eradicate these new foes. Much of the year would be spent in transit as the bulk of the legion was summoned from other battlezones.

 

A name that would eventually stand out in infamy would begin its rise during this time: Mahrid Ganzur. Horde Master, one of the four officers beneath only Bahmut, of the East, Ganzur had already been located in the regions designated by the Conclave and began his work in earnest. While Bahmut's ire against humanity was well known, Ganzur soon displayed an explicit glee for unleashing chemical weapons against rebel forces that exceeded even Bahmut's excesses. This would be the earliest sign of Ganzur's dark fate.


Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


#202
TrajantheGreat

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Ancient Larramad

 

Larramad Az’Ard was one of the second generation of recruits from Terra, who never had to fight in the Unification War and began his service heading into the stars in the Great Crusade. A fine duellist, Larramad was described as savage in the training bouts, using a flurry of light thrusts and feints to probe the opponent’s defences. Being chosen for one of the Legion’s Destroyer companies, Larramad showed glee in getting up close to his enemies before unleashing his weapons. He would not get much of a chance to prove his skill against other legion champions, though, as he was struck down by a rebel autocannon shot during a compliance. Heavily injured, Larramad was interred within a Dreadnought, one of the Furibundus-pattern Dreadnoughts that the XIVth made use of. 

 

Ancient Larramad would suffer his second death from a source he never dreamed, his own Legion. As Furibundus chassis became a rarity, the darker forces within the Legion sought to claim his for their own. In the Compliance of 213-34 in 005.M31, Larramad walked into an enemy booby trap, a series of krak grenades that sprung up and blasted a hole in his body. No other such traps were found, which was attributed to the area being swept by the Reconnaissance Squads of his own Battalion.

 

Wargear: Two Geigorian Talons with Twin-linked Bolters, Furibundus Dreadnought



#203
Darkcommander

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Dune Serpents – Mustatir

 

Filling a more varied role of a strike fighter, the Mustatur is an example of the Dune Serpent's commitment to their tactical creed, placing stealth and surprise attacks at the top of their list of capabilities. Despite being made as part of an unofficial upgrade program it has been adopted among the Legion as a wholesale replacement for the standard Talaria.

 

History

Learned from the hard-fought wars of the Great Crusade, Azus and his Legion fought many foes defending the and expanding the Imperium. While their usual tactics of quick decisive blows to the enemy were effective, they quickly learned that they had to be ready to adapt to any situation. Through this doctrine the Talaria that had bolstered their armouries from the distant Solar Segmentum, was found wanting, for their needs. While the craft was swift and highly manoeuvrable, it lacked in versatility that the Dune Serpents sorely needed. To this end, several Techmarines set about repurposing their stock of the aircraft to better suit the demands of their particular type of warfare giving it the honorary title of 'Mustatir' as they built it into a whole new beast.

The rebuilt aircraft, while resembling the profile of it's base design, showed great changes to both it's internal and external structure. Covered in cameleoline coating, weapons pylons and countermeasure launchers, it looked almost completely different, save for the large weapon under the pilot's compartment. Though the turret was done away with and replaced with a fixed weapon, the avenger bolt cannon that took the laser destroyer array's place was just as formidable, and would prove as such too.

They were initially deployed into the field against an unnamed xenos force that was assaulting over their world's desert planes. All but baffling the alien air defence tanks in their cadre, the Mustatir squadron wreaked havoc amongst their forces as decoys and jammers blinded and confused them, before the droning boom of avenger cannons tore their formation to shreds from all angles.

It was soon after this victory and a string of others that the Mustatir was formally adopted by the Dune Serpents, as the design spread ever-outwards from conclave to conclave. Though local members of the Mechanicum were incensed by the alterations made to the Talaria, they too were forced to see the worth of such adaptation when faced against the full scale of the xenos threat, and as such were begrudgingly silenced.

 

Design

Fitting a more broad role of 'fighter' as opposed to the specific niche of 'air superiority fighter', the Mustatir gains a lot more tactical flexibility in return for a decrease in manoeuvrability and air-to-air firepower.

The main advantage of the fighter, while outfitted with a variety of weaponry, comes from the trait all Dune Serpents are known for, stealth. The outer layer of cameleoline coating the aircraft's hull acts as both a visual and augur-defeating measure, hiding it almost completely. Coupled with the avenger bolt cannon replacing the laser destroyer array and the pylons on the wings, a degree of the speed and agility of the Talaria's design has been retained, but the number of plasma thrusters have had to be reduced significantly to accommodate such weaponry. Overall the refit has made the aircraft more in line with a stealth fighter, able to sneak it's way in through enemy defences to strike at a target before disappearing again in a puff of countermeasure smoke.

 

Armament

While certain elements of the Mustatir's weaponry remain the same, the major differences can definitely be seen in it's ability to destroy an array of targets. With the Avenger Bolt Cannon as well as numerous air-to-ground missiles and small bombs the craft can saturate areas with cluster munitions and shoot enemies from the sky with ease, weaving between return fire with ease. Listed below are weapons that have either been changed from the base Talaria design, or new weaponry that can be mounted. All base Talaria munitions can still be mounted.

 

Bolt Weaponry

  • Avenger Bolt Cannon

Missiles, Rockets and Bombs

  • 2 Internal Bays

  • 2 External Pylons

    • Air-to-ground:

      • Hellstrike Missile

      • Hellfury Missile

    • Miscellaneous Munitions:

    • Djinn Decoy/Jamming Missile

 

As the main armament for the fighter, the Avenger Bolt Cannon replaces the laser destroyer array previously mounted on the underside of the cockpit, turning in anti-tank capability for the more versatile weapons system that can be used for both anti-infantry and anti-tank combat. With the combined weight and bulk of the weapons system it cannot be mounted on a turret like the original laser destroyer array, and has to instead be fixed in place. While this does limit the aircraft's cone of attack the rate of fire, ammunition calibre and variable warheads allow it to put several dozen rounds onto a target compared to the 3 or 4 lascannon shots of the laser destroyer array.

To allow the weapon to have the widest range of effect as possible against enemy troops it s fitted with an autoloader system that allows for up to 3 different ammunition types. Loading the gun up with various types of ammunition as necessary depending on the scenario, the Dune Serpents have maintained a certain standard for the weapon's load out. The normal ammunition loads for the Mustatir are as follows; Airburst Nervebane Rounds for use against infantry, Haywire Rounds for use against heavy infantry and vehicular targets, and the standard Explosive Bolt Rounds for use against a variety of targets. With all 3 of these in the aircraft's arsenal, it can successfully attack and deter any number of foes it faces.

While the main armament of the aircraft may seem to be solely the arena of the Avenger Bolt Cannon, the missile bays of the Mustatir can hold just as much as it's erstwhile predecessor, the Talaria. While one of the missile bays have been repurposed into ammunition storage for the main cannon, the two that remain can be just as easily packed with extensive munitions of various sizes and purposes. Hellstrike and Hellfury missiles are a staple of a Dune Serpents Pilot's loadout for anti-tank and anti-infantry strikes respectively.

While the arsenal of missiles available to the aircraft is vast, there is a specific variant that has been purposefully-built by the Dune Serpent Techmarine Claves that has taken their particular style of guerilla warfare to the skies. Dubbed the 'Djinn' missile, it was created by the Dune Serpents to act as both as either a decoy or a jammer against battlefield augurs, fooling or blinding them into uselessness. The tactical avenues opened up by such a versatile weapon is indicative of the Dune Serpents themselves, building a weapon that allows for distractions and feint manoeuvres, giving them the upper hand. Through the proper application of this weapon many fortresses have been broken open and armies thrown into disarray as they lose communication with one another.

To complement both the missile and the aircraft itself a mounting pylon was created that, while restricted in it's payload weight, can be fully detached once all it's ordnance has been launched. Used in conjunction with the Djinn, a Mustatir can mount several missiles and launch a full-scale decoy air attack to distract the enemy from long range, before detaching it's pylons and slipping away unnoticed by enemy augurs.

 

Defensive Systems

With further adjustments to the Talaria, the Dune Serpents were able to augment the fighter to suit their needs much more than the Martian design could. To maximise the effectiveness of the craft as an ambush predator, an additional outer layer of composite plating has been added that in conjunction with the onboard cogitators, acts as a form of active camouflage. This ancient technology has been adapted by the Dune Serpents into cameleoline plating to obscure the craft in multiple visual spectrum. Able to display a rough approximation of the environment around it the craft's stealth isn't completely effective, especially when employed while at a standstill. While not foolproof when used in conjunction with it's speed and manoeuvrability during flight it leaves the craft as little more than a visual smear that is significantly harder to spot.

At the same time the same crystalline structures of the plating are angled in such a way that augur and auspex beams have a high chance of reflecting off of the craft entirely or giving false returns instead. These bouncing beams scatter in such a way that fools most sensors, sometimes appearing as an augur ghost as the system struggles to understand the readings it is receiving.

While the cameleoline plating appears to be a more specialised upgrade, the fundamentals of air combat have not been ignored with the variant either. Supplementing the already reasonable number of decoy and chaff launchers on the Talaria, the Mustatir adds 2 more of these pods onto the aircraft. Placed on the underside of the engine intakes , this pair of pods is filled with a variety of both electronic and physical decoys and chaff to fool any aircraft of munition lucky enough to have engaged it in the first place.

These features of the Mustatir have been very specific design choices, both from the Dune Serpents themselves and the necessity of their war in the Galactic East, wit the harsh back and forth fighting of the front proving to be an extremely volatile and unpredictable place.

 

Technical Specifications

Type: Stealth Strike Fighter

Vehicle Name: Mustatir

Forge World of Origin: Unknown

Variants: N/A

Crew: Pilot

Powerplant: 2x Alta-VII 'Vengeance' Plasma Reactor

Empty Weight: 32.5 tonnes

Loaded Weight: 49.7 tones

Length: 24.2m

Wingspan: 18.3m

Height: 7.8m

Operational Ceiling: N/A

Max Speed: 2222kmh (1381mph/Mach 1.8)

Range: Unlimited

Armour

-Superstructure: 60mm

-Hull: 84mm

 

Notable Mustatir

Sword's Edge – Commander Akhmanad Basir



#204
TrajantheGreat

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Farhada Al-Mujahalrrebesha

 

Farhada Al-Mujahalrrebesha ben Alrrabeshr was the first Dune Serpent genetic experiment to arrive at the Warriors of Peace for elite CQC training. By virtue of simply being the first, he was labelled the Captain of the Winged Serpents, set to work with the Warriors of Peace, running training protocols and regimes, ensuring every Astartes under his command was set to train in the expertise their skill sets were most aligned for.

 

As for Farhada himself, all the tests showed he was highly skilled in stealth and assassinations, with the highest scores for the form of warfare out of the entire Company. From melee experts to stealth experts to marksmen, these 100 Astartes were trained in every facet of war, along with being trained discreetly by Dune Serpent veterans themselves, although these veterans seemingly “had duties” when it was time for the ships to launch and return the Winged Serpents to their parent Legion.



#205
TrajantheGreat

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Afeahamra Alsuwa’Qan

 

On Azus’ homeworld of Dhul’hasa, there was one clan that did not seek conquest or kingship, they sought infamy and wealth. Holding a single, unassailable mountain fortress, the Alsuwa’Qan Clan were expert assassins and infiltrators, trained not to challenge their opponents on the plains but to eliminate key targets before their opponents even arrived. They would even sell their services to other clans, though even then would be enacting their own agenda. When Azus Bahmut conquered Dhul’hasa, he stood outside their fortress and gave them one day to surrender or be destroyed. The Master of the Alsuwa’Qan Clan spoke with his fellow warriors, and that night the top assassins of the clan were sent to kill Azus. The next morning, the heads of the assassins were posted on stakes in front of the fortress. As the Master declared he would surrender to his inner circle, Azus appeared from the shadows and accepted the surrender, and the Alsuwa’Qan Clan joined Azus.

 

The Alsuwa’Qan Clan fought against the xenos invaders of Dhul’hasa, and when Azus was reunited with his legion he brought the lessons from the Alsuwa’Qan with him. Adding the name of Dhul’hasa’s venomous snakes to its own, the Afeahamra Alsuwa’Qan was formed by those handpicked by Azus himself, with a new Master chosen to lead this shadowy group. No one even within the legion knows who the members of the Alsuwa’Qan are, with most not even knowing that the Afeahamra Alsuwa’Qan exists. The ranking officers of the legion who are aware do not command them, only able to request the removal of specific targets from high command and then have them sometimes mysteriously disappear.

 

The members of the Alsuwa’Qan are spread across all of the Hordes, with their commanders not knowing which of their brothers are a part of the group. Only Azus and the Master know who the members are, or what their assignments are. The Afeahamra Alsuwa’Qan is divided into different tribes based on preferences over methods of assassination, similar in philosophy to the clades of the Officio Assassinorum. Whilst they differ in methods, they all work from the shadows to remove their targets, whether through poisons or a blade to the back. Unlike the clades of the Assassinorum, it is not unusual for multiple Alsuwa’Qan members to be sent on the same mission, often working together to coordinate a single strike against a target.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: dune serpents, brotherhood of the lost, XIV, Azus

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