Jump to content

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

A Broken Throne - The Berserkers of Uran

Alternate Heresy A Broken Throne

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1
Raktra

Raktra

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 3,005 posts
  • Location:Salisbury, UK
  • Faction: Berserkers of Uran

So, again the time has come. The new AU begins, and with it, the Berserkers of Uran follow. This will be updated over time as we adapt to the new universe, but for now, here is the core of the nightmare Legion of the Ashen Kingdom.

 

++ Legio VII: The Berserkers of Uran ++

Numeration: The VIIth Legion

Primogenitor: Raktra Akarro
Cognomen (Prior): Shepherds of Eden
Allegiance: Traitor

gallery_80944_16152_181493.png


"ANGELS WILL DESTROY THE SKIES"


While some among the Traitors once showed faultless loyalty to the Imperium and its ideals, there are those of whom it is hard to believe that they were ever loyal. The Berserkers of Uran were ever a hateful and divisive assembly, from the day their Primarch Raktra began to fashion a Legion in his image. What he created was an army based on savage discipline, which cared nothing for hardship and recognised no limit to the violence it would commit for victory. The Emperor’s monsters they became, recognising only the authority of those stronger than them. But now their ferocity found a new target; the Imperium that had held their leash.


Edited by Raktra, 19 February 2020 - 12:06 AM.

  • Doctor Perils, Kelborn and Karden like this

#2
Raktra

Raktra

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 3,005 posts
  • Location:Salisbury, UK
  • Faction: Berserkers of Uran

Placeholder for Legion rules/Rites of War


Edited by Raktra, 19 February 2020 - 12:10 AM.


#3
Raktra

Raktra

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 3,005 posts
  • Location:Salisbury, UK
  • Faction: Berserkers of Uran

Placeholder for Legion special units



#4
Raktra

Raktra

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 3,005 posts
  • Location:Salisbury, UK
  • Faction: Berserkers of Uran

Placeholder for special characters



#5
bluntblade

bluntblade

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 9,765 posts
  • Location:Herts
  • Faction: Inkspillers

Progress so far on:

 

The Hordes and Clades of the VIIth Legion
 
The Milewalkers - standing apart from any Horde or Clade, these were the Primarch’s designated bodyguards
 
The Blackening Scourge under Overlord Riktus Innorvak
  • The Blood Boilers, Innorvak’s Clade - One of the largest Destroyer formations in all the Twenty Legions, most infamous for their Terminator companies
  • Chieftain Slynnat
 
The Angel Rippers under Overlord Torkut
 
The Burned Eyes under Overlord Nychus
  • Chieftain Nartrardur of the Tormentors - among the most potent armoured companies of the Legion, specialising in rapid assaults
 
The Arisen under Overlord Kiruth
  • The Pale Lords under Chieftain Uroth - among the most skilled and savage infantry units in the Legion, the Pale Lords contained large numbers of Despoiler and Breacher units and were known for their prowess in boarding actions

 

Other Overlords

  • Doran Kldier
  • Galaryn Starn, Chief Librarian - known as "the Lash"
  • Karyon Broderek, Master of the Forge

Edited by bluntblade, 17 April 2020 - 09:49 PM.

Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

Caretaker of the Lightning Bearers and member of the Broken Throne alt-Heresy project


#6
bluntblade

bluntblade

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 9,765 posts
  • Location:Herts
  • Faction: Inkspillers

I hereby propose Karyon Broderek to be a Forge Lord for one of the Seven Hordes.


Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

Caretaker of the Lightning Bearers and member of the Broken Throne alt-Heresy project


#7
bluntblade

bluntblade

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 9,765 posts
  • Location:Herts
  • Faction: Inkspillers

We'll have to pop the updated history in here soon.


Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

Caretaker of the Lightning Bearers and member of the Broken Throne alt-Heresy project


#8
Raktra

Raktra

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 3,005 posts
  • Location:Salisbury, UK
  • Faction: Berserkers of Uran
Aye. I’ll start adding in some model pics as well.

#9
Raktra

Raktra

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 3,005 posts
  • Location:Salisbury, UK
  • Faction: Berserkers of Uran

I've finally gotten the look down on how I want my models to go, so there'll be more of these as time goes on. But here's the start of a 1k list, a Cataphractii-armoured Praetor.

93418575_2577880952457757_10887857028684

93838227_2577881055791080_41110488721706

93153264_2577881099124409_78542808553955

93419767_2577881002457752_26056778587182

93132842_2577881165791069_23230277488906


  • bluntblade likes this

#10
bluntblade

bluntblade

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 9,765 posts
  • Location:Herts
  • Faction: Inkspillers

BEAST. On which note, time to start migrating the Legion's grisly history over.


Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

Caretaker of the Lightning Bearers and member of the Broken Throne alt-Heresy project


#11
bluntblade

bluntblade

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 9,765 posts
  • Location:Herts
  • Faction: Inkspillers
Also, crunch as done by Grifft:
 
Berserkers of Uran Rites of War: Might Makes Right
 
The Berserkers' way of war was ever defined by a virulent hatred of weakness, and the application of overwhelming force against any weakness they discovered in a foe. With the execution of their Chaplain corps, the chieftains and overlords of the Legion took up uncontested command of their warriors, and all restraint was lifted from the VIIth Legion. While their wars grew incalculably in scope from those of their homeworld, the gutter-savagery of Uran never left them, and it was never seen more clearly than when they bore down on an enemy with blades drawn.
 
Effects
  • Characters in this Detachment gain the Murderous Strike special rule on their melee attacks.
  • Infantry models in this Detachment gain the Crusader special rule.
  • If the number of Berserkers of Uran Infantry models* in a particular close combat is greater than that of the enemy during Initiative step 1 of the Fight sub-phase, then each model with the Legiones Astartes (Berserkers of Uran) special rule that has already fought may make a single attack.

Limitations

  • Must take an additional compulsory HQ choice.
  • Units in this Detachment cannot Go to Ground or voluntarily fail a Morale check.
  • May not take an Allied or Fortification Detachment.
 
* Count Bulky models on both sides as two models each, and Very Bulky models as three models each for the purpose of working this out.

Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

Caretaker of the Lightning Bearers and member of the Broken Throne alt-Heresy project


#12
bluntblade

bluntblade

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 9,765 posts
  • Location:Herts
  • Faction: Inkspillers
The Berserkers of Uran
 
Numeration: VIIth Legion
Primogenitor: Raktra Akarro
Cognomen: Shepherds of Eden (prior), the Ashen Seventh
Noteworthy Domains: Uran (homeworld), numerous other fiefdoms held in the "Ashen Kingdom", tributary rights exercised with regard to Cthonia and four other systems
Observed Strategic Tendencies: Shock Assault, Planet-Kill & Extermination Operations, Close-Quarters Actions (Space-Hulk Purgation, Boarding Operations, Line-Breaker Attacks, 'Forlorn Hope' Objective Assaults).
Allegiance: Traitoris Perdita
Unique Organisations: Milewalkers, Blood Boilers, The Architects, The Wretched
Noteworthy Successors: Shepherds of Eden (Loyalist Cohort)
Warcry: "Death cures all pain."

 

While some among the Traitors once showed faultless loyalty to the Imperium and its ideals, there are those of whom it is hard to believe that they were ever loyal. The Berserkers of Uran were ever a hateful and divisive assembly, from the day their Primarch Raktra began to fashion a Legion in his image. What he created was an army based on savage discipline which cared nothing for hardship and recognised no limit to the violence it would commit for victory. The Emperor’s monsters they became, recognising only the authority of those stronger than them. But now their ferocity found a new target; the Imperium that had held their leash.

Knights of the Dawn
The VIIth Legion was born to a nobility which few would now associate with them. In this, they shared a peculiar kinship with the IVth. Raised from the city-states of Europa, they were imbued with the ideals of Unity and quickly earned a reputation for their strict code of honour, even in the barbarous fighting of the Unification Wars. From their first independent campaigns in Gyptus, they showed a commitment to striking their foes in a way which would minimise collateral damage, both among their own side and the enemy’s. As they saw it, they were made to liberate Mankind. No man chose to be born into Kalagann’s realm or the Saumar cult-lands, and if saved from such tyrants, they might make eager servants for the Imperium.

So they prosecuted their first full-scale campaigns in Gyptus with this goal foremost in their minds, displaying all the discipline and skill expected of them, and something that perhaps had not been expected before the Legion was assembled. During the final stages of Ascension and training, neophytes reported a peculiar phenomenon, involuntary to start with but later controllable. They were able to see into a person’s body, picking out weaknesses that might be invisible to any other warrior. A warrior of the VIIth could see the evidence of old wounds and broken bones, and thus know how to swiftly overwhelm his opponent. With this ablity, dubbed the Somoptis by the biologist Rafaid Aslamaia, they could fell the deadliest of the gene-wrought monsters they faced.

In Nordafrik they led the charge against the armies of Ursh, wiping out the Tupelov Lancers and driving the dreaded Red Engines from the field. The enslaved denizens of the old conclaves hailed them as liberators, seeing something in them that suggested the oasis they had once lived in. It seems that the Emperor’s mortal soldiers took a liking to this, and over the years it became a moniker for the Legion. By the time they crossed Sud Merica with the VIth decades later and joined the war upon the Pan-Pacific, the VIIth had become the Shepherds of Eden.

To a great extent, they drew on the mediaeva cultures of Old Earth, prioritising speed and mobility but also preferring to close with the foe, the better to exploit their gifts in the melee. Frequently, they would launch charges of skyhunter squadrons against the weak points of an enemy formation before following with their full mechanised power, delivering their warriors to the heart of the battle. Their compassion for the mortal soldiers earned them high regard. The Shepherds asked much of the Army and Auxilia forces who fought with them, but would always place themselves where the fighting was hardest. They saw the weaknesses that a mortal soldier carried, saw his fragility and how he still braved the horrors of war, and where some Legions were indifferent, this moved them to sympathy and respect for their lesser comrades.

While eclipsed by the Legions whose Primarchs already fought with them, the Shepherds carved out an enviable record as they brought the Imperial Truth to lost worlds and cast down alien empires. They, along with the Morning Stars, exuded a quiet pride in their achievements as “orphans”, whilst still dreaming of what they might accomplish when their gene-sire was found. No one expected that he would be anything but the mirror of his sons. To speak of unpleasant surprises, then, is to deal in profound understatement.

The Gift of the Pit
The prisons of the Imperium are, as with so much else, numerous enough to defeat any attempt at counting them. Some were torn down and their inhabitants freed by the Emperor’s soldiers, while others were filled anew with the enemies of the Imperium. Many became great warehouses of manpower, whose inmates would be taken away to serve sentences on mining worlds or in penal regiments while the worst were processed into servitors. A few were known widely for their sturdiness, the nature of the criminals they held and the brutality with which these were kept in check. Yet it is unlikely that any were the equal of Uran.

Serving a small empire in a less enlightened backwater of the Galaxy, Uran was once a world where the condemned were placed to find some utility, criss-crossing the planet’s crust with excavations much as Cthonia was, albeit not so far along the same trajectory. Foundries were raised and mighty forge-satellites constructed in orbit; the prisoners on the surface were to be kept far away from the weapons their labour created. Simply running the planet demanded colossal supplies of manpower, and six hive cities grew up, populated by the soldiers and civil officers who governed the world and those prisoners deemed suitable to serve their needs. The rest inhabited seven great catacomb-cities, built around clusters of mines, agri-chambers and other places where they might be made useful.

As the Age of Strife reached its crescendo, however, creatures of a strange and macabre nature appeared. Resembling a twisted mockery of mythical angels, they tormented the populace in growing swarms. The skies became perilous, forcing the rulers of the world to heavily arm the conveyors which ferried Uran’s wares offworld. The empire, rife with internecine disputes, would brook no loss of productivity, and finally the foundries were moved into the catacomb cities, accompanied by an increasingly heavy military presence to deter any attempts to take the weapons. This was not always successful, and savage battles were fought in the dark, often ended with culls. The overseers of Uran became an ugly mirror to the prisoners they managed, cruel and yet wracked with fear of the Angels who claimed their skies. Gangs emerged from the inmates, often grouped together according to their “profession”.

Where once some efforts had been made to ensure that the prisoners served only the years of their sentence, now to be cast into the warrens was a sentence imposed on the descendants of the condemned. Arboreta and agri-chambers were replaced with reclamation plants, which took the place of burial or cremation. Gangs became clans, warring with each other for dominance beyond the sight of the hive armies. They grew bolder and stronger as they wrested weapons from unwary guards. In other cases, guards “went feral” and these too fed the ranks of the gangers. Finally first in one prison and then the others, armouries were breached and ransacked. The gaolers retrieved what they could from the prisons, but within a few months of the first breach they had been driven out or killed, and the hives were forced to fend off the Angels with their own toil and blood.

The catacombs knew little of the Angels beyond the few that penetrated the tunnels and wreaked bloody violence until they were glutted or killed, for the surface-dwellers had taken care to destroy the conveyors which had been the only point of access into the prisons. Archeotech devices lurked in the very soil, waiting to kill anyone foolish enough to try and dig for the surface. Besides, the gangers were more interested in dominance within their subterranean world.

Into this cauldron of violence came a Primarch, his incubation pod tearing through the earth to rest within the largest of the prison complexes. Wandering the tunnels, he was found after an unknown length of time by one of the most powerful gangs, known as the Architects. From them he learned what it was to lead, and the myriad methods of killing practiced in the tunnels. They also gave him the name which would echo through the Galaxy in years to come - Raktra Akarro.

Soon, he was the strongest man ever known to roam the tunnels, strong enough to slay any opponent he faced and gifted with the ability to find weakness wherever it might exist. His kills were not just men and women, but feral animals and the Angels which occasionally made their way into the depths. With Raktra fighting amongst them, the Architects grew strong, breaking the gangs with whom they vied for territory. Often a clan would pledge allegiance when Raktra slew their leaders. It was a custom among all the gangs to burn one’s slain foes and wear their ashes. Even before he was fully grown, Raktra’s skin was stained a dirty white by the remains of his vanquished enemies.

Soon, the entire complex lay under his control, Raktra having attained absolute control of his gang and the rest through fear, his natural authority and sheer violence. He had grown up hearing of other warrens and the hive-dwellers who set themselves up - in the tales of the gangers, at least - as the rulers of the world, casting others into the pit to achieve that end. Whether he saw a grievance to be redressed is debatable. Certainly he took exception to anyone but himself dominating Uran, and resolved to expand his power further. He set the population to tunnelling, forcing a unified effort to reach the other warrens as no tyrant before him had. When another complex was reached he would lead his followers into it. The gangs they found were as divided as those Raktra had first known, and they fell easily. Over three decades Raktra expanded and defended his power, fanning the fires of industry even as he fended off challengers.

Whispers, brought back by the garrisons watching the pits, began to circulate in the hives. They told of a white devil that lurked in the bowels of the world. Few believed them at first, but Raktra had long since resolved to show the surface-dwellers the truth of those words. He mounted raids to the surface, seeking engineers to perfect the tunneling machinery the gangs used, and avenues of attack which he might exploit to invade the cities. Crude power armour was created in the forges, accompanied by weapons often adapted from mining tools. Thus Raktra equipped himself and his followers, and they struck the first city.

The war that followed raged for six years, Raktra subjugating each city in turn and finding new weapons for his use. He became a figure of terror, but on a world long resigned to fear, that only added to his grim authority. Uran’s people had long ago shed any illusions about siding with the strong, and Raktra demonstrated his potency in ways that left no room for doubt. Oppression and violence were ubiquitous and dissent met with a hammer, fist, blade or bullet. Yet Raktra was unsatisfied, for still he was not entirely the world’s master. The angels still tormented the people, forcing Raktra’s own warriors to shy away from open spaces.

He resolved to destroy them much as he had all other opposition, and led ten thousand warriors out into the wastes in a brazen challenge. For three days they journeyed, marching with grim purpose. Nearing the mountains where the creatures gathered, they were set upon, and for all the Architects’ brutality and Raktra’s might, the Angels fought in ways that few could withstand. With talons, beaks and gouts of unnatural flame, they ravaged the White Devil’s horde for hours. With his army teetering on the verge of annihilation, Raktra was forced to withdraw. He himself was severely wounded, his jaw so badly mangled that even with his physiology, it would not heal cleanly. The White Devil knew defeat, and this sent shockwaves through Uran.

Raktra was denounced as a false prophet by men eager to exploit the situation. Conflict blossomed, the old gangs emerging along with new factionsas the Architects’ empire splintered. Blood ran through every city, every district, every street. But Raktra was not so easily thrown aside, and over two decades he purged Uran of all the recalcitrants. When he broke the final warlord who stood against him, he revealed that he had let matters escalate so. Conflict bred strength, and he would expunge such weakness as had cost him the battle in the mountains. In his eyes, the war was nothing more than two generations of accelerated natural selection. From the remainder he would build his army, letting the gangs war for his notice. Those who excelled in the struggle were rewarded with forges, archeotech and other weapons to use against their brethren.

Finally Raktra gave the word, and the fighting ceased. Forges were turned towards the purpose of the Ashen King, and his arsenal augmented with archeotech found in the furthest-reaching tunnels. Nearly twenty-five Terran years after the disaster in the mountains, Raktra set out with a far larger army at his back, and a cadre of warriors dedicated to his protection. With a colossal length of chain he swatted Angels from the sky, and in his right hand he bore a massive chainblade. This time, no Angel could resist him, and though his dead outnumbered the entire army he had brought before, they were relentless. Over four days and three nights, they scoured the mountains, using aircraft taken from the hives to attack the Angels when they flew out of reach. Eventually, all that remained was feathers and ichor, and Raktra ordered the entire range to be bathed in fire. Finally, the Angels who had blighted Uran were purged.


Ashen and Bloody
When the Emperor found Raktra it was as a grim deliverer, an apex predator unaccustomed to anything but dominance. Now for the first time, Raktra beheld an individual in whom he could discern no weakness, and whose power utterly eclipsed his own. Perhaps more pertinently, he learned that there was a way to elevate his forces far beyond their present might, and heights of power that before had been out of reach. Yet when he was told of the “sons” who already fought in the Emperor’s Crusade, he felt only disgust. They represented everything Uran had taught him to despise: the protection of the weak, mercy as a virtue that overrode the urge to a crushing victory. This would not stand.

Raktra, disdaining the Legion depicted in the campaign logs, resolved to delay taking charge of them. For a time he fought beside the Emperor and then Yucahu, and precious little was known of him; a warrior in black and ashen white, possessed of astonishing speed and ferocity. The exact identity of this figure was obscured, and the Shepherds of Eden remained ignorant that their gene-sire had been found. Meanwhile, in facilities built in Uran's orbit, a cadre of Astartes were being formed into the first of what was arguably an entirely new Legion: the Berserkers of Uran.

When Raktra finally revealed himself to his sons, he did so with ten thousand Legionaries drawn from Uran and other worlds whose sons he deemed suitable. Finding the Dusk Blades Chapter of the Shepherds besieging the world of Kerunnos, he ordered an immediate bombardment of the capital city followed by a drop-pod assault. The Shepherds were taught, as bluntly as possible, that Raktra cared naught for their methods or creed. The VIIth Legion changed vastly in appearance, bone-white replaced by charred black and ashen white on their arms. This highlighted the gore of battle, and soon the VIIth were nicknamed the “bloody handed”. Many younger Shepherds caved in to the impulse to emulate their father, and those who did not found their numbers dwindling, their Chapters and companies consolidated into ever fewer formations. Raktra retained the old tithe rights to Cthonia’s stock, and the old runes and glyphs took on a more savage appearance, closer to how they were inscribed by the gangs of that world.

Tithes were imposed on other prison-worlds, but none were allowed to rival the primacy of Uran. Several times, Raktra demanded fresh influxes of stock from newly conquered worlds or existing prison colonies. In the sectors around Uran, the death penalty for rioting or inveterate disobedience was replaced with transportation to the Ashen Kingdom, as it became known. Fresh blood was rapidly subsumed into the population, and the weak eradicated. No gang or clan, transplanted from elsewhere, retained its own identity for long.

Uran’s influence could be seen in the very bodies of the Legionaries it produced. Scarification was commonplace, and at the end of every battle the Berserkers made pyres of their fallen foes, wearing the ash in imitation of their master. One of the most visible changes was the absence of true jump infantry in their ranks, a product of Raktra’s formative years. Despising the idea of his warriors resembling the “angels” he had cast down, he forbade the use of jump packs. To combat this deficiency, thruster pods were designed by the Magos under his command, less powerful but cheaper and easier to manufacture. The devices became widespread among the Berserkers, allowing them to move in large numbers at a speed which beggared belief.

The new VIIth rose rapidly, and with this strength came a reputation for atrocity that went beyond any of their fellow Legions. On Punicia, Raktra razed a continental capital in defiance of {to be decided]'s strategy for conquest, and the Berserkers nearly came to blows with the [likewise] in the ruins. Around this time Raktra and [likewise] had indeed fought, although little is known about the incident. In other theatres, Army regiments swiftly learned that the Legion cared nothing for any allied mortals caught in the path of their offensives. The very concept of collateral damage seemed foreign to Raktra; worse, it emerged that he actively despised the notion. The Somoptis became known as the Cutter’s Sight among the Berserkers, and it seems to have become bound up with their hatred of weakness. Infirmity was laid bare to them, and it was their task to excise it. In a matter of years, an approaching VIIth Legion fleet had become cause for panic among their own allies.

Indeed, during the Inwit campaign a mere decade later, something unprecedented occurred. The rift within the VIIth became a fissure, a full 20,000 of the old Shepherds breaking away. Giving the Primarch’s conduct as their reason, the trigger-point seems to have been a dispute between Raktra and one Captain Khârn, though the exact cause went unspoken of. To Raktra’s fury, his errant sons petitioned the Lightning Bearers and Iron Bears for support, and got it. The Thunder Talons and Crimson Lions too closed ranks in defence of the Shepherds of Eden, who were granted autonomy from their Primarch. Such a thing had never been heard of, and Raktra could only console himself that any compassion was gone from the forces under his command. The Berserkers would ram this message home in the subsequent years, and thus the image was cemented of a Legion teetering on the brink of censure.

Yet they had undeniable utility to the Great Crusade. The Imperial advance was barred by a thousand alien and mutant empires which only warranted eradication, and the Berserkers excelled in this. Never were they needed more than when the Rangdan incursions, thought to have ended in total victory decades ago, underwent a horrifying resurgence and swept the Imperium’s northern frontier with even more monstrous intensity than before. Hundreds of worlds burned, with entire Titan Legions, Army regiments and Legiones Astartes [REDACTED] wiped out. Yet the Berserkers, engaged from the outset, emerged all the stronger. Raktra and his “true sons” gloried in the carnage, what they saw as the truth of the Galaxy. They took the remnants of broken formations, those who now found nothing to comfort them when faced with the savagery of the Galaxy, and made fanatical allies of them.

By this time, the Berserkers’ bleak worldview had become entrenched throughout the Legion, and spread to their auxiliaries. They did not want for Mechanicum allies - indeed the Legio Yharma was raised explicitly to support them - but their unremitting viciousness and unforgiving treatment of mortals ensured that precious few Army commanders would serve beside them unless by order. Allied taghmata could only compensate so much for sheer numbers, and so penal regiments and companies which had disgraced themselves were assigned to the Berserkers’ fleets. Where necessary, death worlders and underhive gangers were used to reinforce their numbers. The death toll was staggering, but those who survived were forged into some of the most deadly mortal troops in the Imperium.

However, the Berserkers had few friends, and several of Raktra’s brothers remained outright hostile to him. While they had worked discreetly to steer the Berserkers away from human worlds, once Alexandros became Warmaster this became much more overt. Raktra met this with the same disgust he showed for his brother’s elevation, seething that the Emperor had handed power to a weakling Primarch. Worse was to come, as the [new Nikaea] convinced Raktra that the cancer of weakness had infested the Imperium utterly, and the Chaplain Order was extended to the VIIth Legion for the first time since the Shepherds had broken away. In the wake of this development, it might be suggested that Raktra was waiting for an opportunity to rebel. When Travier made his offer it was quickly accepted, but once the leash was slipped, the Berserkers would become the most volatile force at his command.


Edited by bluntblade, 17 April 2020 - 09:54 PM.

Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

Caretaker of the Lightning Bearers and member of the Broken Throne alt-Heresy project


#13
bluntblade

bluntblade

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 9,765 posts
  • Location:Herts
  • Faction: Inkspillers

Unit and Formation Structure
Raktra stripped out the structural preferences of the Shepherds from his Legion with ruthless efficiency, just as he did their ethos. He only deigned to preserve a few characteristics, and these became a distorted mirror of the VIIth that had been. Raktra favoured overwhelming force, applied at close range, above all other considerations. Melee weapons were ubiquitous, an old custom of the Shepherds, but now many of these had their roots in ganger weaponry. Most iconic were the paired knives known as Hell’s Teeth.

Assault squads became less distinguishable from their comrades, lacking as they did jump packs, but their armaments became more common among the VIIth along with the “despoiler” variant of tactical squads. More ominously, destroyer squads appeared in much greater numbers; the Berserkers’ abilities enabled them to identify any severe deterioration in a warrior early on and either treat it or transfer the warrior elsewhere. These were cross-pollinated with heavy support units, augmenting their already monstrous arsenals.

Command Hierarchy
The Berserkers were a Legion in which power was exercised with little, if any restraint, and this was as true of its command as anywhere else. Raktra was a tyrant, yet held in near-religious awe by those he commanded. Below him was an echelon known within the Legion as the Gohlurak - the Overlords. The honorific applied to the masters of the Forge, Apothecarion, Librarius and the elite Milewalkers, but most of its membership were in effect the Legion praetorate. Each Overlord ruled his Horde with an unyielding grip, and asserted certain preferences, although the emphasis on aggression and disdain for mercy was a constant.

Chaplains stood apart, however, indoctrinated on Terra itself at the end of their training. They were obeyed, but only grudgingly, for while they were still immersed in the savagery of their Legion, they were relentless in ensuring that their brothers observed the Edict of Baal. To many Berserkers, they represented the meddling hand of Alexandros, and it is unlikely that any resisted when Raktra demanded the heads of the Chaplains.

Favour and punishment were for an officer to hand out as he saw fit to any warrior under his command. This took on a peculiar aspect which bordered on superstition and cult practices to some observers. Whether it arose with Raktra or his sons, the Berserkers came to see their debt to their gene-sire as a literal one that might be called should a warrior be revealed as unworthy. For this reason Dreadnoughts were revered above almost any living Berserker, having proven themselves worthy to be dragged back from the brink of death and continue carving their bloody path across the Galaxy.

 

War Disposition

Despite poor relations with so many of their peers, the Berserkers were numerous and well-supplied even before the Insurrection began. Their strength stood at 140,000, supported by their vicious Army regiments and even a number of Solar Auxilia battalions modeled on the Cthonian head-hunters. Their fleet included around 80 capital vessels, many salvaged or seized from human cultures which resisted the Legion. These acquisitions were to continue throughout the Insurrection.

The Berserkers’ ties to the Mechanicus, secured by Raktra allowing them use of Uran’s natural resources and archeotech, afforded them a plethora of war machines. The most prominent and most infamous were the Legio Yharma, raised from the ancient Legio Mortis and steeped in the cruel ways of the Astartes they fought beside. Raktra gladly sanctioned the more extreme experiments pursued by the tech-priests under his command, and such horrors as Ogryn Charonites were added to the VIIth’s arsenal.

However, in the matter of automata, Raktra’s strange preferences asserted themselves. While he would accept those whose organic components were vat-grown, he disdained those created from slaves or criminals, deeming them failures worthy only to function as menials or be rendered down and processed. Consequently the Berserkers possessed large numbers of such machine-thralls, adding to the paucity of mortals who served them in a non-combat capacity.

Records do attest to a few fanatical soldiers who, crippled by battle or the effects of achem-weapons, demanded the honour of a second life killing for the Ashen King and had it granted. Besides demonstrating the surprising degree of loyalty which Raktra secured from some of his followers, this is likely a reflection of the extremely high esteem in which the Legion held its Dreadnoughts. That reverence ensured that these revenant warriors enjoyed an exceptional amount of attention from the armourers. Some Mechanicum Adepts attached to other forces noted with distaste that the Berserkers equipped their Dreadnoughts with esoteric weapons such as graviton hammers and arc scourges, which were normally the preserve of automata.

The Berserkers would never countenance being divided further than their seven Hordes, and through this the Legion ensured that its material needs were consistently met. It also served their practice of deploying en masse, overwhelming an enemy in the opening hours or even minutes of a battle’s start. To this end a disproportionate number of their vehicles were transports, serving to deliver the Berserkers to the epicentre of any battle. Raktra especially favoured the Spartan for its heavy armour and punishing weapons. Their complement of aerial vehicles were specialised along different lines; Raktra disliked the use of aerial transports and instead the Berserkers’ forges toiled mostly to produce fighter and bomber craft, with Fire Raptors actually outnumbering the regular Storm Eagles in their service. The most common transport was the Caestus Assault Ram, chosen for its speed and durability.

Otherwise, the Berserkers optimised their war machines mainly to counter those of the enemy, reckoning themselves to be answer enough for any infantry. To this end they favoured such tanks as the Cerberus and Shadowsword, as well as the Knights and Titans who fought with them. Those machines assigned to the Charred Host of Overlord Innorvak were modified to wield alchem-weapons when it served the Berserkers’ purposes, the Blood Boiler treating his auxiliaries as an extension of his malignant will.


Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

Caretaker of the Lightning Bearers and member of the Broken Throne alt-Heresy project






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Alternate Heresy, A Broken Throne

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users