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IL III - Black Stars

Alternate Heresy War Of The Eightfold Path Five Ruins

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Jimars

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The III Legion, The Black Stars

Cognomen (prior): none, unofficially called the Marauders or the Madmen by their fellow Astartes

Homeworld : Skandra Prima

Numbers: 150.000 

Primarch: Absalom Vaughn

Flagship: Antares

Combat Doctrine:  general warfare, combined arms warfare, tactical preparation and complex strategic planning, decapitation strikes

Warcry: May the Stars witness our glory! 

Colours: Yellow and black. Right pauldron and left kneepad act as company markings

Symbol: A black shooting star

Notable Domains: The Kingdom of Skandra, comprised of seven planets: Skandra Prima, Antire, Fyressy, Liva-Sar, Talanis, Kestram and Riudal. Antire has since been converted into a Forge World 


History

After the Emperor's Primarchs were scattered by the Ruinous Powers, the III Primarch landed on the planet of Skandra, a fertile and rich world which stood as the capital of a kingdom comprised of 4 planets. The infant primarch was taken in by the royal house of Vaughn and raised as the crown prince, receiving the finest education and martial training the kingdom had to offer and becoming a patron of the arts as well as a gifted duelist, tactician and politician. Over the course of his rule he greatly expanded the kingdom. On his 27th year on the planet the Emperor of Mankind visited the planet and met with his lost son, who recognised him and accepted his role as a general of humanity's armies. He named his legion "the Black Stars" after the legendary warriors of the first King of Skandra, who conquered his enemies and greatly expanded the kingdom


Primarch

 Absalom Vaughn, the Amber King, is a controversial figure among the Primarchs, for where others see a highly skilled man always striving for perfection, fiercely loyal to the Emperor and zealous in his attempts to build a better future for the Imperium, others see a creature of arrogance, uncontrolled ambition and greed. Landing on the feudal world of Skandra, the infant primarch was found by farmers and taken to the King Roland, who adopted the child from the Stars as his son and heir to the throne. Growing up, young Absalom lived in a royal environment of opulence, and was educated by the kingdom's most brilliant scholars and scientists, while renowned fighting teachers, military instructors and generals mentored him in dueling and tactics. Gifted in martial matters, the young Prince became a hero to the people when he led the Skandran armies in defence of the kingdom when they were attacked by an alliance of the hostile planets Antire and Fyressy that had always posed a threat to Skandra. After defeating the invaders, he was crowned King in place of his father who had died during the invasion and orchestrated a counterattack on the enemy planets and conquered each of them in a year. By the 30th year of his life on Skandra, Absalom had become a beloved idol to the people through his charisma and beauty, and the prospects of the young prince ruling the kingdom thrilled the populace. It was then that the Emperor of Mankind came to the world to claim his son. Meeting his true Father for the first time, Absalom was impressed by his majesty and his noble cause, and gladly accepted his duty as a Primarch. 

Unfortunately for him, the IIId legion was known as one of misfits, unruly warriors that often disobeyed orders and fought more like a rag-tag force of mercenaries than an organised army. As a result, they were held in contempt by the other legions and their combat records were underwhelming. This, along with the fact that he was the youngest Primarch and consequently had significantly less achievements than his other brothers, deeply disturbed the young primarch. Combined with his pampered noble upbringing and, according to some anecdotal accounts, his heated confrontation with some of his brothers, which was sparked by his arrogant boasts and resulted in his rebuke using his and his legion's lack of successes as evidence, created a deep feelings of insufficiency and envy in his heart, and he vowed to lead his legion to greatness, surpassing his brothers in glory and in the favour of the Emperor, who he deeply admired as the ideal ruler. 

Driven by his ambition, Absalom greatly reformed his legion's command structure, sometimes using brutal methods such as the execution of uncooperative officers, and moved recruitment to Skandra. From that point on the old third died and the Black Stars were born, a legion that can serve as an example of discipline, organisation and martial excellence. As a result, the Stars have rapidly achieved a large number of conquests and other victories that rival or surpass those of other Legions, and they are respected and loved by the Imperium. Absalom's relationships with his brothers are mostly respectful, though he does not boast close relationships with any of them but Theoderaf, who shares his deep loyalty towards the Emperor. Some of his brothers that he deeply dislikes are Alexandros who he envies for his success and the respect he receivesrecieves from the other Legions and the Jade General, not only because, despite being the last Primarch to be found, has had a very successful track record, but also due to rumors that claim the General has authored traitorous treatises that claim the Emperor himself can be replaced

Absalom's appearance mirrors that of his planet's natives, with tanned skin and dark brown, almost black hair. His eyes, yellow as the armor of his sons, shine with a spark of cunning which some claim to hide malevolence

Greatly alarmed by the disappearance of the Emperor, Absalom fears that without Him guiding the Imperium forward it will collapse, since no one else is fit to rule it in his eyes, and especially Alexandros, who is by many considered the most possible candidate

 

Wargear:

Algol: Absalom's mastercrafted mace, forged by the finest smiths of Mars at the request of Fabricator-General Kelbor-Hal as a gift to the Primarch of the IIIrd, who so generously offered one of his worlds to the Mechanicum. The weapon combines functions similar to a thunder hammer, storing a large amount of energy that is unleashed on hit with devastating results, emitting a blast of sound and brilliant light. When the power field is active, a corona of light surrounds the mace's head 

 

Serrenlás: A gift of the Skandran people to the Emperor, this exquisite twinblade was crafted on Antire soon after it was reborn as a Forge World. Equipped with a customised power field that coats the blades in a dazzling glow and can cut through the toughest armor, Absalom utilises it in awesome displays of murderous skill

 

Verovaar: A relic of the royal house of Vaughn, this archaotech firearm was claimed as a trophy of the defeated lord of a conquered planet, who was using it as part of his exoskeleton's armaments. Of course, Absalom's size and superhuman strength allows him to wield it as a normal pistol. This mastercrafted energy pistol boasts incredible power and accuracy, and it can also fire its 6 barrels simultaneously in devastating concentrated blasts with reduced range


The Maega Mail: Named after the twin suns that shine over his homeworld, Absalom's personal suit of artificer armor trades protection for agility and great freedom of movement. Coloured in the bright yellow and black of his Legion and decorated with a striking engraving of the Twin Suns of Skandra as well as flowing mantles, it is as much an armour as it is a work of art. The Amber King's panoply is fitted with an advanced shield generator that turns any absorbed damage into blinding flashes of light, making the Primarch seem like a pulsar star flashing brilliantly in the battlefield

 

Legion Culture and Combat Doctrine 

As a result of Absalom's stern leadership, the Black Stars are one of the most disciplined legions. Astartes of the Stars are expected to perform brilliantly in all situations, and to that end their training is a lot harder than standard and aims to prepare each marine to fulfil any possible role in the battlefield. Even before induction, aspirants are submitted to excessive tests of purity and aptitude and then go through additional tests of physical and mental prowess before selection, in order to ensure that only the best of the best make it into the legion. Furthermore, even after their training is completed and aspirants graduate as full fledged marines, Absalom and the legion command cultivate a culture of intense competition among the Battle-brothers in order to motivate them to better themselves constantly. Because of this though the bonds between the marines of the Black Stars are not as strong as those found in other legions, a fact that other legions secretly pity them for. In combat, the legion takes to the field after studying the enemy's army, tactics and positions, having created a plan that will swiftly defeat their foes while leaving them few ways to fight back. The Legion's plans are often unorthodox and sometimes even excessive, evidence of their intention to impress and display their excellence. The IIId makes wide use of tactical and heavy support squads, as well as artillery and armored vehicles, and embrace the use of librarians as a powerful weapon to their arsenal. 

 

Specialist formations

 

Ochranic Cavaliers: The elite warriors of the Black Stars and the personal guard of the Primarch. Personally selected by Absalom himself, upon ascension they must leave behind all ambition and personal aspiration and dedicate their lives to honing their skills and serving their gene-sire as his blade and shield. Befitting of their rank and prestige, they are outfitted in the finest wargear available to the Black Stars. Each Cavalier is clad in mastercrafted artificer armor forged personally, tailored to his specific needs, and armed with the legendary Khomíte Swordspear. Each weapon a priceless relic, the chosen of Absalom use them to fearsome effect in battle, shredding through opposition like a falling star

 

Boetar Penitents: In the Black Stars, failure is a crime that is punished harshly. And there is no punishment harsher than joining the Boetar squads, for such a fate means being condemned to death. Forced to relinquish their names, identity and livery, they are equipped with older patterns of power armor painted entirely black, signifying their sins and their grim fate. Their weapons are the result of brilliant, if cruel artifice, twin pistols created based on designs from the Dark Age of Technology, firing deadly projectiles saturated in deadly radiation, causing even a glancing hit to be potentially lethal as the target is exposed to terrible rad-energies. Not even the wielders are safe from their weapons' fearsome effects, and each Penitent is sentenced to die a slow, agonising death as his body falls apart, his cells destroyed by the radiation he employed against the enemies of mankind. For only in death will they have finally atoned for their failures. And when the time comes, and their hearts have stopped beating, the bombs implanted in their chests will explode, making sure they take as many foes as possible to the other side

Raitelic Outriders: Desiring a fast attack formation to function as the battering ram in offensives, Absalom and his officers formed the Raitelic Outriders, deviating from the standard Legiones Astartes assault bike in favour of a curious, if effective, replacement; the Raitelic charge headlong into enemies formations on cybernetic mounts, horses of iron muscles whose mouths spew deadly promethium. Armed with long power spears, they harass the enemy flanks and break their formations, leaving them easy prey to their fellow warriors

 

Homeworld

The Primogenitor of the IIIrd hails from Skandra Prima, a world of sunshine, deep blue seas and lush forests. Fertile and boasting with an ideal climate thanks to the fact that it served as a holiday retreat for the upper classes of the Dark Age of Technology, the planet would be classified as a pleasure world were it not a legion homeworld. The planet, and the kingdom in general is ruled over by the King, or Konaag, as is the title in the skandran language, who is an absolute monarch. Absalom Vaughn holds this title currently after the death of his adoptive father king Roland Vaughn, who died during the invasion. Absalom's brother Gregor holds the title of Viceroy and rules while his demigod brother fights for the future of mankind. A benevolent king, Absalom has gone to great lengths to ensure a good, safe life for his subjects which has earned him their adoration and deep loyalty. 


The rest of the Kingdom's planets are very similar to Skandra in climate, except of Riudal, whose large distance from the system's stars, irregular trajectory and slow moon cycles have given it very cold temperatures, and Antire, which was handed over to the Mechanicum to become a Forge World, as an act of good faith officially, but rumours claim the true motive behind this "gift" was Antire's continued resistance to Skandran rule and the fact that it was Antiran spies that assassinated killed King Roland


Edited by Jimars, 08 July 2020 - 04:49 PM.

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The Black Stars

Numeration: III (Third) 


Cognomen (prior): none


Primogenitor: Absalom Vaughn 


Observed Strategic Tendencies: General Warfare , Combined Arms Warfare , Tactical Preparation and Complex Strategic Planning, Decapitation Strikes 


Noteworthy Domains: Kingdom of Skandra 


The brightest light casts the darkest shadows. An old Terran saying that perfectly fits the IIIrd Legion. Spurred by their gene-sire's obsessive urge to prove himself superior to his older brothers, the Black Stars amassed a tally of accolades matched by few of their peers and were known as one of the Imperium's most illustrious defenders. This honour, though, came at the cost of their reputation within the Legiones Astartes, their bonds of brotherhood and, perhaps, their sanity



The Marauders

Born in the Emperor's gene labs as any other Legion, the IIIrd legion's first recruits came from the children of subjugated raiders of the Caucasus Wastes, strong, hardened people that would serve as an ideal recruiting pool for the Emperor's angels of death. Fate, however, would prove to be cruel to the IIIrd, as a flaw in their geneseed would make their aspirants resistant to psycho-indoctrination. The incomplete conditioning, combined with the inbred violent and impulsive nature of the Caucasian savages, proved to be a destructive combination. In their first deployments, the Astartes of the IIIrd were shown to be significantly more unstable and disobedient than their cousins, disregarding the orders of their superiors and losing themselves in the joy of war. True to their past, these transhuman warriors resembled a gang of pillaging bandits rather than soldiers, earning them a name that would haunt them until the discovery of their Primarch: The Marauder Legion. 


This behaviour, of course, earned them the displeasure of their peers, their commanders and even the Emperor. However, ever pragmatic, the Master of Mankind realised that a Legion, even defective, is too precious to be discarded. Instead, he elected to deploy them to targets meant for total destruction, where collateral damage and civilian casualties would be of no concern. Brutal, merciless, almost feral, the Marauders would meet their enemies in brutal close combat, annihilating them to the last,  giving no quarter to woman, child or elder. Where this was impossible, the legion would apply generous amounts of heavy artillery to destroy their foes. This trend was continued during the majority the Great Crusade, during which the IIIrd was set loose against xenos, corrupted humans or other targets deemed unsalvageable, until one fateful campaign where, under the command of Primarch Caelum Vigilat, the Marauders refused his direct orders and, instead of supporting the Star Lords in the operation, turned on garrisons of new recruits, the kind of easy prey they relished. Lord Vigilat, enraged at their savagery and disobedience, brought the issue to the Emperor's attention, who promptly called recalled the IIIrd back to Terra for the final judgment. It seemed that the bloody story of the Legion had come to an end when, unexpectedly, Absalom Vaughn was discovered and joined his sons



The Amber King

When the Ruinous Powers scattered the Emperor's twenty Primarchs, the IIIrd Primarch landed on the world of Skandra Prima. The planet, located in the Ultima Segmentum, could be considered a paradise; gifted with warm climate, fertile land, lush forests, the people lived in joy and the industry, however primitive, was thriving. The world served as the centre of a Kingdom spanning 4 planets: Liva-Sar, Talanis, Kestram and Skandra Prima itself, the planets having been conquered countless years prior by the First King of house Vaughn. The infant Primarch landed in the middle of a forest;  his arrival hailed as a miraculous event, mirroring the legend that claimed such a star had fallen on the planet in the time of the Grand Conquest. Immediately, King Roland Vaughn dispatched his troops to investigate the crash site, where, instead of a celestial object, they faced a young boy, about 10 years of age, regarding them with curious and playful eyes. Following their lord's orders, they brought the miracle child before the king who, recognising the boy as a superhuman being, adopted him in the royal family, naming him Absalom. 


Raised as the crown prince, young Absalom received an upbringing worthy of royalty, which, in hindsight, is the most probable cause for his future transgressions. Educated by the finest scholars, trained in sword fighting and martial arts by the kingdom's most renowned tutors and mentored in martial matters such as tactics and strategy by the most skilled officers of the Skandran army. His Primarch nature granted him capabilities far beyond those of ordinary humans, and soon the student surpassed the masters. Aged 19, he was appointed a general of the army, as was customary for the crown prince. He had only served in that position for a year when terrible news reached his homeworld: Antire and Fyressy, neighbouring planets and longtime enemies of Skandra, had forged an alliance and were mounting an invasion. Surprised by the sudden declaration of war, Absalom summoned his fellow officers and assumed command of the defence operations. Rallied by their prince , the defenders were successful in holding back the invaders until reinforcements from the other planets of the Kingdom arrived, though the cost was still terrible. Cities had been destroyed, thousands, if not millions, had died, and King Roland himself had been slain by Antiran spies who had infiltrated the royal guard in preparation for the invasion. The death of his father filled Absalom with fury and conviction. Not wanting to give his enemies a chance to prepare their defences, he ordered an immediate counterattack on the two planets with the united military might of Skandra. In this campaign he first made use of his preferred strategy: studying enemy positions, unit composition and unit structure and using that knowledge against them, creating a detailed battle plan that left the enemy with no way to counter. With these tactics, Fyressy surrendered unconditionally within a month. Antire though, the murderers of his father, would not be so fortunate. The planet was finally conquered after almost a year of brutal fighting and guerilla warfare on Antire's side. The infrastructure was devastated, the losses were grievous, and Absalom, now crowned king, forced the Antirans into a miserable existence of oppression and poverty in a cruel display of his vengeful nature. 


When the war was over, Absalom returned to his homeworld triumphant, the first king to expand the Skandran dominion in centuries. The people adored him, calling him 'the Amber King' owing to the brilliant colour of his eyes and his official coronation was celebrated by all. Not two years later he expanded his kingdom once again, this time annexing the frigid world of Riudal, not through war, but through politics. He married Princess Kierstenn of Riudal to strengthen the relationship between the planet and the kingdom. 


After seven years of peaceful rule, a strange fleet arrived to Skandra Prima, hailing the world and claiming to be peaceful. A meeting was arranged between Absalom and the foreign leader. When the two met, Absalom was surprised to see no mortal before him, but a being equal to him, and perhaps above him. The stranger revealed himself to Absalom as the Emperor of Mankind and his true father, and explained to him everything about the Great Crusade and his dream of a unified mankind that ruled the galaxy. Enthralled by the Emperor's noble ideals, Absalom pledged his undying allegiance to the Imperium and to mankind, and immediately left Skandra to reunite with his Legion

 

Birth of Stars

Absalom's first meeting with his sons occurred on Terra, and it was far from the glorious moment the Primarch envisioned. Instead of worthy soldiers of Mankind, the Primarch was instead met with a legion of brigands, savages and criminals that would have been purged had he not been discovered on time. Displeased with his deplorable 'sons', he ordered drastic changes in the IIIrd, starting with personally executing the old legion master who allowed this situation to grow rampant. He decreed that all recruits would henceforth be taken from the Kingdom of Skandra and reorganised the organisation system. His efforts bore fruit and within four years his legion had turned into an exemplar of discipline, obedience and organisation, owing no little to the fact that almost all of the Terran recruits had been unofficially purged by means of deployment in brutal missions that wore their numbers down until there were but a hundred left. It was then that he deemed them worthy of a true name, and so he baptised them Black Stars, after the legendary warriors of the First King, who fought at his side in the Grand Conquest 

 

His relationships with his brothers were not ideal either, as this is where Absalom's flaws first became apparent. Having a comfortable, royal upbringing in an environment where he was all but worshipped had instilled great arrogance and egotism in the Amber King. These character traits were exacerbated by his Legion's poor prior performance, creating feelings of inadequacy and deep envy in Absalom's soul, as well as his hidden malice, which he had thus far unleashed only on the Antirans. He viewed some of his brothers not as family or even fellow warriors, but as rivals that he had to surpass by all means necessary. It was for this reason that he would push his sons ever forward to the next conquest, so that they may reap all the glory and make another display of their supremacy. The Black Stars espoused the ideals of their gene-sire completely, and thus the Legion's culture became one where personal skill was all that mattered, peak performance was a necessity, and glory was the ultimate goal. Such behaviour of course affected the Legion's reputation among their peers, who regarded them either as brilliant, if vainglorious, warriors or as self-obsessesed glory hounds who put their obsessive quest to prove their superiority above their duties and warrior oaths. Nevertheless, the Black Stars were widely loved by the Imperium as they reinforce the image of the noble defenders against a hostile galaxy, Absalom himself adored as an idol by the people of the Imperium




 

 


Edited by Jimars, 08 July 2020 - 04:47 PM.


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Black Stars Armorial 1
Black Stars iconography
 
Black Stars Veteran Marine
Graf (sergeant) Markus Calantar

Edited by Jimars, 13 May 2020 - 06:20 PM.


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Characters of the IIIrd legion

 

Officers

Tobiah Stolar, Equerry: Scion of the noble house of Stolar and longtime friend and advisor to Absalom. In their youth on Skandra, Absalom and Tobiah were inseparable, bound by strong friendship and respect. The two young men were trained together in the kingdom's military academy and Tobiah, gifted with a keen intellect and a talent for organisation, swiftly rose up the ranks of the Skandran military, becoming one of the youngest high commanders at the age of 34. It was with him that Absalom orchestrated the counter-invasion to Antire and Fyressy following the joint attack the two planets unleashed on Skandra. After Absalom joined the Emperor in the Great Crusade, he didn't forget about his trusted companion and elected to ascend him to an Astartes through a specialised operation, given that Tobiah was too old to undergo the standard procedure. Now one of the Emperor's Angels of Death, Margrave Tobiah Stolar acts as the Amber Prince's equerry as well as his voice in the legion when the Prince is absent He is also the officer in charge of the selection and training of the Golgwan Infiltrators. An administrator and strategist rather than warrior, Stolar prefers commanding his troops from his command center. When he takes to the field, he does not follow his friend and master's close range fighting style due to his body not being as powerful as that of other Astartes. Instead, armed with a custom sniper rifle, he prefers to snipe foes from a comfortable range, never allowing them to reach him in close range

 

Valtar Laude, Margrave Aerst: The First Captain of the Black Stars and leader of the Ochranic Cavaliers, Laude was one of the earliest Skandran recruits, selected by the legion's Apothecaries after he displayed extraordinary abilities during the selection process. After being elevated into a true battle-brother, he boasted an impressive battle record, proving his skill in a number of battles. Lauded as the embodiment of the excellence the IIIrd legion strived for, he rose to the rank of Margrave of the 2nd Division in 20 terran years. After the High Commander of the 1st Division led his troops into a spectacular failure against an Ork WAAAAGH and was demoted to the Boetar squads, Valtar was chosen by Absalom to lead the 1st Division as well as the Primarch's elite strike force. Uncharacteristically for a son of the IIIrd, Laude is a humble man of few words and stoic demeanour, which makes him one of the most well-liked members of the Black Stars among the rest of the Legiones Astartes. Armed with the mighty lance Gvalad, he is an unstoppable force of death on the battlefield and a superlative duelist, celebrated by some as the finest warrior of the Legiones Astartes. 

 

Jacoby Margrol, Primus Medicae: Born on the planet of Liva-Sar, the farthest of the Skandran kingdom, Margrol was selected by the apothecaries of the Stars and eventually became one himself. His skill and medical prowess led to his promotion to Primus Medicae, leader of the Legion's Apothecarion. Now stationed on the Legion's fortress on Skandra, Margrol oversees the arduous selection of new aspirants, making sure only the finest specimens are selected. ​

 

Cyprian Wiez, Glav Zaubris: Starting his career as yet another newly elevated Astartes, Wiez's fate changed dramatically when, during a campaign against a non-compliant human empire, he was separated by his squad following an explosion and was captured by the enemy. After he was brought to the enemy headquarters for interrogation, Wiez was surprised to discover that he could control the minds of his interrogators, a power bestowed upon him by his newly awakened psychic powers. Using his newfound skill, Wiez escaped and proceeded to single-handedly take out his captors. Needless to say, his comrades were greatly surprised when their assault on the enemy's headquarters was met, instead of enemy resistance, with a single Astartes calmly walking out of the building, the enemy leader obediently following in tow. Following the operation, Wiez joined the Black Star Zaubrisus, where he trained in the psychic arts and especially telepathy. Now leading the Zaubrisus himself, and also serving as the fourth Margrav of the Legion, he is both a telepath of great power and a skilled combatants, wielding his force weapon Vilden and his psychic powers to deadly effect

 

The Disgraced: a mystery among the Legion, the marine who would come to be known as the Disgrace or the Ashamed was once a member of the Boetar squads. However, by some cruel twist of fate, the punished marine would return unharmed from every single mission, never able to earn absolution in death. This went on and on, and all the while rumours ran rampant among the Legion, that the mysterious battle-brother was anything from a ghost that animated his power armor to even one of the lost brothers of their gene-sires, who stole the marine's place and identity and joined the Legion. No matter what the truth may be, the Disgraced is a legend among the IIIrd, feared and respected in equal measure. No one remembers his name or the sound of his voice, though some claim that he is the former Margrave of the 1st Division, Alhen Haes, who earned the Amber Prince's ire after leading his forces to a defeat in a joint operation with the Halcyon Wardens, embarrassing the legion and his gene-sire in the eyes of his rival, Alexandros. He has become the unofficial leader of the Boetar, leading the failed sons of Vaughn to their extreme missions, and destroying his enemies in a hell of phosphex unleashed by his twin phosphex pistols

 

Markus Calantar: A notable member of the Legion's Veteran division, Edler Calantar is held in high regard by his brothers as one of the most skilled veterans of his division. Proving himself in a number of campaigns, he has caught the attention of his Primarchs and he is considered a prime candidate for promotion to the Ochranic Praetors, as well as the de facto successor to Valdar Laude as Margrave of the 1st House​

 

Mortal Characters

Keirstenn Alkrantz -Vaughn, Queen of Skandra: The third conquest of Absalom Vaughn was not through war or other violent measures. Instead, the world of Riudal peacefully accepted to be annexed to the kingdom. The annexation was sealed with the marriage of Absalom and princess Kierstenn of the royal house Alkrantz. Although purely political at first, the princess was caprivated by Absalom's charisma and romantic gestures while in turn the King grew fond of her intelligence, beauty and strong character. Reknowned across the six worlds for her beauty, she displays the traditional characteristics of the Riudali: alabaster skin, striking red hair and piercing green eyes. Despite her age, her husband has ensured she receives state of the art rejuvenat treatments to maintain her youth and beauty. Instead of remaining idle in the royal palace, she has instead chosen to follow her beloved in his journeys, residing in a luxurious, extremely protected suite in the Antares, Absalom's flagship, watching the Legion's battles from her personal observatory


Edited by Jimars, 08 July 2020 - 04:57 PM.


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Made some edits, replaced some outdated info, about specialist formations in particular.



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Black Stars Legion Culture


Before the discovery of their Primarch, the old IIIrd legion was comprised of brutal warriors with a background of tribal life and violence. It was only natural, as a result, that the legion's culture would mirror that past. "Might makes Right" perfectly sums up their beliefs. Officers were selected not because of their leadership skills or their ability to inspire, but because they had proven themselves stronger than any challenge, often defeating or even killing their predecessor in honour duels. Everyone was allowed to challenge their immediately superiors for their rank. This practice, combined with their powerthirsty attitude, caused the command structure of the IIIrd to be remarkably fluid, with officers rarely lasting for more than a few months before being dethroned by their competitors. Weakness in the legion was looked down upon, and those deemed weak would find themselves the target of their brothers' ridicule, enmity and violence. The same principles applied to the aspirants, who were selected through brutal deathmatches. Over the course of their training and induction they would be subject to great cruelty and abuse by their trainers in order to become "stronger". As a result, aspirants became cruel, brutal and violent themselves, and would inflict the same abuse to future recruits, creating a vicious cycle. 

As for their relationships with mortals, those they viewed as little more than weaklings, meatbags, in the case of Imperial soldiers, easy prey, in the case of civilians and nuisances, in the case of commanders. They did not concern themselves with minimalizing mortal casualties, instead, they seemed to encourage and enjoy them as proof of their superiority over the human dregs they had left behind on induction. Civilian casualties were of no concern to the IIIrd, and some would claim they even enjoyed them as they mercilessly raided enemy cities for sport. As for Astartes of other Legions, those they viewed with a mix of pity, for they forced strict rules on themselves, distrust of hatred. It was a rare occasion that the Marauders would willingly deploy with other legions, and they only begrudgingly worked together with the Star Lords, since they had been placed under the stewardship of Caelum Vigilat. 


After their reunion with their primarch, Absalom Vaughn, disgusted with his son's prior behaviour, aggressively burned out all remnants of it in his Black Stars. New aspirants were now claimed exclusively from the Kingdom of Skandra, and new recruits were instilled with great discipline, as well as taught in the ways of proper conduct. Absalom's goal was a legion of noblemen as much as warriors, exemplars of what it means to transcend mankind, to become an Astartes. Aspirants would be screened extensively both mentally and physically, to make sure that only the finest specimens were allowed to join the legion. After the initial tests followed the First Proving, a great test of skills conducted before the primarch's chosen representatives. Candidates who passed this trial would then begin their long training, far more extensive than those of most legions and aiming to teach every future battle-brother all facets of combat. Their training wasn't limited to warfare but also academic studies and art, so the legionaries could be more than mere soldiers, go beyond and embody the values of their gene-sire. Throughout their training, tests were common and strict, so as to ensure the future generations' skills capabilities were nothing short of superb. At the end of their training, only those who passed the Grand Proving, their final trial, with Absalom himself as the judge, were fully inducted in the legion as true Battle-brothers.


Astartes of the Black Stats were expected to excel in all battlefield roles. Whether it is piloting, handling heavy weapons of fighting in melee combat, the sons of Absalom's would not be found wanting. Still, improving one's abilities was greatly encouraged in the legion, and martial excellence was indeed the ideal that all legionaries strived towards. Furthermore, astartes of all ranks would regularly go through the Teleotas, regular trials where they proved they remained in an optimal level of skill. Taking place in a virtual environment created by the legion's veterans and Absalom himself, the Teleotas pushes a legionary's skills to their limit. Failure is punished with rebuke, demotion or, in the worst case scenario, with induction to the ranks of the Boetar Penitents, a fate equal to a death sentence. These practices would create a climate of intense competition which was in part cultivated by the legion command, and sometimes created fractures in the relationships between battle-brothers and even other legions, who were often less than keen on tolerating the IIIrd's arrogant tendencies. On the other hand though, a special kind of inter-astartes relationship was born. That of master and apprentice. Certain Black Stars would take it upon themselves to help their brothers hone their skills and realise their full potential. So was the unofficial rank of the Didactes born, those immaculate warriors who gathered a great entourage of followers and apprentice around them. Even though they were not recognised as true officers of the legion, Absalom and his upper command was nevertheless very satisfied with this development. 


The Black Stars' relationships with other legions were mixed, and often mirrored their Primogenitor's relationships with his brothers. They were bound by close friendships with the Red Eyes and the Stalking Leopards, whose Primarchs were Absalom's closest friends, and maintained a friendly rivalry with the Crimson Lions. It was an undisputed fact though that the IIIrd's arrogance placed a big strain on their interactions with their peers, many of which held them in contempt as narcissistic gloryhounds whose loyalties lay only with themselves. As for those legions whose Primarchs were on hostile terms with the Amber King, like the Halcyon Wardens, the Iron Revenants and the Warrior of Peace, the Black Stars refused to fight alongside them unless expressly ordered by the Emperor of Mankind himself. Still, hostilities were practically non-existent between the IIIrd and other legions, as the sons of Vaughn would always strive to be courteous like their father. The same would apply to their relationships with mortals to which they were normally respectful towards. The Black Stars respected the soldiers who fought with them, obeyed the orders of imperial officers and tried to minimise both unnecessary losses and destruction of infrastructure, aiming to leave conquered worlds in the best condition possible. This disposition of theirs towards mortals, paired with Absalom's preternatural charisma and charm, have earned the IIIrd incredible popularity within the Imperium


Edited by Jimars, 08 July 2020 - 04:58 PM.

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#7
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The Departmento Munitorum headquarters of Hodur sector was a bleak, tall building of steel and concrete, with only the seal of the Imperial Administration as indication of its importance for the sector. Inside, almost a thousand scribes, ciphers and all sorts of adepts worked around the clock, in cramped office spaces, to ensure that the Emperor's armies were adequately supplied to effectively carry out their duties


One such Adept, bent over on his cluttered desk, small and furtive, almost completely hidden behind piles of paperwork, stared at the terminal of his monitor with spectacled eyes, cold sweat dripping down his brow. 

With the press of a button, he was ready to deny a regiment of the Imperial Army of valuable supplies, leave them defenceless against hordes of Greenskins. He knew that what he was about to do was wrong, immoral. That it could lead to his execution and that of his family if discovered. But he also knew that he had to do this, because the alternative was certain death. He thought back to how his predicament had begun, the night before… 


Walking through the dark, dirty streets of the Hive, he had made his way to the habitation block reserved for the workers of the Administration. The housing was respectable, much better than that of the average citizen, and larger to boot. One of the boons available to the Imperium's loyal servants. The man hoped to rest his body and mind before resuming his duties. 

Fate was against him however, as, when he opened the door to his apartment, he was met with a shocking sight. 


He was not alone in the dingy, small room. A stranger, tall and muscular, was sitting on the small couch, his body posture calm, relaxed. He wore what looked like a military uniform, black and unmarked. And worst of all, he was aiming a pistol, glowing a menacing blue, across the room. Right towards the tiny crib of the Adept's son. 


The intruder broke the silence first. 


"Mr.Jesse Starric. Please, sit down" he gestured towards a metal stool across the table with his empty hand. His voice was deep, with a fake air of courtesy. It send chills down his spine


With unsteady steps, Starric approached the stool and sat down. His seat felt uncomfortable, cold. 


"If it is money you want, I will give you anything you ask. But, please, don't harm my child…"


The stranger smiled at the Adept's pleas, the dim light of a dying lamp casting deep shadow on his face. He looked almost diabolical, and that only served to terrify Starric even more


"What I, or better, my lord, desires, is not your money, but your services. I understand that you are an employee of the sector's Departmento Munitorum offices"


Starric felt his heart drop at the man's words, realising that the situation was far more grave than he had dared to imagine. 


"W-What do you want me to do?"


"It's very simple really. We want you to prevent the Lacunan Lifewatch regiment currently serving on Endragiga from receiving any supplies. We know that it is possible, even for a low-ranking Adept such as you"


Panic started to set in in Starric's soul, as the stranger before him asked of him to commit treason against the Imperium. His mind was suddenly filled with thoughts of arrest, torture and execution, for that was the fate that expected traitors. But the man's voice broke him out of his stupor


"If you refuse, i will shoot your son with this plasma pistol. He will be completely vaporised, and nothing will be left of him to mourn"


Mortified, the cornered adept's eyes were glued to those of the terrible intruder before him. Any fear of death, or worse, were nulled at the thought of his son being harmed. The child his wife had died bringing to the world. His only hope


Lowering his gaze, Starric spoke, his voice weak, barely a whisper


"Can you promise that you will leave me and my child alone, if i do this?"


The stranger stood up and looked down on the adept's small, cowering form. Putting on his best impress of a friendly smile, he replied


"You can rest assured. My lord is a man of his word. Do this for us, and your life will go on in peace"


With those words, the intruder walked out the door and was lost in the darkness, leaving adept Jesse Starric to reflect on his decision. 


…Now, Starric, closing his eyes tight, pressed the button that would doom thousands of brave soldiers of the Imperium. 


….. 


A month later, the Imperium was abuzz with news of the Lacunan Lifewatch's miraculous rescue. Left without supplies or ammunition, their brutal demise at the hands of WAAAAGH Knuckledragga seemed all but assured. However, when the savage armies of the Greenskins were preparing to descend upon the regiment, the forces of the IIIrd Legion, the illustrious Black Stars, came to the rescue of the regiment, striking against the green horde with righteous fury, fighting, bleeding and dying to save their mortal fellow warriors. The Amber King himself, Absalom Vaughn, slew Knuckledragga in glorious single combat, and pict-captures of the Primarch standing victorious over the monstrous xeno warlord had been spread far and wide in the people of the Imperium. This incident only served to bolster the IIIrd's veneration by the people of the Imperium.

 

…. 


Jesse Starric was sitting in his appartment, dark, dirty and disorganised, as the owner was too busy drowning his guilt in cheap alcohol to care about hygiene. He knew now that he had been used, just a pawn in a Primarch's game of politics. That he was responsible for the deaths of thousands. 


In his drunken daze, he barely noticed the apartment door opening slowly, and the awfully familiar stranger walking in. Finally, when the man was standing above him pointing a gun to his head, he acknowledged him. 


"B-But you said… you promised… Your lord is a man of his word…"


"He is, Mr.Starric. But he also despises loose ends"


A blast of plasma broke the night's deep silence, followed by a baby's wails.


Edited by Jimars, 08 July 2020 - 04:58 PM.

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#8
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Entering his study, Absalom was greeted with the sight of Tobiah Stolar, still in his Tartaros plate, pristine and well-polished from the formal meeting that had occured just hours ago, where Absalom and Alianaktuk had discussed the creation of a Council to rule over Segmentum Ultima, news that Absalom was less than enthused to receive. 

 

Other than Stolar, his wife, Kierstenn was also in the chamber. Beautiful like the breaking dawn, with her auburn hair and piercing green eyes, filled with intellect and a powerful spirit, dressed in a white, long dress that brought out her well-sculptured form, she was a soothing sight for the agitated Primarch. 

 

Absalom approached the desk and sank in his chair with a deep sigh. 

 

"So, this is how it will go. A council. I will have not just one fool to meddle in my affairs, but several"

 

He slammed his fist on the desk, knocking down a stack of papers, and ran his hands through his hair. 

 

Kierstenn moved to his side and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. Tobiah on the other hand, watched his friend's outburst with well-hidden worry. His gene-sire and brotherly friend's behaviour was steadily becoming more erratic. 

 

Kierstenn kissed Absalom on the back of his head, and, moving her lips closer to his left ear, said with a voice soft as silk

 

"Why do you concern yourself with trivial matters, my beloved? Why let your brilliant shine die due to problems that can be solved ever so simply?"

 

She got up again, and moved to the glass panel behind the desk, overlooking Viktora, the capital of Skandra Prima. The twin suns of the system, the Maega, were setting in the horizon

 

Absalom stood up as well and approached her, standing behind her and caressing her hair

 

"What do you mean, Kierstenn? What is your plan?"

 

She turned around to face him, and softly touched his cheek, looking into his brilliant amber eyes. 

 

"The Horned One asked of you a representative to the council, since your duties to the Reclamation Command prevent you from participating, correct?"

 

"Yes" replied Absalom, curious to his other half's scheme

 

"Then" said Kierstenn with a smile "send me" 

 

At that moment, Absalom realised what his queen's plan was. And he only grew more infatuated with her


Edited by Jimars, 08 July 2020 - 05:05 PM.


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Black Stars doctrine and organisation

After his discovery and reunion with his Legion, Absalom restructured the combat doctrine of the IIIrd to better suit his own views on warfare and to purge the brutality of their origins. During operations, the Black Stars adhere to the dictates of the Principia Bellicosa, and while there is an observed preference to melee warfare, Black Star detachments generally feature a balance of long and close range firepower, in order to maintain maximum tactical flexibility in battle. 

 

The Legion's style of war reflects their primogenitor's bombastic nature. Before taking to the field, the officers of the Black Stars, each of them an expert tactician, will analyse the information gathered by scouts and infiltrators and proceed to formulate a detailed battle plan tailored to the enemy's strengths and weaknesses. They rob the foe of any advantage and destroy them in a swift and well-coordinated assault. This kind of warfare requires precise coordination between various units on the field, and as a result independence is not a favourable trait among low ranking officers. As one ascends the ranks however, he is expected to display greater independent thought and initiative, as he bears the burden of planning, coordinating and carrying out ever larger scale operations 

 

The organisation structure of the Black Stars has remained relatively unchanged since their pre-primarch days, as Absalom enacted few changes upon it. The most substantial change was the creation of the Grand Chapters, or Domens as they are called in the Legion, which encompass thirteen Chapters. The Domens are led by the Margravi, the most elite Astartes of the Black Stars, who have managed to gain the trust and admiration of Absalom through their superlative feats in combat and their cunning mind. It is those warrior-generals that form the inner circle of the Primarch, standing right below the Primarch in the hierarchy and wielding great authority and prestige in the Legion. More than commanders, they are an example that their brothers would aspire towards. The Margravi are afforded great freedom of action, and often lead thousands of Astartes as well as mortal warriors to combat, carrying out their gene-sire's orders without fail. In an unusual occurrence among the Legiones Astartes, the rank of Fourth Margrav is held by a psyker, Chief Librarian Cyprian Wiez, who is counted amongst Absalom's most favoured sons and, perhaps, the closest to the Primarch in character. 

 

While the Black Stars are not an especially psychic legion, the psykers of the IIIrd are not treated with the apprehension or distrust common in many of their peers. Members of the Librarius are viewed as possessing unique and powerful gifts that are invaluable in war, and admired for their dedication to mastering and controlling their gifts and realising their full potential. As a result, the Black Stars boast a sizeable and flourishing Librarius, with a leaning towards the disciplines of telepathy and biomancy

 

To ascend in the ranks of the Third is an arduous task, for aspiring officers need to undergo long and demanding tests to prove they are worthy of the promotion. One must demonstrate both great skill in combat, the tactical acumen required for the demanding warfare of the Legion, as well as obedience to their superiors. Those that have displayed skill with arms that rivals that of all their peers have a chance to ascend to the ranks of the Ochranic Cavaliers and fight side by side with their gene-sire, regardless of former rank or seniority. 

 

The ranks of Equerry and Margrav Aerst are separate from the command structure. While the equerry functions as the Primarch's voice in the Legion, the title of margrave aerst is awarded to that Astartes who best exemplifies the virtues of the Black Stars, and he leads the Ochranic Cavaliers to battle. The Margrav Aerst also acts as Absalom's bodyguard and champion. For more than three Terran decades, this rank has been held by Valtar Laude, as no challenger has succeeded in surpassing the genius duelist in skill of arms. 

 

Legion Specialist Formations

Ochranic Cavaliers: The elite warriors of the Black Stars and the personal guard of the Primarch. Personally selected by Absalom himself, upon ascension they must leave behind all ambition and personal aspiration and dedicate their lives to honing their skills and serving their gene-sire as his blade and shield. Befitting of their rank and prestige, they are outfitted in the finest wargear available to the Black Stars. Each Cavalier is clad in mastercrafted artificer armor forged personally, tailored to his specific needs, and armed with the legendary Khomíte Swordspear. Each weapon a priceless relic, the chosen of Absalom use them to fearsome effect in battle, shredding through opposition like a falling star

 

Boetar Penitents: In the Black Stars, failure is a crime that is punished harshly. And there is no punishment harsher than joining the Boetar squads, for such a fate means being condemned to death. Forced to relinquish their names, identity and livery, they are equipped with older patterns of power armor painted entirely black, signifying their sins and their grim fate. Their weapons are the result of brilliant, if cruel artifice, twin pistols created based on designs from the Dark Age of Technology, firing deadly projectiles saturated in deadly radiation, causing even a glancing hit to be potentially lethal as the target is exposed to terrible rad-energies. Not even the wielders are safe from their weapons' fearsome effects, and each Penitent is sentenced to die a slow, agonising death as his body falls apart, his cells destroyed by the radiation he employed against the enemies of mankind. For only in death will they have finally atoned for their failures. And when the time comes, and their hearts have stopped beating, the bombs implanted in their chests will explode, making sure they take as many foes as possible to the other side

 

Raitelic Outriders: Desiring a fast attack formation to function as the battering ram in offensives, Absalom and his officers formed the Raitelic Outriders, deviating from the standard Legiones Astartes assault bike in favour of a curious, if effective, replacement; the Raitelic charge headlong into enemies formations on cybernetic mounts, horses of iron muscles whose mouths spew deadly promethium. Armed with long power spears, they harass the enemy flanks and break their formations, leaving them easy prey to their fellow warriors

 

Dreadnoughts in the Black Stars

While the majority of the Legiones Astartes show a great deal of respect to those battle-brothers that have been entombed into a dreadnought chassis, the same does not apply to the Black Stars. Indeed, in a legion infamous for its intolerance of failure and inadequacy, dreadnoughts are viewed as living remnants of one's failures and shortcomings, as well as an undeserved second chance. Thus, they are treated with far less reverence than in other legions. While their utility in battle has dissuaded the IIIrd from outright discarding the practice, entombement is a rare add phenomenon that is only viewed as a way to replenish the legion's supply of said war machines. For the same reasons, dreadnoughts have a much shorter life expectancy in the Black Stars, as they are rarely allowed the rest they need, instead being pushed into battle as often as possible, as punishment for their shameful actions in life


Edited by Jimars, 08 July 2020 - 05:09 PM.


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House Fioranti

Heraldry: White rose crossed with a sword, on green and red background 

Forge World affiliation: Antire

Overview

 

During the Great Crusade, the forces of the Imperium came in contact with many a worlds ruled over by powerful noble houses using the power of mighty engines of war to consolidate their power. Such worlds, named Knight Worlds, have proven indispensable to the imperial military, using their power to facilitate mankind's victories on countless worlds. 

 

One such world was Toscania, located in the eastern fringes of Segmentum Ultima, ruled by House Fioranti. First contacted by forces of the Black Stars a decade after the discovery of Absalom Vaughn, the Knights of house Fioranti and the forces of the IIIrd Legion were forced into cooperation in a short but brutal campaign to protect the system from an incoming Ork WAAAAGH!!!! 

 

In this conflict, the two forces came to the realisation that their preferred tactics meshed perfectly into a dance of death, the Fioranti Knights charging enemy positions, breaking their ranks and taking out dangerous, high priority targets, leaving surviving foes defenceless to the Legion's swift assault that delivers the finishing strike. This became evident during the final battle of the campaign, when the Knights launched a surprise offensive to the flanks of the Ork army, inflicting grievous losses and corraling them towards the ambush spot pre-ordained by the Black Stars, who then proceeded to decimate the greenskins and slay the Warboss. 

 

Over the course of the campaign, deep respect was cultivated between the two allied factions and especially between Absalom and Contessa Anita Fioranti, then head of the House. It was not surprising then, that when Toscania officially joined the Imperium, House Fioranti pledged themselves to the service of the Black Stars, an alliance that has lasted for one and a half century and many believe will last to the end of days

 

House Tactics

 

House Fiorantis values a highly aggressive style of warfare. Instead of focusing on a balance between long and short range combat, they instead show a nearly complete disregard for engagements from afar, viewing them as cowardly and dishonourable. Instead, their expertise lies in close combat assaults, using the swiftness of the Cerastus chassis which they field in significant numbers. Other patterns, such as the Paladin, are piloted by the lower nobility. Additionally, the house employs a modified version of the Cerastus pattern, the Cerastus-Schiavona. Trading the common ranged weapons for another warblade, the Schiavona relies on the princeps' skill and its enhanced ion shielding systems to survive long enough and reach the enemy and wreak havoc

 

While their doctrine is undoubtedly effective, it is not without weaknesses. The House's lack of more heavily armed Knight patterns cripples its ability to offer heavy fire support to allies or even to their own knights, forcing them to rely on allied forces for covering fire

 

Culture

 

The hierarchy of house Fioranti is strict, with the Capodomo, as their head of house is called, being the absolute leader. Their will is respected by all members without exception. 

 

According to the succession laws, Knights are inherited by a combination of primogeniture and meritocracy. While generally the rights to the war machines would be awarded to the eldest heir, this must first be approved by the Capodomo and his council. If the council deems the rightful heir by seniority unfit, they have the right to choose a new successor. 

 

The Capodomo is replaced either when the predecessor dies or voluntarily steps down, elected by a Conclave of the eldest house members. It is also possible for Capodomo to be forcibly removed if the House find his leadership lacking. 

 

Notable Knights

  • Dive Fulmento: This Cerastus-Atrapos Knight is the most prized warmachine of house Fiorantis as well as the most temperamental, for its machine spirit is very selective of the princeps. Indeed, the engine will not allow itself to be piloted by anyone other than a princeps with ambition and brutality deep seated in their hearts, flaws that the machine spirit will endlessly try to exacerbate, causing the princeps to become progressively more unstable, arrogant, self-obsessed and brutal. For these reasons, the princeps of Dive Fulmento is never allowed to serve as Capodomo. 

 

Notable Members

  • Anita Fioranti: Former Capodomo, deceased. Died fighting against Drukhari forces

  • Massimo Fioranti: Son of Anita Fioranti, current Capodomo

  • Ducessa Henrietta Fioranti: Current princeps of Dive Fulmento 

 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Alternate Heresy, War Of The Eightfold Path, Five Ruins

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