Greetings in High Gothic!
This week we’re going to meet some of the heroes of our armies.
In preparation for our ongoing Urban Conquest campaign, we each had four abilities to dish out to our characters from the recent Chapter Approved 2018. Below are the first few choices we’ve made for our armies. We’re presenting these as a narrative biography with the abilities listed at the bottom. First up is the Magus of the Cult of the River Wyrm.
Magus Orinocus III
Deep below the shimmering spires of Divinius, buried beneath the cluttered hab-blocks and hive tunnels of the narrows, there had been a terrible, slow stirring. The festering wounds granted by a single kiss decades before had grown and bloomed into a tireless network of infection. A routine arbiter investigation had uncovered something strange, a bloodied hab-block; a screaming woman of unnatural strength and an all-purpose alarm had triggered the uprising. The arrival of the metal giants from beyond the stars as well as the piercing blow of Militarum martial law had only made the ascension a more urgent necessity. In that hidden chamber, ensconced in a pool of void-black matter the Emperor Wyrm himself had risen to give his first direct instruction to Magus Orinocus III. The Magus was blessed with a vial of the toxic miasma dripping from the coiled form of his master. It resonated with the simple message…
+++ Arise +++
Orinocus took his blessing and was granted with one more; the Emperor Wyrm bade him kneel before his twisted form. A huge clawed finger extended and positioned its tip above Orinocus’ head. He reclined, closing his eyes as the droplets of charged emulsion fell from the claw and into the bald psyker’s waiting mouth. He convulsed as the alien matter worked its warped way through his Xeno physiology. Orinocus was transformed, his mind swelled with knowledge and power. The mighty rivers would carry his message far and wide. He was going to ignite the war to welcome those from beyond the stars.
Magus Orinocus III is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a Magus with two additional abilities:
Psychic Might: Giving him one extra psychic activation.
Adamantium Will: Giving him one extra ‘Deny the Witch’ attempt.
Tenth Captain Raldine Aktorian was a shrewd judge of character. As Master of Recruits, this was, of course, a necessity, but Raldine’s capacity extended far beyond the warriors under his own charge. This, he understood, was the chief reason he was deployed in such a range of different circumstances. The Chapter Master valued him as far more than an instrument of war and cold execution. Throughout the countless conflicts he had experienced as a leader, for each straightforward battlefield mission, there was another requiring tact and subtlety. Infiltration, sabotage, subjugation, and diplomacy were each treated the same for Captain Aktorian. He relished pitting his wits against the foe and analysing the myriad paths to find the most effective course of action.
This was the reason for his current mission to the distant city of Divinius. He was to lead a task force that amounted to almost 500 Astartes, with detachments from 4 different companies. Many of his brother captains viewed this as an excessive use of their strength, viewing the Imperial Fists to be better deployed elsewhere, but Aktorian saw it differently. A show of strength was precisely what the Governor needed to see in order to develop a spine, and if that should fail, there would be work to be done subjugating a potentially rebellious PDF and installing a more suitable Governor. Then there was the matter of Darrick Leto. Dealing with him was likely to require careful thought. The man was a shrewd tactician and something of a hero to his men, but his recent actions were far from aligned with the plans of the Administratum. The maverick Colonel seemed to be using his Mordians as a private army, pursuing his own goals and only paying lip-service to instructions from high up the chain of command. Aktorian admired Leto’s cunning and strategic acumen, but if need be he could spare the time to bestow wisdom upon these wayward guardsmen.
Aktorian had a storied history within the chapter, but it was his humility and honesty that made him so well-suited to lead the training of new recruits. These qualities had only been enhanced by his battlefield experiences over a career spanning centuries. One of the first tales of his exploits came from when he himself was serving as a scout, in a detachment transporting the Spartean, a relic of the Imperial Fists. His convoy had been intercepted by heretic Astartes of the Death Guard and was heavily outnumbered. Through a series of cleverly thought out defensive gambits, Aktorian helped keep the relic from their traitorous hands. He was the final survivor, bravely holding out until stormravens swooped in to clear the battlefield of the remaining Death Guard. This feat, and many since, led to neophytes calling him ‘Raldine the Blessed,’ although they were careful not to use the epithet within earshot of the Captain. Aktorian despised the concept of luck, good or otherwise. He viewed bad luck as nothing more than a lack of planning, and the steep and thorny path of careful planning should never be dismissed as pure ‘luck’.
Raldine Aktorian is a Captain who favours going to battle with a jump pack to boost his battlefield coverage. He has four additional abilities:
Auto-loader: allows him to fire both parts of his combi-weapon twice.
Divine Protection: increases his invulnerable save to a 3++
Targeting Augury: aura ability allowing units within 6” to ignore cover saves when shooting enemy units.
Resilient: gives him a Feel No Pain of 5+ to prevent each point of damage he takes.
Colonel Darrick Leto came to Divinius as part of a reclamation force following an incursion by Chaos raiders of the Night Lords chapter 30 years prior.
After ousting traitor marines from a mining settlement critical to the loyalists’ supply of prometheum, Leto was field promoted from Sergeant to Lieutenant. From there, his capabilities and victories against rebels, cultists, and a roving Ork warband saw him steadily rise through the ranks to Colonel.
Despite this, Leto still sees himself as a line soldier, leading in the thick of the fighting where he can use his field experience and tactical acumen to greatest effect. He excels at leveraging the firepower of massed lasguns against heavily armoured opponents; directing the men under his command to fire in two volleys; the first weakening the foe’s armour sufficiently for the second to penetrate.
Leto maintains a dataslate listing the name of every man under his command, and every man lost… He will often be seen walking the lines prior to a battle, speaking to his men to raise morale ahead of what’s to come…
This loyalty to his men fosters a sense of brotherhood within his battalion, one far beyond the bonds ordinarily forged between fighting men. When a trooper from “Leto’s Liberators” falls in battle, Leto can be heard from within the heart of the melee, calling for his men to exact vengeance on the foe in their fallen comrade’s name.
Direct Fire – Aura ability, affecting Imperial Guard units within 6″. Any wound rolls of 6+ increase their AP by 1
Icon of Retribution – Aura ability affecting Imperial guard units within 6”. When a friendly model is killed in the fight phase, inflict a mortal wound on the attacking enemy unit on a roll of 6+.