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Nihilius Quint

Imperial Guard, the Logicians, Biotech Heresy and Lore?

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I'm currently designing an investigation-based adventure for my group, and I encountered a lore question. I designed a series of clues pertaining to bio experiments in the underhive/lower middlehive of Hive Sibellus. One of the players in my group knows a fair amount of lore, and so would probably guess that bio-experiments and such tech heresy might suggest at the Logicians, and so I decided to purposefully make the Logicians into a red herring.

 

To do so, I came up with the idea of an ex-military psycho who wants to create the perfect super-soldier, and then mass produce them (think Cosco Space Marines, to a certain degree). He has managed to collect enough material to start performing his experiments (I have yet to decide how he might had done that, whether abducting scientists, buying them out with money from somewhere, or corrupting them slowly). The major problem I have currently, and the lore question, is how would someone actually leave the Imperial Guard? It seems that, according to the MO of the 40k universe, if you get drafted, you're in for life (however short that may be). What kind of position could he have obtained so that he was able to leave?

 

That aside, a brief bit of information on why I chose the Imp Guard as his career is pertinent. In the various campaigns he participated in, he witnessed thousands upon thousands of lives spent against the horrors of the universe to gain fairly useless goals (such as in the Margin Crusade). He also, of course, heard of the Space Marines and their legendary conquests and victories and such, and maybe even saw one once (a "bright star in the firmaments of battle" and all that jazz). He then grew to hate the Imperium, because it was wasting mens' lives for useless tasks when it had the technology to create super-soldiers and the like, and so he decided to attempt to create his own version (which is, unquestionably, tech-heresy). The twisted nature of his mind has justified the many lives he has wasted in his experiments (all underhivers, so they don't matter, of course) by the idea that it will eventually save thousands, if not millions, more were it to be successful.

 

In addition to the lore question, feedback on the story idea would be great. Thanks.

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Off the bat, I like this idea - I might even nick it later for a game I'm running. 

 

Now to get to the point to answering the primary question: How can this guy be from the Imperial Guard? Retirement is not unknown (but rare) in the many, many random fluff bars. I'd imagine such a thing to be extremely rare (and most often tied to rites of settlement). However, I do think that's down to particular regiments how to process rather than a broad generalization. A few ideas:

 

1. Ex-Military from Rites of Settlement: This guy's regiment has been given rites to settle somewhere else, but not finding the settler life appealing he was able to broker passage off world. He set about the next few decades establishing himself as a mercenary and brokered a network of malcontents, rogues, and fellow mercs.

 

2. Ex Military from Inquisitor's Retinue: This guy was taken from an active battlezone, either due to a great examplery record or event or saved at the executioner's blade. Whatever happened, he served some time with an Inquisitor and picked up alot of 'contacts' along the way, before his Inquisitor was slain and he elected to go rogue rather than establish further Inquisitorial guidance or re-enrollment into the Imperial Guard.

 

3. Ex-Military from Retirement: This guy was from one of the rare regiments that allow retirement at a certain service year and he was dropped off at the first available civilized world the regiment would pass by on towards their destination. He, along with a group of similarly aged veterans, have formed a band together. While most were hopeful to rejoin society, the alien nature of the new world they were on eventually alienated them and, being jaded veterans, were unable to cope outside of the military doctrines. Thus, this guy was able to easily convince the others to support his ideas later on.

 

4. Ex-Military from Desertion: This guy was serving in an active warzone when he decided to lead his men away from the carnage and escape the Imperial meat grinder. Perhaps he made his move when a 'free' aligned ship was available to him allowed him to get off world without notice (or until they were safe from eventual notice), and he and his men are now cautious to stay together and fight for their freedom. They also follow this guy because he was their CO and believe in his views.

 

5. Ex-Military isn't 'Ex' after all: This guy is working with the full support of the Departmento Munitorum in a secret, 'black ops' program being spear-headed by a rogue element from the Adeptus Mechanicus to produce superior soldiers. This rogue element isn't radical or heretical - just stern believers that a genetic solution is possible (similar to the Gland Warrior project). This project hasn't been approved by the sector heads, and the CO here is hoping to win immediate approval upon revealing a functional army of super soldiers completely at the behest of the Departmento. However, if this project comes to light before success has been made, his plans will ruined and his lack of getting approval through the official channels will see him ruined, if not killed. Because of this, he'll do whatever it takes to keep officials silent, victims cleaned up, and his Mech heads whatever materials they require...

Edited by Cogniczar

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You can just make it up. 

 

Yeah there is an assumption that most of the time if you join the Guard you are in for life, although personally I never remember actually reading this and I am pretty sure I have read that Guard regiments sometimes make up the new colonies of conquered planets. 

 

Either way it doesn't really matter.  As with all things 40K it is broad brush strokes, lets say that 99% of Guard regiments operate a policy whereby your in for life.that still leaves literally thousands of regiments who operate different policies.

 

Example;

 

Vorkhan Tercios

 

Vorkhan is a HIve World that raises it's own regiments the Vorkhan 'Tercios'.  Now 6000 years ago these guys fought a glorious campaign alongside the Ultramarines or some other legendary organisation or general.  The Vorkhan regiments who fought in that ten year war did admirably, very admirably.  In fact they fought so well that an impressed Astartes Chapter Master, Lord Militant or some other person of great import declared that 'from this day forth any Guardsman from Vorkhan who completes a ten year tour of duty shall be released from his obligations to the Administratum in honour of his forebears victories'  

 

So it is that 6000 years on, the Guardsmen of Vorkhan complete 10 years and are then released from duty.  Of course the Administratum see this as a great hassle what with arranging transport back to homeworlds sorting out backpay etc, meanwhile the generals know they have determined troops who will fight to honour the deeds of their ancestors.  Therefore the Vorkhan Tercios are always drawn for the most brutal wars and engagements meaning few guardsmen ever return home.  

But occasionally, once in a while, a battered blearied eyed warrior descends from a merchant shuttle he has managed to hitch a lift with and sets foot once more on his home of Vorkhan.  It is called 'walking the decade'  and is a cause for much celebration.  Of course faced with the horrors that most Guardsmen are subjected to the veteran is often silent about his experiences and many find it difficult to fully reintergrate back into their old lives.

 

Or alternatively the Administratum got some paper work wrong.

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Cogniczar, I really like the idea that he is ex-military from Inquisitor's Retinue. It sparked a whole new line of thought. What do you think of this as a possible back-story?

 

The ex-military psycho (who I might name Aureolus Vale) was serving under an Inquisitor of fair power, who was even more clandestine and secret than most (I'm actually considering having the Inquisitor part of Ordo Necros, since I've always wanted to include them in a campaign). During his service under the Inquisitor, he was exposed to even more horrors of the universe, and was twisted by them into madness, possibly even by one of the chaos forces (I'm thinking the Menagerie). His Inquisitor went missing, either due to an even deeper threat/mystery (future plot hook?), and Aureolus went rogue, endeavoring to create the perfect soldier. Utilizing the many contacts and sources that he established during his service, he was able to disappear completely into the middlehive and establish his base of operations. 

 

On a side note, the fact that he was working for another Inquisitor, especially one of an extra secret Ordo or the like, means that the acolytes wouldn't be able to find out his history until very close to the final encounter, or even after. This is significant, because I want him to actually be a seemingly minor character in the opening of events. The opening of the adventure would a test subject who has been discovered. Aureolus has modified of of his most recent subjects fairly successfully, and wanted to test it in a more real world situation, so he pumped the subject full of some psychoactive rage drug of sorts (Is Ghostfire from Iocanthos such a substance?) and let him loose in a housing block. The test subject stormed through the hab block and killed a few citizens, when he was brought down by Aureolus, who was posing as a particularly paranoid individual who simply had a gun near by. While at first Aureolus was simply going to clean up the body and return to the lab, the local enforcers showed up before they were supposed to (maybe someone didn't get bribed enough or something) and he wasn't able to clear out. His false ID and whatever show him to be ex-military, maybe due to an Administratum Error like Visitor Q mentioned (I love that aspect of the Administratum), and so the players don't think much of it. However, after following a series of clues, the players stumble upon his lab, only to discover the seemingly innocent minor character from the beginning as the evil mastermind.

 

Thoughts?

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In RT, we had an entire regiment marked as 'lost' by clerical error. The players hired them to fight for the Emperorin the Expanse. In the Calixis sector, they'd have faced an impersonation charge if they'd insisted on their identity.

There are ways to leave.

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5. Ex-Military isn't 'Ex' after all: This guy is working with the full support of the Departmento Munitorum in a secret, 'black ops' program being spear-headed by a rogue element from the Adeptus Mechanicus to produce superior soldiers. This rogue element isn't radical or heretical - just stern believers that a genetic solution is possible (similar to the Gland Warrior project). This project hasn't been approved by the sector heads, and the CO here is hoping to win immediate approval upon revealing a functional army of super soldiers completely at the behest of the Departmento. However, if this project comes to light before success has been made, his plans will ruined and his lack of getting approval through the official channels will see him ruined, if not killed. Because of this, he'll do whatever it takes to keep officials silent, victims cleaned up, and his Mech h

heads whatever materials they require...

 

There is a canonical "slightly heretical supersoldier programme" producing cloned goons for the Imperial guard - the Afriel Strain. Essentially, they've acquired genetic material from some of the imperium's greatest soldiers and heroes and are trying to...well...mass produce them.

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I think that in the novel "Rebel Winter", it mentions that the Vostroyan Firstborn are enlisted for ten years of service. After the ten years expire they usually re-enlist, but there is a character there who was planning to retire.

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I like your story, but find it a bit unlikely that Vale would be the one monitoring his "hab block experiment" from this close. If I'm a mad scientist and dedicated decades of my life on research on that level, I'd have an underling to let loose a specimen like that. It seems just common sense not to be in the vicinity of an augmented killing machine, when that baby is set loose (unless you have created some deep conditioned loyalty towards you). 

 

In my opinion, your Vale character is too promising too be just used for a oneshot adventure/encounter. There is all kinds of madness he could inflict on the subsector. Perhaps he has already created an animalistic version of his killing machine somewhere else (think Jurassic Park 1 & 2). Perhaps, after abandoning his primary base and loosing a lot of his precious researchresults due to the meddling of the acolytes, he turns to the powers of Chaos to retrieve the lost knowledge (at a small price off course, such as unleashing his army of supersoldiers on a fairly unimportant agroworld).

 

I really think you've created an evil NPC with much promise for a lot of mischief. Why not exploit it all  :lol: (Mwuhahaha)

Edited by Librarian Astelan

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If I remember correctly, in the Missing In Action short story from the Eisenhorn Omnibus, he encounters ex-IG on Sameter, who have gone crazy, and are still fighting their war. He doesn't seem to find it so odd that people have left the Imperial Guard. Also, Belknap, the Doctor that eventually joins up with Ravenor, was an ex-IG field medic.

 

It seems more like retirement is very unlikely, what with the human wave tactic being the usual go-to, but I always pictured it as being very similar to how one would muster out, or opt back in, in real life militaries.

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The Afriel strain aren't heretical.

 

They were produced secretly, grown from a mix of samples from bygone heroes of the imperium some say even Macharius was rumored to have been sampled. The goal was to grow perfect soldiers by replicating the traits that made their genetic forebears into legends, courage, strength, intellect and endurance beyond the common norm.

 

The project was ultimately were a failure. Desipte early successes, the project was finally abandoned after almost every unit produced was lost in the warp or killed in freak accidents. It seems that they (and anyone nearby) are doomed to suffer horrific bad luck.

 

That said, a decent plot could be a certain chap I like to call Fabulous Bill of the thousand sons might want to get his hands on any surviving Arfriel.

Edited by Askil

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Cogniczar, I really like the idea that he is ex-military from Inquisitor's Retinue. It sparked a whole new line of thought. What do you think of this as a possible back-story?

 

The ex-military psycho (who I might name Aureolus Vale) was serving under an Inquisitor of fair power, who was even more clandestine and secret than most (I'm actually considering having the Inquisitor part of Ordo Necros, since I've always wanted to include them in a campaign). During his service under the Inquisitor, he was exposed to even more horrors of the universe, and was twisted by them into madness, possibly even by one of the chaos forces (I'm thinking the Menagerie). His Inquisitor went missing, either due to an even deeper threat/mystery (future plot hook?), and Aureolus went rogue, endeavoring to create the perfect soldier. Utilizing the many contacts and sources that he established during his service, he was able to disappear completely into the middlehive and establish his base of operations. 

 

On a side note, the fact that he was working for another Inquisitor, especially one of an extra secret Ordo or the like, means that the acolytes wouldn't be able to find out his history until very close to the final encounter, or even after. This is significant, because I want him to actually be a seemingly minor character in the opening of events. The opening of the adventure would a test subject who has been discovered. Aureolus has modified of of his most recent subjects fairly successfully, and wanted to test it in a more real world situation, so he pumped the subject full of some psychoactive rage drug of sorts (Is Ghostfire from Iocanthos such a substance?) and let him loose in a housing block. The test subject stormed through the hab block and killed a few citizens, when he was brought down by Aureolus, who was posing as a particularly paranoid individual who simply had a gun near by. While at first Aureolus was simply going to clean up the body and return to the lab, the local enforcers showed up before they were supposed to (maybe someone didn't get bribed enough or something) and he wasn't able to clear out. His false ID and whatever show him to be ex-military, maybe due to an Administratum Error like Visitor Q mentioned (I love that aspect of the Administratum), and so the players don't think much of it. However, after following a series of clues, the players stumble upon his lab, only to discover the seemingly innocent minor character from the beginning as the evil mastermind.

 

Thoughts?

 

I really enjoy that concept. I'm imagine the subject zero would have been drugged with a potent coctail of Ghost Fire, Frenzon, and other drugs to achieve a delusional hostile state, where he perceived mission peremeters with the citizens as his targets. The lead up to the adventure following the revelation the innocent good samaritan at the beginning is actually the nefarious master mind would be a great start. =D

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I have to agree that Vale would not be the one on site to drop his Super Soldier.  It would be smarter if he had a professional killer or 2 on standby to retrieve his baby after they drop him.

 

Take someone like Vorlin Orday, from Rejoice for you are true and maybe be back a few hired guns.  Much better to be on the site and take care of the Super Soldier.  And bring him back to Vale, and well if anything should happen to them..  oh well.

 

And Vale can sit back and watch his test go down, with a Servo skull or 2

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