In case you were wondering, some of the parts to make my groovy Rough Riders were sculpted by Rob at Curious Constructs.

Friday, 22 February 2013

An extract from the Personal Journal of Commissar-General Marwood

The new campaign rules are sorted, a new army is built, but before we go to war it would be good to find out a bit about the heros that will lead the way...

A personal chronology of events leading up to the destruction of the Imperial Navy Frigates Hansa and Hahndorfcommencing the battle on Hotel Delta Eight Fifty Five Twelve B.

Day 31:
Sitting in my cabin on the Barbarossa – I managed a minute to myself.  Finally, this is the last leg of my trip. All I have to do now is rendezvous with the three frigates; the Hansa, Heidelberg and Hahndorf, as they prepare to leave the Reductus Sector, conduct one last DPPR whilst on board the Hansa, and then enjoy the ride to Praetoria. From there, it is a short jump back to Bakka, back to comfort, back to my glum desk – just the way I like it. This trip hasn’t been particularly rotten; I only had to administrate the ‘cleansing’ of two Psykers. Cleansing. After all these years I’m prepared to say it; I murder people. It’s my job. ‘Commissar-General’? What they really mean is ‘Chief Executioner’.

Oh, I’m just misanthropic because I’m coming down off my last hit of Obscura. What made it worse was that I couldn’t smoke it like I normally would – blimy, that would be a dead giveaway. No, to keep it hidden I injected it - and wow what a hit. I really should just stick to some strong Recaf until it passes. Oh throne, my supplies aren’t that low. I can afford another few hours of pleasant dreams, after all, I deserve it.

Day 33 -Morning:
I just boarded the Hansa. There was all the usual pageantry but finally I have been given some peace and quiet. That second dose of Obscura yesterday... no, the day before... or whenever... was NOT a wise idea. I spent two hours this morning on my Sniff-Musk just so that I was in a reasonable state to transfer from the Barbarossa to the Hansa. And that wasn’t all; I have been taking swigs of my medical flask during the whole transfer. Naturally everyone expects it to be some tonic to ward of warp sickness, but I filled it with Theosophist's Philtre. It dishes out a far stronger punch than a gallon of plain old Amasec. Only the common alcoholic drinks Amasec, me however, I have finer tastes. I have a contact on Archaos in the Calixis Sector that keeps me well supplied. It is a thing of beauty. The only issue is that now my head is throbbing like a war drum. I think I have some Kalma in my stash... Arr serenity.

Day 33 -Evening:
I had to give the embarked regiment a cursory inspection this afternoon. It is the 7th Rayzor-Winged Hassar, a regiment of the Prutenian Iron Horse.  Currently they are at only 1/5th strength and much of their command staff has been lost on campaign on Mortant (Reductus Sector). They are returning to Prutenia in the Praetorian Sub-Sector for reforming. Before the inspection I was feeling some of the effects of the Kalma so I took some Grinweed. Obviously again I couldn’t smoke it so I took it as a tea. Unfortunately I may have taken a bit too much and so I had a ridiculous grin on my face for the whole inspection. I think the Teutons found it a bit morbid, as if I was about to execute them all and then laugh about it. I write ‘Teutons’ because it seems to be common place to refer to them as that rather than ‘Prutenians’. I guess it’s in reference to the old Holy Teuton Empire that Prutenia was once a part of.

As for the regiment and the men I found them to be quite impressive. They seemed to be a people that value professionalism, aggressiveness, militarism, and conservatism - every Commissar’s dream solider. As one of the senior NCO’s said to me “Where some states have an army, the Prutenian Army has a state!” I grinned at this, but then again I grinned at everything this afternoon. Stupid Grinweed.

Day 34 -Morning:
There is no putting it off, I have to do the last DPPR today. Ohhh! The dreaded 'Decennial Psykana Postural Review', AKA Commissariat Psy-Posturography. Thanks to the Departmento Munitorum all Psykers are required to complete one every 10 years. It is essentially just a screening test. Originally a high score would alert the Inquisition to possible warp taint. An Explicator or Interrogator would be sent, followed by a Legate Investigator where evidence would be mounted for execution by an Inquisitor. In reality, the process proved to be too long and bureaucratic. The Inquisition did not have the number of agents required and typically an identified ‘possible threat’ had completely manifested long before any Inquisitoral agents had arrived. As a result the current practised method for conducting a Psy-Posturography concludes with immediate execution upon the issuing of a high score - at the discretion of the testing Commissar. Since this practice became orthodox, the Scholastia Psykana has lobbied that the rank of the Psyker must be matched by reviewing Commissar. Thus, any senior Primaris Psykers DPPR’s must be conducted by a Commissar-General, hence my boresome journey conducting DPPR’s.

It’s just that… they are just… well, sh*t!

It has been scheduled for after lunch. The subject is Primaris Battle-Psykers Lawrenz Valentin Leonardu Marjanu Azzopardi – I now right, what a mouth full! I met Primaris Azzopardi briefly when I boarded. Just the standard old freak or bolt magnet. I have decided that before conducting the DPPR I will slip away back to my cabin and take a quick hit of Onslaught. I know a ‘battle drug’ sounds bad but it really just increases the user's perceptions and reaction time, nothing too malicious. It’s illegal because it is said to lead to a permanent reduction in mental capacity but I haven’t found that to be the case. And really I only use it sparingly.

Day 34 -Evening:
Well it’s done. But Frek! Frag! Feth! There is trouble! Emperor awful trouble!

So as I noted this Morning, I slipped back to my cabin for the hit of Onslaught before attending the DPPR. But I must have been in a hurry because I left my cabin door ajar, or maybe I just didn’t lock it? I don’t know. It might have been the effects of the Onslaugh. Anyway the point is that I left my whole stash out on my bed. I mean all of it was there. I had just tipped my Confidential Commissarial Case out on the bed to find the Onslaught. When I got back my door was slightly open and yes stuff was missing. Frek! Frek! FREK! I need to take something to calm down. Gladstones! My sweet yellow Gladstones! Just pop one under the tongue and welcome the sweet sense of warm blissful well-being. Arrrh. Ok. This will all be OK.

Day 35:
So I have been through everything and the things missing are some Rotgut, Wild Snake, Second Best, Spook, Flects, a bottle of Sacra and a bottle of Tranq. The Sacra and Tranq are just strong alcohol and while I’ll miss them it’s not the end of the Emperors Holy Reign. The Rotgut, Wild Snake, Second Best and Spook probably also aren’t all that big of an issue either. Yes they are illegal substances but they could find their way onto an Imperial Navy vessel in any common Voidmans kit. The real problem is the Flects. They are psycho-active pieces of glass that have been exposed to the powers of a warp storm for several centuries. When one looks into the piece of glass they see a "reflection" of the Warp. I have them for the sense of euphoria I feel upon gazing into its surface but they have been documented as being able to drive a human being insane. They are extremely rare and exquisite objects that will draw serious attention. The sort of serious attention that warrants the cleansing of whole ships or worlds.  I have to find them. I just need... I just need to smoke a few Penshel Seeds to get myself in the right head space.

Day 37 -Morning:
Yesterday, aided by the Prutenian Regimental Commissars, I commenced a ship wide such for contraband. The Commissar teams found all sort of stuff, as expected, but none of my drugs or the Flects. I left the trivial matters of punishments and executions to the Regimental Commissars – I have far more important things to worry about. Thinking about exactly what was missing there may be a clue. The Spook! It is used to increases psychic potential so the thief must be a psyker! I only carry it so I can trade it for less common drugs. Anyway, it means that Primaris Azzopardi must be the culprit!

Day 38 -Afternoon:
I saw Primaris Azzopardi yesterday night. He knows about the drugs. I know He knows. I could see it in his eyes. He didn’t say anything. He is just biding his time. The worst of it is He knows that I know that He knows. We are playing a dangerous game of Gyrinx and Mouse but I am not a mouse, I am a predator. A dangerous predator. No, it is me that is biding his time! Soon the Commissars that I have searching the ship will find the Flects' where He has them and then I will execute him. I will teach him to cross a Commissar- General!

Hansa's Navigator 

Day 39:
Unfortunately the search for contraband had to be stopped last night. The ship is experiencing severe warp turbulence and it is becoming difficult to freely move around on-board. According to one of the bridge duty officers the ships Navigator has been ordering sudden erratic manoeuvres to shake off a warp beast that has caught our sent. The Gellar fields are holding but we are having a rough time. I think it’s time for some Obscura again.

Day 40:
Last night there was a fracture in the Gellar fields. The Immaterium leached into the hull causing Empyrean Death to about 15% of the crew including the Navigator. We were lucky to break warp and make it back to real space. The Navigator was found with traces of Spook on him as well as the Rotgut, Wild Snake and Second Best. The alcohol was likely sold off to sailors. And the Flects, well they were found there too. The duty officers that found them didn’t know what they were but Primaris Azzopardi did and he has them now. It is likely that the Navigator used the Flects whilst in warp transit and that attracted the warp beast to our ship leading to his own death. It serves the Navigator right – sweet justice from the Emperor for thieving them in the first place. We have damage to most of the systems on the ship. With all of our erratic manoeuvring we broke formation with the two other frigates so it will probably be a day or two before they come to our assistance. We are currently sitting out in what is mostly frontier space or wilderness zone. There is a single inter-sector system not too far from our location and so the Captain is slowly manoeuvring us to it so that repairs can be made in a stable orbit.

Day 42:
We made orbit around Hotel Delta Eight Fifty Five Twelve B. It seems to be a lonely little single planet system. There is a small Imperial presence of the surface- mostly just outposts and research stations. There isn’t much on record about the planet but the duty officer did find a survey report which was interesting. Tomorrow I will journey down to the surface for an ‘inspection of the facilities’. I’m actually dying to just get off this ship and away from Primaris Azzopardi. To be honest I don’t think he knows anything about my stash, but I just don’t like the man and want some space. Also the freedom to smoke some... well, whatever I feel like at the time, would not go a miss.
Commissar-General Marwood looking down at  the planet 
Hotel Delta Eight Fifty Five Twelve B
Survey report for Hotel Delta Eight Fifty Five Twelve B

Day 43 - Mid-morning:
I made planet fall this morning just before the Heidelberg and Hahndorf arrived. It will still be a few days before the small fleet can recommence our voyage, so in the meantime I’m looking forward to being distracted here on the surface.  When I’m done I will request to join one of the other ships and hope for an uneventful conclusion to my travels.

Here on the surface I have landed at Complex 23. It’s a small outpost consisting of a ‘Fire Base’ research centre flanked by a small Imperial Bastion on one side and a Command Tower on the other. I have been met by a small contingent of Troths and some Colonial Troopers. The Troth are lobbying Terra to make the planet a new Troth colony but I can’t see it happening. We can’t have abhumans setting up shop willy-nilly all over the galaxy!

I have been accompanied to the surface by a squad of Prutenians and a Chimera to transport us around. I have also been joined by several Sentinels to scout out tracks for the Chimera as the surface is a little overgrown.

Day 43 Afternoon:
Frek, this situation changed quick! One minute it’s all happy tours of the facilities and then BAM, we are about to go into combat.

So briefly; the ships in orbit detected a large bow wave and thought it was a relief fleet but it wasn’t – it was an Adeptus Astartes Strike Cruiser. One of frigates attempted to hail the Cruiser but it unexpectedly powered up its weapons and fired on the Hahndorf destroying it in one salvo. From what I can work out the Hansa was damaged and began to fall to the surface but the Heidelberg immediately fled to the warp and escaped. We got a single message from them before they left; “Will return with fleet”. We saw streaks in the sky from landing ships or drop pods and knew that Astartes were coming for us – for no apparent reason. It was then that the Chimera pilot said that he had received a transmission from here on the surface. Apparently Primaris Azzopardi had also journeyed to the surface this morning with a small detachment of the Prutenians and they were making their way to us.

Day 43 -30 minutes later:
Primaris Azzopardi has arrived at Complex 23 and he has brought three light tanks and a squad of Ogryns with him. Why did he come to the surface with three light tanks? And who would want to ride around in a transport with Ogryns? It’s certainly not the typical escort that someone would pick for a ride across the countryside. If we survive this I will have to ask him but unfortunately we have more pressing issues.

We can see Astartes in the distance.

I’m not one for praying – I have never been that sort of Commissar – but just now I couldn’t help but mutter a prayer to the Emperor for deliverance. At that moment I felt my fingers run over a smooth cylindrical object in my coat pocket. I discreetly pulled it out. It was a small glass vile that read “Fury”.

I chuckled as I began rolling my right shoulder and flexing my power gloved hand, remembering exactly how it was that I had become so addicted to all these substances in the first place.

The Prutenian Sergeant, or Feldwebel as they are called, glanced at me to see what I was smirking at. I smiled at him, “Oh I’m just loosening up. Now come and watch this old Commissar punch a Space Marine in the face”.

"We can see Astartes in the distance"

The first battle kicks off on the 25th. Wish me luck. :)


  1. Superb writing sir, a nicely characterful setup. And Day 37 has one of my favourte Guard pics of all time

    1. Thanks Kieran, that's very kind of you. I can't bring myself to paint up a character until I know a bit about who he is. So hopefully I can get him panted up before he is killed off!
      and yes that pic is awesome!

  2. Mega. Despite his failings, I quite like him. I'm sure Shona Na M'rcee could use another political officer, if ever he finds the IG a bit restrictive.

    1. ...and if he survives the next series of engagements! Thanks Zzzzzz, I do like flawed war heroes.

  3. Very nice fluff! Best of luck for the battle - and I concur that the pictures are excellent!

    1. Cheers Scipio! It was a little bit longer then I intended but I enjoyed writing it so much that I didn't edit it down. Now to pack up my model case for tomorrow!!