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Illya
17-10-2009, 07:19
The Giladean 5th

The Homeworld

Giladea is a small planet in the Segmentum Prosperus. The planet is of moderate temperature, with a high humidity. There are both a rainy and a dry season. The former lasts for nine months, making the ground perpetually muddy; this is to the benefit of the native plant life, which flourishes. The trees have adapted to the floods – common on Giladea – and have grown high roots, so that the trees stand as if on stilts. The planet surface is roughly 80% ocean; the dry ground is spread out in several large continents. Many forms of aquatic life flourish here, and they are the main source of food for the population.

There are roughly 1.200.000.000 inhabitants on Giladea. They live in large domes, all built near the sea, some even on it. These are completely covered during the rainy seasons. Fishing boats and large trawlers catch fish and bring them into the town, through large gates in the cities’ perimeters. The domes are large, but the Adeptus Arbites are ever present, patrolling with a heavy hand, and criminality is kept to a minimum. Outside of the domes there are large farmlands, which provide the necessary vegetables and wheat. Over the rest of the lands there is mostly forest and swamp land.

Almost all the domes have a minor spaceport; the capital, Giladea Prime, has a large one. There is a constant flow of cargo ships going to and fro from the planet. Giladean dried fish is a popular source of food in the Prosperus system. As a result, the fishermen are well paid, and satisfied, as are the merchants. The planet is ruled by a governor, appointed by the Imperium. There are nobles, but not many. These are often old families, which have been on Giladea for centuries. They are wealthy and usually own several fishing companies, or lumber or mining facilities, other sources of income for Giladea.

The few – but high – mountain ranges on the planet are rich with various ores, and are covered with mining complexes. Using large machines the miners drill through the outer rock, then use further mechanical equipment to drill out the ore. It is then transported to the smelteries and poured into small bars, then crated and sent off-world, or to construction sites. These same mountains are home to enormous trees, such as the local darkpine. The lumber from these is expensive, due to its hardness and excellent quality, but is still in high demand.

The Giladean people tend to be tall, their skin tanned, with dark hair and grey eyes. There are the usual exceptions, with a lighter shade of hair, and blue or green eyes. Though many live in the city, almost half of the population lives outside the domes, and they are hardened by the natural hazards. Every village or town outside a dome will have a small band of warriors to protect them from the ferocious, wild animals in the immense surrounding forests.

The Giladean Military

The Imperium claims a tithing, as it does from all planets. Giladea is no exception here. Every year thousands of troopers are taken off-world, joining the various crusades, often being absorbed into other regiments. The planetary defence force (PDF), are equipped with standard issue lasrifles and light armour. They are split into regiments of 1000 soldiers; these are separated into squads of about 250. These are then split into smaller units, varying in size. Each squad is usually led by a Lieutenant, each unit by a Master Sergeant. Various troopers in the units, often leaders of specialist units, will be of a higher rank than private.

The ranking system is as follows:

Enlisted
Private
Lance Corporal
Corporal
Sergeant
Gunnery Sergeant
Master Sergeant
Sergeant Major

Officers
Lieutenant
Captain
Major
Lieutenant-Colonel
Colonel
Brigadier-General
Major-General
Lieutenant-General
General

The Giladean military often trains in the forests, and are skilled stealth fighters. They are deadly with their daggers, and notoriously accurate marksmen. Hand to hand combat is also encouraged, and the men (only men are allowed in the military) will often be found wrestling, or practising various forms of martial arts.

Besides training in the forests they practice at sea; owing to Giladea’s large expanses of ocean its people are a skilled seafaring people. They excel at landing parties and that – combined with the stealth they employ – is extremely effective. Naval bases with high security, refusing to be taken by force, can be successfully overcome by a small raiding party of Giladean Marines.

Their latest assignment was on the coastal Fort Bragg where they destroyed two large cannons and killed the heretic leader. All this was accomplished at the loss of only one man, owing to their training in the use of grav-chutes. The men showed a surprising talent for the long drops, and soon each man in the 5th was trained using these chutes. It quickly became their trademark; the 5th dropping into action, clearing the way for mechanised guard regiments.

The off-world army employs dark body armour and light grey uniforms with urban camouflage. Their weapons are sent along as a parting gift from the homeplanet. All regiments going off-world know it is unlikely they will see their homeworld again, and their weapons are kept and treasured. The lasguns are provided with a simple stock, made of darkpine, a tree that grows on the mountain slopes of Giladea. Troopers usually engrave their name in these stocks.

The Adeptus Arbites are well-represented on Giladea. They are extremely strict, and are notoriously efficient in hunting down gangs. In the capital, Giladea Prime, they patrol the streets in full body armour, not because of the necessity, but to crush criminal intentions. A fully armoured and heavily armed Arbites is a menacing sight. They wear the traditional black carapace armour and clothing of the Adeptus Arbites.

The Giladean 5th

Under the leadership of Brigadier-General Fabio Pancrazio, the Giladean 5th has some excellent records. They were a key-element in liberating Vantria XII from a heretic uprising, sneaking through the sewage ways, and assassinating the leaders. Their assault on Fort Imbreis, a coastal fortress, is an applauded act of master strategy.

There are four squads in the 5th:

Captain Alessandro Vittore is leader of Squad Vittore, the stealthy, ruthless specialist squad. They specialize in covert operations, frequently behind enemy lines. All men applying for this squad are put through difficult tests in hand to hand combat, scouting, setting explosives, sharpshooting, and martial arts. This squad is the smallest of the four.

The heavily armoured troopers – those that carry various heavy weapons, like rocket launchers and heavy flamers – are led by Major Dante D'Ercole. They will usually hang back and let the scouts cause some havoc, then move in and soften up the defences for the standard troopers. Usually, the heavy flamers of Squad D'Ercole move in with the advancing troopers.

The two standard and largest squads are led by Lieutenant-Colonel Ermanno Fedele, and Major Andrea Massimo. Though they are called regulars, no Giladean is a mere regular, and their officers treat them accordingly. All troopers are trained in stealth, and close combat. They spend hours in the shooting range, and fighting in the arenas on board their spaceships. The Giladeans are highly trained, and well disciplined troops.

The Officers

Brigadier-General Fabio Pancrazio is a stout man of average height, in his late forties. He has terrible scars down the side of his face, where he was splattered with Tyranid bio-acid. This also cost him his left eye, which was replaced with an optical lense. It rather suits him, giving him a strangely aristocratic look. The Pancrazio family is one of the older families on Giladea, and Brigadier-General Fabio is a proud, noble man. He does not believe in using his valuable men as cannon fodder, and has found himself in trouble several times with his superior officers. One of these arguments came from a time when the regiment was assigned a commissar, something he felt was an insult; his men were disciplined, and had no need for a commissar. Eventually he conceded, and a political officer was assigned to the 5th. Pancrazio is respected and loved by the men that serve him.

Commissar Stephane Dargraud is as unlike a commissar as an ork is from an eldar. He is a jovial, cheerful man. In his early forties, he is tall and lean. His short blond hair is in stark contrast to the dark hair of the Giladeans. He enjoys the occasional drink, and can often be found with the men, celebrating a recent victory. He is immensely popular with them all, and from that perspective he is successful in lifting morale. Dargraud doesn’t like shooting his men, though in regiments he was assigned to previously he has found it necessary. The Giladeans have yet to fail him.

Major Dante D'Ercole is short and broadly-set, and in his late thirties. He has no hair, and is always smelt before he is seen. The stench of prometheum and cigars hangs about him; he can always be seen with a thick, brown cigar clenched firmly between his teeth. Of the four squad leaders, he is considered the rogue. A tendency to disobey orders and follow his instincts almost lost him his rank. He believes in leading by example, and in battle he is most commonly found hefting a flamer.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ermanno Fedele is a tall, thin man. He is in his early forties, and has thin, greying hair. Fedele is a strict man, perhaps the strictest of the officers. He hates disobedience, and the troopers under his command call him the “Duke.” The Fedele family is an old, wealthy family, though Ermanno did not reap the benefits of this. He left home at a young age and signed up for the military as soon as he was old enough. He worked hard to get his rank, and despises those who receive it by wealth or nobility. Sour and perpetuously grumpy he is still a fair man, and treats his men with a firm, yet just hand.

Major Andrea Massimo is the most popular of the officers. A giant of a man, he has short black hair, and a huge moustache. He is friendly and, like D'Ercole, likes to lead by example. "Never tell a soldier to do something you wouldn't do yourself!" That saying has made him do some pretty hazardous things, though he has yet to regret saying it. He usually keeps a flask of liquor in his jacket pocket, and Commissar Dargraud often comes by for a drink. He is famous for his practical jokes when off-planet; one rumour says he swapped one of Fedele’s aspirins with a foaming tablet. Whether this is true or not, no one knows. When asked, he merely chuckles.

Captain Alessandro Vittore is the youngest of the officers. Only 29 years old, he has managed to earn the rank of Captain by skill alone. He was a volunteer at the age of sixteen, and quickly made a name for himself as a natural scout. He is tall, but lean, with a narrow face, short black hair, and green eyes. He moves with a natural grace. His hands are deft, with long, dextrous fingers. One of his men once said he could steal your false teeth without you noticing it.

A natural leader, he quickly rose in rank. Alessandro is a disciplined man, and he likes to keep rules. Only in extreme circumstances – which often occur behind enemy lines – will he follow his instincts and training. His men are all hand-selected troopers, each chosen for their skill. Alessandro denies himself the luxuries of a captain, and sleeps, eats, trains and sits with his men. He is addressed as “Captain” by the men; this is equally a display of respect as of rank.

The men in Squad Vittore are like brothers; they frequently operate in dangerous situations, and need to trust and rely upon each other. Losses to the squad are deeply felt. Alessandro knows each man personally, by name, background and personality. He knows who to put where, with what weapon and with which task. Squad Vittore has amassed dozens of successful missions on their record, the latest being the infiltration of a Tau base where they destroyed three huge, long-distance railguns. Their most applauded achievement was on the deathworld of Tigris.

Alessandro and his men were dropped behind enemy lines, in this particular case those of an orkish horde. They remained there, in the sweltering heat of the jungle, for three months, as long as the campaign against the Waaagh! lasted. They lowered the morale of the orks by setting up snipers, Alessandro placing them in groups of three. They systematically took out leaders, beginning at the top, and going down. It was Alessandro himself who put a high-powered slug through the skull of the warlord. The men were applauded for their work, and tacticians said that without that blow to the Ork morale, the war could have lasted years.

Currently the Giladean 5th is one of many regiments on the Retribution class battleship, The Emperor's Fist. The ship is part of a large crusade, led by Warmaster Josef Thorsen, devoted to freeing the Sector Fortiam from various threats. Several planets are inhabited by orks; the Tau have claimed a few for the greater good; Eldar craftworlds have passed though, and continue to do so, while Dark Eldar raiding parties terrorize the locals. Heretics rise in uproar against the Emperor, and Tyranid forerunners have invaded a few planets. There is much work to be done, and the Giladean 5th is up to it.

Illya
17-10-2009, 07:20
Just some fluff I wrote for an Imperial Guard army. It was inspired by the Elysian Drop Troops, back when they were new. I never did manage to collect an army of them, however. :(