The Terrax Guard
Terrax is the site of a major Schola Progenium facility, the Schola Excubitos. The Schola Progenium train many Imperial agents for war, notably Storm Troopers and Commissars, and their methods are rigorous and effective. The tithed regiments raised on Terrax have been have been trained under the auspices of the Scholae Excubitos and are truly moulded in its image almost as an entire regiment of Commissars.
The Terrax System
Terrax is a bleak cluster of planets orbiting a decaying Red Giant. The system is made up of four planets, each of which can make a good claim as being a Dead World – perhaps it was this blasted landscape that drew the Schola Ecubitos to claim the system. Terrax Prime and Terrax Seccundus are the furthest planets from the dying star, and these are the only two planets in the system with permanent Imperial settlements. Their uneven elliptical orbits, caused by the fluctuating gravity well of the star create a confusing orbital path, with Terrax Prime occasionally having a closer proximity to than Terrax Seccundus, which was closer to the star than Terrax Prime when the system was discovered. The outer crusts of the two planets have suffered greatly to the twisting and changing gravity, to the extent that the crusts are less akin to tectonic plates than to the sands of a desert. Terrax Prime is the only planet in the system to support its own orbiting bodies, with three small fortress moons on a slow orbital path around the planet’s equator, providing a perfect defence grid for the planet. The remaining two worlds of the Terrax system are Feirus and Moloch, both located significantly closer to the star than Terrax Prime and Seccundus. Feirus is a volcanic world; wracked by magma storms and ion lightning, making it a treacherous planet that no-one can expect to survive on for more than a few days. Finally there is Moloch, the closest planet to the star and yet strangely far calmer than Feirus – for Moloch’s crust is a lattice of tunnels and caverns, some of them incredibly vast. Imperial Adepts have as yet been unable to explain this bizarre geological phenomenon, but nevertheless it provides an ideal training ground for the Schola Excubitos.
The Schola Excubitos
The unique conditions presented by the Terrax system were perfect for the Schola Excubitos to establish itself – recruits could be trained and tested in some of the harshest environments known to the Imperium. The primary Excubitos facility is built into the secondary moon of Terrax Prime, which generally agreed upon as being the most stable of the bodies orbiting Terrax. Terrax Prime and Seccundus, while being more akin to Dead Worlds, are home to small adamantium mining colonies and low-level Hive structures. Such desolate planets produce hardy citizens – perfect for induction into the Imperial Guard. The tithed regiments from Terrax have a unique relationship with the Schola Excubitos – the Excubitos tithe manpower and resources from the Terrax planets, and in exchange the Excubitos assists in the training of new Terrax regiments. The result being each new regiment of Terrax Guard leaves the system with a high level of training and expertise, far above that of most other “fresh” Imperial Guard regiments, moulded into the image of the Commissars, and accompanied by the agents of the Excubitos. It is not uncommon for the Commissars accompanying these regiments to select the best soldiers, those most adherent to the Imperial Creed, and return with them to the Terrax Schola Excubitos for further training, inducting them into the ranks of the Terrax Praetorians. When Terrax is called upon to make a more substantial contribution to the Imperial Guard, the Terrax Guard are always accompanied by large numbers of Commissars and their Praetorians, who use large conflicts as a means of pushing themselves to reach their full potential, and to eventually promote the Praetorians to full Commissar status. As such, it is not uncommon for a man of Terrax to be recruited into a tithed regiment, selected by the Commissars for additional training to join the ranks of the Praetorians and then, after years of warfare and adherence to the Imperial Creed to become a Commissar teaching or leading the latest tithed regiment from Terrax. The system breeds fine, fearless and potent soldiers, all of whom are intensely proud of their heritage and their manifest destiny as Commissars of the Emperor.
The Terrax Regiments
On the battlefield the Terrax Guard are a potent fighting force, quite unlike other Imperial Guard regiments. Every soldier is well trained, well equipped and utterly devoted to the Imperial Creed. The faith of a simple Terrax infantry platoon is enough to put other Guard regiments to shame, and they take immense pride in this, fighting ever harder to prove themselves worthy in the eyes of their Commissar teachers. Terrax Guard regiments are always lead by a particularly fiery and stoic individual, chosen from the Officers by the Commissars. If he performs well, then promotion and respect will fill his future. If not, then he suffers the fate of all those found wanting. These Guard regiments are always supported by units of Praetorians and a handful of Commissars, though they make a point of separating themselves from the command structure, preferring to leave command of the army to the Officer in charge so that they may better observe and instruct the regiment. The Officer will issue the Praetorians with instructions and leave them to get on with it, confident of their ability to carry out their orders to the letter and without failure. Similarly, the Commissars are informed of the battle plan, but from that point their actions are out of the control of the Officer in charge, ensuring that he does not overly rely on the Commissars during the battle. The Commissars meanwhile, will roam the battlefield offering leadership and fighting prowess where they deem it necessary, and continue their instruction of the regiment. After all, what better place to test your students than in the heat of a live firefight?
Thanks for taking the tie to read all that - it's my work in progress fluff for the Terrax Guard regiment I am setting my sights on. All comments are welcome, be as critical as you like! (Would a budding Commissar General ask for anything less? ) There will be an accompanying army list for a 2000pts regiment going up later tongiht. Cheers guys.