Lieutenant Hywel Blake found himself squinting as he made his way down corridor 7C towards the briefing room. The lighting throughout the crew decks was, as always, almost offensively bright. It almost made him think that the shipís tech priests were taking the metaphor of the Emperorís Light and trying to apply it literally, except that the red-robed machine men didnít really believe in the Emperor. Blake felt a twinge of disgust and unease at the fact that so much of the day-to-day working of the Imperium relied on such wilful unbelievers.
He looked at his wrist-chron, which was synced to the clocks of the Imperial Palace on Terra, as were all shipboard chronometers across the Imperium. The platoon would be just finishing their morning Combat Integration training now. Drawn from the cream of their planetís PDF, no-one doubted that they were already professional soldiers, but they had needed time to train alongside the other regiments they were to be deployed with when they reached their destination.
The 94th were a mixed gender unit, like all Delphic regiments. The lieutenant had heard that some planets enforced segregation in their armed forces, not because one sex was any less able than the other, but because the men often developed hero complexes and took unnecessary risks to protect their female counterparts. Fortunately, Delphi had a long enough tradition of women being treated as equal in the PDF for this not to be an issue. Of course, gender-integration within units threw up new problems of its own; for example, lieutenant Blake was fairly sure that privates Corbec and Martos were frakking each other after hours, and he would have them both lashed if he ever got solid proof of it. Rules of conduct, after all, were rules.
They were now only 24 hours from the Schattenwelt jump point, and Emperor willing they would soon be taking the fight to the xenos who had dared to invade His realm. More importantly, they were now close enough for their astropaths to liase with those on Schattenwelt on a relatively instantaneous basis, allowing them to gather more detailed information on the current tactical situation, and the nature of the xenos invaders. This had allowed the senior officers to plan their landings in detail, and now it was time for Blake to pass that information on to his platoon.
Threading his way through the warren of corridors that made up C deck, he passed a tech-priest who was directing two maintenance servitors in lifting off a plasteel wall panel to get at the cables behind.
"While you're at it," he said to the red-robed figure, "Would you mind dialling the lights down?"
The tech-priest turned to look at him, most of his face hidden by the cog-stencilled hood of his robes. He stared mutely at Blake, in apparent incomprehension. Blake shook his head.
"Never mind." he said, and walked on.
Hello and welcome aboard the HDMS Governor Seydlitz, your troop transport en route to the Imperial planet of Schattenwelt. 3 months ago astropaths across the sector received a distress call from the world, saying that it had come under attack from an unfamiliar alien force.
Within a week, the subsector capital had authorised the mobilisation of a counterinvasion force, and PDF regiments were selected from Delphi, Corrisul and Sancta Heroica for this duty. You and your fellow players are soldiers of the 94th Delphic Triarii, formerly the cream of your planet's PDF, now part of His Divine Majesty's Imperial Guard, recently tithed to the relief force. Some planets in the Imperium can boast of centuries or even millenia of relatively uninterrupted peace, but Delphi is not one of those worlds. A decade ago an Ork Waaagh! swept through the system, and it was only through a gruelling 5 year campaign that the greenskins were finally expelled. Thus, many of the Triarii will have been blooded against the Orks.
The 94th, though amalgamated as one regiment for the purposes of the Schattenwelt intervention force, actually consists of several PDF units from different areas of Delphi. Hence not all of its men will be identically equipped, and if you want to play a "counts as" Catachan/Vostroyan/whatever from an appropriate part of Delphi then that is perfectly acceptable. Your characters will be part of the same platoon, though not necessarily of the same squad. Delphi is a civilised world with a variety of climates and degrees of urbanisation (though many of its major cities are still in ruins after the Ork invasion), with gravity approximately equivalent to that of Earth and a year about 2/3 as long.
SUGGESTED CHARACTER TEMPLATE:
Rank: Private, lance corporal, corporal or sergeant
Age: 18-60 standard
Appearance: Picture and/or description are both fine
Equipment: Weapons, armour and personal items
Personality: If desired
Bio: Brief history
Your immediate superiors will be Lt Blake and Colour Sgt Pilgrim. You will be supervised somewhat more distantly by Commissar Schenke, who may drop in from time to time to ensure that the Triarii are doing their duty to the Emperor.
Name: Hywel Blake
Age: 37 Delphic (25 standard)
Appearance: A tall, mahogany-skinned man from Delphi's equatorial region, Blake has an athletic figure and a round, honest face. Usually animated and expressive, his face hardens into a determined mask under combat conditions. His dark brown eyes have an appraising quality, and he seldom blinks.
Personality: Blake is everything that an Imperial Guard officer should be - pious, determined, and cool under pressure. Though young he is not inexperienced, and has led his unit for 2 years in urban pacification duties before the regiment was submitted for the Schattenwelt emergency tithe. While aloof and strict as an officer must be, he has the trust of his men because they know he has both their interests and the interests of the wider Imperium at heart.
Name: Mattias Pilgrim
Rank: Colour sergeant (as such, you will address him as "Colour" or "Sir". Calling him "Sergeant" is technically a demotion and will earn you a dressing down)
Age: 69 Delphic (46 standard)
Appearance: A thickset, grizzled individual with ice blue eyes and a severe cast to his jaw, Pilgrim strikes a rather intimidating figure. His jet-black hair is cut short and a carefully trimmed beard frames his mouth.
Personality: Pilgrim looks forbidding, and the gruff manner with which he greets strangers only reinforces that appearance. However, to those who have known him longer and earned his respect he is an affable and perceptive platoon sergeant. Having fought through and survived the Ork invasion of Delphi, he has a well-deserved reputation for doing everything in his power to make sure his men come back alive.
Name: Joseph Schenke
Rank: Junior Commissar
Age: 39 Delphic (26 standard)
Appearance: Schenke is a tall and wiry man with dark hair and angular features. His face is quite unreadable when he wants it to be; this does not mesh well with his slightly offbeat sense of humour, as it can make it difficult to tell when he is joking.
Personality: Despite his young age, Schenke carries himself with a natural confidence and authority. Unlike some commissars he understands the importance of tact, and does not interfere with the normal chain of command unless he deems it necessary. When he does step in he leads by example, and while he is quick to applaud success, he is just as quick to punish failure.