Battlefleet Victorum

From 1d4chan
Jump to: navigation, search

Battlefleet Victorum has guarded the worlds of the Victorum Sector since the time of the Great Crusade. It is the Imperium's shield, the first line of defense against the dangers of the galactic dark. The influence of its high officers spans the sector, from feudal worlds where kings give up their children to the Navy's most menial positions to gilded hive cities where Navigators vie for distant postings that will seal their House’s fate.

Despite its power and wealth, Battlefleet Victorum is hard-pressed to answer the threats now encroaching upon the Victorum Sector. The bulk of its strength was found in escorts and light cruisers, classes much desired to shepherd the vast fleet of tradeships that are the generators of Victorum's wealth. While this mix of ships is well-suited to the warp patrols and pirate hunting operations that typify the Segmentum Tempestus, the losses of The Tyrannic War led Segmentum Command to strip Battlefleet Victorum of many heavier warships and escort squadrons, sending them to sectors whose ships had been lost in the Battle of Macragge. These losses have left the fleet less able to meet recent challenges to its dominance, particularly on the fringes of the sector.

A Brief History[edit]

Battlefleet Victorum was once a by-word for honour, tenacity, and skill. But it fell from such lofty heights long ago, and the reputation of its betrayals has haunted it ever since. 'Twas the Age of Apostasy brought this storied establishment low; torn between faith and heresy, power and responsibility, Battlefleet Victorum went to war, first against the adherents and followers of Battlefleet Bakka, then against itself.

Early Centuries[edit]

The hallowed service sprang from the union of three precursor traditions: The Imperial Navy task force which prosecuted the Seventh Tempestus Crusade, the indigenous naval forces assembled by Saint Castor, and the descendants of the Imperial Army which survived the interregnum that followed the Horus Heresy. In this way, a battle-forged legacy of carrier deployment and commerce raiding would form the nucleus of the tactical and strategic thinking of Battlefleet Victorum.

Like many sectors of the Segmentum Tempestus, Battlefleet Victorum's primary foes were not enemy battlefleets but pirates and raiders. Suppressing piracy, escorting convoys, and strengthening the grasp of the Imperium upon the sector would be the primary challenges faced by the fleet in its early days. Shaped by the experiences of crusading against ramshackle void fleets and hunting down lone marauders, the strategies and theories developed thereby were broadly indicative, though unique in detail, of the evolving corpus of Segmentum Tempestus naval strategy. This collection of theories would eventually be dubbed the "Insular School," for it was invariably championed by officers whose primary experiences were limited to the Segmentum Tempestus. In time, the sector naval base of Gareox would emerge as the locus of the Insular's School's political and material influence, blessed by its proximity to the Segmentum Solar and Holy Terra.

Though sidelined by their lack of influence in the Terran court, Victorum remained a powerful voice for the Insular School within the Segmentum itself. Far-ranging squadrons led spearheads for Rogue Trader expeditions, while ingenious captains won fame and acclaim throughout the stars for their skill in ship-to-ship duels against xenos raiders of the outer dark. The ideas and principles maintained by the fleet became a subject of study and admiration among Imperial tacticians.

The Reign of Blood[edit]

Factions[edit]

Like any organization in the Imperium, Battlefleet Victorum is riven by factions and infighting. Whether they seek fame, fortune, or freedom, each faction represents both an opportunity for rich patronage and dangerous censure.

Noble Chancers[edit]

The Noble Chancers
Stronghold: Lyon's Spindle, Avalonus
Ideology: Fraternity among officers, promotion of taste, convivial partying
Faction Leader: Primus inter pares Admiral Aloysius Leo-Khan
Symbol: A pair of dice, showing one starburst each
Colors: Black and gold
Nickname: "The Band of Brothers"
When every morning brought a noble chance

And every chance brought out a noble knight

-Anonymous

Part social club, part dueling society, the Noble Chancers see it as their purpose to promote brotherhood and foster frank discussion amongst the leading officers of the battlefleet. Highly selective in their membership, and discerning in their tastes regarding food, wine, and company, they have striven mightily to remain aloof from naval politics since their founding nearly 8,000 years ago. That is not to say they don't know how to play the game. Many of its members are also supporters of one faction or another, and talk of sector politics, politely divorced from battlefleet politics, is a common theme of discussion around the feasting table. However, no brother officer would risk the convivial fraternity of The Noble Chancers for short-sighted gains; such a person would not have been invited in the first place.

Originally established by the surviving captains of Saint Castor's crusade, the Noble Chancers are an officer's club of high repute, a support organization for retirees, and an informal body for the sponsorship of promising young officers.

Rosellan Optimates[edit]

Rosellan Optimates
Stronghold: St. Cyrus Tower, Port Rosella
Ideology: Naval conservatism, Avalonian supremacy, aristocratic privilege
Faction Leader: Lord-Admiral Tyborius Leo-Khan
Symbol: A sun with twelve spiraling rays, a rose in the center
Colors: Teal and magenta
Nickname: "Rosepluckers"

"But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?"

Logisticians[edit]

The Spinward Society
Stronghold: Poseidon Naval Academy, Poseidon
Ideology:
Faction Leader:
Symbol: An aquila clutching a four-pointed star
Colors: Orange
Nickname: "Anchorites"

A school of thought found most prominently among graduates of the Poseidon Naval Academy. Shaped by the history and experiences of the Poseidon Run, the Anchorites are notable for their emphasis on the importance of logistical preparations and maintaining spaceborne vigilance that borders on paranoia.

"But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?"

Valorites[edit]

The Right and Valorous Crusaders Club
Stronghold:
Ideology:
Faction Leader: Rear-Admiral Michiel Clifford
Symbol:
Colors: Red and gold
Nickname: "The Red Prows","Cliffordites"

Now-defunct, this small band of reform-minded officers were allies of the Rostrum Conclave, a body of Inquisitors associated with the Recongregator doctrine. They were key players in Qatasoum's War and were slain with their warships and crews.

"But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?"