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. While the large volume of void traffic and the attendant wealth of the sector fueled its growth beyond the size of most sector battlefleets, much of its strength was concentrated in escorts and light cruisers. While this mix of ships is well-suited to the warp patrols and pirate hunting operations that typify the Segmentum Tempestus, the losses and subsequent requisitions of The Tyrannic War drained Battlefleet Victorum of both escorts and capital ships, a situation worsened by the rising threat of full-scale void war.
Battlefleet Victorum once took a place of prominence in the crusades of the Segmentum Tempestus. Far-ranging were her ships and well-respected were her warriors. 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.
A Brief History
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.
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. From the beginning, a battleforged legacy of commerce raiding and the skillful use of attack craft dominated the tactical and strategic thinking of Battlefleet Victorum.
Like many sectors of the Segmentum Tempestus, the duties of the fleet require a focus on anti-piracy and small flotilla tactics. Shaped by the experiences of crusading against ramshackle void fleets and hunting down lone marauders, the strategies and theories developed by the Battlefleet Victorum were broadly indicative, though unique in detail, of the evolution 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. The locus of the Insular School’s political and material influence was the Sector Naval base of Gareox, far to the galactic north and close to the imperial heartlands of the Segmentum Solar.
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.
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.
The Noble Chancers
Part-drinking group, part-duelling society, The Noble Chancers are considered the least dangerous faction within the battlefleet. Highly selective in their membership, and discerning in their tastes regarding food, wine, and company, they have striven mightily to remain free of the curse of politics.
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.
Representing orthodoxy and authority, Roseplucker is a common nickname for the tendency of older, more established lineages of officers to strive for fame, power, and wealth, especially as it relates to their posting to the Sector Naval Base of Port Rosella.
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.
A term denoting a captain or officer of rank who makes the capture of xenos raiders their overwhelming concern. Many such officers care only the bare minimum for showing the flag or defending a system, preferring to spend their lives prowling the darkness beyond the Imperium. Given the preponderance of scout frigates in the battlefleet, Voidrunners are among the most numerous and politically unified faction, and have often exerted their influence to secure supplies, bases, and the freedom to roam.
A faction with deep-rooted ties to the powerful Rogue Trader dynasties of Victorum. It counts many lesser scions of the dynasties among its ranks, cousins and siblings of Warrant Holders who found success within the Imperial Navy. Their attentions are focused on the expansion and exploitation of worlds beyond the borders of the Sector, most prominently through the Gros Pajan system but also along the long-neglected St. Ellard's Gauntlet.
The Red Prows
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.