Ishuzan Stormborn

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ExirusGuardsman.jpgThis article is about an Imperial Army formation from the /tg/ Heresy project, a fan re-working of the Warhammer 40k universe.
Ishuzan Stormborn
Homeworld Ishuze Qi
Doctrine Urban Warfare, Defensive Operations
Signature Equipment Power Shield, Storm Pike
Colors Blue and White


The Ishuzan Stormborn were a formation of the Imperial Army raised during the Great Crusade.

Background[edit]

Defensive specialists, the Stormborn regiments are renown for their stubborn refusal to give ground. Born into a culture where survival relied on camaraderie - where being alone was tantamount to suicide - an Ishuzan will not willingly abandon their comrades. Their solidarity is such that in combat, they are like living walls behind interlocking shields spewing waves of incandescent death to those that dare to lay siege. Whether they face hordes of xenos, massive war machines or a hostile planet, once they dig-in, the Stormborn will hold the line or die standing.

Homeworld[edit]

At first glance, Ishuze Qi is akin to that of a death world. The planet eternally covered in snow and the winding trails left by the gargantuan armored worms that infest the surface. To make matters worse, the entire planet is consistently plagued by an unending thunderstorm of such intensity that every square kilometer is struck by lightning at least once a day. However, perhaps as a testament to the stubbornness her inhabitants, dozens of cities thrive in caverns beneath the surface.

Contrary to the unforgiving nature of the surface, the underground cities cities are habitable, and almost pleasant. That is, if one could stand the below-freezing temperatures and the occasional infestation of subterranean predators. Nonetheless, the people of Ishuze Qi have learned to thrive on their home world. Using specially designed antennae on the surface, the Ishuzan gather the power from the storms above. The constant lightning warms their homes, allows them to grow a variety of fungi and even arm themselves against the creatures that plague the planet. These cities are linked to each other by reinforced tunnels, mimicking the urban geography of old Terra to an extent.

For the most part, each city is self-sufficient, capable of producing the neccesities for survival. However, there remains "luxury" goods that must be gathered in the inhospitable regions of the planet, including the surface. In fact, hunting the massive worms that "feed" on lightning is one of the most lucrative endeavors on the planet. A successful hunt could provide tons of useful materials, including a large amount of meat - considered a rare delicacy throughout the planet.

Doctrine[edit]

Stormborn regiments are typically drawn from the Shandang Ji, the warrior clans that were primarily formed to hunt and to repel the predatory insects that sometimes burrow stumble into their cities. Individually, such creatures post a threat to an unarmed civilian, but is easily dispatched by a disciplined warrior. A swarm however, can easily bring down the most valiant warrior. Only by standing side-by-side do the clans defend their kin from these threats. On a grander scale, hunting the mega-fauna on the surface may require several Shandang clans working together. Each individual thus learns to thrust on their comrades, and to repay their trust in kind. This mentality is prevalent on the planet, and is why the Ishuze clans freely send their best warriors to serve the Imperial Army.

A single regiment is usually drawn from a single clan, who incorporate their heraldry into the regimental standard. Smaller clans often join with the other clans of their city, usually adopting the heraldry of the largest largest clan. In either case, soldiers are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with familiar faces.

Wargear[edit]

With their planet being constantly covered in intense lightning storms, the Ishuzans are masters at manipulating energy. Each Stormborn is expected to bring his own weaponry, their iconic power shields and storm pikes. These are typically mass-produced, but are individualized by each recruit during his time as a hunter. The planetary government provides the rest of the equipment, including the high-collared flak jackets and portable power plant used to power their armaments.

Tempest Shield

Perhaps the most iconic part of the Stormborn armory, the "Il-Fen" pattern power shield, or more commonly known as Tempest Shields are an important part of Ishuzan culture as well. Each hunter is given one on his first hunt, and is expected to stand at the critical point of the shield wall that will be required to ensure the surface and bring down their prey. Made from the shells of massive worms native to the surface of Ishuze, they are very durable and can absorb tremendous amounts of energy. The Stormborn like to boast that their shields to be nigh-indestructible. Given the brutal nature of the universe, this is not true, but outlive their owners.

Storm Pike

Traditionally known as an "Shanban" or more simply as an Zap Stick among outsiders, it is perhaps the most prominently used weapon on Ishuze - one reason is practicality. It was first used as a tool by hunters and builders alike, but those who watch Stormborn burn through their foes can attest to their effectiveness in combat. While they are operate similarly to plasma weaponry, they do so on a much smaller scale. A storm pike is thus safer to use, but is only slightly more destructive than a bolter. However, if a sufficient charge is built, the iridescent beam released can burn through power armor.

Blackwalls[edit]

An elite formation within the Stormborn, equipped with more advanced power plants and hermetically sealed suits. Often deployed to environments that are so hostile it would make even their fellows think twice. Named after the distinct lack of clan heraldry on their shields, as Blackwall units are not drawn from members of the same hunting guild. Instead, they are recruited from individuals that have demonstrated exemplary skill. This makes the 'promotion' uninviting to most, but it is nonetheless considered a great honor - for the individual and their parent unit. Given their unfamiliarity with their new unit, they are usually less cohesive than typically units, but Blackwalls often develop a sense of iniative - a trait sorely lacking in most Stormborn - that makes them idea for detached duties. Given advanced equipment, their storm pikes are notable more dangerous than standard.

History[edit]

Notable Members[edit]

Lord-Commander Zhu-Lei "The Corpse Master" Fon An brilliant tactician responsible for many military innovations, and later the commanding officer of the honored 81st Ishuzan Stormborn. Notable for being extremely flexible commander in a regiment stubborn traditionalists - being one of the most vocal proponents of the Blackwall units. A popular figure among the men, both his own and those they served with for, his calm, informal demeanor on the battlefield - having been known to openly mock his opponents on the eve of battle. However, his most famous action came after the disastrous battle at Insert Name. During the retreat, Zhu-Lei Fon volunteered his regiment to hold the rear-guard. Using the terrain to their advantage, the tattered remains of the 81st held out against a horde more than ten times their number for two days. Each time they were repelled, the Lord-Commander would broadcast insults over an open vox channel. On the second night, the mockery ceased. The enemy commanders quickly assumed that their obnoxious counterpart had died, and ordered a charge. The wave was met with a withering hail of fire, and the officers reported seeing Zhu-Lei leading his men from the front. They had lost more men that day than they did in the earlier battle. Demoralized by such losses, they decided to bombard the 81st for the entirety of the next day. When they finally had overrun the defenders, they found that most of the 81st was dead. The defiant shield wall maintained by their stiff corpses, led by their Lord-Commander who was propped up his spend storm lance - with a grin on his face.