Sky Serpents

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The Sky Serpents
200px
Number XIII
Successor Chapters Many
Primarch Xun Tohilcoatl
Homeworld Tepectitlan
Allegiance Imperium of Man
Colours Serpents Armor.png

This page is a work in progress, part of the Imperium Asunder project, a fan remake of the warhammer 40 000 history.

Summary of Legion XII[edit]

Numeration: The XIIth Legion

Primogenitor: Xun Tohilcoatl

Cognomen (Prior and Alternate): The Swordwind, The Hydra, Storm Wolves, ... 963 other Cognomens recorded in Primaris Level Archives

Observed Strategic Tendencies: Focus on Operations Level Actions, Infiltration and Encirclement

Noteworthy Domains: Jade Empire

Alliegence: Fidelitas Constantus

Homeworld[edit]

When Xun Tohilcoatl landed on Tepectitlan, it was inhabited by roving bands of hunter-gatherers and a few settled Bronze Age societies struggling through an ice age. Had Xun landed with the hunter-gatherers, history might have gone quite differently, but he was brought to the court of Xia Huangdi, lord of the perhaps poorly named Tianxia Empire. There he was tutored in the arts of the ruler. He became fascinated by the calendrical system and its relationship to the agricultural cycle. His investigations led him to develop a theory of momentum, and through subsequent refinements, of gravitation. This realization that as above, so below, led to the construction of ever more impressive infrastructure projects. When Xia Huangdi died, Xun was designated his successor. However, not all of the Imperial Clan supported this and rebelled against him. In the subsequent civil war, Xun annexed several nearby states that had supported rival claimants and integrated them into his own growing empire. Following the rebellion, Xun dismantled the old Clan system and instituted a Civil Service exam, to choose administrators based on merit.

Xun Tohilcoatl[edit]

Xun Tohilcoatl

If you wanted to sum up Xun in a word, it would be energy. He's very much got the Quetzalcoatl creation and destruction thing. He feels like an old storm God dredged up from forgotten myths. In terms of useful description, he looks pretty East Asian, eyes dark or possibly like little windows to a warp storm. He keeps his hair long and tied up, Han dynasty style. Usually he has his face painted in stylized Tepectitlan storm and Serpent motifs-- think Mesoamerican geometric motifs. I'm thinking he's got a Mesoamerican style nose ring depicting the ritual calendar of Tepectitlan. He tends to wear elaborate headresses bedecked in quetzal feathers and jade and metal segments carved in Taotie patterns.

He's got fangs. Think Shang Dynasty/Aztec Sanguinius on a scary day. Less noble, more I'm a motherfucking dragon in human form.

Unification[edit]

When the Imperium found him, early in the crusade's 8th decade, they found Xun presiding over an orderly and more or less unified world, now advanced to an early pre-industrial stage. Following integration into the Imperium, Tepectitlan was brought into the Imperial administratum. For the comfort of his people, Xun requested that the changes were introduced gradually, and while the city of Tianxia was prepared as a legion command center, legion command and control operations were distributed across the nearby stars, with the Legion negotiating with Tindalos for their forge capabilities for supply. This meant that the legion supply chain was distributed and much of it carried with the fleet, supplied as they were by several Tindalan Forge Ships, which proved fortuitous during the Heresy.

Symbols[edit]

The Legion borrows from the culture of Tepectitlan, including the esoteric traditions of its inhabitants. Poetry and calligraphy are regarded as fine arts and the legionaries are encouraged to partake. Jade is highly valued and often worked into decorations on armor or luck-items. The warp is conceptualized as storm wind-- dangerous, but potentially useful. Self control and moderation are virtues, as is the idea of the individual's duty to their oaths. In native myth, the Storm Serpent is a great, feathered snake, akin to a dragon, that brings the rain. It has a dual nature, a destructive and ferocious side, that tears down the old, and a creative, protective side that makes the crops grow. Each Storm Serpent tries to temper their native aggression with intellect, not so much to suppress their natural inclinations, but to work with them. Destruction is recognized as a requirement for growth, the old status quo must be transcended. Creation and destruction, thesis and antithesis, each blends into the other and the warrior must be able to live with both. The non-negotiable, instilled by Xun Tohilcoatl, is progress. Without discipline and without order, society crumbles. Without wisdom, the infrastructure is lost and the city dies. With careful steps, bronze age farmers can learn to forge steel. They can learn to make medicine and live longer, happier lives. They can learn virtue.

Legion Tactics[edit]

The legion specializes in hit and run tactics and mobile warfare at the operations level. Legion strategy places a great deal of importance on information, so as to know how best to draw out and achieve local numerical superiority to crush and disorder the enemy. Once a breach in the lines is achieved, Xun Tohilcoatl prefers an aggressive stance, so as to prevent the opponent from regrouping. The legion is noted for its cohesion and ability to coordinate effectively with human auxiliae, as well as a high degree of technological proficiency, following its primarch's intense interest in technology, and as such, much archaeotech and armor is employed.

Auxiliae[edit]

Legion Auxilia Section 8[edit]

Section 8 is a the elite of Sky Serpents Auxiliae. They are specially trained for observation and disruption work. They prepare the ground for a Sky Serpents invasion, and, following the Heresy, have been used as a stay-behind force on more than one occasion. Section 8 squads are infiltrated onto enemy worlds by a number of means, ranging from covert drops to the more common, if less dramatic, falsified documents. Once on the world, members of Section 8 prepare the ground for what is to come. Depending on their assessment of vulnerabilities and the projections of the Legion Command, Section 8 may be variously tasked with operations such as sabotaging infrastructure, generating social unrest, hiding supplies for legion operations, preparing ambushes, setting up locii for teleportatiin strikes, and general recon. Once an attack is launched, Section 8 is often employed to spread confusion, be it through false reports, spreading rumors and panicking populations, or unleashing fire from previously hidden positions to support the landing.

It is said that Section 8 was introduced to the legion after Xun campaigned alongside [Redacted], though if this is so, then all records of it have been erased.

Thule Rime-Guard[edit]

Thule IVc 'Nanuk' is a cold world of frost-rimed stone beaches and snow covered pine forests in orbit of a blue-tinged ammonia gas giant, Thule IV. Nanuk is primarily involved in the production of krill and support for the refinery operations on Thule, as well as providing the core and training for the Rime Guard regiments. These form the core of the Sky Serpents Auxiliae Air Cavalry. The pilots are recruited from the transport pilots of Thule Station, while the jump troops themselves are drawn from rig workers and the ice raiders. When the Rime Guard deploy in support of the legion, pilots trained to fly in the storm winds and ring systems of a gas giant launch en masse to screen legion operations. Since the unaugmented human pilots cannot hope to match, or even survive, the maneuvers of the Astartes, they are equipped with slower craft which emphasize durability over speed, with craft such as Thunderbolts, Valkyries/Vendettas, and the Marauder class bombers. Through numbers and durability, they are able to make up for their lack of speed. During landings, these air support squadrons can be called upon to provide additional firepower, strike targets, diversionary or outside of the legion advance. In addition, infantry squads can be deployed to fortify landing zones and support legion advance. These squads are traditionally equipped like Solar Auxilia regiments, but with additional provisions for air-dropped heavy weapons and lighter armor variants for drop troops.

Sobek Fusilliers[edit]

The Sky Serpents have never been much for static engagements. This task they delegate customarily to their human Auxiliae. As a result of this practice, there are numerous mortal regiments geared for garrison duty and long, grinding sieges. Among the most famous are the Sobek Fusilliers. The Sobek Fusilliers are organized into paired companies, infantry companies and artillery companies. The infantry companies are universally equipped with lasrifles and flamers, but their most potent tool is their entrenching shovel. They make planetfall with prefab defense lines, but once these are set up, the Infantry get to work digging and constructing a system of trenches which will serve as the basis for more complex defense works. The artillery companies, meanwhile provide cover with relentless bombardment even as their guns are set in protected emplacements. The guns themselves run from rapier mounted field guns, to heavier mortars, up to weapons such as the basilisk and Medusa seige guns and beyond. The Sobek Fusilliers have a sizable Mechanicum contingent, extending beyond the usual enginseers. Instead, techpriests of Orders Macrotek and Reductor are placed throughout the forces. Typically, one of the two consuls is a Magus. This is to ensure that the fortifications constructed are up to mechanicum standard and that the enemy position is levelled with optimal efficiency. At times, this mechanicum oversight can also mean that heavier and more arcane weapons are brought to bear, including the holy Ordinatus Engines. Under most circumstances, the Sobek Fusillier Infantry companies adopt a defensive posture. Not for them are the human wave assaults of some similar forces. Instead, they try to get the enemy to come to them, luring them into an assault with false weaknesses and crushing them. Not for nothing is their sigil that of a crocodile. This said, the Infantry is perfectly capable of assaults, though the bloody task of mass assaults is usually left for forces such as the Argon Apemen penal legions.

Another common practice is to use the Sobek Fusilliers to draw out or focus an enemy assault, allowing forces of the Sky Serpents to strike elsewhere. Oddly enough, but perhaps characteristic of the impact of Jade Empire propaganda, this sort of mission is seen as among the most honorable. Because of the nature of such things, the Sobek Fusilliers seldom are told before hand that they are to be a distraction force, so naturally, they assume that honor is theirs. To the soldiers of the Fusilliers, they are partaking in an age old rite of the mortal warriors, serving the Empire and legion with their steadfast defense just as the human troops called up by Songkulkan during the People's War allowed Xun and the Legion the time they needed to honor the Emperor and thrice-Sainted Faustus by rescuing Malcador and the other legions and buying time for Xun to return and slay the foe, as the legion always will. Thus the glory of the people and the proletariat is to serve where needed and to stand fast. They're sort of the logical extreme of the Jade Empire propaganda 'proletariat shield' idea. They have conviction that their sacrifice allows the semi-divine Legion, potentially acting through human regiments like the Thule Rimeguard, to do what it needs to do and through their steadfastness, they reenact the holy actions of the virtuous proletariat of Songkulkan's day. It lets them emulate Faustus, who stood fast on Luna. Just as Faustus told Xun to return to his people and that he would martyr himself to ensure the Emperor's ascension, it is their duty and right to be martyrs to let the legion serve the Empire. (Faustus said no such thing and Xun doesn't say he did. Nor do the scholar-bureaucrats and Legion believe any such thing. But you try telling that to a prole.) Of course, having walls to hide behind and big guns does nothing to harm morale.

Armory[edit]

The Legion's tactical doctrine of swift encirclement and mobile warfare means that mobility is highly valued. To this end, nearly every squad is assigned a dedicated transport of some sort, with these vehicles being preferred over jump packs or bikes. Most commonly, this is the rhino. (When the Razorback becomes available, Xun falls in love with it. Volkite razorbacks.... mmmm...) However, the legion is also well stocked with Land Raiders and Spartan Assault tanks, preferring the latter for deployment of 20 man despoiler squads. Another common means of transportation for 20 man despoiler squads is the Storm Eagle.

Squads are deployed in notional units of 20, the number of completeness in Tepectitlani culture. When deployed by rhinos or other such transports, the two squads of ten then support each other and fight as one.

The chapter is known for its deployment of armor, preferring Malcadors, Sicarans and Predators over the much slower legion artillery. When Vindicators are deployed, they are usually fielded in a stripped down configuration to allow for greater speed. (Like how Alpha Legion fields them in Book 6) To augment this arsenal, the legion also makes use of aircraft such as the Fire Raptor.

In the legion's thought, the airborne infantry and weaponry are the Fangs and Fire of the Serpent, to snap out of nowhere and deliver a killing blow. (The teleportarium deployed terminators also fall into this category) The tanks and mounted infantry are the Coils and Claws of the Serpent, confining and disembowling the enemy.

The Legion shows a marked fondness for Volkite weaponry, and devotes a great deal of effort to maintaining and producing the otherwise arcane weapons. This is because the legion sees Volkite weaponry as an idea solution to the problem of how to deal with foes with extensive numerical superiority. Because the legion's deployment is mobile, it runs the risk of being cut off and unable to take a defensive posture. Volkite weaponry has the range and destructive capacity to hold off a foe while the legionaries dig in.

The exception to this general mode of deployment is seen in specialized linebreaker formations, which are generally held in reserve until the killing blow is to be struck. This is where the legion fields its Mastadons and Typhons and Dreadnaughts, as well as terminators and breaching units.

Psykers are relatively common in the legion, and are deployed as widely as possible. I'll type up a bit more later, but basically they do scrying on the enemy and communicate with one another to enhance cohesion in addition to killing yaks at 500 yards with MIND BULLETS. So how the Storm Seers of the White Scars are Chaplains + Librarians, these guys are Vigilator/Master of Signals + Librarians.

Basically, if we were to write up crunch, they'd have a unique consul type for them--still working on the name. They might even have a rule like the Word Bearers Burning Lore or be able to upgrade a Praetor to a psyker for XX points like an Iron Warriors War Smith.

They'd probably have a rule to upgrade a tac squad to volkite for XXX points as well. And probably their LA rules would include scout. Really, it would probably look a lot like the White Scars with a provision that their compulsory troops must have DCs.

Likely in this universe, it's the Sky Serpents that invent the Damocles, which will have to get a cool Mesoamerican or Chinese sounding name.

While I'm at it, I'm thinking there's an elite terminator guard, that I'm oh-so-cleverly thinking of calling Jaguar Warriors. I'm imagining that the legion as a whole makes widespread use of glaives and macuahuitls, and these Jaguar Warriors would have a volkite in one hand and a macuahuitl in the other, and probably rad grenades/rad missile launchers, since these guys are for breaching and storming the gap.

I also imagine that they make widespread use of modified destroyer squads, since their weapons provide a means of compensating when outnumbered. They'd seldom use phosphex, but make use of rad weapons and maybe flamers or better, those mechanicum rad cleansers.

In a similar vein, they'd probably be fond of Lightning guns, but that's mostly for the visual and symbolic effect, rather than any strategic benefit.

So I'm thinking that they're distinct from the Angels of Light in that the Angels do much more jet-bikes and straightforwards assaults, from the Behemoth Guard in that they are heavy armor and nasty weapons straight to the face partying like it's 1916, from the Second Sons in that they aren't nearly so "dirty" with their weaponry, from the Warhawks in that their air cav is part of a two pronged approach with their ground forces and the focus for the Sky Serpents is 'confine the enemy with speed and confusion and then hit them like a ton of bricks' rather than 'ambush from ten sides', the effect is similar, but for the Sky Serpents, confusion is the weapon and speed is a good way to achieve that, and from the Fists of Mars by not being cyborgs, but I don't know enough about what they fight like to really go further.

Legion Organization[edit]

The Sky Serpent legion as a whole has a flexible and interlocking command structure. Individual chapters and companies are designed to be more or less self sufficient, but are not wholly interchangeable. Instead, various specialized formations exist at all levels, from Jaguar Warrior companies in many chapters to specialized chapters, such as the infamous Jade Lion or Ereshkigal Guard. Independent of such formations, various warrior orders and rites existed. The best known outside the legion is probably the Raven Path, the legion's primary techno-archaeologists, but many other such groups exist, such as the Vulpine Talon, specializing in research and design, or the Threefold Gate, the legion's Librarius.

The Tzolkin[edit]

Tepictitlan culture regards 20 as the number of completeness, and as such, all squads are notionally of 20 men. A company has 12 squads of 20 men, as well as a 20 man command squad for a total of 13 squads of 20, 260 men. There are 20 of these companies in a Tzolkin (chapter), for a total of 5200 marines. Each Tzolkin is unique, but they tend to fall into several general types.

1 Command Squad, including communications, logisticians, honor Guard, librarian, etc.

4-6 Reaver Squads-- bolt pistol and chain axes is the stereotype. They usually have APCs, but Storm Eagle or Jump Pack insertion is not unknown. 4-6 Tactical Support Squads--these guys have APCs or IFVs, and are armed with Volkites, Flamers, or Meltas. Sometimes rotor cannon. 2-4 Seeker/Vet Squads-- Sternguard vets mounted in an IFV or APC. If they have a heavy weapon, it's got a suspensor Web. Or its a Deathwatch style Frag cannon. Seriously, those bad boys are totally Sky Serpents. 0-2 Devastators-- Typically armed with mobile heavy weapons like Frag or Grav cannon. 0-2 Destroyers-- rad missiles, crowd control 0-2 Heavy Assault-- these are your Terminators and Breachers. Some companies have more of them and are specialized for the purpose.


The white clad death companies stand outside the formation.

Heavy weaponry is generally provided by Armored support, tanks, etc.

There's a few other common company styles, though. There's a first company eq, breachers, recon/artillery/ambush, and Armored companies

Post Heresy[edit]

They don't quite do successor chapters. Instead, the pre-heresy structure has been retained and expanded, with new levels of organization being added above the Tzolkin. Units of 20 Tzolkin are grouped into a Katun, with 20 of those in a Baktun.

The Red Joy[edit]

Sky Serpents delight in their work. They are laughing killers, for what better thing can there be than excellence matched against excellence? However, all this is overlay upon the deeper impulses in the Sky Serpents psyche. The Red Thirst equivalent. It really needs a better name, but Red Thirst is just so good, you know? Most of the time, it manifests as a blood-hunger in battle, anything to get the red flowing, but violence and destruction at their most primal level drive the marine. An infamous example is a duel during Ullanor, when a Sky Serpents praetor, after wounding a warboss, discarded his power sword and proceeded to beat the Ork to death with his gauntlets over the course of several minutes.

Typically, this sort of behavior can be controlled through the odd sacrificial rituals of Tepectitlan, including the infamous heart sacrifice, but also including devotional acts of shedding ones own blood. (Ala Mesoamerica.)

These unsavory rituals, which range from sacrifice of live captives to what outsiders see as ritual desecration of enemy remains, contribute greatly to the legion's dark reputation.

Usually, this keeps everything in line, though unintentional massacres of civilians in combat zones are far from unheard of.

This contrasts with the phase II, which I'm thinking of as some sort of psychic curse put on the legion by Anshul. It involves aspects of a flesh change and the brother in question becomes increasingly feral. Historically, marines in this state sometimes were posessed by Khorne, but lately the Serpents have taken to sanctifing them with Seraphim, in a holy fire ritual. Unlike the Oceyolotl (who are the Gal Vorbak equivalent), the Seraphim are lost to their rage and are sent to die in combat.

The legion generally keeps them secret, though I would assume the other legions know that Anshul did something nasty to them. Like how people know that the black rage is a thing, but no details.

So basically, I'm thinking at Prospero, Xun and Anshul have a duel, an inconclusive one, but in the process, Anshul somehow marks the legion, tapping the aetheric energy of Prospero itself.

When a legionary falls into the Blood Hunger, they can further fall into the flesh-change. It starts like a curse of the wulfen deal, with the marine growing longer fangs and taking on more jaguar traits. They also become more animalistic. If it runs it's full course, they eventually devolve into chaos spawn, but they seldom make it that long, since they're sent into battle to die a good death like the Death Company. However, this state leaves them open to possession, which the Asurans exploited on a few occasions, turning the assaulting Serpents back against their former comrades. In response, the Serpents have taken to proactively possessing them with Seraphim, but this is top secret and does little to actually stabilize the brother's behavior. They fight and kill until they join the Legions of the Damned as demonic Jaguars of the Emperor.

So basically, they've got the flaw of the Blood Angels. It drives them to greatness, but at the end of the day, there's a chance that they'll lose everything they've made of themselves and turn into a raging beast.

Events on Prospero[edit]

Maybe he lures Xun down into the reflecting caves on the pretext that he'll explain what is going on, since Anshul believes that once Xun knows about the true nature of Chaos, Xun will join him.

So Xun goes down to the reflecting caves, to meet Anshul and send his message. The two forces meet under parley, like the Night Lords and the Dark Angels do in that one story. Across the surface and in orbit, the two legions stand facing each other. There's even some friendly chatter across lines, but mostly everyone waits. Xun sends his message, which is part of the traitor plan anyway and then he has his talk with Anshul. Suffice it to say that it doesn't go well. There's a grippy vision of a thousand different heresies, ones where the roles are reversed, ones where Anshul and Xun stand united against a mad Oramar, ones where Xun bears the sigil of the Wolf and Anshul has but one eye, ones where the Warmaster is named Hektor. And then they start fighting, the planet itself becomes unstable. The two legions tear into each other, the world quakes. Both have to leave the planet and because of Anshul's trap, the price of Xun's escape is the curse on his legion. It's the taint of Prospero and they're forever intertwined with that world. That's why Xun goes there, thousands of years later, to ascend.

Legion History[edit]

Great Crusade[edit]

The legion was as comfortable with conquest as it was with infrastructure and so tended to leave behind personnel to rebuild even before being reunited with the Primarch shortly before the end of the Crusade's first century. After being reunited, the legion began to build on larger scales, developing essentially a pocket domain of model worlds.

Vaal Cluster Compliance[edit]

Shortly after being reunited with his legion, Tohilcoatl led his men against the Witch-Kings of the Vaal Cluster. These foul warp-sorcerors ruled over an empire of enthralled gene-warriors, each nearly the equal of a Space Marine, but far less stable. After a few probing void engagements, Tohilcoatl found that the Witch-King's military forces were dependent upon witch-generals to maintain control of the gene-thralls. If the command structure could be disrupted, then the foe's defenses would crumble. However, the Witch-Kings were not unaware of this weakness and designed their forces to compensate. Without a witch to maintain order in a geno-thrall force, they would go berserk and the resulting psychic turmoil would make long distance communication near impossible. Thus, even if a force was broken, the opponent would find it difficult to communicate and exploit the breach. To combat this, Tohilcoatl and his War-Council developed a daring strategy.

Similar to the legendary Pacification of Luna, ships would be sent into Vaal space, powered down to avoid detection. These ships would stake out the Mandeville points in systems to be contested and hide in asteroid fields. Similarly, kill teams were infiltrated across the worlds of Vaal. Knowing that communication by Astropath would be nigh impossible, Tohilcoatl revived an archaic means of communication from before the dark age of technology, the radio. While it would be limited to light-speed, signals could still be passed in system without too much trouble.

With this limited means of communication in hand, the timetable of the operation was carefully projected and each level of the command hierarchy given general directives to allow them to press any advantage they found. They were, in effect, to operate as independent cells all working towards the same goal, all dynamically implementing a broadly agreed upon timetable.

Furthermore, it was realized that while Imperial communications would cease to function, those of the Witch Kings would continue without any problem. Infiltrated forces, then, simply had to monitor communication traffic and activity from the Witch-Kings.

Operations began with multiple, simultaneous planetary invasions, with the priority placed upon elimination of the commanding psykers. Once eliminated, the berserker horde could easily be lead into pre-planned ambushes. Similarly, comm-traffic and energy signatures would be faked on one front prior to a rapid redeployment of assets to another sector, so as to focus the entire military might on a single point. Once behind their lines, infrastructure targets were eliminated, forcing the Geno-Thralls to come to the Sky Serpents. Hampering legion communications did the Witch-Kings little good when they had to come to the prepared Sky Serpents.

Even as distress calls went out from the besieged worlds and reinforcements were dispatched, the second part of the Sky Serpent's plan kicked into action. As laden troop ships, confident of orbital control in-system, dropped out of warp, the concealed Legion ships struck, destroying some outright, capturing the command decks of others and venting geno-thralls to the cold void. The victorious Legion fleet then joined with the invasion fleet to eliminate remaining Thrall-ships before redeploying for the next target. With the planetary communication networks down and the geno-thralls dead, the legions pushed on rapidly, striking at those systems from which the reinforcements had been moved.

Even as distress calls went out from the besieged worlds and reinforcements were dispatched, the second part of the Sky Serpent's plan kicked into action. As laden troop ships, confident of orbital control in-system, dropped out of warp, the concealed Legion ships struck, destroying some outright, capturing the command decks of others and venting geno-thralls to the cold void. The victorious Legion fleet then joined with the invasion fleet to eliminate remaining Thrall-ships before redeploying for the next target. With the planetary communication networks down and the geno-thralls dead, the legions pushed on rapidly, striking at those systems from which the reinforcements had been moved.

This pattern of sudden, overwhelming attack, followed by the spreading of diffuse threats kept the Witch-Kings from regrouping effectively, the timing obscuring the method of operations for the Legion. Refugee and evacuation ships with valuable reinforcements were held up as they were searched for saboteurs, saboteurs who had spent weeks in position, waiting for the panic to spread before carrying out their missions. Though the initial cost in infrastructure was high, the stalling of the Vaal's war plans pre-empted battles planetside, and within two months of the opening actions, the Vaal Cluster had been successfully captured, with some worlds entirely spared lengthy campaigns, their fortresses emptied by the Witch-King's frantic redeployments.

Krag'thalax[edit]

These sorts of tactics were not always successful, but the Storm Serpents were nothing if not adaptable. One notable example was against the Krag'athalax, a foul xenos species, which spawned bio-soldiers in unending hordes. Assaults were initially stymied against the numberless forces of the enemy. It hardly mattered where you struck when the foe swarmed from every building, every corner of the globe.

Several assaults were thrown back before a different tact was taken. Volkite and incendiaries were brought forth from legion vaults and the attendant forge ships worked double-time to produce additional weapons and spare parts to maintain thousands of volkite weapons. Similarly, Tohilcoatl negotiated with several Reductor Covenants for Holy Ordinatus Ullator Engines. Various toxins and weapons such as phospex were considered, but it was decided that damage to the ecosystem would be excessive. It was decided, however, that rad weapons would be sanctioned, their cores changed out for elements with shorter half-lives. (Despite this precaution, areas of former Krag'athalax would remain uninhabitable for decades after the campaign's end).

With this technological superiority in hand and the legion's armor gathered, the legion deployed. The resulting campaign was grueling, and even with the mass effect of volkites, including no few Fellglaives, as well as other, stranger devices which reaped a heavy toll on the chittering hordes, as often as not it came down to bloody melee, particularly as the slow firing Ullator Engines recycled for their next shot. After each wave, the Storm Serpents would regroup and reinforce their defenses, designing kill channels, and meter by meter, they took each world, but each battle became easier as they developed better means to poison their foe.

Of the campaign, Tohilcoatl said little, though it is said that Sheridan found respect for his brother in that campaign, attested to by the fact the the Lord of Iron sent several members of the Stor Bezask equivalent unbidden to advise in the campaign.

Nikea[edit]

Tohilcoatl was a firm supporter of and helped in establishing Librarius Project. At Nikea, confident that the librarius was safe, he spoke against some his brothers and earstwhile collaborator's reckless experimentation (particularly that of the Warp Raiders), in hopes of cautioning them and showing to the Librarius' detractors that allowing psykers in the legions was not at odds with the Imperial Truth. He maintained that a careful and controlled study of the warp was instrumental to the future of the Imperium.

The Heresy[edit]

Solar Rim Campaign[edit]

  • Battle of the Fenris System
  • Battle of Paramar
  • Battle of Prospero
  • Battle of Catachan
  • Battle of Ryza


>Breaks from Cadia, ships retreating to the Fenris System to regroup in the comet belts. Anshul in pursuit, naval engagement. >Infiltrators are sent down to Fenris to wait until they're clear to do sabotage behind enemy lines. Kill teams fight across the frozen wastes of Fenris. >Xun makes it to Paramar. Teams up with mechanicum and some members of a traitor legion who are out of the loop and side loyalist. Massive battle in orbit and on the surface as the Arms of Asura try to take the surface to orbit batteries. Loyalists inflict heavy losses and the Arms are forced to withdraw. Xun manages to contact Tepectitlan and arrange for reinforcements. >Warp storms worsen, and Paramar is prepared for evacuation, while Anshul links up with forces from the Silver Spears? To go after Xun. Xun is still trying to break through the blockade and there are several small battles in systems at the ring of the Segmentum Solar. >Battle of Prospero. With the Astronomicon flickering, Xun makes for the reflecting caves of Prospero, to light a signal for his reinforcements and get a line on Terra. As he does this, his legion begins emptying the libraries. The Asura and Spears appear and attempt to disrupt Xun's ritual. Xun and Anshul debate the merits of chaos and withdraws. The decision is questionable. Anshul might have been able to kill Xun and take out much of his force, but reinforcements were inbound and odds were, he'd be engaged and vulnerable when they arrived. >Still blocked, the Sky Serpents attempt a break-through and feints. One of those results in the Battle of Catachan, but eventually allies from Paramar manage to contact Ryza and a way is opened. >Xun's fleet breaks the Siege of Ryza. >Not sure what happens now. Maybe he makes it to Terra.

Battle of Catachan[edit]

>The Battle of Catachan In preparation for the rendevouz of the Sky Serpents fleet and their run on Terra, the auspex net that watches the approaches into the Segmentum Solar must first be dismantled. Individual relays are targeted, but if the entire fleet is to slip through, the coordinating node on Catachan must be eliminated.

Anshul and his allies are well aware of this fact and have augmented the site's already formidable defenses, including an improved orbital defense grid, not to mention forces in orbit and on the ground. As a result, Xun must rely on stealth and subterfuge to break the initial defenses. For weeks prior to the assault, Sky Serpents infiltrate marines and members of Section 8 aboard cargo vessels during raids, typically destroying or capturing some number of ships to disguise the true intention of the raid. Closer to the attack, a small number of Judgement Bringer's craft are quietly captured by the Sky Serpents. Shortly after, Sky Serpents forces infiltrate a supply convoy during a raid use the "Judgement Bringer" destroyers to "chase off" the Sky Serpents raid. These ships protect the cargo vessels bound for Catachan. Aboard the cargo vessels, the warp drives and gellar fields are sabotaged to deharmonize the warp transit. This aetheric noise allows a Sky Serpents flotilla to follow the convoy in to the Catachan system and masks their entry from sensors. These ships drift quietly towards Catachan as the convoy makes its approach. As they reach the docks, all hell breaks loose, as some cargo ships simply explode, others ram the docks. Critically, one cargo vessel slams into one of the massive orbital weapons arrays, knocking it from orbit. The destruction seems to spread, irrationally, as other ships, days in-system explode, cargo in warehouses, both in orbit and planet side bursts into flames and ammunition spontaneously cooks off. In the confusion, the initial wave is able to land undetected.

I'm thinking of leaving out the added complexity of captured Judgement Bringers ships, but the basic idea is this:

>Saboteurs are infiltrated aboard a number of cargo vessels.

>Warp drives are sabotaged to allow smaller Sky Serpents vessels to quietly infiltrate the Catachan system, perhaps over a matter of weeks

>The first wave of landings are covered by some cargo-ships going nuts in orbit, ramming docks and defense platforms. That's actually why I'm considering using captured destroyers-- they can tank more firepower and it's not like the Sky Serpents don't have a reputation for this sort of thing. The ramming docks is a bit unusual, though, since its basically suicide, and the Sky Serpents infiltrators tend to be quicker to cause some chaos when some place is so heavily defended. That and the Sky Serpents tend to bypass such strong points, leading some in the Arms to speculate that the true strike is coming elsewhere, leaving them focused on a warp-bourne assault on the auspex net.

>The sudden chain of explosions raises suspicions and security is tightened, but by this time, it's too late.

>Larger fleet enters the system after capturing a few vessels to lead them in.

>Traitor fleet makes for the mandiville point to repel the Sky Serpents invasion

>The ships that had been snuck into the system fire up the engines and begin their attack runs, even as forces prelanded begin assaulting their objectives

>Open a hole in the orbital net for the Sky Serpents to land more troops and suddenly there's a battle in the jungle, with the local wildlife going nuts from being creeped out by all the psykers.

>Then something else happens, not sure what, maybe the whole attack on the sensor net facility is a feint, they're actually going for the orbital defense net because Xun says fuck it, I'm not going to siege that place, it's got crazy defenses. Instead he knocks out the defense system and orbital strikes the fuck out of it, hard enough to crack the planet's crust. With the system down, the fleet can link up and make their dash into the Segementum Solar. From there, they break a Siege over Ryza and reach the Sol system.

Oh, and legion destroyer squads are deployed en masse during the battle, because fuck the jungle. And all the weird shit that the Asurans have been doing with the local wild-life. So there's the big, flashy assault on the sensor hub, and the sneakier ones on the orbital command-control nodes and defenses, with Sky Serpents going rambo in the jungle. These being the actual goal, allowing the Serpents to avoid having to besiege the sensor control node.

Anshul himself probably isn't there, instead chasing Oramar.

The Harrowing of Tepectitlan[edit]

>The Defense of the Jade Empire and the Jade Regent I. Oathsworn Censure Campaign II. Hunting in the Dark III. The People's War

> Zhuge Songkulkan, The Jade Regent A native of Tepectitlan, Zhuge Songkulkan rose to prominence in the campaigns under the direct command of his Primarch. It seemed inevitable that he would follow in the footsteps of such reknowned figures as Baqar Hadbaal, when his career nearly ended at the tip of a xenos blade. He survived the battle, but such was the extent of the injury that he required substantial cybernetic augmentation. The process would require several years, and so in the interim, Songkulkan was given the prestigious desk job of logistical coordination on Tepectitlan. Thus it was that when the Heresy broke out, it was Songkulkan who was responsible for the defense of the domain.

>Oathsworn Censure Campaign As the orders for the Censure of the Oathsworn were recieved and verified, the Jade Empire was already at a state of alert. Unknown raiders were striking at the edges of the Imperium, raiding supply depots and mechanicum stations. The evidence suggested it was some sort of human threat. The 52nd Fleet had just put in for resupply on Tepectitlan, following the purging of the remaining Orkholdz in the Chondax cluster. Songkulkan ordered that all embedded Oathsworn detained and questioned even as the 52nd was dispatched with Guang-Ue in command to deliver the doom of the Oathsworn holds in the sector. The decision to keep Guang-Ue in overall command was an interesting one, given his long association with Oathsworn. None the less, despite attempts to negotiate a surrender, several Oathsworn Watch-Fortresses had to be destroyed before the rest surrendered. Even as Guang-Ue prepared the Oathsworn for transit back to Tepectitlan, his orders were superseded by a more urgent command.

Something in the Oathsworn Censure hadn't sat right with Songkulkan despite rumors of Astartes raids. For one thing, they did not match the tactical patterns of the Oathsworn. For another, they did not match Oathsworn deployment patters. Further, they continued and even intensified after the campaign had begun. Thus it was that Songkulkan began to pull assets from the purgation campaign and redirect them towards combating the mysterious raiders.

His gamble paid off, when the cruiser Night Jaguar interrupted a raid in progress. To their horror, the ident runes proclaimed that the ship was the Iron Resolve of the Iron Hearts Legion, long thought purged. The 52nd redeployed to protect the realm.

As soon as the Iron Hearts realize that they have been identified, they immediately strike with full strength across the worlds of the Jade Empire. In particular, they lay siege to the Forgeworld Tindalos and the Hiveworld of Procryon Gamma. There are major battles on a dozen worlds, but for the most part, the Iron Hearts withdraw rather than fight a major engagement, as if waiting for something.

This came in the form of a call for reinforcement from the warp-soaked world of Prospero on the Terra-ward of the galactic core.

>The People's War Xun's message from Prospero placed Songkulkan in a bind. All hands were required to defend the realm, but the Primarch's call for aid in attempting to save the Emperor could hardly be ignored. In the end, Songkulkan decided that the needs of the Imperium as a whole outweighed the fate of a single province. None the less, he had sworn an oath to defend the Legion's assets and the people of the Jade Empire. Thus it was that Songkulkan dispatched every available Sky Serpent for Prospero, save himself and a dedicated core of advisers. Songkulkan's Sky Serpents assets in-sector were limited to himself, his advisers, a handful of specialists, such as Techmarines, Librarians, and Siege Masters, and a force of approximately one Tzolkin's worth of Astartes unable to make the Prospero Fleet due to injury or being engaged with Iron Hearts forces at the time. This is to say that Songkulkan found himself with less than 5,200 Astartes ranged against the might of a Legion. That evening, Songkulkan gave what would become known as the 'People's War' Speech, broadcast across the sector, in which he declared that "the Astartes were made to inspire the people", they were "partners in the Imperium". They would all have to "stand together, stand strong for the Imperium." All army personnel were called up, veterans too old to serve were recruited to train new soldiers. The Oathsworn imprisioned on Tepectitlan were offered a simple choice, to fight for the Imperium or to die in their cells when the enemy came to their door. This would later become the basis of the Argon Apemen Oath. Some 50,000 Oathsworn chose to stand with the Sky Serpents.

Meanwhile, all suitable voidcraft were requisitioned and outfitted for combat duty. The Mechanicum coalition, lead by Forgeworld Tindalos proved instrumental in this, recalling their Explorator fleets to serve as transports for the Armies of the Empire. As a further show of good faith (and in return for concessions.), the mechanicum mobilized their Cybernetica Chapters under Legion command and pledged the support of their Taghmata, Titan Legios, and Knight Houses not already pledged to the Legions. In otherwords, the Mechanicum of the Jade Empire pledged their remaining forces to Songkulkan's war.

The Sky Serpents had always fought closely with their human auxiliae, but Songkulkan took it to a new extreme, breaking up the available Sky Serpents to serve as commanders, specialists, and shock troops in the army formations, as part of a single, unified command structure.

With these forces in hand, Songkulkan turned the Jade Empire's considerable economic potential to defense, in particular, providing enough combat capable voidcraft to transport and deploy the People's Defense Army. The shipyards over Tindalos, like so many others, ran non-stop up-armoring and up-arming local flotillas of 'little ships'.

Even so, there was only so much that could be done. Warpstorms frequent throughout the early years of M31 intensified hampering deployment even as the Iron Hearts seemed to sail through unperturbed. Equally importantly, the forces of the Jade Empire were outnumbered (in terms of Astartes) and outgunned. None the less, the policy was remarkably successful and the Jade Empire as a whole was able to hold out until Xun's return, some 5? years later.

Significant battles of this period include battles at Tindalos, Baal, Argon, Thule, and Tepectitlan, including the Great Siege. >The Great Siege of Tepectitlan The Iron Hearts relentlessly made for Tepectitlan, with the intent to level it and leave only ruins. Despite the Army's best efforts to delay them, mere days cost thousands of lives. Songkulkan gave the order to evacuate the world, starting with the civilian population. He would remain, to atone for his failure. The Army refused his order. They would stand with him. Much of the civilian population was evacuated, but Rubinek's fleet broke from the Warp before it could be completed. So it was that every remaining civilian on Tepectitlan was handed a weapon and sheltered in the Legion's own fortress monastery. Tepectitlan was as good a world as any to make a final stand on. It's orbital defense grid ranked among the finest in the galaxy, the terrain was mountainous and forested and the Legion command made use of the terrain to the fullest. Tepectitlan had been designated a Bastion world, a safe haven even in the face of catastrophe, and yet, Songkulkan was correct that it could not be held against Rubinek and his legion.

Rubinek's fleet took heavy losses entering planetary space, and while potent anti-void weaponry prevented direct bombardment of the capital, Rubinek's forces made planetfall with the thunder of thousands of drop pods. Even as voidcraft fell from the skies, the Iron Hearts smashed their ways through prepared kill-zones and presighted artillery fire. It took a mere two weeks for Rubinek's forces to make their way across the world to the outer city walls. It seemed that their doom was only a matter of time, but the defenders in the citadel did not know that at that very moment, Xun Tohilcoatl, Primarch of the XIIIth Legion, and Master of Tepectitlan was making full speed through the void for Tepectitlan.

Songkulkan personally lead the defense from the walls, even as Medusa shells screamed overhead and turbo-laser bombardment collapsed voidshields. Days of continuous fighting took their toll and ammunition supplies began to run dangerously low, however, in that darkest moment, Xun's fleet tore into realspace. Rubinek now found that he had hours in which to accomplish his goal. In a massive gamble, Rubinek prepared a massive teleportarium strike into the heart of the fortress monastery. It is unclear what his goal was, since post-battle analysis would indicate that Rubinek sought out the reliquary vaults beneath before he went to sabotage the reactor, but in any event, Rubinek's time was cut short by Xun's early arrival. In essence, Xun performed a long distance teleportation using his own psyker potential and the librarians on Tepectitlan as a locus. (Is that too much? Should it just be that cybernetica maniples slow Rubinek down and Xun makes for Tepectitlan at full burn?) Xun and a strike force of elite Jaguar Warrior Terminators materialized in the sight of the Emperor Statue in the central hall and immediately began scouring the citadel for Rubinek. The details are not in the historical record, but what is known is that Xun found Rubinek atop the central pyramid and there, in full sight of the People's Army, fought Rubinek. The fight itself has been the subject of so many representations in Jade Empire culture, that it will not be described here, except that it ended with Xun, tearing out Rubinek's still beating iron heart and hurling the corpse down the stairway into the central plaza below. Holding the heart aloft, Xun called out "For the Emperor!", a cry echoed throughout the citadel even as the rest of the legion arrived to purge the remaining Iron Hearts on Tepectitlan.


Addenda: Of course, this was not the end of the Iron Hearts legion. Some of their fleet managed to escape the Tepectitlan system, but more numerically significant were those that were prosecuting campaigns elsewhere in the Jade Empire during the Siege. These forces managed to escape, where they continue to periodically raid the Eastern Imperium to this day. >Siege of Tepectitlan Yeah, I know what you mean. Thing is though that I didn't want a primarch and his legion to be held up too long on a world held by marines outnumbered 20 to 1 and a bunch of humans, after all, the Siege of Terra was what, 55 days? (Which bothers me. Ancient sieges took years.) I think I may stretch it out to something closer to a few months, make Rubinek fight his way across the planet, then take the capital city before launching his assault on the citadel, which he has to hurry up because of a very angry Xun incoming. Rubinek miscalculates how long he has and Xun catches him for their duel.

>before the heresy breaks put, odd raids begin on the legion's worlds >scenarios for Astartes on Astartes are revised >Terra-Luna Conflict begins >Tornament >Perpetrators of raids on Jade Empire are identified as rogue astartes. >Rubinek strikes at various facilities, forgeworlds, cutting a path towards Tepectitlan >Siege of Tindalos, the forgeworld holds off the legion, Rubinek doesn't have the time to crack their defenses and so has to withdraw after two months. >Burning of Anshul's home world >Raids occur across the sector, intensifying even as astartes are sent to reinforce Xun's break for Terra. >additional Auxiliae are called up and sanctions on the Legio Cybernetica are lifted. Astartes command these units, but the defense of the Jade Empire is fundamentally thanks to the determination of its citizens, both human and mechanicum. >Shadow Crusade in the Jade Empire >When word reaches Rubinek of the loyalist withdrawal and Xun's impending return, Rubinek mounts a desperate assault on Tepectitlan. Xun returns and fights him in the capital city, in the Imperial Administratum. Xun tears out Rubinek's heart atop the pyramid and hurls it down the massive stairway before offering the heart to the Emperor Ascended.

The Odyssey of Baqar Hadbaal[edit]

>be Hadbaal >be cool guy who doesn't afraid of anything >fleet comes under attack by traitor legions >chase them off and withdraw to a forge to repair and figure out what the hell is going on >the forge in this case is a minor facility, an asteroid forge intended for remote resupply >naturally it's turned traitor too. Hadbaal takes it, but once he has it and repairs of his fleet are underway, he sees multiple inbound fleets. Confusion ensues as he tries to figure out who is on what side. >a traitor counter-attack soon shows who is on what side and Hadbaal manages to just hold off the raid. The forge is stripped and the loyalist convoy vanishes into the warp. >for the next few years they raid the trsiror rear as they make their way around the edge of the Imperium, eventually making it to the Jade Empire via the Storm Kingdoms a year after the firewall went up. Loyalists from traitor legions in Hadbaal's fleet are welcomed into the Sky Serpents.

The Eastern Imperium[edit]

Legion Characters[edit]

>Tlaloc Tzotz, Lord of the Count, the Blind Seer, the Exile[edit]

During the crusade and the heresy, Tlaloc was a member of Xun's inner circle. A librarian of rare power, even in a legion known for its command of warp craft, Tlaloc testified at Nikea and went on to play an important role in many of the battles of the Solar Rim campaign. However, on Prospero, Tlaloc seems to have come under a strange influence. Whether a tome, a phantasm of the warp, or something else, Tlaloc began to diverge from the cautious Path of Heaven of Xun and Tepectitlan. In the aftermath of the Heresy, Tlaloc initiated unorthodox experiments in the Warp, looking for better ways to fight the neverborn. Specifically, Tlaloc developed a ritual similar to the soul binding performed by the Emperor on Astropaths. While this protected librarians from the neverborn and increased their ability to slay them, it delved into strange xenos lore of the dancing eldar. Xun was furious that Tlaloc had done this without approval, even as Xun developed his own method for soulbinding. For this breach of trust, Tlaloc was cast out from the Legion, with nothing but a small band of retainers. From then on, though allowed to meet with members of the Legion, Tlaloc was on his own. Xun being Xun, a path to redemption was left open. If Tlaloc could gather all the data, then he would be allowed back. Still devoted to the cause of the Imperium, Tlaloc seeks for a way into the legendary Black Library of the Harlequins. In this task, there is none he will not work with and nothing he will not do. He has raided Angelic Abbeys and Asuran Libraries alike.

(I'm thinking he still has his library card to the Sky Serpents. Xun basically couldn't condone his reckless acts, but seeing how the censure of Oramar turned out, he figured he'd try something different with his own son. The results are mixed.)


Baqar Hadbaal[edit]

Yue Taijiang[edit]

I'm thinking he comes to power fairly recently after having been on the ruling council for a long time. They'd been trying to get him to take the position for a while, but he'd long resisted what essentially ammounted to a desk job coordinating strategy on an Imperial scale. He's one of those top strategic minds in the legion types as opposed to the greatest warrior. He only took the command after auguries called him out by name and Illuyankas dreamt of him leading the armies of the Empire. With the beginning of the 13th crusade, it seems his time has come at last.

Illuyanka Tlaloc, Chief Librarian of the Sky Serpents[edit]

I don't have much on him yet, except for the fact that he had been in Xun's court on Tepectitlan. I think he goes on to become the first grandmaster of the Grey Knight equivalent. They replace his bones with adamantium etched with anti-daemonic runes and he is almost slain in a fight against a greater daemon, but another Sky Serpent psyker in need of a way to establish his credentials as a badass slays it and Illuyanka Tlaloc gets put in a dreadnought, probably a leviathan, you know, to keep that serpent theme going. They wake him up every so often, such as during a crusade, and when he is in stasis, they hook up an autoscribe to record his dreams. They're believed to be prophetic, and on a few occasions scryers claim that they include messages from Xun and the Emperor. Lately though, his dreams have been getting very, very weird because End Times. They're afraid to wake him up, given the deep state of reception he seems to be in, but they also are afraid they'll need him on the front. In particular, he was the only Librarian still alive who was there in M35 on Prospero with Xun, so as the legion prepares in case another ritual on Prospero is required, the debate intensifies.

Notable Tzolkin[edit]

The Blood Dragons Chapter[edit]

A Second Founding Tzolkin successor of the Sky Serpents, the Blood Dragons are one of the first successor Chapters to be formed directly in the wake of the Heresy. Like others of this Founding, they are comprised from a patchwork recruiting base of both of Sky Serpent recruits and Loyalist Astartes who put service to their Emperor over service to their traitorous Legions, particularly the Oathsworn and the Negators. Possessed of a fervent need to prove their loyalty, the Blood Dragons served valiantly and mercilessly in the First and Second Crusades, making a name for themselves as one of the more successful Chapters of fractured origins, alongside the Knights of MacLior and the Hammers of Luna.

Time has seen the Chapter transformed into fervent believers in the faith of the Jade Empire, though their internal rituals and customs are often thought of as strange and bloody by other Chapters. Their initial obsession with past transgressions has shifted over the millennia into a rigid upholding of tradition and a strong sense of historical worth, with no less than five specific ranks within the Chapter devoted to the performance, overseeing, and maintenance of particular rituals and their associated histories (Master of Liturgies, Master of Sacraments, Master of Devotions, Master of Invocations, and Master of Ceremonies). This scholarly nature is in sharp contrast to the Chapter's battlefield doctrine - the Blood Dragons prize the savagery of rapid assault and close combat, preferring to descend quickly upon jump packs and rend their foes apart, and many have reported incidents of Blood Dragons Astartes entering fiery passions in the midst of battle, their wits fleeing from them as the rush of battle transforms them into implements of the Emperor's holy wraith. Some have even claimed to have seen them drinking from the torn throats of their enemies, though few consider this more than an ill rumour.

Writefaggotry[edit]

Sarco: "Why serpents, Xun?"

Xun: "The philosophical implications of the serpent have their roots in ancient Terran mythology, where the snake is both a bringer of knowledge and death, a chthonic beast associated with the merits of intelligence, but also the dangers of learning without understanding. I feel it an apt reminder of our purpose, and of the dangers we must face in our duties, both from within and without. Why did you choose a wild cat for your emblem, brother?"

Sarco: "Panthers are cool."

Book of Xun[edit]

Elder Brother and Younger Brother were discussing their father. "Formerly, though great, our father was not perfect," said Younger Brother. "How dare you speak ill of our father, is it not the son's role to magnify their father's greatness?" responded Elder Brother angrily. "This is so, but Father's greatness was not in getting gored by the ox, but instead in his exertions in mastery of the plow. Is not cultivation of virtue found in the oneful resolve to correct past errors?" said the Younger. "But what shall we tell our children?" asked the Elder. "The truth, lest we have to tell them that their grandfather meant to be gored by the ox."

A rock cannot err, nor can it create. Though the raven is awkward on its feet, it can build a nest, and though the child may tumble, its courage is in rising to walk again.


The Iron Brother dreamt that he was free in the forests of his youth. Whatever he wanted to do, he did, be it swing from vines or wrestle with panthers. In the evenings he ate fresh fruit and clear water. But at night, his sleep was troubled by dreams of war. And in his dream, every day was much the same as the one before it and in the end he learned all the moves of Kultulki the Panther and Bargumba the ape. And each battle was much the same as the day's before. And he forgot about metal and boxes and empires. When he awoke, he felt them as chains. The next day, he came to Younger Brother and told him about his dream, his voice echoing and metal, but as he narrated the dream, he paused, and looked at the orchids on the shelf. "Look, see the orchids? And how the insects crawl skitter skitter on the stems? When I was fast like Oromchi the hawk, I never noticed, but now that I am slower than Belteg the tortoise, and my eyes are not my own, such things I now see! Formerly I could not love the industrious ants, but now how dear they are to me. I do not think I could have loved them with my own eyes." That night, the Iron Brother dreamt of gardening. He raked the stones and arranged the orchids and made roads and rivers for the ants. He set out the seeing stones and contemplated his day's work and said: "Insects are good companions because they do not speak. The osprey's song is sweet because it has no words. My garden's paths lead in circles. Back to the round stones in the creek." He named the garden River-Stone. (Stromstein 'River-Stone' is the name of one of the biggest fortresses in the Vigil.)

And yeah, Jade Empire doesn't really care about matters of dogma and is more focused on following the Emperor's teachings for humanity. He's more the Buddha or a Daoist sage for them than a proper god. The primarchs and the honored dead are like Bodhisattvas.

And yeah, they use Primarchs both loyalist and traitor in parables and fables. Xun's writings read like Zhuangzi, connected stories and musings on virtue and how to attain it, featuring the Primarchs and the Emperor in stories both real and fictional. The Emperor was fallible, after all, the heresy happened, but the Emperor Ascended after his death, as evinced by miracles which have been studied.

Ideally, the Jade Empire should feel like 40k Daoist/Chinese Buddhist thought with the social order coming in through Xun's semi-Confucian ideas of social order. They're crazy as anyone else in 40k, they just approach it differently.

Pages of the Imperium Asunder Project
Loyalist: Crimson Warhawks - Fists of Mars - Storm Hammers - Void Lords
Angels of Light - Sky Serpents - Undying Scions - Knights Exemplar
Traitor: Eyes of the Warmaster - Bloodhounds - Silver Spears - Judgement Bringers
Second Sons - Iron Hearts - Behemoth Guard - Arms of Asura - Negators
Renegade: Warp Raiders - Paladins of Kor - Oathsworn
Other Astartes: Diamond Watch - Black Suns - Hekatonkires
Other Powers: Resurgent Eldar Empire - Imperium Asunder Eldar Warhost
Archaeotect Collective - Realm Guard and Mercenaries - Altair Enclave
Related Pages: Imperium Asunder Campaigns - Imperium Asunder Timeline