+ inload: Hyoidite Aganthan +

+ Hyoidite is an archaic IV Legion cognomen for a signalman; the term coming back into use post-Isstvan as Horus encouraged those who had rallied to his flag to alter their sigils, identifiers and codes to reduce the ease of identification. Almost all the rebels chose to ritually removing the Imperial Eagle and replace it with the great Eye of Horus, but many of the Warmaster's supporters took great pains to revise their uniforms and procedures from the ground up; a not-inconsiderable task that, in a number of documented cases, caused havoc for the rebel's command and control on the battlefield. +

+ The Iron Warriors as a whole were obedient in following the edict; but this was through their typical chilly efficiency rather than heated fervour for the Warmaster. With relish, the Legion High Command began to disseminate Olympian terms throughout the Legion's structure. Some commentators interpret the order as a typically sullen and tokenistic gesture to the Warmaster's wishes, while others have argued that it ought to be taken at face value; as a genuine desire to confuse the enemy with minimal potential for internal miscommunication. Certainly the Iron Warriors' choice was a convenient shibboleth long-familiar to the majority of the Legion – a code that would be easily broken, but owing to the divergent Olympian laryngal anatomy, was difficult for non-Olympians to convincingly duplicate over vox. +

+ The noted commentator Egris of Hiath made a well-argued point in his famed essay 'On the Causes and Results of Rebellion' that the Iron Warriors' choice was unusually sentimental. As the last generation of Olympians, the Iron Warriors' culture – self-extinguished – was in real danger of being lost. Egris' discussion built from this point to argue that the Iron Warriors were practising a rebellion of ideas against the monolithic bureacracy of Terra; a stab for (admittedly limited) individuality and diversity against the homeworld's smothering need to force uniformity and compliance. Such an argument, Egris concluded, demonstrated the treacher-legionaries tortured and contradictory need for both self-expression and centralised dominance. He was posthumously vindicated in his assessment as the defeated Legion fractured into followers of different ideologies during the Great Scouring and following years. +



+ Whatever the truth, the Iron Warriors' command choices were well-supported in the field with individuals like Aganthan. To a Legion which regarded mathematical precision as key to their offensive and defensive strategies, communications specialists were tested to a high degree, and in demand amongst line officers. In addition, they were usually fielded in pairs to ensure redundancy. The senior Legionary would bear intelligence-gathering and measuring equipment such as sniff-sweepers and specialist haruspex units in addition to standard pattern auspices. +

+ One such device is pictured above; the hand-held unit connected by bulky redundancy wires to internal receptors built into his plate. The junior Legionary would pass on the datascreeds interpreted by the hyoidite through a long-range vox-comms unit. +



+ Many amongst the treacher-legions were issued with newer armour prior to the rebellion, owing to Horus' favour, though far from all. Nevertheless, the general lack of supply during the Siege of Terra, meant that many amongst the Warmaster's forces were left with older suits. This was exacerbated in the IVth Legion's case by the Iron Warriors' peculiarly attenuated deployment pattern, and during the Siege of Terra it was far from unusual to see members of the Legion in marks ranging from gleaming prototype Mark VI to those forced to deploy in retro-fitted Mark II Crusade suits. +

+ The rear image shows the hooped underplating of the Voss-pattern Mark III armour with which Aganthan takes the field, as well as showing the legionary's holstered sidearm and spare ammunition. Perturabo's teachings had resulted in a rigidly drilled Legion, where good weapon order was second nature to even the rawest recruit. This lent a rigid steel base to the Warmaster's assault on Terra, against which the Sons of Horus, Alpha Legion and World Eaters could flex fluidly; resulting in a terrifyingly effective alloy of attack. +

+ This angle also shows a variant Legionary identifier; a broad Or stripe with a simple Legion numeral below a Tactical marking of the double-headed arrow. This was a relatively common variant amongst the Legion, developed post-Isstvan in imitation of their more specialised units' markings. +


+ Voss-pattern armour was generally regarded as second-best by most Legions; plagued as it was with unstable heat-build-up, minor power fluctutations, and a poor HUD suite. As a result, it was often passed on to second-line or reserve units. Garrison units of Iron Warriors were notorious for finding themselves lumbered with shipments from the Forge World after other Legions had interdicted deliveries of better-quality plate. While the practise was frowned upon by the Adeptus Terra, few would speak up in favour of isolated Iron Warrior Captains when faced with the demands of senior officers from other Legions. +

+ Perhaps such treatment was one source of the Iron Warrior's famed resentment. It is thus part of the tragedy that the sons of Perturabo were often deliberately chosen as garrison troops with the Adeptus Terra's foreknowledge that they would receive poorer-quality materiel. Were the Legion and its bitter master more able to see past the apparent slight – and were the Adeptus Terra more forthcoming in explaining their reasoning – the Fourth Legion's command might have seen that they had been selected for such treatment precisely because they were so resourceful in matters of technology. They could be relied upon to adapt their suits individually; creating wonderfully creative artifices to overcome the armour's drawbacks with few raw materials. +

+ In addition to the nameplate (usually restricted to honoured veterans), Aganthan's combat knife has script written in a curt, fussily-neat hand. Post-mortem examination revealed the writing to be a list of names. Perhaps fallen comrades, perhaps victims of the knife ritually noted. The truth will never be known. +



+ Such sympathetic adaptations can be clearly seen in the images shown here: the addition of reinforcing molecular bonding studs, a rear-facing raised pauldron to protect the notoriously vulnerable rear head cabling, and sundry less obvious adaptations. +

+ Aganthan's tilt-shield with a heraldic device is an unusual, though not unheard-of, affectation amongst the IVth, and here it serves a stolidly practical use in covering a bullet trap between the Voss-pattern pauldron and the chest. +

+ The Tigrus-pattern boltgun, a popular and common pattern amongst the Warmaster's legions, is standard issue. It was a peculiarity of many Iron Warriors commanders to prioritise the distribution of arms over armour; for reasons unknown. +

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