+ inload: Anatomy of Empire I: The Charadon Empire +

+ Anatomy of Empire I: The Charadon Empire +

Located in the Ultima Segmentum, the Empire of Charadon today incorporates nearly seven hundred primary ork systems, and with a significant further dominion of slave worlds.

The empire sprang up in the wake of the Horus Heresy. Its first leader, the Arch-Arsonist Garslab, was quick to take advantage of the power vacuum left by the withdrawing legions, and the pocket empire quickly began to exert its influence across the spiral arm.

Today, the Empire is eclectic, established and markedly cosmopolitan; incorporating as it does a substantial permanent population of non-orkoids, including independent humans, abhumans and nearly a dozen other identified xenos species. The orks seem to tolerate – with some ork planetary commanders even encouraging – the presence of raiders, pirates and freedom-seekers in their realms. The existence of such ne'er-do-wells gives the orks of the Empire an unrivalled understanding of other species' strengths and weaknesses, and a ready source of both mercenaries and enemies against which to test themselves.

It is a mark of the Empire's longevity that the Tactica Imperium itself makes note of the forces of Charadon, using the military strategies of the forbidding black planet as an example of the perils of underestimating the threat of the orks: it is this Empire's pragmatism that has allowed the Arch-Arsonist and his cronies to prosper so long, and to have grown so powerful as to bring the Imperium of Man to terms on a number of occasions.

+ Military forces of the Charadon Empire +

The denizens of the Charadon empire are typical of orks – by which it is meant that the inhabitants are by turns belligerent, aggressive and surprisingly cunning. Unlike humanity, orks show little adaptation from region to region. If one could bear to remove the greenskin's stinking clothing, an ork of Charadon would be all but biologically indistinguishable from one from across the galaxy, which goes some way to demonstrate the sheer resilience of the ork genomic equivalent.

With that said, cultural tropes and norms do vary, and ork forces of Charadon are typically armed and armoured in a slightly more uniform fashion than one might expect of less-established ork regions, whose nomadic forces rarely have an established regional identity. This is due almost entirely to the stable supply lines from a string of indentured manufacturing worlds deep in the region. These include the fabled Lost Forges of Zoroaster – a dozen former Forge Worlds that fell to the first Arch-Arsonist over a decade of terrible warfare, and have remained firmly in the Arch-Arsonist's claws to this day. These churn out the murky fatigues and granite-grey armour plate by which the orks of Charadon can be recognised.

Typical ork Grenadier squad of the Charadon Empire
The clan system here is not absent or suppressed – indeed, a number of worlds within the Empire are vibrant examples of ork Kultur – but it is not a mineral-wealthy region, which in turn means that dyes, paints and other materials are relatively hard to come by. This is no hardship to the orks – after all, it provide the perfect reason to continue raiding each other, and to launch occasional large-scale fleet assaults that the orks call 'World-burnas' on fringe worlds in the reaches. Such attacks are launched by ambitious warbosses (sub-commanders) on their own initiative, but the most terrible are those made by order of the Arch-Arsonist himself, as such fleets are drawn from all across his Empire, and rival the Naval fleets of the Sector in number and mass-displacement. 

The armies of the Arch-Arsonist show the usual range of ork technology and tactics, ranging from light infantry forces supported by war buggies to specialised artillery and air units. The warboss Brug Wellshod's Iron Stompers are a good example of such specialism; being a force made up entirely of siege dreadnoughts and power-armoured support. Given the provenance of much of their equipment, it is perhaps not surprising that the orks of Charadon demonstrate a greater-than-usual proportion of vehicles recognisable as adapted STC designs; and most of the Arch-Arsonist's military forces will include weaponry and materiel that would be broadly recognisable to Imperial commanders, ranging from Rapier light weapon platforms to Bullock jet-cycles. This corruption of the Machine God's will, along with the loss of the forges of Zoroaster, has earned the Empire the eternal opprobrium of the Adeptus Mechanicus, who continually petition local Imperial Commanders, mercenaries and Astartes commands to launch counter-raids to recover precious knowledge from these lost worlds. 


+ Charadon in the Alien Wars +

By the time of the Alien Wars, the Charadon Empire had become the longest-standing and most stable orkoid region in the galaxy, and the current Arch-Arsonist – by now an inherited title – a significant concern in galactic politics. Prior to taking the mantle of Arch-Arsonist himself, Zogblad the Belligerent had been a powerful lieutenant who helped his predecessor into the ork afterlife by 'accidentally' nudging the previous incumbent into the voracious maw of one of the Seismic Proto-dragons of Kor Luft.

Ruling from the black granite throne of the principal world from which the empire takes its name, the arch-arsonist now broods on the best course of action to take as his minions bring news of retreating Imperial forces all across the galaxy...


+ Painting +

+ A productive weekend's work has seen me get the fatigues and weapons base-coated across the four squads, and to complete the skin on them all – a very satisfying stage. As noted elsewhere, I've taken pains to make sure they've each got a different skintone, by using unique combinations of paint mixes and washes. I'll have to be careful when adding further refinement, as I've no chance of remembering a particular mix! +

More of da ladz

+  All that remains is to work back over each model in turn, picking out details, filling in gaps (straps and pouches in particular), and adding details like the Drop Legion logo and warpaint to suitable areas. I hope to have that done by the end of the week; then it's on to finishing off the terrain for the game. +

Thrugg Bullneck and his squad leaders
+ What's next? Well, I'm still enjoying painting orks, so I might well paint up a few gretchin and a dreadnought – if I can do that, I'll be able to recreate the 2nd edition ork force, as well as the Rogue Trader army, which'd be a fun additional project. That'll bring things back round to the Blood Angels, who have received some exciting reinforcement from my friends in the PCRC... +

1 comment:

RSF_Angel said...

I'm a big fan of the painting here. The muted brown and grey palette help make your more 'natural' green skin stand out. When looking at the group, it becomes the promninent defining feature that despite the variation in tone- unifies the group.

In the alien race war- your skin is your uniform.