+ inload: Gatebreaker specialists +

+ Eremites, Gentles, and Gnostics: idiosyncracies of the Gatebreakers +




'Xenos! They stand beyond the ridge. Muse on them. Militarise your disgust; be strengthened by your repulsion. Be as the Ninth Prince, and bring the terror of Six-Winged Apta upon his enemies.'

'The xenos defy us! As they tremble in their bunkers, so I shudder with rage. Do you feel your indignation rising? We will draw Bagtsa's fiery fury down upon them; be ceaseless in their prosecution!'

'The xenos oppose us! As Horiman rose to rule Cthalth, though a thousand cuts and a single strike, so we fall on our enemies. Draw his ambition to yourself as we stand ready to advance. Be his victory!'

'Praise to the Princes! Death to those who defy the Emperor's dream! Victory to the Gatebreakers – onwards! onwards!'

– Exhortations of Divine Ysaak Rama, prior to the Phen Mun Massacres


+++

+ Codex divergences +

+ The Gatebreakers demonstrate a number of departures from the organisation set out in the Codex Astartes, though such is that text's flexiblity and breadth that few are truly egregious. +

+ Gentlings +

+ One such example of a substantial divergence are the Gentlings; the Gatebreakers' equivalant to the apothecarion. Lacking a viable centralisation of forces, the various Strikeforces maintain Gentlings within fleets, and set up temporary Gentlings on recruitment worlds, where possible. This allows the Gatebreakers' Gentles – those officers of the Gentlings – to maintain a high rate of implantation. Gentles have much in common with the apothecarion of Codex Chapters, though their role within the Chapter is still more vital. +

+ Chapter Gentle +


+ The multi-headed role of the Gentle have historically been a necessity, owing to the Gatebreakers failing geneseed and numerous generune degradations. It has, however, had the positive effect of making the Gentles amongst the most effective and expert surgeons and healers in the Astartes, as the necessary innovation and adaptation has prevented their medical care from falling into half-understood superstition, as it has in many other Chapters. +

+ The sophistication and expertise of the Gentles thus puts the lie to any vision of the Gatebreakers as culturally impoverished. They are fêted within the Chapter, and are the only members of the Gatebreakers authorised to meet in person with other Imperial forces; meaning that they supplement their duties with those of ambassadors, diplomats – and spies. +

+ Historically, it has exclusively been Gentles who are deployed to the rare requests from the Deathwatch and similar organisations; both as a result of their understanding of diplomacy, and because they are the amongst the few Gatebreakers able to monitor – and disguise – the physical failings that are all too common amongst the Chapter. Their expertise is much in demand amongst such groups – the irony being that Gentles are under standing orders to surreptitiously take samples of tissue from other Astartes; in the hope that further refinements and therapies can be developed for their Chapter's failing geneseed. +


+++

+ Eremites +

+ The Gatebreakers maintain no chaplaincy, the nearest equivalent being the Eremites, or Divines, who tend the numerous shrines that are dotted across the Gatebreakers' protectorate. These individuals serve as much as storytellers and watchmen as spiritual guides, and are hugely varied in their character. Most establish a territory and make their way from shrine to shrine; occasionally accompanying a Strikeforce that is passing through on a patrol. +

+ Solitary and often erratic, the Eremites stand outside of the Chapter's formal power structure. Strictly speaking, they have no rank, as they are instead believed to be empowered by a patron Divine Prince, such as He-Who-Speaks-Not. Thus, though temporally powerless, it is a rare Gatebreaker who will contradict or refuse service to an Eremite. +


+ The shrines themselves vary hugely, from opulent cave-grotto sanctuaries visited by pilgrims to simple piles of rocks added to by superstitious locals. They are united by little save their isolation, making them hard for enemies to detect, and easy to defend. Whatever their form, they represent a metaphorical system of beacons that connect each planet to the Gatebreakers. The Eremites are the (albeit rarely-seen) face of the Chapter for the inhabitants of the Endworlds. +

+ In pursuing their self-appointed duties, these solitary shrinekeepers inadvertently maintain a warning system of sorts for the patrolling Strikeforces, giving the Chapter an organic way of maintaining a thin web of information from their distant borders without direct contact with those beneath their protection. +

+ The Eremites are the stuff of myth and fear on most worlds, solitary heroes – or dread legends – that appear out of the storm to face down piratical slavers, to rally the populace against an alien invasion, or to strike down powerful leaders or groups that threaten to unbalance a society. They are intercessionary figures for the common mass of humanity. To the Chapter, they are divinely-inspired ordinates, allowed a huge degree of autonomy for their invaluable service and suffered to bring truth to power. +

+ As a result of their isolation and individuality, it is difficult to characterise them. The inherent eccentricity and exceptionalism of all who are suitable to be elevated to the Astartes is a factor, and the cynic may point to the mental degradation caused by unstable geneseed as the source of 'divine' calling. Nevertheless, tales of the Anchorites' courage, strength and wisdom are frequently accompanied by seemingly supernatural acts of strength and will. +

+ Typically, an Eremite will move from world to world, using the shrines to send a subspace message to Strikeforces, who will where possible divert to pick up the individual. They will then accompany the Strikeforce, moving amongst the Members-Ordinary. The more boistrous and martial will seek to test their hosts' knowledge of the Ten Divine Princes, issuing martial challenges to those who show a poor understanding; others will act as storytellers, sympathetic listeners who collect the concerns and worries of the Chapter, then offer advice and placations to their patron Divine Prince. +

+ Some live an ascetic existence as Anchorites, withdrawing entirely from contact with the Chapter and wider humanity, and settling as a guardian of an individual shrine. Such Eremites are usually characterised by the poor nature of their arms and armour; some eschewing power armour entirely, either by choice or through necessity. The loss of such materiel is sorely-felt by an already impoverished Chapter, and their shrines are visited where possible to recover or replace elements left by the anchorite. To become an Anchorite is self-imposed, but Gatebreakers who feel they have reached a state of physical decline – either through age or injury – will sometimes opt to withdraw from their official duties. +

+ Forced to rely on their own resources – and facing the gradual decline of their physical state away from the Gentles – the Eremites represent the soul of the Gatebreakers. +

+++

+ Eremite Ysaak Rama +



+ Wandering the worlds of the Kua Fu Cluster, Eremite Rama was encountered by the Ninth Strikeforce as they investigated the world of Phen Mun. His local knowledge proved invaluable as he directed the force safely across the canyon regions that protected a deeply-dug in enemy force. +

+ After the massacre, Rama stayed only long enough to receive ministrations from the attending Gentle, accept a number of replacement armour-elements, and to disseminate the teachings of a spirit whom he claimed dwelt in the calcified remnants of the shrine's previous attendant, and spoke directly to him through the damaged nerve-endings of his teeth. +

[+inloadspoolspent+]
[+supplementary request>?+]
[SPOOLING: ReqQuery: Techmarines; ReqQuery: Librarius; ReqQuery: Command]
[+PENDING+]

No comments:

Post a comment

+ submission exloadform: inload [comments] herein +