Monday, June 11, 2018

Jornath Personalities: Captain Emith Vorodivo

Captain Vorodivo is the archetypal representation of his chapter, a dour and melancholic man, whose raw strength and capability for leadership simmer just below the surface of a sepulchral facade. For 300 years he has been in service to the Emperor as a part of the Mortifactors Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. Born on the chapter homeworld of Posul, he climbed his way to glory amongst the tribes of that feral frost world,  upon consuming the heart of the chieftain of the Ion Dreggers Clan, and offering up his body to the sacrificial pyre to the emperor he was elevated by the Astartes to the rank of an initiate.
During his time with the scout company, the young Vorodivo saw action across the breadth of the Imperium, honing his skills with long-range weaponry and stealth tactics. It was a formative time for him, as it is for all space marine initiates, it was during this period that he attained a special hatred for the Xenos of the galaxy. While the heretic was an affront in a totality, in spirit, and in body, the alien was a simpler threat, something that he came to particularly appreciate on account of his feral world upbringing. It was a simple and physical affront to mankind, one that could be rectified by a bolt round or the skilled swing of a blade. By the time he was elevated to the rank of a full battle brother, after 30 years of service in the 10th company, he had already decided to some day earn service into the Deathwatch. He would eventually succeed in his goal, during the Shackle Storm Interregnum, Vorodivo who was then amongst the ranks of the assault squads, descended to the deck of a Drukhari Archaon’s Ravager and, fighting his way past the Mandrakes guarding the Aeldari slaver lord, hurled a melta charge at the Archaon, igniting the Void grenades kept by the xenos. Sending a cascading whirlwind of flame and gore whipping into a coruscating void where the Archaon once stood. Vorodivo barely survived, his jump pack gave out upon his attempt to flee the wound in real space, He was recovered by his battle brothers, missing his right leg with large segments of his armor ripped away. Were it not for the excellence of the Astartes apothecary, he may well have died. Fortunately for the Imperium, Vorodivo did not succumb and was immediately elevated to the Tactical Squads for his actions. As a member of the 7th company, he undertook garrison and reconstruction duties with the rest of his squad, much to his chagrin. The Reserve company was rarely called to join in the larger actions of the chapter, and while this chaffed Vorodivo, who longed to earn glory in the great deeds of the chapter. It was a formative time, during his decades of service in the 7th under the mentorship of Sergeant Lyrtes, Vorodivo learned the minutiae of combat leadership, counter-piracy, guerilla and anti-insurgent combat doctrines, honing the young warriors hot-bloodedness into an expert military mind.

Vorodivo would eventually earn his place into the deathwatch in 388 M40, when the 7th was called to support the 3rd and 8th Companies and 6 other Space Marine Chapters in the containment of the Tyranid Splinter Fleet Umibozu, above the worlds of the Kisphaz System. The Kisphaz System fleet had been all but decimated, and 6 of the 13 worlds had already been annihilated by the aliens. Vorodivo and his battle brothers spent much of the year in the void, participating in a series of fleet actions to draw off portions of the hive fleet, to bleed it’s strength for the final killing blow. During the final incursion, huge sections of the tyranid biofleet were caught between two powerful battlelines of the Imperial Navy above the desert world of Markay III. As lance batteries and void torpedos ignited the fleshy organ ships, xenos spore pods fell to the surface in a desperate bid to continue the survival of the hive. It was to one of the Hive Tyrant bodyguards of the enormous Norn Queen, that Sergeant Lytes was to meet his end, and while the beast quickly met a painful end to the Sergeants plasma shot melting through its chest cavity, the foul constitution of the monster saw it given enough strength to drive a pair of bone swords through his torso. Not stopping the momentum of the squads charge, Vorodivo dropped his bolter, and recovered the relic weapons of his fallen mentor, using them to slay two more of the commander beasts, allowing Chapter Master Jaccat and his Ancients of the Solemn Blades Chapter to finally come to grips with the queen itself and end its synaptic hold over the dwindling remains of the fleet. Vorodivo was approached by Captain Auguri, commander of the Mortifactors 7th Company upon his return to the companies strike cruiser, the Captain had heard tell of Vorodivo’s mighty actions following the death of Lytes, and offered the honor of either Lytes’ command, or to represent his chapter in the ranks of the Deathwatch. Vorodivo would take the black the very next day, travelling to the nearest Watch-Fortress of Eocore. At Eocore, Vorodivo would learn the specialist tactics of the Deathwatch, sadly though his tenure with the venerated order would not be a lengthy one. Whilst aiding merchant vessels under duress by Rak’Gol raiders, Vorodivo and the other members of his kill team was ambushed by Aeldari Corsairs. While he was unaware at the moment, the mistress of their lithe-limbed attackers was, in fact, the daughter of the archaon Vorodivo had slain so many years before.  Artesha Sull, had brooded and plotted for her father's demise for centuries, as is the way of the Drukhari, but when she was outdone by Monkeigh brutes, all her hatred and outrage towards her abusive sire was poured into the fulfillment of a perverse alien honor debt, geared singularly towards the Mortifactors, and centuries later, towards Vorodivo himself.
The sudden arrival of the Corsairs caught the Kill Team flat-footed, shuriken and lances pierced from psychically concealed hides, adding to the havoc of the Astartes’ melee with the Rak’Gol’s Abominations. A quarter of the team was slain immediately in the Aeldari’s killzone, Korsae Charfang, rallied the survivors of the deathwatch near the docking umbilicals of the Rak’Gol’s assault ship. Opting to detonate the connecting walkways, to spare the humans on board the merchant vessel from the predations of the aliens. While this would strand the Kill Team aboard the xenos ship, it was not in the nature of the space marines to yield the victory to the enemy.  The Astartes fought their way to the vessels vital systems, slaughtering their way past Rak’Gol monsters and the occasional Aeldari ambush, as each system was laid low it was paid for in the life of another team member, until only Charfang, Vorodivo, and Kori Rycaspen remained, each heavily wounded. In a last-ditch attempt to take the aliens with them, the trio made way to the ships warp reactor. It was in the heart of this enginarium that Artesha Sull, revealed her purpose to Vorodivo, gloating over the corpse of Rycaspen, as both Vorodivo and Charfang laid bleeding on the ichor soaked decking. Had the Aeldari been less sadistic in her desire to boast over her quarry, the two astartes would likely have met their end in that horrid place. Fortunately, the arrival of more Rak’Gol crew members proved enough to distract the knife-eared corsair queen, allowing the two stricken astartes to drag themselves into the lower levels of the reactor, using the maintenance access ways the two survived in the recesses for days, allowing their superhuman physique to heal their wounds, biding their time as the Aeldari and Rak’Gol fought violent skirmishes, in an attempt to gain control of the vessel for their own ends. After a week had elapsed, the full might of the Eocore Watch Fortress descended upon the Rak’Gol ship, thanks to the actions of the kill team, the vessel found itself stuck; listing amongst the shipping lanes it had attempted to raid. Four kill teams and a strike force of the Militarum Tempestus made entry across the vessel via Thunderhawk and Boarding Torpedo, and cleared the entirety of the ship, thirty Aeldari Corsair’s bodies were recovered, three captured, of Artesha Sull and any others there were no sign. All sixteen hundred of the Rak’Gol aboard were purged, not one of the beasts even attempted to give up battle. Both Charfang and Vorodivo were recovered, along with 7 of the 10 bodies of the Kill Team, the other three were too badly disfigured to be moved without damaging their gene seed. The Rak’Gol hulk was declared Blackshields Razor, to commemorate the deaths of the astartes aboard it, it is still used as a merchants landmark to this day.  Following the internment of his battle-brothers in the Watch-Fortress’ crypts Vorodivo opted to end his watch, addled with guilt at the deaths of his brothers he returned to the Mortifactors, though many considered him a hero for his activities it did nothing to dissuade his own sense of self-doubt for what happened on the Blackshields Razor.

Upon returning from the Deathwatch, Vorodivo was moved into the tactical squads of the Mortifactors 3rd Battle Company as a demi-squad leader, it was in this position that he would spend a great deal of time, nearly a century battling across the breadth of the galaxy, against the Arch Enemy, Xenos, and occasionally acting in conjunction with members of the Inquisition or as a liaison with Astra Militarum Lord Commanders fighting against alien threats. During the Invasion of Ultramar, Vorodivo would earn his Terminator Honors. The 3rd Company was locked in melee with a Chaos Marine Warband led by the dread prince Galgathrax the Unwholesome, a wash of pox addled cultists swarmed across the companies battleline, pinning the various elements in place as Galgathrax’s personal guard waded into squad after squad, turning the noble armor of the Astartes into a oxidized metal coffin overflowing with thick white puss. Vorodivo, wrenched a Multi-Melta from its mounting on a shattered Imperial Guard emplacement, and charging forward he sent a searing blast of molten gas into the mighty daemon prince. While nowhere near enough to kill the monster, it did stagger him, allowing a volley of battle cannon rounds from the Vostroyan 423rd to find purchase on the princes’ bubbling oily flesh without being flung aside by Galgathrax’s magics. Cutting through a half dozen cultists, Vorodivo was met by Galgathrax’s personal bodyguard, ten mighty terminators, veteran warriors of 10,000 years of rebellion stood between the mortifactor and the arch-heretic, he had only moments before the monstrous warlord recovered from the wounds he had sustained. A flurry of bolt rounds tore into his body, detonating across his armor, sending his to his knees as his armor locked down under the onslaught. Desperately, he fired his multi-melta again, but the blast was intercepted by the body of one of the monsters terminators. His squad close behind him, rushed into battle with the traitors, taking advantage of the momentary gap in the bodyguards defense, caused by the melta blast, two battle-brothers Derafae and Eamilius riddled Galgathrax with a torrent of bolter shells, tearing the creatures arm from its body.  At last the Daemon Prince signalled his warband to withdraw from the field, the bodyguard scything down several of the Squad as they broke contact. Again the cultists returned, shielding their master from more harm. Vorodivo struggled back to his feet choking one such foolish mortal to death in rage at his quarries escape. Moving to the creatures severed arm, Vorodivo pried the sword from its atrophied hand and held it high above him, screaming hymnals of victory, it is said a gleaming beam of sunlight broke through the battle haze and illuminated the Sergeant in light, showing all assembled upon that field of the Emperor’s gaze apparent upon him. At this fearsome visage of Humanities fury, the sea of cultists broke as well, saving the 3rd Company and its supporting assets from defeat. The Blade, named Penitents Wish was a stolen relic of the Executioners Chapter, lost to the forces of Chaos since the time of Badab,it would become Vorodivo’s personal weapon, a testament to his heroism and long service in battle against the Imperiums many adversaries.
Following the completion of the Ultramar campaign, Vorodivo would join the 1st Company, after two hundred and fifty years of glories earned. For two decades he would act in support of the actions taken against the remaining forces of Chaos in Imperium Secundus. Eventually being called to support his brothers in the 3rd Company battling a strangely coordinated pirate ring just beyond the reaches of Ultramar, thanks to Vorodivos tutelage in counter piracy tactics under Sergeant Lyrtes and within the Deathwatch so many years before. It was upon discovering that the pirate fleet was being coordinated by a shadowy Aeldari Corsair flotilla referred to as Nezahs Courtesans, that Vorodivo would become truly invested. While it was incredibly unlikely that Artesha Sull was in any way responsible for this organization, he harboured a secret hope that he might drive Penitents Wish into the perfidious xenos heart, finally avenging his fallen deathwatch comrades, and erasing the stain on his honor. The human pirates were little challenge for the Astartes, many surrendered without any attempt at a battle. Better to work on a penal world than face certain death and excommunication for drawing a blade against the Angels of Death. It was when the fleet assets of Nezahs Courtesans were finally cornered in the asteroid fields of the Banfin system that the true conflict occurred. The void battle was brief but incredibly violent, a knife fight by naval standards, as the Aeldari attempted to break contact with the Imperial flotilla by speeding behind them and using the Imperials much slower turning speed to their advantage. In the minutes that the Aeldari Kingship sailed past the Mortifactor’s strike cruiser Acheron, the 3rd company launched an all-out boarding attempt, Vorodivo and his squad along with Captain Mediosk and his Honor Guard teleported to the Aeldari vessels bridge. A teleportarium flicker sent Vorodivo, with his terminators off course, placing them mid-ship, and leaving the Captain with his command squad unsupported amongst the enemy.  Racing to support its captain the 3rd company set upon the xenos with redoubled vigor. Tragically it was not enough, as Vorodivo’s squad made entry to the bridge he gazed upon a carnal house. Even while outnumbered, an Astartes company command squad was not an easy target to fell. Captain Mediosk had died well, his body was recovered atop a mound of Aeldari warriors known as Incubi, dread bodyguard to Drukhari Archaons, each was a master swordsman. As the 3rd Company began rallying towards the vessels bridge, Vorodivo more closely inspected the late captains body. His death wound had come from the front, scarred in a score of places from the Incubi’s power swords the captain's armor was shattered, but it was not these weapons which had ended his life. That, had come from a Deathwatch combat blade…

Assuming command of the 3rd, Vorodivo massacred the Aeldari and sundered their vessels, igniting the reactors of the ships. Every man, woman and child were slaughtered in his rage. Even the human pirates, who had surrendered earlier in the campaign were put to the sword. Bitterly the 3rd, now under Captain Vorodivo left the Banfin system towards Ultramar. It was in transit to Macragge for new orders and re-fitting that they received a distress call from the nearby Imperial world of Jornath, which had come under attack by Orks. Even while the 3rd mourned the loss of its captain, the company made ready for a lengthy ground war. Upon arrival the Mortifactors found the PDF woefully unprepared for the task to hand, having squandered troops on ill-prepared operations, Vorodivo opted to using his company for a primary support role, developing a command framework for the war, as well as formulating a long-term plan for planetary combat operations. Vorodivo and the 3rd Company would quickly become indispensable in Imperial operations during the War for Jornath.

Thanks for reading!  This post was a part of an ongoing narrative campaign, in the "living setting" of Jornath. For more information about Jornath as a setting, including units, missions, and posts from other Jornath bloggers be sure to click on the Jornath [40k] tab at the top of this page for an up to date list of all posts.

-Your Favorite Madman-

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