The 44th Fidea and the Fidea Imperial Guard as a whole has its origins in the war with the Wel'Kor'cha from 690-723 M41. Each of the 44 Regiments comes from one of the 44 Fidea tribes with the 44th drawn from the Broken Ribbon Clan. While the name is largely irrelevant since their exodus underground, the clan was named for their proximity to a long river that ended in a waterfall, breaking 'The Ribbon' of flowing blue water. This waterfall drained into a vast lake that attracted herds of Snow Aurochs and the Snow fleas that preyed on them. The Snow flea remains a powerful symbol in the minds of the 44th Fidea, a remnant from those early days.
This xeno race was unknown until they emerged from their cities beneath the ice in 690 M41. While not a threat to the Imperium as a whole they were so to the people of Fidea Prime who they saw only through the distorted lens of Chaos worship. After Fidea survived the first assault they raised 44 Imperial Guard Regiments to retaliate and conquer the rest of the system in the name of The Emperor. The name of this minor race was unpronounceable to humans but not the name of the Warchief, as commanders are known in Fidea parlance, and so they came to bear his name even in Imperial records of the conflict written decades later.
Wel’Kor’cha led his armies against the Fidea Imperial Guard for thirty years before falling in battle in 720,his successors were only able to hold out for another three against the Fidea and their support from Battlefleet Medici. As of 723 there were no more than a few hundred left where there were once millions or more.
Located roughly eight Kilometers from The major Wel'kor'cha city on Fidea Secundus Hill 542 was of dire strategic importance to both armies. Understanding the significance of the location the enemy commander, Warlord Wa'cho'Ni had turned the hill into a heavily fortified outpost, unreachable by conventional means and protected against orbital strikes by heavy shielding and so this battle saw six weeks of heavy fighting as they, the 18th "Greycloaks" and 37th "Deathwinds" laid siege to the enemy position, hoping to starve the defenders out.
With both sides unable to receive new supplies and reinforcements it became a battle of attrition that lasted for another three weeks before the Fidea commanders ordered an assault up the hill, preferring a quick death in battle, if necessary, to a slow one from hypothermia or starvation. Despite being sick, underfed and undersupplied the Fidea prevailed against five to one odds when the defenders ran out of power. They fought to the last, Wa'cho'ni and his staff were among the fallen, giving the Imperial Guard an advantage in the fighting to come. The survivors were rotated off the line to recover before being sent into battle again a couple of months later.
The Stone Gates
With Hill 542 taken the Fidea Imperial Guard was able to launch the final offensive to take Fidea Secundus. The Stone Gates stood as the last obstacle to their complete dominance over the planet. These imposing structures, carved from a mountainside and marked with the symbols of Chaos and Wel'kor'cha history held firm despite four days of fighting in the valley outside and attempts at demolition. On the fifth day the 6th,18th,the 37th the 41st, and 44th Regiments were able to break through into the city,facing resistance with every step as they entered the city the gates were meant to protect. Thousands of Wel'kor'cha died in the ensuing firestorms that left the city's stone buildings burned out husks. They nonetheless held firm, lasting for over a month before being the last defenders fell on the steps of the planetary ruler. The 44th was the first to enter the massive structure, killing anyone inside.
Despite this victory the Warchief Wel'Kor'cha would flee along with much of his officer corps and many of the most important leaders, escaping only moments ahead of the advancing army and the war would continue on. After the Imperial Guard sealed every way in our out the city was leveled by a single shot from orbit which collapsed the mountain around it, entombing the dead from both sides of the conflict.
The Cairn(720 M41)
The Fidea would later catch up to the Warchief on Fidea IV where he was assembling all of his remaining forces, preparing for one last desperate operation, a second invasion of Fidea Prime, the objective- to take Isafor, kill the Oligarchy and send the world into chaos.
The battlefield where the two armies met would be dubbed "The Cairn" for the large numbers of dead on either side, the 44th took roughly 60% killed or wounded while the number of Wel'kor'cha dead and wounded remain unknown. What is known is that their greatest commander and much of his staff was killed in the fighting leaving only junior officers to command what little remained. Neither had the strength to continue the battle after 21 intense hours and so the defeated Wel'kor'cha melted away into the wastes of Fidea IV, leaving their dead behind to be burned by the victorious Fidea Imperial Guard. The war would last another three years but The Cairn was the turning point- the final battles three years later would see the xenos reduced to a population of only hundreds when they once numbered in the millions.
Karini 8, The Manheim line
They spent the next decades rebuilding and acting as garrisons in captured territories on guard in case the native Xenos struck again, a threat that never emerged.
They were sent to Karini 8, a frozen moon in orbit of the gas giant Karini, one of the worlds of the Spinward Front. Their current enemy is a clan of Snake Bite Orks led by Ohulhug the self styled "Da Lord Hi-cheef o' all da Snowee Ork Boyz". while not as canny or clever as a Wel'Kor'cha warchief he is still a dangerous opponent, he knows how to use his terrain and superior numbers,but superior training and experience has allowed them to survive against every assault.
They did not face these Orks alone, they were simply part of a larger whole under the command of the Imperial General(though he also went by "warchief" in deference to Fidea nomenclature) Adolphus Manheim- making them one of the group known informally as the "Manheim Line", once again serving alongside the 6th, 18th, and 41st Fidea Regiments as well as several others drawn from other cold weather planets.
The Chain of Fools
Named for a series of mountain peaks no human was ever able to climb and only the most foolish tried- and died. The steep valleys between them became a battlefield when the local Orks, who were able to endure the rough terrain launched an attack on a Manheim line column.
Thousands of boar riders threw themselves at the Imperial Guard lines time and again and the 44th Fidea held time and again. The battle continued on from sunrise until well after sunset, the bitter cold eventually drove both sides from the field, ending the battle in a draw but it proved to both the Warboss and Manheim that neither should underestimate the other.
- "I asked for a hammer- I instead received a poisoned blade. Not what I wanted but I thank the Emperor I got her."
- — General Adolphus Manheim
General Manheim realized he would likely need extra help and so he placed a request in his next report asking for more men- he instead received a single woman, the Vindicare Assassin who called herself Coldstrike. Coldstrike immediately found a vantage point from which to operate, never revealing herself to them. She stayed in a single position for ten days targeting Ork leadership and when they moved so did she.
When the Orks attacked again she continued shooting them at extreme range until she noticed a Nob charging the front lines. With one well placed shot from her Exitus Rifle she dropped him right before he hit the front rank. This action revealed her presence to them for the first time. She stayed with the Manheim Line for two further weeks before being sent away on another mission.
One Guardsman described her as being "A silent shadow with a lust for Ork blood. Not what we had asked for, but a welcome ally all the same".
The "Manheim Line" though no longer under the command of the eponymous Lord General, is currently deployed on the Feral World Rufex in the Argus Sector and was recently joined by the newly founded Valdore 21st Combined Arms Regiment On Rufex they are currently fighting the remnants of Hive Fleet Karkinos and Genestealer Hybrids fighting a Civil War with Imperial loyalists. The terrible weather conditions,Rufex sees only one day of sunlight during the nine month long winter, further complicate matters.
Rufex Southern Theater
They are deployed on another region of Rufex apart from the Valdore, fighting in the frozen wastes of Rufex's Southern Hemisphere. They quickly made contact with loyalist Tribals fighting under the chieftain Rahlmeg. Their primary enemy is the leader of the corrupted Tylex tribe, a cult leader named Wynra who commands an army of Genestealer Hybrids. The fighting is more constant low level skirmishing as both sides have taken to small hit and fade engagements.
While solely an infantry unit the Fidea have learned to fight as their allies do, using the local Stekelon riding animals to outmaneuver their slower enemies and to target key units. The Stekeleon is large enough for two riders, one in front to control the beast, the other behind him to shoot.
The Stekeleon's powerful front claws have proved more than a match against Tyranid shells while its natural armor plates and bone spikes are highly resistant to all but the strongest Tyranid bioweapons. The Tylex and Fidea are both well aware of the animal's few weaknesses and fight accordingly.
Kilometer 71 Marker
Techpriests from the Daedalus Forge World,noted how long it was taking their products to reach Rufex and so began work on mining and industrial complexes to supply Imperial and allied forces on the planet. They also began building a railway to connect them all for the sake of mutual support. One of the Fidea Warbands were deployed along a troubled section of the line, between kilometers 70 and 80. While protecting a party of Techpriests and servitors changing engines they came under attack by a mixed force of Tyranids Warriors and Genestealer Hybrids.
The Fidea charged into action,riding into battle on the backs of Stekeleons and quickly drove the first waves of Warriors back into the forest only for Carnagores to burst out of the snow covered earth and attack and destroy several cars before the Fidea could respond,despite the defensive weapons onboard.
A group of Vorvara warriors out hunting with new lasguns heard the sound of fighting and came to their aid. While new to Imperial technology they had still been trained in the use of the Voxcasters they carried and called for reinforcements while they entered the fight. Less than an hour later the hunters were joined by more than a hundred extra warriors including their chief and his elite warbands and Warlord Tenho Kujala sought him out, wishing to fight beside him.
In the end,while Imperial and Tribal Forces were able to drive The Tyranid forces back the battle was a draw but The Techpriests gave the Vorvara chief a Chimera as a gesture of thanks.
- 5 Warbands of 440 each commanded by a Warlord(equivalent to Captain) but the first warband is led by the War Chief personally
- Each Warband is 5 War Parties of 88 commanded by a War Leader(equivalent to Lieutenant)
- Each War Party is 11 men commanded by a (equivalent to Sergeant)
- Fidea "Brightfire" pattern lasgun
- Fidea Pattern autopistol
- Fidea “Ice Fang” pattern fighting knife
- Fidea “Iron Grip” pattern ice axe
- Fidea pattern flak armor/ helmet with goggles
- Standard issue coat with fur lining.
- Black leather gloves with fur lining
- Ammo belt with 4 extra charge packs/4 extra autopistol magazines.
- Imperial Guardsman’s Uplifting Primer
- Dogtags/Aquila Icon/Snow Flea Icon(all worn on a chain around the neck)
- seven days of rations(supplemented by scavenging)
While they retain the same cultural practices and traditions of their homeworld they have a few distinct practices of their own. They tend to eat standard issue rations cold and supplement their diets with anything edible they can find. Both habits disgust the more "civilized" units they serve alongside. While they prefer to be called "warchief" or "warlord" their officers also answer to the Imperial Guard titles of "Colonel" and "Captain" since they see it as a different name for the same thing.
As they all come from the same tribe they see each other as distant relatives. As such when any of them falls in battle the others swear a blood oath to avenge him, as they would for their own siblings. Not without reason- there are reports of every man in a family serving, bringing female relatives along on their campaigns.
With their deployment to Karini 8 they have also started taking trophies of Ork teeth and scalps and boar tusks- cooking their meat with flamer bursts and eating it. They have not faced Orks since and so the tradition my die out.
They still retain some of their tribal nature as well, maintaining friendly rivalries with the other units of the Manheim line and especially the other Fidea regiments. Despite the passage of millennia and the presence of a common enemy such rivalries are not easy to give up, though they have softened into insults and ocassional fistfights instead of outright bloodshed. This does not exist with the 37th and the 41st, all are part of the same original alliance.
While they wear various good luck charms, as is common for the people of Fidea Prime they also wear one uniquely their own.
Fidea Snow Flea
An animal native to Fidea roughly the size of a Terran wolfhound. Not truly a flea or even insectoid, more like a spider than an insect it earned its name due its habit of jumping away from danger on six powerful legs.
Within the 44th, a bit of superstition has arisen regarding the Fidea Snow Flea. In taking on their name and carrying images of this animal alongside their Aquila they take on the traits of Snow Flea, or so they believe. As noted above this belief comes from the early days of the unit's history. Snow Fleas hunted the Snow Aurochs drawn to the Broken Ribbon and the men of the Broken River Clan have not forgotten those days.
- "Dangerous to know- worse to anger."
- — a comrade in the 44th
The sole survivor from a village of 200 people destroyed by the Wel'kor'cha during their invasion, costing him his home, his livelihood and his family including a wife and children.
He traveled the entire distance to Isafor on foot, joining the 44th when he was well enough to fight, driven by revenge. He would get his chance when the 44th Fidea began the war to take the rest of the Fidea system.
Despite suffering from untreated PTSD he was still allowed to serve and enacting his revenge in various bloody and creative ways acted almost as therapy for him. However most didn't see it that way, they kept their distance from a man they correctly believed to be dangerous to himself and others.
If he did harbor any desire to hurt any fellow Fidea he never got the chance to act on those urges- he was killed by a Wel'kor'cha mine in the early days of the invasion of Fidea Secundus. shortly after a battle that saw him kill a Black Iron elite with his bare hands.
A renowned knife fighter he carried no less than 6 blades into battle, and an equally large collection of throwing knives strapped to his wrists which he could throw with almost unnatural accuracy.
He was quite attached to his collection, he had made most of them himself as he had been a blacksmith before the invasion, losing his home and work. He was careful to recover his throwing knives after battles and repair any damage his own and those of his comrades.
On one noteworthy occasion his unit was almost overrun. He killed six Wel'kor'cha with perfectly aimed throwing knives before the lines collided and when they did he drew a pair of fighting knives killing at least 8 more. He paid for this, long scars crossed his face and arms until the day he died of old age many decades later.