The Symbol of the Apocrypha Guard
"For the Arce!"
None, recruits from various Schola Progenium facilities
Surgical Strikes, Heavy Infantry Assault, Anti-Daemon Warfare
The Great Scouring (exact date believed to be 206.M31)
- "As you've probably noticed, you were singled out for this job, distinguished as prodigies even while within the care of the Schola Progenium, a place that's supposed to train those who distinguish themselves as prodigies in the first place. But don't count yourself lucky, you've been singled out to fight an enemy that's started some of the biggest and bloodiest battles in the Imperium's history. An enemy that existed while our ancestors were still crawling out of the swamps of ancient Terra. An enemy, might I add, that scares most grown men shitless at the very sight of 'em. That's right ladies and gents, you've been singled out to fight the forces of the Ruinous Powers. Still feeling lucky?"
- —Colonel Isaac Brenks, giving the new recruits a "pep talk"
The Apocrypha Guard are a specialized regiment of little-known Inquisitorial Storm Troopers with the sole duty of protecting and retrieving dangerous artifacts for the Ordo Malleus Starfort known as the Arce Secretorum. While small in number, composed of roughly over 1,000 courageous men and women drawn from all over the Imperium, the Apocrypha Guard make up for their lack in numbers in sheer efficiency and determination that has put other Storm Trooper regiments to shame. In fact, the "Arce-Borne" are are one of the few regiments of the Imperial Guard specifically trained to fight the Daemonic, and thus are armed and armored with some of the most potent wargear the Ordo Malleus can provide.
HistoryThe Apocrypha Guard are perhaps one of the oldest Imperial Guard Regiments in existence, a fact that they take no small amount of pride in. During the Great Scouring, while the Arce Secretorum was still under construction, the Ordo Malleus realized that such a installation would require a dedicated security force, as well as a private strike force to secure artifacts of Chaos. Thus the first members of what later would become the Apocrypha Guard where selected from the ranks of the Imperial Army, particularly those who fought, survived and gained victory in the face of Daemonic assaults and fell sorcery. It was slow going to say the least, as the Schola Progenium had not been founded yet, and thus each individual had to be carefully evaluated, recruited, have all their personal records deleted, subject them to specialized hypnotherapy, and finally induct them into the newly-formed Apocrypha Guard.
In order not to attract to much attention to themselves, the Ordo Malleus only recruited 1,000 individuals into the fold, as not to arouse to much suspicion over their sudden "disappearances". While this meant that the regiment would never be the advantage of sheer numbers, it did allow for a more easy time of individually training and equipping each Storm Trooper, and thus did the Apocrypha Guard become an extremely efficient fighting force from the very start.
Do to the fact that members of the Apocrypha Guard are individually selected from the Progena of the Schola Progenium, members of this regiment come from various backgrounds. As a result, the Apocrypha Guard does not have a familiar culture to fall back on, instead having created one for themselves over the millennia their Regiment has existed. This culture is defined by a strong sense of martial discipline and brotherhood. Being a strike force trained to combat some of the worst horrors of the warp, members of the Apocrypha Guard form strong bonds within their brothers and sisters in-arms, and thus as a whole are a tight-knit group, willing to fight and die for each other's sakes if necessary.
The Apocrypha Guard recruit both sexes into their ranks, as thanks to the incredible discipline of the Apocrypha Guard, their is little chance of of relationships forming between troopers. However, it should be noted that currently women are somewhat of a minority within the Guard.
The Apocrypha Guard follow the same organizational structure of any other Storm Trooper regiment as dictated by the Departmento Munitorium, using all the standard ranks, titles, and troop organizations. However, due to the fact that the Apocrypha Guard only number about 1,000 Storm Troopers, they are commanded by a Colonel rather than a General.
Like most Storm Trooper regiments, the Apocrypha Guard recruit from the Schola Progenium, however unlike typical regiments, only those that distinguish themselves as prodigies amongst prodigies are excepted. Once preliminary inspection is over, the new recruits are taken aboard the Arce Secretorum, where they are subjected to a complex procedure of psycho-surgery and hypnotherapy designed to act as a failsafe in case of capture and/or interrogation by enemy forces. The end result is that if the Apocrypha Guard is captured, he can render himself or herself brain-dead by uttering a simple phraseword (which varies per Guard).
Once the procedure is over with, recruit begins his/her advanced training, which specifically is designed to prepare the trainee for their inevitable contact within the Daemonic. This training course includes advanced tactics, weapon information, the handling of Chaos-related objects, and a brief insight into Daemonology in order for them to understand their foe. When all is said and done, the newly excepted Apocrypha Guard is ready and able to face down the horrors of the Warp.
- "Feast your eyes boys and girls, you're looking at some of the finest wargear the Ordo Malleus can provide."
- —Lieutenant Iresh Kollex
The Apocrypha Guard often fight against the Daemonic, and thus are equipped with exotic wargear in order to counter such threats.
- Lucius-Pattern Hotshot Lasgun - A powerful anti-personnel weapon that fires a laser powerful enough to penetrate Power Armor, the Hotshot Lasgun is similar to a Hellgun only it does not require a backpack-mounted energy source, instead using standard charge-packs. This allows for a Storm Trooper to be more maneuverable and versatile in combat.
- Voss-Pattern Hellpistol - The standard sidearm within the Apocrypha Guard, this Hellpistol also does not require a power source instead using charge packs, and pack enough power to burn through solid plasteel in a single shot. The only downside of this weapon is it's rather short range.
- Combat Knife - A fairly standard backup weapon, this monomolecular edged knife are carried by every Apocrypha Guard. However, one should never underestimate the skill with which the Guard wield their Combat Knives in close quarters.
- Seraph-Pattern Carapace Armor - A variant of Carapace Armor created specifically for the Apocrypha Guard, this suit of interlocking ceramite and armaplas is painted a deep red color, it's surface etched with gothic daemon-warding runes designed to protect the wearer from the powers of the Warp. In addition, it even comes with it's own full-face helmet, equipped with a built-in respirator and comm-bead.
- Various Grenades - The Apocrypha Guard use a variety of grenades in battle, everything from standard Frag and Krak Grenades, to tank-destroying Melta-Charges, and in some cases even anti-daemon Sanctifier Grenades.
- Silvered Swords - One of the Ordo Malleus' many innovations in the field of Daemon-hunting weaponry, Silvered Swords are the result of a project designed to create weapons that would allow even a simple Guardsman to fight a Daemon in close quarters. The result was the forging of master-crafted Power Swords whose blades where covered in etched runes of sanctified silver, a very scratch from which would be exceedingly painful to a Daemon. However, these swords are rare, and thus only a few amongst the Apocrypha Guard's officers wield them.
- Ceres-Pattern Bolt Carbine - More easily used than a full-sized Bolter due to it's smaller size and lower firing rate, the Bolt Carbine is usually used by the Apocrypha Guard as an anti-infantry weapon. In addition, Bolt Carbines can also utilize many kinds of specialized Bolter ammunition.
- Mars-Pattern Meltagun - Meltaguns are often used by the Storm Troopers of the Apocrypha Guard, prized for their anti-armor capabilities. In addition, Meltaguns are also integral to the Guard when breaching and clearing enemy fortifications where their objectives (usually some kind of Chaos Relic) is being held.
- Hellhammer-Pattern Lascannon - Used to take out enemy armor, the Hellhammer variant is more compact than the standard Lascannon, and thus can be weilded by a single person with little difficulty. The only downside is that this Lascannon requires a back-mounted power generator connected to the weapon via a large cable in order to be fired.
- Achillian "Tread Feather" Missile Tube - More portable and less encumbering than standard Missile Launchers, the "Tread Feather" maintains the same range and killing power while being lighter and more easily carried, and is even able to fire specialized missiles besides the standard Frag, Krak, and Flakk varieties.
- Psycannon - Rarely used but a part of the Apocrypha Guard's arsenal all the same, Psycannons are Heavy Bolter-like weapons that fire high-caliber, psychically charged, ritually inscribed silver-tipped bolts. A single shot from one such weapon can devastate a Daemon, Psyker, or Daemonhost, and thanks to it's negative psychic charge and anti-daemon runes, a Psycannon Bolt can pass through almost any kind of defensive shielding.
Because of the Apocrypha Guard's small size, their motorpool is also not very large or extensive.
Valkyrie VendettaThe primary and most often-used vehicle within the Apocrypha Guard, the Vendetta variant of the standard Valkyrie is perfect for the Guard's trademark lightning-fast insertions. Due to it's high speed and heavy armament, the Vendetta can also provide useful heavy support to the Storm Troopers on the ground, capable of taking out tanks with it's Hellfury Missiles and sponsoon-mounted Heavy Bolters, allowing the Apocrypha Guard to proceed unhindered by enemy armor.
Valkyrie Sky Talon
Used to transport Apocrypha Guard Tauros' on to the battlefield, the Sky Talon can be used for aerial support if needed, although due to it's limited armament is does often fill that role. Armed with nothing more than a nose-mounted Heavy-Bolter and a pair of Hellstrike missiles, the Sky Talon is mainly used for transportation if nothing else.
The Apocrypha Guard's only land-based vehicle, the Tauros Venator is a more heavily armed and armored version of the standard Tauros, equipped with either a Lascannon or Multi-Laser in place of the standard Flamer. While used mainly for fire support, Tauros are also used by the Guard as reconnaissance vehicles.
TacticsThe Apocrypha Guard focus on precise, surgical strikes, attacking the designated area with all-out force before retreating and leaving the battlefield as quickly as they came. The typical plan of attack is air drop via Valkyries, in which the Storm Troopers fight on foot supported by aerial fire from the Vendettas and anti-armor support from the Tauros deployed alongside them. Once they have carved a path to their objective (which is usually a Chaos relic of some kind), they retrieve the item with all due haste and pull back to the Valkyries, from which they are airlifted off the battlefield, their precious cargo in tow. The reason for the sudden withdrawal is not because the Apocrypha Guard cannot sustain a full-out fight, far from it, but simply because their only purpose is not to win the battle, but simply to retrieve the dangerous artifact they were assigned to recover.
Of course, this is their typical strategy, but for the most part no two of the Apocrypha Guard's deployments are the same. Due to the fact that their opponents are typically either Daemonic and/or Daemon-worshipers, the Guard must account for the thousands of variables that come with fighting against the forces of the Ruinous Powers. As a result, the Guard but much stock into strategy and tactics, oftentimes spitting their forces into Kill-Teams in order to attack their enemy on all sides, or surveying and scouting out their target for weeks on end before finally striking. All of this planning is imperative, for oftentimes the actions of the Apocrypha Guard can mean the difference between the life and death of entire worlds.
- The Avalor Event (268.M33) - The while the details of this battle are still incredibly hazy even to this day, it is known by the Ordo Malleus that the Apocrypha Guard did participate in a battle against a Daemonic entity of catasrophic power on the dead moon of Avalor, alongside the Grey Knights and several Ordo Malleus Inquisitors. Their is no information on the results of the battle or how many casualties where sustained, all that is known is that two months later, the daemonic sword known as the Nightshard was delivered into the Vaults of the Arce Secretroum.
- The Fall of the Succubus (399.M40) - Perhaps one of the Apocrypha Guard's finest moments, in which they not only recovered the dangerous Succubus Mask from the hands of a dangerous cult, but saved an entire sub-sector in the process. The Psyker-Priestess Lareth had used the Mask's malefic powers to enslave the population of nearly three whole Underhives within the Itorus Sub-Sector to her will, transforming what was once a petty cult into a formidable Slaaneshi warband in a matter of years. Various Imperial Guard Regiments had already been deployed to contain the growing threat, but ultimately it was the Apocrypha Guard's assualt on the cult's base of opperations that sealed their fate. During the ensuing battle Lareth was killed and the Succubus Mask taken from her, releasing thousands of innocents from her thrall. From their, it was relatively easy for the Imperium to cleanse the Sub-Sector of it's remaining taint, while the Guard sealed the Mask within the Vaults of the Arce.
- The Scyllan Purge (989.M41) - A Chaos Cult known as the Sevenfold plunges the once prosperous Hive World of Scylla into anarchy, empowered through the use of an artifact known as the Maelificus Sceptrum. The Apocrypha Guard is deployed to recover the artifact at all costs, led by Inquisitorial Overseer [CLASSIFIED], but the resulting battle ends in mixed results. While the Guard was able to recover the Sceptrum from the hands of the Sevenfold Cultists, they were unable to prevent their leader from using it's power to ascend to daemonhood, becoming the Daemon Prince Mal'Koth the Firstborn. Overseer [CLASSIFIED] is also severely wounded during the battle, and later the Ordo Malleus would subject Scylla to Exterminatus due to increased daemonic activity on the planet.
Captain T'kan Juron
Unofficialy known as the "Sword-Captain" of the Apocrypha Guard, Captain Juron is the model of unquestioning efficiency, with a reputation for daemon-slaying that would make an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor jealous. Mostly known for his skill in melee combat (hence the nickname), Juron is perhaps one of the few non-augmented humans that can fight the Daemonic in close quarters and emerge victorious, armed with a claymore-like Silvered Sword and machete-sized Combat Knife that he keeps in a double sheath across his back. Both these weapons have sent lesser Daemons of all kinds hurtling back to the Warp, a skill that is very valued by his superiors
A quiet, moody individual, Captain Juron's origins are somewhat of a mystery, even amongst the Apocrypha Guard. One odd feature that might point towards his origins are the various tattoos that snake across his body, tattoos that wouldn't look out of place on a Hive Ganger, leading to various assumptions. Most of his superiors say that these rumors can't possibly be the case, as all the Apocrypha Guard's recruits are taken from the Schola Progenium, but even they don't know for sure. Either way, only Juron can tell of his origins, and he's not very fond of sharing his secrets.
Sergeant Ellyn Ertelt
Known all throughout the tight-knit Apocrypha Guard for her light-hearted demeanor and dry wit, Sergeant Ertelt has become extremely popular throughout the ranks, particularly with the newer recruits. In fact, such is her reputation for humor, that many of the Apocrypha Guard have remarked that; "she could be stuck in the Warp with a pack of Bloodletters on her tail, and Ellyn would still find a way to crack a joke."
Ellyn is also known for the large scar that runs diagonally across her otherwise attractive face, although how she got that scar is still up for speculation. Whenever someone asks the Sergeant how she got it, she launches into a long-winded story that gets more ridiculous every time she tells it. The current tall-tale behind the scar is that she received it from the axe of a Bloodthirster, who she managed to kill armed with nothing but a Combat Knife, a tale that many like to hear but none actually believe.
The existantance of the Apocrypha Guard is not known to many, bu they do occasionally work alongsied other secretive Imperial organizations, as well as the other forces of the Ordo Malleus.
Feel free to add your own!
This Grey Knight squad has work alongside the guard on numerous occasions even. Backing the squad up for Ordo Malleus use. Justicar Ran-Ic was saved by a Apocrypha kill team from a large group of Daemons and a even larger group of chaos supporters. As a esultt the Ran-Ic squad is always willing to support this regiment if they need it.
An unseen and horrifying enemy of Mankind, the Consecrated are viewed by those who know of them as a powerful enemy of the Ordo Malleus. Many times they have clashed with the Grey Knights, and many times more have they descended on the Apocrypha Guard, intent on Slaughter. In their eyes, the Chaos Artifacts the Guard are meant to protect rightfully belong to the true followers of Chaos, and believe that such thievery is punishable only by death. The Consecrated will not stop until the Guard are destroyed and every last one of the Artifacts in their possession is taken from them.
- "Grey Knights wear Power Armor, muck about with psychic sorcery, and speak in cryptic hints. We kill things with guns and swords, trying not to get ourselves killed in the process."
- —Private Ondor, explaining the difference between the Apocrypha Guard and the Grey Knights
- "We live in a galaxy that's one-hundred percent fucked. I take comfort in the fact that at the very least things can't get one-hundred-and-one percent fucked."
- —Sergeant Ellyn Ertelt's view of the 41st Millennium
- "I just work here."
- —Colonel Issac Brenks, on the Arce Secretorum
Feel free to add your own!
- " Their strong willed, strong and just short of Adeptus astartes better then your average guard. I feel like I can trust them more then others truth be told I would rather have the whole regiment then a whole chapter of astartes. "
- —Justicar Ran-Ic
- "You have undertaken a great and terrible sin: You have stolen from me. The sacred relics of Chaos belong to me, and to my followers. You think to claim possession of that which is rightfully ours? Then die, a thief and a fool."
- —Azunar, to a dying member of the Guard
- "Captain, a group is approaching the temple. They look like Imperials, Guard heavy troopers perhaps, but their heraldry does not match any known pattern. I am pursuing to investigate their business here."
- —Brother Virrin of the Obsidian Blades final transmission before disappearing without a trace.