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This article, Bellatorum in Tenebris, is still being written. The authors, Kingslayer1, and BrowncoatMando, apologise for the inconvenience.
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This article, Bellatorum in Tenebris, was written by BrowncoatMando, and Kingslayer1. It may be linked to any page without asking for the author's permission.
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Overview

Well equipped and well trained the Bellatorum in Tenebris are the proud defenders of Necro (the home of the Tempered Souls). They are very well armed and boast considerably more soldiers than any of the other PDFs in the Nerio System. While they have remained untested for centuries they finally saw combat during the horrific events of the 13th Black Crusade.

Training

Renowned for their lengthy training process the BT require initiates to go through eight weeks basic training at a minimum. The training begins the same as that of any other standard fighting force with various waves of physical and mental training but takes a different route entirely after two weeks. After the introductory training the more difficult task begin ranging from borderline deadly expeditions into the tundras or constant live fire exercises.

Recruits are deprived of sleep for nearly the entire duration of the training period and are also left in constant darkness during their leisure time. The absence of light attacks their psyche as well as boosting their already above average night-eye. This process continues on until the eight weeks are up. From there the branching paths of training begin for all of the different tasks the soldiers can be assigned to.

Those who excel in their particular fields are made officers, with the approval of their division commanders. The overall head of the PDF is appointed by the Tempered Souls Chapter Master.

Tactics

Their primary purpose is to defend Necro's densely populated cities, focusing on garrison duties, fighting behind makeshift barricades and retaking occupied urban areas. While they operate vehicles, primarily the Leman Russ Conqueror and Chimeras outfitted with dozer blades these are used to support their infantry on the occasions they are forced to fight in the open.

The Special Forces are much more independent and capable of fighting in any of Necro's environments, this tends to make them dangerously unpredictable to their enemies. They are known to use any tactics that work, often becoming as ruthless as their foes, launching raids, poisoning their food and water and assassinating key leaders, whatever the mission requires.

History

13th Black Crusade

As the encroaching darkness of the ruinous powers closed in on the Imperium the PDF would find their world besieged by a fleet of horrid creatures and insane men. As other worlds in the system fell the ruinous powers closed in on the icy planet the PDF called their homeland. The untested ranks of soldiers were eager to show their might but still frozen in fear as they saw what seemed to be legions of damned souls and twisted mutants.

As the servants of the dark gods descended onto Necro's dark, cold surface they instantly set out to pillage and defile the settlements which were scattered around the tundras. In other parts of the world the invaders shifted their focus to the infrastructure of the planet in an attempt to cripple the PDF's ability to respond.

Necro was the last planet in the Nerio System to be attacked and as such the PDF was well aware of the incoming fleet of invaders and was able to move its forces around to the various cities well before the enemy had arrived. With nothing but time on their side the PDF barricaded every gate, sandbagged every wall, and made ready for siege any way they could. The readying for the arrival of the twisted and the damned was still well underway even as the first enemy ships made landfall.

Dockyards

Despite the battle raging around them several invading vessels were still able to dock and force their way in, the crowded hallways became a battlefield as thousands struggled for control of the docks.

Though outnumbered more than a dozen times over the defenders did have a pair of Tempered Souls and several cohorts of Bellatorum troopers and so they held their ground, depriving their enemies of a valuable position. From their positions in orbit the defenders could see the battle beginning to turn against their Space Marine allies-there were simply too many for them to hold.

Seeing the skies over Necro lost to them the Tempered Souls and Adeptus Arbites pulled their damaged ships into port to repair and launched Thunderhawks, carrying them into battle below while the crews aboard the cruisers and their single Battle Barge remained behind adding their weapons to the defense. The Dockyards would remain in the hands of Necro's people throughout the entire crusade, holding firm in the face of constant fighting.

Apostolos Promethium Works

A renegade Imperial Guard named Captain Veit Khun captured the Promethium works, intending to starve the villages and a PDF base on a nearby island of fuel and warmth. His small army also captured the staff, holding them as a captive workforce, supplying the rest of the invaders.

Defensive forces were already stretched much too thin across the entire planet so the special forces were called upon to retake the facility or, at the very least, destroy it too deprive the enemy of its benefits. Two ten man squads led by Officer Alexi Matz were deployed to the facility by using a commandeered civilian naval vessel. They infiltrated past the sentries stationed outside the facility and entered the building undetected. Once inside the discovered they were far outnumbered by the enemy and would have no hope of engaging in a direct fight that would result in something to their favor. Making their way through the structure they set charges throughout the several storerooms which housed excess promethium.

Upon entering what was to be the last room to set a charge they discovered a collection of the imprisoned staff. After securing the staff members the troopers led the way out and made it to a safe distance before detonating the charges the placed. The structure simply vanished in a second and in its place was a plume of flame which went roughly 300 feet into the dark sky.

Dawnhelm

One of Necro's more important cities it housed both a large church and was home to one of Necro's crime syndicates. As Dawnhelm was defended by a small PDF company, a single squad of Arbites and the Tempered Souls Chaplain, the advancing army expected an easy victory since they assumed the syndicate would fight alongside them. This proved to be a costly mistake. The syndicate handed out its weapon caches to anyone willing to fight, taking up arms alongside their former enemies. There were still too many to hold back and the city was almost lost after a week of fighting, until a newly arrived special forces unit deployed behind enemy lines.

Though they sacrificed themselves for victory they achieved a 15 to 1 kill ratio in doing so, shattering the enemy leadership and the phrase "Remember Dawnhelm " became a rallying cry for the rest of the war. The chaplain fighting among them took note of the courage shown by two PDF troopers,Tilvius Molineux and Devona Fantz and presided over their marriage at the battle's end- despite being newly married they and their comrades spent the next three days taking their city back.

*Under Construction*

Roles/Structure

Rifleman

The standard soldier of the PDF they have minimal training and carry the most basic equipment. These soldiers form the core of the BT and are the most flexible in terms of where they can be deployed. While they may not be the best trained they serve their purpose well as cheap and cost effective barriers between their foes and the civilian population.

Anti-Armor Trooper

As the name would suggest members of the PDF who are given this designation are in charge of finding and eliminating enemy vehicles on the battlefield. Usually they are deployed in pairs or trios so they can focus fire on a single target. Due to their heavier weaponry they are woefully slow in comparison to an average soldier. Because of this these troops are typically deployed in the back of convoys and platoons.

Vehicle Crewman

The operators of the many vehicles under the employ of the PDF these soldiers rarely ever see time on the front outside of their assigned war machine. Unfortunately these soldiers are horribly under equipped for combat outside of their vehicles so they are nearly worthless with their boots on the ground despite their combat training. It should be noted that only a select few are allowed to undergo the training to be a vehicle crewman because of the very small number of operable vehicles in the PDF's armory.

Special Forces

The best of the best are allowed to wield the title of this role. While it its somewhat of an all encompassing term the name covers any of the highly trained and highly specialized squads that carry out nigh impossible missions for the BT. The purpose and composition of platoons and squads under this designation varies wildly as it is up to the commanding officer of this division where and what the troops do.

Officer

A catch all term for the leaders of platoons or simply squads. They are the ones giving out orders and choreographing troop movements on the battlefront. They are divided up among the different branches and roles so there are Officers in the rifleman division, the anti-armor division, etc.

Chaplain

These soldiers serve near the same role as their counterparts in the Tempered Souls. They yell litanies and administer the word of the Imperial Creed to soldiers in battle. While they are somewhat ineffective in combat due to their main duty being making sure that the troop's purity is unaltered they are definitely morale boosters to the highly religious soldiers of the BT.

Structure

  • Cohort- roughly equivalent to a company, usually composed of two to three hundred men. There is rarely any need for any higher level of structure and PDF armies are usually ad hoc formations composed of whatever local commanders are able to field.
  • Platoon- two to three squads of ten men
  • Squad- ten men

The same structure applies to the Special Forces branch, however Special Forces usually operate mostly at the squad level while larger operations may require a platoon at most.

Equipment

Rifleman

  • Black fatigues - Rank and designation displayed on the sleeves.
  • Light Rucksack - A Sturdy albeit small pack which contains what some would consider meager supplies. Its slim nature makes it a ideal for urban fighting.
  • Utility Vest - A no frills vest meant to hold ammunition, grenades, and whatever extra pieces of kit an infantryman might need in a hurry.
  • Flak Armor- Typically a matte black color unless modified. Unit markings are displayed on shoulders and the chest plate.(eg 1-1-1 for first cohort, first Platoon first squad)
  • Corbonis "Blackout" Pattern laspistol - Imported from Corbonis like all their weapons, this variant has been upgraded extensively.
  • Corbonis-Necro Pattern lasgun - Designed on Necro and built on Corbonis. Nearing Carbine length it is perfect for the cramped nature of city fighting.
  • Prostatis Pattern Autogun: While not a standard issue weapon and one more commonly seen in the hands of the Syprios Militia more than a few have made their way into the hands of Necro PDF soldiers.
  • Necro Pattern Combat Knife - fourteen inches of sharpened steel it is more a short sword than a knife. On occasion troops coat these with deadly poisons extracted from local wildlife.
  • Two Frag Grenades

Anti-Armor Trooper

  • Black fatigues - Rank and designation displayed on the sleeves.
  • Rucksack - A large pack used exclusively (in the BT) by Anti-Armor soldiers. Its additional space allows the troopers to carry a great deal more ammunition and their issued explosives.
  • "Hardened" Flak Armor- Typically a matte black color unless modified. Unit markings are displayed on shoulders and the chest plate. This model of armor has been fitted with extra padding and additional armor plates.
  • Corbonis "Blackout" Pattern laspistol - Imported from Corbonis like all their weapons, this variant has been upgraded extensively.
  • Corbonis-Necro Pattern lasgun - Designed on Necro and built on Corbonis. Nearing Carbine length it is perfect for the cramped nature of city fighting.
  • Necro Pattern Combat Knife - A slightly modified version made with smaller dimensions to lighten the weight.
  • Breaching Tool - A heavy bladed axe with a large spike on the back. Handy for navigating ruined buildings.
  • Three Land Mines - Effective and cheap. Used against vehicles and mobs.
  • Two Disposable Anti Tank Rockets - Imported from Syprios.
  • Four Krak Grenades

Vehicle Crewman

  • Black Jumpsuit - Made of thicker cloth and sports built in knee pads.
  • Pistol Belt - A thick belt meant for holding the soldier's pistol holster along with assorted pouches.
  • "Tanker's" Helmet - A compact helmet constructed of light plastics.
  • Corbonis "Blackout" Pattern laspistol - Imported from Corbonis like all their weapons, this variant has been upgraded extensively. There are some examples of these pistols being shortened or modified in some other manner to make them more easy to maneuver while inside the cramped confines of a vehicle.

Special Forces

(The equipment for these troops vary wildly but this is the equipment made available to all units)

  • Urban Camouflage Uniform - A tricolor pattern comprised of black, grey, and a subdued blue. Apart from the difference in color it is the same as the standard PDF uniform.
  • Light Rucksack - A Sturdy albeit small pack which contains what some would consider meager supplies. Its slim nature makes it a great fit for urban city fighting.
  • Utility Vest - A no frills vest meant to hold ammunition, grenades, and whatever extra pieces of kit an infantryman might need in a hurry.
  • Web Gear - An alternative to the standard Utility Vest. Web Gear is comprised of removable suspenders and a pistol belt.
  • Lightened Flak Armor - A slimmer, less cumbersome version of the standard flak armor exclusive to the Special Forces division.
  • Corbonis "Blackout" Pattern laspistol - Imported from Corbonis like all their weapons, this variant has been upgraded extensively.
  • Corbonis-Necro Pattern lasgun - Designed on Necro and built on Corbonis. Nearing Carbine length it is perfect for the cramped nature of city fighting.
  • Necro Pattern Combat Knife - Fourteen inches of sharpened steel it is more a short sword than a knife. On occasion troops coat these with deadly poisons extracted from local wildlife.

Officer

  • Black fatigues - Rank and designation displayed on the sleeves. Silver or gold stripes go down both sleeves to show the rank of the officer.
  • Light Rucksack - A Sturdy albeit small pack which contains what some would consider meager supplies. Its slim nature makes it a great fit for urban city fighting. Typically officers will discard some of the items from their issued kit which they deem unworthy of keeping to make room for their books/maps.
  • Utility Vest - A no frills vest meant to hold ammunition, grenades, and whatever extra pieces of kit an infantryman might need in a hurry.
  • Corbonis "Blackout" Pattern laspistol - Imported from Corbonis like all their weapons, this variant has been upgraded extensively.
  • Corbonis-Necro Pattern lasgun - Designed on Necro and built on Corbonis. Nearing Carbine length it is perfect for the cramped nature of city fighting.
  • Necro Pattern Combat Knife - Fourteen inches of sharpened steel it is more a short sword than a knife. On occasion troops coat these with deadly poisons extracted from local wildlife.
  • Dress uniform - Generally officers dress the same way as their men when in the field and carry roughly the same equipment, except for maps and binoculars. The exception to this is on formal occasions when they wear dress uniforms consisting of:
  1. A peaked cap with a silver Aquila and Tempered Souls icon on the bill.
  2. A uniform jacket with appropriate rank and cohort markings embroidered in silver thread on the shoulders and any medals on its left side.
  3. A Gunbelt carrying their pistol and knife (and possibly a sabre should the officer be of sufficient rank), with a buckle displaying a silver Aquila and Tempered Souls icon.
  4. Black trousers with a silver stripe down the center.
  5. Highly polished black shoes which some officers decorate with silver toecaps among other things.

Chaplain

  • Black fatigues, the same as those worn by their colleagues
  • Light Rucksack - Theirs traditionally carry extra charge packs for their pistol, food and their books
  • Utility Vest
  • Flak Armor- theirs carry only a silver Aquila and Cohort number on the shoulder
  • Corbonis "Blackout" Pattern laspistol- largely the same as the one carried by their PDF brothers the ones they carry are marked with a purity seal on the grip and an aquila engraved on one side of the weapon
  • Mace- In an effort to emulate Tempered Souls Chaplains they are issued a mace instead of a knife as a close combat weapon. Their utility is debatable but it remains an important symbol of their office.

Famous Members

Achaetes Stamos

Born to two Tempered Souls chapter serfs in 950 M41. While the Tempered Souls offered his family stability and wok it was not the life he wanted and so he came to see the injury his father sustained in the line of duty as a blessing. Upon his parent's dismissal from service when he was in his late teens he drifted back and forth across the Nerio system before returning home in his early twenties.

Craving a life of order and structure like the one he left behind he joined the PDF and easily qualified for the Special Forces, eventually rising to command his own squad. He had learned a wide variety of skills in his years of traveling, skills that helped him rise in the ranks, eventually climbing to command one of the regional armies, composed of roughly a dozen Cohorts in his early forties. He devoted himself to his work, studying tactical manuals and the memoirs of Imperial Guard commanders in his spare time. Appointed the head of the BT by the Chapter Master upon the death of his predecessor the 13th Black Crusade was his first great challenge.

After leading his men to victory he returned to his duties, he now oversees the recruiting and rearming of his badly mauled PDF.

Tilvius Molinuex and Devona Fantz

"I was unafraid of death but only of rejection from the woman I love- what is wrong with me?"

"Death is easy but to live is much more difficult. A life unloved is a tragic burden."
—Molineux and Fantz immediately before their first kiss.

The Bellatorum in Tenebris fought alongside the Tempered Souls during the 13th Black Crusade, among them Tilvius Molinuex and Devona Fantz.Molineux had been in love with Fantz for years but had lacked the courage to say anything until one moment when they were almost overrun by invading cultists during the Battle of Dawnhelm. He proposed marriage believing it to be his last chance, unwittingly doing so on an open vox channel. She was surprised but did not hesitate to say yes revealing that she too had long been afraid to confess her feelings for him.

Driven by their newfound love they survived the battle. Impressed by their courage and devotion to each other they were married by the Tempered Souls Chaplain as soon as the battle ended. Their commander, their squad mates and several Arbites all served as witnesses. They would see out the rest of the Crusade fighting side by side.At present they are happily married, raising their children in a home given to them as a gift by Necro's government.

Kazan Grenlod

"The bastard could carry around and shoot a stub carbine. Even had a name for the damn thing. Always thought it was a bit odd but I never complained when he used it to chew through a squad of combatants."
—Unknown Rifleman

Grenlod was somewhat of a legend among the ranks of the PDF. Tales of his feats in battle were spread from regiment to regiment with the stories changing with each telling. According to official records he was an exceptional soldier who served as an Anti-Armor Trooper. Somehow he managed to get his hands on a stub carbine and was actually able to use the gun effectively. While the number of kills vary wildly in the tales of Grenlod there's around 70 tally marks in total on the stock of his weapon.

Unfortunately for Kazan his stellar luck would run out one day when he stepped on a landmine while running to assist an ambushed squad. While he wasn't killed he did suffer irreparable damage and was forced to give up his soldiering career.

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