|The Empyran Pantheon|
The armies of the Pantheon march forth
Estimated to be 100 Worlds (full size unknown)
Head of State
The God-King, the Immortal Houses
Estimated to be at least 500 Billion (not including military)
Exact numbers unknown, due to constant creation of new Clone-Soldiers
Too many parameters! Are you sure you aren't misusing this infobox type?
- "When I am finished, the entire galaxy shall bow before their true God!"
- —The God-King of the Empyran Pantheon
The Empyran Pantheon is a Human Empire located within the Veiled Region, which managed to survive the events of the Great Crusade and is now spreading outwards from the Empyran Sector. Having only recently emerged into the galaxy at large, and has proved itself to be a threat. Governed by a brutal religious dictatorship, and ruled by the self-styled "God-King" of Empyran and his Immortals, the Pantheon is dead set on becoming a galactic power, and will walk over mountains of corpses to become such.
Birth of a GodIt was during the Dark Age of Technology when a group of scientist set out from Old Earth, entering the area of space now known as the Veiled Region. Why exactly they traveled their was unknown, but their purpose was one of grand intentions. Simply put, they aspired to create a perfect human being. Landing on the planet known now as Empyran, the scientists set up shop, building a laboratory. It was their that they conducted their experiments on the human genome. But, their experiments always ended up in the same way; failure. However, the scientists never gave up on their hope, and for decades they continued their experiments. Eventually, the scientists created their own civilization of humans, forever awaiting they coming of "Deliverance Day", when their leaders, the ancestors of the scientists that first landed on Empyran, would finally create a God to lead them into a golden age.
Then, the warp storms hit, cutting off Empyran from the rest of the Galaxy, and yet still the scientists toiled. It was the nature of the warp storms that they found to be key to their success, for by studying the warp, and it's ability to create and destroy matter almost instantly, that seemingly solved their problem. A child, a single perfect child, was birthed from their research. The people of Empyran rejoiced, for Deliverance Day was upon them, and their God had been born. Little did they know, they had not created a God, they had created a monster.
Rise of the God-King
The child grew quickly, reaching full maturity in just a decade. But, what the Empyran people did not realize, is that their God planned to enslave them all. Their miracle child, birthed from the hubris of men and the corrupt nature of the Warp, may have been perfect of body but not of mind. Having been raised with the full knowledge of his superiority, the God-Child did not see loyal subjects in the people of Empyran, but bleating sheep that he would be all to happy to throw to the wolves. He saw himself as a God, he he would rule as such. One night, the God-Child sought out the leaders of Empyran, and slaughtered them. Addressing the Empyran People, the God-Child, now the self-proclaimed God-King, told them of his dream of conquest, how the Empyran People would become masters of the Galaxy, and he their God. The people eagerly conformed to his new regime, for they truly believed him to be divine, and so their conquest began.
Using the gene-crafting technology of the first scientists who created him, the God-King made armies of cloned soldiers, vat-bred monsters, and gene-crafted beast of war, creating the first Empyran Army. They attacked all other planets within their reach, slaughtering all, both human and xenos, that would not convert to the worship of and pledge their obedience to their beloved God-King. Soon, the God-King controlled his entire Sector, but he wanted more. He cast his gaze to the planets bordering the Veiled Region, and they fell as well. It seemed nothing could stand before him.
The Great Crusade
It was during all this time when the Emperor had launched his Great Crusade throughout the galaxy, and so it was that the God-King's expansion came to a halt. It was the Imperial Fists Space Marine Legion, led by their Primarch Rogal Dorn, that stemmed the tide of Empyran. Their armies, as vast as they were, could not stand against the might of the Space Marines, and thus their expansion ground to a screeching halt. The God-King sent his innumerable armies against the Space Marines, but they simply rebounded off the impenetrable defense of the Imperial Fists. Likewise, the Imperial Fists had to wade through the sheer numbers of the God-King's vat-bred soldiers, slowing their advance considerably, and thus the war lasted decades. During this time Rogal Dorn actually fought the God-King, and while Dorn emerged victorious, the God-King didn't die, although he was severely wounded. In order to heal, he placed himself inside a stasis pod, to be awoken when he had fully healed.
Without his guidance, the forces of Empyran crumbled before the Imperial Fists. They were saved only when Dorn was recalled to Terra, halting the Space Marines advance. Thinking the God-King to be dead, the Imperial Fists left the Veiled Regions, and so Empyran crumbled into diseray. With no guiding hand, they split into warring factions, each one fighting for control of the planet. Meanwhile, the God-King slept, waiting for his wounds to heal fully.
When the God-King finally emerged form stasis, it was chaos. His once perfect empire had been reduced to little more than thousands of warring factions. A once sector-spanning empire reduced to this? it was pathetic, and the God-King would not let it stand. Approaching the first warband, the God-King personally slew it's warlord and took control. From their the God-King used his knowledge of gene-craft to augment the warriors under his command, making them stronger, faster, and more powerful. Soon, he had amassed an army of followers, loyal to his every whim.
Soon, whispers echoed throughout the sector; the God-King of legend had returned! Armies bowed before him, warlords pledged their allegiance to him, and very soon the Empyran Sector was under his control once again. In order to solidify his rule, the God-King chose six warlords, each of them chosen for their strength, skill, and loyalty to him, and augmented them into beings akin to himself. The became his Immortals, the exarchs of the God-King, to serve and fight in his name. In honor of their ascension, the God-king named his new empire the Empyran Pantheon, and since then the Pantheon has looked to the rest of the galaxy, hoping to one day conquer all that breathes in the name of the God-King.
The Pantheon is divided up into a rigorous caste system, enforced brutally by the edicts of the God King. Failure to comply to the set doctrines results in immediate execution or transformation into a Slave-Breed
The six warlords that make up the ruling caste of the Pantheon, the Immortals are both military and political leaders, second only to the God-King himself. While the Immortals are enhanced to the point where they may seem god-like, they are actually quite mortal. The truth behind their so called "immortality" is that each Immortal has several cloned versions of themselves, each one retaining the memories of their creator. When an Immortal dies, one of his or her clone bodies is fed all the information and memories it requires to impersonate the former, and then is brought out of stasis. In this way, the the Immortals maintain the facade of immortality. As is custom, all of the Immortals wear faceless mask-helmets, as it is forbidden to look upon the face of a "demigod' such as the immortals. To do so is a death sentence.
The Immortal Houses
The noble caste of the Empyran Pantheon, the Immortal Houses are the six noble families headed by the Immortals themselves, their influence and prestige rivaled only by the God-King himself. The Houses constantly plot against one another, hoping to earn more favor in the eyes of the God-King, and thus secret wars of blackmail, espionage, and sabotage are common throughout the Pantheon, as the Immortal Houses try to best one another. Each house commands it's own small army of Clone-Soldiers, as well as Gene-Breed bodyguards and even their own private staffs of Genoforgers and Armendire.
House ThraneLed by the infamous Immortal Charus Vul, the Sorrowmaker, House Thrane is a proud warrior House with many of it's member serving as Thiracons of the Pantheon. House Thrane is by far the most powerful of the Houses, due to it's influence over the Pantheon's military forces. They consider themselves to be the God-Kings favored servants, and they may be right considering the monumental attention House Thrane has been getting from the Lord of the Pantheon. But, House Thrane is not very subtle in it's movements, and thus has been sabotaged many times by the other Houses.
Led by the Immortal Diatra Rauth, the Mistress of Death, House Ix, while not the most powerful of the houses, is by far the most influential. Their reach spans the length Pantheon, and in some cases beyond, their spy networks, informants, and assassins lurking in every shadowed corner. Thus, House Ix maintains an aloof and mysterious persona, all while subtly playing the other houses against one another. Unlike some of the Immortal Houses, it is not exactly sure where they stand in terms of the God-King's favor, although it is rumored the God-King himself once personally backed House Ix.
House DormaniLed by the Immortal Khyvar Tasad, the Gilded Terror, House Dormani is the most religious of the Immortal Houses, with many of it's members becoming preachers and missionaries of the Armendire. House Dormani is the least concerned with the Pantheon's politics, as they mainly prefer to use their power to further the influence of the Armendire Church. Seeing themselves as crusaders of the God-Kings, House Dormani is greatly respected and feared, if only because House Dormani can rain acusations of heresy upon a person's head with a word.
ZulkirsThe Zulkirs are the closest thing the Pantheon has to an administrative caste. The role of the Zulkir's is to rule over the Pantheon's subjugated worlds are enforce the edicts of the God-King on that world. A Zulkir has the full authority of the God-King at his back, and thus has the power to have any individuals that he finds guilty of a crime guilty, and sentance them to the most usual of the Pantheon's punishments, death. A Zulkir also has the authority to command portions of the Pantheon's military, if need be, and thus is second only to the Immortals themselves. Like most higher castes of the Pantheon, the Zulkir are biologically enhanced, and thus are surprisingly capable fighters. Like the Immortals, the Zulkir often wear masks, but this is less of a tradition and more of a sign of status.
All Zulkirs report to the Grand Zulkir, who oversees the Pantheon's throneworld of Empyran.
The Warrior-Priests of the Pantheon, the Armendire are responsible for spreading the faith of the God-King throughout the Galaxy, a duty they preform with great zeal. Armendire are power figures within the Pantheon, second only to the Zulkir, and make up the religious caste of the Pantheon. The Armendire are the emissaries of the God-King, and to defy them is to defy the God king himself. They maintain the great temples of the God-King and are often seen on the battlefield, delivering the holy wrath of the Pantheon upon it's enemies.
The Armendire are heavily enhanced and armed with some of the most powerful weapons the Pantheon has in it's arsenal, making them formidable opponents. Most of their wargear is highly ornate in appearance, a symbol of their status.
The Thiracons are the military leaders of the Pantheon, similar to generals. Each Thiracon leads an Warhost, or army, and in responsible for the deployment and oversight of said army. In addition to that, Thiracons are fearsome foes, wielding some of the best and most advanced wargear and enhancements in the Pantheon. Due to their status, they are equal in terms of hierarchy to the Zulkir, only second to the Immortals themselves, although the Zulkir can demand their support if need be.
The Cenobites are a lesser rank within the Military, roughly the equivalent of a Captain. A Cenobite commands smaller groups within a Warhost, which in turn reports to a Thiracon. Their are usually several Cenobites per Warhost, is order to enable a flexibel command structure. While not as formidable in combat as a Thiracon, a Cenobite is a grade above the typical rank-and-file soldier, boasting advanced wargear and enhancements.
The Genoforgers Enclaves make up the scientist caste of the Pantheon, and are a essential part of their military machine. It is their duty to create the clone-soldiers and gene-breeds that make up the Pantheon's armies, and are essential on the creation of wargear and enhancement. It is their twisted genius that keeps the Pantheon's armies functional, and thus they are considered valuable and are protected at all costs. Thus, they are rarely seen outside their laboratories, and on the rare occasion they do emerge, it is only to request new "materials" for research.
Like most members of the Pantheon, Genoforgers are enhanced, their brains have been altered, to increase memory, quicken thinking time, and raise overall intelligence. The rest of their body is kept twisted and maleformed, with multiple appendages and vestigial organs, the result of the malefic experiment they carry out on themselves.
The lowest caste amongst Pantheon, Slave-Breeds are what become of those who dare defy the Pantheon. Stunted, deformed creatures, Slave-Breeds where once human or xenos, but have been modified b the Genoforgers into grotesque yet hardy creature good for physical labor and nothing else. To become a Slave-Breed is considered a fate worse then death amongst the Pantheon's subjects, and yet it is a fate that awaits many of them. Criminals, those guilty of "heresy" against the God-King, or simply captives of war, usually become Slave-Breeds if they are not executed.
Slave-Breeds preform a variety of tasks, from cleaning to construction. Some are left with just enough intelligence to be servants of the Immortal Houses, and among the Pantheon it is considered to be a sign of prestige to have a Slave-Breed servant.
- "You have a simple choice. You may either bow before the God-King of Empyran, submit to His divine will and heavenly strength as to serve Him in all things, or you may refuse His generous offer, and watch all that you know and love burn in the flames of His wrath. Choose wisely."
- —Zek'Eresh, Armendire Missionary
Unlike some, the Empyran Pantheon is actually quite tolerant of xenos, and has a special policy on alien races. Any xenos race that the Pantheon encounters is given a simple choice; they can either submit to the "divine" will of the God-King, or they can be exterminated. Those who submit to the will of the Pantheon are welcomed into the fold as full citizens of the Pantheon, those who resist are publicly executed or transformed into Slave-Breeds. As such, xenos citizens are more likely to be kidnapped and experimented on, for xenos genomes are quite valuable in the process of creating new Gene-Breeds and biotechnologies.
Religion is the basis of the Pantheon's culture, and the Church of the Pantheon is quite the theocracy. Citizens pray daily at altars and temples of the God-King, in all His terrible glory, not as a means to avert the eyes of the Zulkirs, but simply because they know no other way of life. The Armendire send missionaries to other worlds, giving the native peoples the choice of conversion or death. Other faiths, whether worship of the Chaos Gods or the Emperor of Mankind, anre brutally stamped out and are expressively forbidden, for there is no God but the God-KIng. These brutal beliefs are the main reason the Ruinous Powers have little to no sway within the Pantheon's ranks, for those who try to convert to their worship are found and killed by the Zulkirs before they can do any damage.
Psykers Within the Pantheon
Like most of the Pantheon's citizens, psykers are considered to be little more than a resource, albeit an extremely important one. Half the Pantheon's more advanced technologies would cease to function if not for psykers, but since they cannot simply clone the psyker gene (although that hasn't stopped many a Genoforger from trying), they must instead cultivate them. Thus like many human civilizations, the Pantheon's citizenry is taught to hate the psyker, seeing them as loathsome, subhuman creatures. All children are gene-tested for psychic potential at birth, and if the results are positive the infant is immediately given over to the local authorities, who in turn deliver the newborns to genolabs so that their grey matter might be harvested. Such is the demonetization of psykers that it's considered a social taboo to even talk to one, such is bigotism that runs rampant through this twisted empire.
But if there is one good thing that comes of all this, it is the fact that Chaos is held at bay by these culminated practices. In fact, if the Ruinous Powers as a whole could come up with one word describing their view of the Empyran Pantheon, that word would be "infuriating". The systematic purging of psykers, combined with it's devout religious cult that permeates every inch of the Pantheon's society, leaves Chaos with virtually no footholds within their boundaries. Whether the Pantheon does this intentionally is unknown, but none can deny that despite it's brutality, it certainly is effective.
Language and Learning
Due to the sheer diversity of the Pantheon's subjects, both human and xenos, many languages are spoken within it's borders. However, the common tongue spoken within the majority of the Pantheon is known as Pyran, a debased form of Gothic created by the warrior-culture of ancient Empyran. While it shares the same numeral system and alphabet as Gothic, Pyran's overall wording and sentance structure is far more complex, making it extremely hard for those not native to the Pantheon to understand it, let alone translate it. In addition, two other major dialects are spoken within the Pantheon: the first being Empyra (also known as High Pyran), which is traditionally spoken by members of the Armedire. The other is known as Pyrese (or Low Pyran), which is a shorter, choppier version of Pyran used to quickly convey orders on the battlefeild, thus it is mostly spoken within the ranks of the Pantheon's military.
(MORE TO COME)
In terms of Technology, the Pantheon is not exactly more advanced when it come to mechanics. As a result, most of the Pantheon's mechanical technology is based off of that which the Pantheon recovers from enemy forces, thus leading to many similarities in overall design and function. Biotechnology is another story altogether, as the Pantheon's Genoforgers are masters of genetic alteration and creation. Millions of created life-forms make up their armies, even some of their weapons are grown, not built.
- Spiker Gun - The standard weapon used by the rank-and-file soldiers of the Pantheon, a Spiker Gun is a rifle-like weapon that fires small spikes of artificially hardened bone at a blisteringly fast rate. Prolonged exposure to a Spiker fire can shred a target to pieces. In addition, the bone spikes sometimes shatter, sending razor-sharp shrapnel flying everywhere.
- Spiker Pistol - A downsized version of the typical Spiker Gun, this compact pistol is the most common sidearm within the Pantheon's military. Typically used in close quarters due to it's short range.
- Spiker Carbine - A more compact version of the the Spiker Gun, the Spiker Carbine is used by the Pantheon's assault forces in close-quarter situations, as it's compact design, deeper clip, and interchangeable rate of fire allow for a more versatile approach to combat.
- Stormrifle - A powerful anti-infantry weapon, a Stormrifle is powered by a heart-like fabricated organ that produces massive amounts of bio-electricity, which the gun focuses into a blast of lightning that can reduce an single opponent to ash. However, while a Stormrifle needs no ammunition, the user must wait for a small amount of time before it is ready to be fired again. While not as effective against heavily armored targets, Stormrifles are extremely effective against organic material.
- Stormpistol - Favored by officers of the Pantheon's military, this bulky pistol packs the same killing power of a Stormrifle. While able to incinerate flesh with ease, Stormpistols suffer from range issues.
- Crystalix Launchers - A terrifying insidious weapon within the Pantheon's arsenal, these rifle-sized weapons fire organic crystals made from a toxic material known as Crystalix. When the razor-sharp crystals make contact with any kind of organic material, the the toxic properties of the Crystalix take hold. Attacking it's target at the cellular level, the poison destroys it's victim by causing it's cells to dissolve, turning anyone or anything it effects into a puddle of fleshy sludge within seconds. While powerful and devastating, Crystalix is extremely hard to manufacture, and thus Crystalix Launchers are usually found in the hands of elite units.
- Thunderclap Shotgun - This powerful assault weapon gets it's name from it's unique ammunition, which consists of of heat sensitive semi-organic pellets that not only have the same killing power as a standard shotgun ammunition, but also are engineered to combust when fired. When this happens, it produces a small explosion of light, heat and sound powerful enough to knock a grown man several feet away at close range, making the Thunderclap Shotgun an excellent crowd control weapon.
- Deathblow Long Rifle - The Deathblow Rifle is a weapon prized by snipers, as it's long-range scope and armor piercing grown-bone bullets make it easy to dispatch enemies from afar. The only downside it that due to the size of the Deathblow Rifle's ammo, it mast be reloaded after every shot.
- Blueflare Flamer - Almost Identical to a the model of Flamer used by the Imperium save one aspect, it's fuel. Instead of Promethium, a Blueflare flamer uses vat-produced Bio-Plasma, that burns with a sickly blue color.
- Pantheon Plasma Weapons - The Pantheon makes great use of plasma weapons, although they are typically used by more advanced or high-ranking units. Typically one out of every five of the Pantheon's soldiers wields a Plasma weapon of some kind, although it should be noted that Pantheon Plasma weapons, while having a greater killing power than Imperial models, are not very easily reloaded, and can still suffer from catastrophic overheating.
- Grenades - Frag and Plasma Grenades are very common amongst the Pantheon's soldiers, but other more exotic varieties are used as well. Such as the Razor Grenade, for example, which fragments into a storm of razor-sharp bone-shards upon detonation, making it very effective against infantry. Another is the Corrosive Grenade, which is filled with a caustic acid that can burn through even tank armor in a few seconds.
- Ascension-Pattern Grenade Launcher - This grenade launcher is capable of firing a variety of grenades incredibly long distances. Grenade types vary from the standard Frag and Plasma grenades, to more exotic varieties such as Bio-Plasma or Corrosive grenades that are often used by the Pantheon's soldiers.
- Deathcry Weapons - One of the Pantheon's more sinister weapons, Deathcry weapons usually take the form of large cannons mounted on vehicles or warbeasts, or assault weapons that are fired from the hip. A Deathcry weapon's main function comes from it's main component, the brain of a psyker. When activated, the brain releases a torrent of raw psychic energy, which the weapon focuses into a blast of power that can blow a hole through tank armor. Deathcry Weapons are primarily used as anti-armor weapons, but are somewhat fragile, and it's inner mechanisms can break under to much pressure.
- Stormcannon - A larger, more powerful version of the Stormrifle, a Stormcannon is capable of reducing entire squads of enemies to piles of ash and charred flesh. In addition, the added power of the cannon's twin bio-electric generators is capable of shorting out electronic systems, causing crippling damage to vehicles or other mechanical constructs. But, it does require a short recharge period before it can be fired again.
- Combuster - A weapon similar to an Imperial Bolter, Combuster ammunition is composed of metal-jacketed semi-organic shells that secret volatile chemicals when fired. When the shells hit critical mass, the chemicals combust into an explosion similar to that caused by a Bolt. It differs from the Bolter due to it's ridiculously fast firing rate and barrel-shaped clip, giving it nearly three times the ammunition. While powerful, this weapon suffers from a lengthy reloading time and occasional jamming issues. It is mostly used as an anti-armor weapon, as it's explosive shells are able to chew through even tank armor in minutes.
- Spiker Cannon - A large, rotary cannon made to be fired from the hip, a Spiker Cannon, like a Spiker Gun, shoots spikes of hardened bone at a target, shredding a target to pieces. A Spiker Cannon is a heavy support weapon, used to obliterate large groups of enemies.
- Hellfire Launcher - A weapon similar to a Rocket Launcher, a Hellfire Launcher shoots rockets filled with napalm-like bio-plasma, resulting in a massive of explosion burning, fiery liquid upon detonation. It was meant to be a Anti-Tank weapon originally, but can also be used for anti-infantry purposes. Hellfire Launchers are also found on Warbeasts and Vehicles.
- Aether Lance - A bio-mechanical weapon powered by the grey matter of various psykers, Aether Lances are one of the most deadly weapons in the Pantheon's arsenal. Firing a continuous stream of Warp energy, anything the beam touches starts to disintegrate from sheer exposure to the power of the Aether.
Close Combat Weapons
- Pulse Weapons - Close-combat weapons taking the form of swords, knives, claws, and even scythes, Pulse weapons are constructed from adimantium-hard grown bone that emit a continuous field of bio-electricity that create a "natural" power field around the weapon. In addition, a Pulse weapon's electric field can send a living being's nervous system into shock upon contact, stunning the victim and in some cases resulting in permanent paralysis.
- Aetheric Weapons - Massive melee weapons in the form of maces, hammers, and other blunt weaponry, Aetheric Weapons are charged with the power of the Warp through an amazingly complex process known only by the most prestigous of Genoforger weaponsmiths. Reallity itself seems to bend and fold around these weapons while activated, and a single blow from one is capable of smashing through Space Marine Terminator Armor. Of course, Aetheric Weapons are extremely rare, and thus are only used by the most powerful warriors within the Pantheon.
As common in the Pantheon as bionic augments are in the Imperium, Bio-Augments are augmentations that enhance the user's fighting ability in some way. Some augments take the form of simple enhancements, such as greater speed or strength. while others take the form of built-in biological weaponry. But, most forms of Bio-Augmentation are reserved for only the most high ranking within the Pantheon's hierarchy.
- Strength Enhancement - A fairly "standard" bio-augment given to many of the Pantheon's elite, the process increases the subject's overall muscle mass and bone density to the point where the subject gains superhuman strength and endurance comparable to that of a Space Marine. However, Strength Enhancements show almost no physical differences within the subject, and thus many an opponent has challenged one of the Pantheon's high-ranking, only to find that he or she is much stronger than they appear.
- Ironflesh - This Bio-Augment increases the silicon content within the subject's cells, giving their skin the same durability as solid stone while remaining flexible and supple. One side effect of this augment is that the subject's skin takes on a silvery cast, making the persons' skin look metallic, hence the name.
- Venomblade - Gives the subject a adimantium-hard boneblade in a hidden flesh-sheath typically located in in the wrist or forearm. This blade is retractable, and a special gland within the blade secretes a deadly venom that can kill a normal human within seconds, making it the ultimate hidden weapon.
- Final Victory - This rare Bio-Augment implants several glands within the subjects body, which only become active when the target suffers a fatal injury. When the target dies, the glands begin to secrete volatile chemicals that combine within the subject's corpse, making the subject combust into a fiery explosion that devastates anything within a five-foot radius. This augment is mostly used by those of high rank who wish to kill those who will potentially kill them, but is considered somewhat unreliable due to the fact that allies can and have been caught in the blast radius.
- Eternal Release - Another rare but somewhat controversial Bio-Augment, in which the subject's brain, spinal column, and nerve endings are all delicately altered to that the subject is incapable of feeling pain. Despite being useful in combat, and rendering the subject completely immune to all physical forms of torture, oftentimes those who have this Augment do not realize what is killing them until it is to late.
(MORE TO FOLLOW)
It should be noted that due to the bio-mechanical "interface" controls that the Pantheon utilizes, their Voidcraft weaponry is far more accurate than many would assume possible.
- Tricannons - Triple-barreled macrocannons that rotate while firing, creating a massive amount of firepower that can chew through an enemy ship's hull through the sheer volume of solid shells being fired per second. Tricannons are by far the most common weaponry found on Pantheon warships.
- Pantheon Plasma Batteries - Nearly identical to the Plasma Batteries used by the Imperium, the only difference being that Pantheon Plasma Batteries utilize highly volitile liquid bio-plasma rather than standard gasesous plasma, and thus blasts from these batteries have been known to literaly melt massive holes in enemy starcraft.
- Deathcry Lances - The Pantheon's version of Lances are little more than massive Deathcry Cannons, utilizing the still-living brains of a dozen psykers per Lance. Since the blast created by these weapons are composed of pure psychic energy, Deathcry Lances can bypass Void Shields with little difficulty.
- Pantheon Torpedoes - The Pantheon's Warships utilize several forms of torpedos, from standard explosive Torpedoes and Boarding Torpedoes, to corrosive Hellfire Torpedoes or Razor Torpedoes designed to punture the hull and explode into a storm of diamond-sharp bone shards, killing the crew within. Rarest and most deadly of all are the Banshee Torpedoes, which detonate into ethereal storms of psychic energy that rip through the minds of the enemy crew, rendering them brain-dead within seconds.
- Bio-Pulse Generator - These hidden devices, mounted in the very heart of the Pantheon's most powerful warships, transform the Voidcraft's very bio-electric shielding into a weapon of mass destruction. Amplifying the shield's power, the Bio-Pulse Generator transforms them into a shockwave of eletrical energy that radiates in all directions, frying anything within a close radius in a superstorm of bio-lightning. These weapons are extremely useful for destroying enemy support craft and starfighters within a close proximity, but take massive amounts of time to recharge.
- Fracture Cannons - Also known as "Shipbreaker" or "Spacetearer" Cannons, Fracture Cannons are so rare that only the most powerful of the Pantheon's Warships are fitted with them. Like a Deathcry Weapon, a Fracture Cannon uses the brains of psykers as it's primary source of power, but rather than create a blast of energy, a Fracture Cannon instead tears a gaping hole in reality and then sends this newly-made warp portal hurtling towards it's enemies. The result is like having a black hole fired at your ship, as a single blast from a Fracture Cannon can devastate entire escort squadrons and cripple the largest of cruisers, sucking anything it comes in contact with into the Warp before disapating as reality re-aserts itself.
While most of the Pantheon's armor models are on par or below par to Imperial Models, most of these models are somewhat composed of vat-grown materials, and thus can be more easily mass-produced.
- Infantry-Pattern Armor - The typical variety of armor worn by the Pantheon's Clone-Soldiers, Pantheon Infantry Armor is almost identical to Imperial Flak armor accept that it includes a full-face helmet. Clone-Soldiers often decorate their armor with symbols, trophies, and other fetishes to express their "individuality". Typically worn by the Infantry Breed of Clone-Soldier.
- Breaker-Pattern Armor - A heavier and bulkier version of typical Infantry armor that offers significantly more protection. It should be noted however that Pantheon Assault armor is actually composed of vat-grown hardened bone with a core of plasteel, making it slightly more lightweight then the Imperial Carapace Armor. Typically worn by the Breaker Breed of Clone-Soldier.
- Chimera-Pattern Power Armor - A fairly standard set of power armor similar to the standard Imperial Model. The Chimera-Pattern is by far the most widely used model of power armor throughout the Pantheon, and is prized for it's versatility in combat, but does differ from the Imperial Model in one aspect. Many weapons are built in to the armor itself instead of wielded by he wearer, and thus no two sets of Chimera-Pattern armor are alike.
- Goliath-Pattern Power Armor - This massive suit of power armor turns the wearer into a walking arms platform, equipped with arsenal of heavy weaponry. Consisting of a large bio-mechanical harness in which a pilot controls the rest of the armor's systems, and four powerful mechanical limbs, which can be equipped with a variety of weapons, from powerful Deathcry Blasters to flesh-shredding Spiker Cannons. While boasting heavy armor and the ability to wield up to four weapons at once, Goliath Power Armor is rather slow, and does not have the best of reaction times.
- Valkyrie-Pattern Power Armor - This suit of Power Armor main feature is the massive pair of bio-mechanical wings grafted to this relatively lightweight set of armor. These wings interface with the user's muscles and nervous system, and coupled with an powerful jet pack, allows the wearer to fly at an incredible speed. Being lightweight and flexible, Valkyrie Armor is perfect for fast attack and reconnaissance.
- Bio-Armor - The most advanced and highly sought-after armor the Pantheon can create, Bio-Armor is a miracle of gene-shaping and cellular reconstruction, a completely living suit of armor. Implanted directly into the wearer's skin, Bio-Armor interfaces with the user's brain and nervous system, hardening it's diamond-hard bone plating in response to attacks and even repairing itself almost instantly when damaged, all while being as lightweight and flexible as a second skin. Only the high-ranking members of the Pantheon are permitted to wear such armor, such as Thiracons, Armendire, and the Immortals themselves. Typically a suit of Bio-Armor is custom made for the wearer, created exactly for his or her unique biometrics, thus only they can wear that particular suit of armor.
Vehicles and Warbeasts
Some of the Pantheon's "vehicles" are in fact gene-bred beasts designed and to fulfill various combat roles. However, the Pantheon's mechanical vehicles are operated not via standard controls but rather through bio-mechanical interfaces that allow the pilot to control the vehicle with an accuracy and reaction only an organic mind can replicate. This type of controls also has the added benefit of stopping potential hijackers, as those who are not accustomed to the bio-interface can actually die from shock.
Warbeasts on the other hand are controled via verbal command, as the semi-sentient can understand and obey simple orders such as "Go", "Stop", "Kill", etc. Pantheon Warbeasts are bred from birth to obey their designated masters, and thus only in a few incredibly rare instances have they ever rebelled against their handlers.
- Maaloc Assault Beast - A massive armored reptiles the size of a Space Marine's Attack Bike, the Maaloc is a gene-bred warbeast designed as a livng assault vehicle. Able to run as fast as a Jetbike and covered in armor-like scales, Maalocs are typically ridden by Recon Breed Clone-Soliders as a means to overtake and run down the enemy, their warbeasts fighting alongside them with their scything talons and fang-lined jaws large enough to bite a grown man in half. One other advantage a Maaloc rider has is that the beast is capable of using it's long claws to climb up virtually any surface, allowing them to attack from unexpected angles.
- Abolus Siege Beast - Tank-sized creatures, ressembling a cross between a bovine and a Terran Triceratops, the Abolus are living siege engines designed to topple enemy fortifications not matter the size. Their broad heads are covered in a shell of adimantium-hard bone, which they use to bulldoze any walls or gates they may come across, ramming into the structures with enough velocity to shatter stone. But, as they hard to maintain, Abolus Siege Beasts are only fielded by the largest of the Pantheon's armies.
- Shyrak Skybeast - A winged monster the size of a flying Jetbike, Shyrak are somewhat reptilian in appearance, with leathery wings and scaly skin. Their heads are little more than a maw of teeth and a pair of beady eyes, and their muscular back legs ending in razor-sharp talons. Designed to be living anti-aircraft weapon, swarms of Shyrak ruthlessly attack enemy air support, able to swoop and dive at ludicrous speeds in order to literally knock aircraft from the sky. Shyrak can also be ridden as mounts, but their extremely temperamental nature does not make this advisable.
- Strider - One of the most common tanks within the Pantheon’s armies, the Strider is a medium-sized armored transport used to transport troops into the heat of battle even while under heavy fire. Like most of the Pantheon’s mechanical vehicles, it shares the same streamlined design, but is somewhat bulky due to its large troop compartment. Equipped with a pair of sponsoon-mounted Spiker Guns and a pintle-mounted Blueflare Flamer, the Strider is more than capable of holding its own in combat.
- Warmonger - A large, powerful tank known for its anti-armor capabilities, the Warmonger’s arsenal is dominated by a massive Deathcry Cannon, strong enough to cripple a Leman Russ in a single blast. Combined with heavy armor plating and a pair of Hellfire Launchers for additional firepower, makes it a formidable heavy support vehicle to say the least.
- Tempest - The Tempest Anti-Infantry Tank is known for devastating armament, mainly its main weapon, a massive Stormcannon. Unleashing literal storms of bio-electricity with every shot, the Tempest can turn entire battalions of enemy soldiers to ash in just few blasts. Although, it should be noted that the Tempest is not as heavily armored as most tanks, and thus is more vulnerable to heavy firepower.
- Maelstrom - Designed to take out enemy aircraft, the Maelstrom is armed with a unique weapon known as a Pulsar Cannon. When fired, the Pulsar fires a shell that detonates into a shockwave of electrical energy that completely overloads any mechanical systems it comes in contact with, causing them to explode violently. As a result, a single shot from a Maelstrom can take out multiple enemy aircraft at once.
- Archfiend – The Archfiend Artillery Tank, known for its efficiency in destroying both enemy infantry and armor, fires massive shells filled with the same napalm-like plasma as Hellfire Missiles. When it slams into its target, not only does it cause a shockwave through sheer kinetic force, but also showers the enemy with bio-plasma that quickly eats through flesh and metal alike. These Hellfire Shells (as they are called) are also useful in bringing down enemy fortifications.
- Flesh Wagons - Bulky tank-like vehicles, Flesh Wagons are used to secure and transport both prisoners and corpses to be used in the Genoforgers twisted experiments, plucking them right off the battlefield. This inside of a Flesh Wagon's cavernous prisoner compartment contains tentacle-like organic restraints covered in small needles that inject a neurotoxin into those unfortunate souls that have been captured, keeping them comatose until they arrive at a Pantheon Genolab. While heavily armored, Flesh Wagons have no offensive capabilities, and thus are deployed post-battle to gather any and all that might prove useful to the Geno-Forgers twisted designs, whether they be living or dead.
(MORE TO FOLLOW)
Pantheon spacecraft (known to them as Voidcraft) are in the most part such logic-defying amalgamation of organics and mechanics that any respectable Tech-Priest would tear out his own optics at the sight of one's inner workings. Most are sleek and aerodynamic is design, their hulls composed of interlocking plates of metal that if one looks closely seem to slightly shift as one stares at them, giving them an unsettling appearance. Like their mechanical vehicles, the systems of a Pantheon Voidcraft are controlled via bio-interface, which allows for almost unreal reaction time and accuracy, the vessel's commander supervising the lot from his personal interface, which syncs in with the every other bio-interface on the ship, allowing him to relay orders through them almost instantly.
Voidcraft are capable of Warp travel through a complex device known as an Aether Drive, which functions similarly to an Imperial Warp Drive, opening a portal into the Empyrean and using it to traverse great distances. Unlike a Warp Drive, and Aether Drive does not lock onto a single point, but rather bulldoze their way through the warp until they reach their destination. In order to do this, the Aether Drive utilizes a device known as Pathfinder Matrix, a bio-mechanical coffin that contains a still-living psyker (although in larger Voidcraft it may contain five or six), kept in alive through the Matrix's nutrient delivery systems. This fiendish device forces the psyker to project a field of energy around the vessel to defend it from the denizens of the warp while in transit. This is by far one of the most horrifying torments a sentient being can face, for within the Pathfinder Matrix the unfortunate soul is constantly pushed to the very limits of his strength and sanity, yet he cannot die so long as he/she is within the malefic device.
- Zephyr Attack Craft - Small attack craft carried in their thousands by many different types of Pantheon Battleships and Cruisers, the Zephyr used as either a void superiority craft or Attack Craft, shooting down enemy Bombers, torpedoes and landing craft. Equally maneuverable in the void or within an atmosphere, the Zephyr is typically armed with up to two wing mounted racks of high-explosive anit-voidcraft missiles, as well as several forwards-firing Deathcry Cannons. Zephyrs are are operated by up to four Pilot-Breeds via bio-interface.
- Voidshark Bomber - Designed to operate efficiently in both the void and within an atmosphere, the Voidshark is a bomber armed with a powerful payload of anti-ship missiles and armor piercing Hellfire Bombs. While usually used to strafe enemy vessels with devastating bombing runs, Voidsharks are also used to bomb enemy positions on the battlefield to great effect, tearing apart the opponent's defenses before swooping around to deliver another payload. In addition, the Voidshark is also armed with one pair of gunner-operated Plasma Cannons, a two gunner-operated Deathcry Cannon turrets, and two wing-mounted Combuster turrets for atmospheric combat. The Voidshark is typically operated by 10 to 15 Pilot-Breeds, due to it's excessive arsenal.
- Raptor Aerial Troop Transport - Large but agile void-to-atmosphere craft designed to transport the Pantheon's Troops onto the battlefield as quickly as possible, the Raptor is capable of carrying more than six full squads of Clone-Soldiers, plus two Pilot-Breeds that control the craft. In addition, the Raptor is armed with two wing-mounted racks of Hellfire Missiles, a gunner-operated Combuster Turret, and a pair of nose-mounted Plasma Cannons, allowing it to lay down an impressive amount of fire support. Other Raptors are modified to carry Pantheon Tanks and Warbeasts into battle instead of troops.
- Scimitar-Class Frigate - The most common Escort voidcraft within the Empyran Pantheon, the Scimitar-Class Frigate is also considered to be one of the most reliable Escorts in a Pantheon Warfleet, with powerful Bio-Electric Shields and a sturdy hull capable of withstanding direct fire from an Imperial Battlecruiser. However, while the Scimitar-Class' defenses are formidable it's one main weakness is it's rather short-ranged armament, which can be detrimental during a void battle.
- Marauder-Class Frigate - A recent addition to the Pantheons arsenal, the Marauder-Class Frigate is designed to be offensive whereas the Scimitar-Class Frigate was defensive. It's engines are far larger than it's counterpart, giving it exceptional speed and maneuverability, and it's hull sporting a plethora of offensive weaponry as to give it considerable firepower. However, these upgrades came at the cost of defensive systems, and thus the Marauder-Class cannot survive long under sustained fire, instead relying on it's sheer speed and extensive arsenal to quickly destroy it's opponents before they have the chance to fire back.
- Malice-Class Light Cruiser - (MORE TO COME)
- Subjugation-Class Light Cruiser - (MORE TO COME)
- Hellfury-Class Warcruiser - (MORE TO COME)
- Incarnate-Class Warcruiser- (MORE TO COME)
Clone-SoldiersThe backbone of the Pantheon's military, Clone-Soldiers are the numerous, fanatical warriors that fight under the God-King. Much like the Imperial Guard, the Clone-Soldiers are an expendable fighting force, grown by the thousands in the Pantheon's genolabs, made to fight from the moment the are created. While technically human, Clone-Soldiers differentiate from baseline humans in several ways. First of all, Clone-Soldiers are born with pale, hairless skin, a side effect of the cloning process. Second, Clone-Soldiers cannot feel fear, as the part of brains that responds to that emotion is lobotomized through genetic manipulation. Instead, they are conditioned from birth to be loyal to their Pantheon and God-King, and thus are completely obedient to their masters, A Clone-Soldier would even kill himself at his master's command.
Clone-Soldiers are grown in massive genolabs, born as embryos in tanks of nutrient-rich fluid. They reach maturity in just a few short years, allowing the Pantheon to mass-produce thousands of them.
Clone-Soldier BreedsIn order to maintain overall tactical flexibility, Clone-Soldiers are bred for different roles on the battlefield. The Breeds are such:
The most common of the Clone-Soldier Breeds, the Infantry Breed makes up the bulk of the Pantheon's Warhosts. Typically Infantry Breeds are equipped with standard Infantry-Pattern Armor, a Spiker Gun and backup Spiker Pistol, and perhaps a Combat Knife.
The Breaker Breed was created for the sole purpose of heavy support, and thus Breaker Breed Clone-Soldiers are noticeably taller and more muscular than their counterparts, bred to be stronger and tougher than the norm. Rank-and-file Breaker Breeds are typically equipped with durable Breaker-Pattern Armor, wielding powerful Spiker Cannons or Hellfire Launchers, and even the rare Deathcry Weapon.
The purpose of the Recon Breed is to either scout ahead of the Pantheon's main forces, or to harry the enemies' advance through ambushes and guerrilla tactics. Genetically designed to be faster and more agile then the standard Clone-Soldier, Recon Breeds often wear Valkyrie-Pattern Power Armor in order to increase their own mobility and thus make them a harder target.
Elite amongst the Breeds, Reaver Breeds are to standard Clone-Soldiers what Storm Troopers are to standard Imperial Guardsmen. Clad in Chimera-Pattern Power Armor and armed with devastating Spiker Carbines and massive Pulse Blades, Reaver Breeds are assault specialists, bred to utterly crush the enemy in close quarters.
The Technician Breed serves as the engineers of the Pantheon's armies, created with an innate knowledge of how to repair and maintain the Pantheon's arsenal. In addition, Technician Breeds often serve combat medics, using powerful stimulants and flesh-reconstructing serums to heal downed Clone-Soldiers.
The Pilot Breed is perhaps one of the most important breeds within the Pantheon's ranks, for they are the only kind of Clone-Soldier with a unique biology that allows them to interface with the bio-mechanical controls of any kind of Pantheon warship or war machine. When not in control of a vehicle, Pilot Breeds take to the battlefield clad in massive suits of Goliath-Pattern Power Armor, providing heavy support to their brethren.
The Gene-Breeds are the Pantheon's beasts of war, genetically altered monsters with the sole purpose of destroying the God-King's enemies. Gene-Breeds come in many types and forms, all of them deadly. However, do to the warp-tainted genius of the Genoforgers, new kinds of Gene-Breeds are being developed all the time, making these monsters varied and numerous.
Marrow FiendsOne of the most feared of the Pantheon's Gene-Breeds, a Marrow Fiend stands as tall a Space Marine, with red, pupiless eyes and ash grey skin. Physically, they are powerful, just as strong as an Astartes, but twice as tough, with skin able to resist Las-fire and slug rounds easily. But, a Marrow Fiend's true power is their ability to grow bone spikes and even weapons composed from it's own diamond-hard skeleton. This ability is what grants the Marrow Fiend it's namesake, as it is a walking arsenal, able to "grow" swords, daggers, and spikes of bone, out of their skin.
Marrow Fiends are created life-forms, born and raised in a way similar to a Clone-Soldier. However, it is during this incubation process that their bodies are augmented with with an organ similar to a Space Marine's Ossmodula, which grows it's skeleton to massive proportions and gives it it's diamond-like hardness. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of time it takes to grow a Marrow Fiend means that they are not exactly numerous.
On the battlefield, Marrow Fiends are typically encountered alone or in small packs, used as shock troops to decimate enemy forces. Marrow Fiends rarely wear armor, as to bring their "natural" weapons to bear. While many have assumed that Marrow Fiends are dumb brutes, they are actually quite smart, and those who underestimate their intelligence have often found themselves on the wrong end of a Marrow Fiend's bone-blade.
Leeches resemble starved humans, with stick-like limbs and gaunt forms, looking anything but dangerous. But, Leeches are by far deadly, for while they might resemble humans, a Leech's palms are covered in tiny needles, that upon sinking into a victim, drain the water from his cells, leaving him a shriveled corpse. Leeches are literally water vampires, consumed by an all encompassing thirst that can never truly be sated.
Leeches begin life as normal humans, but are captured and transformed within the Pantheon's genolabs. Their cells are modified to survive just barely on the barest amount of water, forcing a Leech to drain water constantly or die. Their bodies are also augmented, making them stronger and much faster than normal humans. As a result, a Leech is born, ready to drain thousands of poor souls dry.
Leeches lope across the battlefield at high speeds, searching for prey. They typically wear light body armor, as not to inhibit their movements to much, and usually carry fear-inducing weaponry such as Stormrifles or Crystalix Launchers. They mostly prefer to close in for the kill, grabbing a victim and sucking the moisture from his body, but will kill at range if they have to. Leeches primarily serve as a sort of elite Fast Attack unit.
A Shatterswarm resembles a vaguely man-shaped mass of strange, centipede-like insects, slowly crawling over each other and reforming it's human-shaped body. While at first these strange creatures seem somewhat harmless, anything could be farther from the truth, for when a Shatterswarm is attacks it's prey, the insects that make up it's body explode outwards, latching on to all those nearby. From there, the insects use their razor-sharp legs and acidic mandibles to burrow into their target's flesh, killing them form the inside out, a truly horrifying way to die.
The creation of Shatterswarms is a long and complex process, involving the creation of an artificially bred "host" that will serve as the Shatterswarm's mind. The host is then eaten alive by a swarm of gene-bred insects known as Swarmlings. When the Swarlings have fully devoured their host, a tiny piece of the host's conciousness is imprinted in each of the Swarmling's minds, making the Shatterswarm fully sentient. This also has the added benefit of making a Shatterswarm exetemely hard to kill, for as long as one Swarmling survives, the Shatterswarm survives.
Shatterswarms come in many varieties, from small Swarms used to infiltrate enemy strongholds to Megaswarms the size of a Baneblade. They are deployed as a means to terrorize the enemy, spreading panic and confusion within their ranks, in preparation for the Pantheon's main assault. But Shatterswarms cannot be easily mass-produced, and so they are rarely seen in large numbers.
SkintakersRare but extremely deadly Gene-Breeds, Skintakers are by far one of most insidious creations of the Pantheon's Genoforgers. At first glance, Skintakers look like completely normal humans, just another face in the crowd. But when in danger, diamond-sharp claws burst from it's fingertips and knife-like fangs grow from it's gums while it's epidermis sloughs off, revealing a skinless abomination who's very visage is frightening to behold. Skintakers are the Pantheon's infiltration specialists, created to gain information from the enemy via spying from within their ranks. However, if the Skintaker is discovered, it reverts to it's "natural" form and tears its way through the opponents ranks.
Completely fabricated life-forms, every facet of the Skintakers biology is designed to make the ultimate spy. This Gene-Breed's name comes from it's ability to replicate the appearance of others by consuming their DNA. This DNA can come in any form, whether it be blood, hair, even saliva, and once the Skintaker ingests the DNA, it grows a sheath of epidermis around it's body, copying the appearance of the "donor", replicating even scar tissue and tatoos. Height, weight, even gender matter little, as a Skintaker can alter it's body to a certain degree in order to complete the disguise, although it should be noted that Skintakers can only replicate humanoids. And if forced to reveal it's true form, Skintakers are not to be trifled with, attacking in a savage flurry of claws and teeth that can rip entire squads of enemies into bloody shreds in a matter of seconds.
Thankfully, Skintakers are extremely hard to create, and thus are rarely seen. Typically a standard Pantheon Warhost may have one or two of these Gene-Breeds within it's ranks, used to assault the enemy from within or gain intelligence on their movements, and many an army have been crippled by these monsters in disguise.
Named after the planet Deltoxi where the ancestors of these creatures were first found, Deltox Hounds are somewhat resemble large canines, but with scaly armored hides and heads that are little more than a pair of cavernous nostrils and a slavering maw filled with razor-sharp teeth. Deltox Hounds are either used to track down lawbreakers by the Pantheon's "peacekeeping" forces on subjugated worlds, or to hunt down and kill any battlefield escapees. These savage but incredibly reliable Gene-Breeds have been utilized by the Pantheon since the empire's founding, and are perhaps the oldest variety of Gene-Breed.
Bred by the hundreds in the Pantheon's Genolabs, through the dark genius of the Genoforgers Deltox Hounds have long since become formidable trackers and hunters. Their olfactory nerves have been enhanced to such a degree that Deltox Hounds can scent a single drop of blood in a lake of water, their scaled skin tough enough to easily shrug off small arms fire, and even their very saliva is a weapon, as it is acidic enough to burn through plasteel.
When not using Deltox hounds to hunt down potential victims, these creatures are often used as guard animals throughout the Pantheon, and amongst the higher echelons of society owning a Deltox Hound as a pet is considered to be a sign of status.
(MORE TO COME)
The ranks of the Pantheon's military forces are listed below, in order of highest to lowest:
- Immortal - The leaders of the Immortal Houses and Demigods of the God King. Even the Thiracons bow before them.
- Thiracon - The leaders of Pantheon's Warhosts, similar to generals. Also has complete control over his Warhost's gene-breeds. Thiracons are natural-born humans who belong to a specific Immortal House.
- Devorae - Captain of a Pantheon capital ship, and commander of a Warfleet. At about the same rank as a Thiracons, but while the Thiracon presides over the army, the Devorae preside over the navy. Devorae are natural-born humans belonging to a specific Immortal House.
- Cenobite - The rank below Thiracon, who command smaller groups of the Warhost, known as Divisions. Also in charge of commanding the Division's cadre of gene-breeds. Cenobites are natural-born humans.
- Archiir - (pernouced AR-keer) The rank below Cenobite, commanding a small part of the Divison known as the Subdivision. Archiir are typicaly Clone-Soldiers.
- Neophor - Commands a squad of rank-and-file Clone-Soldiers. Neophor are typicaly Clone-Soldiers.
The Pantheon's armies are referred to as a Warhost, and numbering at approximately 10,000 Clone-Soldiers each (not counting attached Gene-Breeds, Warbeasts, Armedire Missionaries, etc.) Warhosts are divided into ten groups of 1,000 known as Divisions. The Divisions in turn are divided up into ten groups of 100 known as Subdivisions, while each Subdivision is divided into ten 10-man Squads. Warhosts as a whole are commanded by the Thiracons, but can be commandeered by an Immortal or even a Zulkir if the situation demands it. In addition, the Immortal Houses themselves each control their own private army known as the Sovereign Warhosts, which in organizational terms are identical to the standard Warhost, but are commanded by their House's respective Immortal and typically have acess to more advanced and/or specialized wargear.
Warhost typically distinguish themselves through titles derived from past experiences and victories, as well as specific symbols, markings and colors. For example, the 220th "Black Hand" Warhost identifies itself through the use of distinctive black markings decorating their armor, as well as the symbol of a black handprint. Further distinctions are made as Warhost Thiracons tend to favor different martial stratagems, and thus different Warhosts typically use different combat doctrines. As a result, no two of the Pantheon's armies are exactly the same.
- "What's wrong?! You said you can kill a God, yet you cannot stand against me?! Just heal your wounds, summon your followers, make your stand! Hit me! FIGHT ME! STRIKE ME DOWN IF YOU DARE!"
- —The God-King
The God-King is the supreme ruler of the Empyran Pantheon, the founder of the Sectors-spanning empire, the God to whom millions of souls pray too. He is both Deity and King of the Pantheon, and he rules as such, for his words are law, and to stand against him is to stand against a true God. But in truth, the God-King is not a God, he is a monster. While he is ageless, unable to die from the passage of time, he is far from perfect. The God-King's mind is damaged, delusional, stuck fast in the fantasy of immortality, and this madness is slowly consuming him. With every day that passes, the warp corrupted science that created him is slowly unmaking him, and it effects more than his mind.
The God-King was engineered to be perfect, stronger, faster, tougher than any other human being, or any other enhanced being for that matter, and thus has devastated entire battalions of enemies single-handedly. His intellect and cunning are on level with some of the greatest minds of this age, and he is immune to virtually all poisons and diseases within the galaxy, as well as having the ability to regenerate at an incredible rate. But now his once perfect body is beginning to fall apart of the seams, and the symptoms are affecting more than his mind. Early on, the God-King discovered he had the ability to morph his body, changing his limbs into mutated claws, blades, and tentacles. But every time he uses this ability, the change becomes harder to control, and thus he uses this ability sparingly, fearing that the transformations might overtake him.
The God-King wears ornate Bio-Armor, custom-made by the Pantheon's most skilled Genoforgers to his exact specifications, and thus is stronger than any other model within the Pantheon. He typically wields a pair of master-crafted swords known as the Godblades, both of which crackle with ethereal energy capable of slicing through armor and shielding alike with little to no difficulty. Due to his great strength and skill, these two blades are often the only weapons he needs to devastate the foe.. No one has actually seen the God-King's face, for it is forbidden even for his Immortals to look upon his "holy" visage, and is always seen wearing his faceless helmet-mask, which doubles as a crown.
- "Do not just kill them, destroy them. Crush their fortresses, burn their homes, kill their families down to the last child. Make them woe the day they dared defy the Pantheon."
- —Charus Vul, During the 1st Empyran Crusade
During the twilight of the Pantheon, while the God-King was still dreaming within his stasis-sleep, Charus Vul was one of the most feared warlords in all of ancient Empyran. He maintained this reign of terror through a simple policy; suffer not the enemy to live. Every time he attacked one of his competitors, he made sure that they were killed down to the last man. Even women and children were not spared, only a precious few survivors being allowed to flee, in order to spread word of his fearsome reputation. Charus and his warband left behind nothing save blood, ash, and the cries of orphans and widows, thus did he come to be known as the Sorrowmaker. However, what was ironic is that Charus Vul's reign would not end at the hands of the many souls that wanted to kill him, but rather at the hand of one man who only wanted to use him. According to the stories, the newly-awakened God-King attacked Charus' warband first, utterly slaughtering them with a brutality that chilled even Vul. Thus when the God-KIng came face-to-face with the Sorrowmaker himself, Vul laid down his weapons and surrendered, becoming the first of the God-King's followers and later the first Immortal.
A superb strategist and skilled fighter, Charus and his Immortal House, House Thrane, are often called into service whenever the Pantheon marshals a great army. Even now, Vul lives up to his namesake by being utterly ruthless, sparing none of his opponents, regardless of whether they are a threat to him. These fearmongering tactics have earned the Sorrowmaker many a victory, one of the reasons he and his House are so favored by the God-King. In battle, he fights as he did all those millenia ago, with a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. The sword is an ornate Pluse Weapon known as Wrath, while the shield is masterfully crafted amalgamation of grown-bone and adimantium sheathed in an energy field capable of deflecting almost any attack. Like most Immortals, Charus wears ornate Bio-Armor, complete with a faceless helmet-mask.
(MORE TO FOLLOW)
Feel free to add your own faction!
Ever since the rebirth of the Empyran Pantheon the Kabal of the Skewering Feather has haunted and stalked the Pantheon's borders, in many succesful attempts to raid and pillage their worlds. With their abundance of people, the Empyran Pantheon can be considered an all you can eat buffet, and the Skewering Feather is taking it's place at the start of the line.
The White Crusaders hearing stories of the Rebirth of Empyran Pantheon quickly decided it should be them to finish what their father chapters started, also to find a chapter relic of their founding chapter the Black Templars.
Their main reason is to keep up their never ending crusade. But they have had to fight the other enemies of the Empyran Pantheon the Kabal of Skewering feather, and the Calipsian Hordes.
As a young empire in the Veiled Region, the Sekerran Dominion has had to fight tooth and nail against the forces of Chaos, Orks, Necrons, and other aggressive xenos and human empires for survival. They have only recently come into contact with the Empyran Pantheon.
The Dominion sees the Pantheon as yet another agressive empire that they will inevitably have to subdue or destroy in order to protect themselves. But as followers of the philosophy of 'defensive conquest' they wait for the Pantheon to give them sufficient cause to go to war. They will likely not have to wait long.
The 1st Empyran Crusade
- "....and in lamentation they cried to their Corpse-God, yet no respite was forthcoming, for the Lord of All had risen to cull their mewling flock once more...."
- —Unknown Armendire Preacher
The 1st Empyran Crusade was the first time the newly-formed Pantheon would bring it's full military might upon the Imperium, and by far one of it's bloodiest conflicts (or by their definition, glorious). The God-King, having successfully re-captured all of the Empyran Sector, and solidified his rule upon the Pantheon, authorized the creation of one of the massive army, led by none other than the Immortal Charus Vul, the Sorrowmaker. Commanding a force of no less than five Warhosts of Clone-Soldiers and battalions of various Gene-Breeds. This enormous force set upon the Volcayn Sub-Sector, the closest Imperial-controlled sector of space to the Veiled Regions, with the full intent of razing every world they set upon.
The Pantheon's first attack was swift and brutal, warfleets appearing in the skies of Olnac and Balton's Reach, a pair of prosperous Hive Worlds, as well as several other planets within the Sub-Sector, including Tresonis; an Agri-World, and Archeron; a Fortress World. Taken by complete surprise, the Imperial PDFs stationed in that area fell quickly, with the exception of Archeron, who held out against the Pantheon's vat-bred siege beasts long enough to send a distress signal, which was answered with all due haste. Several Regiments of Imperial Guard were mobilized to combat this new threat, but they weren't the only ones who answered the call. Forces of several Space Marine Chapters, including elements of the Imperial Fists and their successor chapter the White Crusaders, along with The Emperor's Sentinels 5th company, who were currently stationed in Acheron.
The following Sub-sector wide battle was chaotic at best, starting in full swing when the Imperial Guard fought against the Pantheon's Clone-Armies on Tresonis, which had become a battlefield. The White Crusaders broke off from the main Imperial force to attack the now-subjugated world of Baltor's Reach, and the Imperial Fists, the Pantheon's oldest foe, met Charus Vul's personal Warhost on the plains of Olnac. The stalemate between the forces was broken when Emperor's Sentinel's, aided by the Imperial Guard, pushed the Pantheon off of Archeron, backing up the Imperial Fists on Olnac, and together their combined strength defeated the Pantheon's forces.
Charus Vul was killed in battle, to be "reborn" in the depths of the God-Kings place, but without his leadership the Pantheon's forces crumbled. The White Crusaders obliterated the Warhost on Baltor's Reach, freeing the Hive World from the Pantheon's rule, and thus the Pantheon was routed, retreating back into the Veiled Regions. However, the Pantheon still retains a foothold on Tresonis, and fights against the Astartes of the White Crusaders even now.
(MORE TO COME)
(feel free to add your own)
- "Another Johnny-come-lately lost human empire that doesn't want to come into the fold. That's alright, a few thousand years of no meaningful progress from now, they'll be more than happy to deal with whatever Bagge is running the show. If it's still me, I'm-a laugh so hard."
- "Oh that one has spikes on it! GRAB THAT ONE IT HAS SPIKES ON IT!"
- "So clones, clone.... troopers? That means they'll die the same."
- —Captain Jouni Peribly White Crusaders 'Heavy Footed' Company
- "It has never worked. It will never work."
- "Bio-technological heresy detected. Submit yourselves to be purged in the name of the Omnissiah, resistance will be meet with systematic population decimation. "
- —Erranigos Vindicta Cohort Automata before clashing with Empyran forces.
"A society built by a human mutant who believes himself to be a God....well, not the oddest thing we have come across. We have determined that your empire is aggressive and expansionary so we will not use diplomacy with you. Instead we offer a warning, any hostile actions against us may be interpreted as an act of war and we will respond accordingly. Do not take advantage of us or you will regret it."
- Sovereign Kalos Detar of the Sekerran Dominion