The St. Phygia Regiment was named for a locally venerated Imperial Saint, a warrior who according to legend led the campaigns to destroy the beasts and monsters that threatened the first settlers on Medici.
Like the rest of the Medici Imperial Guard the unit was founded by the order of the Principe and was eventually commanded by Colonel Adriano Camerino. Their brigade received easy assignments protecting Medici trading partners in outlying systems against feral Orks and rebels tainted by Chaos. Most in the ranks saw their service as simply being a job, leading them to reckless behavior and lax discipline. That being said their fighting skills were never in doubt.
When faced with an actual challenge they became a solid almost unbreakable unit- they proved this time and again during their many campaigns ending with the Tyranid invasion, buying time for the last civilian transports off Medici to escape. They withdrew after more than six days during which they lost more than 70% of their number, the highest losses of the entire first Brigade. The survivors would find their way into other Imperial Guard regiments in the Tricamerate Pact or those who had seen enough of war found other careers never again to pick up a lasgun.
Merely a part of the longer war to liberate Xomia(650-651M41) it was still a huge clash of armies- tasked with holding the farm as a landing site for the rest of the brigade they faced intense resistance from tens of thousands of Orks that almost overran their positions five times over the course of a single day. Fighting from behind high walls, buildings and hilltops they were able to buy time, allowing the rest of the first brigade to deploy and finish the fight.
Sent to Trazadone to contain another Ork threat, the first Brigade came under attack as they neared the a PDF outpost that had fallen to a Feral Ork warband calling itself "Da Colar Gard." under the leadership of a Nob calling himself "Bluddpainta".
Finding itself in a narrow valley between the hill the outpost was built on and a thick forest the Brigade was forced to hold their ground but the St. Phygia were able to flank the Ork Horde and take the hill, pinning the Orks between artillery and a steep incline. With their leadership literally ripped apart by fire from Hydra AA guns Da Colar Gard collapsed, scattering into the wilds.
They were careful to burn the bodies when it was all over.
The regiment also fought here using their skills as Ork fighters against the Warboss Starburna the self styled "King O' da Freebootaz" who had set his sights on Obraya's capital, the "White City" of Mithilan
By the time the fighting was over six weeks later the white stone walls had been stained by smoke and Ork blood but it held against 750,000 Orks. Once broken they scattered to the wilds, rejoining their feral brethren. The Vatian 12th The "Blade Runners" were sent to hunt them down and did for months, supported the Vatian 10th corps already on Obroya, before being sent on another mission themselves.
The Long Death
The Medici Imperial Guard were called back home one last time. While Battlefleet Medici fought to protect civilians fleeing the planet they fought on the ground to see them arrive at the spaceports safely. Their last 6 days were dubbed "The Long Death."
While they took 70% losses they made the Tyranids pay for every inch they took. They fought from behind the burned out remains of buildings and vehicles, even mounds of Tyranid dead. They held for six days, beyond any fear of death thinking only of how many they could save.
In the end the surviving Imperial Guard were evacuated aboard a single Battlefleet vessel, the Exorcist Grand Cruiser Amaranthine seeing their world burn into a lifeless ball of rock behind them.
2010 men divided into
1. A Regimental command squad of 10 men
• The Colonel,
• Lt. Colonel
• 4 Majors who oversaw 2 companies each and
• 4 others as chosen by the Colonel. (Commissars etc.)
2. 8 companies
• 1-5 infantry
• 6-7 Assault
• 8- Reserves (only committed when needed)
Each company (commanded by a captain) was
• 8 platoons of 30 men - each platoon commanded by a Lieutenant, each platoon was 10 men each and commanded by a Sergeant
• A 10 man pathfinder squad(sniper/scouts) that carried a longlas
10 men per company served as medics and chose their own aides.
Standard issue equipment included:
• Olive green flak armor(Brigade and Regimental Sigils on the L. shoulder Silver Aquila on the Right)
• An olive green long sleeved shirt(rank markers on the sleeves)
• Bloused trousers (same color) with gray puttees and black boots.
• M36 Kantrael pattern lasgun
• Medici pattern auto pistol (used as a sidearm) and 2 extra magazines.
• Bayonet/combat knife.
• 2 frag grenades 2 krak grenades (Assault troops were also issued various other explosives and demolition charges depending on the mission as alongside their man portable lascannons and anti armor weapons)
• All other equipment was carried in a standard issue pack, also olive green.
Note: other equipment included
• a bedroll/1 man tent
• 1 week of rations/ meal kit
• 2 extra charge packs
• Imperial Guardsman’s Uplifting primer
• medical supplies for the medics/medic’s aides
• Also issued greatcoats and insulated gloves for winter operations, same markings as the armor, and rank markers on sleeves.
Command officers were issued the same uniform but with the addition of
• an olive green double breasted coat with the Imperial Aquila on the right side of the collar and the regimental sigil on the left with the rank pins on epaulettes
• Black leather gloves.
• Peaked hats the same color as their coats with the Imperial Aquila displayed in silver on the front.• a laspistol and swept hilt chainsword
Medals and Awards
- Order of the Holy Eyes(unique to Medici)- given to the entire first Brigade, earned by 20 victories over Orks.
- Infantry Assault Ribbon- as an entire company of the regiment was dedicated to Infantry assault the men who were part of it earned this award many times over.
- Triple Skull(Imperial Guard)-earned by their survival despite 70% losses
- The Medallion Crimson- included in the 70% percent above- many members of the regiment fought on regardless of their own lives to save civilians.
“I made the St. Phygia Regiment. My family built the equipment for the whole brigade but the St. Phygia Regiment, I molded those men with my own hands.”
He was born in Indina, the son of a wealthy industrialist growing up with wealth and power but not a title, not that he ever wanted one. He resented the fact that the nobility were the only ones with any real power causing some friction between him and his superior officers.
When the order to form Imperial Guard Regiments came he and the factories his family owned built the equipment and vehicles used by the first Brigade. He never wanted to be an officer or even a soldier but he found himself with a commission as the Executive Officer of the St. Phygia regiment, intended as a reward for his patriotism and efficiency in supplying their equipment. This only fueled his resentment- had anyone in the local government had spoken to him, they would have left him in peace, to run his factories and spend his downtime with his books and a glass of good wine.
Realizing that it was an offer he would never be allowed to refuse no matter how hard he tried, he tried to make the best of a bad situation and threw himself into every military text he could learning more of the Imperial Guard's history and greatest commanders in mere months than he ever had in the 45 years of his life up to that point.
He led his men to victory after victory in simulated training battles against other regiments, showing a level headed and relaxed style of leadership, maintaining just enough discipline to keep the unit in order. He was always careful to credit his command with any victory real or simulated he saw himself as just a guide, he issued the orders, it was up to them to determine the best ways of fulfilling them.
He was a natural choice to follow the first Colonel, a noble who had showed little interest in his regiment, thinking only of his estate and poor health. Camerino succeeded him when his health finally failed him.
Under the new Colonel's command the St. Phygia became the best infantry regiment in the brigade and likely the Medici Imperial Guard as a whole, a title the regiment kept under his succesors until the Tyranid invasion of Medici.
It is safe to describe him as a good man however like any man he was not without flaws- his fondness for wine too often led him to drunkenness but he never let this compromise his judgment in the field. His staff reported him drowning his sorrows after lost battles or at heavy casualties but never more than a single glass at any other time.
His other vice was women. He never married or had children but often maintained several long term relationships at once, they always fell apart when the women involved found out about each other or ended when they wanted the commitment he never wanted to provide them. He also enjoyed shorter term relationships with joygirls at home or on worlds where his regiment was deployed.
Once a mine foreman he left a life of relative prosperity and Medici behind when the mine in question collapsed. He organized the evacuation saving the lives of hundreds of men- some of whom would follow him into the regiment.
Because of his actions Colonel Camerino handpicked him to lead the sixth company- 240 men assigned heavy weapons and explosives as he and many of his men were miners this was a perfect task for them and they would earn the Infantry Assault Ribbon many times over.
His wife and children traveled with the regiment's baggage train. He was a dedicated family man whose motivation was to protect them and his world his four sons would find the same motivations to follow in their father's footsteps, joining the unit when they came of age.
Upon becoming a captain he adopted a sort of rakish air growing his hair long, maintaining a goatee and carrying a Xomia Bonehammer Shotgun after the regiment's actions there.
At one point on Xomia he shoved Colonel Camerino into a drainage ditch, saving him from an incoming Stormboy who would have landed on him. This action earned him the Custodem Vitae (unique to the Medici Imperial Guard)
He enjoyed showing off this medal and the scars he had earned, especially the long parallel ones on his back. They were proof he had survived an attack from an ursine predator on Trazadone, a story he embellished more every time he told it.
"I was a joygirl. Ironically there was no joy in it for me. I've traded one life of service for another but this actually means something, I'm not just providing shallow pleasures for the men who come to see me."
She was born to a middle class family in Indina, living a happy if not particularly prosperous life. They fell on hard times when their employer died and his business collapsed. Unable to find work they went to the Nobleman Emilio DiTostelli for a loan. Still unable to find work months later and with no means to repay the debt the Noble put the then 19 year old Dianora to work as a joygirl in a popular Indina Bordello he owned.
Colonel Camerino was a frequent visitor, he bore an intense personal dislike toward the DiTostelli family but was unaware one of them owned the establishment. He always took the time to talk to her and always give her money though he never hired her services. He did so out of sympathy for her as she was not there by choice, unlike her coworkers. Unlike her coworkers every action she took put her deeper into debt, as the nobleman had no intention of letting her pay back what her family owed.
Colonel Camerino acted on his sympathies one fateful night two years later. The Colonel and several other soldiers were present, one of them paid for her time and then drunkenly pulled a hidden boot knife on her forcing her to kill him in self defense, shoving the high heels of one of her shoes through his throat.
The man was trouble, likely to die by the hand of a Commissar and so he did not press charges against her instead making a deal with her- join in the man's place and he could protect her and her family, who were welcome to travel with them, free from any retaliation by the man's family or her employer.
DiTostelli arrived later that night to sort out what had happened, to determine if he was somehow liable and how best to hide the events from public view. Colonel Camerino threatened the noble with the statement:
"Dianora Ranucci's debt is paid. If you wish to dispute this then speak to my regiment."
She would serve for twelve years during campaigns of Xomia, Trazadone and others, eventually rising to the rank of Captain. She died a hero at the young age of thirty three defending a family on Jurus from a crazed Chaos worshipper. Tackling him to the ground she had no time to react before his grenade went off killing them both instantly, she was nonetheless posthumously awarded the Medallion Crimson.
A lowly Sergeant when the Tyranids invaded Medici he found himself in command of a company when all the other officers were killed. They held Indina's Warehouse district for five days and at the end he and his original squad were the only survivors earning them the Ribbon Intrinsic. They still escorted a large refugee convoy to the city's spaceport fighting the whole way. He would meet his future wife in the process. They would marry after going into business together as glassblowers on Khazamga.
The story of Dianora Ranucci(credit belongs to Anson7 on deviantArt for the image) was inspired in part by Samuel Baker http://www.badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?id=805352112071 (who freed his second wife Florence from a slave market)