"When veteran Guardsmen flee, the Kasrkin stand. When victory is near, the Kasrkin seize it. When the Archenemy attacks, the Kasrkin Elite are the rock upon which traitors shall break."
- — General Sturnn, commander of the Cadian 412th
Because they are elite special forces troops drawn from the same world as the existing Cadian Shock Troops regiments of the Imperial Guard, the Kasrkin are officially classified by the Departmento Munitorum as the type of Tempestus Scions known as Grenadiers because of their heavy weapons and elite tactical training.
The Kasrkin are the elite of the already skilled Cadian planetary military forces and are chosen to serve in the Astra Militarum when they are still serving as Whiteshields (new recruits) in the Cadian Planetary Defence Forces.
Their training is even more gruelling than that of the elite Imperial Storm Troopers (Kasrkin are the Cadian equivalent of the Storm Troopers) and they are utterly dedicated to the preservation of Cadia, whereas Imperial Storm Troopers are indoctrinated to provide for the defence of the entire Imperium of Man.
Kasrkin soldiers were well-known amongst the Storm Trooper regiments assigned to Cadia, and are renowned for their ability to remain cool under fire in combat situations where even many other veteran Cadian Guardsmen would break.
In the wake of the destruction of Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade, many Kasrkin units are still employed and seek to pass on their training and standards to a new generation of Cadian survivors and their descendants who will face the Archenemy in a never-ending quest for vengeance for their lost world.
"He saw two squads of Kasrkin storm troopers moving out from the colonel's side, swiftly taking up positions that would allow them to hold the passage open for as long as possible. They moved as one, firing clean, disciplined hellgun bursts for maximum effect, and Wulfe found he was profoundly impressed. The Kasrkin were a special breed. He wondered what it took to remain so cool-headed, surrounded by all that death and horror, by alien savages that outweighed you three or four times. He marvelled at their calm efficiency..."
- — Sergeant Wulfe of the Cadian 81st Armoured Regiment, witnessing the Kasrkin in battle
The Cadian Shock Troops are already known throughout the Imperium as a highly-skilled and disciplined force, so the ranks of the Kasrkin are truly amongst the best of the best in the Imperial Guard. Many potential recruits for the Kasrkin are chosen at a young age when they are still serving as Whiteshields (new recruits) in the Cadian Planetary Defence Forces within the Cadian Youth Army.
Those who are chosen must first prove themselves in the Shock Troops and become hardened veterans before they are guided to the Kasrkin. Punishing regimes of additional training in the harshest warzones tempers each Kasrkin into a hardened fighter who is capable of facing the horrors of battle in the late 41st Millennium.
To serve in the Kasrkin is a great honour, for they are amongst the finest troops in the Imperium. However, much is expected of such warriors -- the Kasrkin are constantly placed in the fiercest fighting, sent into battle against deadly foes, and relied upon to act above and beyond the call of duty in the Emperor's name. The roll of valour for the Kasrkin is long and well-respected, for they are warriors of exceptional courage. Many times, the tide of battle has been turned by the precise firepower and iron discipline of the Kasrkin.
Kasrkin are highly trained in the use of numerous heavy weapons, and are entrusted with special equipment of high quality and rare craftsmanship such as their Hellguns and Hotshot Lasguns, which are much more powerful versions of the normal Lasgun used by regular Guardsmen. They wear Carapace Armor and helmets sealed for hazardous environments. This armour also deflects and absorbs incoming projectiles far better than standard Imperial Guard Flak Armour.
Kasrkin are also given minor biological modifications, increasing their resilience while allowing them to move quickly despite their heavier gear. Kasrkin sergeants often wield rare and powerful equipment more commonly used by Imperial Guard officers, such as Power Swords and hot-shot Laspistols. The Kasrkin can carry special weapons suited to their assault role on the battlefield and exceptional marksmanship, including Plasma Guns, Meltaguns, Grenade Launchers, and Flamers.
True to their nature as Grenadiers, the Kasrkin carry both Frag Grenades and Krak Grenades and are extensively trained in the use of these weapons. Some chroniclers amongst the Tactica Imperialis have recorded a number of difficult firefights in the Kasrkin's history that were resolved by the creative application of grenades.
Even when Kasrkin troopers are not equipped with their full panoply of war, they are still instantly recognisable. Aside from their heavily-muscled physiques, they all bear the brand of the Caducades sea eagle on their necks, marking them out as members of the Cadian elite.
The Kasrkin also have a distinct ethos of duty and honour that is impressive for members of the Astra Militarum, who are usually far more interested simply in staying alive.
Whereas the standard Storm Trooper is looked down upon by many different regiments of Imperial Guardsmen for their elite status, the Kasrkin are looked upon with great favour among the standard regiments of Cadian Shock Troops.
After generation upon generation of conflict against the terrors of the Warp and the mortal champions of the Ruinous Powers, the Kasrkin have become extremely regimented in their thinking, and regard the strict culture of Cadia as a critical mental defence against such horrors.
They are the ultimate warriors of the Imperial Guard who fought against the forces of Chaos, having led the charge in the defence of Cadia from the Chaotic forces of Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41. To be a Kasrkin is to hold a position of honour, and all Cadians recognise this truth and the role they play in defending their world.
- Betrayal at Lorn V (Unknown Date.M41) - General Sturnn of the 412th Cadian Shock Troops Regiment made a special appeal to the Lord Castellan of Cadia to include several groups of Kasrkin in his command. After much consideration, this rare request was granted, based strongly upon Sturnn's battle honours and superlative record as an Imperial Guard officer. A born leader and formidable fighter, Sturnn believed that the true duty of the Imperial Guard was to die standing and fighting against the Imperium's foes. The General was admired by his fellow officers for his incredible bravery -- Sturnn often went into battle directly alongside his troops, an uncommon trait in many men of his exalted rank. It was the General's preference to assign squads of Kasrkin as his bodyguard. This was a role the Kasrkin deemed fitting, for Sturnn was so often to be found at the heart of the most furious battle. Sturnn's orders were to proceed to the Ice World of Lorn V and recover a fallen Imperator-class Battle Titan bearing the name Dominatus. Once a world governed by the Imperium of Man, Lorn V had been invaded and laid waste by two inimical forces. The first of these was Blood Legion of Khorne Chaos Space Marine warband, commanded by Lord Crull, a savage Chaos Champion of Khorne. The second group of invaders consisted of an Ork WAAAGH! led by a massive Warboss named Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter. Together, these two forces dominated much of the planet, each battling against the other in a savage conflict. However, when the 412th Cadian Shock Troopers Regiment arrived on Lorn V, Lord Crull and Gorgutz ended the fighting between their forces and forged a rough and uneasy alliance against their common foes. Soon after his arrival at the former capital city of Talorn, General Sturnn learned that another challenger for control of the planet had appeared -- the Eldar, guided by the devious Farseer Taldeer. Faced with constant attacks from the Orks and Chaos Space Marines, Sturnn and Taldeer reluctantly chose to work together in order to survive. With the timely support of Taldeer's Eldar Aspect Warriors, Sturnn drove the Orks and Chaos Space Marines back in a series of blitzing advances. Imperial records are not entirely clear about the details of Sturnn's campaign on Lorn V, but all agree that without the Kasrkin, no victory would have been possible. Time and again, the Kasrkin were sent forward into the vanguard of the Imperial Guard assault, and time and again, the foe was sent reeling back—but at a mounting cost. Casualties amongst the Kasrkin were staggering, especially in the decisive conflict to secure the Titan. The Kasrkin's superior firepower and training counted for naught against a tide of inhuman horrors springing forth from beneath the planet’s frozen surface. This final assault pitted merciless aliens against Kasrkin discipline -- and the discipline held the line. The few survivors of Lorn V tell a grim tale. According to these after-action reports, General Sturnn and his men were betrayed by the Eldar in the end and cut down in a hail of shuriken fire. The Farseer's deceit cost the Imperial Guard forces dearly -- the 412th Cadian Shock Troopers Regiment was driven from the planet and the Titan declared lost. To this day, the banner of the 412th bears a black ribbon to mark this defeat.
- The Ormantep Raid (999.M41) - On the 13th day of Secundus in 999.M41, Cadian Sector command lost contact with the sparsely populated Mining World of Ormantep. Located at the outskirts of the sector and close to the Cadian Gate, the planet was an important Astropath listening post and was thus guarded by a company of Kasrkin. It soon became apparent that the world had come under fierce assault. The attack that crippled the station came with complete surprise and left only a handful of survivors, among them a single dying Astropath who was able to call for aid from a nearby Imperial Navy Cruiser. The attackers identified as a small but elite company of Black Legionaries who had sought to quickly knock out the Astropathic Choir. However their plan was foiled by a heroic last stand by Kasrkin that held off the Chaos Space Marines for several solar hours until the plea for aid had been dispatched. As the Traitors closed on the hastily Kasrkin-constructed barricades of the inner sanctum of the Choir's fortress, night fell. It was then that the tide of the battle turned, with Black Legionaries being mysteriously cut down and dragged into the shadows by howling creatures. In solar minutes, all the Chaos Marines were dead. Their bodies were found savagely ripped open, and the only evidence of the identity of their slayers was a distorted Vox recording of howls. Many have since come to suspect that the world was saved by the Space Wolves 13th Great Company.
Even amongst the elite ranks of the Kasrkin, there are those who have fought in more battles than any other. These "Veteran Kasrkin" are often sought after by Generals and other high-ranking leaders of the Astra Militarum.
Cadia's High Command will only approve such requests if an officer's cause is deemed worthy. If so, they will be able to field squads of Veteran Kasrkin as their personal commandos and honour guards.
What follows is a list of the most common items of wargear issued to the members of the Kasrkin regiments:
- Hotshot Lasgun (Lucius Pattern) - Sometimes also known as Hellguns, "hot-shot" weapons are almost exclusively used by high-ranking Imperial officers and elite forces who favour the higher power provided by these weapons over the higher rate of fire but poorer penetration power of the Imperial Guard's standard-issue laser weapons. While Hellguns are rarely seen employed in the Imperial Guard outside of the elite Storm Trooper units, Hellpistols can be seen in use among many members of the Imperial Guard's officer corps and among agents of the Inquisition where their greater power often means the difference between life and death.
- 4 Charge Packs for Hotshot Lasgun - Charge packs are powerful batteries used almost exclusively by Imperial laser weapons. The cost of a charge pack varies depending on the class of the weapon. In all cases, it provides shots equal to the weapon's full clip value.
- Combat Knife - This one-handed melee implement is the ubiquitous back-up weapon for warriors all across the Imperium, be they lowly hive scum or the elite soldiers of a Planetary Governor. Some, such as the Catachan Fighting Knife, are designed for a specific purpose, whilst others are more generic in nature.
- 3 Frag Grenades - Frag Grenades use a combustible charge and special fillers of shrapnel fragments which make them potent anti-personnel weapons. Imperial Frag Grenades are roughly the size of a clenched fist and covered with a heavily notched shell, both to increase the shrapnel produced and provide a more secure grip for throwing.
- 3 Krak Grenades - Krak Grenades are crafted with powerful concentrated explosives designed to punch holes in armoured targets such as vehicles or bunkers. While stronger than Frag Grenades, Krak detonations do not produce a blast effect and their more focused explosion makes them less practical as anti-personnel weapons.
- Cadian Imperial Guard Fatigues - Kasrkin generally wear the common battledress uniform or fatigues that are standard to their attached regiment beneath their Carapace Armour.
- Environmentally-sealed Storm Trooper Carapace Armour with Helmet - Carapace Armour is generally a sign of status and is mostly worn by Imperial officers, special forces and agents of the Inquisition. Made from moulded plates of armaplas, ceramite, or other strong, light but highly resistant materials, it can cover the entire body or just selected regions of the body depending on the desired level of protection. Kasrkin, for example, wear full-body suits of Carapace Armour, including a helmet, while most Imperial Guard soldiers are lucky to gain access to just a simple chestplate of Carapace Armour to wear over more comfortable mesh or flakweave suits. Some bodysuits have slots designed for simple carapace plates to be inserted in, so that the overall suits can be rapidly configured for as much or as little protection as desired. Damaged plates can in this way be more easily replaced without requiring the purchase of an entire new suit.
- Backpack Power Generator
- Basic Toolkit
- Poor Weather Gear
- Mess Kit and Water Canteen
- 2 Weeks' Rations
- Blanket and Sleep Bag
- Rechargeable Lamp-Pack - Sturdy and reliable, glow-globes illuminate many an Imperial paveway and cathedral. Most portable ones are roughly the size of a clenched fist and can shine strong, yellowish light a dozen or so metres in width, lasting roughly five hours before their power pack needs recharging or replacing
- Grooming Kit
- Ident-Tags ("Dog Tags")
- Micro-Bead - A micro-bead or comm-bead is a short-range radio wave communication device worn in the ear, good for communications out to about one kilometre (depending on weather conditions and the intervening terrain). Each fits discretely in the ear, with higher craftsmanship models nearly undetectable in casual inspection.
- Respirator - A simple breathing mask that covers the nose and mouth or entire face, these offer much better protection than filtration plugs and are used by Kasrkin in toxic environments or during attacks by chemical or even biological weapons.
- Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer - A standard-issue Imperial text that covers a vast variety of topics, this book is possessed by all members of the Imperial Guard as part of their standard-issue equipment. The Primer is a basic guide that details everything a Guardsman needs to know: principles and regulations of the Imperial Guard, issued arms, attire, apparatus, and equipment, basic battlefield policy and Imperial Guard organisation and structure, elementary battlefield medical instructions, and a detailed guide on the foes of the Imperium. No Guardsman should ever be found without possession of a copy of the Uplifting Primer, for the punishment is severe. The Primer is a basic guide to life in the Imperial Guard and the tactics employed by its regiments. Even elite Imperial troops like Kasrkin often-times still rely on its advice.
- Master Sergeant Ban Jevrian - Commander of the Cadian 88th Mechanised Regiment's elite Strike Team Cruor that fought in the Reclamation of Kathur.
- Captain Echbar - Echbar was the commander of the Kasrkin squad that aided Inquisitor Eisenhorn in destroying a Chaos Cult and its Daemonhost master.
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition)
- Codex: Imperial Guard (4th Edition)
- Only War: Hammer of the Emperor (RPG), pp. 20-21
- The Thirteenth Black Crusade (Background Book) by Andy Hoare
- Gunheads (Novel) by Steven Parker
- Dawn of War - Winter Assault (PC Game)
- White Dwarf 285, pg. 6
- Dawn of War - Soulstorm (PC Game)
- White Dwarf UK 283, pg. 61
- Malleus (Novel) by Dan Abnett, Ch. 14
- Cadian Blood (Novel) by Aaraon-Dembski-Bowden