"They're damn good with a blade, and no slouches when it comes to drinkin', either. There's none I'd rather have by my side in battle or in the barroom than a Sewer Rat. Only thing is, I can never tell when they're joking."
- — Corporal Sein, Gunmetallican 35th
The Luggnum Sewer Rats are regiments of the Imperial Guard raised up on the Mining World of Luggnum. As light infantry regiments, their general battlefield specialisation in close-quarters and tunnel fighting is well-suited to a variety of different environmental conditions and conflicts.
Luggnum is a backwater Mining World situated in a relatively isolated region of the Golgenna Reach Sub-sector of the Calixis Sector. The ores obtained through the backbreaking labour of Luggnum's lower classes are useful but unremarkable -- a description that could be applied to the entire planet. As a Mining World, Luggnum is often overshadowed by the nearby Sepheris Secundus. While the Imperial Guard regiments raised from Luggnum may not be as famed as the Brontian Longknives, or as oft-imitated as the Cadian Shock Troops, they are every bit as tough, as dependable, and as under-appreciated as the ore quarried from the depths of their homeworld. This core world produces strong, battle-worthy Imperial Guard regiments known as the Sewer Rats.
The moniker "Sewer Rats" was bestowed on the Luggnum regiments centuries ago, and a number of different stories profess to explain it -- some less flattering than others. Regardless of the truth, the people of Luggnum have adopted the disparaging name as a source of pride, characteristic of the dour humour for which they are known. Despite their relief at escaping the doldrums of mine work, Luggnum regiments are often assigned operations to which their experience is suited. These include such theatres of war as the depths of hive cities, the catacombs of Shrine Worlds, and, on occasion, the corridors of a void craft or Space Hulk. Logically, the Luggnum Sewer Rats are often called up to fight on Mining Worlds. Casualties during such missions are often jokingly chalked up to "a case of homesickness" by Lugnum Guardsmen.
The people of Luggnum are faithful, honourable, and hard-working. Luggnum's men and women take to heart the Imperial maxim that work earns salvation. The knowledge that they serve the Emperor of Mankind is more than enough to content most of Luggnum's inhabitants as they toil in the darkness of the mines, but that does not stop them from envying those of their fellows chosen to serve the Emperor in a decidedly more heroic fashion—serving in the Imperial Guard. In contrast to the bleak, monochrome landscape of their homeworld, the people of Luggnum prefer bright, colourful patterns for their garb.
Luggnum culture places high value on a man's ability to handle himself in a brawl, which perhaps explains the preference shown by many Luggnum regiments for close combat. The Sewer Rats are drawn from all levels of their world's society, but from the highest noble to the lowliest labourer, each man brings with him his clan sword, a priceless family heirloom. It is a common saying on Luggnum that "even those who have nothing can still offer their blades." What's remarkable about this tradition, however, is the craftsmanship of all Lugnum familial blades. Even the poorest family of deep-miners can boast a blade of the finest workmanship and sharpest edge. This has led to rumours that the nobles of Luggnum hoard the finest ores for the use of their personal smiths, or even hide entire mines of rare material from Imperial surveyors, although investigation and testing has so far lent no credence to such stories. When a Luggnumite falls on the battlefield, his squad mates see it as a matter of gravest honour to recover his blade -- in fact, placing a much higher priority on recovering his sword than his body.
Many Luggnum Sewer Rats have experience serving on deep mining operations back home, during which they might operate at lung-crushing depths for weeks or months without returning to the surface. Men serving under such conditions must learn a certain degree of self-sufficiency, as mine collapses, rock pirates, and other hazards can easily prevent the delivery of much-needed supplies. Luggnum miners tithed to the Imperial Guard often ply these skills on the battlefield, making the best of available resources and finding creative uses for common equipment.
Like many worlds in the Calixis Sector, Luggnum has its secrets. The planet is still haunted by the atrocities committed by Lady Orlea Grey many years ago, although they are seldom spoken of in polite company. Some believe that Luggnum was not the first world subjected to the Lady's heresies, and in near-empty taverns, in the dead of night, grizzled miners whisper that Orlea Grey was no native-born Luggnum noble at all. Despite attempts by the authorities to cover up the truth, there are few on Luggnum who have not heard whispers of the sadistic blasphemies committed by Grey and her courtiers in the once-fruitful Ironback Mines, though few know, or even suspect, the true scale of her crimes. The Ironback Mines are long since sealed by order of the Inquisition, that the lingering taint of Chaos not pollute Luggnum's material output or its population. Rumours persist, however, of dark, twisted things glimpsed in the deepest shafts of Luggnum's other mines, ghoulish figures that may once have been human.
Luggnum Sewer Rats in the Spinward Front
On the Spinward Front, Luggnum regiments are often assigned to battlefronts on Mining Worlds or orbital stations, where their experience in close-quarters combat can be used to full effect. The Sewer Rats have frequently been deployed to defend or retake the many orbital docks of Kulth. It is little surprise that a Luggnum regiment was assigned to serve on the world of Hervara, much to the chagrin of the men and women of the Luggnum 3rd Light Infantry. To the earnest people of Luggnum, the treachery of the Severan Dominate is anathema, and most Sewer Rats are more than ready to go to war against the Traitors. As with all good Imperial citizens, the fire of hatred for the xenos burns in the hearts of the Luggnum Sewer Rats, and their skill with the blade gives many a fighting chance, slim as it is, in a close-quarters engagement with the Orks of the region. Many Sewer Rats have been stationed for years on war-torn Kulth, and it is a common joke amongst the Luggnum Guardsmen that it is nice to get some fresh air after spending so much time in the mines.
Campaign on Hervara
"I haven't seen the sun in weeks, there's danger around every corner, and my superiors expect the impossible of me. This place is just like home. On the bright side, I probably won't live much longer."
- — Garreth Flinder, Standard Bearer, Luggnum 3rd
The majority of the Luggnum Sewer Rats' 3rd Light Infantry Regiment has been deployed to the vital Mining World of Hervara, located in the Spinward Front, the Imperial warzone centered in the sub-sector of the Calixis Sector known as the Periphery, with the specific intent of using their expertise to engage in tunnel fighting. The planet's vast network of caverns allows these warriors to effectively bring their expertise at close-quarters fighting to bear against the Orks and the Secessionist forces known as the Severan Dominate alike. The regiment has received accolades for their efficiency when engaged with the Secessionists, but they have been markedly less effective when engaging the Greenskins. The Sewer Rats have suffered significant losses against the Orks, leaving them well-motivated to seek vengeance against the brutal xenos.
Some of the local Hervara Excavatory Warriors Planetary Defence Forces' platoons have remained intact. The Spinward Front High Command has generally integrated these elements into the Imperial Guard hierarchy, seconding them primarily to work in conjunction with the Luggnum Sewer Rats. Hervara Excavatory Warriors troops are intimately familiar with the intricacies of Hervara's caverns, which has permitted the Imperial Guard forces to exploit lesser-known passages so that they can move behind enemy lines, expanding the scope of these battles.
Imperial High Command believes that soldiers from Luggnum represent an effective reserve to bolster worlds within the Spinward Front where other regiments seem to under-perform. The Luggnum Sewer Rats' 3rd Light Infantry Regiment was assigned to the world of Hervara, dividing the regiment into several battle groups, which were each assigned to different campaigns within the ongoing conflict. Despite suffering severe losses due to close quarters fighting with both Orks and Secessionist forces, the Luggnum 3rd remains the most effective unit of tunnel fighters among the Imperial Guard forces present.
A battalion strength force of Luggnum Sewer Rats is ostensibly stationed at the Imperial supply depot, designated Hervara-XIX, but the majority of those soldiers are currently deployed in the field. A light company currently occupies the depot, maintaining its defences. The facility represents salvation for the Imperial Guardsmen who might have escaped from an Ork encroachment and survived assault by the forces of the Severan Dominate. However, it is hardly paradisiacal. This is a wartime encampment, which is located very close to the front lines. Supplies and soldiers regularly pass through the base on their way to the front. Soldiers returning from the front typically stay only long enough to refit before they are once more deployed to maintain the war effort.
As is the case with most Imperial Guard regiments, the basic Luggnum infantry squad consists of ten men, lead by a Sergeant, and usually includes one Heavy Weapon specialist outfitted with a Melta Gun, the preferred special weapon of the Luggnum regiments.
- Luggnum Officers (Colonel, Major, Captain, Lieutenant) - The officers of the Luggnum Sewer Rats often hail from Luggnum's nobility. As such, when a new Luggnum regiment is raised, the men often find themselves serving under the command of the same nobles for whom they toiled in the mines. In some cases, squads correspond to work-teams of miners, with overseers given command of squads or platoons of the same men and women they previously supervised. Departmento Munitorum Adepts have found this to be an agreeable system, as the trust and obedience developed during the dangerous mine work on Luggnum translates well to the command structure of the Imperial Guard. A Colonel commands an entire Luggnum regiment, a Major a battalion, a Captain a company and a Lieutenant a platoon.
- Luggnum Sergeant - It said that to hold the respect of the men in the squad he commands, a Sergeant of the Luggnum Sewer Rats must be able to best any of them in a duel or drinking contest. While it seems unlikely that this always holds true in practice, the Guardsmen must have something to keep them busy between deployments. Luggnum Sergeants tend to have a good relationship with the men under their command -- having learned from life in the mines that noticing the slightest details of the environment can make the difference between life and death. Luggnum Sergeants are usually open to their subordinates' suggestions. As with many Imperial Guard regiments, the Sergeants and officers of the Luggnum Sewer Rats are given the option of equipping themselves with a sidearm and Chainsword, a perfect match for the close-quarters fighting style of the Luggnum people. Of course, no warrior of Luggnum would give up their clan sword, and because there is no Departmento Munitorum-accepted method of indicating this on the standard forms, the Sewer Rats' stores tend to accumulate a surplus of Chainswords. Some enterprising Luggnum nobles have discovered that, with a few modifications, the adamantium-tipped teeth of Departmento Munitorum Calixis-issue Chainswords work wonders for carving through the stone of Luggnum's mines.
- Luggnum Guardsman - The Imperial Guardsmen of the Luggnum Sewer Rats 3rd Light Infantry Regiment are well-suited to missions in the tunnels and caverns of Hervara. Each Guardsman carries a clan sword, of a craftsmanship that would mark out an officer among most other regiments. The Sewer Rats disdain the use of helmets, but their standard issue Preysense Goggles provide a keen advantage in the dark caverns and tunnels of Hervara. This combination of equipment and expertise has also had the Sewer Rats selected for a number of night raids on surface installations. The uniform of the Luggnum 3rd consists of a dark green Flak Armour Kilt and white bloused shirt under a Flak Armour vest. Equipment is stored in a slung rucksack, and ammunition, grenades, and assorted trophies and nonstandard kit hang from a bandolier. Many Sewer Rats add further personal touches such as clan slogans, emblems, or trophies.
Regimental Combat Doctrine
The Luggnum Sewer Rats are regiments devoted to close-quarters fighting. Battalions of the Sewer Rats have had success suppressing rebellion within hive cities, cleansing a Space Hulk, and fighting within the vaults of their homeworld. The Luggnum Sewer Rats are usually chosen to secure critical tunnels of caverns beneath a planet's surface against assault by xenos and Traitors alike.
Sewer Rats Wargear
- M36 Pattern Lasgun - Produced in a multitude of different styles and patterns, the Lasgun can be found in use on almost every world of the Imperium. The M36 Pattern is one of the most ubiquitous patterns of Lasgun in use by the Imperial Guard, and has long been the standard weapon issued to the troops of the Luggnum Sewer Rats regiments.
- 4 Lasgun Charge Packs - 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.
- Flak Vest and Kilt - The most common type of armour used by Imperial Guard forces is Flak Armour, and it is standard-issue combat gear to the countless millions of Imperial Guardsmen who fight on the Emperor's behalf across the galaxy. The Luggnum uniform is characterised by a Flak Kilt, which covers the upper legs and provides the same level of protection as a heavy Flak Coat. The patterns of these kilts are particular to each regiment, although many Sewer Rats add their own touches. This uncommon armour is made of the same ballistic cloth as the more prevalent Flak Cloaks and Flak Coats, and sometimes features additional rigid plates over the most critical regions of the body, such as the groin. Typically, Luggnum regiments are raised from amongst the subjects of a single Luggnum noble when possible. It is traditional for the liege to supply his departing subjects each with a Flak Kilt emblazoned with a variant of the noble's family crest. This unique emblem is adopted as a regimental marking.
- Luggnum Sewer Rats Uniform - The uniform of the Luggnum 3rd consists of a dark green Flak Armour Kilt and white bloused shirt under a Flak Armour vest. Equipment is stored in a slung rucksack, and ammunition, grenades, and assorted trophies and nonstandard kit hang from a bandolier. Many Sewer Rats add further personal touches such as clan slogans, emblems, or personal trophies. The preference for wearing bright, colourful patterns for garb extends to the Sewer Rats as well. They often personalise their blue and white uniforms with family crests, devotional sayings and the occasional spot of gallows humour. The warriors of Luggnum maintain that their traditional garb, known as a kilt, allows for great mobility and speed during combat, and more than one Guardsman from a different homeworld serving alongside a Luggnum regiment has had to pick up his teeth after questioning a Sewer Rat's grit. The lack of a helmet is also notable; it is a common saying that a Luggnum native would as soon take a bullet to the skull as put on another helmet after getting out of the mines.
- Preysense Goggles - The advanced lenses of these goggles are designed to enhance low-level light so that even in the darkest nights or the blackness of tunnels, its user can see almost as well as in daylight.
- Respirator - A simple breathing mask that covers the nose and mouth or entire face, these offer much better protection than filtration plugs.
- Clan Sword - Every true Luggnum family, no matter how high or how lowly, possesses a clan sword that is passed down through the generations. No true son or daughter of Luggnum would part with this clan sword; given the choice between selling this hereditary blade or starving to death, any would gladly starve. Most of these swords are centuries, if not millennia old, and crafted according to the highest standards. Clan swords are usually swords of good craftsmanship, and are often engraved with a family crest or motto. Traditionally, the sword is bestowed on the eldest son or daughter of a family. Should the sword's bearer fall on the field of battle, it is the responsibility of his squad mates to retrieve the blade and return it to his family.
- 2 Frag Grenades - Frag Grenades use a combustible charge and special fillers of shrapnel fragments. 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.
- 2 Krak Grenades - Krak Grenades are composed of powerful shaped and concentrated explosives designed to punch holes in armoured targets such as vehicles or bunkers. While stronger than Frag Grenades in explosive power, Krak detonations do not produce a blast effect and their more focused blast wave makes them less practical for use as an anti-personnel weapon.
- Poor Weather Gear
- Basic Toolkit
- Mess Kit & Water Canteen
- 2 Weeks' Rations
- Blanket & 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
- Dog Tags
- 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 Luggnum Sewer Rats have a preference for heavy weapons, especially Flamer weapons, which are perfect for clearing tunnels during close-quarters fighting.
- Luggnum Sewer Rats 3rd Light Infantry Regiment - The entire Luggnum 3rd has been committed to the Spinward Front, most notably to the ongoing campaign on the Mining World of Hervara. Prior to arrival within the system, Lord Marshall Pasheen specifically tasked the Sewer Rats with taking and holding all of Hervara's subterranean assets. He believed that they were best suited to the close-in fighting that was expected within the tunnel complex. However, this assignment was made prior to the discovery of the magnitude of the xenos presence upon the mining world. It also failed to factor the sheer number of Secessionist Hervara Excavatory Warriors troops allied with the Severan Dominate who were stationed within the mines. The Sewer Rats have suffered substantial losses as they consistently face the stiffest resistance from both Orks and the Secessionist forces. Four of the five companies that arrived on Hervara have had to be consolidated down to two, due to the losses sustained through the close quarters fighting. To offer some relief from the endless darkness and harsh conditions of the mines, the Luggnum companies have been rotated to surface deployment on a monthly basis. At these times, they have worked most closely with members of the Death Korps of Krieg, providing support to the siege infantry also deployed on Hervara. In these situations, the Sewer Rats have often come to appreciate the security of the caverns, where they were at least isolated from aerial bombardment and plummeting, exploding aircraft, courtesy of the Orks.
Notable Luggnum Sewer Rats
- Major Natalia Foudrang - Major Foudrang commands the battalion of the Luggnum Sewer Rats 3rd Regiment assigned to Hervara. The entire regiment of light infantry is currently committed to the Spinward Front, but High Command chose to divide the regiment into several battle groups, which were each assigned to different locations. As a light infantry regiment, their general battlefield role is well-suited to a variety of different environmental conditions and conflicts. Major Foudrang knows first-hand the cost of treachery, for the guilty and innocent alike. A tall, imposing woman with a duelling scar across her left cheek, Foudrang's apparent composure hides a deep-seated paranoia. Ever alert for sedition within the ranks of her forces, Foudrang's attention is as focused inward as it is toward the enemy. As with all Luggnum Sewer Rats, the major carries an ancient clan sword, with which she is expertly proficient — a requirement for any Luggnum officer. The Major was only promoted to her current post after enduring an interrogation at the hands of an Inquisitor. Though her loyalty to the Imperium of Man was proven, some say that her mind scarcely survived the process. Foudrang is a study in contrasts, showing occasional flashes of sincere gratitude, which contrast with her typically stern outlook. Ever since the incident on Luggnum, known as the Red Vault, Natalia has constantly sought and discovered treason and betrayal against the Imperium. She has consistently delivered judgment upon the guilty, but has been thorough in her investigations, to avoid punishing the innocent. At least, she is thorough when her patience is not tested excessively. Her paranoia has continued to grow, souring the climate of the battalion of the 3rd Light Infantry she commands. The climate of paranoia which dominates amongst the Imperial leadership on Hervara has done nothing to ease Major Foudrang's own concerns about potential treachery.
- Captain Rupert Fordham - A lieutenant at the time, Rupert Fordham was amongst the initial wave of Luggnum troops from the Luggnum 3rd called in to deal with the aftermath of the Red Vaults incident. Operating under the command of an Inquisitor whose name he never learned, Fordham witnessed first-hand the brutality with which the Imperium enforces the rule of holy law. While many depraved worshipers of the Dark Gods perished on the witchpyres, so too did many innocents who had simply been deemed contaminated due to proximity to the source of the corruption. Fordham clearly recalls the words of the Inquisitor, his face bathed in the flickering light cast by burning bodies, "Innocence proves nothing." This was a chilling moment that left an indelible impression. In the years since, Fordham's faith in the Imperium has continued to erode. The war on Hervara is the Captain's greatest test yet. As Fordham watched his men die, fighting against a foe who is no xenos abomination, untouched by Chaos, and whose only crime is the desire to secede from the authority of the Imperium, the final foundations of his loyalty have crumbled. When Corporal Kousenk of the Hervara Excavatory Warriors reached out to him to try to draw him to the Severan Dominate cause, he found the Captain receptive to the Separatist ideals he espoused.
- Supply Officer Von Meering - Supply Officer Von Meering generally uses one word to describe herself: professional. Well aware of the conflicting desires of the troops and the Departmento Munitorum, Von Meering does everything as "by-the-Manual" as possible, and long ago gave up on being friendly. She conducts her armoury with exacting precision, ensuring that everything is neatly organised -- the better to tell when anything is missing. Von Meering guards her hoard jealously, and sees any theft or damage as not only a crime against the Departmento Munitorum, but also as a personal offence against her. Von Meering notices the slightest scratch when equipment is returned to her, and requires the errant Guardsman to complete the proper (and interminably long) forms.
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 24
- Only War: Final Testament (RPG), pp. 11-12, 14-15, 20, 38-39, 41, 44-45, 47-50, 54-56, 59-60, 63, 65, 79, 81, 89, 102, 114-115, 121-124, 126, 128-129, 133, 135, 138