The Mordant Acid-Dogs are regiments of the Imperial Guard raised from the Mining World of Mordant Prime, located in the Segmentum Obscurus. The Mordant Acid-Dogs specialise in subterranean tunnel fighting. They are typically deployed to combat zones where the Imperial High Command wishes to take advantage of their natural affinity for dark and confined spaces. The harsh conditions of their world breeds extremely tough and resilient warriors who are perfect for conscription into the military forces of the Imperium.
Mordant Prime is a world situation to the galactic north of the Eye of Terror in the Segmentum Obscurus, and is known for the mining of bioluminescent bacteria from which a unique, highly corrosive acid is extracted. Mordant is classed by the Adeptus Terra as a Night World, and its surface is a barren wasteland, totally unfit for human habitation. The only reason humanity exists at all on the world is to mine the strains of luminescent bacteria that grow beneath the surface so that it can be refined into the potent acid that has many different industrial uses. Over the millennia, this process has formed a vast chain of caverns and tunnels that connect across the entire world. Within these tunnels Mordant mining clans extract the bacteria, culturing it in vast cavern-vats, to bleed off the most corrosive acids known to the Imperium. These extracts are shipped to Forge Worlds across the sector, where they find use in all manner of esoteric fabrication processes.
The peoples of Mordant can be split into two broad categories: the acid miners, and everyone else. The miners are organised into an ancient clan structure, and have total control over their business. They exploit cheap local labour; paying the workers barely enough to survive in the run down shanty-caverns they call home. Many of the disenfranchised citizens of Mordant turn to a life of organised crime, and gang violence is the only authority acknowledged amongst many of the deeper settlements. Only the skilled miners who are a part of the ancient organisation of Mordant mining clans do not suffer from the extreme poverty experienced by the majority of the populace. The Mordant Acid-Dog Regiments draw their conscripts from those unfortunate wretches who can no longer tolerate the harsh life of their world and the horrid living conditions, or from those who have earned the dire wrath of one of the many criminal gangs.
Mordant troopers display a trait common of many of their kin -- the carrying of additional equipment into a warzone. Mordant units are notorious scroungers, and they often scrounge off Departmento Munitorum supply units, who dread requisitions from the quarter masters after coming into contact with a Mordant unit. Mordant troopers routinely search out and utilise any additional wargear they can carry, and as such are masters in the use of all manner of equipment rarely used by other Imperial Guard infantry troops. Most notably, some Mordant regiments' scrounging of wargear carries over, or mutates into, the taking of trophies from the enemy. This is a trait only practised amongst Mordant units, and is likely caused by the excessive and attenuated combat stress under which these troopers often operate. Also likely is that the trophy-taking is the result of some deeper, spiritual malaise brought on by extended contact with enemy forces tainted by the Dark Gods.
A standard Mordant Guardsmen will be outfitted with the following wargear:
- Kantreal 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. Mordant Acid-Dog Regiments often utilise the long-barrelled model of the Kantreal-manufactured sidearm issued to almost all units raised within the Sector Occularis.
- 4 Lasgun Charge Packs - Charge Packs are powerful capacitor 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 Armour - 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. Many layers of ablative and impact absorbent material go into making each suit, enough to deflect or negate most low-level attacks such as small arms, shrapnel, and proximity blasts. Solid hits from high impact weapons can generally negate it, but given that it is relatively lightweight, cheap to produce, and dependable in most combat situations, many veterans keep using it even when offered something better. Mordant troopers wear Flak Vests manufactured to the Cadian Pattern, as Mordant is itself near to the Fortress World of Cadia and therefore receives many of the same patterns of equipment issued to Cadian units. Often these troopers forgo the standard Imperial Guard Flak Armour issued with the chest plate, making visible the extensive tattooing favoured by all the inhabitants of Mordant.
- Cadian Pattern Helmet - The helmets worn by all Mordant units are a variant of the standard Cadian Pattern (Aquila) Helmet which provides excellent protection to the vulnerable cranial area. Injuries to this region of the body are invariably fatal and thus maximum effort is made to avoid such wounds. Where such injuries are unavoidable, the use of the Cadian Pattern Helmet offers the best protection from exploding shrapnel and fragmentation. The differences between the Mordant version and the standard Cadian Pattern are purely cosmetic and it provides the same level of protections. Mounted upon their helmets are an extensive suite of vision enhancing gear.
- Multi-Spectral Eye Protection - As Mordant is a benighted world, its occupants are known to have eyesight sensitive to bright conditions, and so it is not unusual for units to be issued with Multi-Spectral Eye Protection when such is available.
- Photo-Visor - These advanced lenses are designed to enhance low-level light so that even in the darkest nights 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.
- Mordant Acid-Dogs Imperial Guard Uniform - Mordant regiments favour fatigues that are a standard green/gray in colour.
- 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.
- 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.
Notable Acid-Dog Regiments
- 13th Mordant Acid-Dogs, the "Lucky 13s" - Raised in 596.M37, the 13th Mordant, the so-called "Lucky 13s", was one of the forty-three regiments raised to take part in the Imperial Crusade against the Black Crusade of Jihar the Lacerator. This regiment was raised as part of a larger muster brought about by a particularly portentous reading of the Emperor's Tarot. This reading, carried out by a senior Sanctioned Psyker attached to the staff of the Cadian High Command, spoke of the coming of one "whom the dead fear above all else." So it was that the 13th had trained intensely for the day they would be dispatched to fight one of Humanity's most deadly foes. Despite not having a clue what they might be facing, the 13th Mordant was well versed in the ways of the mutant, and had participated in a number of purges verging the Sentinel Worlds, gaining invaluable combat experience in the process. The 13th were trained and equipped as assault pioneers, proficient in the use of such engineering stores as breaching charges, Stummers, Flamers and the like.
- Colonel Bane - Colonel Bane was the commanding officer of the 13th Mordant, having served in the Mordant Planetary Defence Force for many years before being promoted to service as an officer with the Imperial Guard, and was proficient in small unit actions against the private armies maintained by the smugglers and criminal syndicates of his world. Furthermore, while detached form the 13th Mordant, he had served in an assault group that put down a mutant uprising in the Scarus Sector, leading the attack on the mutant overlord's hive-lair and ending the uprising. Bane was therefore judged the ideal commander to lead an assault against the mutants of the Gloom Worlds, and his superiors briefed him to seek out and engage the enemy leadership as his highest priority.
- Tactica Imperialis - A History of the Later Imperial Crusades, pp. 71-93