Pious Korren was an officer in the Armageddon Steel Legion of the Astra Militarum with the rank of Major who became one of the most famous tank aces of the Third War for Armageddon in 998.M41. He is also known as the "Hero of Anthrand."
Major Korren and his crew single-handedly destroyed an entire armoured column of Ork vehicles during the Battle of Anthrand Plain. Korren directs his crew from the top hatch of the main turret of the famed Shadowsword super-heavy main battle tank known as the "Iron Saint."
Pious Korren was born into a family which traditionally served in the Imperial Navy. His father was executive officer of the Battleship Sea of Glass, and his grandfather was the Rear Admiral of Battlefleet Justicar. It was a great disappointment to his family that the young Pious showed no aptitude or interest whatsoever in void combat. His family members used all the influence they could bring to bear to ensure the young man received a commission and a prestigious post aboard a frigate operating out of St. Jowen's Dock in the Armageddon System. Alas, it was to no avail, and in very little time the young officer was finding himself before disciplinary hearings following a number of incidents in the officers' mess. The matter came to a head during an inter-fleet officers' soiree, when Pious struck a visiting Commodore in retaliation for a particularly cutting insult. Pious was immediately ejected from the refectory, and the very next morning was given the choice of summary dismissal or a court-martial before the fleet Commissariat.
To make matters worse, the infamous Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka launched his second invasion of the Armageddon System, thus beginning the Third War for Armageddon in 998.M41. The young Pious petitioned his officers to allow him back aboard his vessel, but they dared not risk the wrath of the Commissariat. Pious had no alternative but to evacuate St. Jowen's Dock alongside other non-essential personnel, and within a solar week found himself at the besieged Hive Volcanus on the subcontinent of Armageddon Prime.
Raging against fate and ashamed of his actions, Pious made straight for the nearest Armageddon Ash Waste militia depot and signed up, eventually becoming an officer in the Armageddon Steel Legion of the Imperial Guard. Despite his failure as an Imperial Navy officer, Pious proved an exemplary officer cadet of the ground forces, and was soon commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned command of a Leman Russ Tank squadron. Towards the latter stages of the war, Pious was one of the highest-rated tank aces of the entire Armageddon Steel Legion, having scored hundreds of Ork vehicle kills, including three Stompas.
Third War for Armageddon
Pious quickly rose through the ranks of the Steel Legion and soon bore the rank of Major. He now commanded a mighty Shadowsword super-heavy tank known as the Iron Saint. He is extremely proud of the fact that the vehicle has never been "shot out from under him" and regards with disdain those tank aces who take pride in the number of tanks they have lost in action. The Iron Saint bears the grey and green ash waste camouflage of the Armageddon Steel Legion, augmented by his personal heraldry and dozens of distinctive kill markings earned over a long, distinguished career during multiple bloody campaigns.
Over the course of the war, the crew of the Iron Saint, was transformed from a band of inexperienced rabble to a highly skilled group of veterans at armoured warfare. Every member of the crew made himself indispensable, and Korren stated on many occasions that none of the numerous medals awarded to him could have been earned without the efforts of every single member of his crew, from the ex-convict "Tricky" Santuk, whose skills as chief driver allowed the Iron Saint to advance in amongst a Stompa mob and disable all three enemy walkers with rear shots, to the chief gunner, "Grox-eye" Makony, who once put a Volcano Cannon shot into the blazing red, left eye of a Gargant from a range of seven kilometres. Other crew members include Crew Chief "Gruff" McGruff, whose strict regime has kept discipline in the face of overwhelming odds, and the cook, Private "Grot" Olkin, who once took over the main gun when "Grox-eye" was wounded in action, and with it destroyed five tanks, three of which even belonged to the enemy.
Battle of Anthrand Plain
It was on the featureless wastes of Anthrand that Major Pious Korren and his crew truly earned their place in the annals of Armageddon's official histories. The Iron Saint was refueling and reprovisioning at a logistics base south of the Death Mire defence line when the Orks unleashed an armoured thrust from an entirely unanticipated quarter. As an entire mob of Stompas and dozens of Battlewagons struck north towards the Imperium's exposed flank, Korren found himself as the only man who could prevent an unprecedented disaster.
Knowing he had no time to await reinforcements, Korren set out on a direct course for the Ork armoured column, spotting the lead Battlewagon as the sun set. Over the next eight solar hours the lone Shadowsword engaged the Ork force one vehicle at a time, firing over infrared sights before moving, locating another target and firing again.
Shot after incandescent shot lanced out of the darkness to destroy enemy after enemy. Soon the gunner had no need of his infrared sights, the glow of burning vehicles illuminating the battlefield to such an extent that he could fire over open sights. By the time the sun rose the next morning the Anthrand Plain was scattered with the blackened wrecks of Ork Stompas and Battlewagons littering an area several hundred square miles. Korren was awarded a chest full of medals, and declared the greatest tank ace the Armageddon Steel Legion had ever produced.
- White Dwarf 352 (UK), "Liber Apocalyptica - Titan Killer!", pp. 32-34, 36-37