"The Imperium demands that every man to do his duty unto death."
- —Commodore Stefan Hemelschot
In 786.M41 at the so-called "Council of Ashes," the Achilus Crusade's new Lord Militant, Solomon Tetrarchus, reorganised the command structure of the crusade to match his own preferences. At that time, he made clear that he desired a sturdy and competent commander to prosecute an aggressive void campaign in the Acheros Salient of the Achilus Crusade.
Solar Admiral Ram Thoen grudgingly appointed Commodore Stefan Hemelschot as commander of a considerable Imperial Navy flotilla in the region in order to do just that.
The commodore fought a series of bitter engagements with Heretic fleets across the Cellebos Warzone, most notably in the First Battle of Vanity and the Accursed Blockade. To the solar admiral's surprise, Hemelschot proved himself a most able fleet commander.
It is largely due to the commodore's efforts that the majority of the ships under his command remain intact after a punishing series of battles fought in the Acheros Salient.
Hemelschot himself arose from humble beginnings in the Imperial Navy, having been merely an ensign when an Ork boarding assault slaughtered many of the senior officers aboard his first voidship. Then-Ensign Hemelschot rallied the survivors and led a surprise attack upon the greenskins in order to reclaim the vessel in the Emperor's name.
Fast-tracked for command since that time, Hemelschot has always made a habit of working closely with the fleet Commissars assigned to his vessels, and he demands nothing but the very best from both his ship and his voidsmen. Morale amongst the commodore's fleet is generally very high, and he is well known as one of the strongest supporters of Lord General Magratha von Karlack.
Commodore Hemelschot silenced even his most virulent critics at the Second Battle of Vanity in 811.M41. The commodore's fleet encountered a strong presence of Stigmartus-crewed vessels, including a pair of heavy cruisers.
The commodore flanked the Heretic ships with a squadron of Dauntless-class light cruisers, while he sent his main cruiser line in a slingshot manoeuvre around one of Vanity's larger moons. The two forces caught the Stigmartus voidships in a deadly crossfire of torpedoes, followed by heavy bomber wings.
These strikes kept the enemy damaged and off-balance until the Imperial warships broke the line and blasted the Heretic vessels into scrap with close-range broadsides.
The commodore has recently had some dealings with the mysterious Aeldari Ranger known as Shanyr the Traveller, and there have been some scattered reports of Aeldari starships shadowing the movements of Hemelschot's fleet in the Cellebos Warzone.
This has drawn the attention of Ordo Xenos Inquisitors throughout the salient, concerned that alien involvement in the already unstable Cellebos Warzone could only further weaken the crusade's hold in the area.
- Deathwatch: The Jericho Reach (RPG), pg. 18