- "Storm Troopers work best under maximum pressure, maximum intensity, and maximum danger. When these things are shared with others, they help form a bond stronger than any tie known in the galaxy."
- — Attributed to an unnamed Tempestus Scion officer
Tempestus Scions (sing. Tempestus Scion), or as they are known in Low Gothic, Storm Troopers, are the elite special forces units of the Astra Militarum and the Inquisition, but officially belong to a subdivision of the Adeptus Administratum known as the Militarum Tempestus. Trained from their youth by the Schola Progenium in the arts of war, Storm Troopers are, perhaps, the finest soldiers ever to serve in the Imperial Guard. Armed with their trademark Hot-shot Lasguns and Hellpistols, these soldiers take combat to the heart of the enemy with blinding speed and deadly precision. Their accuracy is aided by their highly-protective Carapace Armour's integrated and distinctive Omnishield Helm targeting system.
Equipped with the finest weapons and wargear in the Departmento Munitorum's arsenal, Tempestus Scions are trained to carry out missions beyond the capabilities of the rank-and-file Guardsman. Deep strike assaults, reconnaissance, infiltration, sabotage, and airborne or orbital insertion are just a few of the special operations missions with which Tempestus Scions and their equivalents in the Astra Militarum are regularly tasked. They are the very best that the Imperial Guard has to offer, each man a perfect specimen of health and moral purity, forged by experience and training, not into a simple soldier, but into a one-man assault squad.
- "Death is not failure. For even death can bring glory. Fear is not failure, for fear can be conquered. The only known failure is to ignore orders, for even a slight hesitation in following them brings an ignoble end."
- —Liber Progenium, Volume I
Exceptionally skilled warriors descended from the very finest of the Imperium's noble bloodlines, both Tempestus Scions and Commissars obey and enforce the will of their superiors with merciless efficiency. The Imperium of Man holds a million worlds and takes its tithe of military personnel from every single culture within its bounds. Despite this nearly inconceivable scale, the commands issued by the many Imperial authorities must be followed unflinchingly in order for the Imperium to endure; hesitation would result in the swift collapse of the Emperor's realm. Tempestus Scions and Commissars are indoctrinated in the Imperial Creed from youth, serving no culture but that of loyalty and the swift execution of their duties. It is they who possess the tenacity and resolve to undertake the toughest missions. It is they who get the job done.
Tempestus Scions are disciplined, elite special operations soldiers who fight without question or hesitation until their orders are fulfilled. Commissars are harsh yet inspiring leaders who ensure that every military objective is achieved -- no matter the cost. Without the iron-willed resolution of both, the Imperium would be severely weakened in its darkest hour.
Heroes and Legends
As well as being the elite wing of the Astra Militarum, the Ordo Tempestus is the training ground for the Imperium's finest martial operatives outside of the legendary Adeptus Astartes. It works alongside the Schola Progenium, whose facilities are governed by the Ecclesiarchy, to provide key Imperial institutions with the best recruits the galaxy can provide. The Schola Progenium takes a constant influx of war orphans from the embattled worlds of the Imperium of Man. These young individuals are officially known as Progena Novum. Mindscaped, schooled and trained to an almost inhuman degree, those who pass their Trials of Compliance and make it past Selection Day are then split off to serve in the different organs of the Imperial hierarchy.
The majority of these cadets are assigned to the Schola Tempestus, where they complete the gruelling training necessary to become Tempestus Scions. The death rate amongst each year group of recruits is high, for the Schola Tempestus is as merciless as it is efficient. After three standard years of intense physical and mental conditioning, those who survive their training are assigned to a Scions regiment and join the Militarum Tempestus in earnest. From that point on they are issued with the very best of equipment and resources the arsenals of the Ordo Tempestus can provide. In return they are expected to give their lives in the service of the Imperium and to obey the orders of their superiors without question, no matter the horrors that confront them.
Only those Progena with the strongest minds and most unshakeable resolve are given the chance to join the Officio Prefectus. Assuming they can prove themselves able to put aside such ephemeral concerns as humanity and compassion, come Selection Day these prospective Commissars are assigned to the Schola Prefectus. There they spend several standard years learning the finer points of the Imperial Creed, the Tactica Imperium, and even sections of the Codex Astartes. Once each of their spheres of knowledge is complete, they will be given the uniform and authority of a full member of the Officio Prefectus. Entrusted with a Bolt Pistol, the holy instrument of authority and vengeance presented to all of their brethren, and frequently given a Power Sword for close-quarters fighting, the Commissar is ready to instill discipline and strike the fear of the Emperor into all those within the Ordo Tempestus and without. Female Progena cadets who show both physical aptitude and a burning faith in the Emperor will be sent to the Adepta Sororitas via one of the bodies that govern their ancient orders -- the Convent Sanctorum or the Convent Prioris. It is there that the Sisters-in-training learn the secrets of the mechanical wonder that is Power Armour and how to wield the holy trinity of Bolter, Flamer and Melta.
Males who take the creed of the Emperor into their heart and evince an almost supernatural degree of faith will instead be requisitioned by the Adeptus Ministorum. Some of these find themselves seconded to Astra Militarum regiments, much like their Commissar contemporaries, whilst others bolster the Adepta Sororitas, go back into the Schola Progenium as Drill Abbots, or even lead armies of the faithful in their own right.
To join the Adeptus Ministorum is an honour beyond measure; from amongst their ranks, the most devout leaders of the Imperium are born. Individuals of a more scholarly bent, as well as those whose minds are suited for the grinding tedium of clerical and logistical roles, will instead spend the rest of their lives in the Adeptus Terra. Each trained Adept has not only an exceptional mind, but also a solid grasp of the military arts due to his time in the Schola Progenium. On those rare occasions that insurrection breaks out in a dataslave compound or pedanticum complex, the prospective troublemakers may find themselves choking on their own heretical pamphlets or with their brains dashed out by the bookish but unexpectedly violent overseer they had previously thought of as easy prey.
The most secretive of all the organisations that recruit their agents from the Schola Progenium is the Emperor's Holy Inquisition. Powerful beyond measure, the Inquisition takes only those who excel physically, mentally and spiritually. Though these prodigies join the ranks as Acolytes under the province of a more senior Inquisitor, the canniest and most capable of their number will become Inquisitors in their own right. Theirs is the right to change the course of history, to send entire battlegroups of the Astra Militarum and Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes into the fires of war, and even to consign fully populated planets to oblivion should they deem it necessary.
All who graduate from the Schola Progenium join a group of exceptional individuals who impose the Imperium's will on a hostile and uncaring galaxy. Their influence is spread across the stars, guiding the lesser orders of Mankind by the will of the High Lords of Terra themselves. By the skills and disciplines of those taken from their families and reforged in the fires of adversity, the realm of Mankind will stand or fall.
Forging a Killer
Tempestus Scions and Commissars are remorseless and efficient killers, but these warriors are not born that way. They are forged within the Schola Progeniums -- harsh training camps based on long-established Imperial worlds. It is these ancient facilities that are responsible for taking the orphaned offspring of the best the Imperium has to offer and transforming them into ruthless soldiers.
The Schola Progenium is designed to homogenise, break and rebuild the orphaned sons and daughters of the Imperial elite. It transforms them from frightened children into loyal warriors ready to fight and die in the name of the Emperor, or into fearsome, iron-fisted authoritarians who keep the wheels of the Adeptus Terra in motion.
In the aftermaths of the many atrocities so common in the 41st Millennium, any newly created orphans who are of aristocratic blood are brought to the attention of the nearest Officio Prefectus officials, who are tasked with dealing with the aftershocks of a battle and salvaging anything still useful to the Imperium. Many a Commissar has marched through the corpse-strewn walkways of a Planetary Governor's palace to discover a forlorn son or daughter who has been hiding -- safe, but alone -- in some underground bunker. The Commissar, having come from a similar background, will ensure that such a child does not go to waste. Quickly and efficiently, he assigns the new-made orphan to a starship bound for the nearest Schola Progenium.
It is even whispered that, when it is in the Imperium's best interests, the Officio Prefectus may "steal" a prospective new recruit. Sometimes a child -- whose parents are still alive -- may be judged to have shown remarkable qualities, and their presence on a backwater world may be considered an inefficient use of those skills when they could be put to better effect in an Imperial facility. The rumour has it that a Commissar will ensure that such resources are allocated more efficiently, even if the protesting parents have to be removed from the equation in order to do so.
Children arrive at the vast Schola Progeniums at a range of ages. Some come when they are as young as six Terran years, while others are as old as twelve. Most inductees are orphaned in large groups following a single planetary disaster, though occasionally individuals are thrown into larger groups if it is convenient. New recruits undergo a series of mental and physical examinations, but this is solely for the benefit of the facility. Should the cadet have been gleaned from a planet on the wrong end of a plague or spiritual rebellion, then the last thing the Drill Abbots would want is for that same corruption to break out within a confined, isolated complex and savage its young inmates.
Cadets are divided by age to form training groups that will ultimately -- in the case of the Militarum Tempestus -- form the basis of their full battle regiments, to maintain a sense of brotherhood. Group sizes can start off as large as several hundred at any one time, though those who would not make worthy servants of the Imperium are quickly weeded out, and are not seen again by their classmates.
Whereas the Astra Militarum is made up of soldiers from a huge number of different cultures, the Progena of the Schola Progenium are not permitted cultural variety. Though they may arrive there from different worlds, they are quickly recast in the same Imperial mould. As a result of this, they can be relied upon to put the orders of their superiors first and foremost before any local loyalties.
So that the Schola Progenium becomes their sole reality, cadets are taught to forget their old existence. They are stripped of their former clothing and of any belongings they may have brought with them. They are issued only with simple black uniforms and standardised equipment and training gear, which they are expected to wear and use throughout their training. Recruits are forced to abandon their birth names, and are instead provided with a new one chosen from a long list of legendary heroes of the Imperium. This is as much to remind them of the excellence to which they must aspire, as it is to remove their identity. One exception to these traditional processes is when siblings arrive -- they are not deprived of their familial connections, as these have been found to encourage greater competition as well as fostering stronger internal ties in the long term.
Such uniformity is easier to accept for very young students than it is for those who have spent longer in their parent cultures -- but mindscaping is always necessary to facilitate the commitment to the ways of the Schola Progenium. Sometimes, for habitual prejudices, this clarity of thought can be achieved by simple techniques, such as repetition of litanies for solar weeks on end. However, at some point every cadet is strapped down to an iron chair known as a Correction Throne. Needles are then inserted through the rear of the cadet's skull, and their heads are flooded with dirus, a neurochemical fluid that cleanses their synapses, wiping away old memories and paving the way for new information. It is an unfortunate, and little-discussed fact that the Imperium possesses ever-dwindling stocks of dirus, and it is increasingly being diluted with more dubious substances. While cadets endure such treatment, Auto-vox Servo-skulls relay righteous speeches, war cries or simply inspiring quotes from Ecclesiarchical texts to properly and irrevocably infuse them with the wonder of their new creed.
Sadly, even the Schola Progenium's mindscaping techniques are not infallible. Dreams and visions from previous existences will haunt some recruits for the rest of their lives. A Scion may never fully rid himself of the nightmarish visions that linger from his homeworld, or the trauma of the death of his parents. As with all such matters, the Schola Progenium's methodology goes unquestioned.
However, it is always a concern when a cadet shows too strong an unwillingness to properly conform. As reward for their independence, they are often released into the training grounds only to be hunted down by their former comrades. This serves as much to bond the remaining cadets as it does to punish individuality. If a cadet publicly disobeys orders, they will meet a spectacular and very public end, courtesy of a Drill Abbot's great hammer. What little remains of their spine is coiled within a glass box and mounted within the dormitory to serve as a warning to others. This is not at the extreme end of remedial punishments. In the Schola Progenium facility on Brellex, the products of one incident remain forever enshrined. Due to a faulty batch of mindscaping chemicals, a whole year group rose up against the dictates of their masters. The seething Abbot Prime ordered the Officio Prefectus to crush the rebellion. Whilst still alive, the mutinous cadets were meshed with mortar and used to line the schola's ferrocrete walls. To this day their bones jut out of long corridors, grasping for freedom, as a warning of the consequences of insubordination.
The Cadet Forge
Schola Progenium training may be considered a drawn-out form of torture. Indeed, injured limbs or broken minds are hardly uncommon. Cadets undergo basic physical drills in heavy Carapace Armour, quickly tiring them out as they scale walls or squeeze under razor wire. A cuff from the Drill Abbot's gauntleted hand and the sight of his great hammer is usually enough to encourage a lethargic cadet to try harder.
Military exercises with live ammunition are conducted in the harsh landscape surrounding a Schola Progenium or on nearby moons. Cadets are often expected to endure solar days in the wilderness with little food or instruction, and limited weaponry with which to combat whatever violent fauna roams the planet. Yet with each roaming day, cadets improve in their performance. Their speed and endurance increase, they scale walls previously thought impossible to overcome, and it becomes obvious to even a novice Drill Abbot that true warriors are being forged. It is a strong belief within the Schola Progenium that from the hottest of fires, the strongest bonds of brotherhood are born.
Whatever the technique, this tutelage serves to better divine what path a cadet is suited for, as well as preparing them for the brutalities of the 41st Millennium. Indeed, the training regimen within the Schola Progenium exists not just to create highly-skilled combatants. Amidst the trials and challenges, the Drill Abbot will constantly assess and reassess as to who will make an excellent Tempestus Scion, an excellent Commissar, or who would be better suited within the Adeptus Terra. However, some Scholas use more esoteric methods of selection. For example, the Abbot Prime of the Schola Progenium facility on Sanctus Omega is a known reader of the Emperor's Tarot, and uses the mystical cards to steer his judgement or decide upon a cadet's path. Technically, no one role is considered more prestigious than another, though Commissars are generally held to be the most redoubtable of the Schola's trainees. Each graduate has a highly specific role within the Imperium at large, and such skills need to be discerned well in advance of the Trials of Compliance -- the most important stage of a cadet's time at the Schola Progenium.
Trials of Compliance
Each Schola Progenium employs one or more challenges to separate those who will become Commissars from those who will join the Militarum Tempestus. These tests take diverse forms, but the primary purpose of all such Trials of Compliance is to highlight those cadets who are best committed to obeying orders in adversity, and test how they process those commands. Of course, a percentage of the supplicants fail in their allotted task -- many end up as equerries or thralls of the Schola Progenium. Some of these disappointments may work through their sentences as menials and eventually be permitted to join the regular Astra Militarum. Ever eager to prove their worth, these few may yet become Imperial soldiers in their own right.
For potential Tempestus Scions, Trials of Compliance may involve live-fire exercises in the Hallucinarium. In endless labyrinths, cadets are constantly exposed to strange visions and false suggestions. Yet the prospective initiates are expected to follow the correct orders without hesitation, no matter how strange those orders may be, and no matter how monstrous the entities they come up against. There are timed physical tests, too, such as scaling the grand facade of the facility whilst constantly chanting that particular Schola Progenium's motto. Should the candidate's incantations slip out of sync from the metronomic tempo of the Servo-skull hovering nearby, the cadet may soon have gunfire to contend with, in addition to the high walls.
For potential Commissars, the Trials of Compliance usually take even more esoteric forms. Without knowing it is a test, a cadet may be commanded to locate one of his closest colleagues -- a comrade with whom he has shared the trials and tribulations of the Schola Progenium over many years -- and shoot them through the head.
Such a callous execution order serves a dual purpose, as it proves that the Cadet Commissar can not only follow Imperial orders, but that he or she will have no problem killing stubborn officers when in the heat of battle. However, the Schola Progenium recognises the danger posed by a highly trained candidate who shows the promise of a Commissar, but who cannot follow such an order. Prospective Commissars who fail this trial will end up being victim to the same challenge issued to another candidate, or released as quarry for a group of potential Scions.
The few brave Adepts within the Adeptus Ministorum who suggest that all of this is a waste of good talent are reminded that these trials are essential to wean out the truly remorseless from those haunted by doubt. Besides, there are always thousands more orphans delivered into their hands each standard year -- such losses are hardly of import.
After successful cadets have survived their various Trials of Compliance, the Drill Abbots will allocate them their path in an event known as Selection Day. It is then that the truly hard challenges begin.
Selection Days in the Schola Progenium mark the point at which a cadet is assigned their destiny. Cavernous voidships descend into planetary orbit, ready to export Progena to their new roles. From dawn to dusk, amidst the slow incantation of ancient litanies and clouds of incense, cadets are divided according to their selected path.
A good many discover that they are to head into the ranks of the Adeptus Terra. Those young women who show not only fine military skills but strong signs of faith are prepared to journey to training convents of the Adepta Sororitas's Orders Militant, while others may join the Adeptus Arbites. The most talented warriors are chosen for the Militarum Tempestus and Officio Prefectus. Each group is assigned to a starship and consequently dispatched to the appropriate Schola Tempestus or Schola Prefectus for more advanced training in their chosen discipline.
Inquisitorial Tempestus Scions Training
The Schola Progenium exists to adopt children whose parents died in the Emperor's service and train them to become the bedrock of the Imperium's defence and governance. The Schola's graduates are scattered across Imperial society: the Ecclesiarchy, the Administratum, Adeptus Arbites, Commissariat, Adepta Sororitas, or even the Inquisition. However, for those who prove to be particularly martial and aggressive, the Schola reserves its most difficult and dangerous training. This is the instruction provided to the famous Astra Militarum and Inquisitorial Tempestus Scions. Storm Trooper training begins immediately after the Schola Progenium's primary educational course but does not supplant it. After all, potential Tempestus Scions are expected to be more than simply warriors. Each is expected to be well-schooled in basic education and Imperial lore and history, and unwaveringly loyal to the God-Emperor, something a Schola education works diligently to impart.
Although the vast majority of Storm Troopers are Progena, orphans trained at the Schola Progenium, at times a senior official of the Imperium (such as an Inquisitor) uses his authority to have an adult individual inducted into the Tempestus Scions training course of the Schola Progenium. In these situations, the Schola Progenium's Drill Abbots make no distinction between a barely-teenage new recruit and a grizzled Veteran with years of service, and any complaints those Veterans may have are quickly crushed under the weight of training. When (or if) those recruits emerge as full Storm Troopers, they are often removed from their squad and assigned to serve their patron Inquisitor as one of his Acolytes, instead.
To be selected to become a Tempestus Scion in this manner happens but rarely, usually after some act of outstanding courage and dedication. The candidate must show developed martial skills, a strong mind resistant to terror and panic, and a deep faith in the Imperial Creed. Naturally, the sponsoring Inquisitor has his own, often obscure, agenda for sponsoring an Acolyte into this training as well. Storm Troopers make excellent Throne Agents, often serving as an Inquisitor's bodyguard in extremely dangerous situations and they are highly valued for their martial training and military knowledge.
Often, such an unusual candidate is examined carefully by the Drill Abbot instructors before being declared fit to train with the Tempestus Scion Progena. Rigourous study with the Inquisition is also required for the candidate in order to acquire the same knowledge already learnt by the other Progena -- this often includes a deep understanding of the Tactica Imperialis, advanced stealth techniques, and a method to ensure basic and successful communion with the Machine Spirits of their special wargear, such as digital targeters and Grav-Chutes. In most cases, the "proper" Storm Trooper Progena never recognise the qualities of the outsider candidate, and prefer to remain aloof. The Inquisitorial candidate, after all, has entered the training from the sponsorship of a higher power, and many of the other Progena will doubt his own personal qualifications for such an honour.
Traditionally, the Drill Abbots stand apart from the social aspects of their charges, and provide the candidate with no more and no less instruction than that given to any other Progena. Many a grizzled Imperial Veteran may find his pride difficult to swallow when treated no differently than a raw and untested recruit by the Drill Abbots. However, swallow it they must if they are to complete their training and fulfil the expectations of their sponsor.
Should the candidate survive the gruelling regime of harsh training, he is now an Imperial Tempestus Scion. However, candidates sponsored by the Inquisition are not meant to join a proper Storm Trooper unit, nor to deploy with the Astra Militarum. Instead, these Storm Troopers, with their training complete, are taken by their sponsor to serve a higher purpose -- a permanent place on an Inquisitor's retinue of Acolytes and Throne Agents.
Tempestus Scions are cold, proficient killers whose deadly firepower reduces foes to smouldering heaps of corpses. Trained in the Schola Progenium, these men commit to a rigorous program of physical and mental indoctrination that raises them to the peak of human conditioning. Loyal to the Emperor above all else, Tempestus Scions provide the Imperial High Command with a core of flexible, nigh-incorruptible soldiers. Deployed sparingly, they can be depended upon to complete any mission, no matter how deadly. Racing into battle aboard armoured transports or plummeting down on Grav-Chutes, the Scions are the sharp edge of the Imperial Guard war machine.
Each squad of Tempestus Scions consists of Veteran warriors, trained and equipped to the highest standard. Protected by rigid armaplas and reinforced ceramite plates, Scions wield a sophisticated range of high-powered weapons that perfectly complement their shock assault role, and their discipline is such that they can direct their deadly firepower to absolute optimum effect. Unlike the Guardsmen of the Astra Militarum, Scions endure a brutally uncompromising training regime, ensuring that only the most skilled and resolute amongst them ever see battle.
The standard-issue weapon for Tempestus Scions is the Hot-shot Lasgun. Each of these laser rifles is fitted with an potent, external backpack power cell, allowing them to penetrate thicker armour than the mass-produced Lasguns used by rank-and-file Guardsmen. When deployed against heavily armoured enemy infantry, Tempestus Scions wield Hot-shot Volley Guns. With a more powerful blast and extreme rate of laser fire, they are perfect for bringing down Heretic Astartes and xenos beasts alike.
The Tempestus Scions form multiple regiments within the Militarum Tempestus, and each is a permanent unit, receiving a constant influx of new recruits to keep it up to full strength. By virtue of its members having been recruited from the orphaned progena of the Schola Progenium, each regiment is made up of soldiers originally hailing from worlds across the Imperium of Man. With up to ten thousand men under arms at any one time, each regiment is also larger than most other Imperial Guard regiments raised from a single world. However this huge force does not fight in a single place; individual companies or battalions are instead sent to different war zones, and from there, individual Storm Trooper squads are spread among the other Astra Militarum regiments in a given war zone as required.
The Tempestus Scion unit assigned to a warzone provides a core of elite squads, which are entrusted to carry out important missions requiring more training and initiative than are possessed by the average Imperial Guardsman. Storm Trooper squads, led by a non-commissioned officer known as a "Tempestor," are effective at spearheading assaults into heavily fortified positions, infiltrating behind enemy lines and sowing confusion and panic. They are often dropped into the thick of combat from Valkyrie assault carriers, guns blazing before they even touch the ground. In some rare instances, several squads of Storm Troopers will gather for a mission which is intended to be an annihilation of a target, rather than a take-and-hold. This task force is referred to as a "Tempestus Scions Strike Force."
Tempestus Scion recruits are chosen from the progena of the Schola Progenium, where they have been raised and educated, and moulded into loyal and dedicated servants of the Emperor of Mankind. They are then taught to use superior battle tactics and the use of more advanced equipment than the average Guardsmen.
The regiments to which the Tempestus Scion squads are attached often regard the inimitably dedicated and better-equipped Storm Troopers with a certain amount of animosity, referring to them by such names as "Glory Boys" and "Big Toy Soldiers." Yet this rancour is nothing to the Scions themselves. Trained in covert operations and rapid insertion strike-tactics, they go to battle confident that their every deed is for the good of the Imperium, carrying out their orders with merciless and uncompromising pragmatism.
Regardless of the animosity or opinions of the average Guardsman, the effectiveness of Storm Troopers cannot be disputed, and even the most embittered Guardsman thanks the God-Emperor when a Storm Trooper squad appears to turn the tide of battle and save the day.
Several types of Imperial Guard Militarum Regimentos commonly employ Tempestus Scions as part of their standard order of battle, including the:
- Armageddon Steel Legion
- Cadian Shock Troops (employ Cadian Kasrkin)
- Death Korps of Krieg
- Harakoni Warhawks
- Terrax Guard
Each Militarum Tempestus platoon is led into battle by a grizzled officer known as a "Tempestor Prime." Such men are promoted on battlefield record alone, their accolades earned through courage and unshakeable discipline in the line of fire. The tactics they employ as a commander are the product of the countless missions they have undertaken as a Scion, and as such they have an intrinsic understanding of the capabilities of their soldiers. Able to operate on their own initiative in a way entirely alien to the majority of the Astra Militarum, these men lead their Progenium brethren into battle with merciless efficiency.
Tempestus Command Squads
Each Tempestus Command Squad is comprised of the very best Scions in the regiment. A Tempestus Command Squad will often shadow a Tempestor Prime on an operation, shielding him against incoming fire while answering with salvoes of their own. Vox operators relay the Tempestor Prime's commands across the Vox-net while medics patch up and inject stimulant concoctions into downed soldiers so that they can continue to fight. Some Tempestus Command Squads also carry their platoon's banner into battle, waving its colours in proud defiance as they lead the charge against the enemy.
Types of Tempestus Scions
Tempestus Scions can be divided roughly into five different categories or functionally equivalent units: Grenadiers, standard Storm Troopers, Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, Catachan Devils and Cadian Kasrkin.
Unlike standard Storm Troopers, Grenadiers are raised from the toughest and most skilled members of an already existing Imperial Guard regiment. This practice is normally found on highly martial worlds, such as Cadia or Krieg. Grenadiers are selected while they are still in the youth armies of the local Planetary Defence Forces or during their Imperial Guard basic training and are enrolled in special academies where they receive additional training.
They are utterly dedicated to the preservation of the Imperium and follow an ethos of duty and honour that is both impressive and intimidating. Unlike standard Storm Troopers, who are looked upon with disdain by their fellow Guardsmen, Grenadiers are looked up to and seen as a model to follow and emulate, as Grenadiers are from the same world as the rest of the regiment.
Grenadiers are often known by different names, depending upon the world they hail from, such as the Cadian Kasrkin, who are considered both a type of Storm Trooper and the Cadian equivalent of Grenadiers.
Storm Troopers are the closest equivalent the Astra Militarum possess to elite special forces; they act as shock troopers and commandos, conducting raids behind enemy lines and acting as the spearhead for later offensive assaults. Storm Troopers are recruited from the orphaned sons of Imperial officials and military officers from all over the galaxy -- such as Planetary Governors or high-ranking members of the Astra Militarum or Imperial Navy. Raised within a Schola Progenium under the care of the Ecclesiarchy, they live a demanding life of prayer, study and physical exercise. This unremitting and punishing training regime hones their minds, bodies and skills to the very peak of human perfection.
These potential Storm Trooper candidates are notable for their outstanding skills in the arts of war, but lack the iron personalities and charisma that would earmark them to become an Imperial Commissar or Imperial Guard officer or the affinity for space warfare that would make them an Imperial Navy officer. They are usually not from the same regiment or homeworld as those they serve with.
Due to this origin, their superior wargear and training, they are often called "Glory Boys" or "Big Toy Soldiers" by the average Guardsman, who are jealous of their skill and access to specialised gear. Wearing highly protective Carapace Armour and armed with armour-piercing Hellguns, a single squad of Storm Troopers can be more dangerous than an entire company of regular Guardsmen.
Inquisitorial Storm Troopers
The Inquisition maintains a number of fortresses throughout the galaxy, both secret and known to the inhabitants of the Imperium. Inquisitorial Storm Troopers are used by the Inquisition to guard their fortresses and the Black Ships as they make their purity runs across the Imperium's sectors, as well as to augment an individual Inquisitor's personal forces with reliable and effective soldiers.
Many Storm Troopers of particular skill are chosen to become an Inquisitor's Throne Agents. Inquisitorial Storm Troopers are selected from families with a record of unwavering faith in the Emperor and prior duty to the Inquisition.
They are trained and equipped in a manner similar to standard Militarum Tempestus Storm Troopers, albeit lacking the rapid insertion and infiltration skills, as they are not expected to undertake such types of missions. Such activities are more often carried out for the Inquisition by the Officio Assassinorum.
Catachan Jungle Fighters regiments of the Astra Militarum include squads of warriors exceptional even by the exacting standards of their birth world. These seasoned jungle fighters are deadly in close combat, and also carry a versatile array of ranged weapons. In Catachan regiments these troops are called "Catachan Devils," in reference to their famous kill-knives and the voracious predators of their world whose fierceness they emulate in combat.
These special forces squads consist of one Veteran Sergeant and between four and nine "Catachan Devil" Guardsmen. Some squads may even include a Veteran Catachan officer. The most famous of these deadly warriors is Sly Marbo, a man renowned as the "One Man Army."
Kasrkin are the elite of the Cadian Shock Troops regiments and part of the Imperial Guard structure, formerly dedicated to the security of the Fortress World of Cadia. Their name comes from the title of the heavily defended fortress-cities of Cadia, which were called "Kasrs" in the Cadian dialect of Low Gothic. Thus, the name of these units means the "City Kin."
These are the elite of the already superior Cadian Planetary Defence Forces and are recruited while still serving as Whiteshields or recruits in the Cadian armed forces into the Astra Militarum. Their training is comparable, if not better than, that of standard Militarum Tempestus Storm Troopers, of which they are the Cadian equivalent, and they are utterly dedicated to the preservation of Cadia, whereas Storm Troopers are indoctrinated to dedicate themselves to the defence of the entire Imperium.
Kasrkin are highly trained in the use of numerous weapons and wear the more advanced Carapace Armour like standard Storm Troopers. They maintain a strict ethos of duty and honour and a devotion to the Emperor that is impressive for members of the Astra Militarum. Whereas the standard Storm Trooper is looked down upon in envy by most Imperial Guardsmen of the rank-and-file, the standard Kasrkin is looked up to with favour and respect by the other members of the Cadian Shock Trooper regiments.
The Kasrkin were the ultimate defenders of Cadia from the enemies of the Imperium, such as the ever-present Forces of Chaos, and they led the charge in defence of Cadia, particularly during the early days of Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41 when Cadia was invaded outright by the Forces of Chaos. To be a Kasrkin was to hold a position of honour in Cadian society, and all Cadians recognise this truth -- even after the destruction of their beloved homeworld.
Kill Squad Trooper
Used to enforce execution warrants or when extreme prejudice is required, Kill Squads are comprised of the special operations units of Planetary Defence Forces and represent some of the most dangerous formations that can exist within the organisation of planetary Enforcers. Though not true Tempestus Scions as they serve a planetary government and not the Imperium directly, the troops that comprise Kill Squads are often trained to the same elite level as most standard Storm Troopers, particularly on wealthy and technologically-advanced Imperial planets. On some worlds, where the rule of the Planetary Governor is dictatorial and harsh, Kill Squad Troopers are the hated embodiments of their tyranny.
The regiments of the Militarum Tempestus Scions depends upon their all-purpose Taurox Primes to deliver the target fury of the Imperium across all manner of hazardous warzones, and through almost impossible conditions. Given the vehicle's long-standing service with the Scions, many Taurox Primes have become notable for supporting the elite warriors during notable victories. They are often painted in each regiment's colours and given colourful names.
The Valkyrie Assault Carrier and the forces of the Militarum Tempestus are an almost perfect match -- the trainign and mission indoctrination of the Scions working hand in fist with the speed, versaility and firepower of the Valkyrie gunship. During combat operations a Tempestus force will be granted dispensation to repaint these aircraft in the colours of their regiment.
Tempestus Scions Squad
- 4-9 Tempestus Scions
- 1 Tempestor
Militarum Tempestus Command Squad
- 4 Tempestus Scions
- 1 Tempestor Prime
The wargear used by the Tempestus Scions is far superior to the rugged, utilitarian weaponry of the Astra Militarum. Specialist training and maintenance is required by the Departmento Munitorum for each piece of kit -- a Schola Tempestus cadet must pass a series of tests and earn the appropriate honours before even being allowed to use a Hot-shot Lasgun in battlefield conditions. Each time a weapon or piece of wargear is mastered, the icon of that equipment is branded into his chest as a permanent sign of competence. Once the full suite of weaponry and wargear has been earned, a Tempestus Scion is able to wage war for solar weeks at a time without resupply in a wide variety of hostile battlefield conditions.
- Tempestus Scions Carapace Armour - Carapace Armour is generally a sign of status and is mostly worn by Imperial officers and agents. 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. Tempestus Scions, for example, wear full-body suits of Carapace Armour, including an Omnishield Helm with a built-in targeting and imaging array, while most rank-and-file Astra Militarum soldiers are lucky to gain access to just a simple chestplate of Flak 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.
- Omnishield Helm - The Omnishield Helm is a special helmet used by Imperial Tempestus Scions. In hostile environments, a Tempestus regiment will don all-enclosing Omnishield Helms, their respmasks proof against everything from industrial pollution to fully ignited atmospheres. When sealed, they allow Tempestus Scions to operate even in airless vacuums for limited periods of time. The multi-spectral occulum that attaches via suction to the wearer's eye sockets allow him to see in low light and occluded conditions with relative ease.
- Slate Monitron (Dextera Configuration) - The dataslate worn upon the armoured forearm gauntlet of the typical Tempestus Scion allows him instant access to his Tempestor Prime's latest command runes and war psalms. It also monitors vital signs, showing the pulse rate and health matrix of the wearer at all times so that his officer can instantly assess his condition. It was the Slate Monitron that led to the old Guardsman jibe that Tempestus Scions are dead inside, for upon completion of their training their hearts are locked in an iron box mounted on their sleeve.
- Astra Militarum fatigues - Storm Troopers generally wear the common battledress uniform or fatigues that are standard to their attached regiment beneath their Carapace Armour.
- 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 Storm Troopers in toxic environments or during attacks by chemical or even biological weapons.
- Hot-shot 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 greater rate of fire but poorer penetration of the Astra Militarum's standard-issue Laser Weapons. While Hellguns are rarely seen employed in the Imperial Guard outside of the elite Tempestus Scion units, Hellpistols can be seen in use among many members of the Guard's officer corps and among agents of the Inquisition where their greater power often means the difference between life and death.
- Hot-shot Lasgun (Ryza Pattern) - Manufactured in the finest incantoriums that the Forge World of Ryza can provide, this Lasgun does not use a clip-like power pack as with those of the Imperial Guard, but instead a hyper-yield power array worn as a backpack rig. By adjusting this rig, the Hot-shot Lasgun can be calibrated to emit bursts of such penetrative power they can punch straight through ceramite. At its maximum capacity, the Lasgun operates in the sixty megathule range and holds enough potential energy that it is warm to the touch.
- 4 Charge Packs for Hot-shot 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.
- 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 Storm Troopers often times still rely on its advice.
- Ryza Pattern Hot-shot Volley Gun - Considered by many Tempestor Primes to be the ultimate weapon deployed by the Militarum Tempestus, the Hot-shot Volley Gun is a truly fearsome firearm. Incorporating penitent-class heat sink arrays, these weapons can maintain a punishing rate of high-powered laser fire.
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Hot-shot Laspistol (One Tempestus Scion can replace their Hot-shot Lasgun with a Hot-shot Laspistol and a Clarion Vox Array)
- Monoscope - Though it can be used to project a beam of light, the Monoscope is primarily intended as a visual uploader. Panning left and right as the Tempestus Scion goes about the prosecution of war, each Monoscope can be tapped into by any Tempestor or Tempestor Prime who wishes to see what his subordinate is witnessing. The act of covering up a monoscope's lens, whether accidentally or by design, is punishable by a full solar day's electro-whipping and a number of days without rations at the commanding officer's discretion.
- Clarion Vox Array - The cumbersome Vox arrays of the Astra Militarum are often known as "ghost boxes" -- for with the white noise and interference patterns of battle raging all around it is difficult to coax more than a whisper from their speakers. Not so the Clarion Vox Array of the Militarum Tempestus, a triumph of audio-military hardware that overrides its designated airwaves with the crystal clear and perfectly enunciated commands of the Tempestors leading each detachment.
- Martyr's Gift Field Service Medi-Kit - The Martyr's Gift medi-kit is a cut above anything issued to the Astra Militarum. Loaded with combat-stimms, auto-cauterising thermic gel and single-use disposable bionics, this medi-kit is intended to ensure that wounded Scions get back into the fight with the minimum of fuss. Long-term healing is of little interest to Tempestus Scions in the heat of battle -- providing a wounded warrior can be patched and propped sufficiently to complete his duty, his eventual fate matters not. The Martyr's Gift even features a belt of subcutaneous frag charges that can be used to booby-trap a terminally wounded Scion's body -- thus even in death, the Tempestus Scions strike back against the enemy that slew them.
- Flamer, Meltagun, Plasma Gun, Grenade Launcher, or Hot-shot Volley Gun (For every 5 Scions in the squad, two may replace their Hot-shot Lasgun with one of these weapons)
- Carapace Armour
- Omnishield Helm
- Slate Monitron (Dextera Configuration)
- Hot-shot Laspistol
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Bolt Pistol or Plasma Pistol (As replacement for Hot-shot Laspistol)
- Power Sword or Power Fist (As replacement for Chainsword)
Militarum Tempestus Command Squad
- Carapace Armour
- Omnishield Helm
- Slate Monitron (Dextera Configuration)
- Ryza or Lucius Pattern Hot-shot Lasgun
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Hot-shot Laspistol (One Tempestus Scion can replace their Hot-shot Lasgun with a Hot-shot Laspistol and a Clarion Vox Array or a Martyr's Gift Field Service Medi-Kit)
- Tempestus Scions Platoon Standard (Taken by one Tempestus Scion in the squad)
- Flamer, Meltagun, Plasma Gun, Grenade Launcher, or Hot-shot Volley Gun (Each member of the squad may replace their Hot-shot Lasgun with one of these weapons)
- Hot-shot Laspistol
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Chainsword, Power Sword or Power Fist
- Tempestus Command Rod - The tempestus Command Rod serves as a Tempestor Prime's badge of office over his platoon
- Bolt Pistol or Plasma Pistol (As replacement for Hot-shot Laspistol)
Notable Storm Trooper Companies
- 709th Storm Troopers Company - The 709th Company participated in Operation Comet during the Taros Campaign of 998.M41. The intent of this operation was for the Imperials to seize Taros' means of producing water and turn it to their own use. They spearheaded this operation by arriving over their targets, the hydro processing plants that produced clean water, and deployed by fast rope. Part of their mission was to place the homing beacons for the following wave of the 23rd Elysian Drop Troops Regiment. This task was of great importance to the successful continuation of the war for control of Taros with the Tau and was successfully completed despite ferocious Tau resistance.
- 2378th Storm Troopers Company - The 2378th Company participated in Operation Deathblow during the Taros Campaign of 998.M41. Receiving intelligence about the location of the Tau supreme headquarters, the Imperial Guard organised, planned and executed an operation known as Operation Deathblow. During this operation, 3 volunteer squads from a hand-picked platoon of Storm Troopers from the 2378th Company, led by Colonel Scheja, attacked the headquarters of the Tau army near the capital of Tarokeen on the Mining World of Taros during the Taros Campaign, in order to kill the alien leader, the Ethereal Aun'Vre. Aided by the suicide bombing attack of a highly-skilled operative of the Officio Assassinorum's Eversor Temple, the mission was almost successful. Though they were successful in the assassination of Aun'Vre, the Imperials failed to kill Shas'o R'myr (Commander Longknife), the Supreme Commander of Tau forces on Taros. Though initially stunned into inactivity by the loss of the Ethereal, anger swelled inside each Tau warrior into a vengeful wrath that they soon unleashed upon the humans. The Tau eventually won control of Taros and expanded their nascent empire during the Third Sphere Expansion. The Imperial forces were forced to withdraw from Taros, which was absorbed into the Tau Empire and renamed T'ros.
Notable Tempestus Scions Regiments
|Pair of moons that orbit Mezoa|
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pp. 62, 91, 94, 98
- Codex: Militarum Tempestus (6th Edition), pp. 3-35
- Codex: Catachans (3rd Edition), pp. 3, 6, 22-23
- Codex: Daemonhunters (3rd Edition), pg. 29
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 46
- Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 43
- Codex: Imperial Guard (2nd Edition), pg. 21
- Codex: Witch Hunters (3rd Edition), pg. 34
- Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 341
- Dark Heresy: Ascension (RPG), pp. 43, 86-89
- Imperial Armour: Volume Three - Taros Campaign, pp. 45, 106, 109, 142
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 96-97, 373-374
- Third War for Armageddon Worldwide Campaign - Forces Disposition, Imperial Forces: Storm Troopers
- Warhammer 40,000: Core Rulebook (8th Edition), pg. 71
- Dawn of War III (PC Game) ("Catachan Devil" special forces)