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"The auguries of the outpost in the Andronicus System are conclusive -- elements of Hive Fleet Dagon are moving at some speed towards worlds conquered or contested by the T'au Empire. This Chamber urges you, Lord Militant, to act quickly and decisively as we have advised."

—Excerpt from encrypted Inquisitorial astropathic transmission sent from Watch Fortress Erioch to Achilus Crusade High Command on Karlack

Watch Station Andronicus is a watch station of the Deathwatch. It is an oddity in that some knowledge of it exists beyond the warriors and vassals of the Deathwatch. Located within the Jericho Reach, it lies situated upon a barren and distant rocky world that orbits the cold and feeble star of the Andronicus System.

Upon this airless, worthless world, two structures exist that watch the void for threats to the Imperium. The first and most ancient is an outpost of the Adeptus Mechanicus, claimed long ago by the wiles of the Inquisition to spy upon the many enemies of Humanity.

The second is a watch station of the Deathwatch, its armouries containing powerful weapons and its archives holding a wealth of lore on the many xenos threats to Mankind.

History

In the earliest days of the Imperium, the Adeptus Mechanicus extended their reach across the nascent Jericho Sector, claiming worlds beyond the gaze or interest of the newly ascended lords who ruled it.

They were destined to serve as hidden research cloisters and other facilities too valuable for outsiders to know of, concealed from the attentions of those not devoted to the Machine God and Omnissiah.

The eighth planet of the Andronicus System was one such world, a worthless ball of rock located in a system difficult to reach for any but the most skilled Navigator.

The rare phenomena that surround the system within the Warp made it ideal for long-range observation, and the Priesthood of Mars constructed upon it an observatory, referred to as the "Mirador," to seek paths through the Warp to further the Quest for Knowledge.

In 813.M36, as the Jericho Sector fell into anarchy and was consumed by Warp Storms, the Adeptus Mechanicus congregation on Andronicus Octus made contact with agents of the Inquisition, seeking to broker a pact to ensure the Mirador's safety even amidst the anarchy of a collapsing sector.

Dubbed the Carthenis Dictum after the ruling magos of the facility, this agreement passed the control and protection of Andronicus Octus to the Inquisition, who in turn placed it under the stewardship of Watch Fortress Erioch's Master of the Vigil.

In the solar decades that followed, the Deathwatch set about constructing a facility of their own on Andronicus Octus, while Techmarines delved deep into the arcane lore of the Adeptus Mechanicus to learn the secrets of the Mirador.

In time, Watch Station Andronicus was completed and deemed fit for purpose, and a Keeper stationed there to guard over it and the secrets secured deep within stasis vaults and librarium archives.

Since its completion, the watch station has seen a great many Kill-teams operate from it, employing the Mirador to seek out targets and respond to them swiftly and decisively.

A staff of several hundred Tech-priests and lay-mechanics serve the operational and maintenance requirements of the Mirador, aided by a dozen astropaths who communicate the observatory's findings and project their divinatory powers over great distances.

With the coming of the Achilus Crusade, servants of the Inquisition once more returned to the Mirador, adding teams of Acolytes and Throne Agents to the personnel stationed on Andronicus Octus, while scores of serfs loyal to the Deathwatch serve the Watch Station's Keeper.

At present, the gaze of the Mirador is turned upon the distant Orpheus Salient, attempting to pierce the shrouding effects of the Shadow in the Warp of Hive Fleet Dagon, but so far to no avail.

However, this focus upon the Great Devourer gave the Deathwatch unprecedented forewarning of the Tyranid incursions into the Canis Salient, allowing the Imperium to act against the encroaching menace.

Operations

Technically two linked facilities, Watch Station Andronicus can serve as both a well-stocked base of operations for a Kill-team, and a readily available source of missions.

The Mirador serves as a vital intelligence asset for the Inquisition and the Deathwatch alike, providing both organisations with the means to perceive distant worlds and disturbances in the Warp and find pathways through it that are unknown to others.

The most common mission involving Watch Station Andronicus is information-gathering. The Mirador is an exceptionally powerful asset, one of the best tools for this purpose the Deathwatch has, and arguably one of the reasons for their ability to respond swiftly, often pre-emptively, to threats across the Jericho Reach.

The amount of information that reaches the augurs of the Mirador is colossal, and little of it can be properly interpreted and verified, requiring the intervention of Kill-teams and Acolyte cells to investigate many of the leads the facility produces.

Some of these missions are fruitless, while others have been monumentally successful, allowing the Imperium to intervene and halt potentially catastrophic events.

Often, merely learning of an impending threat isn't sufficient, and these information-gathering missions merely serve as reconnaissance for more decisive actions. Such informed assaults have proven invaluable over the centuries, halting dozens of xenos incursions before they could truly begin.

On rare occasions, information gathered by the Mirador unlocks sections of the Omega Vault at Watch Fortress Erioch, spurring the Deathwatch into action to discover the meaning of each new revelation, and often drawing them into unexpected conflicts across the Jericho Reach.

Watch Station Andronicus is a large and well supplied outpost, containing a vast range of armaments and resources useful to a Kill-team, and able to support several Kill-teams simultaneously if the situation demands it.

A limited supply of Astartes vehicle assets are stored and reverently maintained within the depths of the watch station, as are a collection of relics and powerful archaeotech devices stored within stasis vaults accessible only by the express consent of Andronicus' Keeper, presently an Imperial Fists Techmarine by the name of Vandar Illych.

By the standards of the Jericho Reach's watch stations, Andronicus is frequently visited by a wide range of personnel, many of whom linger for a protracted period of time, often to gather intelligence from the Mirador, or to study in the archives of Andronicus' librarium.

Armouries of Andronicus

Watch Station Andronicus has an extremely large and well maintained armoury, supported by dozens of artisan-serfs and arming Servitors to ensure that the Kill-teams operating from Andronicus are well-equipped in wargear maintained with the utmost reverence.

Andronicus' armoury contains an ample supply of all items worthy only of those made famous by their deeds, and a handful of extremely valuable and revered items sealed behind stasis fields and retrieved only upon permission from the watch station's Keeper.

Each of these items is a precious relic of the Deathwatch or another Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, and each is utterly unique. They include the Andronican Cowl, the Serpent's Bite, and Throneforged.

Andronican Cowl

Constructed from similar technology to the Mirador, the Andronican Cowl is a powerful tool for a sufficiently skilled Librarian.

This cowl's technology is fundamentally the same as that of a Psychic Hood, but capable of far more accurately detecting changes to the flows and tides of the Immaterium.

A perceptive Librarian can turn that precision to his advantage, discerning the actions of enemy psykers and moving to halt them.

Serpent's Bite

Notable more for the number of lives it has taken than for the warriors who have carried it, the ancient needle rifle known as Serpent's Bite has been a favoured tool for assassination missions performed by Kill-teams in the Jericho Reach for thousands of Terran years.

Designed to fire mono-edged adamantium darts loaded with the most deadly Death World toxins, the Serpent's Bite is a far more powerful weapon than a conventional needle rifle, capable of slaying more resilient or more heavily armoured foes.

Throneforged

Perhaps the most ancient and spiritually significant of relics to be found within the Jericho Reach, Throneforged is a master-crafted Bolter of the venerable Phobos Pattern, constructed and sanctified within the forge-cities of Mars and issued to Battle-Brother Temoth Ulrecht of the Imperial Fists Legion in the earliest days of the Great Crusade, before the Primarchs had been found.

This much and more is known to Deathwatch artificers, for the weapon is micro-engraved with the saga of its history, preserved in ceramite and meticulously restored from archived transcripts each time the weapon has seen damage.

Every shot brings devastation, a sense of righteous fury upon the Traitor Legions. Such is its revered nature that, for a fellow Space Marine to look upon it is to remind them of the fellowship and brotherhood of the Adeptus Astartes.

Sources

  • Deathwatch: The Jericho Reach (RPG), pp. 72-73
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