XIII: The Justicars

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XIII: The Justicars

Post by Uriel on Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:31 pm

Okay, I'll throw stuff related to the 13th here for review, critique and discussion.

The legions page is here:http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Children_of_Astarot

Have been adding little details and plans to the 13th's rewrite for a little while now, and it's gotten rather cluttered and confused. So I'm going through things to finish them up, tie up loose ends, and cut stuff.

The Spy Games
Spy Games stuff is still in. As before (since the rewrite) marines aren't sitting around in shady café's and dark alleys in trench coats.
So its not buried in the text below - I propose/state the 13th have the most legion serfs of any legion.

How the Spy Games work:

The 13th are the/an executioner legion, from the Unification Wars where they remove the Thunder Warriors at Mount Ararat. This implies possible involvement in removing of the 2 "Lost" Legions. Hektor's Warriors of Dawn take the marines from those legions. I think we all know that now, and I've had the 13th 'acquire' another Gloriana, also from the Lost legions. However, I'm posing that the 13th run their spy games by having the legion serfs and human auxiliaries run it for them. Combine both trains of thought, and the 13th nab the Serfs from the other legions too. Its more or less inconsequential, as Serfs are nearly never mentioned anyway.

But that is the foundation of how the 13th maintain its 'spy' networks etc: through the Legion Serfs. This is quite an active role to use Serfs for to be taking, which is maybe a little odd. But fluff has the Serfs fighting beside Marines as well as running errands for them, so this isn't so far-fetched as it might sound at first.

The networks are rolled into a formal legion-run institution called Intelligence Command (IntCom) unless that name is problematic for some reason. This institution manages the intelligence side of things for the legion, and due to being legion serfs, is perfect for liaising with the 13th's marines to pass intel on to for missions. A few marines would hold a rank with IntCom as well as regular ranks in the legion itself. They simply have added responsibilities for overseeing IntCom activities, and depending on rank and role, leading sensitive operations with the legions special formations.

IntCom itself is staffed by Serfs as mentioned, and it recruits human and xenos assets where it believes is necessary or fortuitous. This means a lot of the 'networks' are simply a bunch of passive informants, going about their lives, and answering questions for the legion when asked. Active informants are rarer, and generally only active when an operation is planned or underway. These informants are being actively handled. Finally, there is assets. These are individuals and groups with useful knowledge, skills, access (to places or people), or influence (political, economic etc), and are brought in to supplement operations or carry out a mission when a marine or Legion-affiliated individual is harmful to the mission objectives.

IntCom reports directly to Uriel and his command staff, and works alongside/ are integrated with all command/officer ranks to provide dynamic availability of intel.

If IntCom is the CIA/KGB, and Group 13 is Delta/SpetsnazGRU, CIA SADSOG/KGB Alfa Group are Echelon.
Echelon contains the Insidiators, and is essentially the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA) meets SADSOG.
Black ops missions, special reconnaissance, counter-terrorist missions.
Its an elite group of marines and humans from various backgrounds who's role is twofold - cover internal non-criminal threats (terrorists etc) and deniable operations inside and outside the Imperium. When none of these missions are available, they are rotated into Group 13 forces.
Echelon is highly secretive, and very few know it exists. It changes its name regularly.

If anyone sees any problems or additions with this, please point them out so I can clarify, fix, or cut them.

CIO/ICO/GO2/PO2 officer ranks
These will be getting cut, as it seems to confuse things and there are other roles doing similar or the same things. Also with move to Counter Insurgency tactics, and newly finalized IntCom, several ranks are redundant.

Group 13
Staying. Is now a known elite entity with a wide base of skills and missions (general special forces and elite infantry stuff into one formation). Rest of Imperium knows of them, as does legion, but little news or facts beyond that they exist escape as they are very secretive.

Thinking I might cut these too as they stand. Or at the very least cut them down drastically and add them to the Legion Serfs/networks. But leaning toward the former; It seems like the 'networks' themselves cover the jobs the Kokolny were meant for, and they don't do anything the Legion Serfs couldn't, or that couldn't be done by an IA/auxiliary formation.
I don't think people even care, but input is welcome.

Theme of Justice
Lumey suggested it a long time ago, and at the time it didn't stick with me, and he seemed disappointed that no-one took that angle. I've thought it over, and in context of the other changes I'm finalizing here, it's grown on me (With some input/advice from a friend).
Furthermore, I noticed the Iron Rangers and the 13th's Sacred Bands are both drawing from the ex-convict/criminal stock.
I distanced that a little by making the 13th recruit from everywhere, from all kinds. But I now think that may not be enough.

So taking that into account, I've drawn up some proposals for this.
1) The Justicars are initially recruited from a wide background, but predominantly lawmen or the descendants thereof. The influx from Perfidiae and elsewhere is drastically more diverse, but still leaves the legion with a significant portion of upright individuals, possibly from law enforcement backgrounds.
2) The theme of justice is introduced, so while not police, the 13th cultivate close ties with Arbites and other law-making bodies - seeking not to exploit the ties for nefarious means, but to genuinely help.
A part of the legions operating methods involves using their Counter Insurgency skills to hunt down criminal factions on the planets they conquer, and remove them, helping make those worlds better for the newly conquered citizens living there, and incline then to be more compliant with the Imperium. "See, you are safer with us!"

Over time, both of these change; With the influx of non-Terran marines more immediately, but the concept of justice and doing what is right lasts a lot longer. Also, if I think I can write it well enough, I'll try and work justice into Uriel's fall to Tzeentch. That should tie into Hektor's initial reasons for rebelling too.
It should also better explain why the Legion is regarded as one of the most trustworthy legions in the Great Crusade, and lends itself very nicely to the "Secret Police"/Executioner angle, and the corrupt and underhanded ways they develop (dirty cops. Especially poignant if we keep the Scribes being falsely-punished by the 13th at the onset of the Heresy).

On this, I'd also like to propose a "Imperial Marshals Service" is set up or sponsored by the 13th, and/or Arbites, to go after fugitives, criminals, and solve crimes that occur across multiple planets/systems (ie regular Arbites police individual worlds, Marshals bridge the gaps). But this also comes with some other things I'd like to discuss and suggest for the setting as a whole, so I'll propose it for one of the IRC meeting agenda's that I can be at

Strategy and Tactics
This section is going to be cut down, as per Lumeys last observation that I'm over-explaining each part (paraphrased).
The core concepts remain.

Concept is still unrestricted warfare (ie traditional war, as well as economic, psychological, political etc) and prevalence of deception.

Background for the legion is still Counter Insurgency, with expertise in Urban/close range/closely-confined engagements (not limited to melée).

This develops into the unrestricted warfare doctrine with heavy doses of deception with the arrival of Uriel.

Legion Culture
Cutting it down to pranks and jokes, free-talking 'Chinese-parliament' interactions, and group loyalty.
No drinking, carousing, thieving, conspiracy theory groups (order of masons etc), or whatever else I think I expanded into over time.
They will drink and party, but not to extremes like Space Yiffs, and I'll limit it to stories/writefagging.
They will get on with pretty much everyone, to some degree, not necessarily 'bestest buddies', but they'll at least have good working relationships with legions, and get on very well with pretty much all IA and other Imperial institutions.
The odd exception to that will exist (currently its the CT, whose fate is now unclear).

Thinking that this should be rather generic. Merrill has the smaller marines angle, and as I have mentioned before, geneseed stuff isn't that interesting to me, as its all star-trek pseudo-science mumbo-jumbo. That said, it does need writing up, so either they guard access to their geneseed fiercely and little is known on the matter, or its not particularly unique or unusual. Input/suggestions on this is very welcome.

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