The Land Raider Proteus is a rare pattern of Land Raider that was originally designed and deployed during the Dark Age of Technology and its Standard Template Construct (STC) data was rediscovered for the Imperium during an expedition deep into the Librarius Omnis on Mars by technoarchaeologist Arkhan Land early during the Emperor's Great Crusade of the late 30th Millennium. The Land Raider Proteus contains an extraordinarily sophisticated Auspex sensor suite known as an Explorator Augury Web that allows it to determine existing battlefield conditions with an uncanny degree of precision. This technology, combined with the design's great antiquity, has led many in the Adeptus Mechanicus to surmise that this pattern may be the very first Land Raider design created by Mankind during the Dark Age of Technology, intended to explore and conquer new worlds during humanity's first expansion out into the galaxy. Its exceptional sensor capabilities makes the Land Raider Proteus an excellent choice to serve as a command tank and to spearhead large armoured assaults. However, since it has a small troop transport capability, lacks an integrated forward assault ramp and possesses advanced technology that is difficult for current Forge Worlds to manufacture, the Land Raider Proteus is rarely used by the Space Marine Chapters of the late 41st Millennium, yet saw extensive use by the Space Marine Legions during the Great Crusade. However, because of its antiquity, the Land Raider Proteus is considered a valuable relic of any Chapter lucky enough to have one in its armoury. The Land Raider Proteus is also sometimes deployed by various Chaos Space Marine warbands, as the Traitor Legions possessed a number of these vehicles during the Horus Heresy and fled with them into the Eye of Terror. The Hereteks of the Dark Mechanicus work hard to keep these few machines combat-ready for their patrons. It is common for these foul Tech-adepts to replace any failing components on these ancient war machines with arcane devices of Chaotic or daemonic origin.
The Land Raider Proteus is believed to be the very first Land Raider design created by Mankind during the Dark Age of Technology to be used as a main battle tank. The Land Raider Proteus design was lost to humanity during the Age of Strife, yet a single copy of its Standard Template Construct (STC) designs were recovered by the technoarchaeologist Arkhan Land early during the Emperor's Great Crusade on an expedition into the Librarius Omnis on Mars. The newly rediscovered designs were named after Arkhan Land and eventually the Land Raider Proteus could be found in every one of the Space Marine Legions. Mechanicus tech-savants believe that the Land Raider Proteus is a precursor to the standard Land Raider Phobos pattern vehicle now found amongst the armouries of the Adeptus Astartes. Bulkier and faster than the Phobos, ancient and forgotten data-looms describe the Proteus as a forward assault vehicle, commonly fielded in Explorator missions during the dawning days of Mankind's fledgling galactic empire.
The Land Raider Proteus would be used throughout the Great Crusade even after complaints emerged concerning the vehicle's carrying capacity, lack of a forward assault ramp, and inability to carry Terminators would lead to the development of the Spartan Assault Tank, and eventually the Land Raider Phobos. Both of these vehicles would go on to replace the Land Raider Proteus almost entirely within Imperial armouries. The Land Raider Phobos design was smaller than the massive Spartan Assault Tank, yet was still able to carry Terminators and also incorporated a forward assault ramp. The Land Raider Phobos maintained most of the advanced technologies used by the Land Raider Proteus. It is likely that the Proteus was the most common mark of Land Raider used by the Imperial Army, the combined main line military of the nascent Imperium that was split into the Imperial Guard and the Imperial Navy in the galaxy-wide reorganisations that took place in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy. Or course, no Land Raiders of any pattern remain in the armouries of the Imperial Guard, the vehicle long since reserved for the near-exclusive use of the Adeptus Astartes.
Amongst the most revered of those few Land Raider Proteus still in existence are some that must surely have been utilised in the very earliest phases of the Great Crusade. Many of these war machines were equipped with an array of scanners and cognis-interpreters that are likely to pre-date the Age of the Imperium by countless millennia. Such devices may only be awakened and operated by the most lore-steeped Adepts of the Machine God, for they utilised machine processes and logis protocols otherwise unknown in the late 41st Millennium. Referred to in hushed tones amongst the Tech-priests as Explorator Augury Webs, these devices were once used to coordinate the epic battles fought by the Emperor's Space Marine Legions as they re-united the scattered worlds of humanity. In the late 41st Millennium, the Land Raider Proteus is largely just a memory. As a result, any Chapters that have a functioning Land Raider Proteus treat it as a treasured relic, as this pattern is no longer being constructed, and any that stil exist date back to the era of the Great Crusade or the Horus Heresy.
Believed by certain war-savants to be an example of sacred machine-evolution, the Land Raider Proteus displays early features of the Mark IIb Land Raider Phobos. These include enclosing its twin-linked Lascannon in bulky armoured sponsons and adding to this formidable anti-armour firepower with a limited traverse twin-linked Heavy Bolter recessed into the forward hull armour. The vehicle was also always equipped with a searchlight and a pair of smoke launchers. The vehicle's hull-mounted, twin-linked Heavy Bolters could also be replaced with a set of twin-linked Heavy Flamers. It was possible for the Land Raider Proteus to be outfitted with a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, a dozer blade, an auxiliary drive system, extra armour plating or ceramite armour plating. The vehicle could be upgraded with a variety of Pintle-mounted twin-linked Combi-Bolters or other Combi-weapons, a Havoc Missile Launcher, and either a single Heavy Flamer, Heavy Bolter, or a Multi-Melta. The Land Raider Proteus was also equipped with a Machine Spirit, an artificial intelligence crafted by the Mechanicum of Mars. This Machine Spirit was advanced enough to move the tank and continue combat operations even if the crew was injured or otherwise incapacitated, increasing the durability and firepower of the Land Raider considerably. By the end of the Great Crusade, many of the Legions began removing the Explorator Augury Web system to make room for several more passengers, and many of the Land Raider Proteus tanks were upgraded to the Armoured Land Raider Proteus variant, which includes armoured cowlings for the sponson weapons, giving them a greater degree of protection.
Known Land Raider ProteusEdit
- Onogura - A relic Land Raider Proteus of the esteemed White Scars Chapter. This Land Raider most famously took part in the recent 13th Black Crusade. The vehicle's titile is derived for Korchin, the tongue of the Chapter's homeworld of Mundus Planus, and translates approximately as "ten heroes" or "ten archers".
- Orlandra - A relic Land Raider Armoured Proteus of the now-extinct Fire Hawks Chapter. This vehicle most famously took part in the Badab War. It is named after Brother-Captain Orlandra, one of the Chapter's greatest founding figures and was one of its most venerated war machines.
- Simurgh Rex - While many Proteus Land Raiders still in use by the Adeptus Astartes in the late 41st Millennium hark back to the Great Crusade, a small number have been returned to service having been lost for countless centuries. The Proteus known as the Simurgh Rex is another type of machine still, and has only recently entered the service of the Night Swords Chapter. The vehicle is the result of the combined efforts of many generations of Night Swords Techmarines, who between them recovered the remains of over a dozen wrecked Proteus Land Raiders from as many battlefield the length and breadth of the Imperium. Though each vehicle was so badly damaged and decayed as to be entirely beyond repair, each contributed components to the construction of the Simurgh Rex, a Proteus Pattern Land Raider completed in 330.M41 by the Night Swords Master of the Forge Isak Siavash. The very last component to be interred within the war machine was the Augury Web, five of which had been previously located over the millennia, all proving damaged beyond the ability of the Chapter's forge to repair. The work of his predecessors complete, Siavash now seeks a still greater challenge upon the battlefields of the Imperium and beyond, one so grand it too is not likely to be completed for many thousands of years.
- Wyvern - A Land Raider Armoured Proteus of the Iron Hands Legion, the Wyvern was last seen bearing down upon the defences of Redoubt Theta 13, a Traitor fortification that was the objective of a combined force of three entire companies during the infamous Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V. Soon after the death of their Primarch Ferrus Manus, the Wyvern threw itself at the enemy, either driven into an atavistic fury or simply intent upon martyring itself upon the guns of the traitorous Emperor's Children.
- Armoured Land Raider Proteus - The Armoured Land Raider Proteus is a variant of the Land Raider Proteus. Believed by certain war-savants to be an example of sacred machine-evolution, the Land Raider Armoured Proteus displays early features of the Mark IIb Land Raider Phobos, enclosing its twin-linked lascannons in bulky armoured sponsons and adding to this formidable anti-armour firepower with a limited traverse twin-linked Heavy Bolter recessed into the forward hull armour. The featured armoured housings for the sponson weapons greatly adds to the amount of damage the vehicle's sponson weapons can take before being rendered inoperative, but this protection comes at a price: the weapon will no longer be able to turn a full 180 degrees, and will be able to turn only up to 90 degrees. The Armoured Land Raider Proteus would eventually become the most common type of Land Raider Proteus used during the Great Crusade, even surpassing the numbers of the basic design at the front line due to its formidable protection.
- Chaos Land Raider Proteus - Of all the variants of the Land Raider in service with the Space Marines and their fallen kin, the Proteus ranks amongst the most ancient. Conceived to serve at the leading edge of the Expeditionary Fleets during the Great Crusade, the Proteus is at once an armoured carrier, a mobile base of operations and a vehicle of exploration. Those examples of the Proteus in the service of the Chaos Space Marines are veterans of the very earliest days of the Great Crusade. They fought at the spearhead of the first Expeditionary Fleets as they penetrated the darkness of the galaxy. They explored worlds steeped in alien corruption where the air itself was death even to the transhuman Legiones Astartes. They crossed wastelands of dust made from the destruction of empires that had risen and fallen before Mankind had even looked to the stars. The Proteus Pattern Land Raiders that survived are in many cases the scarred veterans of these earliest expeditions into the darkness. They faced, defeated and survived such horrors as can scarcely be imagined, even in the fevered ravings of the most Warp-blasted Heretic. When the vehicles' masters joined Horus in his great betrayal, xenos corruption and horror was piled upon the taint of the Warp. Machine Spirits already harbouring countless unseen scars were brutalised still further by the influence of the Dark Gods. The result was a machine driven by a daemonic will that is the hybrid of xenos abomination and the corruption of the Ruinous Powers. The thing that now resides at the heart of the Chaos Land Raider Proteus is neither Machine Spirit, daemon or alien. It is all of these, making the Proteus a darkly potent engine of war resonating with the unnameable horror of a galaxy steeped in death and insanity.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical SpecificationsEdit
|Vehicle Name:||Land Raider Proteus||Main Armament:||2 sponson-mounted, twin-linked Lascannons|
|Forge World of Origin:||Anvilus IX||Secondary Armament:||Hull-mounted, twin-linked Heavy Bolters|
|Known Patterns:||I-X||Traverse:||180 degrees|
|Crew:||Driver & Commander||Elevation:||-32 to 42 degrees|
|Powerplant:||Open-core plasma ioniser||Main Ammunition:||Unlimited cell power feed|
|Weight:||Unknown||Secondary Ammunition:||800 Rounds|
|Height:||4.8 metres||Superstructure:||95 mm|
|Ground Clearance:||0.85 metres||Hull:||95 mm|
|Max Speed On-Road:||52 kph||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||44 kph||Vehicle Designation:||0120-766-0724-PR 142|
|Transport Capacity:||10 Space Marines||Firing Ports:||N/A|
|Access Points:||2 Side Doors||Turret:||N/A|
|Addendum:||Status of Anviulus IX unknown. Pattern manufactured in limited numbers elsewhere, under specific warrant of Fabricator-General|
- Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pp. 27-29, 37, 50-51
- Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost & The Damned by Andy Hoare with additional material by Alan Bligh & Neil Wylie, pp. 45-47
- The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions (Background Book), pp. 39, 59, 136, 155, 180, 193, 239, 280, 281
- The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal by Alan Bligh, pp. 6-7, 32, 34, 61, 82, 95, 101, 148-149, 164, 218-220, 234, 246, 253, 271
- The Horus Heresy - Book Two: Massacre by Alan Bligh, pp. 36, 83, 196-197
- The Horus Heresy - Book Seven: Inferno by Alan Bligh, pg. 95
- White Dwarf Magazine #105 (UK), "Chapter Approved Land Raider," by Rick Priestley, pp. 2-5
- Forge World Webstore - Land Raider Proteus
- Forge World Webstore - Land Raider Armoured Proteus