- "No remorse, no mercy, no forgiveness. Not a single step back, not a single moment of hesitation. You will not succumb to fear or doubt, and you will relent only after you have given your last moment for the Emperor. Nothing less than this will be tolerated."
- — Colonel Kostan Drescher, Mordian 18th Iron Guard, addressing the newly-raised regiment
The Mordian Iron Guard are the superbly drilled and accoutred regiments of the Imperial Guard that hail from the Hive World of Mordian. This bleak world is tidally-locked with its sun, which causes one side of it to always be bathed in perpetual darkness while the other is continuously bathed in its star's radiation, leaving it a scorched and lifeless wasteland. As such, all human settlements on Mordian are located on the world's dark side, and the planet has well-earned its moniker as the "World of Eternal Night."
The people of Mordian are grim and dour by nature, respecting only discipline and duty. Their regiments are fiercely loyal to their cause: the prosecution of the Emperor's enemies. In battle, these highly-disciplined soldiers present perfectly formed ranks of troops to the enemy, unleashing precisely timed volleys of las-fire from behind a hedge of bayonet points. Some enemies of the Emperor have been misled by the Mordians' elaborate and ornate uniforms to believe they were facing amateurs, only to find the bright uniforms contain tough, steely-eyed and implacable warriors of the Imperium.
The Mordian Iron Guard are the elite Imperial Guard regiments that hail from a tiny world of overcrowded hive cities and scarce resources. Mordian's already limited surface area is reduced further by simple quirks of rotation and orbit. Mordian's rotational speed and orbit are perfectly synchronised, resulting in a local day and a local year being of identical length, and causing one side of the world to be bathed in perpetual searing light, while the other is swathed in endless darkness. The entire population of Mordian dwells in cramped conditions upon a region on the dark side of the world barely a tenth the size of Terra, where they are forced together into multilevel tower cities. Mordian's hive cities are characterised by pyramidal, multi-levelled towers rising like mountains of steel and ceramic towards the ebon sky. The authoritarian planetary government of Mordian is known as the Tetrarchy, and it strictly controls and rations the planet's meagre resources. The scarcity of resources and the typically dim lighting which casts entire city-sized districts into an oppressive gloom combine with the overcrowded conditions to breed constant discontent and thoughts of rebellion. As such, the existence of the Iron Guard is often the only thing that stands between order and total anarchy. There is much discontent among the people, and the Mordian Iron Guard spend much of their time simply keeping the populace in line when they are not deployed to Imperial war zones.
Standing against this threat is the Mordian Iron Guard. The Iron Guard serves as both the world's primary military force and the world's enforcers of order, and its troops strive to swiftly crush any uprising in its infancy, while protecting the world from external threats. Queue wars and hospice riots are a common occurrence on Mordian, and the Iron Guard are thus never lacking for some threat to quell, whether from within or without. So named for their unwavering discipline and dour attitudes, the Iron Guard are a stark contrast to the unruly population around them, which outnumbers them by hundreds of thousands to one. The Iron Guard's precise, rigorously-drilled combat doctrines have allowed them to maintain order in the name of Mordian's rulers, the Tetrarchs, for millennia.
With resources so scarce, a portion of Mordian's tithe to the Imperium is given in the form of Imperial Guard regiments drawn from the disciplined ranks of the Iron Guard. These regiments serve in a variety of roles within the Imperial Guard, but most commonly as line infantry. They are unusual in their disdain for traditional doctrines such as camouflage, preferring instead to take to the field in Flak Armour-reinforced dress uniforms, brightly coloured and pristine. This can lead many to underestimate the Mordians in battle, perceiving them as vainglorious, naïve, or inexperienced ceremonial troops. None who have made war against the Mordians with such a mistaken opinion have held it for long, often finding themselves blasted apart by precisely-timed volleys of laser fire from serried ranks of unflinching and hardened veteran infantrymen.
Battle of MordianEdit
In the long and sinister annals of the Inquisition there are many tales of treachery and horror, of the destruction of worlds and the triumph of man's greed and foolishness. It is a record of human weakness and the power of the Chaos Gods. Yet amongst the record of lost planets and mortal defeat there are a few stories of human victory -- rare cases where the daemonic army of Chaos has been turned aside at the moment of success and driven back into the void from which it came. Mordian is one such world. The greatest threat to Mordian came one hot summer. The stifling heat was unusual even for Mordian, and the planet seethed with unrest. Beneath the streets brooded a secret conspiracy that posed a threat far greater than any seen before. In the depths met a dark conclave, a group of men who knew the extent of Mordian's wealth and wanted it for themselves.
Away from the sight of saner citizens they made their incantations and called upon the Dark Gods of Chaos. A spell was begun. It is impossible to say how much innocent blood was spilled to fuel their sorcery, or what sinister pledges were made to their dark masters. Those who cast the spell sought only personal enrichment; their lust for power knew no bounds. They would destroy the planet itself if they had to. They cared no more for its teeming millions than did the Chaos Gods. The summer grew hotter as the spell neared its completion. Many strange things were reported in the capital city of Vanandra. The cannibal mobs and criminal gangs were restless. Men saw winged monsters hovering in the city lights. People disappeared without a trace.
At last the spell was complete and suddenly the world shook as its sky erupted into flame and disgorged the Warlords of Chaos itself. From the Eye of Terror distorted and ugly spacecraft soared into the Mordian skies to rain fire and destruction upon the world. Chaos Space Marines poured into the city slaying all around in a great and bloody sacrifice to their gods. Daemons stalked the burning towers and hunted the souls of those that fled from the devastation below. From their dark hiding places the servants of Chaos crawled to the surface to bathe in the fire and terror of the world, confident of their masters' favour now that their work was done.
As the sky exploded into flame, the Tetrarchs of Mordian ordered their Astropaths to send psychic calls for help. The power of Chaos was so strong that the Astropaths' minds melted with the effort. It was impossible for anyone to say whether the messages got through or if help was on its way. Meanwhile, the Iron Guard fought a gallant resistance against the daemonic assault. Whilst lesser men fled in terror before the might of Chaos, the Iron Guard stood their ground, pouring volley after volley of laser fire into the enemy's ranks. At last the Iron Guard captains were forced to give the order to withdraw. Though their men would stand until the end, they could achieve little against the hordes of daemons and superhuman Traitor Marines that opposed them. Reluctantly the Iron Guard regrouped around the capital, abandoning the rest of the planet to the enemy.
Whilst the forces of Chaos rampaged throughout Mordian, the Iron Guard prepared Vanandra's defences. Every building became a fortress, every tower a strongpoint, and every street and plaza a killing-zone for the Iron Guard's carefully sighted weapons. At the centre lay the Tetrarchal Palace itself, from which the defence of the capital was coordinated. When the attack began, the Iron Guard was well prepared. Chaos Space Marines fell before their well-disciplined fire as shot after shot struck their ranks. Channelled into well-prepared fire traps the Chaos Marines were easily repelled, but far greater and more potent foes followed upon their heels.
From the sewers and service ducts of the capital poured an army of Chaos Cultists, those wretches who had sold their souls to the Dark Gods. Clad in rags and armed with no more than iron bars and lengths of chain, they threw themselves upon the defenders. Driven by their insane devotion to Chaos, they cared little if they lived or died, and thousands were cut down by the devastating weapons of the Iron Guard. Nonetheless, this attack from an unexpected source left the defenders unprepared for the next assault. The Forces of Chaos moved upon the Iron Guard with purpose. Daemons and Chaos Space Marines advanced as one. Bloodthirsters of Khorne roared a great challenge to chill mortal blood. Keepers of Secrets stalked the battlefield, slaying those that dared to look upon them with a withering glare. Whirling Horrors skipped and chattered in an eerie blur of incandescent power. It was a terrifying sight, yet the Iron Guard held firm before the onslaught, though many paid the ultimate price for their devotion.
Street by street, building by building, the Iron Guard fell back into the heart of the city. Their lines drew tighter but refused to break, as attack after attack was repulsed. When losses grew too heavy to endure, or as positions were outflanked and became untenable, the Iron Guard withdrew to another line, always preserving what they could of their men and weapons. It was a battle fought with all the tactical brilliance and discipline the best Imperial troops could hope for. Yet it was a battle the Mordians could not win. Eventually they would have nowhere left to retreat. At last the Iron Guard took position around the Tetrarchal Palace itself, the last strongpoint on the whole world. Behind hastily constructed defences the infantry waited for the inevitable attack. From the towers and ceremonial balconies the barrels of Lascannons and other heavy weapons glinted in the light of the burning sky.
Suddenly the horde of Chaos was upon them, screaming and bellowing in its might. Greater Daemons of Nurgle strode clumsily amongst their minions, rising above them four or five times the height of a man, giants and lords of their foul kind. The bloated daemons shuffled forward, putrid innards spilling over the ground, nauseous gasses bubbling from rents and tears in their leathery flesh. Beside them were the Plague Marines of the Death Guard, wholly dedicated to that pestilential god, their armour green and rancid with decay, their rank bodies stiff with disease. Before them came a black cloud of flies which buzzed about the Iron Guard, crawling into their eyes and ears, and filling their mouths with black hairy bodies.
The Iron Guard's Lasguns spat a volley of death into the screaming horde. Again the Lasguns cracked with a single voice, as the captains ordered shot after shot into the vile mass. From the Tetrarchal Palace came the chatter of Autocannons, the angry scream of Bolters and the piercing shriek of Lascannons. With mechanical precision the weapon crews loaded and fired over and over again, never stopping for one moment or breaking their routine. Daemon gore ran like a foul river in the once-white square, but as one beast fell another, twice as hideous, marched over its body toward the Iron Guard's position. The captains ordered their men back to the palace steps and formed a firing line. Their discipline intact, the Iron Guard prepared for a single volley before the Forces of Chaos fell upon them. Their final moment had come, though there were few left now to witness their inevitable defeat.
Little could the defenders of Mordian know of the power or purposes of Chaos, or that the Chaos Gods' hold upon Mordian was but a tenuous one. The spell that had brought them to mortal space and imbued the flesh of their servants with physical energy was almost spent. The fires that burned in the sky grew dim and the bellows of daemons echoed shallowly in the air. As the Iron Guard watched, their enemies dissolved before their eyes. The sky darkened to its customary blackness. In the dark the guiding lights of Imperial spacecraft glittered amongst the stars. The Iron Guard had won not just a battle, but the most precious thing of all -- time. From beyond the orbit of Mordian, Imperial psykers had wrought a counter-spell to break the hold of Chaos. While the Iron Guard fought upon the planet, a separate battle of wills had raged between the mortals of the Imperium and the Dark Gods. Only the Iron Guard's heroic resistance had given the psykers enough time to work their mystical abilities before Chaos won the planet for all time.
The disappearance of their most potent units demoralized the remnants of the Chaotic attackers and the Iron Guard took the opportunity to rout the enemy and force them from the planet, displaying an implacable will that would have impressed even the Adeptus Astartes. As a result of the Battle of Mordian, the regiments of the Mordian Iron Guard were soon considered some of the most elite units of the Imperial Guard in existence and were deployed to multiple conflicts across the galaxy.
The Spinward FrontEdit
Located as their homeworld is within the Segmentum Obscurus, regiments of the Mordian Iron Guard are commonly deployed to the Calixis Sector and its surrounding regions, and as a result, there is a sizeable contingent of Iron Guard within the Spinward Front. For the most part, these regiments' experience as enforcers of law and discipline on Mordian has been invaluable on rear-echelon worlds and in multi-regiment deployments alike, with the Mordians often being tasked to serve as Provosts for the Commissars, a duty that the Mordians accept with the same stoicism as any of their required duties. This has resulted in some resentment, particularly against more independent regiments of the Imperial Guard, such as those drawn from the worlds of Catachan, Elysia, and Tallarn, who regard the interference of these pallid, gaudily-clad outsiders as entirely unwelcome. Nonetheless, the discipline and proficiency of the Iron Guard have proven invaluable on the night-shrouded world of Nox, the mustering yards of Kalf, and the ever-shifting defence lines of Kulth.
However, the unwavering resolve of the Mordians has often proven to be costly to the Spinward Front, with the number of Iron Guard regiments dwindling. Numerous regiments have found themselves on the front lines, isolated from the chain of command, without the explicit order to withdraw and regroup. In such a situation, the troops of the Iron Guard continue firing and reloading with mechanical precision and efficiency, and then fighting with bayonets at close quarters as their weapons run dry of charge, dying where they stand rather than retreat. With the numbers of regiments available at any given time limited by circumstance and logistics, the Spinward Front can ill-afford to squander lives needlessly, and every act of sacrifice must be accompanied by a commensurate gain if the Imperium is ultimately to triumph.
Regimental Combat DoctrineEdit
Mordians seldom endure the horrors of the open sky or suffer the indignities of the great outdoors. Whilst outside of an enclosed or artificial environment (such as a hive city, starship or similar enclosed space) they have a difficult time adjusting due to their continued unfamiliarity with such places. Surrounded by crowds, Mordians are used to weaving through even the densest of mobs with ease, despite the typical difficulties of manoeuvring in such an environment. Highly disciplined and iron-willed, the Iron Guard present perfectly formed firing lines, unleashing precisely timed volleys of las-fire, despite the chaos of battle around them. The Iron Guard are known for their incredible discipline, and will not break from the line under almost any conditions, displaying a fortitude that is near-superhuman when compared to other Imperial Guard regiments.
- "They may spend every off-duty minute polishing their shiny boots and marching up and down the parade ground in perfect formation, but don't let that fool you. These men are steel-eyed, cold-blooded killers and I'd as soon have a platoon of them in my force as I would a company of other troops."
- — Gharan O'Hen, Army 212 Chief of Staff on the Mordian Iron Guard
The Guardsmen raised from Mordian have a reputation for following orders to the letter, and without a moment's hesitation. Each Iron Guard rigidly obeys and respects the chain-of-command, and are amongst the most dependable troops in the Imperial Guard. Mordian tanks crews are as disciplined as the infantry, their training as strict and rigorous as is humanly possible.
The Mordian Iron Guard regiments march to war in bright colours and ornate uniforms. Some enemies of the Emperor have been misled by the sight of the Iron Guard, believing they were fighting amateurs or ceremonial troops, only to find tough, determined, professional soldiers. Upon each regiment's founding, a lavish banner, created within Mordian's Tetrarchal Palace, is presented to the regiment in a parade ground ceremony during which every Iron Guard trooper swears an oath to never let the colours fall in battle or be captured by the enemy.
The vehicles and troops of Mordian Iron Guard regiments proudly display an Iron Eagle emblem in addition to their regular platoon, company and army markings, reminding the Mordians to enforce the Emperor's steely discipline throughout the Imperium.
- Laspistol - The Laspistol is a light, compact, and reliable weapon, common throughout the Imperium. Designs vary widely and can range from elaborate heirloom devices inscribed with ornate carvings and gold filigree to simplistic but brutally robust weapons used by hiver gangs and criminals.
- Triplex Pattern Lasgun - A highly refined variant of the standard Lasgun, the Triplex Pattern offers alternative firing modes that make the weapon more versatile on the battlefield.
- 2 Charge Packs - Charge packs are powerful capacitor batteries used almost exclusively by laser weapons. In all cases, they provide shots equal to the weapon's full clip value.
- Flak Vest - The most common type of armour in the galaxy is Flak Armour, as it is standard issue to the countless millions of Imperial Guardsmen. Many layers of ablative and impact-absorbent material go into making each suit, enough to deflect or negate most low-level attacks such as small arms, shrapnel, and proximity blasts. Solid hits from high-impact weapons can generally negate it, but given that it is relatively lightweight, cheap to produce, and dependable in most combat situations, many veterans keep using it even when offered better.
- 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.
- Injector - Most specialised drugs require injectors. These can take many forms, from low-technology, disposable hypodermic syringes up to sophisticated hypo-sprays. An injector can hold one dose of any drug.
- 5 doses of Stimm - Stimm is a powerful drug that works to mask pain and drive fighters on when their bodies would otherwise give up.
- Mordian Iron Guard Imperial Guard Uniform - The Iron Guards prefer to go into battle wearing the same elaborate dress uniforms they wear on the parade ground. The bright colors and elaborate decoration of Mordian uniforms often mislead their enemies into thinking they are facing vainglorious or ceremonial troops, an error which quickly proves false when facing them in battle.
- Poor Weather Gear
- Anointed Maintenance Toolkit
- Mess Kit & Water Canteen
- 2 weeks' Rations
- Blanket & Sleep Bag
- Rechargeable Lamp Pack - Sturdy and reliable, glow-globes illuminate many an Imperial paveway and cathedral. Most portable ones are roughly the size of a clenched fist and can shine strong, yellowish light a dozen or so metres in width, lasting roughly five hours before their power pack needs recharging or replacing.
- Grooming Kit
- Dog Tags
- 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.
Notable Mordian RegimentsEdit
- 2nd Mordian Regiment - The Mordian 2nd took part in the famous Macharian Crusade fought between 392.M41 and 399.M41. They achieved a monumental victory during the Invasion of Jucha.
- 3rd Mordian Regiment - The 3rd Mordian is the most decorated regiment in their homeworld's proud history of service to the Imperium. One of their more notable campaigns occurred during the defence of Hive Barbarossa against WAAAGH! Dregruk, when the 3rd Mordian faced a horde of barbaric Orks at the Battle of the Marble Garden.
- 10th Mordian Regiment- The Mordian 10th fought in the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41.
- 11th Mordian Regiment - The Mordian 11th fought in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade.
- 26th Mordian Regiment - The Mordian 26th took part in the Fall of Medusa V campaign, serving under Lord Marshal Graf Harazahn of the Vostroyan Firstborn, supreme commander of the Imperial forces engaged on that doomed world.
- 56th Mordian Regiment - The Mordian 56th proved instrumental in defeating the rebels during the Komarl Revolt in 999.M41. This Iron Guard regiment executed ten percent of the remaining population of Komarl for failing in their duty to the Emperor. The fear of further reprisals from the Mordian garrison left on Komarl ensured no further recidivism.
- 227th Mordian Regiment - The 227th was destroyed in a gruesome ten day pitched battle at the Siege of Sussuro-Prime Hive against the Orks of WAAAGH! Garaghak on Forsarr in 994.M41.
- 12th Mordian Armoured Regiment - The Mordian 12th Armoured are a fine example of the customary discipline and rigourous drills of the Mordian Iron Guard. The close-knit Leman Russ crews of this armoured regiment have been transformed from a group of individuals into a single lethal entity, with many eyes and many arms, but only one will. They are a regiment comprised of 15 companies, each consisting of 13 Leman Russ Battle Tanks, with the command tank in each company a rare variant of the mighty vehicle, such as a Leman Russ Vanquisher or Leman Russ Executioner. The crews of the 12th are trained to an exacting standard, and understand their roles and duties well enough to require only the most cursory supervision by their tank's commander. This, at least, is the theory. The Mordian 12th are untried and untested except in the mock battles of their training, fought through the cavernous holds of the troop transport Deliverance during the regiment's transit to the Calixis Sector. Recently moved from the reserves muster on Kalf to the eternally-dark battlegrounds of Nox on the Spinward Front, the 12th have yet to face more than a brief skirmish, against enemies wise enough to withdraw in the face of the brutal might of an Imperial armoured regiment. While each is a veteran of the constant conflicts on their homeworld, their skills as vehicle crew are still fresh from training, and have not yet been tempered by the realities of battle. Their commanding officer, Colonel Halon Tanz, is a veteran of decades of riot suppression and defensive actions against Chaos raiders -- a calm and confident leader, well-versed in the doctrines of the Tactica Imperialis. His warriors, true to the traditions of the Iron Guard, obey his every command without question and without hesitation, and trust absolutely in the chain of command that links him to each and every man in the regiment, from the keen-eyed gunner of Tanz’s own Leman Russ Vanquisher, Iron Spear, to the lowliest menial responsible for the cleaning, refuelling and simple maintenance of the vehicles between battles.
- 16th Mordian Armoured Regiment - The Mordian 16th Armoured Regiment is a notable armoured regiment of Mordian Iron Guard who have earned multiple battle honours in the Emperor's service.
- 278th Mordian Armoured Regiment - The Mordian 278th Armoured took part in the Battle for Baric Six when it lost two entire armoured companies due to a Deathstrike Missile Launcher stolen by Ork Lootas.
- 3rd Mordian Heavy Tank Company - The 3rd Mordian Heavy Tank Company is known to include a Mars Pattern Shadowsword (possibly known as Alpha Three) as the third tank of the company, although the rest of the company is a mix of Baneblades, Shadowswords and Stormblades. It is possible that Alpha Three has had two confirmed Titan kills.
Notable Mordian Iron Guard PersonnelEdit
- General Kraig - Senior commanding officer of the Mordian 26th Armoured Regiment during the Fall of Medusa V campaign.
- Colonel Halon Tanz - Colonel Tanz is the commanding officer of the as-yet unblooded 12th Mordian Armoured Regiment. Tanz is a veteran of decades of riot suppression and defensive actions against Chaos raiders. He is a calm and confident leader, well-versed in the doctrines of the Tactica Imperialis. His warriors, true to the traditions of the Iron Guard, obey his every command without question and without hesitation, and trust absolutely in the chain-of-command that links him to each and every man in the regiment, from the keen-eyed gunner of Tanz's own Leman Russ Vanquisher, Iron Spear, to the lowliest menial responsible for the cleaning, refuelling and simple maintenance of the regiment's vehicles between battles.
- Lieutenant Brusak - A Lieutenant of the 26th Mordian Armoured Regiment during the Fall of Medusa V.
- Sergeant Kolst - A Sergeant of the 211th Mordian Regiment, Capital Garrison.
The uniform of the Mordian Iron Guard is loosely based off both the United States Marine Corps Blue Dress uniforms, and potentially the Prussian Lützowsches Freikorps uniform during the Napoleonic Conflicts.
- Codex:Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pp. 16, 25, 55
- Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 2nd Version), pp. 9, 30, 59
- Codex: Imperial Guard (2nd Edition), pp. 13-15
- Imperial Armour - Apocalypse, pg. 6
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pp. 37, 95
- Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pg. 77
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 52-53, 298
- The Fall of Medusa V (Campaign Booklet), pg. 33
- The Sabbat Worlds Crusade (Background Book)
- The Thirteenth Black Crusade, pg. 91
- Third War for Armageddon Worldwide Campaign - Forces Disposition, Imperial Forces: Mordian Iron Guard