“I was bred with wondrous powers encoded into my very flesh, but I did not dream myself into the man I am today;
I hammered and forged myself upon the anvil of battle and conquest.”
+ Background +
The Osgothi are symptomatic of the sixteenth legion’s willingness to adopt unit formations and tactics ad hoc as the needs of war demanded. The Rekhol companies, such as the 49th – engaged on harrowing actions across the galactic fringe – swiftly adapted to the style of war they now waged. Void-raiding and reaving hit-and-run campaigns against Imperial positions and forces moving towards the front lines necessitated an approach to warfare for which the XVI were well suited. These companies swiftly adapted their armories as they went, raiding their loyalist brothers’ ships and supply worlds wherever they found them. Increasingly, the 49th stowed away their heavier elements, such as their Land Raiders and Vindicator siege tanks, in favor of rapid deployment via Storm Eagle assault carriers or drop pod assault. They also adapted their unit formations and equipment to better suit their ability to wage swift war in the void. Squad Osgothi exemplifies the result of this necessity.
+ Arms and Armour +
This unit is armed with assault-variant volkite chargers, the lightweight and compact nature of the weapon made it ideal for the short-range firefights in the confines of void-ships. The lack of ballistic projectiles in these weapons also made them suitable for fighting onboard ships, as the laser-focused discharge of the volkite chargers decreased the possibility of serious hull-breaches or other collateral damage during ship-to-ship storming-actions.
This unit is also equipped with the – then-still prototype – ‘Anvilus’ backpacks. The enhanced stabilizing thrust vents designed to make them more suitable to void-based operations. Thanks to the capture of Forge World Anvilus by Horus’ forces early in the Heresy, these backpacks were able to be supplied en masse to squads in the XVI that needed or requested them.
+ Sergeant Kallas +
Sergeant Kallas was only a battle-brother when he landed on the surface of Istvaan III. Cthonic-born, he had served in the XVI for almost 100 years, becoming the then-sergeant Festor’s second-in-command during the Castigation of Terentius. That campaign exemplified the tactics and methods that Kallas and his squad would utilize during their Rekhol, harassing enemy forces on their way to the front lines, devastating supply worlds and sowing fear and confusion. As with most of the squads in the 49th, The Osgothi changed at Istvaan III, Sergeant Festor never returned to orbit and the squad that emerged from the Choral City – now commanded by Kallas – walked with an altogether darker purpose. It is unclear how Sergeant Festor died, but it is likely that he fell victim to the bloody coup led by Sergeant Balak against Captain Taggala. There is nothing to suggest that Festor, Taggala, and the other officers and battle-brothers purged in those ruins were in any way disloyal to Horus and the new crusade; most likely the entire episode is probably symptomatic of the web of murderous rivalry and bloody ambition that would come to define the traitor legions during – and especially after – the Heresy. In hindsight, it is clear now to Imperial scholars that the dark heart and bloody nature of the XVI was always there, just below a thin veneer of honor and duty. Istvaan was by no means the cause of their decline but a symptom of a rot that had infected the XVI in the lifeless wastes of Cthonia several hundred years before.