|House Tuatha Knightly Household|
The Knight World of Eire-Nua
Discovery and Colonisation
The planet of Eire-Nua lies in North-eastern arm of the galaxy on edge of the region known as the Ghoul Stars. The planet was discovered and flagged for colonisation early in 18th millennium. Even at it’s peak however, the wheels of the Imperium of Man moved slowly and the colonisation fleet that was dispatched to the planet did not make planetfall until the closing stages of the 21st millennium and the twilight of the Age of Technology.
The colonists that landed on Eire-Nua hailed predominantly from the state of Albyon on Ancient Terra and were of a hardy breed imbued with a fierce warrior-pride and considerable martial skill. Both would be sorely tested in the years immediately following the colonisation.
The human colonists landed upon the single super-continent that dominates the northern hemisphere of the planet. A slow orbit and a relatively dim star means that the continent never truly experiences night. The landmass exists in a perpetual twilight that results in a dank mist that covers the swampy moors of the island-continent that quickly soaks any who venture into it to the bone. The swamps and moors are pierced periodically by craggy highlands pocked with deep caves and crevasses where gnarled and twisted flora ekes out a tenuous existence in the sun’s feeble light. Despite the apparent inhospitality of the planet when the colonists arrived however, it was not unoccupied.
The Subjugation of the Fomorians
The various species indigenous to the planet collectively referred to themselves as Fomorians. A bestial race of savages that ranged from relatively small canine like creatures, through semi-aquatic ichthyological species to large brutish cyclopean warriors the size of an ogryn, the Fomorians had a culture that centred on cannibalistic sacrifices that were believed to appease and invite the favour of dark spirits that inhabited the ever-present mist. Despite only having evolved into a stone-age society, the Fomorians were a dangerous foe to the newly established colonies. The creatures’ ability to yoke the gigantic beasts of the swamp to their cause proved devastating and more than one colony was overrun by flailing claws, stone clubs and razor-sharp fangs before the first knight-suits were constructed and began to turn back the Fomorians and their warbeasts.
The saving grace in those early years was the fact that the colonists discovered the Fomorians innate fear of the highlands. The creatures disliked leaving the safety of the mist-shrouded lowlands and would often refuse to do so. The colonists constructed their halls and workshops in the crags of the Eire-Nua highlands. They dug deep into the mountains, building strongholds with the aid if the ever-growing army of knight-suits from which they were able to sally forth and take the fight to their bestial adversaries. Initially a threat to lone humans, the highlands were home to savage flights of perytons. Resembling a hybrid of great eagle and elk, perytons were superlative hunters and in the early years the creatures carried off many colonists as the flights saw the humans as an easy meal that didn’t necessitate a descent into the dark mists to hunt for fomorian prey. In a relatively short time however, these creatures had been broken to the will of the hardy colonists, were domesticated and were being used as mounts by the seneschals of the noble households. With the faultless eyesight of the perytons, individual, far-roaming spotters, mounted upon these swift flying beasts were able to spot approaching Fomorian armies long before they became a threat to the mountain strongholds of the Tuatha (the name the colonists had begun to use in reference to the noble families) who protected the communities that sprawled out into the mist at the base of each clan stronghold. Over time the breeding of peryton became an important part of each settlement.
With the domestication of the peryton and the completion of many suits of knight armour, the threat of the Fomorians was effectively ended. Although many tribes of the feral creatures remained, many more were destroyed or taken as slaves by the colonists. Indeed, loosing enslaved Fomorian warriors upon their kin became a common practice in order to save human lives. Many household guard and brotherhood forces of the Tuatha today retain units of these creatures that can be used as expendable shock troops on small pockets of foes that manage to escape the wrath of the House Tuatha knights.
The Age of Strife and the coming of the Milesians
As the 25th millennium drew to a close Eire-Nua had become a stable Knight World under the control of House Tuatha. Trade had been established with nearby worlds and the husbandry of peryton as beasts of war and an indigenous species akin to water buffalo as a food resource had become a staple of the colonies. The Age of Strife cut off Eire-Nua from the fledgling Imperium completely. Solar flares from the dim star the planet orbited knocked the planet out of synchronous orbit and for a time the dim twilight became total night. Much of the flora and fauna on the super-continent died in the years of darkness and the Tuatha struggled to keep the breeding colonies of buffalo and peryton alive. When the planet eventually righted itself the days of regiments of peryton riders soaring above their knightly lords had passed. The peryton are still bred but their numbers have never recovered and to this day they remain a symbol, of prestige for high-ranking sacristans or bondsmen. Just as the sun rose on House Tuatha’s highland strongholds (and the Noble’s Sidhe Halls that towered above them) for the first time in a millennium, the Milesians came.
Milesia was a system several light years from Eire-Nua. The system’s sun had died and the last of the abhuman settlers had managed to flee the region before their worlds died completely. The Milesians were abhuman, closely resembling the species that would come to be codified as Neandors. Heavyset, hunched, red-haired and with prominent brows and thick jaws. The Milesian fleet broke the atmosphere of Eire-Nua in a blaze of light, much as the Tuatha had done millennia before. Despite initial attempts at diplomacy, the pride of the nobles of House Tuatha would not permit an equitable resolution with their near human cousins. The war that resulted devastated both peoples and lasted for 2 centuries. House Tuatha had their knights and loyal bondsmen but the Milesians had greater numbers. Both sides utilised Fomorian mercenaries (the creatures seemingly having avoided any decline during the time of darkness) and eventually the Milesians forced the Tuatha back to their Strongholds and Sidhe Halls.
Despite having ostensibly won, the Milesians could not breach the strongholds of the Tuatha. Eventually a messenger astride a peryton brought the Milesian chieftains an offer of truce. After lengthy discussions a peace was finally reached which granted the Milesians equal status to the sacristans and brotherhood forces of the knightly houses. They could share the settlements that sprawled beneath the Sidhe Halls but only the pure-blooded Tuatha nobles could ever join with the throne mechanicum as knightly lords. The Fomorians remained as a slave-caste to both Milesian and Tuatha.
Rediscovery and Heresy
By the time the great crusade finally reached Eire-Nua during the great expansion in the 31st millennium the Milesians and the Tuatha were no longer 2 separate peoples. Only the bloodlines of the nobles had remained true to their Tuatha roots. The sacristans, bondsmen and men-at-arms that made up the rest of the feudal society on the bleak, mist-shrouded world were human but the traits of the neandor were still quite prominent. Red hair dominated almost completely and as a species this blended people tended towards a stocky build, with thick hair and prominent jawlines.
It was the warriors of the 6th legion, the Wolves of Fenris that would bring Eire-Nua back into the Imperial fold. The Space Wolves parted the mists of Eire-Nua aboard a trio of stormbirds. Leman Russ the feral primarch of the 6th legion descended the ramp of the first stormbird, flanked by his two great fenrisian wolves and terminator clad members of the primarch’s inner circle, to be confronted by ranks sacristans and brotherhood men-at-arms. At the head of the force, astride a massive peryton sat the current Brotherhood Highlord as representative of the Tuatha nobility. After a heated ‘discussion’ Russ was led to the doors of the closest Sidhe Hall. What transpired between the nobles of House Tuatha and the lord of Fenris is unknown but when the Wolflord emerged from the stronghold it was beside the residing Tuatha noble. The two figures were laughing and drinking from two great ale-horns, the primarch’s hand resting upon the shoulder of the Tuatha nobleman.
The wolves of Fenris and House Tuatha would form a close bond and House Tuatha knights and Brotherhood forces would fight beside the 6th legion in many battles of the great crusade. When the betrayal of the Warmaster and the heresy erupted, like many knight houses, House Tuatha forces were spread across the breadth of the great crusade. Steadfastly loyal to Leman Russ and through him the Emperor, the nobles of House Tuatha retained their unshakeable loyalty throughout the heresy across multiple battle zones.
The House Tuatha Brotherhoods were and remain spread across myriad strongholds that dot the Eire-Nua highlands. Each Stronghold settlement sprawls outward from it’s Sidhe Hall above and more often than not spills out past the defensible walls of the stronghold-proper into the misty lowlands below. Although each settlement has formidable defences, most of the strongholds’ day-to-day mud-brick dwellings lie outside it’s walls so as to better service the crops and livestock that provide for the stronghold’s populace. The Brotherhood troops that march to war alongside the god-suits of the Sidhe Halls are comprised primarily of conscripted militia supported by various troops unique to the Knight-world. The Sidhe Halls themselves are connected via ancient vox networks left over from the original colony ships from which the halls were constructed. Those halls whose vox has failed over the millennia keep a stock of cyber-ravens as messengers and spies for the nobles within. The only notable exception (and the only Sidhe Hall that is not in constant contact with the other halls) is the Sidhe Hall of Forgehold, the hold of the Lucharacháin smiths. Forgehold is the only hold on Eire-Nua under the direct control of the Mechanicum. All nominal members of House Tuatha that reside in Forgehold have been inducted into the cult of the Omnissiah and the populace of the hold boasts a strange cultural mix that combines elements of the clan mythology of Eire-Nua with the beliefs of the machine-cult. As such the hold has the smallest population on any clan hold but boasts a disproportionate amount of power on the clan council. Due to a peculiar gravitational anomaly on board the Mechanicum colony ship (that would become Forgehold) upon it’s long journey, the insular populace of Forgehold are short and squat, a feature that has led to the small community being referred as the Lucharacháin (the little folk) by the populace of the other Strongholds. The worship of the God-suits as deities was not a huge deviation for Lucharacháin. The machine spirits of the titan legions and the knight-suits were and remain divine entities to the mechanicum and thus the clan beliefs aligned quite closely to existing machine-cult dogma. Every other Stronghold on Eire-Nua boasts a small number (usually no more than two or three individuals and at most no more than one family unit) of Lucharacháin (as representatives of the Hold of the Smiths) that live apart from the rest of the Stronghold’s populace and are considered mystics and prophets by the clansmen. Although seldom interacting directly with the clansmen around them, these prophets want for nothing in their host communities. Food and resources are provided by the Stronghold populace and petitions and offerings to the ‘little-folk’ are made to the Lucharacháin when some form of technology or other requires repair in the community. Although living apart from their fellows these positions are extremely comfortable for the little folk selected. The technology of the clans is relatively archaic compared to the marvels of Forgehold and thus, for the most part the Lucharacháin representatives live comfortable lives that require little taxing work.
The members of Forgehold are the foremost smiths on the planet and representatives of the stronghold must be petitioned (through the Stronghold’s emissaries in the Stronghold) by the other nobles for access to repairs and blessings upon their respective god-suits and substantial trade much be bartered in order to acquire the assistance of the holds fickle tech-priests or heavily-armoured Lucharacháin skitarri troops in battle. This petition and ‘trade’ is often in the form of newborn Tuathan babes that the ‘little folk’ utilise is the creation of tech-thralls to assist them in their forge-work. With the scant resources on the planet, the growing of ‘organics’ in nutrient tanks for the construction of servitors is not viable. Thus the mind-wiping and growth inducement of Tuathan infants has replaced the practice entirely. This has resulted in the tech-thralls of the Lucharacháin being almost exclusively constructed from Tuathan females, the clans themselves being reluctant to ‘gift’ male children in exchange for Forgehold’s assistance. Males are considered of much greater worth to the tribes than the womenfolk. This practice, seemingly devoid of even the slightest hint of morality, has resulted in the Lucharacháin being regarded as objects of fear and awe amongst the majority brotherhoods. It also goes some into explaining why the Lucharacháin emissaries that dwell amongst the tribes live as outcasts to both the tribesfolk around them and the Lucharacháin of their former home. Indeed, unruly Tuatha children are often warned by their parents that the ‘little folk’ will come in the night and steal away naughty children to become slaves to the Forge-Gods they worship (the knight suits that protect Forgehold and her surrounds). The sight of Lucharacháin tech-thralls accompanying little-folk tech-priests as the march to war only cements these stories in the minds of the impressionable youth of the brotherhoods. Despite these anomalies, the Lucharacháin have lived alongside the Tuathan Brotherhood clans for millennia and many of the ‘little folk’ have felt the calling of the Eire-Nua mists. As semi-integrated clansmen, Forgehold boasts it own compliment of Lucharacháin herbalists and even has ‘little folk’ Clan Hunters that will occasionally answer Forgehold’s call to war. With a small and highly specialized populace however, these paths are not as lauded as they are among the Brotherhoods. Hunters in particular tend to be pitied at best and reviled at worst by the Lucharacháin for having abandoned the calling of the machine cult for the mysteries of the Eire-Nua mists and the Lucharacháin representatives that live in the Brotherhood settlements as ambassadors are considered dichotomously both honoured and outcast for their sacrifice of living outside the influence of the Omnissiah. Both herbalists and Hunters hailing from Forgehold boast an unusual number of female Lucharacháin in their number, perhaps an indication of the role played by the womenfolk of this most secretive of Sidhe Halls.
The basic troops of the Brotherhood. The Sidhe Guard are the descendants of the original House Tuatha colonists and the Milesian abhumans who invaded the planet during the Age of Strife. They are a hardy folk, heavy-set with prominent brows, thick strong hands and thick hair. Hair colour is predominantly red although there is a fair amount of blonde also (representative of the Tuatha bloodlines). Although only being given a basic-level of military training, the abhuman descendants of Eire-Nua, being hardy and strong, make for formidable combatants. There are various divisions within the guard. Line troops are equipped with solid and dependable lascarbines, for the most part because they require little training to use and are easily maintained. The guard also man the massive artillery pieces that protect the Sidhe Halls and can be formed into heavy support Brotherhoods as required manning heavier weaponry dependent on battlefield and warzone requirements.
Many species of fomorian are used as thralls by the Brotherhoods. The largest, cyclopean brutes of considerable size and strength, are captured and utilised by the Brotherhoods as shock troops. Individually stronger than an astartes and all but immune to pain, the creatures are rightly feared by the enemies of the clan strongholds. Similar in stature to the brute thralls, brute outriders are of a more placid breed. Markedly more docile than their brute kin, this species of fomorian are utilised as mounts by Sidhe Guard scouts. Able to more rapidly through the swamps and moors, these Brute Outriders provide valuable reconnaissance and (with the advent of shoulder mounted weaponry) a surprising punch to Sidhe Guard forces. At the other end of the spectrum are the thrall levies. Smaller than the brute thralls but possessive of a low cunning, these ichthyological-like xenos whose native environment spans the deepest parts of the Eire-Nua lowlands where the swamp give way the immense murky lakes and rivers, are driven ahead of the clan forces by the whips of Clan Hunters, often equipped with discipline collars as a means of control. The semi-aquatic creatures are poorly equipped and have only the most rudimentary knowledge of how to work the auxilia rifles they are armed with. These ‘lesser fomorians’ are herded towards the enemy and mercilessly sacrificed in the hundreds, the clan chieftains reasoning each fomorian life lost is a clan life saved. Despite horrendous losses, the fomorians reproduce at a remarkable speed; the ichthyo-species in particular can produce several hundred warriors at a time from their sacred spawning pools hidden deep in the mist-shrouded lowlands.
Hunters are members of the Brotherhoods who, either by choice or by exile have chosen to live apart from the rest of their brethren. They spend their lives in the mist-enshrouded lowlands hunting fomorians and other creatures that may threaten the strongholds. Despite living lives of exile, hunters are still clan warriors at heart and when the Brotherhoods go to war, any hunters in the region will emerge from the mists and march beside their clansmen. They are figures of both fear and awe among the Brotherhoods and the presence of these dangerous warriors will often bolster the morale of the troops around them.
Healers and alchemists of the Brotherhood clans, herbalists dedicate their lives to understanding which native Eire-Nua flora can be used to treat everything from a lasgun wound to the ‘mist-chills’ (a native malady). When the clans go to war the herbalist cabals travel with them, treating the injured with their stores of preserved herbs and offering a blessed death to those too far gone to save.
The last of the lesser nobility that dwell outside the Sidhe Halls themselves, although not ‘pure-blooded’ Tuatha nobles (as are the those that dwell within the Sidhe Halls and pilot the god-suits), these scions are the only Brotherhood troops outside of the Clan Highlords and Chieftains permitted to ride the Brotherhood’s stock of perytons as war mounts. The skill of the peryton breeders over the generations has produced hardy dependable stock and most dragoons mount weapons arrays to the saddles of their mounts in order to add ranged punch to the peryton’s already capable melee abilities.
==Forgehold Skitarri (the Lucharacháin)==
The Lucharacháin of Forgehold are few in number compared to the huge populace of the many other strongholds. As inductees into the cult mechanicum however the defenders of Forgehold have access to many powerful weapons and armour not readily available to the rest of the planet (the nobility of the Sidhe Halls themselves excepted). The Mechanicum explorator colony ship that would become the Forgehold Sidhe Hall did not make planetfall on Eire-Nua until just prior to the Milesian invasion during the Age of Strife having been becalmed in the warp for an extended period of time. Initially welcomed warmly by the Tuatha nobility (having access to regular repair and maintenance for the god-suits was most advantageous) it became apparent very quickly that the strange, stocky mechanicum representatives would not integrate with the Tuatha as readily as previous colony ships had done. The Lucharacháin remained isolated. This voluntary isolation would endure until conflict forced the mechanicum to become a part of the united House Tuatha forces. When the Milesian invasion came the forces of the newest stronghold fought beside the House Tuatha troops in their own regiments equipped with notably more advanced weaponry and armour than their more barbarous kin and as the conflict wore on the two peoples were forced to interact.
A representative of Forgehold was present at the signing of the treaty that ended the centuries-long conflict between the Tuatha and the Milesians and once peace was secured, the Lucharacháin skitarri and tech-priests, for the most part, returned once more to their isolated stronghold. The prolonged conflict however had forced contact between the mechanicum and the Tuatha and a bond had developed. The Lucharacháin skitarri had begun wearing the tartan of the clans as a show of unity and the Tuatha cultural idiosyncrasies had worked their way into the mechanicum forces. Although never truly integrated, each Tuatha Stronghold boasts a small enclave of Lucharacháin. These ‘little folk’ are the most ‘clan-like’ of the mechanicum representatives on Eire-Nua and act as intermediaries between clan chiefs and the lords of Forgehold and thus when House Tuatha goes to war the Lucharacháin skitarri will often (if the correct petitions are made) send small, well-equipped units to accompany the Tuatha forces under the command of these Lucharacháin clan representatives both to service the god-suits of the Sidhe halls and to honour the age-old alliance between the mechanicum and the Brotherhoods.
Not really members of the clans per se, the children of the Tuatha nobility must experience combat before being able to undergo the ritual of becoming and taking on the mantle of one of the towering gods of the Sidhe Halls. The only true-blooded Tuathans that the members of the Brotherhoods are likely to see in their lifetimes (and then only rarely) that are not encased in a towering god-suit, the children of the Sidhe Halls will emerge in secret and infiltrate the battlefield ahead of the approaching Brotherhood force and their god-suit-encased kin. Wielding some of the best equipment on the planet (as would be expected from the children of old-Terran nobility) theses young scouts will target enemy commanders or platoon sergeants in order to sow confusion in the enemy camp before fading back into the mists. Oft-times the clan forces are unaware of the assistance the young nobles have provided until they confront a foe devoid of leadership and seemingly in disarray. To the members of the Sidhe Guard, these figures are the ghostly emissaries of the Sidhe Hall God-Suits themselves. Possessed of ethereal beauty compared to the brutish clansmen and if they do happen to cross paths on the battlefield the clansmen are as likely to prostrate themselves as they are run from the beings they consider emissaries of the Gods.
==The Imperial Navy==
Eire-Nua lies on the very edge of Imperial space and as such was quite valuable from the perspective if the imperial fleet. Once rediscovered and brought back into the imperial fold, the location of the planet made it an optimal location for a resupply station for crusade fleets traversing the out rim of imperial space. Although the Ghouls Stars themselves remained largely out of imperial control, lying almost at the mid-point of the farthest arc of the Ultima Segmentum meant that fleets heading back into the Segmentum or traversing the outer arc could find safe portage in orbit around the planet. The Tuatha Nobility were more than happy to have a star port constructed in the system as it not only increased trade potential (and thus better provisions for the Sidhe Halls) it also provided valuable air support to the Strongholds, an element in which the Tuatha forces were sorely lacking. Although remaining largely apart from the Knight-world itself, Imperial fleet pilots can sometimes be found in the feasting halls of the strongholds where they quickly garner an audience eager to hear tales of the stars and the myriad worlds of Imperial space.
Combat Reports for Q-KNT-2151
|139.008.M31||System Wide||Traitor Victory||
Even before the shocking actions of Istvaan filtered through to the Australis Ultima ..→
With the flames of the Heresy spreading like wildfire throughout the Sector, both forces are ..→
|The Rallying of Trugoy|
The Warmasters great betrayal is announced to the galaxy with the bloody brutal ..→
|Battle Name||Date||Planet||Battle Outcome||Battle Summary|
|Baylonian Insurrection~Act 1||139.008.M31||System Wide||Loyalist|
|Baylonian Insurrection~Act 2||158.008.M31||System Wide||Traitor||
Using their holdings on Dur-Kazit as a staging point the Traitors were the first to strike out in a renewed attempt to seize territory after a brief respite fractured by sporadic strike force ..→
|Baylonian Insurrection~Act 3||216.008.M31||System Wide||Traitor|
|Baylonian Insurrection~Act 4||292.008.M31||System Wide||Traitor|
|Baylonian Insurrection~Act 6||388.008.M31||System Wide||Loyalist||
With both forces reaching a certain level of impasse the Campaign entered a new stage of attrition; both factions launching harassing assaults against each others strongholds in an attempt to break ..→
|Baylonian Insurrection~Act 7||464.008.M31||System Wide||Traitor||
Whether it was the failed attempt to cripple each others ships or a planned change of tactics, the Traitors were no longer willing to play the same game. Entering a new phase of the Campaign the ..→
|Baylonian Insurrection~Act 8||541.008.M31||System Wide||Unresolved||
With the act of rebellion the Baylonian Synod brought the wrath of not only the Loyalists but the Traitors as well. Their intention to reclaim their lost empire and stand apart from the warring ..→
|Baylonian Insurrection~Zone Mortalis Operation 12||388.008.M31||Dur-Kazit||Loyalist||
A rescue operation to recover the Salamanders Primarch, Vulcan.
|Baylonian Insurrection~Zone Mortalis Operation 14||388.008.M31||Cipaar||Traitor||
The Rescue of V’Ren
Kyros V’Ren’s eyes suddenly burst open from his meditation as he heard a firefight erupted from outside his cell. He had been trapped in the Imperial Fist holding facility ..→
|Savage Campaign~Operation Five||468.007.M31||Savage||Traitor||
With both forces exhausted and undermanned from the previous phase of the invasion a short period of securing and harassment ensued, allowing the Loyalists to regroup and attempt to co-ordinate with ..→
|Savage Campaign~Operation Six||471.007.M31||Savage||Traitor||
Attempting to recover lost ground from the significant loses in the previous engagements, the Loyalists forces pushed hard into Traitor held territory and launched multiple offensives against the ..→
|The Rallying of Trugoy~ACT of Heresy: Grox||063.008.M31||Grox||Loyalist||
A Forgotten Legacy
Before the conflict had truly begun the Loyalist forces had sent an advance scouting fleet into the Truogy system to source resources and ..→
|The Rallying of Trugoy~ACT of Heresy: Impasse||063.008.M31||Impasse||Loyalist||
The Retlaxi Mechanicum were tasked some time ago by Horus to begin construction of an underground research laboratory in order to research ..→
|The Rallying of Trugoy~ACT of Heresy: Trugoy||063.008.M31||Trugoy||Loyalist||
The Corruption of Office
|The Rallying of Trugoy~Ep.3 - Crushing of Grox||311.008.M31||Grox||Traitor||
With the revelation of the existence of underground titan hangers buried beneath the surface of Grox, the war on the planet evolved into a wide spread skirmish and exploration campaign with both ..→