I've been thinking about expanding on my themed army that I design prior. I built them in mind as superior armored heavy infantry with the pro's and con's there if of having a force built entirely on that theme. While designed to be the middle ground in terms of the IoM (ie 1v1 not as good as a Space Marine but far better then the avg Imperial Guardsman), it felt like there was a step missing. The natural course would be for them to expand on the idea of "superior armored heavy infantry" and in 40k for the IoM that would mean Space Marines. So here they are...
KNIGHTS OF THE TEMPLEBeginnings
- The Knights of the Temple owe their name to the Temple of the Emperor located on Nyleaha in the northern polar region. Here is were are future Knights will be "produced" for their service. In M36, the people of Nyleaha and their surrounding systems were taken into the Imperium. In M38, it was decided that the people of Nyleaha could offer more then act as just servants to the Inquisition's need. A near heresy considering that the highly independent Nyleahan people were only spared war with the Imperium because of the Inquisition's needs after the Age of Apostasy. The Monks living in the Temple of the Emperor made the choice, they would act. In an effort to expand their military doctrine of "Superior Armored Heavy Infantry", the Astartes of Nyleaha were dreamed. In M39 after nearly a thousand years of research they completed their first Astartes Gene-seed. Less then a century later the Monks completed research on production of the Gene-seed. At the end of M39 the first batch of one hundred Knights of the Temple were "born".The Temple of the Emperor
- The temple is in truth a fortress with a complex and chapel above ground covering some one hundred and forty square Kilometers. The parts underground span another two hundred and sixty square Kilometers. Here the Order of the Emperor watches over its population of eight million Monks, servants and Astartes. Here is where the Astartes are produced, housed, trained and equipped until needed. The entire Temple now serves one purpose, to meet the needs of the Astartes within.Gene-seed
- The early processes of the Gene-seed were over taken with failures. The efforts to reproduce the different organs of a standard Astartes Gene-seed failed time and again. It was soon decided that if they couldn't reproduce the Astartes Gene-seed then they would design something a kin. The Nyleahan Gene-seed differs from the Terran Gene-seed in that it doesn't produce the organ growths found in a standard Astartes. Acid blood and spit, toxin filtering lungs and other mutations are missing. Instead the Nyleahan Gene-seed builds on the natural advantages of the Nyleahan population. With the average Nyleahan's size being well over two meters the Monks decided that an increase in physical size wasn't as important. So they settled with triggering the natural growth hormones that normally cease after puberty. They were also able to introduce Stem Cell production into their Gene-seed design. With the injuries an Astartes is expected to suffer, the ability to heal normally fatal wounds in a matter of days is of impressive benefit. Also added in the Gene-seed was a "adaptive repair" feature. In short, the body simply continues to grow the longer the Gene-seed is in place. Muscles, bones, senses improve and repair themselves without needing outside input. So not only does the body heal its wounds but when it heals it also toughens the injured area. A torn muscle will cause the muscles of the body to become more flexible to avoid tearing in the future. Broken bones cause the body to harden the skeleton and cover it in a layer of cartilage to absorb impacts. While the Nyleahan Gene-seed isn't as advanced or complex as its Terran counter part. It no less covers its needs for those who wish to use it.
CHAPTER DETAILSChapter Organization
- With no local Astartes Chapters to draw from and only ever dealings with Black Templars to guide them. The Monks divided the Knights by Regiments of around a thousand each. Each Regiment has ten Companies of one hundred Knights each and each Company has ten squads of ten Knights. While this number changes by conditions both at home and on the battle field, it maintains a fair estimate that for every Regiment there are a thousand Knights. Currently, there are fourteen Regiments with three more planned for the near future.
As a side effect of their experience with Astartes, or lack there of, and their cultural ideals. The Knights lack many of the features common to Astartes chapters. The Knights have no Dreadnoughts, no Terminators and no Jetpack Marines that normally fill the assault roles. Instead each squad is assigned to either a Land Raider or a drop ship of some sort. The Nyleahans lack the Thunderhawk designs and their version of the Land Raider is only a Land Raider by name and outer appearances.Unit Design by Regiment
- Every Regiment is assigned to a cruiser. Normally a fast attack cruiser of Murder or Slaughter Class. This ship is their home for whenever they are not at the Temple on Nyleaha. Each Regiment is broken into five armored companies using Land Raiders and five airborne companies using Gunships. Every company has ten transports, one for each squad.Wargear
- As is fitting with the uniformed design of the Knights. Their weapons reflect their basic place as infantry, if very deadly infantry. All Knights are equipped with the following systems of attack and defense.
Nyleahan Power Armor, while the external view of their power armor is very similar to that of the Terran born Astartes. Internally, its differences are far reaching and many in number. Without the merging, the Knights are more like pilots then they are men in simple armor. Using a long reach of nano-fiber muscles and mirco-response relays that allow the suit to move with the pilot. Knights are forced to learn balance and fluid motion in order to avoid injuring themselves. While easier for production, the suits have a downside. Their response times are 1/16th of a second slower then that of Terran Astartes Power Armor. While this may not seem like much, in close combat it is often the difference between life and death.
Power Sword, for close combat this weapon also has no scabbard but instead has catches on the guard to allow its placement anywhere the user may have open. The sword's ability to cut through flesh, bone and armor as though it were so much air has earned it a trusted place in the hearts of the Knights.
Plasma Rifle, this weapon is designed again with balance in mind. Weaker and with less AoE then a standard Astartes plasma cannon. This rifle has superior range and RoF to the standard Astartes plasma pistol. With extending stock, this weapon can be used as both pistol and rifle. (Think similar to the Tau Plasma Rifle) Along with this weapon each Knight carries eight spare magazines, nine in total counting the one in the weapon. Such a weapon is useful in engaging the commonly entrenched or armored targets to which the Knights are most often called to face in battle.
Explosives, each Knight is armed with four fragmentation grenades, two krak grenades and one melta-bomb.
(Still working, just had to take a break.)Recruitment
- Recruits are all former career personal from the Nyleahan Armed Forces. While personnel from the Nyleahan Fleet are aloud to apply, their entry makes up less then five percent of the accepted applicants and only two percent of the current Knights are former Fleet. A recruit must have forty years of service along with being an active servant in the Faith of the Emperor, the primary religious faction in the Nyleahan population. Ten thousand applicants are taken per year by selection. Though there is no requirement on how many should be allowed to become Knights. On average the Monks of the Temple of the Emperor will select the top ten percent of accepted applicants to begin the "Birthing" process. During the Birthing process the applicants are placed in a birthing chamber and induced to coma. Here for the next year, the Monks join the applicant to his Gene-seed. Allowing the Gene-seed to connect to the applicant's body begins the "Production" process. The Gene-seed begins changing the applicant's body by improving the skeletal structure, senses and muscle mass and height. If the applicant's Production phase completes without issue, he becomes a Templow (low man of the temple).Training
- The training system is rather simple. The Templows are placed into a one year, no break, wargame using mock equipment designed to simulate their future wargear. When the wargame ends, they are are subject to review for advancement. Those who fail are allowed to quit or repeat the wargame. Those who pass are given real Knight's equipment and divided into squads. Each squad will train under an Elder Knight. Most cases a Sergeant instructs and on some occasions an officer when one so chooses. The Templows will spend two years training in their new wargear and learning the ways of the Temple. Once this is completed, those who pass their testing are promoted to Templar (Junior Knights). They will remain as such until selected to join a unit and see combat. After they experience combat and prove their valor, they are promoted to the rank of Knight of the Temple of the Emperor (or just Knight for short). At this time their training is consider complete. After four years of bone breaking and mind bending work, the Man is now a Knight for the people of Nyleaha.Combat Doctrine
- The combined arms tactics of the Nyleahan Armed Forces have for the most part been rolled into use by the Knights. No surprise really as the Knights are all former Nyleahan soldiers. Each Regiment with its plasma based infantry, fifty Land Raiders, fifty gunships and the support of it own Cruiser in orbit is a power to inspire fear and awe. While larger campaigns are handled by the main Nyleahan forces. The Knights act as a rapid response force. When time is needed, the Knights are called into action. This often takes the form of delaying actions such as attacking enemy command posts, supply depots and even enemy worlds in order to draw attention away from other sectors.Monks of the Temple
- The Monks of the Temple are, as many within the Imperium, warrior priests and are as well trained/equipped as well as any other in the Temple. The Monks are the primary care takers and instructors of the Knights. Required learning for the Knights outside of battle include such subjects as art, philosophy, mathmatics, science and history which must be first mastered by the Monks giving the instruction. The Monks spend most of their day in near silence, walking slowly and calmly from place to place to carry out their duties. The only sounds when not needing to support conversation/instruction are the mumbled prayers for the God-Emperor of Man. For blessed is He, the Savior of Humanity and never should His words and will be far from our minds. Many recruits have mistaken the soft voiced Monks for fragile men of the cloth. This however can be a dangerous view as under their robs the Monks wear advanced Carapace Armor while armed with chainsword and bolt pistol. Their training is equal often superior to that of the younger Knights as no Monk is less then twenty five years of age and most were brought to training for service at the age of three. Should the Temple come under attack, the half million Monks would be the primary defense force. For every Monk, there are two youths in training to replace them. (still in progress)Life style
- Everyone in the service of the Temple lives a very sparse life. Meals are served in massive mess halls with basic medical care is handle in buildings more like warehouses then hospitals. All living quarters are the same size, 4m x 3m, and simply very with the numbers of person inhabiting them. Knights and Monks are two per room to allow their required materials such as power armor and ammunition. (still in progress)