The Holy Fleet
“If the Adeptus Astartes are the Emperor’s wrath, and the Imperial Guard His hammer, then His Holy Navy is His mighty shield.”
-Cardinal Kregory Hestor
You are invited to take the role of a capital-ship captain within the Imperial Navy’s Battlefleet Caligo. Should you accept this invitation you will be a key agent of the Sector’s defenses; you will be responsible for the safety of the thousands of souls onboard your assigned ship, and you will be expected to faithfully follow the orders of your esteemed commander — Lord Admiral Marlin Rockledge. The Battlefleet needs leaders. It needs officers with glowing charisma, iron willpower, unique strategy, and unflinching courage. The Holy Fleet needs you.
The Caligo Sector
Hardly a millennium had passed from the historic Great Crusade before the Caligo Sector, a southern space territory within the Segmentum Pacificus, was lost to the Imperium. At the time of its rebellion Caligo’s worlds were mostly developing colonies, and so while its planets were rich with resources the loss of the young sector was viewed as a minor setback. It took eight hundred years before the Imperium returned its focus to Caligo, but when the eyes of those who rule mankind finally settled back on the splintered region its star systems quickly fell back into place. One by one the rebel worlds swiftly submitted to the overwhelming force of the Imperial Guard and the Holy Fleet, and the Caligo Sector was brought under the rule of the Emperor for the last time.
Several of Caligo’s civilizations bloomed over the course of millennia and the value of the sector to the Imperium swelled in parallel. Hive worlds like Mesopico, Equatus, Tarrot Portam, and Galla Stella provide more than enough Imperial recruits; other planets such as Feugure and Mundune are highly productive Mining worlds; and the moon Divique is one of the most beautifully adorned Shrine worlds within the entire Segmentum. As strong as the sector’s growth and influence has become, its people have unfortunately suffered in recent years.
Battlefleet Caligo’s previous commander — Lord Admiral Leon Conger — was one of the youngest members of the Imperial Navy to ever be assigned his own battlefleet. But it wasn’t his lack of experience that would fail his Sector, it was his lack of virtue. Conger would eventually be charged with nearly every crime against the Emperor that one in his position could commit. The following charges are all suported by substantial evidence against the former Lord Admiral: Soliciting and Accepting Bribes, Extortion of Planetary Governors, Unauthorized Arrests of Imperial Officers, Failure to Report Naval Engagements, Firing upon an Adeptus Mechanicus vessel, and Conspiring with the Enemy. The last charge was the final offense that demanded that Conger be relieved of his duty and to then stand trial for his numerous wrongdoings. The Caligo sector had paid a heavy price inside Conger’s corrupted chokehold, and there were many within his own battlefleet that were happy to see him dethroned. But Leon Conger balked at the handed down justice from his distant superiors and instead of complying with their orders he promptly hatched another Imperial insult. The Lord Admiral gathered a dozen of his still loyal (and also corrupt) Captains and had them swear oaths of service directly to him. After Conger secured their commitments he and his new navy stole their prestigious ships from their former Battlefleet and disappeared from certain punishment into the void of frontier space. Battlefleet Caligo had been reduced to a skeleton.
The Battlefleet had to be mended, and so an Admiral from a nearby sector was given a promotional tap; an Admiral who was fortunately for the Caligo sector, the character opposite of Leon Conger. The change of direction that Marlin Rockledge brought with him was felt immediately throughout the entire fleet and beyond it. The Lord Admiral went about the humble work of repairing the broken relationships between his Battlefleet and the sector’s numerous Planetary Governors. He ensured his naval vessels actually provided protection to Imperial ships without requiring bribes. And when the opportunity presented itself, Rockledge promoted his naval officers based on competency and leadership merit rather than their ability to turn a blind eye to a superior’s indiscretions. But most of all his command differed in how the interstellar pirates that plagued certain sub-sectors were dealt with: They were doggedly hunted down and punished, rather than conspired with. Four and a half Terran decades are an incredibly brief time through an intergalactic lens, nevertheless the Caligo Sector was healing in Conger’s absence. Unfortunately the relative peace that the Sector was enjoying was proven to be the calm before the storm.
The Return of Lord Conger
The former scourge of the Sector had made an ally during his exile — the pirate Captain Jaguar Kubiak. Conger, now simply taking the title of “Lord”, partnered with the infamous pirate fleet to form a truly terrifying naval threat. Together they returned: Lord Conger in his stolen Apocalypse-class Battleship the Oblivion Bell, and Captain Kubiak in his Hades-class flagship The Jaguar. Within their enemy fleet was nearly fifty capital ships, and they simultaneously ambushed naval Battlegroups throughout three key Caligo Sub-sectors. Sub-sector Anima fell to the personal attack of Lord Conger and his traitor fleet; Sub-sector Furis-Fork fell to the savage Captain Kubiak and his pirates; and the Sub-sector Spectrosi is still in contest between a brave (but weakened) Imperial Battlegroup versus a joint assault of pirates and traitor ships. Lord Admiral Rockledge, along with every Imperial citizen, was stunned by the news of the murderous invasion. Leon Conger, Rockledge's indefensibly evil predecessor, had just spat on the throne of the God Emperor. The Imperium was under attack, and it was time for the Holy Fleet to settle the score.
"A vindictive monster has just murdered more than a million souls under my command, and I have no doubt, none whatsoever, that he hungers for more. I wish I could take a moment to grieve. A moment to reflect and honor those magnificent vessels: Aquila's Light, Hero Proximo, Ancestral Lake, Cenury Keeper, Flawless Faith and more. Those storied ships, along with their brave crew, have been pulverized into void refuse. I will have to mourn them tomorrow, because today I only hate. My mind is busy formulating a punishment so savage I fear it may change me forever. Conger, my former brother-in-arms, I can see you out there. I imagine you lurking in the infinite black, perched smugly in your stolen ship, and relishing your slaughter. But know this "Lord Admiral", I will unleash His judgment on you like I have never before. You will regret this war. You will regret slithering back out into the light. I swear it."
-Lord Admiral Rockledge, Battlefleet Caligo
Rules & Character Sheet
Notable Sub-sectors & NPCs
More to come. Ask any questions you might have here.
Is an Explorator Captain(Or Mechanicus Equivalent) an option to take? Maybe with a Mechanicus Cruiser?
Will your Mechanicus Captain have enough motivation and determination to follow Battlefleet Caligo when they engage an invading enemy fleet? The Battlefleet is going to be consumed with void war so any ships outside the Imperial Navy won't be allowed to "get in the way". And by being outside of the Battlefleet you won't be included in the military briefings; that is unless your Captain makes it abundantly clear the Mechanicum is there to serve the navy. If that's fine with you then it's fine by me.
Character Name & Rank:
Lord-Captain Baltasar Lochen
Age & Appearance:
39 Terran years; medium build, flat nose and close-cut dark brown hair; no augmetics
Ship Name & Class:
Kalypso, Dictator-class Cruiser
Names of Key Ship Personnel:
Executive Officer - Lord-Lieutenant Kiold Lengos
Tech Priest Majoris - Enginseer Ozymandius Praxus
Master Gunner - First Lieutenant Swearn Kovtun
Helmsman - Second Lieutenant Martinus Vielmi
Communications - Third Lieutenant Robon Galor
Principal Medicae - Third Lieutenant Progen Marq
Master of Arms - Warrant Officer Richart Gundersen
CO 3355th Fighter Wing (Composite) - Wing Commander Silo Barstad
CO 2120th Attack Wing (Composite) - Wing Commander Talen Durond
Ship's Commissar - Jaq Hargen
Principal Navigator - Varden Fedt
Principal Astropath - Lazarus Folsland
Ship's Confessor - Gideon Tyrus
CO 30th Calebrand Infantry Regiment (Light) - Captain Gaspar Toden
Commissar, 30th Calebrand Infantry Regiment - Azus Kelon
CO Firebrand Sword-class Escort - Commander Eirik Hyginus
Executive Officer, Firebrand - First Lieutenant Gabriel Ceptur
Ship's Commissar, Firebrand - Alburn Crain
Lord-Captain Lochen is the latest in a very long line of naval miscreants, ner-do-wells, and eccentrics who have reigned over the Kalypso. The ship's reputation precedes his own, although they go together quite well.
Lochen was originally what one might call the 41st millennium's equivalent of a "conscientious objector," although in this era it really meant "someone who knows too much about how harsh the battlefields of mankind really are." The son of a minor bureaucrat on a planet in the neighboring Calebrand Sector, he was given no significant kind of immunity from the Imperium's ever-expanding war machine, save perhaps a bit of foresight. When Lochen discovered he was slated to be in the next batch of Naval conscripts, his options were rapidly reduced to one, which he took: Attempt a commission before the conscription occurred. And so a young man who had heard endless tales of carnage on land and frozen Hell in space began a less-than spectacular naval career.
It wasn't that Lochen was a traitor, or that he did not wish to fulfill the duties he was charged with, but rather that his passions lay elsewhere in the realm of arts and literature, as befitting someone of his social class. Now to his great chagrin, the avoidance of an ignominious death as a faceless Voidsman was replaced with a virtually unending career as a naval officer. He tried to love the service he had been indirectly pressed into, and performed admirably right up to his initial commissioning as an Ensign in the Calebrand Sector Fleet. But as his enthusiasm waned, his superiors took notice. Years of attempts to "straighten the razor" were fruitless, despite Lochen's faithful accomplishment of his tasks.
This changed two years ago when, acting as first officer of the cruiser Vanguard, he gave his captain a startlingly audacious suggestion during an ongoing campaign against a rather insignificant but bothersome pirate organization: Upon deducing their next likely target (a minor supply station in orbit of a minor colony world), they would broadcast an Astropathic announcement that a new pirate organization had arisen and had out-done the existing pirates by stealing the entire station and towing it out into open space. They would actually do so, and challenge the existing pirates to take it themselves. By placing the station just outside the system's mass well and keeping a cruiser in close proximity, they would fool the pirates into arriving at just the right position for an ambush by additional Imperial ships a short warp-jump away, all while tying them down with the unseen cruiser.
His captain couldn't decide whether to laugh or berate his subordinate for this fantastically intricate and foolish suggestion, and brushed off the entire mess. All the same, his predictions of the pirates' next target proved accurate, and a less ambitious defense managed to capitalize on their stupidity to rout the brigands once and for all.
This one event marred an otherwise bland and uninspiring yet consistent record, and secured Lochen's place as next in line for the chair of a cruiser called the Kalypso. As luck would have it, the last captain of that vessel perished of a stroke, and Lochen's promotion to Captain was accelerated.
The Kalypso, however, was arguably the least prestigious cruiser in the entire Imperial Navy. She was rumored to have been one of the first Dictator-class conversions of the Lunar-class cruiser line, and was suitably bereft of many of the later improvements to the stop-gap design. Teething trouble prevented her from having contributed to any glorious victories in the past, and as the years turned to decades, and the decades to centuries, her venerable but atrophied hull withered in much the same way as her reputation. Transferred to the comparatively docile Calebrand Sector over two hundred years ago, the Kalypso continued her service as a glorified patrol vessel. Officially hers was a "fast response" role, equipped with a small air and landing contingent in addition to spacecraft, but this had more to do with her primitive and limited facilities than it did the need for such a ship in the area. The effort required to overhaul her was not justified by the sector command, nor was there any economy in reposting such an ailing ship to a distant, more critical region... especially after having added a modicum of importance to the local fleet by increasing its ship-count.
Eventually she became the "backwater posting," with all of the drudgery and eccentric personality that entailed. Her captains were historically those who didn't fit the standard Navy mold, but were nevertheless without enough faults to justify a desk job or courtsmartial. Deployed on wide ranging and at times free-form patrols of a complacent sector, her crews adopted a kind of insular society, more focused than even the standard loyalty to one's vessel. And so the Kalypso remained on the fleet roster, an anachronism, a faulty prototype, without prestige, but without blemish, with a role better suited to the Gothic Sector, or that of a pirate band.
It was this ship and crew that Baltasar Lochen inherited. And it was this combination that found itself detached to the neighboring Caligo Sector after Lord Admiral Rockledge's request for reinforcements. Given an escort of one Sword-class frigate by the name of Firebrand, the unlikely ship was now part of Battlegroup Lochen, its unwitting namesake catapulted to the rank of Lord-Captain for this detached duty. One man's chance at redemption, and one ship's chance at honour, was a sector command's refuse.
But they say the Emperor works in mysterious ways...
Naval Armsmen Description:
Poorly equipped and poorly disciplined, with a profusion of artificial prostheses thanks to deteriorating and unreliable machinery, often covered with numerous tattoos to indicate any number of past deeds or events unique to service aboard the Kalypso, but with a fierce loyalty to the ship and fellow crewmates that makes them an extremely effective team when the going gets rough.
Ship Strengths & Weapons:
Standard Dictator-class weapons suite including prow lance, prow torpedo tubes, and weapons batteries in addition to point-defense lasers; Supporting space superiority and attack squadrons made up of 24x Fury fighters and 16x Starhawk bombers; Supporting atmospheric superiority and attack squadrons made up of 96x Thunderbolt fighters, 24x Marauder bombers, and 24x Valkyrie gunships; Supporting terrestrial assault force made up of the Calebrand 30th Imperial Guard Regiment (Light) some 400 strong, with small numbers of portable heavy weapons. The Kalypso is a unique ship with a unique crew; unconventional ideas are its specialty. Quirks of note: Composite squadrons with air and spacecraft under the same chains of command; Permanently stationed Imperial Guard unit that coordinates with Armsmen.
Ship Weakness (required):
Ailing hull long since past required refit; Old and unreliable weapons systems, particularly the prow lance; Poorly designed and inefficient hangar bays restricting spacecraft capacity and complicating turn-around time.
I've updated the top post with NPC & Sub-sector information. Battlefleet Caligo currently has 51 capital ships (after a loss of 11 to Conger's ambush) and I've outlined 14 ships as NPCs. That leaves plenty of room for players and less notable ships.
@Warhawk I enjoyed reading every paragraph, well done. You've outline your personnel nicely and I'm excited that you included an escort (anyone else is welcome to include a couple as well). I love your ship's quirks and flaws, super compelling. Welcome to Battlefleet Caligo. :grin:
*Salutes* My thanks, Lord Admiral.
... Now if only I can figure out how and why my text keeps turning into different shades of gray, different fonts, and different sizes despite the edits I make!
Also: Any information on critical locations in each subsector? Refueling and supply stations, defensive works, notable nebulae, warp storms, asteroid belts, etc.? And is there a Ramilles fleet HQ floating about somewhere, or is the fleet solely commanded from the Universal Law?
The text has been giving me trouble as well, like multiple spoiler breaks even after several edits. It's been a pain.
I'll be sure to add Sub-sectors details and touch on your questions after the weekend.
I fleshed out the post a bit more. I added more relevant crewmen and in the order of the chain of command: Basically you knock each one off until you're relying on the ship's Confessor, by which point you'd better be praying your asses off.
Also added a tad more to the ship's strengths: It's a quirky ship so expect quirky things. It's unconventional ways of doing things that offset it being a rustbucket and a deathtrap. And yes, there are ways of explaining away counter-fluff things like the navy being afraid of the Guard and keeping them disarmed... like the fact that they're stuck on a ship for years with each other and there are a good 5 to 10,000 more Armsmen than there are IG.
And yes, I made a little promotional pic and intend to have small headers for each post indicating what ship it's taking place on. If you want any help with other bits like that just let me know.
Nice picture, I'm jealous. :victory:
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