Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Imperial Knight House Draco

The Founding

The storied history of House Draco began as most Knight Houses do; within the packed holds of a colossal stellar mass conveyor during the Golden Age of Technology. Legend tells that the nascent colony's council set off without a destination in mind. As the vessel cleared the outer boundaries of the Terran system, a red flash pulsed within the face of the ancient (and now extremely defunct) constellation of Draco. The colonists took it as a sign and made for nearby Sigma Draconis. To their dismay, the colonists found the worlds of that system already claimed by an earlier group of settlers. They moved on to the next closest system in the constellation and then the next, each time finding the worlds occupied or inhospitable.

The colony ship was nearly out of resources when it finally arrived at Gamma Draconis. The numerous worlds around the colossal red giant were all occupied and their populations were not hospitable to new colonization. The colonists were forced to make a choice: either take one of the worlds by force or accept their own fate. A colony-wide vote was held and the results returned a result in the latter. The ship came about and plied for the outer reaches of the system in the hopes that, somehow, they would be able to stretch their fuel and food long enough to reach the next habitable system.

As the vessel was passing Gamma Draconis's brown dwarf companion star, the ship's auspex officer yelped with excitement. There, looming over the brown dwarf, they had found a foreboding, little world. It was a cold place, though still warmed somewhat by the combined radiation from Gamma Draconis and the gravitational seismic activity caused by the brown dwarf. The colonists immediately set down upon the shores of the world's large, black sea and began to build a life for themselves.

Several hundred years later, Shadow Draconis fell from memory. The population maintained enough technology to protect themselves from their world's dangerous environment and little more. They erected powerful void shields around their cities to protect them from their brown dwarf companion's periodic x-ray storms and maintained a huge stable of exo-suits for protecting the colonists from the world's huge and deadly black-scaled fauna. As with many other worlds, the pilots of these exo-suits would become the Knights, the foundation for the world's burgeoning ruling noble class.

From time to time, colonists from the other worlds in the Gamma Draconis system would visit Shadow Draconis for trade. The world did boast impressive material resources and Shadow Draconis benefited from this trade greatly. Though the world's population served out simple lives, they still needed to maintain their Knights and their Void Shields.

One day, a fleet of vessels set off from Gamma Draconis C, bent on taking Shadow Draconis by force. They didn't get far. Serendipitously, the birth-scream of Slaanesh echoed throughout the Galaxy just as the ships broke orbit. The massive star quaked as the Warp shockwave washed over the system. Several unstable regions of the star's outer layers ejected massive solar flares. One of these inexplicably lashed out at Gamma Draconis C, incinerating not only the attack fleet, but flash-frying the planet's surface in an instant.

The distant world of Shadow Draconis was, of course, completely unaffected by this tragic event. The people put their heads back down and lived their simple lives for countless generations to come. From time to time they took a moment to glance into the maelific scar to the Galactic North they called the Dragon's Eye and wonder what might be coming for them. They prepared for that day.

As with most Knight Houses, Draco was eventually contacted by the Imperium during the Emperor's Great Crusade. At just under 150 lightyears distant from Terra, it was a rather early acquisition by the fledgeling Imperium For this reason, House Draco was aligned with Terra itself rather than a Forge World. Acceptance into the Imperial fold was a relatively easy process. The Noble Knight Scions were champing at the bit to test themselves against new threats out among the stars.

Throughout the Heresy, House Draco fought alongside several noble Space Marine Legions against the traitor, Horus. However, rather than marching to Terra, House Draco was drawn towards warzones deeper into the galactic North, towards the Dragon's Eye (or, as it was known to the greater Imperium, the Eye of Terror). House Draco, of course, participated very actively in The Scouring, personally chasing down several traitor Kight Houses and eradicating countless dangerous maelific threats.

After their service in the conflicts stemming from Horus's folly, the house caught the attention of the nascent powers within the Imperium who would eventually form the Inquisition. House Draco swore oaths to never reveal the true nature of daemon-kind to the wider Imperium and bound themselves to the will of the ordos.

Today, House Draco still calls Shadow Draconis home. They are left to their own devices by the Imperium so long as they continue to fulfill their oaths to the Inquisition. However, the nobles consider all the star systems from Sigma Draconis to the Eye of Terror their protectorate. Midnight-black interdictor vessels stand anchored over Shadow Draconis awaiting any call for support from the warzones along the eye of terror and the Terran March. When an Inquisitor or the High Lords call them to their duty, House Draco is always prepared to take to the stars and cleanse the worlds of the Imperium from threats of any kind, though in particular, those of a daemonic quality.

Panopoly of War

All Knights of House Draco are painted mainly a twilight black color. This is reminiscent not only of the dark and somewhat dingy nature of their homeworld, but also the black-scaled hides of the world's most dangerous indigenous fauna. Their Knights are all trimmed in a dull silver, meticulously brushed with locally-sourced oils between battles. This is where the similarities between each knight ends.

Each Scion is responsible for painting and maintaining their own heraldry. In addition, they paint a mural on the Knight's left pauldron depicting a powerful dragon from ancient Terran myth. Often, the dragon chosen will reflect the personality of the both Scion and Knight.

Notable Knights of House Draco

High King Julius Bastion and his Cerastus Knight  Falkor demand to lead the charge in the most important engagements. Of course, the Gallant Lances refuse to let him go it alone and the enemy often finds they are not only set upon by the noble King of Shadow Draconis himself, but a swarm of very angry and very determined Knights Gallant as well. High King Bastion boasts eighteen confirmed Daemon Prince kills including an undetermined number of Greater Daemons among them.

Preceptor Saranna Kov and her Questoris Knight Styrix, The Jabberwock are the terror of House Draco. Even the most patient hands in House Draco cannot hope to completely tame the bloodthirsty machine spirit of The Jabberwock. This knight is pressed into service only when the mission is of the most dire variety. Even then, only the most experienced warriors are bound to its carapace. Only the most skilled and wise Preceptors survive the experience. No matter how bloody the engagement gets, however, the Jabberwock has always climbed out of the rubble and ashes, ready to slaughter another day.

Scion Martial Davyd Bevvry and his Cerastus Knight Acheron, Smaug, are renowned for delighting in the total decimation of their foes. They revel in wading through oceans of Daemonic hordes (which would threaten to swarm his fellow House Draco Knights) and clearing them away with deadly ease. Of course, when the smaller foes have been reduced to smouldering brimstone, Smaug can deliver devastating blows with his chainsword against Daemon Princes and Greater Daemons alike.

Scion Martial Michelle Vaughn is a fiercely competitive individual and her steed, the Questoris Knight Gallant Tiamat suffers no other pilot at her controls. The knight demands much of its Scion, insisting only on those possessing of a competitive spirit. Vaughn and Tiamat pride themselves on immaculate performances on the battlefield, pushing themselves to always give more than they take. Even some of the more magnificent and ancient Knights in House Draco do not live up to the strict bar that these two warriors have set for themselves. 

Michelle Vaughn is so well-respected that she has donned the mantle of Seneschal and commanded her own Gallant Lance in several recent engagements against the ruinous powers along the Eye of Terror.

Scion Arbalester Erik Horowicz and Gojira

Scion Martial Loretta Colbert and Knight Warden Maleficent

Scion Implacable Sheldon King and Questoris Knight Gallant, Drogon

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