4th Danikan Imperial Guard – Command elements:
Senekal is a hard fighting maverick of a man to whom the terms ‘Duty and Honor’ mean a great deal. He’s just under six feet tall, a bit on the burly side, handsome in a rugged sort of way with grey/green eyes, regular features and slightly wavy auburn hair, which by early middle age is starting to show some silver.
Arcturan grew up in a privileged family in the north eastern corner of Danika’s main continent. At an early age, like most in his family, he began military training, showing a real flair for both battlefield tactics and hand to hand combat. He was leading platoons before he was twenty and a regiment by 22.
What exactly happened at that point – isn’t well known. At least the Colonel doesn’t speak of it. What is known is that, at an unusually young age, Senekal was assigned to the Imperial Guard during a regimental raising as commander of the 4th Danika – a position he has held ever since. It seems likely that this is somehow related to Danika’s internal politics, where the position of Imperial Commander is selected through battlefield prowess. However it is also the Governor/Commander’s purview to select commanders for Regimental Raisings – something that has been known to be a way to get rid of potential rivals in the past.
Since that time, he has led the regiment in the Emperor’s wars across the galaxy and against a myriad of different foes. While not always victorious, he has accumulated the reputation of being able to win battles most cannot and get things done that others fail at.
Senekal has a wry and irreverent sense of humor and is far more interested in getting things done than in dealing with stupidity. Part of this ‘stupidity’ tends to include the mundane logistical and administrative duties that all Regimental commanders have to deal with – he is renowned for ‘shuffling this stuff off’ to his XO whenever he can.
He values friendship very highly, possibly above all else and it’s difficult to know what would happen if duty were to come into conflict with a close friendship. Those friends include many of his own officers, some of his Commissars and, strangely, a fairly large number of senior commanders amongst the Astartes, including the Chief Librarian of the Undying – the Lord Liche and the Wolf Lord of the Space Wolves 1st Great Company – Angarald Whitewind. It is rumored he also has connections to the Inquisition and perhaps even somewhat friendly relations with some Xenos – particularly Eldar.
As a commander, Senekal is very ‘hands on – lead from the front’. Many battles find him at the leading edge of the battle, yelling orders from the trenches and personally leading counterattacks and assaults. He expects bravery and determination from his men and provides a direct example of exactly what that should look like. His hand to hand prowess is legendary, particularly for an unmodified human, although he enhances his abilities with combat drugs – a modified ‘slaught variant, which he dispenses from a unit on his left wrist. This can be terribly hard on his body and has often left him in the hands of the medics after a particularly hard fought fight when the drugs wear off.
The Colonel’s right leg, from just above the knee on down, is augmetic as a result of a serious injury during an assault against a rebel bunker early in his Astra Militarum career. While many commanders display their augmentations, Senekal doesn’t, wearing ordinary clothing and a boot over the artificial foot. The prosthetic is very high quality so he does not normally limp unless it has been damaged. This leg can also deliver a very powerful kick, with considerably more force than a simple human leg could. He bears numerous smaller scars over his body, but they were well treated and are generally invisible under his uniform.
Major Lekcic – very few know his first name and even fewer use it – is the lifeblood, almost literally, of the 4th Danika, although it is a thankless job and few give him credit for it.
The major is a short, husky, middle aged man who would have thinning hair if he did not cut it so short it nearly qualifies as shaving his head. He has brown eyes, somewhat thick lips and a blunt nose like a prizefighter, despite not really being a terribly physical man. While the Colonel is dashing, likeable and gregarious, Lekcic is quiet, studious and diligent. In another job he might be considered shy but he can be quite boisterous when he needs something done and it’s not happening as he feels it should.
While the Colonel is the heart and soul of the Regiment, Major Lekcic does the duty of almost all the other organs. While Senekal plans the battles, it is Lekcic who executes the mundane but necessary commands to orchestrate the battle so it flows the way the Colonel wants it to. It is Lekcic who handles most of the administration as well, being the head of the Regimental organization who oversee logistics, maintenance, and minor personnel issues – all the many tiny details any military unit needs to see to in order to remain operational. If an army marches on its stomach, it’s Lekcic and his staff who hold the spoons during mealtimes, who gas up the tanks and who haul the ammunition forward for the artillery.
As a commander, Lekcic is reliable, but unimaginative. He knows by rote all the applications of the Tactica Imperialis that can apply to units of the 4th and how they interrelate. But he isn’t an innovator, nor a great leader. Still, he is an invaluable member of the Regiment.
The last survivor of the original Bloodcoats – the Colonel’s bodyguard of the 4th Danika. Wulfgang is a highly skilled combatant, excelling in sword and pistol work that the Bloodcoats are known for. Currently he bears the Regimental Standard.
Wulfgang is fairly short, has thinning blond hair with a goatee and light eyes. He is not generally considered much of a leader, although Senekal thinks he is selling himself short in this area.
Von den Loewen was a supporter of Colonel Senekal before they left Danika for the stars as members of the Astra Militarum. As such, he not only has known the Colonel over 20 years, but also knows a lot about him that pre-dates their Guard experience, including why they were chosen for the raising. He has not revealed this, however.
Not a man to be trifled with, Wulf is one of the very few humans to ever escape the Dark City of Commoragh – the haven of the Dark Eldar raiders. He is recently engaged to a new recruit, a former ganger known as Exene Thrush. He is earthy and very much a ‘regular guy’ when not fighting. A bit irreverent once he opens up, he is quiet – indeed almost shy, with people he doesn’t know and isn’t comfortable with.
Osric Fayrehope, Ewen and Bucky – Bloodcoats
The other three original Bloodcoats who came with the Colonel and Wulfgang from Danika. Ewen and Bucky have been dead for years, both killed in various combat actions. Osric was killed fairly recently. All were skilled combat specialists, who fought with swords and pistols.
Osric Fayrehope was a slender, mousy man with curly hair and pale brown eyes. When not fighting he could almost have been mistaken for a librarian or cogitator operator. Underestimating him in a fight would shortly leave you dead or crippled however.
Ewen was tall, roguishly handsome with dark hair and dark eyes. Always a ladies’ man with a quick smile and devil may care attitude, he was still an artist on the battlefield.
Bucky, a nickname but he refused to answer to anything else, was the youngest of the Bloodcoats on their raising and was the first one to die. He was killed during a ‘danger close’ bombardment when the plascrete ceiling of a bunker fell on him, while fighting against the Tyranids. Earnest and serious, he was softspoken but very focussed. His death is mentioned in Despair.
The origin of the term Bloodcoat is found in the story of the same name.
Pyra – Bloodcoat
Pyra – her only name – is the newest member of Senekal’s bodyguard. She carries a huge heavy flamer and has no shyness at all about using it to burn down any who stand in the way of an assault from her team.
Once known as Sindi, when a Juve in the Lodian gang ‘Daughters of Dystopia’ Pyra is a large, heavy boned girl with broad shoulders, bright red hair, blue eyes and shoulders so broad they make her head look tiny. She is strong, motivated and utterly fearless.
If the Bloodcoat’s flamer troop has a weakness, it’s youth. She is fairly fresh from the underhive and inexperienced. She knows little of the world outside the underhive and still has trouble adapting to long ranges and broad open spaces. She is also quite uncultured often falling into hive slang and not getting many references. She’s a good fighter, but in experience in other things she is sorely lacking. Wulfgang has taken her under his wing and is endeavoring to teach her – not a difficult task as she is very eager to learn.
Pyra appears in A Knife in the Darkness – originally as Sindi and then toward the end under her new gang name.
There are a variety of other Bloodcoats, who have come and gone over the years the Regiment has been in battle. It’s a position guaranteed to see a lot of combat, while clad only in light flak armor – as such casualties are often high.
Currently the two additional members are a melta trooper and a medic. These may be detailed at some point in the future.
Daan Mallory – Ordnance Master
Tall and strong, surprisingly young but very skilled, Mallory is a natural math prodigy who has focussed his talent specifically into ballistics. Originally working as a crewman on a Basilisk gun track it wasn’t long before he was discovered for the talent he was and given the position of Ordnance Master.
His job is to coordinate the Regiment’s and any associated artillery into cohesive strikes as well as to network with the Navy when orbital strikes are available.
Mallory appears in the last segment of A Knife in the Darkness – Endings and Beginnings.
Stilicho – Astropath
Stilicho – not his original name, but the one he has taken as an adept, is very tall and thin with the common burned out eyes of his profession. This is a common side effect of the soul bond with the Emperor that all Astropaths and most other Sanctioned Psykers undergo.
Formerly a rake-hell son of a prominent noble family – he was found out as a psyker in his late teens and sent via the Black Ships to Earth. After his training was complete, he did many different tours of duty as an Astropath, most of them civilian where his upbringing was of assistance in dealing with the many merchant and noble houses which came to the Adeptus to send transmissions. Prior to the 4th Danika, he was assigned to the Hive World of Lodi, and was recruited as part of the mission which brought the Daughters of Dystopia to the regiment.
Stilicho is a mildy stuck up man with a bit of a caustic tongue and little tolerance for fools. He is not at all above killing those who cross him and loses no sleep over it, although he will not do so casually or for minor slights – preferring instead to make the person pay in kind. While useful to the regiment, he eventually moved on to work for one of the Colonel’s occasional contacts, the Inquisitor Lord Anton Coriolis.
Stilicho first appears in fiction in the third part of A Knife in the Darkness – The Edge of the Blade.
Kendall is a relatively young techpriest – enthusiastic in his faith, diligent in his work and renowned for his hatred of what he calls ‘blasphemous technology’. His job within the regiment is to oversee the maintenance of the weapons systems, spending much of his time in the Artillery Park
Unlike many Engineseers, Kendall has only slight modifications to his original human frame. A few, largely hidden mechadendrites and electoos as well as connection points for his powered armor and the servo arm mounted on it are all that he has. One those rare occasions he is seen out of his power armor, he is found to be a very handsome man – and takes care of his appearance. It’s possible that this vanity is what has prevented greater union with the machine and, if it keeps up, may also prevent promotions to greater responsibility in the priesthood of the Omnissiah.
One very distinctive feature of Aloysius’ personality – and one which, in the eyes of his peers, helps to counter his lack of enthusiasm over replacing parts of his anatomy with machinery – is his great hatred of any kind of non-human technology. He refers to all xenos equipment and machinery as ‘blasphemous’ and will go out of his way, even risking his life, to destroy such things as alien tanks, power armor or even Tau battlesuits. Kendall seldom shies away from a fight, particularly when Xenos tech is involved (which happens quite a lot). Whether this is bravery, madness, or a bit of both no one is quite certain.
4th Danikan Imperial Guard – The Commissariat
The senior Commissar in the 4th Danika is Hieronymous Cracken. Like his friend Colonel Senekal, Cracken is a ‘lead from the front’ hero who is seldom found far from the action, smashing things with his great powerfist. At one time he even operated a jump pack, before those became impossible for the 4th to maintain and had to be scrapped, using it to get into the fray at the fastest possible speed.
Hieronymous himself does not know who his parents were. Like many who eventually go into the Commissariat, he was raised in a scholam progenium – an Imperial school specifically for the orphans of fallen heroes. If he has any family, it’s a mystery to him – he grew up alone, and can be said to be married exclusively to his job. If he has a home, it’s the 4th Danikan Imperial Guard and the men and women in it have become his family.
He has only marginal interest in things non-martial and even those need to be things that he can move around with easily. His two most prominent interests are in ancient literature – originally inspired by reading for battle histories in the scholam but which now extends to pieces about the human condition, which he studies to better understand the troops who serve under him, and myriad human (and occasional xenos) tactical games, such as Regicide, Go, etc. He is a rated master at Regicide, something that few know, and can easily play games entirely in his head without boards and pieces if he chooses to.
Cracken is an older man, who has probably had at least one rejuvenant treatment. This makes his actual age hard to discern, but he appears to be in his 50s. He has ice blue eyes a very hard face and a totally hairless pate. An old battlefield injury damaged his lungs in such a way that contaminants are hard for him to bear. While the augmetics he’s been fitted with allow him to fight competently, he finds that dirt, dust and gasses often interfere with them, and so is often found wearing a respirator mask in places where he is likely to encounter such things.
As a leader, Lord Commissar Cracken is one of those rare Commissars that are loved as much or more than they are feared. He always seems to know what to say to lift morale, when to strike fear and when to inspire and it is a very very rare occasion when he needs to shoot anyone for cowardice. In fact, he has often been heard to say that a Commissar who needs to shoot his troops does not deserve the uniform.
Commissar Strabo – no one in the regiment uses his first name – is in many ways the quintessential Commissar. He is a powerful, menacing presence. Tall and stern with a long weal down his left cheek.
Strabo is the regiment’s most recent Commissar and was requested by Major Lekcic. The 2IC saw the regiment’s ‘loose’ and sometimes meandering approach to soldiering as much too lacking in discipline and agitated for years to get Strabo or someone like him into the regiment. How he managed to finally achieve it past the Colonel’s objections is a mystery, but in the end he did.
The two Lord Commissars are nearly diametric opposites. Where Cracken is inspiring and looked up to – Strabo is feared and hated. He is not at all above shooting troopers for even minor reasons or things beyond their control. Exactly how far this will go is an open question – Cracken has tried to talk with him, and gotten nowhere. Senekal hasn’t bothered to – as technically Strabo would be within his right to simply kill him (or at least try to) if he interfered with the Commissariat, and Hieronymous has said (many times) it is best left internal to the Commissars. Lekcic is worried that the troops will murder Strabo, undoing any good he might achieve if he continues to be too extreme.
It remains to be seen if Darius Strabo will be able to find a home in the regiment – a niche where somehow he fits. He is an experienced Commissar, but the Danikans are not like other regiments he has served with. There is no question that he can be effective on the battlefield, whether he will survive the quieter times, or whether a ‘stray’ shot will find him at an inopportune moment is an open question.
Darius Strabo is introduced in the story Discipline.
4th Danikan Imperial Guard – Alpha Company (Armored)
The most experienced armored commander in the Regiment, Aaron Cantrell is almost as imposing out of his tank as he is rolling forward commanding from the cupola. Cantrell is a huge man, six foot five inches tall, over three hundred pounds and all of it muscle. He has ebony skin, pearl white teeth, dark eyes and a laugh as large as he is. He dresses informally much of the time, preferring a hard shell tanker helmet, paisley neckerchief and a stained sleeveless undershirt, sometimes accessorized with a combat vest.
Cantrell’s personal quarters and other areas are also known for being a bit slovenly, but there is nothing at all messy about his command of his company, or his vehicle, a Leman Russ Exterminator. Many underestimate the big man based on his appearance, many more fear physical violence from him, but while he is capable of that against the enemy, when dealing with his own, he is more wont to wade into fisticuffs like an impervious mountain, separating combatants with minimal violence and then sending them off to harsh work details cleaning and maintaining their vehicles.
Cantrell is mentioned in When Rampart Leads the Way.
Verrus is a quiet, unassuming, focussed man. He seldom speaks unless he has something important to say, but carries a determination within him which some mistake for shyness. On the battlefield he has been known to pull off things others considered impossible such as ambushing enemy units with the superheavy tanks of Alpha’s heavy platoon of three Baneblades.
Alyn is a man of medium height and build with dark brown hair, blue eyes and regular features. Like most Danikan soldiers, he is very good at his job, although as he has gotten older he has found that there are days he doesn’t like it as much anymore. He consoles himself with knowledge that his actions protect the people of the Imperium, but the losses his unit has suffered, particularly recently, have seen him drinking more than he should when off duty.
Verrus walks with a slight limp, the result of a not quite perfect match of the augmetics to the left leg lost in an armored battle on Cadia which also cost him his loader, who was one of his closest friends.
Verrus is mostly mentioned in A Knife in the Darkness – appearing as a minor character in a number of battle sequences.
Lt. Knox is a direct contrast to his immediate superior Cantrell. Absolutely precise about his military bearing, perfect uniforms and precise ways of handling his troopers, he is every inch the perfect tank commander men like Major Lekcic love to see. He is also an extremely deadly tank ace, commanding ‘A’ Company’s close support platoon ‘Iron Fist’ from the upper hatch of the Punisher ‘Horribilus’.
Knox is tall, broad shouldered but not hugely so and has a determined, slightly jowly face that always seems to be a bit angry. Unlike Cantrell, his black tanker uniform is always perfect – all decorations displayed and neatly pressed. His officer’s peaked cap, which he prefers to a tanker helmet, is always starched and bleached white to perfection.
In many ways Knox is jealous of Cantrell, feeling that he should have leadership of the Company and in truth he would likely do a good job at it, despite having a very different approach on almost everything. Cantrell knows of this ambition and doesn’t much care. He has consulted with the Major and the Colonel about Knox and feels that he’d be a good company commander if another armored company is founded, or if either of the armored units were to lose their commander.
Knox is featured in When Rampart Leads the Way – which was written to introduce him.
‘Merry’ Thanos, generally is – merry that is. Fairly unusual for a man who drives a highly combustible gas tank on tracks and has horrible burns over pretty much every part of his body. He has numerous augmentations and even some Techpriests have mistaken him on occasion for a member of their order. In fact, with his flesh terribly scarred, his eyes replaced by goggly augmetics, his mouth by a permanently affixed voder speaker and his hands by surprisingly dextrous prosthetics he has more augmentation than the actual Engineseer Aloysius Kendall, who he is friends with.
The truth is, Merry is not bothered by the terrible damage he suffered as a result of one of his Hellhounds being shot out from under him, for a reason that few really would understand, he was always quite an ugly little man with trollish features and a real love for setting things alight. Now he gets sympathy for his war injuries rather than scorn, respect from the Tech Priests and still gets to burn things regularly.
In fact, Merry Thanos is merry because he is less handicapped than before, as he sees it, and doing something he loves.
Merry Thanos appears mostly in the early fiction such as The Battle for Drieger’s Farm.
Practical, boring and seldom found far from his tank if he has anything to say about it, Wio was a veteran TC long before leaving Danika. No one is quite sure exactly how old he is, but it’s probably well past 50, even though he doesn’t look it. Some suspect he’s managed a juvenant treatment somehow, something not normally seen on a Sergeant’s salary. This may have to do with him being a highly proficient gambler. There’s usually at least several someone’s in the regiment at any one time that owe him money.
Marshall is extremely average in appearance. Brown hair, eyes, regular if somewhat tanned complexion and unremarkable features; he could disappear not only into a crowd but practically on an empty street. For this reason he occasionally gets tapped by the Logistics people for ‘scrounging’ operations.
4th Danikan Imperial Guard – Beta Company (Mechanized)
Griffon is a rough, growly, grizzled, fifty something former sergeant originally from the planet Raehan. When most of his regiment was wiped out on Cadia during an incursion of the Archenemy, what little remained of the Raehaniv regulars took up with the badly damaged 4th Danikan ‘B’ Company transports and Griffon, being senior, wound up in command of the combined group. Having had great success together, Senekal promoted him to Lieutenant in charge of the 3rd platoon of ‘B’ Company as a trial, while moving a Danikan Lieutenant over from another part of the regiment to act as the Company Commander. The shared experiences in the crucible of battle at Zymran’s Ferry on Cadia had the Danikans and Raehanivs welded into a workable unit, even before anything was formalized – indeed the only reason Griffon wasn’t made captain was that Senekal felt a Danikan should hold that position during the transition period to ensure that regimental traditions were understood and that the Raehaniv ones could be blended in successfully.
Elodar is in his 50s, rough, ready and with a sergeant’s earthy command style which he has not bothered to change. His troops – both Danikan and Raehaniv have come to trust him entirely and there is little that they wouldn’t do for him. For his part, he is unsure about ‘this whole officer thing’ but tolerates it for the good of the men and women he has served with for so long.
In his off time, Elodar is a ‘soldier’s soldier. If he has a past time – it’s reading, mostly old and fairly obscure literature. He keeps a small dataslate on his person for this, hardcopy being too difficult to keep track of with the rapid moves required of a field sergeant. While he could manage more as an officer, he hasn’t yet gotten into the habit.
Like her commander, Ariel is a Raehaniv. Formerly a trooper she became a sergeant much the same way that Griffon became a lieutenant – by everyone senior dying. She is a short, spunky woman with a penchant for big unpleasant guns like shotguns fitted with bolt rounds and similar. Her men are devoted to her and she constantly hovers around a relationship with her chimera driver, Danikan corporal Bock, but so far neither have actually explored that option.
Ariel is slender, relatively pretty in a girl next door kind of way with light brown hair worn in a pony tail down her back when in combat and bright blue eyes. She constantly wears large hoop earrings, even in combat as a sort of a good luck charm.
Like all the women newly added to the 4th Ariel faces some prejudice from some of the more conservative Danikan troopers. So far she has dealt with this by mostly ignoring it, but once or twice has suckerpunched men who questioned her confidence, leaving them laid out on the ground. When asked to discipline her Commissar Cracken simply told the miscreant – ‘Well don’t ask for it next time!’
Corporal Zinfan Bock – 3rd Platoon 1st Veterans (Mechanized); Chimera Commander of ‘Bock’s Car’
A Danikan from the original raising, Bock has grown up and matured with the regiment. On raising he was a young Chimera driver, just 17 standard years old and didn’t need to shave yet. After fifteen years of continual soldiering, he is an incredibly proficient APC commander who has seen quite a lot and survived what many didn’t.
That has been a close thing from time to time, however. At one point he was considered dead and actually tossed into his own chimera with other dead atop him, only escaping being cremated alive by mustering the energy to spit in the face of the trooper about to toss him into the furnace. While he recovered, he carries some terrible scars most of which are hidden by his uniform, save for a virulent purplish scar which creeps up his neck on the right side – a result of Tyrannic spore exposure.
Despite all he’s been through Bock, like many Danikans, is a reasonably cheerful man. He was raised in a culture of warriors and is doing what he always expected to do, and does it well. He’s fairly well connected to the black market underground that exists in most regiments and if you want something unusual, Bock is probably the guy to ask.
4th Danikan Imperial Guard – Charlie Company (Infantry)
Dashing and debonair, heroic and dynamic, the young captain of ‘C’ Company is often thought of as the natural successor to take command of the Regiment, should the Colonel ever fall. Very much a younger version of the Colonel, Captain Blackmoor can claim to be the only infantry trooper in the regiment to fell a titan – and did so largely single handedly.
Alaric was only a seventeen year old trooper when the regiment was raised. In the last decade he has worked his way up first into one of the (now wiped out) assault units and then into the Bloodcoats for a time. Feeling that he could use command experience, he was moved first into a platoon command, eventually taking over the company. His own command unit, ‘Blackie’s Blackguards’ mirror the Bloodcoats in many ways, although they prefer plasma rifles to close combat. The wear black battlejackets, the white trousers of the Danikan elite and uniforms trimmed in the gold of command.
Blackmoor is probably the most notorious ‘lady’s man’ in the regiment – the one place where he and the Colonel differ significantly. In fact for a time there was a group of camp followers who pursued the pleasure trade that everyone called ‘Blackie’s gals’ due to his preference for them. Cracken eventually put a stop to that, but while he’s a bit more circumspect, he’s still usually voted the Danikan most likely to be found in a bed that isn’t his.
Blackmoor appears in Part VI of Knife in the Darkness and occasionally makes small appearances in other stories. I plan on writing more about him in the future.
If there is a bad man in the 4th Danika – Gabriel Winters is probably it. He is a cold, humorless and totally fixated, driven man just approaching 50. He is burly, with light, changeable eyes and formerly brown hair which is mostly gone and what is left is shot with silver. He can easily be said to be a man focussed only on his job, which is killing, to the exclusion of almost everything else. He is intelligent, careful, bold in battle and utterly without compassion or care for anyone, including himself and his men. No act is too low, no torment too cruel if it gets the job done. The Colonel hates him, but he never quite crosses the line into criminal behaviour – or he hasn’t gotten caught.
Winters ‘commands’ – the term having to be defined loosely – the 1st Platoon of ‘C’ Company. Several platoons throughout the regiment are ‘mounted’, and used as both reconnaissance and sometimes as shock troops. The Danikan ones are generally mounted on horseback, certain areas of the planet having an equine battle tradition. (There is also a Raehaniv one mounted on one man ATVs). The lieutenant of the platoon was killed in battle leading a hunting lance charge nearly two years ago. He has not been replaced as there is a lack of commanders with sufficient cavalry skill. The Colonel, with the Major’s full support, has not promoted Winters despite his doing a fairly effective job. The reality is that they simply do not trust the man.
The 2nd and 3rd platoons are commanded by the Carrington brothers – near identical twins who have been soldiering together in one way or another their entire adult lives. The Carrington family has been well represented in the regiment from its raising. At that time there were five of them – a father and four brothers. The elder Carrington still serves in the logistics/motor pool area, is well into his sixties and is a genius with machinery – albeit a bit disrespectful, sometimes, of Aloysius’ praying to it. Originally the 2nd Platoon was commanded by the eldest brother Helm, but he was killed in an action against the Tyranids several years after the raising. The youngest brother, Jon, is the main gunner for the regiment’s Stormblade in ‘G’ Company.
Carl and Holstein were both in officer training during the raising, but were junior to Helm, who got the original officer’s slot in ‘C’ Company. Carl and Holstein wound up chimera crew in ‘B’ Company, and then split into separate vehicles, both as armor commanders in ‘A’ Company, moved to the Command unit for ‘H’ Company (Artillery), before finally winning their own infantry platoon commands.
The brothers are very hard to tell apart – having heavy jawbones, ragged light brown hair and light brown eyes. They are very quiet, when not shouting orders on the battlefield and command by example. There is no real rivalry between them – and they are consummate professionals who care about their men, having worked their own way up through the ranks. The main difference between them, is actually their vices. Carl is addicted to lho sticks, while Holstein has a taste for very raunchy hive brew whiskey.
Ufand – old, tough – seen it all. Nothing fazes this NCO. Nothing. His response to the most feared monsters humanity faces is answered with a harsh curse and a blast from his plasma pistol. He’s been around forever, and seems never to change. He wasn’t young when the regiment was raised and, while he grouses about getting old, it doesn’t seem to slow him at all. He puts up with no nonsense from his troops, demands excellence and gets it.
Ufand is first mentioned in Training Exercise. He mostly appears in the earlier fiction.
Tall, spare and kindly, Questioner has led this squad since it was a Continental Force on Danika. He is sharp, clever and never quits. He is frequently bothered, haunted might even be a good word, by the men he’s lost over the years in battle, but he does not let it slow his hand, rather instead he uses it to motivate himself to bring the Emperor’s justice to all who oppose the Imperium.
Unusually amongst the Danikans, Questioner is a devout believer in the Cult Imperialis and can often be found ministering to those in the regiment who share his beliefs.
Like Ufand, Questioner is also mostly an early character, first appearing in Training Exercise.
4th Danikan Imperial Guard – Hotel Company (Artillery)
Miguel Castillo is physically young, old beyond his years and very much believes in living as easily as he can wherever possible. This particular indolence takes an unusual form – he drives both himself and his men to do every non-battle task as quickly and efficiently as they can so that they can flop on the fighting decks of their gun tracks and soak up the sun with no one able to claim that there is work which needs to be done.
Physically Miguel is a rather dapper officer with slightly swarthy skin and dark eyes and hair. He invariably wears his officer’s cuirass and helmet even in battle, always polished to a high shine. While this is at least somewhat vanity it also serves a real purpose, he is easily visible to other members of his command when standing on the fighting deck of his basilisk – and if they cannot hear him over the roar of their guns they will have no issues seeing him well enough to follow physical commands.
Castillo gets a short mention toward the end of A Knife in the Darkness. There is also a lost piece of fiction I’m trying to find where he is first introduced. <edit> Found it! You can read it here: Toward the Light of a Single Star.