The 3rd Semperian are native to the planet Semper, a Hive World in decline. The planet lies in the path of Ork raids and occasional Eldar incursions. Heresy is rife within the lower levels of the Hives: one particularly violent faction is led by the ambitious Major Sturmm. And even the Mechanicus maintains a semi-autonomous presence on the planet, because of its large industrial sector.
The elite units of the Vanguard are tasked with cleansing the planet from Chaos, destroying the heretics and in the mean while keep the elusive forces of the Mechanicus at bay. They are comprised of the best recruits from mostly aristocratic families. This aristocratic nature is reflected in several of the regiment's customs. For example, all proven soldiers carry a duelling sword. This sword is usually an heirloom and is presented to the soldier by his family after his commanding officer (the Vanguard is even more hierarchic than other regiments and superior officers are seen as father-figures and heroes) deems him ready. The occasion is usually accompanied by a fittingly pompous ceremony.
In the event that a squad is disgraced, either by showing fear in face of the enemy or endangering the general plan of battle by making a tactically unsound decision, a squad may be forced to turn in their swords. This punishment is usually temporary, though permanent dispossessing does occur. The squad must then redeem themselves in the eyes of their commanding officer, being reinstated in their honor at his descretion.
3rd Semperian Vanguard, Rapier Squad
Rapier Squad, though already famous, is in such a position of dishonor. Squad Captain Belisarius, tough brave, was deemed to have too prudent an idea of tactics by his Major. Some say Captain Belisarius fancied the Major's daughter and that his squad was dishonored, because he was discovered wooing said daughter in no appropriate way. In any case, Rapier squad (despite their name) has had their swords taken from them. Now they must their right to carry blades again. They have been sent out to patrol the eastern fringes of Semper's capital wastland, a collection of ruins and a preferred spot for invading armies to land their scouts.
The one who changes Avatars, Usernames and Squads more than Lady Gaga changes costumes
Avatar art by HeavyMetalHanzo. Used with express permission.