The cathedral was vast, hollow, empty. Rain fell through broken roofs, sounds distorted. Sounds, distant, hard, seemed to flounder in the silence. Footsteps, some imaginary, others real, echoed throughout. Jabez Folly watched the enemy wander to and fro, searching, looting, resting, arguing. They hadn't come searching for him, rather they seemed bored, bored with waiting for action, bored with being left to occupy a world that seemed unimportant. And so they searched for something worthwhile, even if it occupied them for but a moment. Hidden from sight, in a small room high above the ground, reachable only through effort and luck, he watched as the enemy tipped over the central alter, destruction on their mind. Jabez watched, and he remembered...
An altar of Gold and Wood, a pure white cloth covering it. Four candles, each representing the different stages in the life of the Emperor. A Red candle, symbolising his human origins, born in flesh and blood. A Deep Blue candle, representing his rise to power, a royal King and yet so much more. A black candle, representing the betrayal of a son. And a white candle, representing his ascendancy to a realm beyond human conception, a king who became a God. Above the altar, hanging high was a large double headed eagle. Cast in Gold, it spread its wings wide over the altar and all who came forth to seek the Emperor's peace. At the edge of the sanctuum stood four large statues, each representing a different primarch. Gulliman, Dorn, Russ and Sanguinius. As a boy, they had seemed immovable, invincible. The shadows they cast in the torchlight were long, symbolising that greatness could touch every man. When his father bowed to pray, Jabez watched the priests move about their work, trying to capture all in his mind...
That was then. This was now. The four primarchs were scattered, torn down, defaced. The Eagle, it's wings broken, had been taken to be melted down for other uses. Jabez wanted to believe it had gone to be used as some form of currency. In his heart he knew it had been melted down to be reused for the gods of the enemy, recast in their heathen likeness. Everything he had counted precious as a boy about this place was gone. Now, all that remained was an empty shell, the silence broken only by those who dared to desecrate what was once holy.
All of a sudden, he realised there was silence once more. The few enemy that had wandered through had moved off, though whether into another part of the cathedral or far away, he could not tell. Instead, he settled down again in his hideaway, and awaited the single whistle of an ebony hawk, a sound that would draw him out from the shadows, desperate to repay such hurt upon those who invaded. Perhaps his actions, no matter how small, may one day usher the return of the Emperor's avenging angels. It was a distant hope.
A Lonely Hope.
What's it about?
The Imperial Resistance is an attempt to give another slant to those who serve the Emperor. The common image is often of the Imperial Guard, in their hundreds and thousands, swamping the battlefield, winning by sheer numbers. Or of the Space Marines, Powerful humans genetically modified to be the equal of a hundred normal men. But what of those who find themselves stranded on worlds that are conquered by the enemy? Those who survive under brutal occupation, surviving either by their wits or because their manpower is needed to continue to work the farms in order to supply those who came as conquerors? What of those who, despite low odds, continue to defy?
Why play as the resistance?
Honestly, because of the stories. Because it's a world not fully explored. Because it's something which raises all manner of questions and exciting possible outcomes. And because, ultimately, such a resistance will find itself asking the question: "do the ends justify the means?"
Units / Rules
The Imperial Resistance follow the rules for the "Imperial Renegades" squad, found on page 65 of volume 3 of TLRB. So they start with 750 creds, must include a minimum of 3 models and never exceed 16 models. The units (and subsequent special rules) are:
1 Resistance Cell leader - Counts as a Commander.
0-1 Military Advisor - Counts as an Enforcer
0-1 Imperial Preacher - Counts as an Apostate Preacher
0-2 Veterans - Counts as Renegade Sergeants
0+ Militiamen - Count as...well, militiamen.
0-2 Heavy Weapon Specialists...you get the idea. Count as Heavy Weapon Specialists.
0-10 Civilians - Count as Workers
0 - 1 Dock Loading Machine - Counts as Ogryn.
I think thats all for now. It's a start, but I'm aware I still have a lot to do! I will write more when I get the chance.
As always, Comments and (constructive) criticism welcome. Also, Ideas. I'm still at the starting point of all this, so always happy for others to give their two cents!