The Calixis Sector contains the greatest concentration of Adeptus Mechanicus Forge Worlds, as well as a great many mining colonies and supply planets which feed the furnaces of the Tech Priests, supplying the Imperium with its armaments in humungous quantities. Although the policing of the sector falls within the remit of the Imperial army the Cult Mechanicus is reluctant to hand complete control to the forces of the Emperor of Terra. Their own fleet, tasked with maintaining open and swift supply routes, is known as the Brotherhood of the Iron Road (Frateris Viaferris), that being the name of the void passages running from Prol IX, through the Markayn Marches, alongside Pry and connecting the Forgeworlds in Adrantis. Whilst this is the official purpose of the fleet, the Brotherhood has a covert agenda, launching reconnaissance operations into forbidden and unknown territories to attempt to secure worlds rich in ores and technologies before they become known to the Imperium, thereby continuing their monopoly in production. There is a rumour that some ships of the Brotherhood have also been dispatched to sew seeds of rebellion within the Imperium, spreading civil war, increasing the demand for Adeptus Mechanicus weaponry and sourcing lost technologies at the cost of the worlds on which they are discovered. One such covert enterprise is that coordinated by Archmagos Ferrestrix and largely implemented in complete secrecy by Signifer Romulus of Legio Gamma. This undercover division is known as the Missio Manufactotum, or MM. Since MM stand for two thousand in Mars numerals the division has been allotted two thousand troops. For secrecy's sake these are drawn from different legios and centurios, those set aside for the task bear the numerals MM on their armour and insignia. Other races and factions which have come into contact with the MM have another name for them, the Red Weed, the shadow of Mars.Of increasing concern to the Mechanicus is the emergence on the Forgeworlds of the 'Boilerhouse movement'. This sect is largely growing within the worker population, although there are concerns its initiation and teaching is coming from much higher up. Chief of the Boilerhouse beliefs is that the technology of the Machine God is to be used to the benefit of all and not horded by its dedicated keepers, worse still, they hold that such technology is not to be used to harm others since this blasphemes the entity which created it. Obviously such heresies are clamped down upon as soon as they appear and there practitioners are treated most severely.Techpriests discovered to have Boilerhouse leanings have all augmentation stripped out and any surviving are sent with any workers found professing Boilerhouse beliefs as cannon fodder to the forefront of any conflict, devoid of the technology whose nature and purpose they have profaned. Still the movement grows ominously...
The Brotherhood is largely ship-bound, consisting of four Ordos;
Ordo Gurges- In charge of naval operations and logistics.
Ordo Fabricantio- Responsible for the maintainance of ground-based routes and outposts.
Ordo Reductor- Tasked with inter-ship combat and ship-to-world cleansing/removal.
Ordo Militaris- Undertakers of ground-based combat and enforcement.
The Brotherhood is under the direction of Archmagos Prime Princeps Vicarius. He is assisted by four Archmagii, each chairing a senate responsible for one of the Ordos and designating responsibility to Tribunes within each Ordo.
The Ordo Gurges is further divided into the Corps Navigatio, Corps Apparatus and Corps Cantavit- comprising of responsibilities for navigation, equipment and crew respectively.
Ordo Fabricantio consists of Corps Designatio, Corps Exaedifico and Corps Machina which are responsible for planning, fortification and terrestrial hardware.
Ordo Reductor is answerable to the greater Ordo Reductor found within the main body of the Adeptus Mechanicus and follows the same structure.
Ordo Militaris is subdivided into five; Divisio Skitarii, Divisio Cataphractus, Centurio Sagittarii, Centurio Ordinatus and the Auxilia Myrmidiae. Divisio Skitarii and Cataphractus are large wings comprising several Legions. Centurio Sagittarii is a small branch of independent Sagittarii units asignable to bolster positions and Centurio Ordinatus are largely placed at spaceports and outposts. Auxilia Myrmidiae is a varied branch mainly consisting of conscripts and specialist units from planets along the trade routes with a vested interest in continued Mechanicus protection.
The Divisio Skitarii consists of seven Legions, the first (Legio Prime) containing 300 of the most elite Praetorii veterans in the fleet. The other Legions contain approximately 5000 troops and supporting armour. These are presided over by a Legate, Signifer and six Tribunes and divided into 63 Centurios. 58 of these Centurios are organised into eight Maniples, each with nine Hyspasists and a Tessararius, under the command of an Optio Centuriae and a Vexillarius. The 59th, 60th, 61st and 62nd are specialist Sagittarii Centurios commanded by an Optio Centuriae and a Vexillarius and subdivided into eight Maniples overseen by four Tessarii.
The final, 63rd Centurio is an armoured division of three Alae under the command of the Praetor Peregrinus. The platoon is known as Centurio Peregrinus since it comprises of armour originally designed for a foreign race, the Imperium. It is also the division used to dispatch small contingents of alien foes most effectively. Each Ala contains 16 Turmae, the first 8 made up of standard Mars pattern Leman Russ tanks, the second 8 consisting of an assortment of Leman Russ variants. Each Turma is titled Pax followed by a form of weapon typifying the preferred fighting method of that section. For instance, turma VII of Centurio 63, Legio Alpha is known as Pax Quirina- "peace by spear". The commander of a turma is the Decurion Prima, who takes charge of the Equitata Prime. He is assisted by two deputy Decurions which have in their command the Equitata Secondus and Equitata Tersius. An Equitata comprises of 10 tanks.
Troops from differing Legions may be brought alongside each other in larger campaigns but only those from Centurios 58-63 are frequently dispatched piecemeal to provide support wherever neccesary. Signifer Romulus Arcana has been assigned Centurio Undevicensumus, Legio Gamma for his covert operations in the Zeroth sector. Alongside this he has Sagittarii from Centurio 58 and Pax Quirina, Ala Alpha, Centurio 63 to provide support. All in the force comprises a little under 150, a small army suited to its subtle, undercover mission.
An ancient and powerful member of the council of Mars, what remains of Ferrestrix's biological body is now buried deep within an iron shell, his cognitive functions, about all that remain, kept alive by intricate devices and chemical implants. The shrivelled body of the Archmagos is able to be plugged into a range of mechanical contrivances to allow him to perform different functions. On the rare occasion that the urgency or import of a mission demands his presence on the field of battle he frequently adopts the form of a giant, winged mass of shock weapons and mechadendrites. Ferrestrix is always accompanied by his elite guard and these troops receive orders only from the Archmagos himself, either considering themselves above the commands of lesser priests or having no will left and being totally enthralled to Ferrestrix's command protocol. Ferrestrix commands the covert Missio Manufactotem, but his role is known only to a select few other Archmagi at the top of Mars governance, only those who need to know.
Ferrestrix is always accompanied by the being known only as the Aquilyte. Not found among any records (sparse as they are) of the Archmagos' commissioned detatchment and never seen apart from on the fields of battle where she appears out of the sky beside the Archmagos without warning. Rumours abound that she is one of the Cydonian Sisterhood who has attached herself permanently to the Archmagos as a bodyguard and consort of furious devotion. A devotion, perhaps, which stems from an emotion the mechanical augmentation cannot drive out.
Magos Signifer Romulus Arcana
Carrying out the covert orders of the influential Mars Priest Archmagos Ferrestrix, Signifer Romulus Arcana occupies a place of importance in Skitarii Legio Gamma and directs the activities of the underground Missio Manufactotum. Entrusted to the Signifer is the task of collecting and logging the lost technologies and valuable minerals on the worlds through which the 'Red Weed' spreads. He carries with him great volumes containing priceless information for the Adeptus Mechanicus. Many of his discoveries and blueprints could not be replicated whould they be lost, the Skitarii having destroyed the worlds from which they came to preserve the monopoly on technology. For this reason Signifer Arcana is deeply suspicious, trusts nobody but Ferrestrix and rules the MM with (literally) an iron fist. The Signifer is accompanied into battle by a hand-picked bodyguard of Tribunal Praetoriaii armed with rare plasma technology, a luxury easily afforded by the elite of the Mechanicus.
Optio Centuriae Rubens Igneus
A veteran of numerous Calixian defence campaigns, Centuriae Igneus enforces the directives of his superior officer. He stands no nonsense from his augmented troops, lobotomising to preserve order with barely a moment's thought, and this assures Igneus of the loyalty of his soldiers. Numerous computation devices and predictive maps built into Igneus' brain and helmet inform his highly strategic mindset with the likely outcomes of actions, allowing the Centurion to make solid, unhesitant tactical decisions with mere seconds consideration. Such rapid and reliable judgement has ensured that even the small force at the Missio's disposal is able to carry out its directives efficiently and successfully. Igneus' command maniple contains his fellow officers and advisors; a Biomechanic (Medic),
Invoxxator (Comms link), Hypersenser, Ordinand, Voidlink, 2 Velites
(Centuriae Bodyguards) and 2 Praetorian guards.
Rarely does the Mechanicus seek, accept or acknowledge the assistance of the Inquisition. Occasionally, however, the Priests of Mars see something of use in the arsenals of the Holy Orders whilst their members are lending support. Sepulchrade is one such example. A powerful psyker driven to madness by the powers of the warp is bound at the heart of the machine, his powers chanelled through the sensors and valves of the permanently connected Aurer. The Aurer was chosen especially for the purpose by Archmagos Ferrestrix as an especially pure member of the Priesthood and he has been augmented to the highest degree possible so that he is more living machine than human. Thus the use of the psyker's energies, in themselves highly questionable, are sanctified by the Machine God. At all times Sepulchrade is accompanied by two experienced Battle Brothers, Julius and Aristophicles, who are assigned both to protect the Vexillarius and to discern and remedy any possible threat from the unstable powers of the warp.
Battle Brother Julius and Battle Brother Aristophicles
The ever-silent Battle Brothers' prime concern is to prevent Sepulchrade from calling doom upon them from the warp. However they also provide mid-battle repairs for the army's vehicles and covering heavy firepower along with their attendant servitors.
Magos Serratchka and Magos Oscilla
Independent representatives of the Red Council, the Adeptus Mechaniucs regulatory authority, the Magi ensure that even where the line is pressed hardest the will of their commander is obeyed, as well as acting as overseers to their modified charges. Often found amongst the ranks of Servitori Interitus rather than the Skitari, Serratchka and Oscilla are fitted with direct command protocols over their augmented, lobotomised slaves, propelling them haplessly into the fray with mere thoughts. Each Magos is accompanied by a retinue of four aides; a Cydonian Sister, Arcoflagellent bodyguard and two executors, one of which carries a teleport homer.
Legio Gamma, Centurio Undevicensumus, Assignis Dexter
The remainder of Century XIX is split into two factions who typically operate as two large core units within the army. Each is overseen by a 5-man command squad formed from half Manipulus Secondus. This maniple is unique in containing a second, sub-Tessararius who takes charge of the second 5-man squad. Assignis Dexter contains the first squad from Manipulus Secondus and Maniples 3-5. The Assignis is closely monitored by a Hastatus (Commissar).
Legio Gamma, Centurio Undevicensumus, Assignis Sinister
Assignis Sinister consists of the second squad from Manipulus Secondus, in the charge of the sub-Tessararius, and Maniples 6-8. The Assignis is closely monitored by a Hastatus (Commissar).
Each Assignis is accompanied by a team of 6 servitor Drogues, totally mindless and operated from away from the front lines by remote. Half of this team of once-human cyborgs are fitted out as walking weaponry, carrying unstable and experimental plasma weaponry, built as closely as possible according to the pattern of ancient firearms whose exact plans are long lost. The ordinary Skitarri are wary of this temperamental technology so the Drogues are sent in. The other half of the team are there to service faulty equipment and provide more of a blast-shield should any mishap occur.
Legio Gamma, Centurio Quinquaginta Octavus
Heavy weapon support is provided by maniples from the dedicated Saggitarrii centuries. In this instance the force contains four maniples, each containing a Tessararius, four Saggitarrii and a dedicated bodyguard engineer. Although it is typical for Mechanicus Saggitarrii to be augmented with tracks or mechanical steed bodies, the Frateris Viaferris Saggitarrii are more usually bipedal for ease of movement around tight ship corridors and fortifications. Maniples I and II are armed with autocannons, III with mortars and IV with lascannons.
Legio Gamma, Centurio Sexaginta Tertius, Ala Alpha, Pax Quirina
Pax Quirina consists of three tanks, only one of which is currently on service with the MM. This is a Cataphractus Demolisher-pattern Pluto tank sporting a Plasma cannon and sponson and hull Bolters.
Consisting of veteran Praetorians of the Synford II uprising, the Praelia Vetustus carry antique, lovingly maintained and master-crafted plasma weaponry to the forefront of the battle.
At times the battles of the Missio Manufactotum are so important that failure is absolutely not an option. At times like this the most precious items from the Mechanicus' vaults are given into the hands of trusted leaders. Making up the Manipulus Avitas these stern, unforgiving commanders lead from the front of battle, their millennia-old technology pouring waves of destruction upon the foes of the Machine god.
Reductor Redemptor Dreadnought Praefator Violari
Heresy against the Machine God is not lightly tolerated in the Cult Mechanicus. Those of the high priesthood who stray from the path are apt to be reminded of the importance of orthodoxy by being interred within the bulky shell of the Redemptor Dreadnought. Such souls are not considered lost to the Mechanicus but ultimately redeemed by constant reminder of the sovereignty of the Deus Mechanicus. Praefator Violari was formerly a Tribune of the Frateris Viaferris whose love of alien technologies lead to accusations of xenopreference, in direct denial of the superiority of the Martian technologies. These accusations were given weight by his advice that the Brotherhood seek council with the Eldar regarding threat from warp and subspace fleets. Such collusion was frowned upon by the Senate which recommended an indefinite incarceration within the Redemptor in case talk of such threats was seen as sanctioned by the council.
For those worth nothing to the Priests of Mars, yet whose transgressions deserve to have examples made of them, the Ordo Reductor has a special fate. Though many who are mere serfs on Forgeworlds end their days as senseless servitors, those who might incite rebellion, willfully shirk duties and initiate strikes and other indstrial action in the vital production plants of the Mechanicus are punished in a far worse fashion. Enslaved within the iron bulk of a Centauri engine they are kept conscious and alert, in perpetual agony, unable to move their limbs until released by their techpriest torturer. The nerve synapses in the convict's brain are wired direct to the Breacher Lance each one carries into battle, the prisoners are constantly reminded that the only way for their pain to cease is for them to shatter the cannister at the end of the lance, draining the nervous system of electrical pulses in one enormous shock conveyed through the lance-tip. Once in position on the battlefield they are released and scream towards the enemy, intent upon shattering their weapons upon the first unit they collide with. Such is the power of the electrical current that most who are struck by a Breacher Lance die instantly. Sadly, once the lances are exhausted, the Centaurii are easy pickings for the foe, being too weak and exhausted to fight well. Of course, having experienced such agony many Centaurii prefer the peace of a quick death.
The Collosi were designed for heavy labour on the forge worlds, however, such is the way of technology that it inevitably ends up appearing on the battlefield. As well as constructing field defences and tearing down enemy fortifications the Collosi are fierce close-quarter fighters, bringing their industrial Erosion blasters packed full of abrasive aggregate to bear on unwitting foes before finishing them off with whirring appendages and crushing blows.
Although it is common for the mechanicus to employ servo-skulls in maintainance and augmentation processes it is rare that a skull maintains enough consciousness to operate an artificial body. However occasionally a prodigious Magus may yield a skull which is not only capable of extraordinary tactical and strategic calculation but also able to control a host body with unnerving fluidity. Nurtured by the underground Legio Cybernetica and viewed as an abomination by most of the cult these creations nevertheless make excellent infiltrators and spies and often one is kept on standby by the MM in case the need for its use should arise. Excursor Tacita is one such construct, fashioned from the cranial remains of Archmagos Tacita, one of the great archivists and strategists of the Frateris Viaferris. The Excursor is deployed deep in enemy territory, where it uses artificial cloaking devices. silent mechanisms, hyper-accurate sensor arrays and lethal toxins to exact swift assassinations of key personalities.
Specially augmented for close-combat fighting in a similar manner to the arcoflagellants of the ministorum, the Interitus Servitors are most usually deployed into the heart of enemy infantry via the notorious Barathrum Drills, cousins of the Death Korps Hades drills, emerging with little warning in the midst of their enemies. These mindless fighting machines are kept placid until they are in position, when their watcher adept will trigger the release of powerful adrenal narcotics into their bloodstreams, turning them into raging beasts. As if this weren't enough, the servitors are fitted with explosives and gas release jets to further hinder their opponents. Interitus Servitors are often dispatched in large numbers, since victims for the creation of such machines are easy to come by, and their rampages are overseen by Magi whose relays drive their charges to even greater destruction.
Although in appearance the Arcotechton resemble Ogryn augmented in a similar fashion to the Servitori Interitus, they are, in fact, an entirely separate sub-species of human. Encountered as a dying race on the dark side of a feral world by Archmagos Ferrestrix in one of his missions to secure lost technology, these humanoids were discovered worshipping a satellite which has smashed into their planet, resulting in the near-extinction of the race. This, in the eyes of the Archmagos, demonstrated a high level of intelligence and righteousness and so he had them brought aboard his craft and instructed them in the votive offerings of the machine god. Now indoctrinated by the teachings of the Mechanicus they serve as Ferrestrix's aides, loyal unto death, and he in turn regards them almost as his children.
Cataphractus Termite drilling machine
Ordinarily troops are deployed by Grav-chute, but just occasionally an infiltration tactic is needed and for such occurrances the Mechanicus deploy the Termite drilling machines. Too small to carry units, the Termite's tunnel is used by teams of Praetorian Engineers to deploy deep into enemy territory. When the time comes, the Termite bursts above ground, shortly followed by the engineers and combat servitors.
Ala Caelum and Ala Excipio
For airbourne support the Brotherhood relies upon two wings of aircraft. Fitted with gatling guns, the ships of Ala Caelum concentrate on air-to-ground fire, picking out large units or particular threats to infantry. The ships of Ala Excipio are armed with Skystrike missiles and alert to possible air threats, engaging enemy aircraft in acrobatic dogfights. Both sets of aircraft share the same basic shell, given buoyancy by a reinforced air canopy containing a lighter-than-air gas.
Incarnus Concalfactorius and Incarnus Impignatio
Impossibly ancient machines, crafted by the priests of Mars long before the rise of Horus, these two Reaver titans stand towering guard over Ferrestrix and his retinue. It is a deadly foe indeed which requires these sacred relics, incarnations of the Machine God himself, to be brought forth from their hallowed temples.
The Reaver titans are protected from harm at close quarters by a Knight titans from the Legio Munimentum of House Chemblazon. The squad defending the Reavers is made up of two Knights Paladin, two Knights Castellan and two Knights Lancer, enabling them to cover a wide range of possible threats. Accompanying the Knights are six of the Brotherhood's most adept Techpriests, the Haerimperator Opifex, undertaking running repairs on both the Reavers and their attendant Knights as well as participating in the fight where needs be. Three of the Opifex have direct comm-links to the orbiting Mechanicus barges which rain death upon the battlefield with terrifying accuracy when called upon. The other three are stationed with treasured Conversion Beamers, providing long-range and devastating firepower from the shelter of the titans' shadow.