Corsairs Gallant

Corsairs Gallant
CorsairsGallant.png
Battle Cry “Fortune favors the bold!”
Number XXI
Founding First Founding
Successors of None
Successor Chapters Aquilon Knights (Fillibuster), Crimson Hawks (Fillibuster); Umbral Maw
Primarch Rahman Keita'mansa
Homeworld Manden
Strength 72,000 at height (officially 65,000)
Specialty Light/Mechanized Infantry, Covert Actions, Lightning Raids, Zone Mortalis/Void Operations
Allegiance Separatist

This page details people, events, and organisations from Warmasters Triumvirate, a fan re-working of the Warhammer 40,000 Universe. See the Warmasters Triumvirate page for more information on the Alternate Universe.

The Corsairs Gallant were the XXIth Legiones Astartes. Led by Rahman Keita'mansa, they were known for their covert nature and specialty in Zone Mortalis and AirLand operations, and a fondness for highly specialized bolt weaponry. Long skirting the line of acceptable behavior, having pushed to the limit the use of various legal loopholes to avoid censure, they sided with the Separatist forces during the Brother's War, and eventually became an economic and naval powerhouse of the Union that followed. Their primarch, Rahman Keita'mansa, was often considered to be a Rogue Traider first and a primarch second, and he eventually disappeared into the unknown in M35, leaving behind the Gallant Quest, a series of clue and map fragments that some said led to a reponsitory of wealth, archeotech, or other prizes, but that the Corsairs themselves felt was the location of their genefather.

Often distrusted even by their allies, the Corsairs had engaged in false flag operations even during the Great Crusade, and infiltrated several secret chapters in the Imperium, known as Fillibuster chapters, yet largely remained unified following the end of the Brother's War.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Pre-Primarch History & ReunionEdit

The Great CrusadeEdit

BrotherwarEdit

Post-BrotherwarEdit

HomeworldEdit

Manden is a prosperous and well-connected world, known for being at the nexus of a network of stable pathways through the warp, a fact that accelerated the spread of Manden influence throughout a number of worlds prior to its reunion with the Imperium of Man. The planet itself is roughly one-fourth the size of Terra, with a mixture of climates but largely savannas and hilly regions separated by large lakes and vast rivers in its disposition, a fact that led to the development of a rich mercantile culture of independent city-states led by noble-houses. Rich in mineral wealth as well as a diverse amount of flora and fauna, it managed to regain spaceflight relatively quickly, but carried its disunited nature into the stars with it.

Legion CharacteristicsEdit

Legion DoctrineEdit

The Corsairs Gallant are, in many ways, entirely unlike most legions, operating almost entirely outside the norms that even diverse legions often share. Their doctrine is crafted by a number of factors, not the least of which is the old maritime culture of Manden and its expansive trade league that was incorporated into the Imperium. The legacy of the House Troops is reflected in several ways, including the Fillibusters but also in the general deployment and tactics; Manden forces were true marines, naval and often light infantry designed to be mobile, self-sufficient, and adaptable. Another major factor was size; due to the restrictive nature of Corsairs Gallant geneseed, the legion was significantly smaller and thus forced into certain tactical options by near necessity. Further, the wealth and culture also led to specific kinds of weaponry and tactics, including low-impact as a defining characteristic of their operations, something that makes them exceptionally good at pacifying human worlds where a lighter touch often goes far.

You Break It, You Bought ItEdit

The habit of the Corsairs Gallant to engage in low-impact operations stems less from a moral position and far more one of practicality; destroying what you intend to conquer is inefficient and pointless, and not to mention counterproductive when dealing with a population you wish to submit willingly. This concept goes back to the earliest days of Manden, in which total war was seen as anathema. This is not to say that they were, or the Corsairs are, squeamish; on the contrary, the cutthroat nature of their politics and tactics is well documented, but tempered by the pragmatic nature of their piracy. Furthermore, Manden culture had a long habit of attributing the consequences of a given action to the most notable cause, as determined through a mixture of rhetoric and complex legal codes, but most of which boiled down to the concept of 'if you break it, you bought it.' As a result, Corsairs avoid destruction precisely because of a cultural mindset that they would be responsible for fixing it afterwards.

Of course, plunder is still also a part of that culture, and intact plunder is naturally more valuable. As are productive, intact economies, all the better to exploit.

Slow is Smooth, Smooth is FastEdit

The Corsairs Gallant are often thought of as a lightning strike force, which is not inaccurate but also misses the point in many ways. They are not reckless, but rather will gather intelligence for some time before they ever join combat, infiltrating agents and assets into position well in advance if possible. If not, they will meticulously prepare for their insertions, allowing for the chaos of battle that naturally follows, but nevertheless operating off the assumption of battles being in and out and done, not standing engagements. This both makes them hard to pin down but also often weak to those who can manage to do so. In this regard they work well as a supporting force or against developed populations; outside of naval engagements, they struggle against certain kinds of xenos forces. However, they are to certain kinds of urban operations as the Pale Hounds or Smoke Stalkers are to wilderness, and their Zone Mortalis expertise from their naval focus makes them equally good at similar environs in hive worlds and their equivalents.

Preferring highly skilled and accurate operations over simple speed, they embody the idea of 'slow is smooth, smooth is fast,' as well as working light to remain mobile. Integrated specialists on a squad level, highly mobile vehicles and air assets, and rapid insertions and exfiltration are their calling card.

Mastercrafted SimplicityEdit

The Corsairs Gallant are exceptionally wealthy, and relatively small, a combination that allows for far greater quality of gear than many of their contemporaries, not the least because they focus often on far simpler and reliable arms crafted to perfection over more complicated and, thus, hard to produce and maintain gear. This also means that certain items, though, are simply far more common in their legion than others; artificer-grade armor, refactor fields, and digital weapons all are found in relatively high numbers and by far lower ranking officers than many other legions, and their Veterans can be found wielding master-crafted weaponry en masse, or as nearly en masse as such formations get.

On the flip side, they shun complicated weaponry as well as dangerous ones; plasma is nearly anathema to them, and other weapons are disdained because of their dangerous use in shipboard environs. The only real break with these habits is their preference for gravity based weaponry.

Legion ApartEdit

The Corsairs Gallant in many ways simply do not operate like a normal legion, and also are both oddly integrated and kept at arms length by other organizations. Though they do operate as the primary force in a number of expeditionary fleets, such the primarch's own 36th Expeditionary fleet, a great number of Corsairs Gallant forces were instead attached to other fleets and forces. Operating a larger fleet than most legions despite their small size, they would often attach strike cruisers in numbers as high as a dozen to as small as only a single craft to other expeditionary fleets, and serve as a sort of dedicated strike force to them. This simultaneously made them more used to working with other forces and also often somewhat standoffish, as their habits could put them at odds with other legions. However, this also meant that the Corsairs Gallant often had the greatest access to information, and had a reputation for being conniving and duplicitous to some; more than a few legions simply did not like them, considering their ways very unbecoming for an astartes. However, the human components often enjoyed having a Corsairs Gallant attachment; it usually also presaged merchant and traders coming aboard as well at regular intervals, allowing for access to goods and services often hard to come by.

Operating in this way, the Corsairs Gallant served as a the role of storm troopers to many, and indeed operated with Imperial Army and Solar Auxilia forces to the point of direct integration. Several other legions also often deployed with them. This continued even into the Brotherwar, when until quite late a number of legions and forces could be found employing them on all sides of the conflict, though never in opposition to each other. Such strike cruisers would come and go at odd intervals, and it was not until Rahman's actions to both save his Separatist brothers from Mot Hadad's dire grasp and declare for them that the Corsairs became far rarer sights among other forces. Indeed, there were reports of Corsairs Gallant troops operating in support of Loyalist forces for a significant time after, which both contributed to the duplicitous reputation of the legion... and to their mastery of information on the conflict.

Legion Culture & PersonalityEdit

Curiosity and CommerceEdit

The Gallant Dominion and Corsair SecessionsEdit

The manner in which the Corsairs Gallant cement their power in worlds is innately tied to the unique circumstances affecting both their primarch's 'homeworld' as well as the flaw, of sorts, present in their geneseed. It is also how they maintain a network of de jure independent worlds that that de facto under either their direct or nearly so control, the so called Gallant Dominions, contrasted to the worlds they hold via economic means, often themselves technically outside the Union, a few even officially belonging to the Imperium; the so called Corsair Successions. These worlds range from settled planets and even great hive worlds to frontier lands and settlements claimed largely for control over rare resources. These are also the worlds where conflict between Imperial forces, often seeking to reaffirm their control, run afoul of the Corsairs, though far more often control is held covertly, via mercantile means.

The Corsairs maintain a strong aristocratic system of patronage and nobility, tied into the legal protections granted by the Warrant of Trade held by the Keita dynasty, under the authority of the Emperor himself and thus held in a strange state even in the post-Separatist era; no Imperial authority can countermand that of the Emperor himself, and thus while technically (and, in truth, actually) outside the light of the Imperium, the Keita'mansa dynasty technically hold authority through the Warrant, one granted under such specific terms by the Emperor that mark it as utterly unique. This factor is why agents of the Corsairs can occasionally be found even inside the Imperium, abet only when enough power can be exerted to cause the Warrant to be enforced. The Corsairs are not so foolish as to attempt to invoke it to stave off battles where forces are already in place, but it can be used in other, more tactful, manners. Its protections are directly tied to the house of Keita'mansa, and this has shaped much of the legion culture.

As a result, each member of the Legion is adopted, legally, into the Keita family, or a cadet branch there-of. This, at least technically, would extend the protection of the Warrant of Trade to them. Further, as they achieve higher ranks, they are eventually set up in an arranged marriage with a noblewoman from one of the many other houses that dot and hold power in the worlds of the Gallant Dominion. These arrangements are more than merely formal; Astartes are encouraged to actually meet and interact with their wives, though the production of children is done entirely via in-vitro methodologies, using samples taken prior to ascension into full Astartes and/or methods of seed generation via techno-alchemical methods. However, marines are more often than not away engaging in the business of war and trade, and as such consorts are often not merely tolerated, but actively provided, often failed aspirants to the legion, a fact that is not seen as dishonorable due to the nature of the gene-seed and difficulty, and instead these individuals are often integrated as chosen servants inside the noble families. Gene-therapies and other methods are utilized to avoid negative effects, and outside blood from noble houses is regularly brought in, thus causing noble marriages to serve a double purpose.

The relationship between an Astartes and his children is complicated. Female children rarely interact with their fathers and are, like many of their kind, used for political and noble marriages, as well as to spread the key genetic markers of the Keita'mansa dynasty that are necessary for gene-seed implantation to succeed. Sons are often, by contrast, more directly tutored, taught the key skills of a Corsair Gallant long before the trials of ascension are held and they are tested as being fit for the implantation process. Failures to these trials are married into other families, serve aboard vessels as lower officers or deck crew, or, occasionally, chosen as consorts. Those that do pass and enter the implantation process undergo deep checks for gene-seed compatibility long before it is ever attempted, and even then often fail to accept the implant process. These usually die, but those that survive almost universally become ship crew, and are generally not allowed to pass on genes, at least not into the noble houses.

Through these methods, the Keita'mansa family becomes entrenched on worlds, linked by marriage and blood to other noble houses, and supported by the military and economic might of the Legion, is able to maintain power and control. Often, other houses nominally are higher in authority, directly administering worlds, yet few are foolish enough to think they do not do so at the sufferance of the house of Keita.

Gene-seed flaws and other MutationsEdit

Either by flaw or by design, the gene-seed of Rahman Keita'mansa is incredibly restrictive in its implantation rates, with rejection rates significantly higher than normal. It is for this reason that the Corsairs Gallant have always been the smallest of the legions, at least sparing the lowest points of the Brotherwar where casualties rose to astronomical heights for some others. This limitation has informed their combat doctrine, leading to the rapid tactical strikes and covert operations, and the shock-and-awe lightning strikes that maximize efficiency and minimize causalities on their side. It is also why, ironically, they hid away a portion of the legion, the Fillibusters and Blackshields, operating under false-flags to further their goals long before they ever entered the picture officially, if ever.

The GeneforgedEdit

The GhastsEdit

Legion OrganizationEdit

Rank StructureEdit

The AuguriesEdit

Filibusters and BlackshieldsEdit

A Corsairs Gallant-aligned Blackshield operating during the Brother's War
Even prior to the Brother's War and the Corsair's joining of the Separatist cause the Corsairs Gallant made heavy use of unmarked and false-flag operatives, keeping a full seven-thousand marines in covert status. The origins to this phenomenon lie in the traditions of old Manden and surrounding worlds. Trade families dominated the politics, and it was simply the way of things to both declare ones official forces as well as maintain unmarked forces, often masquerading as other armies or mercenaries, yet composed of fully loyal members. Rahman instituted this method for acting outside the normal realms of propriety. Though often rumored, they were studious in hiding their origins and never officially pinned to the legion; if they were to be captured, they would instead destroy themselves to prevent identification.

A Fillibuster is an astartes masquerading as another legion, with armor and equipment to match. Only the most skilled members of the legion, able to emulate the mannerisms of other legions, were chosen for such a role. Often, the Corsairs would deploy such troops simply to keep tabs on the other legions, leading to one of the reason they had such information. Yet this also became something of a blind spot; paranoid due to his divination abilities, Rahman trusted these assets to keep him appraised and yet he was caught off guard by the Brotherwar all the same.

Blackshields, on the other hand, originated with the act of blacking out the armor of an astartes for deniable operations not linked to any explicit legion. Though during the Brotherwar other blackshields would arise in the form of rogues and warbands, the original blackshields where actually these Corsairs assets. Additionally, the Corsairs would recruit a number of other blackshields into their forces, both overtly and covertly supporting them and directing them towards ends that Rahman saw as desirable or necessary.

Special UnitsEdit

BravesEdit

Reaver SquadsEdit

A Corsairs Gallant serving in a Reaver squad, note the combi-heavy bolter/flamer weapon and the lack of Bills of Honor
Though often considered lacking in honor, the Reaver Squad was a formation inside the Corsairs Gallant deployed when maximum impact and destruction of property and personnel was necessary. In some ways taking the place of Destroyer Squads and inspired by legions such as the Death’s Heads, the Reavers utilized a mix of flamer weaponry, entire sqauds using combi-flamers, infernus heavy bolters, and other incendiary weapons to wreck havoc across wide areas, burning out resistance too hard to expel through other means. Though considered lacking honor, and thus not authorized to wear Bills of Honor on their armor, the Reaver Squads were not disdained, and were considered necessary parts of the Corsairs Gallant doctrine. Rarely did an Astartes remain in their numbers for long, instead rotating back into normal squads, their time in the formation rarely spoken of and not held either for or against their later honors or promotions.

Brethren of the CourtEdit

The elite of the elite, the Brethen of the Court are a force of terminator-armor equipped Astartes that honor guards are drawn from for praetors and the Primarch himself. They are also the last stop before an astartes of the XXIth legion is promoted to an officer rank, and indeed all officers remain as members of the Brethren, entitling them to a place at the court of the Primarch and Legion master. It is there that these picked men both learn and give council. Often, Brethren are then embedded into squads to give direct action to the council choices, but when formed into an all Terminator force they are to be reckoned with, equipped with heavy blades of arcane make and both grenade harnesses as well as under-slung Astartes-grade grenade launchers for hurling several varieties of powerful grenade at foes. The blades used by the Brethren, though, are perhaps the true iconic element. Drawn from caches of ancient weapons and those discovered on the fringes of the galaxy, some are not unlike the phase blade used by the primarch, while others are cleaving weapons that strike with unheard of power. Rahman himself would gift a member of the Brethren their first blade, a rite later taken up by the Legion Master after the primarch disappeared into the unknown.

KrootEdit

Origins and DevelopmentEdit

A species native to the eastern fringe world of Pech, the Kroot (or Krootis aviana in scientific terms) had not yet left their native world when a far ranging Rogue Trader linked to the Corsairs Gallant discovered them, reporting their existence to his patron first. Rahman took an immediate interest in the species, whose adaptive physiology allowed for rapid acclimation over a very short period. Such was his interest that he intentionally seeded human DNA (via surreptitiously crashed vessels) and started a superstitious rumor of the region being dangerous for travel as a result, allowing him to guide their development unimpeded for some time before they were discovered again. By the time they were, it was because they'd spread off-world, colonizing a number of surrounding worlds. Such was Rahman's insatiable curiosity that he even seeded Astartes geneseed in limited numbers. By the time the Kroot were fully discovered, at a time that was chosen by Rahman himself, many of the Kroot could be mistaken as almost abhuman, though the greater number of their species was clearly xenos in nature. However, the outbreak of the Brotherwar prevented a campaign of extermination from taking place.

Following the war, Pech and its surrounding worlds were firmly inside Dragoon-controlled territory, but the Corsairs had already covertly seeded populations outside in their own areas, both inside and outside the Union. Through mediators, they were able to establish a sort of protectorate status for the species, lobbied heavily by Corsair support.

UsageEdit

Shaped through introduction of gene elements to make them both effective and to work well with Corsair forces, modern Kroot have been compared to Orks, owing to the robust physiology that actually has more roots in integration of Astartes gene elements, combined with their nevertheless often primitive appearance. Kept in a state of semi-uplift, Kroot vary in some degrees of development, with those in the service of the Corsairs being the most well equipped, trained, and organized.

Legion EquipmentEdit

Power ArmorEdit

A Corsairs Gallant Tactical Marine in Mark III Ultra/Manden pattern armor and wielding a Mark IV Ultra Pattern bolter.
A Corsairs Gallant Assault Marine wearing Crusade-era assault-grade armor

Designed based on their standard Mark III armor, the Mark III Ultra/Manden resembles exterior pattern of Mark III plate closely, though its shoulders tended to be more akin to that of the older Mark II plate. Notable for its use of exposed riveting as much for decorating as construction purposes. It also utilized a wide, flaring belt, as well as usually a loincloth woven of armormesh which actually could deflect or reduce the power of las weapons, though it was largely stylistic in usage. The true modifications were largely internal; the pattern was constantly updated to incorporate later advances in internal technology, while retaining the front-focused defensive capabilities of the original Mark III armor favored by the Corsairs for its usefulness aboard vessels and in other narrow confines, such as urban terrain. Additionally, they integrated improved targetter systems and autosenses above that of standard power armor, with even the basic tactical marine incorporating improved optics and other technology as a force and power multiplier. Each suit also incorporated a grav-chute into the backpack design, allowing all marines to operate as paratroopers. The design is also intended to be able to easily host extra pouches, ammo or grenade racks, or other equipment as necessary, and also an optional wrist mounted vid-screen with integrated vox uplink to the overall network, often coordinated via command Rhinos that are deployed in theater.

Further, the Corsairs Gallant produced what was known as assault-grade armor, designed for use by their rare but elite assault and other jump troops. Though its torso design was taken more from later patterns, its internals and other parts were mostly linked to that of the original Mark III plate, abet with a much higher gorget and a full cowling around the head. Later models would included reinforced leg-mountings that had greater armor and impact absorbing properties for jump-use.

The Corsairs Gallant would continue to use Mark III Ultra/Manden pattern armor well past the Brother's War, abet integrating later developments in certain areas into it. The use of the consistent style was an intentional choice; associating a specific pattern with the legion helped to set apart the Blackshields and Fillibuster forces who, in contrast, nearly never were seen in Mark III armor, let alone the Manden pattern of it. Though seemingly simple, this small choice proved effective.

Terminator ArmorEdit

Though it may seem surprising for such a fast raiding force, the Corsairs Gallant not only make heavy use of Terminators, the possess a significant amount of the armor, notable of the Tartaros pattern, and employ it widely in void and zone mortalis combat. The Corsairs Gallant were some of the first to receive the relatively late Tartaros pattern, having heavily subsidized the production for several key Forge Worlds that allowed them to claim a lion share of the initial production. While the Corsairs Gallant possess enough suits of Terminator armor to equip several formations, most astartes granted rights to a suit also have a suit of finely wrought artificer armor they make use of in many cases, deploying in Terminator armor only in specific circumstances. When deploying, they are done so via Storm Eagle transport more often than not, teleportation being disfavored by the Corsairs for its somewhat dangerous nature and unpredictability.

Small Arms and Infantry EquipmentEdit

The standard bolter pattern utilized by the Corsairs Gallant was the Mark IV Ultra Pattern, notable for its capability for both single-shot and three-bolt burst fire as well as automatic, loaded from a standard 25-round sickle magazine and firing the same .75 caliber explosive tipped mass-reactive bolt of most other patterns. However, the Mark IV Ultra Pattern also integrates a built-in ammunition counter, an Auto-senses targeting uplink, and a biometric handgrip sensor for genetic identification of its user as standard features, and was usually constructed to a significantly higher grade by both the Forges that the Corsairs patronized and by their own legion smiths. Capable of accepting a number of other attachments, the legion tended to equip many of its forces with additional optical sights, drum magazines, barrel extensions or suppressors, and with foregrips, among other attachments, all of which improved its versatility and capabilities. It could also mount a grenade launcher under-barrel.

The focus on the bolter is not entirely odd; it is, after all, the standard small-arm of the legions. However, the focus on quality and versatility the Corsairs Gallant put into it exceeded that of other legions by several levels. The Corsairs Gallant culture shunned the use of the common plasma and melta weaponry, and the rare and hard to maintain volkite gear was also disliked. Flamers, while useful, were niche and lacked versatility. For plasma and melta weaponry, it was a mix of issues; plasma tended to have stability issues, a major concern for smaller forces like the Corsairs, and also was dangerous for use in shipboard environments. Melta weaponry was even more so, and its range limitations was seen as almost precluding use. As a result, the Corsairs preferred to utilize mix of dedicated and underbarrel grenade launchers and combi-bolters equipped with drums and specialized ammunition as support weapons, and notable integrated these weapons at a tactical level, in contrast to the dedicated support squads used by other forces.

One exception was graviton weapons, due to both the legion’s contacts with certain forge worlds and their use in shipboard operatons. This also led them to throw weight behind the development of other forms of the weapon, even when the Mechanicum objected.

The legion also made heavy use of shotguns, even equipping whole squads with them during shipboard actions, themselves utilizing a variety of specialized rounds as well. Favored by their assault troops, the Corsairs were at ease with the shotgun as they were with the bolter.

Heavy WeaponsEdit

Much like their attitudes to small arms, the heavy weapons utilized by Corsairs infantry were limited largely to heavy bolters and missile launchers, once against linked to their focus on versatility. The heavy bolter could utilize various ammunition types, and often was equipped with suspensor harnesses to assist in mobility and use aboard ships and other close quarters areas. Missile launchers were used both in dedicated heavy launchers as well as single-shot disposable tubes, thus giving individual squads capabilities that they otherwise would lack. There was one heavy weapon the legion did use that was unique to them: the frag cannon. A heavy, shotgun-like weapon that fired either in slug or fragmentation modes, it could decimate entire corridors or punch through the armored bulkheads when needed.

Bolter AmmunitionEdit

One of the primary ways the legion achieved versatility in the use of its bolters was in its focus on specialized bolt rounds for them. Stalker-pattern bolts designed for stealth use and other rounds like Metal Storm frag shells were not invented by the Corsairs, but were extensively utilized by them. However, the legion did go out of its way to gain the ability to produce certain rounds for itself, such as Tempest Bolts, which were largely the province of Mars before the Corsairs gained the ability to produce them through a mix of covert acquisition and reverse engineering. The discovery of this fact nearly led to a small crisis between the Mars priesthood and the legion, with the Corsairs Gallant promising to limit their production and the spread.

Other strange rounds included toxin-infused Metal Storm rounds, known as Viper Storm rounds, as well as Webber Binding rounds, Hellfire bolts, and the odd Bombard round, which was designed to be fired at an arc as a sort of impromptu light mortar, containing greater explosive filler due to the lower propellant, and less focus on penetrative power over blast force. Combined with the targeting systems used, this meant squads could form small urban fire support platforms. These were just some of many other types that the forces were often deployed with, giving even a normal tactical squad greater flexibility than nearly any other legion.

The truest danger, though, was the Torsion bolt, which used gravitic technology to create a rending gravitic burst on target. Though often no more dangerous than a normal bolt, the rounds could often cause internal damage, allowing them to bypass armor completely.

Astartes Grenade LaunchersEdit

The preferred special weapon of the Corsairs Gallant, grenade launchers were more usually associated with the Imperial Army or Solar Auxilia, though some legions did make use of ones integrated into bolters ala a combi-weapon in limited numbers. The Corsairs Gallant made use of these latter designs extensively, but also utilized rapid-firing drum-fed versions as well, firing a variety of munitions. Their adaptability and reliably was their primary selling point for the legion, even if they lacked the flash of certain other arms.

Armored VehiclesEdit

A Pythagori III-made Rhino hull, using anti-grav technology

Though wealthy and well-equipped, the Corsairs Gallant made a point of avoiding many of the larger, rarer and more complicated vehicle systems used by the legions. This even included the relatively common, comparatively speaking, Land Raider platform, let alone vehicles like the Spartan or Sicaran-series of tanks. Instead, they made extensive use Rhino-patterned vehicles, including the base Rhino Armored Personnel Carrier, the Predator Battle Tank, the Vindicator Siege Tank, and the Whirlwind Mobile Artillery Tank, as well as variants of those. However, they also made use of several other vehicles, most not entirely unique to them but either discovered by them or merely used more extensively.

However, there is one aspect of the Corsair Gallant that set them apart. Though the Grav-Rhino, as it was often called, was not unknown, it was a rare vehicle indeed. The Corsairs Gallant, however, secured the services of a Forge World in the Eastern Fringes, Pythagori III, whose talent with gravity technology was comparable in scope to the plasma expertise of the renowned Forge World Ryza. The pattern of Grav-Rhino hull produced there, using both their expertise and fragments of data recovered by the Corsairs Gallant and their Rogue Trader allies, came to be used by the Corsairs Gallant as the primary hull for nearly all their other vehicles. They produced and used versions of the multitude of other vehicles that were based on the Rhino chassis, all using the same anti-grav skimmer technology that gave them extremely effective mobility. Though they would pass on data to other Legions on most other discoveries, the Corsairs Gallant stubbornly controlled the export of the Grav-Rhinos of Pythagori III, using the fact that it was a Forge World as a shield against charges of tech-hoarding, though their actions and clear manipulation of the Forge World hierarchy was one of a number of things that caused rifts between the core of the Priesthood of Mars and the XXI Legion.

Stegodon Armored Personnel CarrierEdit

Actually discovered by Ashur of Banipal's Loxodontii, the Stegodon never-the-less became a favorite of the Corsairs for its extended hull and weaponry potential. Functioning essentially as a Rhino hull with an extended crew compartment, with firing ports for passengers and a cupola turret in the front, the Stegodon would become the basis for many other Corsairs Gallant vehicles, replacing the Rhino in some regards as the base hull, the extended section allowing for the mounting of more substantial equipment internally. It recieved the same grav-propulsion upgrades as the other Corsairs vehicles as well, and eventually would all but replace the Rhino in their use.

Cyclone Armored Mortar CarrierEdit

Discovered in the eastern fringe, the STC for the Cyclone is based on relatively common parts. Based on the Rhino hull abet with the top doors removed and parts of its hull left open, the Cyclone was intended as a mobile mortar platform. However, its weapons system was not found, and thus the Corsairs Gallant integrated the quad-launcher into it as a result. When put into service it was found to be an extremely effective mobile artillery platform. Less destructive than the Whirlwind, the Cyclone never-the-less was also faster and easier to transport, and thus became a standby for the Corsairs Gallant in their highly mobile attacks. The data was passed on to the other legions, but the fact that the Corsairs Gallant put it into production prior to getting approval from the Mechnaicum was one of several slights that soured relations between central Mars and the legion, exacerbated when they did pass the data on not to Mars, but local Forge Worlds that were closely aligned to the Corsairs.

Predator Punisher Combat TankEdit

A modified form of the standard Predator that utilizes a turret-mounted Avenger mega bolter taken from the same STC data that led to the creation of the Stormcrow Fighter, and the hull of actually the Stegodon armored personnel carrier. The cupola-mounted combi-bolter was retained, while the sponson mounts usually used heavy bolters. The expanded hull was used to hold the large quantities of ammo necessary to feed the weapons systems on board. The platform was utilized in urban terrain where the massive firepower was useful against infantry and other soft targets, but utterly lacking against anything harder. The design would be later spread to other Legions, particularly those with relative closeness or at least operational connections to the Corsairs.

AircraftEdit

Stormcrow FighterEdit

A Blackshield-aligned Stormcrow with its nose weapons shown
A twin-engine fighter based on data discovered by a Corsairs Gallant-associated Rogue Trader and explorator fleet, the Stormcrow Fighter would be passed on in full to the other legions, but was heavily used by the Corsairs themselves perhaps to a greater degree. With its nose-mounted avenger mega bolter, as well as heavy bolters, and wing weapons in the form of missile launchers or hurricane bolters, and also bombs, it served as a fast air to air interceptor as well as light ground support craft that fit perfectly with Corsairs Gallant doctrine. Though the nose weapons could be swapped with two lascannons, this was rarely done by the Corsairs themselves, their ever-present Cult of the Bolter mentality seeming to take hold.

Storm Eagle TransportEdit

A modified version of the Storm Eagle, the Storm Eagle Transport removed the passenger compartment entirely and replaced it with a more open space with a transport system derived from that of the Thunderhawk Transport, designed to grip a Rhino-pattern vehicle and allow it to be rapidly transported and deployed. The Storm Eagle Transport usually mounts the twin-linked Avenger Bolt Cannons from the Fire Raptor in the nose, while retaining the wing-mounted lascannons, allowing to support the advance of forces after it has deployed them. The Storm Eagle Transport could haul most Rhino-hulled vehicles, sparing the Whirlwind due to the size of its launcher. This was part of the reason the Corsairs came to prefer the less destructive but easier to transport Cyclone in many cases.


The Gallant Dominion and Corsair SecessionsEdit

The manner in which the Corsairs Gallant cement their power in worlds is innately tied to the unique circumstances affecting both their primarch's 'homeworld' as well as the flaw, of sorts, present in their geneseed. It is also how they maintain a network of de jure independent worlds that that de facto under either their direct or nearly so control, the so called Gallant Dominions, contrasted to the worlds they hold via economic means, often themselves technically outside the Union, a few even officially belonging to the Imperium; the so called Corsair Successions. These worlds range from settled planets and even great hive worlds to frontier lands and settlements claimed largely for control over rare resources. These are also the worlds where conflict between Imperial forces, often seeking to reaffirm their control, run afoul of the Corsairs, though far more often control is held covertly, via mercantile means.

The Corsairs maintain a strong aristocratic system of patronage and nobility, tied into the legal protections granted by the Warrant of Trade held by the Keita'mansa dynasty, under the authority of the Emperor himself and thus held in a strange state even in the post-Separatist era; no Imperial authority can countermand that of the Emperor himself, and thus while technically (and, in truth, actually) outside the light of the Imperium, the Keita'mansa dynasty technically hold authority through the Warrant, one granted under such specific terms by the Emperor that mark it as utterly unique. This factor is why agents of the Corsairs can occasionally be found even inside the Imperium, abet only when enough power can be exerted to cause the Warrant to be enforced. The Corsairs are not so foolish as to attempt to invoke it to stave off battles where forces are already in place, but it can be used in other, more tactful, manners. Its protections are directly tied to the house of Keita'mansa, and this has shaped much of the legion culture.

As a result, each member of the Legion is adopted, legally, into the Keita'mansa family, or a cadet branch there-of. This, at least technically, would extend the protection of the Warrant of Trade to them. Further, as they achieve higher ranks, they are eventually set up in an arranged marriage with a noblewoman from one of the many other houses that dot and hold power in the worlds of the Gallant Dominion. These arrangements are more than merely formal; Astartes are encouraged to actually meet and interact with their wives, though the production of children is done entirely via in-vitro methodologies, using samples taken prior to ascension into full Astartes and/or methods of seed generation via techno-alchemical methods. However, marines are more often than not away engaging in the business of war and trade, and as such consorts are often not merely tolerated, but actively provided, often failed aspirants to the legion, a fact that is not seen as dishonorable due to the nature of the gene-seed and difficulty, and instead these individuals are often integrated as chosen servants inside the noble families. Gene-therapies and other methods are utilized to avoid negative effects, and outside blood from noble houses is regularly brought in, thus causing noble marriages to serve a double purpose.

The relationship between an Astartes and his children is complicated. Female children rarely interact with their fathers and are, like many of their kind, used for political and noble marriages, as well as to spread the key genetic markers of the Keita'mansa dynasty that are necessary for gene-seed implantation to succeed. Sons are often, by contrast, more directly tutored, taught the key skills of a Corsair Gallant long before the trials of ascension are held and they are tested as being fit for the implantation process. Failures to these trials are married into other families, serve aboard vessels as lower officers or deck crew, or, occasionally, chosen as consorts. Those that do pass and enter the implantation process undergo deep checks for gene-seed compatibility long before it is ever attempted, and even then often fail to accept the implant process. These usually die, but those that survive almost universally become ship crew, and are generally not allowed to pass on genes, at least not into the noble houses.

Through these methods, the Keita'mansa family becomes entrenched on worlds, linked by marriage and blood to other noble houses, and supported by the military and economic might of the Legion, is able to maintain power and control. Often, other houses nominally are higher in authority, directly administering worlds, yet few are foolish enough to think they do not do so at the sufferance of the house of Keita'mansa.

Naval AssetsEdit

The Crystal SkullEdit

ChrysaorEdit

Notable MembersEdit

Named, noteworthy marines

RulesEdit