“The speed, accuracy and devastating power of Saoghal artillery won confidence and admiration from the troops it supported and inspired fear and respect in xenos and those who rejected compliance alike.”Extract from Primus-Strategos Blazoar Dymov’s report to Fleet Command on the strength of 1st Army’s IV Corps.
Homeworld: Saoghal Dearg
Commanding officer: Commander Ket Gharltra
Unit type: Trench warfare and artillery support
When Saoghal Dearg was brought into Compliance by the Dark Angels in the early stages of the Great Crusade, the First Legion discovered a derelict world showing little signs of life. It was only upon closer inspection that they found the world’s populace confined to living in one of the five hive cities located on the Northern side of the planet.
Saoghal Dearg is located in the Pelegron Cluster, and orbits a dying star known as Ator. Ator is a white star that has been decaying for many decades, producing solar flares that scorched the nearby planets. Due to this unstable and irradiated climate the inhabitants of Saoghal Dearg have evolved to have high endurance, bring impervious to pain due to dampened nerve endings. The iconic gas masks worn by the Saoghal Dearg populace are key to protecting themselves from further damage caused by Ator’s radiation.
When the Dark Angels landed on the planet and made contact with the population they found a militarised society with an intricate hierarchy that defined the day to day life of every inhabitant. They are organised by class into specific roles that benefit their, and the planet’s survival, from farmers and miners to governing officials. The military had overall control of the planet and also served as law enforcement.
The Dark Angels eventually came into contact with Commander Ket Gharltra who commanded Bal’Marbh, the 9th Battalion of the Saoghal Siege Regiment. The Dark Angels met with little resistance from the 17 Battalions that made up the Saoghal Dearg Army and quickly sent word to the Emperor of Mankind, declaring the conquest of the world and the enveloping of Saoghal Dearg into the Imperium.
After Saoghal Dearg had declared their loyalty to the Emperor and were accepted into the Imperium, they offered their military might to assist in the Great Crusade. They were asked by the Dark Angels to commit 3 of their 17 battalions to the 216th Expeditionary Fleet which was then tasked to bring the Pelgron Cluster into compliance. Si Klabi, Captain of the Dark Angel‘s IInd Battalion, VI Chapter, requested that Ket Gharltra and the Bal’Marbh be amongst the three battalions to join the fleet.
The Great Crusade brought the 1st Legion and the soldiers of Bal’Marbh closer and they formed a tight bond of comradery that the other two battalions envied. The commanders of the other two battalions quickly became jealous of the favouritism that Ket Ghaltra received and envied the fact that the Bal’Marbh were always chosen to fight alongside the 1st Legion on the battlefield. After many victories against the Orks and Abhumans in the Pelegron Cluster the Bal’Marbh were battle hardened veterans and elite warriors, rivalling that of the Solar Auxilia.
In a fit of jelousy the other two commanders plotted to destroy the 9th Battalion and Si Klabi’s Dark Angels on the Seperndus VI. The plan was quickly stopped in its early stages but the loyalty of the Saoghal Dearg was brought into question, and the situation threatened to escalate. It was only when Ket Gharltra executed the other two commanders and folded the remaining Saoghalites into his own battalion that Si Klabi pardoned the Saoghalites, such was the sheer zealousness of the young commander’s resolve.
Equipment & Fighting Style
Renowned for their battle prowess and sheer, unrelenting will, the Saoghal specialise in siege warfare and wars of attrition. Boasting a large number of artillery and infantry units the Saoghalites care little for their own lives and see themselves as an unstoppable tide that will descend and crush their enemies.
Their battle doctrines are perfected in training on Saoghal Dearg itself, where they use the scorched planet’s surface as a testing ground for their insane number of artillery batteries. The regiments train relentlessly in digging trenches and perfecting rolling barrages that escort their massed infantry into the battered enemy lines.
- The Fall of Damochan