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The Morana 'Black Guard' is the name given to the elite Imperial Guard regiments that hail from the post-nuclear Death World of Morana, located in the Uhulis Sector in the Segmentum Tempestus. Morana was the site of long and brutal war against a large force of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion over 2,300 standard years ago in the 39th Millennium. This Imperial world was once a vibrant and industrious Hive World but met a grim and terrible fate when it was bombarded with nucleonic weapons followed by four-hundred years of grinding warfare to purge the presence of deeply entrenched heretical Chaos Cults.
After centuries of nuclear destruction and bitter trench warfare, Morana was reduced to a scorched, radioactive husk composed of blasted wastelands of choking ash and mud, forcing its surviving people to retreat into underground arcologies in order to survive the toxic planetary environment. For many generations afterwards, the people of Morana have become a highly independent, self-sustaining and hardy stock. Having developed highly sophisticated hazardous gear and unique patterns of weapons, the elite Black Guard regiments willingly fight in some of the most brutal and deadliest warzones in the galaxy. It is from the first Planetary Defence Force volunteers that Morana raised their first elite 'Black Guard' Shock Troop Regiments. Over several centuries, these elite forces have evolved into highly effective siege specialist regiments who willing seek out opportunities to display their iron discipline and self-sacrifice in combat. Black Guards Shock Troops excel at wars of attrition and defensive combat in particular.
Age of Exploration
The Uhulis Sector was first discovered by Terran explorers in M21 with Morana being the first of many human-settled worlds that were colonised. However, the history after Morana's discovery and colonisation at this point is unknown. Warp Storms isolated the planet while still in its sociological infancy, and it was left to develop on its own for the next 9,000 Terran years.
Coming of The Great Crusade
It was only during the middle years of the Great Crusade when the Empire of Mankind finally reached Morana. By this time, the planet had become a thriving Hive World with it's vast cities and resources. The Imperial Expeditionary Fleet engaged upon the business of enforcing Imperial Compliance and extending the Imperial aegis to the world of Morana. After brief, but tense negotiations with the Hive World's leaders, Morana was brought bloodlessly into the Imperium of Man.
- Barnardi Prime System Uprising (Unknown.M36) - An uprising in the Barnardi Prime System is put down by the Helghan 042nd Regiment.
- Defence of Geratomro (389.M41) - In 389.M41, this once-loyal Industrial World was the theatre of the Geratomran Reconquest, a brief but savage military campaign which saw the forces of the Imperium narrowly avoid a full-fledged daemonic incursion. The 009th Morana Shock Troopers Regiment was sent to help in the defence of Geratormran.
- Purge of the Contqual Sub-sector (812.M41) - The citizens of the Contqual Sub-sector lived a decadent and carefree existence, believing they had created a paradise free from the ugliness found throughout much of the rest of the Imperium of Man. The taint of the Contqual Sub-sector began late in the year 812.M41 when the Contqual High Governor fell easy prey to the corruption of the Chaos God of Pleasure, Slaanesh. Within a single month the entire Sub-sector seethed with the corruption of Chaos. The task of cleansing the taint of such heresy was given to Clan Raukaan of the stalwart Iron Hands Space Marine Chapter. The Iron Hands were further augmented by Imperial Navy support, a Battlegroup of the Legio Astorum and multiple regiments of the Imperial Guard, which included two battalions from the 32nd Harakoni Warhawks and three battalions from the 084th Morana Black Guards.
- The Kieldar Rebellion (956.M41) - The Kieldar Rebellion is utterly crushed by the combined forces of the Helghan, Persepolis Janissaries, Cadian, Morax, Loriar, Elysia, Catachan, Aegis, Tallarn, Harkoni, Neocassan, Paragon, Vostroyan, Birmingham, Mordian, Jjojos, Pintax, Athanos, K'phrani, Rassiosan and Bannan Imperial Guard regiments.
- The Third War for Armageddon (998.M41) - The Morana Black Guards sends 4 regiments in support of the Imperial defence against the Greenskin tide. The Imperial forces only saved the beleaguered planet through their sheer stubbornness during its defence and the onset of the Season of Fire, which made military operations nearly impossible for both sides.
- Fall of Medusa V (999.M41) - The Imperial Mining World of Medusa V, located in the Ultima Segmentum, was devoured by a massive Warp Storm in 999.M41. Fortunately, the military forces of the Imperium of Man were able to evacuate the entire surviving civilian population of the planet before it was consumed. Before completing this evacuation, the world became the centre of a large military conflict between eight of the Milky Way Galaxy's major powers for control of the world, each for its own reasons in a campaign later known to Imperial savants as the Fall of Medusa V. Multiple Morana Black Guard regiments, which included the 009th, 424th, and 582nd, answered the call to arms, and fought in the Medusa V campaign.
Morana regiments operate under the standard and recognisable Imperial Guard command structure laid down by the Departmento Munitorum, with some minor local variation in insignia and designation.
- Lord General
- Lieutenant General
- Major General
- Brigadier General
- Lieutenant Colonel
- First Lieutenant
- Second Lieutenant
- Sergeant Major
- First Sergeant
- Gunnery Sergeant (Gunny)
Regimental Recruitment & Training
- "Victory needs no explanation, defeat allows none."
- — Commissar Cadriel Gillick speaking to new Black Guard Troops
At the height of the Great Crusade, following Morana's successful Imperial Compliance, the Departmento Munitorum set down a standard compulsory conscription for all male and female youths to serve a mandatory term within the Auxilia Imperialis. Raised from birth in the warrior caste, citizens of Morana who were now Imperial citizens were taught that their citizenship conferred no rights, only responsibilities. Since that bygone age, this tradition of compulsory service is still proudly maintained by the people of Morana. Most Imperial citizens of Morana are unorthodox in their service to the Emperor, but will do their duty. However, the dregs of Morana society are often not so willing to do their compulsory service and have to be periodically rounded up by local Adeptus Arbites law enforcers. They are then forced, usually at gunpoint, to perform their civic duty or face a life term in one of their manufactorum prison performing hard labour. Often, clannish practices from hive gang cultures or other such traditions predominate in their thinking when serving in the name of the Imperium of Man.
Imperial Guard recruits are organised into largely autonomous Regiments on Morana. These are composed of troops recruited at the same time, commanded by their own officers and supported by their own non-combat personnel. Once recruits undergo their training and eventually become full-fledged troopers of the Morana Black Guard, they are part of a well-oiled machine - a highly trained elite core of Imperial Guard units. These units are particularly skilled in the arts of deploying mechanised infantry. In addition, Guardsman from Morana make fine assault troops for fighting in urban and hive city environments as well as heavily industrialised zones, chemical sumps, and other such toxic regions. Their equipment and experience with such acrid environments make them invaluable for trudging through all sorts of polluted or otherwise noxious wastelands - from underhives filled with the toxic residue of ancient atomic generators, to ruin-filled swamps rife with hallucinogenic flora, quicksand, and near-invisible pockets of lethal gas.
Regimental Combat Doctrine
- "I'd give my life if that's what was asked. Now hustle up! Left-right! Left-right! Left-right! Your left!!!"
- — Sergeant Dwayne Hicks drilling new Troopers
In combat, Black Guards are adept at both ballistic warfare and close-range melee bloodshed, and use a mixture of the two to slaughter opponents in vast numbers. The typical Black Guard trooper is armed with a lasgun, plasma gun or other such ranged weapon, as well as a close-combat knife. Morana Black Guard forces often commence battle with a sustained artillery bombardment, utilizing every weapon at their disposal. The basis of this is a complex fire plan in which every weapon is directed with utmost care at the optimum target, for maximum effect.
Where possible, the Black Guard will coordinate with Titan Legions to add to their own considerable firepower. This emphasis on artillery and mechanized warfare means that Black Guard forces often fare best in siege warfare and armored advances on enemy territory.
Where possible, field fortifications will be used. Black Guard doctrine includes extensive use of fortifications to occupy the maximum number of opponents while using the absolute minimum number of troops. This in turn keeps the bulk of the Black Guards troopers fresh and available for assaults, and allows them to achieve superiority elsewhere.
When the Morana Black Guard launches a planetary assault, they begin with an intense orbital bombardment (be it nuclear, plasma, viral or chemical) which could pressure the enemy into surrender without a single Black Guard trooper having to land on the surface.
However, stronger, well-defended worlds are unlikely to surrender so readily. If the planetary bombardment is indecisive, a landing force will be launched from the Black Guards' fleet. The first wave of atmospheric fighters, gunships, and bomber craft will saturate landing zones and launch raids on enemy bases and supply lines. All efforts are made to demoralize and weaken the enemy to the point of destruction before any troops are landed. Sometimes, however, this hammer-blow approach is unsuitable and instead the Black Guard will resort to covert insertion of select Black Guard on-world to scout and secure a landing zone in a surprise assault, preferably while also eliminating as much of the enemy's defensive capability as possible.
Once the first wave has caused sufficient damage to enemy defenses (or secured a suitable landing area), a second wave is launched. This consists of construction craft, heavy transports and bulk freighters, carrying supplies, prefabricated fortifications, heavy machinery and construction personnel to the surface.
Upon landing, the second wave will compound the damage caused by the orbital bombardment and bomber attacks with a secondary artillery barrage, scattering any enemy forces trying to mount a defensive effort in the area. The larger transport and freighter ships land first, their crews immediately disembarking and beginning the construction of walled trenches, bunkers, living quarters and artillery positions, the latter of which are then filled by the massive weapons brought in by the artillery ships. Selected Black Guards with incredible logistic skills will direct this complex and dangerous operation. By the time the third wave is launched, the landing zones will be a dense midden of fully-stocked fortifications.
The third wave is made up entirely of troop transports and orbit-to-ground drop pods. The troops deployed will consist of several thousand Morana Black Guards. Having occupied the newly-built ground fortifications, the commanders will proceed to plan out the destruction of the remaining enemy forces. Over a period of time ranging from months to mere hours, this Black Guards' incursion will then engage in a series of lightning-fast strikes, armored advances and carefully-laid sieges, until no enemy resistance remains.
Siege warfare follows a very simple but effective set of general tactics. When a breach has been forced in the enemy defences it will initially be probed by veterans and infiltrated, then the gap will be pried open with firepower until a storming force can be unleashed. These storming forces are based around fast-moving heavy armor which can move instantly from relentless barrage to lightning-fast advance. Breaches are then widened until the defenses are shattered. For the key moments in battle when a position absolutely must be taken.
The Morana Black Guard regiments are well-equipped and represent some of the highest standards of wargear and supply of any standing Imperial Guard formation. With procurement fulfilled by manufactora on Morana itself as well as a number of Forge Worlds and industrial facilities in the attendant sectors feeding their output directly. This wide net of production also means that a considerable variety of weapon systems, patterns of vehicles and other heavy equipment can be found at the Morana regiment's disposal.
- M34 Martok Pattern Lasrifle - The M34 Martok pattern Lasrifle is the standard-issue lasrifle used by the Imperial Guard's regiments of Morana Shock Troops and the regiments raised from many other worlds that use Black Guard wargear and martial traditions as a model for their own.
- 6 Lasgun Charge Packs - Charge packs are the powerful batteries used for all Imperial laser weapons, which varies in both size and output, depending on the classification of the weapon. Also, depending on the number of rounds the weapon is able to fire, these charge packs provide for the number of shots for that particular weapon.
- Autopistol - An autopistol is an ancient piece of technology that heralds back to an earlier age. Small but effective, these weapons are a favourite amongst many military veterans as a supplement for their standard Lasgun. Possessing a faster rate of fire than many laspistols, they are able to put down most targets in a single burst.
- 2 Autopistol Clips - Autopistol clips are used to store multiple metal-jacketed ballistic rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the weapon, which speeds up the process of loading and reloading firearms, rather than one round being loaded at a time.
- Combat Knife - A one-handed melee weapon, a combat knife is a standard-issue fighting knife designed solely for military use by Imperial Guard troopers and intended for hand-to-hand or close combat fighting. They are secondarily designed for utility use, such as clearing foliage, chopping branches for cover or opening ammunition crates, in addition to their original role as close-quarter combat weapons. Warriors across the Imperium use combat knives as an ubiquitous back-up weapon.
- Flak Armour - Flak Armour is the standard-issue form of body armour issued to the millions of troopers of the Astra Militarum. It is comprised of several layers of ablative and impact absorbent material to help provide protection from case fragments ("frag") from high explosive weaponry, such as anti-artillery ("flak") grenades, some rounds used in shotguns and land mines, and other low-velocity projectiles. It is not designed to protect against high-impact weapons fire from small arms such as rifles or handguns. However, flak armour is able to sustain certain gunshots, depending on the armour, the projectile and the range from which the shot was fired. Lightweight and cheap to produce, this standard-issue wargear is dependable in most combat situations and many veteran troopers have a tendency to keep utilising it even if offered something better.
- Monoscope - A monscope is a special form of video camera tube attached to the helmet, which displays what an individual Imperial Guard trooper is seeing as he pans the battlefield. Projecting a beam of light, the captured live-feed is visually uploaded to a trooper's squad leader, allowing them to witness what their subordinate sees during the prosecution of a battle.
- The Morana Tri-Dome Helmet with in-built Face Mask - This specialty piece of wargear is utilised exclusively by the troopers of the Morana Black Guard. Produced on their bleak home world, the Morana Tri-Dome Helmet provides ballistic protection against concussive shockwaves from both grenade explosions and artillery. The outer-shell and integrated suspension system ensures a stable and snug fit which can be easily adjusted for comfort by the wearer. These helmets also provide excellent protection against the various toxic environments or deadly atmospheres that are often encountered by the Morana Black Guard when fighting in the various Zone Mortalis warzones across the galaxy. Fitted with fully compatible rebreathers, the Morana Tri-Dome Helmet provides a Black Guard trooper a degree of protection even in airless environments for limited periods. A fan embedded within the helmet mask's infiltration system helps to keep a trooper cool without being cumbersome and helps to provide over-pressurization, which prevents external contaminants from entering it. The multi-spectral occulum of their helmets, which are firmly attached via suction to a trooper's eyes, are designed for maximum protection and helps to prevent glare and blindness from the elements. These multi-purpose lenses also enables a Black Guard trooper to see in low light conditions ("night vision") with relative ease.
- Morana Imperial Guard Uniform - Like most heavily militarised worlds, Morana's manufactora are able to produce and equip its own Astra Militarum forces both quickly and efficiently. The design of their standard-issue uniforms are a direct result of the blood-soaked battle-wisdom earned from millennia of endless warfare. A Morana Black Guard trooper's battledress uniform is comprised of hardy industrialised fabric designed to resist the hostile conditions of the battlefield and resist all types of weather conditions. Near infrared signature management technology is incorporated into the weave of the uniform fibers to help minimize the infrared silhouette of an individual trooper, especially in night-time conditions, when the enemy is utilising night-vision technology. The trousers possesses flame resistant materials and features in-built pouches for knee-pad inserts as well as several storage pockets with velcro enclosures which can be utilised to carry additional lasgun charge packs or personal rations. The thickly woven jacket provides excellent protection against a variety of environmental conditions as well as providing limited protection against case fragments from high explosive weaponry, such as grenades. When marching to war, the Morana Black Guard uniform is worn in the standard regimental colours (usually mottled blacks or dark greys), which also appears on their equipment as well.
- Morana Pattern "Helgast" Carapace Armour - The Morana Pattern "Morana" Carapace Armour is the standard body armour of the Morana Black Guard Shock Trooper elite. It is comprised of moulded plates of armaplas, ceramite or other strong, light-weight, but highly-resistant materials which covers the chest, lower torso and upper legs.
- Micro-Bead - This short-range communication device is worn in the ear and is utilised for short-range communication (usually about one kilometre, depending on weather conditions and terrain). These devices fit securely and discretely in the ear and often cannot be detected by a casual inspection.
- Weather Gear
- Entrenching Tool
- Basic Toolkit -
- Mess Kit & Water Canteen
- 2 weeks' Rations
- Blanket & Sleep Bag
- Rechargeable Lamp-Pack - These portable devices are used to help illuminate the darkness of a battlefield during inclement weather or occluded conditions, shining a highly luminescent, yellowish beam of light a dozen or so metres in width. A Lamp-Pack can be utilised for roughly five hours before its portable power pack needs to be recharged or replaced.
- Grooming Kit -
- Dog Tags -
- Infantryman's Uplifting Primer - This is the standard-issue field manual that covers a myriad of topics as it relates to the upkeep and care of standard-issue equipment and covers a wide variety of topics; from the various Imperial Guard ranks, organisation and structure, drill-and-ceremony as well as topics on survival, battlefield medical instructions and combat tactics. Those Imperial Guard troopers found without possession of this vital field manual often face severe punishment at the hands of their supervisors or attached Commissar.
Black Guard units prefer to use Meltaguns and Miniguns as heavy weapons, but also have access to Mortars, Heavy Stubbers, Lascannons, Tesla Cannons, and Heavy Incinerators. Below are listed the commonly used weapons of the Morana Black Guard regiments:
- Tesla Arc Cannon - The Tesla Arc Cannon is a piece of archeotech utilised exclusively by the troopers of the Morana Black Guard's heavy support squads. Named for an ancient Terran scientist of great renown, these formidable, these portable shoulder-mounted weapons utilise in-built miniaturised permacapacitors, powered by electron charge packs, which fires a devastating blast of electricity. When fully charge, these weapons discharge with a thunderous crack, firing a deadly blue-white electric bolt of energy that can disintegrate a target into ash or overload a machine's data-cortex in seconds. Able to fire at great distances, Tesla Cannons are used to lay down a deadly barrage of fire to cover advancing units or strafe enemy-held positions. But their primary function is to destroy light armoured vehicles and small buildings.
- Hades Pattern Heavy Incinerator - An uncommon squad support weapon utilised exclusively amongst Morana Shock Troops infantry squads, the 'Hades' Pattern Heavy Incinerator is a rare and deadly weapon that launches the lethal substance known as phosphex - a rare, corrosive and toxic incendiary compound - at extremely long distances with relatively deadly accuracy. When fired, these weapons lob flammable balls of eerie white-green flame at the target in an arc pattern. The gelid flame of these 'projectiles' ignites metal and eats relentlessly into living tissue, and cannot be extinguished short of exposure to vacuum.
- Morana pattern 'Stryker' Minigun - The Morana 'Stryker' Minigun is a common special weapon utilised exclusively by the Morana Shock Troop heavy support squads. This powerful and portable anti-infantry, rotary-type ballistic weapon fires a ceaseless barrage of high calibre shells, supported by a complex ammunition-feed array and gyro-assisted recoil compensator. Though this weapon lacks the heavy punch of a lascannon, the sheer rate of fire that this weapon is capable of is more than sufficient for the obliteration of large infantry formations or light vehicles. Its primary disadvantage is the need for carrying large amounts of ammunition.
- Morana pattern 'Ravager' Heavy Minigun - A common special weapon utilised exclusively by all Morana Troopers and Shook Troop infantry and support squads, the Morana pattern 'Ravager' Heavy Minigun is a self-loading rotary weapon that features multiple cyclic barrels that fire high velocity mass-reactive shells capable of tearing enemy infantry to ribbons and ripping through lightly-armoured vehicles. The 'Ravager' minigun deals slightly more damage per shot than its regular counterpart and possesses a greater rate of fire. The 'Ravager' minigun is primarily used to stitch deadly patterns of death across the enemy's lines, turning entire groups of infantry into clouds of bloody mist, causing charges to falter and destroying entire attack columns of light vehicles. Additionally, the spread of this weapon is reduced almost by half of its counterpart, allowing the 'Ravager' better accuracy over a longer distance. However, this weapon possesses two distinct disadvantages - it carries twice the amount of ammunition than the 'Stryker' minigun and is prone to overheating and jams due to its high rate of fire. Despite these setbacks, the devastating barrage that can be laid down by one of these deadly weapons is a distinct advantage that cannot be overlooked. Morana Shock Troops consider the inherent risks of this weapon, well worth it, for the satisfying destruction that can be reaped against their enemies.
Notable Black Guard Regiments
- 001st Morana Shock Troopers Regiment -
- 009th Morana Shock Troopers Regiment -
- 042nd Morana Black Guard Regiment -
- 084th Morana Black Guard Regiment -
- 104th Morana Black Guard Regiment - The Morana 104th fought in the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41.
- 243rd Morana Black Guard Regiment - The Morana 243rd fought in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade.
- 424th Morana Black Guard Regiment -
- 582nd Morana Black Guard Regiment -
Notable Guardsmen of the Morana Black Guard
- Lord General Bishop Conos -
- Lady General Selena Vasquez -
- General Karross Rexus -
- Colonel Lucian Wilhelm -
- Colonel Corvinus Xristo -
- Major Marcus Kravan -
- Captain Victor Von Goering -
- First Lieutenant Apone Trasius -
- Commissar Aroha Nye -
- Commissar Cadriel Gillick -
- Sergeant Major Tabrannus Reece -
- Gunnery Sergeant Eldridge Birt Hudson -
- Sergeant Dwayne Hicks -
The Black Guards are similar to the Death Korps of Krieg in the appearance of their uniform and equipment, but they make use of darker colors. Uniform cut and design is almost consistent throughout the entire Black Guard but colours can vary from regiment to regiment and the officer ranks tend to have slightly more ornate uniforms than the rank and file. The officers commonly wear black uniforms with gold trim as a mark of their rank. Flak-vest and other pieces of armour have gold as a matter of tradition and heavily decorated suits of Carapace armor.
The Morana Black Guard Insignia is a black coloured trim on the crest. A black skull is centered within the crest, on a field of white.
Upon enlistment, Morana Black Guard squads are issued a unique three-digit squad number. Command squads are issued a two-digit number with a central skull motif. Numbers beginning with one or two zeroes are normally reserved for Storm Troopers' squads or special veteran squads formed from survivors of other squads.
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By the Morana Black Guard
- "To the last man!! To the last round!"
- — Lady General Selena Vasquez, to her Troopers of the 084th Morana Black Guards during the Purge of the Contqual Sub-Sector, 812.M41
- "This death, this death is ours! We choose it! We deny you your victory!"
- — Captain Victor Von Goering during a last stand endeavour to defend Hive Tempestora as it fell during the Third War of Armageddon
- "First one to retreat will be shot!"
- — Commissar Aroha Nye, threatening her unit if they show cowardice in the face of the enemy.
- "Where's the bloody tanks?!!"
- — Unknown Morana trooper
- "If it's one thing I love about Heretic Astartes, it's their over-inflated sense of invincibility. Especially when a round from my sniper rifle goes into one of their optic lens and right into their rotten brains..the look of surprise is priceless! It never gets old!"
- — A Sergeant of the Morana Black Guard Imperial Guard Regiment, commenting upon his love for killing Chaos Space Marines
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About the Morana Black Guard
- "If there's one thing I really love about guardsmen it's that no matter how hard they think they are they're still reduced to a bloody pulp when I shoot 'em with a bolt gun."
- — Dolfdir of the Crusaders Once Crossed