Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Fluff I: Codan Preface

My buddy Matt submitted a cool short story fluffing the Penal Legionnaires (mercilessly used by his Krieg's Army), and he gave me permission to post it on my blog. I quickly sketched a rendition of Codan, his story's protagonist. Enjoy!

"I'm writing a little short story for my Wanzenjagers.  It is from the perspective of a penal legion squad member named "Codan".  He was a Imperial Commissar who lost his nerve during a campaign against Hive Fleet Jormangandr in the galactic eastern fringe.  Codan was the model of bravery, fighting against humanity's enemies time and again.  Even held the line against a brutal dark eldar raid, executing four guardsmen who tried to retreat.  Even being considered for promotion to Lord Commissar, Codan would have lived and died a hero, but for two things.  His lifelong secret phobia of bugs, and his deployment against the tyranids.
When he flees his unit, it completely breaks his personality into a selfish bully, with very well hidden, deep issues of self-loathing.  He is eventually captured, and sentenced to execution most painful.  Due to his skills, he is given the option of serving in a penal legion, perhaps dieing in a less painful way, and with the extremely remote chance of earning his freedom.  Codan jumps at the chance, but sits in a hellhole of a prison for two years waiting for assignment.  He is finally picked up, by a strange unit of Imperial Guardsman who speak a strange, gutteral language.  Codan looks down on his fellow penal legionarres as rabble, and tries to study the guardsman who he is assigned to.  They are of a far higher calibre of soldier than the local guardsman he had previously served with, and he picks up that they are a re-constituted special unit that volunteered to travel east from thier home planet of Krieg.
During this time, Codan observes the Kriegsman also study his unit, and continually refer to his penal squad as "Köder-Gruppe".
Codan takes this as high praise, as it seems the Kriegsman obviously see him as the leader of his squad, and in thier own tongue, dubbed it "Codan's Group".
Well, unfortunately for our main character, this Company of Kriegsman have developed a working strategy of success in thier special assignment.  The assignment being to root out and destroy all subterranean tyranids left behind in the wake of Hive Fleet Jormangandr.....which had intentionally "seeded" many worlds in order to re-constitute itself if it was defeated. (the hive mind is tricky...this is actually in the tyranid codex).  Even more unfortunate for poor Codan is the working strategy is to "feed" the penal squads that it collects from local imperial prisons to hiding xenos as bait.  (The actual meaning of Köder-Gruppe in german is "bait squad").
At the end of the story, when Codan realizes what the heck is going on, the Kriegsman actually have to wrestle him down and put him in stocks to keep him from going berserk."

There you have it! I made the suggestion to Matt that perhaps Codan finally accepted his fate and after surviving a few close calls embraced his phobia. Perhaps his phobia even provides him with an uncanny sixth sense,along with improved survivability when pitted against Tyranids (Nids).

Chapter 1 


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