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Paragon Uriel Protect Us,
Paragron Uriel Teach Us,
Paragon Uriel Direct Us.
In your glory we follow,
where you command we go,
what you command, we will do.
We are instruments of your will.
Through your judgement, we live.
Through your wisdom, we have changed.
Through your devotion, we are reborn.
Our lives are yours.
Through your eternal flame we are risen from the ashes.
Through your light we have risen as Caltraxii.

- The Hymn of Redemption - a mantra of the Caltraxa Guard

The Caltraxa Guard (plural: Caltraxii) are an elite force commanded by the Imperial family of the Draconid Imperium comprised solely of the former members of the Sons of Hedon who survived the Great Tyranny War. Naming themselves after a creature of Alcanti legend said to ressurect itself with fire, members of the Guard seek to redeem themselves for their crimes serbing under the Drakodominatus Tyranny while also displaying nigh-unwavering loyalty to the Imperium's paragon. The primary goal of many of them being to find a home after the collapse of the Tyranny and to redeem thelselves in the eyes of their kin and the greater Imperium by serving as the hand of the paragon.

HistoryEdit

Sons Submit 01

Sons Kneel on paragon's Promenade

Following the Tribunal of the Dominatus, in which the aforementioned species was sentenced to death, during the Trial of the Overseers, the first to be judged were the Sons of Hedon. Invoking a line of reasoning similar to his appeal of their Dynast, Hedon of service to the Imperium for redemption that had worked in the past, he successfully argued that the rest of the Sons would be pardoned in exchange for service to the Imperium. In one fell swoop, Uriel gained the Sons who had survived till the end of the war - 341 in total, the largest of and surviving Creed. Key amongst these figures were Praetor Sodom and Praetor Gomorrah, who were the only 2 of the original 5 Praetors, the so called Lotus-Eaters to survive till the end of the war. The primus inter pares of the Praetors, Moloch had perished on Sybaris while the two other Praetors - Baal and Attar, had perished in Andromeda in the cleanup that followed Gravius' defeat at Araveene.

In an incredibly historical and at the time-controversial moment, the Sons were involved at the end of the vast military parade that took place on Alcanti following Uriel's return from Mirus. The Sons kneeled on Paragon Promenade and, having already given up their weapons on Demogorgon Prime, gave up their armor as each individually received from Uriel a proclamation of forgiveness. Infamously, of the two Praetors, Sodom would give Uriel the Praetor's ring while Gomorrah would keep it.

Unlike the majority of post-Tyranny Overseer organizations, as a consequence of the Draconis capture of the Ultima-Servilis serum and many of the associated blueprints having to do with the production of said Overseers, the Draconid Imperium were able to continue enhancement and creation of Overseers. With refinements to the process, they have managed to cut the fatality rate and deformity rate of the process in half. Despite this, production is limited by the lack of experienced trainers, the difficulty in producing their equipment, and the strictly all-volunteer recruiting regiment.

In the 2800s, the Caltraxii, who numbered just under 500 as the first batches of new recruits were tested and integrated were deployed during the Great Xonexian Schism, serving both to change the course of battles, inspire Draconis troops, and defeat the so-called Yutgap's Own, Heralds of Mosivam in the employ of the DCP's most controversial commander. Despite enduring heavy casualties, the Caltraxii distinguished themselves both in combat and valour, oftentimes becoming the subject of many Draconis writer's attempts to portray redemption and positive change, with many citizens of the Draconid Imperium asking for photographs and autographs from the Imperium's newest heroes. Indeed, most famously Praetor Sodom defended an industrial planet he had once raided and ravaged and after successfully fending off the DCP, the severely wounded Sodom was visited while recovering by those citizens he had once terrorised, his massive stretcher being pelted with flowers and other such garnishes when he was brought from the battle to the city.

The Caltraxii were not without controversy however, as in the 2810s, an internal conspiracy led by Praetor Gomorrah almost tore the organisation apart. It was only be the intervention of Sodom and Hedon that Gomorrah was brought to justice and executed before the rogue Praetor could further infect the minds of the new Caltraxii. Famously, Sodom and Gomorrah fought - Sodom with his new Draconis armor and weaponry while Gomorrah, with his old armour and his old weapon, the former stolen from a secret Draconis armoury and the latter, from a black-market auction. Fortunately for the Caltraxii, Sodom was the former Sons' greatest duelist, and Gomorrah excelled more as a commander, and as such the crisis ended favourably for the Caltraxii.

In the 2820s, it is estimated that at least several thousand Caltraxii are in existence, with 85 of them being original members - making them by far the largest post-Tyranny Overseer organization. Work continues on reverse-engineering the Dominatus so-called second-stage enhancements, passed on through their Overseers after the fall of Manticore so that the other Caltraxii.

OrganisationEdit

While the original Sons who had survived to the end of the battle of the Demogorgon Prime were often one-man armies, counting amongst the 341, in descending order of power, the Dynast Hedon himself, 2 Praetors - Sodom and Gommorah, 5 Overlords, 23 Imperators, 57 Centurions and 253 Legionnaires. Moreover, of the 23 Imperators, 9 were of the Primus designation, meaning that they were were considered to have the potential to eventually become Overlords, and of these 4 members of the Mortem Militum. Of the remaining 14 Imperators, 7 were members of the Eques Ferrum, Of the 57 Centurions, 16 were members of the Domino Bestia.

In keeping with the Imperium's dictates and predilections, the members of the Mortem Militum were sent to Kartokus Weapon Systems in efforts to reverse engineer the captured battle-suits, while the members of the Eques Ferrum and Domino Bestia were sent to XenoGenesis Biological Solutions in efforts to start further biological and cybernetic enhancement trials on non-sapient creatures. In the leadup to the Schism, the Praetors and Overlords were used as drillmasters and trainers, with 4 of the 5 Overlords assigned to a training group while the Praetors further supervised and made modifications for training. The remaining Imperators were to assist in specialised training exercises while centurions were often attached to a squad for constant monitoring of progress and stress. The Legionnaires however, and what remained of those who were not involved in training, were rotated in combat trials throughout the Draconid Imperium as they adjusted to their new weapons and armor.

DeploymentEdit

The method in which the Caltraxa Guard are deployed is in part contingent on whether they are former Sons or not. Former Sons, with their second-stage enhancements, their experience as super-soldiers in the Great Tyranny War, and their knowledge of lost arts of war and the predilection for lone-wolf thinking encouraged amongst the Overseers who remained to the very end of the war, when the Tyranny's emphasis on preserving what few Overseers remained led to an insane focus on individual power, are sometimes deployed alone or in small groups on deep-strike commando missions behind enemy lines. Other times, these former Sons lead other Caltraxii in assaults against thought-to-be impregnably enemy positions or in holding defensive lines that would otherwise be breached. As these Sons are few in number, continually dwindling, and irreplaceable, their deployment requires authorisation at the highest level.

The newer Caltraxii are deployed in more conventional formations - it is exceedingly rare to see them not operating in squads as their experience beforehand, often-times in organizations like the Draconis Marines has conditioned their minds to think as soldiers rather than warriors. While the individual power of the newer Caltraxii is substantially less than that of the older Sons, their combined firepower, unit cohesion, and use of small-group tactics is often a force overwhelming enough that their enemies can do naught but crack under the weight of fire. Further, it is a noticed pattern that the newer Caltraxii display an affinity for long-range warfare that the older Sons do not - in part due to the vaunted master of close-combat arts that the older Sons had worked so hard to attain, and their effectiveness in applying this harder-to-master art form in combat.

TrainingEdit

The training and enhancement process for the Caltraxa Guard is what many who know about the program to refer to as the best, most sanest treatment of the callousness and insanity of Dominatus science. New volunteers are first introduced to Praetor Sodom, who, despite his new-found loyalties, does his best job to intimidate them so that those enlisting for the wrong reasons are quickly weeded out. It should be noted that an effort substantially less than his best job would easily be sufficient, as even the youngest of recruits know of what the Sons once were, and what they once did.

The first task of the recruits is a forced, march up one of Penatis' mountain, with the added difficulty of carrying a large rock in a backpack. The task is purposefully impossible - recruits realise this and oftentimes, upon receiving the answer upon further clarification that they are merely to "continue", many give up and wait for a shuttle to pick them up. Those admitted to the next stage are those who continue until their bones and tendons literally snap under the weight of exertion and are physically immobilised after crawling when their legs fail. Statistics note that a large group of these successful subjects are veterans of the Great Tyranny War who have participated in some of its most pitched battles. Anecdotal reports suggest that the sheer, iron discipline to charge into certain death and fight what seems to be a futile fight against an seemingly impossibly powerful enemy is highly correlated with the ability to pass this first test. Upon visiting Penatis for the first time to see training, Paragon Uriel Ultanos remarked to Praetor Sodom that he "certainly knew how to break the Imperium's best", staring at him disparagingly until Sodom described the utility of the exercise.

Those who succeed in this test find themselves awoken in medical wards and are informed that they still have the opportunity to exit training and are reminded that in the next change, some fatalities are guaranteed. This first stage of enhancements sets the framework for future enhancement as under sedatives, bones are pulverised and enhanced, synthetically created muscle is implanted, and the first reworks of nervous system are done among other changes to the various organs and systems of the body. Caltraxii will not have reached their complete size yet, but will have grown substantially. While fatalities are not uncommon in this phase, Draconis engineering has made it such that it is approximately twice as safe as the Tyranny's best, equivalent processes as found on Sybaris.

Recruits are then taken out to summit the mountain again, and are often exhilarated in knowing that such a feat is not only possible, it can be achieved with a routine exertion in effort. Oftentimes this leads of cocky recruits gloating about their newfound power and joking about how god-like they are. This is then invariably followed by Sodom taking off his armor and revealing the full force of mutation he endured. The message is clear - self-control is as important as iron-will in preventing this kind of degeneration. The rest of the process is fairly routine as the new Caltraxii receive new batteries of enhancements while engaging in training exercises. This culminates in a graduation ceremony in which those who have made it through kneel on Paragon's Promenade and receive an official proclamation from the Paragon.

EquipmentEdit

Since swearing loyalty to the Draconid Imperium, members have since discarded the golden armour and sonic cannons they used under the Sons of Hedon and adopted armour and weaponry developed within the Imperium. The Caltraxa Guard adopt motifs of light and rebirth in their equipment, preferring laser, plasma and glasma weaponry when out in the field with partial intention towards striking a memorable and intimidating image into the Imperium's foese, but unlike with their previous alliegence, their armour and weapons are also intended to boost morale both in the field and on media reports of their exploits.

Infantry are protected by layers sophisticated ablative ceramic plate interwoven with carbon nanotubes worn over a twitch-interfaced synthetic muscle body-glove. Within each set of armour is a nanite colony designed to maintain the body and armour of the user to allow them to remain at peak efficiency in the heat of battle. Standard Caltraxa armour is fitted with a jump-pack that augments flight speed and manouverability to give Caltraxa a decisive aerial edge. A trend exists amongst veteren members to augment their jump-packs with flame-like contrails to further boost the image of a fiery angel.

Because the Sons of Hedon measure between 4.5 and 6 metres in height, they primarily utilise vehicle-calibre weaponry in the field. Most soldiers wield a pulse rifle that proportionately resembles a medium-sized assault rifle, scaled up to suit the ergonomic needs of the Caltraxii. The practical result is that this weapon is capable of causing immense damage to light vehicles. Heavier LMG-like variants have been demonstrated to tear into main battle tank armour. As laser- and plasma-based firearms, most weapons are powered by an hypermatter battery set most often within the rear end of the weapon. As well as rifles and scatter-lasers, the Caltraxii also commonly utilise powered weapons in the form of longsords, spears and glaives that resemble a blade sheathed in an orange plasma. Primarily intended for close combat, these weapons have proven effective against light and (with enough momentum) medium vehicle armour.

PenatisEdit

QuotesEdit

Out of all the things Uriel the Sixteenth managed to do, the Caltraxii are the most outright astounding. However you describe the contrast, whether he shaped demons into angels, nightmares into guardians, or monsters into heroes, Paragon Uriel managed to turn one of the most existential threats to our society into our staunchest shields.

- Taesa Omirin, How Demons Became Icons

So long as he understands what he did, and desires something better, sometimes even the most depraved of monsters can be redeemed.

- Alessa Ultanos

TriviaEdit

  • The Caltraxa was largely inspired by the mythical Phoenix, with the main differences being that due to Ossilan wildlife and climate, the creature is more reptillian in form and the rebirth sequence involves a dazzling light. The latter being comparable to burning magnesium.
  • "Penatis" is a play on useage variations of the word "peanance" and "penintant", in referrance to the desire of the reformed Sons of Hedon.

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