|This article, Crescent Elites, was written by Lune Crackham. Please do not edit or 'acquire' this fiction without the writer's permission.|
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- "The Crescent Elites! hear your commander! The Imperium has the Space Marines to fight, our brother and sisters to hold the line, and us to make sure that dangers are exposed and identified. Stand tall, men and women of the Imperium! For you have been trained to fight, hear and resist. You, from this moment forward, are united with a bond. A bond that shall help you fight even the most fierce beast of chaos! Look to the people around you, look into their eyes when you waver, because from now and on you are The Crescent Elites, and fear is nothing but your puppet!"
- ―Lune Crackham, acting commander of The Crescent Elites, during the "Redemption" of a unit.
The Crescent Elites are a newly created Imperial Guard Regiment, constituted to act as the "front line intelligence operatives" for the Imperium of Man. A rather secretive Imperial Guard regiment, The Crescent Elites act as covert operatives embedded on Imperial territory, in order to identify and expose all kinds of threats, including local unrest and rebellions. They usually prefer to remain incognito and let other aspects of the Imperial forces, like the Space Marines, take the scene. However, should they be forced to fight, they are known to impress even the mighty Adeptus Astartes, The Emperor's Angels of Death. The Imperium uses them as intelligence operatives, so they do not posses the traditional equipment of their brothers and sisters. They use light armor, classic lasguns, bolt pistols, sniper rifles and "hard hitting guns" like heavy Stubbers. Their most famous tactic is the Crescent Maneuver, a special move invented by their notorious Colonel, the Hero-Commandant Alexius Kazanov. The tactic begins with the main force being deployed in the shape of a crescent in order to flank and surround the enemy. Should the enemy manage to out maneuver them and break away from their grasp, the force immediately feints a retreat, falling back to the appropriate position that houses the second wave. Right after the enemy presses forward and attacks the fleeing force, the second wave exits their cover and surrounds or ambushes the attackers, causing mass confusion while the retreating forces regroup and bolster the second wave. The Crescent Elites are also named after this tactic, due to the fact that the regiment is one of the very few regiments that can execute this tactic with excellence.
Charges of HeresyEdit
The Crescent Elites are one of the most loyal servants of the Emperor of Mankind. However, there are rumors stating that they do not believe the Emperor of Mankind is a god. In fact, some "anonymous accounts" suggest that The Crescent Elites only revere him as a great hero, but refuse his ascension to godhood. These accounts further state that their real belief is shrouded in mystery, hidden from even the highest echelons of the Officio Assassinorum. There are even ridiculous debates regarding whether their belief predates the Great Crusade or not. Even though these are outlandish and preposterous rumours, they nonetheless prompted the Inquisition, the Ordo Hereticus in particular, to act. That's why the regiment was accused with heresy twice and both times Ordo Hereticus dispatched forces to investigate. However, none of these "anonymous accounts" had concrete evidence to even back their charges, let alone prove them, which ultimately meant that the regiment was, for the moment, deemed pure and cleaned of all these charges twice. Having been cleared from all these charges, The Crescent Elites continue to serve the Imperium of Man with honor unmatched. Later on, suspicions even arose, suspecting that these rumors were spread to dissolve The Crescent Elites or damage their reputation permanently in the first place.
Regimental Organization Edit
The Crescent Elites are an infantry regiment and as a result they possess only a bunch of vehicles, all of those vehicles being Chimera APC's. Considering their diverse nature and adaptability, those Chimeras are rarely deployed on the battlefield and are mostly used for transportation of supplies and other required items. The Crescent Elites are divided into 200 soldier units, with 20 squads consisting of 10 men in each, called "Bolter Shells". There are presumed to be around 100 of these shells, each having a different mission. Each squad is led by a Sergeant, and each shell is led by a Veteran Sergeant. The outfits of sergeants and veteran sergeants are the same, with the only difference being that Veteran Sergeants have the Crescent Insignia applied to their shoulder epaulets. The Sergeant Major is a special rank created to oversee the overall administrative and bureaucratic status of the regiment. Survey Posts are also an important part of the regiment as they are basically field outposts that are tasked with gathering information. They collect the lifeblood of the regiment, which is information. To be a Survey Post Watcher is a great honor in the regiment as they are the overseers of these field outpost, protectors of the regiments continuity. There are many survey posts scattered across the galaxy and it is the cooperation and effectiveness of these Survey Post Watchers that keeps them functioning.
- "Their fears, regrets, decisions and all the crimes they might have comitted against The Imperium are slammed on to their face, thus creating a completely unknown, personal test for them to complete."
- ―Acting Commander Lune Crackham, to Lord-Protector Kür-shad, when asked about "The Redemption".
Each and every member of these "Bolter Shells" are chosen randomly, but Acting Commander Lune states that they put different personalities together to increase close cooperation and teamwork. After a lot of training, tests, exams and missions with their "supervisors", those shells that survive and acquire more than a "required score", go through their "Redemption" and get deployed. The Redemption is the final test, "the final restriction within a human's mind", as Lune Crackham puts it. Each Redemption is unique and thus, it is impossible to make a definitive statement about their progress. Only thing known about and common in every redemption is that each one of them starts with drinking a vial and then the continuing process is unique to each person. If someone fails their Redemption (which happens very rarely), the one who fails is granted a quick death because of a side effect of the liquid inside the vial. Moreover, the remaining soldiers in the entire shell is decommissioned, dispersed and mixed with the next upcoming shells. After succeeding their Redemption, these men and women are rumored to lose interest in all humanly desires, personal wishes and mortal pleasures. They commit themselves to The Imperium and The Emperor only. However, they do not get separated from the living world and turn into soulless machines. Their emotions, ability to think freely and sense of honor, along with many other things, are preserved and sometimes, enhanced.
Uniform EditBecause their units are tasked with infiltration and espionage rather than a direct fight, there is no official uniform they wear except their formal outfit, which is mostly a ceremonial piece of equipment. Moreover, these outfits are worn only during Redemptions and important ceremonies or events. During major battles, they apply their "insignia", which is quite similar to their flag, like a tattoo to whatever uniform they are wearing. This allows them to identify each other with ease. However, if two different shells are forced to cooperate during an undercover operation, they use the motto of their regiment and other various keywords to identify and communicate with each other.
Recent studies indicate that The Crescent Elites are actually chosen and start getting trained from birth, not conscripted. It is suspected that they are trained by a loyalist squad of Alpha Legion that might have survived the Horus Heresy, however, these theories are not believed by many. The most important fact about them is that they are always chosen from people living on Holy Terra, no matter the background of their families or the influence they posses. There are a lot of rumors about their training, but the way they fight and act proves one thing: Their training is brutal. However, the result of their training bears fruit, for they posses the ability to fight on any terrain, be it a cold wasteland or a harsh mountain world. The Crescent Formation is also considered one of the most efficient strategies existing within the Imperium of Man, but it has to be executed at the right moment and requires perfectly disciplined units to do so. That's why they are one of the only Imperial Guard regiments that can execute it as it should be.
- "Commissars? They are nothing but a group of rich kids who execute soldiers only to satisfy their useless ego. These men and women, however, are not rich kids anymore. They might be called commissars, but you have nothing to fear as they are not a gun in the back, but rather a hand waiting to lift you up if you falter."
- ―Sergeant Major Carl, to a new recruit during a battle.
The Crescent Elites, like all Astra Militarum regiments, have commissars. These commissars, however, are handpicked by the "Bolter" and are given a secondary training to make them accustomed to the shells they will command. These commissars are also obliged to go through their own "Redemption". According to the reports in the hands of Officio Prefectus, these commissars rarely execute their assigned troops, only upon a treasonous act or confirmed heresy. The Officio Prefectus did nothing against these actions, primarily because the path taken by a commissar is not important if the result is as demanded. In the eyes Officio Prefectus, these Commissars are serving the Emperor as they should, for the discipline of the soldiers under their command are not only exemplary, but also inspirational.
The Crescent Elites excel at cunning operations and wars of attrition. That is why they are rarely seen in war zones. The Dark Crusade proves their supremacy in stealth as they were the agents that helped their brothers and sisters to gain a foothold on the planet and ultimately, the establishment of Victory Bay. However, their failure to defend it against the Space Marines and the other threats embedded on Kronus left a dark scar on The Crescent Elites and many soldiers still hold a grudge against the Blood Ravens even today for their ultimate defeat. Kronus campaign also resulted with The Crescent Elites being reformed by their new Acting Commander who invented the "Redemption" and increased the number of the bolter shells they had.
Should the enemy be heavily armed, they also use the heavy armor of their enemies against them, pinning them down on one spot and taking them out by circling or running around their cover, ensuring their death before they gain a chance to move. Light armored enemies, however, require a more direct approach. Since the enemy is hard to pin down, they either lash out in hopes of a close combat, or make use of their long range weapons, taking the enemy down without getting in their weapon range. Some civilians who saw the way they fight described them as "The daggers of the Emperor", attributed to their size and lethal skills. This description later on gained such popularity that even their Acting Commander started to refer his regiment as such and in the end, it became their official nickname.
The Crescent Elites are not issued with the classic equipment of their brother and sister units. They use a wide range of weaponry, from sniper rifles to bolt pistols, melta guns, lasguns, plasma cannons, heavy stubbers, almost all types of melee weaponry, autoguns and shotguns. The shells are trained with most of the weapons The Imperium uses, however, it is possible to specialize a shell to use a single type of weapon. For example, the 44th shell is called, among their fellow shells, "Shell Flashlight", mocking the fact that the entire shell is specialized in the use of lasguns. However, despite being mocked by their brethren, Shell Flashlight is one of the most decorated shells in the entire regiment, which is also one of the reasons why it is viewed with envy and often mocked.
Relics Of The Regiment Edit
It is unusual for an Astra Militarum regiment to have relics, however, The Crescent Elites are no ordinary regiment. Having a little more autonomy granted to them by the Imperium has made the regiment evolve and create their own identity, causing them to spiritualize some items and weapons they possess. That's why they also have relics and important artifacts.
- The Spear Of Order And Authority: The spear that is currently wielded by Acting Commander Lune Crackham, much to the disgust of the inquisition. The spear is said to be a singing spear which is acquired from a farseer that Lune Crackham defeated in planet Meridian when he, along with his sister Miri Crackham, rallied the Imperial Guard defending the palace of the governor and crushed the eldar forces assaulting it to assassinate the planetary governor. However, the Imperial Archives contain no such information about the spear and the origins of it remain known only to Lune Crackham. The spear is powered with psychic energy and according to Lune Crackham, only beings gifted with an enormous amount of knowledge can make it function properly, However, none can truly reveal all of the secrets it possesses. It creates a huge impact that can even push wraithlords back if the blunt side of the weapon is smashed to the ground. Also, a crimson crystal shines brightly at the top of the spear and grants various abilities to the wielder. However, these abilities change if the owner changes as well. At the hands of the current owner of this spear, the sharp side of the spear can get ignited via unknown ways and burn the enemies of the wielder, if the wielder wills it. This crystal on top of the spear is also the only reason why the weapon can not be corrupted by the foul entities of the warp and it can be used by non-psykers.
- The Edge Of Justice: The famous sword of Hero-Commandant Alexius Kazanov himself. It is rumored that this very weapon was forged by an iron father of the Iron Hands space marine chapter when Alexius Kazanov saved the iron father from certain doom and holding him alive enough for imperial forces to arrive. The sword is rumored to shine brightly, even bright enough to the point where it temporarily blinds the beasts and soldiers of chaos. The sword also channels a strange form of energy, rumored to drain the energy within the enemies of the wielder and utilize their life force against them. The origins of the material used to craft this sword is not known even by Lune Crackham. The sword was taken by Blood Ravens at the end of Kronus Campaign, found on the exact position where Alexius Kazanov sacrificed himself to make sure Lune survived, near his lifeless body. However, after this act, the ones who wielded this sword never managed to channel that energy which Alexius Kazanov once did with ease. The sword was later reacquired by The Crescent Elites and is currently at the hands of an "associate of Lune Crackham".
Notable Shells Edit
- 1st Shell, Colonel's Guard: Colonel's Guard is the shell under the direct command of Lune Crackham. Tasked with guarding their Colonel directly, this shell is outfitted with carapace armor. A half of the shell uses riot control shields and laspistols whereas the other half is outfitted with shotguns and lasguns. To be in this shell is a great honor for the regiment as the members of Colonel's Guard not only get the finest gear, they also carry out the glorious task of being near their colonel on the field of battle.
Notable Campaigns Edit
- ?.M41 The Kronus Campaign: The Kronus campaign is the first crushing defeat The Crescent Elites suffered. The regiment was deployed on Kronus, a world controlled by the Tau Empire and beset by all types of xenos, from Orks to Eldar. This was problem enough for Senatorum Imperialis and they decided that the planet would be better under Imperial rule. So they sent The Crescent Elites to ensure that the Imperial Guard would establish a foothold on the planet without heavy casualties. What ensured the death of all the shells on Kronus (only half of the 4th shell survived and left the sector with the second-in command Lune Crackham) and the uncountable amount of Imperial Guard forces was the deployment of the Blood Ravens on the sector. When only the Imperial Guard and the Blood Ravens were left on the planet, the end was inevitable: one side had to win the war. When it became clear that there would be a war, Hero-Commandant Alexius Kazanov openly pledged his aid to the Imperial Guard forces on Kronus, and secretly ordered all the shells in the planet to do recon missions on Blood Ravens territory. The fight dragged both Lune and Alexius to the front lines and they arrived on Kronus to aid their shells and help Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander to win the fight. The Imperial Guard ultimately lost and Alexius Kazanov gave his life to save his young second-in-command.
- ?.M41 First Aurelian Crusade: While the First Aurelian Crusade was raging, Lune Crackham tasked the 22nd shell with scouting the area and determining the seriousness of the Ork WAAAGH!. However, only one soldier returned from this simple task in a small ship which he had stolen from the Blood Ravens chapter. The brave soldier managed to tell Lune Crackham the grave threat that approached as he died in his hands. The Tyranids had attacked the 22nd shell and quickly exterminated them. Lune Crackham, alongside 10 shells, from the 1st to 11th, and Miri, who volunteered to examine the Tyranids, set out to Sub-Sector Aurelia to push the Hive Fleet back.The Crescent Elites arrived on the sub-sector on a critical time as the Tyranids started to assault Meridian, capital of the sub-sector. The Crescent Elites' and their new Acting Commander played an important role during the first siege of Angel Forge, by rallying the remaining Imperial Guard forces back into battle. Miri Crackham also helped the Blood Ravens Apothecary Gordian in making the bio-toxin necessary to destroy the Hive Fleet Leviathan.
- ?.M41 Second Aurelian Crusade: When Aurelia emerged from the warp and the forces of Chaos assaulted the Aurelian Sub-Sector, The Crescent Elites were called to war again. Launching a secondary campaign, Lune Crackham took 24 shells stationed in the Sub-Sector to combat the heretics invading the planet. He personally prepared the defense plan to protect Meridian. However, due to a fatal mistake in it, the enemy managed to destroy the right flank of the defense force and enormous casualties were sustained. Miri then presented a solution to fix the plan and the Imperial Guard in the planet managed to hold the Palace of the Governor under their control. Their losses were acceptable at this point only because of the clever solution Miri presented. When the chaos space marines arrived, however, the enemy successfully smashed through their defenses and assaulted the Palace. The Crescent Elites held their ground and, at the cost of enormous casualties, managed to keep the chaos out of the palace until the Blood Ravens arrived. Heavily injured and knocked out, Lune Crackham was forced to stay away from active duty for a month. Though he did not suffer any wound that caused him to wear any implants, the pain the colonel suffered was not a small one. Leaving itself as a black mark in their regimental history, the result of this campaign is considered as a "stalemate" at best and a total defeat at worst.
- 755-778.M41 The Sabbat Worlds Crusade:
- 755-780.M41 Fourth Quadrant Rebellion:
- 800-802.M41 Cleansing of the "Imperium's Bane":
- 901.M41-913.M41 The Badab War:
- 941-942.M41 The Second War for Armageddon:
- 995-999.M41 The 13th Black Crusade:
Chain of CommandEdit
Even though a mysterious arm of The Imperium, Commander Lune Crackham is the "Acting Leader" of The Crescent Elites. Lune is a respected leader but it is not entirely confirmed whom he reports to, with this fact being a secret Lune must hide. However, it is suspected that he reports either directly to Lord Solar, or Lord Commander Militant of various Segmentae, depending on the place The Crescent Elites are deployed. Sergeant Major Michael is also the current second in command of the regiment, leading the shells in Lune's absence.
Current Personnel Edit
The current leadership of the regiment is as follows:
- Lune Crackham: Current Acting Commander of the regiment. Took the position after the death of his mentor and stepfather Alexius Kazanov. Lune is a veteran of many battles and a true warrior. Even though a lively and a truthful soldier, Lune is also a cunning man, combining his wit with his short temper against his enemies. He embraced the idea of "Being a great ally to his allies, a grand enemy to his enemies" during his long and painful military career.
- Miri Crackham: The "Head Medic" of the regiment and sister of Lune Crackham. Tasked with training shell medics and teaching basic medical treatment methods to all the soldiers. However, this task being almost impossible to accomplish, due to the fact that The Crescent Elites are mostly spread wide over the Galaxy, she instead trains specific personnel from each regiment, either handpicked by her or sent to Terra by their sergeants due to their skills, and tasks these shell medics to spread their knowledge to their shells as well. She does not hold any power in the regiment but is respected by all the shells and is regarded as the highest authority after Lune and Michael.
- Michael Kazanov: Current Sergeant Major of the regiment and a distant relative of Alexius Kazanov. Tasked with leading The Crescent Elites in the absence of the Acting Commander and is also responsible for managing the general needs and requests of the shells. Took the position after the former Sergeant Major Carl sacrificed himself during the Cleansing of the Imperium's Bane, in 801.M41. Michael is an excellent administrative official but he is not a warrior and doesn't understand military strategies, which also explains why he is also one of the very few "soldiers" tasked with maintaining the logistical and administrative status of the regiment, which he refers to as the "brain work" and his team as the "brain team". Being more of a bureaucrat than a soldier, he prefers burying himself in administration than being the second in command "on the spot", unlike his predecessor. Michael admits that he is an emotionless man, working like a cogitator, but also argues that this is what enables him to do his work with brutal efficiency as that is one of the main reasons why he was assigned to the position he works in. An egotistical yet extremely loyal man, Michael is also a true pragmatic, which puts him at odds with his Colonel as Lune fashions himself as someone a bit benevolent. However, despite his sly and pragmatic attitude, Michael is also somewhat stubborn when it comes to his work.
Former Personnel Edit
All the known former important figures in The Crescent Elites' leadership are as follows:
- Alexius Kazanov: A gritty and experienced veteran of many battles, Alexius Kazanov was the leader of The Crescent Elites before Lune took his position after his death during the Kronus Crusade. A man with many abilities and a shady past, not much known related to Alexius' past except for two things: One, he led an elite unit of soldiers called the "Terran Rangers" which, from a certain point of view, can be described as the predecessor of The Crescent Elites. Two, he was awarded so much that if he were to retire, he had enough influence and money to live the rest of his life like an Imperial Highborn. However, he was a man with principles and investigated every offer of promotion made to him and it is recorded that he, at least once, refused the promotion to be a Lord General because he believed that the Terran Rangers would crumble without his leadership due to the complex and unorthodox nature of the regiment. Alexius was also an inspirational figure for Lune, who took some parts of his personality and advanced his own. Alexius heroically sacrificed himself during the Kronus Campaign in order to save Lune Crackham, whom he now regarded as his successor and "the son he always wanted". After his death, Alexius was granted the most esteemed honor of being buried in a small shrine on Meiridian in order to honor his deeds. Some of the more devout members of The Crescent Elites even went as far as to declare him a saint of the Emperor and patronized him, much to Lune's disagreement. However, even though he disagrees with these with these soldiers, he allows them to keep their faith due to the fact that the Ecclesiarchy deemed their beliefs as pure and not heretical. A statue was also constructed in the courtyard of The Crescent Elites' Headquarters to honor Alexius' name.
- Carl: Carl was the Sergeant Major of the regiment before he sacrificed himself during the Cleansing of the Imperium's Bane, which was a severe blow to Lune and the regiment. Grown up as an orphan without even a surname, Carl was born in Terra. In his early life he worked as many things and stumbled from job to job, living like a scum and worthless man. However, Carl had an idealist nature and no matter what he experienced, he never backed down from his word and always expressed his thoughts, which caused him many troubles but also made him the man he was. In fact, it was this idealistic nature that made Lune promote Carl to his second in command. Lune first encountered Carl after the Kronus Crusade, on the streets of Holy Terra. Carl was drifting aimlessly after another bar brawl and bumped into Lune on his way back home. He was so drunk he didn't remember who he had bumped into after he passed out. Lune was about to leave the scene when he was quickly surrounded by a few hive gangsters. Their leader stepped forward and demanded Lune to hand Carl to them. Lune was not someone that could go with being ordered by a mere gangster. He grabbed the Crackpot and after a few shots, the gangsters were running back to the hole they emerged from. Lune then changed his mind and grabbed Carl, taking him to the newly established headquarters of the regiment. There, he asked Miri to nurse him back to full health, saying that the boy had potential. Carl, after regaining his health, went on to join the Crescent Elites and his acts of selfless heroism even impressed Lune enough to declare him his second in command. Alas, it was again his selfless behavior that killed Carl. The noble Sergeant Major sacrificed himself during the darkest hour of the Crescent Elites so that he could save his Colonel Lune Crackham and many other souls. In the end he finally found peace because he actually did save them, at the cost of his own life. Carl's sacrifice and death left a terrible scar on all of The Crescent Elites, with Lune mourning his friend and Sergeant Major for weeks. Later on, a monument was erected inside The Crescent to honor all those that fell during the bloody war, with Carl's name being placed on top. Lune also ordered the construction of a small statute of Carl, which was placed in the headquarters of the regiment, right near Alexius Kazanov.
- "The dagger is small, yet deadly. Effective, yet silent. Strong, yet unseen. We are the dagger of The Emperor! We are the ones who silence his foes!"
- ―Lune Crackham, rallying his troops.
- "We know The Crescent Elites well. Their discipline and skills are impressive. They are masters of stealth and secrecy, yet when they fight, they hold their ground like no other guardsmen. This bravery and their will to protect The Imperium has earned our respect and I would want no other guardsmen than The Crescent Elites to aid us in our efforts."
- ―Lord-Protector Kür-Shad, Chapter Master of Turquoise Protectors.
Feel free to add your own!
- The Crescent formation is a fighting strategy that exists in our timeline which was used during many important battles. There are various types of it under names like "Crescent tactic" or "Pincer movement".
- The term "Cursed Warp!" was a famous slang used by Alexius Kazanov, which mostly continued on to be used by Lune, Miri and almost all of The Crescent Elites.