“The killing rush, it’s stronger than Slaught, hypes me better than Frenzon. I’d kill to taste it... even kill you to taste it.”
- Ryant Gos, Gland Warrior Mercenary
To act as an Arch-Militant means being one of the finest warriors humanity has to offer. Having risen through the ranks or up from the underhives, survived countless battles and killed endless foes, it would be easy to believe such a person is more than a match for any opponent. The longer spent fighting in the Expanse, however, the more one realizes that being merely human isn’t always good enough. For some this means improved martial disciplines, mechanical augmentics, or superior weaponry. There is another path though, infamously rumored through the undercircuit of mercenaries and pit fighters and all others who make their living by the bolter and chainsword---to submit to the flesh manipulations of the Adeptus Mechanicus and become a Gland Warrior.
The quest of improving the human body as a fighting machine has been ongoing for millennia---the Holy Emperor’s favored sons, the Adeptus Astartes, are living examples of this quest. The Adeptus Mechanicus favor a more direct approach, simply replacing troublesome flesh and blood with the purity of plasteel and circuitry in order to create forces like the Skitarii Tech Guard. However, the secrets of these processes are jealously guarded and often too time-consuming for the needs of the Imperium’s war machine, so other techniques have been explored. For many centuries the Genetors of the Adeptus Mechanicus strived to improve the flesh itself via series of operations and implantations which could be done in a relatively short period of time. Finally, on the forge worlds of Dantis III, they achieved success. An unexpected Tyranid invasion had caught the system unawares, and only the nearby Imperial Guard regiment on Lostok was able to offer any defense. Unfortunately, the heavily-polluted planet was already covered with vile Tyranid organisms, rendering combat outside the factory complexes nearly impossible. Several companies of the toughest guardsmen volunteered for experimental surgeries to allow them to fight effectively in the deadly environment. Implanted with series of new vat-grown organs and drug-secreting glands, those who lived through the process could now fight unprotected on the surface and counter the horrific creatures with an inhuman aggressiveness and ferocity of their own. After many months, the swarm was repulsed and the few survivors of the combat were recovered for further study and examination. Of those, several were quickly plucked away by Inquisitors and others wishing to have such an individual fighting at their side (or in their name).
The process of creating Gland Warriors is more art than science, like much of the Imperium’s works. Despite this, many more of these augmented humans have appeared in wars throughout the Imperium, and have acted more covertly as assassins. Their exploits became legends amongst the Imperial Guard regiments which have seen action with them. In Calixis, detachments of Gland Warriors have been used effectively in the hive war on Tranch, where their ferocity matches that of their mutant foes. While most Imperial Guard armies in the sector do not normally contain Gland Warrior units, some elite formations do feature these specialized squads. It is even whispered that entire fighting regiments of these flesh-augmentics operate in the more desperate and hellish warzones of Calixis.
While the surgeries that produce these once-men are somewhat short, it takes many months for the recipient to learn how to properly utilize their new biological additions, assuming the soldier survives the process. Even soldiers already used to fighting with the aid of combat drugs must re-learn how to use their body in order to make use of their newly-heightened motor functions and more-durable physiology. The physical changes can also bring about mental ones, increasing one’s focus on killing and combat until there is little else driving them but impatience for the next battle.
Given the nightmarish conditions they often fight in, it is not uncommon for Gland Warriors to decide they would rather pick who and when they will fight than depend on the whims of a superior officer. Many become mercenaries, prized through the sector and beyond. In the Expanse there are also Genetors both authorized and renegade willing to work their operations on existing warriors to transform them from human to more than human. Here their life is filled with blood, for there is always a conflict that needs fighters of their caliber. Membership in warrior lodges is not uncommon, for they often find true fellowship only in the company of other augmentics. These secretive cults often draw the attention of the Inquisition, even in the lawless reaches beyond the Imperium’s rule. The Red Night Brotherhood is just one of the lodges destroyed by massed Imperial forces lead by the Ordo Hereticus, but there are many others where the more feral Gland Warriors gather, and what they may discuss beyond the heavy fur lodge curtains no one can say. Most Rogue Traders are willing to turn a blind eye to such activities as long as the warrior continues his duties and maintains his loyalty, but a vigilant trader will always keep an eye on every member of his crew.
Becoming a Gland WarriorEdit
While some careers are the result of specialized training or years of intensive studies, the transformation to a Gland Warrior is due primarily to a series of surgeries. These introduce tox-filters into their lungs and bloodways as well as artificial vat-grown organs and drug-producing gland implants, all designed to greatly augment an already formidable fighter to levels normally impossible to attain otherwise. Only those of sufficiently strong constitution and combat expertise would be selected for the process, and only those with a sufficiently strong will to live despite the agonies associates with the process will survive it. Once they have adapted to their newly augmented bodies though, they are death incarnate in combat.
Required Career: Arch-Militant
Alternate Rank: Rank 4 or Higher (13,000 XP)
Other Requirements: The character must have a Toughness of 40 or higher, and must posses the Melee Weapon Training (Universal), True Grit, and Die Hard Talents.
Traits: All Gland Warriors receive the Lostok Augmentation Trait upon taking the Alternate Rank.