The Deathless, officially Deathless Conflict Solutions (DCS), are a Private Military Company (PMC) based on Koschei. They were founded during The Blood Eagle's reign from Aquilan defectors and corporate magnates.
As the original members of The Deathless were of mostly Slavic and French origin, their traditions and culture are mainly inspired by their predecessors’, although the organization is now multicultural.
As a mercenary group, The Deathless do not justify their acts of violence by anything else than the parameters of their contracts. Unlike House Aquila, they are not beholden to an ideal of serving the Throne or The Empire and therefore have no inherent loyalty to any particular House or Corporation other than their own. They also disregard the idea of birthright, in The Deathless your origins don’t matter as long as you are able to do the job you are tasked to do and you do it well. Because of this some of the nobility, mainly among House Aquila, have little respect for the mercenary group.
A Soldier is A Soldier
The Deathless motto, this phrase summarizes DCS' mentality when it comes to treating fellow employees and hiring recruits. The motto is used in various ways, to end meetings, as an end note to an address and even as a mantra, which follows this form:
A soldier is a soldier,
But not every soldier is __
Not every soldier is ___
But every soldier is Deathless
This mantra is used as sort of a unifying and reassuring mantra to a nervous member of the Deathless, allowing them to take a break and focus, reassuring them.
Examples of the short exercise:
A soldier is a soldier,
But not every soldier is with us here, ready to plunge into the jaws of death,
Not every soldier is as wrathful as us,
But every soldier is Deathless.
Relationship with The Empire
Since they are based on Koschei, a planet on the fringe of Imperial jurisdiction, members of Deathless Conflict Solutions aren’t completely subject to Imperial Law, nor are they fully protected by it. The Deathless keep professional if not good relationship with the nobility, as they are Deathless Conflict Solutions’ main contractors. The PMC has proven to be an effective tool to use when settling disputes violently without breaking the Formal Agreement for Noble Grievances or having to call upon House Reticulum.
The Deathless and the Law
The Deathless' relationship with the law has been an interesting one since their founding. For the first few years following their incorporation, the Empire was too busy cleaning up the mess left behind by the Blood Eagle to care about the small band of mercenaries in the sector’s outer rim. In the decades following the settling down of the empire and the introduction of FANG, many of the noble houses found the deniability of the Deathless' actions to be a useful cover for unofficial actions taken against other noble houses.
As the Deathless grew in size and strength their encounters with Crux enforcers while fulfilling contracts increased in frequency and violence. As a result the Deathless has an internal department of Deniability continually providing proof that the corporation is not aware of the actions of their assets, or that the assets where not Deathless to begin with.
In recent times it has become a joke among the Deathless that the troops "make the drop", but the suits "take the fall". One of the major tools in the arsenal of the Deathless is a loophole in contract law that states that contractors for a noble may have limited immunity for their actions. This law exists to allow nobles the ability to make use of freemen in completing projects and the like. To use that loophole to its full potential, Deathless operatives are instructed to say a very specific phrase crafted by the Legal and Deniability departments when caught. The phrase, most of the time proclaimed through broken teeth and a bloodied mouth, goes like this:
“I [Designation] am a free [gender] contracted under and protected by the Minor Civilian Contract Act of 2701. Under the auspices of this Act I am not to be held responsible for actions pertaining to minor offences or local customs, for the purposes of legal challenge please contact my contractor. My contract parameters forbid me from divulging my client's identity without a court order."
This phrase while not guaranteed to get the poor merc out of trouble, does force Crux law enforcement to free them into the custody of their proper legal representation. Thus beginning a game of red tape between Deathless and Crux legal teams. Because of this being used as a means to circumvent Imperial Law, there is fairly regularly a level of friction between House Crux and Deathless Conflict Solutions. Interestingly this tension seems to be temporarily misplaced when House Crux has need to contract DCS to perform the same actions on their terms.
Joining The Deathless
When they join The Deathless, new recruits are offered to take a new identity, or parts of one, if they so desire. This new identity is traditionally a name of a fallen Deathless operative, thus keeping the image that the Deathless never truly die. This results in Deathless employees having Russo-French sounding names, even though DCS is multicultural now. If a recruit comes from an Imperial world or system, they have to rescind their Imperial citizenship or title of nobility if that is the case. If someone joins the Deathless officially, there is a public ceremony presided by a priest of the recruit’s faith where that recruit burns something that represents their past allegiances. This could be a noble house’s banner if one is a noble, or maybe even a memento from their homeworld. This tradition is very much a formality however, since The Deathless are not obliged to follow Imperial law. If Deathless recruits wish to join more discreetly, they are not obliged to take part in the ceremony and are given a new name and identity. Anyone can join Deathless Conflict Solutions, they do not discriminate when it comes to joining them. It doesn’t matter to The Deathless if you’re a disgraced noble, a wanted criminal or some farmer boy, A Soldier is A soldier. The first contract a Deathless will be submitted to is the Deathless Terms of Service, which outline the new recruit's rights, benefits, and responsibilities to the mercenary company
Camaraderie and Traditions
Units in The Deathless tend to become very tight-knit groups, as they traverse extreme situations and hardships together. This leads to little protocol when officers, enlisted and corporate members gather together in Deathless messes to have a drink. There are also inter unit rivalries that have developed over the many years of Deathless history. As such, a few nights in the mess end up in friendly brawls. Although it isn’t condoned by Deathless regulations, leadership usually takes little action to stop them unless it gets too heated. The Deathless have many activities that boost camaraderie, such as Deathless Roulette (mostly non-lethal), President Stories night, and a yearly Intra-Mural Mech Tournament, a prime event on Koschei.
- Main article: Deathless Vodka
Commonly known as DVodka, the alcohol has, with time, become synonymous with The Deathless. According to Deathless stories, soldiers in the original Unnamed unit started using their morale vodka rations as a multi-purpose fluid during the War for Human Prosperity. Reportedly putting combat stimulants in them, and even using the containers as weapons in the dire situations. If you believe the stories, that is how Deathless Vodka was started, now established as the official drink of DCS.
As most factions do, The Deathless subsidize the production of their equipment to more capable corporations or noble houses. However they heavily modify and customize their equipment to fit with DCS standards, renaming them depending on type.
- Main article: Deathless Mech Classes
The Deathless base their Mech classes on Slavic mythological creatures, like the Indrik Class heavy mech.
- Main article: Deathless Ship Classes
Deathless ship classes are based on Slavic folklore heroes, like the Morevna-class cruiser/hunter-killer frigate.
- Main article: Deathless Weaponry
The Deathless issue standard weapons to every operative depending on their role. These weapons are mostly manufactured in Koschei's Bunker-23. The company does not discourage its soldiers from using their own personal weapons as long as they are judged equivalent or superior to those issued.
The Eternal Records
- Main article: Deathless Eternal Records
The Records is where the names of The Deathless are written and heavily influences their view on death.
Hiring the Deathless
- Main article: Deathless Services and Programs
An individual or a group can hire The Deathless for a wide array of serivces ranging from private security to Search and Rescue and, of course, planetary scale warfare. In order to diversify their revenue streams Deathless Conflict Solutions has also come up with a variety of programs that have cemented their supremacy over the soldiers of fortunes in the sector. Because of the nature of their work, The Deathless have an entire department, aptly named the Department of Contracts to manage the astronomical amount of contracting the company does. Most contracting starts with a visit at the nearest Deathless Outreach Office, where a private member of humanity may consult with The Deathless in safety and confidentiality.
- Main article: Deathless Hierarchical Structure
Separation of Power
Organisation in Deathless Conflict Solutions is separated between 2 sides of the corporation which are the Business side and the Operations side. The business side is headed by the Board of Vice-Presidents, who are in charge of non-operational decisions, like marketing, contracts, and Human Resources. Operations is directed by the War Room, a cadre of officers who make the operational decisions, mainly on the disposition and usage of military assets. The two sides are in constant communication with each other to ensure that efficiency is maintained throughout the Company. At the head of The Deathless is the President and Marya Morevna, The President has supreme executive power and with Marya Morevna as President Koschei's second in command
- Main article: President Koschei
The President is a mysterious figure even among The Deathless, their management has traditionally been hands-off, leaving most decision making to the Board and the War Room.
- Main article: Marya Morevna
The more public of the two figures at the top of The Deathless, Marya Morevna serves as The President's representative and spokesperson on Board and War Room meetings.
The Business side is divided into departments, specializing in one branch of the business. Each department is headed by a Vice-President, who together form the Board of Vice Presidents. Examples include the Department of Finance, Department of Contracts, and the Department of Legal Affairs.
The Operations side of DCS is separated in the fashion of military units and divided by their role in Deathless Operations, examples of such units are: the 1st Orbital Artillery Battalion “Stormbringers”, the 3rd Mechanized Heavy Infantry division, and the 4th Mechanized Heavy artillery “Hellfire” Division. The leaders of each unit make up the Deathless War Command, who lead the armies in battle. The operations side makes the bulk of The Deathless’ numbers.
2200-2215: The Constellation Project and The War for Human Prosperity
Before the Houses were formed, the predecessors of what would later become The Deathless were part of The Constellation Project to colonize Acheron Rho. When the war against the aliens was declared, a unit formed of mostly Slavic and French personnel with military experience was assembled. The name of this original unit is lost to time and the Silence but there is some consensus on their deeds. This unit became instrumental in winning the campaign in what would become the Ragnhil system. During the war, they survived a long and vicious fight on 0004A (later Kerdava, later Koschei) and were instrumental in rooting out the alien resistance. The campaign on 0004A effectively ruined the planet, rendering it almost uninhabitable, but the humans emerged victorious in the end. During the campaign on 0004B (Thorg), encounters with the giant arachnids resembling earth scorpions marked the soldiers, who took it as their unit’s symbol.
2216: Founding of the Houses and Battlegroup Scorpio
After the Alien Peace Treaties were signed and the Houses formed, the unnamed unit was embedded into House Aquila as an official unit - Battlegroup Scorpio. They retained their Slavic and French cultural roots. As a fully independent outfit, they specialized in general ground warfare, from massed mechanized infantry charges to barrages of Artillery with a preference for dropping troops and equipment from orbit.
2216-2665: Mors non nos vincere poteris nōs, and the Thorg Board for Tourism
Battlegroup Scorpio's motto, it is latin for “Death cannot vanquish us” in reference to their deeds in the War for Human Prosperity and their gallantry after. Over the years during the Imperial Golden Age, Battlegroup Scorpio cemented itself as one of House Aquila’s most formidable units. Their versatility and expertise in the field gained Scorpio multiple battle honours and prestige within the Imperial military.
At some point during the Golden Age, the Battlegroup started to give new names to recruits who passed their final test to join their ranks. The names given were those of fallen Scorpio soldiers who died in service of The Empire and even earlier, during the War for Human Prosperity.
Meanwhile, on Kerdava, a group of wealthy magnates from various bunker-states formed the Thorg Board for Tourism, to promote inter-sector travel to Thorg with its exotic megafauna and sprawling flora. These individuals, coming from all sorts of corporate sectors, used their connections to make a hefty profit off of the touristic income, using Kerdava as a staging point for tourists. This allowed Kerdava to flourish, laying the foundation for what would come next.
2665-2791 The Scream and Silence
When the Scream hit the sector, it crippled The Empire. On Diomikato, Scorpio fell under the leadership of one Warlord Aquila Anaïs Obruchev, who used their military expertise to try and reunify House Aquila. When Diomikato was rediscovered by Velan explorers, the soldiers of Scorpio followed Obruchev in House Aquila in the new Empire, taking up the name of Battlegroup Scorpio once again. On Kerdava, the future looked grim, the imperial supply lines, vital to Kerdava were completely cut off and no ship could escape the system. To ensure the survival of the populace, the Thorg Board for Tourism used their own impressive fleet of transport ships to transport supplies from the neighboring planet of Thorg. This allowed Kerdava to survive the Silence until they could be rediscovered by Velan explorers.
2804-2901: The First Imperial Civil War
When the mild disagreement between the Houses spiraled into a Civil War, the Imperial legions of Aquila found themselves in a bind, on one side they should serve the Emperox. But on the other there were multiple Emperox at the time. Loyal to Aquila, Battlegroup Scorpio fought on their House’s side, becoming essential to the Aquilan war effort and, by extension, the ascension of the woman who would become The Blood Eagle. Joining her in reforming House Aquila into legions and renaming themselves to Legio I Scorpio.
On Kerdava the notion of “tourism” was no longer sustainable enough for the Board, and so they looked towards other opportunities. Instead, they changed their focus toward emigration, offering ambitious travelers the chance to start a new life on Thorg, for a price. With the influx of new leaders willing to claim land for themselves, Thorg changed from a relatively stable imperial outpost to a war-torn borderland.
2901-2923: The Blood Eagle and the Start of the Second Imperial Civil War
With the reign of The Blood Eagle rapidly devolving into a bloodbath against her enemies, some questioning of their motives and of the value of following the Emperox blindly started to spread in Aquilan legions, especially in Scorpio leadership. Nevertheless, they followed the orders given to them by the Emperox, as it was their duty.
2923: Kerdava and Thorg
In the year 2923, the colony world of Thorg used the unstable political climate of The Empire to seize control of the planetary government and declare themselves the rulers of the new High Kingdom of Thorg. The High Kingdom decided to invade the nearby planet Kerdava to make it part of their domain. Not willing to lose another system, the Emperox sent her legions to "liberate" Ragnhil.
It took six months before the first legions landed in the Ragnhil system. The liberation of Kerdava was swift, as the High Kingdom held only a token force. Records state that the Thorg soldiers were slaughtered to a man, and the citizens of Kerdava were left to recover for themselves. By the end of 2923, the Aquila legions had moved on to Thorg itself.
2924: "Counter-Insurgency" on Thorg
In early 2924, five legions would be deployed on Thorg, taking city after city, kingdom after kingdom, decimating the native forces who would rapidly realize that they stood no chance against the Imperial soldiers. Never engaging in open warfare, the Thorg soldiers would hide deep within their jungles and marshes, harassing Aquila supply lines and flanks with midnight raids. As the rebellion raged on, both forces dwindled until they were left at a standstill.
2928: The Burning of Thorg
June to August: The Battle of Isadva
Four years after the first landing, the remaining forces of the High Kingdom were holed up in the city of Isadva, capital of Thorg, fighting off the Legions to the best of their ability. Growing tired of trying to fight these “outworld savages” Admiral Aquila Cortez Napolitano, the Aquilan commander of the Legions on Thorg made the decision to cut their losses. Their troops needed elsewhere in the sector, the Admiral made the call to end the war swiftly.
The Battle of Isadva lasted for sixty days, starting in June of 2928 and lasting until August. The battle-hardened Scorpio Legion held the High Kingdom’s forces at bay within the city while the rest of the Aquilan forces lead a mass exodus from the planet. Scorching and ruining the land behind them, the Aquila ships signed Thorg’s death sentence by bombarding the planetary surface from orbit. The Scorpio Legion remained on the planet, laying down their lives in an act of honorable sacrifice for The Empire, this is how Legion I Scorpio is remembered in the Imperial Archives.
September: Evacuation of Thorg
At the time of the Burning of Thorg, The Thorg Board for Tourism received the news of the Aquilan bombardment. One of their members suggested that they should use their transport ships to evacuate those who could be saved while there was time. Due to a limited number of ships and time before Thorg would become impossible to fly in, the evacuation was limited to the vicinity of Isadva. The ships, landing in various points across the city, recovered the remnants of the Scorpio Legion and the last soldiers of the High Kingdom of Thorg, as well as some surviving civilians.
2932: The Deathless
Four years after the Burning of Thorg, a Private Military Company, named The Deathless, accepted a contract from the Council of Noble Houses. The parameters in the contract: Assist the Noble Houses in their fight against the Blood Eagle with their expertly trained, but limited troops. Some say that The Deathless are those who were left for dead on Thorg, now looking for revenge against the Emperox that betrayed them, but any Deathless official dismisses it as an unfounded rumour. Coincidentally 2932 is also the year where the Thorg Board for Tourism declared bankruptcy, due to lack of touristic income from the planet. Their members would be found either managing The Deathless or in planetary politics.
Almost immediately after the company's founding, a contract came from a group of researchers located in Outpost Igliza. Operation: Troubleshooting would start the co-operational relationship between the mercenaries and the nacent Trilliant Ring.
2955: The Death of the Blood Eagle
After years of bloody civil war in The Empire, the infamous Blood Eagle died. No one truly knows what caused her death anymore, but they agree that this is what put an end to the Second Imperial Civil War. They also agreed that such an event shouldn’t happen again. Since her death is shrouded in mystery, many rumours have sprung from the event. In such an example, some say that the last General of Legion I Scorpio, now the President of The Deathless, carried out the assassination themself. Others say that The Deathless led a “suicide” attack on The Blood Eagle’s flagship, in a desperate attempt to kill her. To everyone’s surprise, all members of the Deathless would have survived the mission, bringing The Blood Eagle’s head back to the Council of Noble Houses, to demand payment. However, these are just stories from possibly (definitely) drunk Deathless mercenaries and the truth behind The Blood Eagle’s death might never be known.
2960 - 3177: Deathless Conflict Solutions
Early after the Death of The Blood Eagle, the Council of the Houses, as part of their contract with The Deathless, offered a permanent contract to the company for Law-keeping and planetary defense of the newly-named Koschei, formerly Kerdava. This allowed the planet to stay mostly independent from The Empire in matters of security and management, even though it was still officially a full member. The Deathless were also contracted to enforce the Imperial quarantine on Thorg.
With the Formal Accords for Noble Grievances preventing the noble Houses from warring with each other openly, there was a need for easily disposable and disavowable assets to use in their political games, and The Deathless were exactly what was needed. During those years, now under the name of Deathless Conflict Solutions, the company prospered with noble contracts, fighting the noble’s wars for them and gaining a reputation for ruthless efficiency, loyalty to the contract above all else, a slight disdain for Aquilan soldiers, and no apparent moral concerns other than for their own comrades.
In the period following the introduction of the first combat model of the Synthetic Human, a law was passed in the sector that only Imperial authorities and organisation could legally purchase and form legions of combat synths. Even though it was never written anywhere that this ban was specifically targetted at The Deathless, everyone in the political game knew it was an attempt to suffocate their combat capabilities. This law hurt DCS greatly, as they were hard pressed to compete with Aquila's synthetic legions. This led to very few synthetic numbers in The Deathless as well as a very different treatment of Synthetics among Deathless troops. Because of their small numbers synthetic soldiers couldn't be separated from the rest of the troops, leading to bonds and camaraderie forming between synthetics and humans that wouldn't have been possible in other groups. Throughout the years it was even common place to have synthetics in leadership positions, with no different treatment than others of their rank.
During these years, a new recruitment incentive was given to boost Deathless numbers. Upon recruitment, new employees were offered a new identity with no questions asked about the recruit’s prior life. Some say this incentive was a way if procuring synths while bypassing the imperial ban. This contributed to the myth, who some say is only a ploy by DCS marketing to get more contracts, that members of The Deathless simply never die. With this policy, they went from one of many mercenary companies to being one of the dominant military powers in the sector. They openly embraced any who would join them as long as they were capable, swelling their ranks even further and solidly becoming a military powerhouse.
3178 - 3200: Deathless in The War Against the Artificials
Main Article: The Synthetic Contract
In 3185, the year after The High Church of Messiah-as-Emperox declared the inhumanity of Synthetics and the rest of the Nobility joined in the war against House Cygnus, The Deathless gathered all of their known synthetic assets, which amounted to roughly 9000 synths on the surface of Thorg and subsequently bombed the area where the synths were gathered, effectively glassing the zone. The full circumstances of the bombing are unknown to those outisde of The Deathless, but it is generally accepted that Deathless decided to kill off their synths following the Church's declaration. A strange aspect of the affair is that the Deathless synths, although they were traditionally more independent than other synthetics, showed not much sign of resistance in the video feeds that came out of the whole affair, seeming instead to stand proud in front of their fate.
Following the purge, DCS refused a contract to partake offered to them by House Crux for reasons unknown to all outside of The Deathless. Of course, this refusal has generated a plethora of rumors surrounding the event. Everything from Synth loyalty to lingering resentment towards House Aquila, one of the main proponents of the war, has been blamed. Some speculation has been made that the terms of the contract weren't very good and that the Deathless feared yet another noble betrayal, but such claims are often overlooked in favor of more exciting theories. As a result, their relationship with House Crux has been tense but cordial in the past few years.
Following these events DCS refused to take any major contract, focusing instead on piracy containment as well as smaller, more personal contracts like bodyguard work or providing escorts for merchant ships. Another thing of note is the major changes Deathless leadership has seen in the years since, with a majority of the VPs and War Council members stepping down or retiring. As a result most of the Deathless leadership has been put in position in the last 15 years.
The Deathless are established in the Ragnhil system of Acheron Rho, within it are 2 planets where they have an established presence, Koschei and Thorg. Ragnhil's history is closely tied to that of the Deathles, going back to the War for Human Prosperity
- Main article: Koschei
Formerly known as Kerdava, the planet is the homeworld of The Deathless. Over the years, the world has become synonymous with the PMC. This is where DCS Headquarters for Business and Operations is located. Its Atmosphere and biosphere make it an excellent resilience test to The Deathless who reside on it.
- Main article: Thorg
To say that this world, populated by tribes ruled over by warlords is a dangerous place to live is to say the least. Officially, traffic to and from Thorg is severely banned by imperial decree, the Quarantine is enforced by Deathless Conflict Solutions. Recently they have begun their operation to seize control of the planet under the guise of "Enforcing the Quarantine".