The Conclave

The Ordos Majoris - Hobby, Painting and Modelling => The Dark Millennium => Topic started by: krenshar on August 07, 2016, 05:10:25 PM

Title: Ixine Utility Breed
Post by: krenshar on August 07, 2016, 05:10:25 PM
Below is a WIP background inspired by a model I picked up on ebay some time ago.  Comments and criticism are very welcome; I'm intending to put this on to the Carthax wiki once it's a little more polished.  Thanks for reading!

The Ixine Utility Breed was discovered by the rogue trader, Oscan Cospericus in the 2nd century of M37.  It is a primitive bipedal species found upon a handful of worlds in proximal star systems, apparently the residual organism of a real-space capable civilisation of unknown qualities.

Thus begins a rather dry accounting of this very minor xenos by a redacted Magos Genetor, which came to light only 27 years ago.  Cospericus' personal log is more compelling fare, describing craggy worlds populated by tribes of hunched and brutish xenos.  Therein he makes claim to have established very basic communication with one clan of Ee'ub, as Cospericus says they name themselves.  He writes of monumental ruins in rad-blasted wastelands, half-obliterated stone friezes and escaping certain death at the claws of enormous bestial strains of Ee'ub.

What the good captain does not overburden us with is facts.  Beyond chart co-ordinates and uninspiring assayor reports, we are left with no hard data – all else appears to have been lost.  Most frustratingly, it is Cospericus who first coins the term Ixine Utility Breed and names their creators the Ixians.  And yet whereby he came upon these names is never explained nor even hinted at.

The nameless Magos then is our only source of facts but also brings a troublesome matter to our Ordo.  The true horror of this xenos race is that the IUB are in fact of human stock.  The Magos reports a helical correlation of 99.813% with acceptable Imperial norms and concludes that the discrepancy is a result of intelligent modification.

Uncharacteristically of the Cult Mechanicus, the Magos goes on to extrapolate from Cospericus' written accounts and no less than three pict-captures, none of which can thus far be traced. They hypothesise that the Ixian culture was possessed of advanced fleshwright technologies and bred “an unknown number of task-specialised organic stock.”  With reference to a particular pict-capture of a defaced frieze, the Magos even extends themself to positing a slave uprising that resulted in the collapse of Ixian civilisation and the present state of the IUB as cave-dwelling primitives.
It is my humble opinion that this speculative work is the reason for the Magos' name having been expunged.

Not all of what Cospericus tells us is upheld by the Magos' report however.  Of particular note is the matter of communication.  The Magos finds no platform for meaningful two-way communication  in the clicks and glottals that appears to pass for speech among living specimens.  The structure of IUB oral apparatus makes it impossible for the species to even mimic human speech and the conclusion is that Cospericus was deluded in his belief that he was communicating meaningfully. That said, the Magos does allow that the sample showed limited potential to comprehend simple directions given in Low Gothic.

The Magos makes no comment as to the extend of this comprehension but anecdotal evidence from later contacts suggests varying capacities ranging from that of a canid, to something approaching ogryn levels of intellect.  The agri-world of Verdandi Principle is the only instance of the Ixine Utility Breed occupying a planet of interest to the Imperium.  Guardsmen of the Namoan XVII cleansed the world early in M40 and after action reports from the latter stages of pacification indicate that the IUB had learned to fear the armaments of sentinel walkers.  There are numerous accounts of skilled pilots herding xenos like grox and more interestingly, many more of careless patrols being ambushed and their sentinel support being targeted first.

Otherwise the Ixine Utility Breed are all but absent from Imperial annals.  I can in point of fact find only two instances across the entire segmentum.  The most recent is of an IUB gladiator on Colossus III and dates back 5 years – whether this individual still lives is presently unclear.
Of much greater interest is the first instance however.  Nineteen standard years ago, following the inconclusive caucus which discussed the aforementioned Magos' report, Inquisitor Haus Ottofar utilised a pair of IUB to support his infiltration of a smuggling network.  Called the Aspican Trail, it dealt in numerous inconsequential narcotics but its primary purpose was the illicit transportation of political recidivists to a habitable moon within an uncharted star system.  The presence of two 'xenos' in his crew accelerated Ottofar's chartist captain persona into a position of trust in the Aspican Trail and was so convincing that the Inquisitor was detained by his allies within the Imperial authorities when the Trail was crushed.  Ottofar, an exponent of the Amalathian philosophy, spent seven years on trial for heresy and moral corruption on Bosartes Caligula before Governor Antiges apparently accepted the evidence of our unnamed Magos Genetor.  Meanwhile Ottofar's Ixine survived the Aspican Purge, only to be sentenced to trial by ordeal in a rural canidrome, the affair broadcast planet-wide.  Sources were difficult to find but I gather that two Kennel Lords were bankrupted in the course of the trial and a third has not been seen since being invited to a dinner at the Lord Governor's palace.

As briefly mentioned above, the classification of the Ixine Utility Breed is an uncertain matter.  The official designation remains Xenos Minoris and the species has not presented an obstacle to the Imperial Will since Verdandi Principle.  Equally they hold little import as a stable strain of abhuman, being of little use to the Imperial Guard, and I find little interest among our Ordo to revisit the matter.  The first caucus failed to reach a conclusive verdict on the IUB due to the unknown nature of their Ixian creators.  If these fleshwrights were indeed a race of genuinely xenos domitors then the Ixine Utility Breed are no doubt corrupted beyond redemption.  But the possibility exists that the Ixians were also human stock and Oscan Cospericus overlooked an interstellar ancestral civilisation that may have flourished in isolation during the Great Crusade or even Long Night.

While the latter is outside the common purpose of our Ordo's membership, it presents an intriguing potentiality that I would humbly exhort the Hallowed Orders to investigate as resources allow.

Your obedient servant,
Title: Re: Ixine Utility Breed
Post by: Van Helser on August 13, 2016, 01:37:03 PM
Great.  I like what I am reading.

I think the embellishment of little details, such as the potential for the IUB to be of human stock, and the anecdote of them fearing Sentinels are a nice touch. 

The addition of a couple of plot hooks is great, as it gives others somewhere to go with the IUB.  Just who, or what, were the Ixians, and are they still a threat in the dark corners of the Carthax sector?  What other creations have their fleshwriting skills brought into existence?  Also, what went on behind the scenes of the Trial By Ordeal, and what rivalries now exist as a result of the disappearance and bankruptcies?

Perhaps expanding on these a little in a couple of separate entries for the wiki would be somewhere you could take things?


Title: Re: Ixine Utility Breed
Post by: krenshar on August 14, 2016, 10:19:27 AM
The spin-off entries are a good idea, thanks Ruaridh.  And I really appreciate the feedback.

Do you think the entry needs to locate the Ixine worlds astrographically?  I've always left such things vague when crafting character backgrounds in the past - a few planets might get mentioned but I've never pinned those to even specific segmenta.
Title: Re: Ixine Utility Breed
Post by: Van Helser on August 14, 2016, 01:37:43 PM
I wouldn't say you have to specifically locate the worlds.  Any sector is a big place, and hell, the galaxy is even bigger.  Vagueness on these things is to be expected.

If you did want to tie them to the Carthax Sector, you've got plenty of places to choose from.  The map of the sector ( has only a few worlds on it, with lots of room for expansion.  I would say that The Onus Region, being RobSkib's baby, is probably to be avoided as it's a well-detailed area with not much more room for worlds, but you could place the Ixine anywhere else if you like.  The further towards the periphery you go, the less Imperial control there is.  The Wilderwest (Macabre's creation) has very little Imperial control at all, and the Gaugtel Stars is a region from which no one has returned... (Kaled came up with this mysterious place).

I put a lot of new things in Far Carthax as it's a little-explored area with challenging warp currents if that helps?

Title: Re: Ixine Utility Breed
Post by: RobSkib on August 22, 2016, 10:47:35 AM
I like it! You mentioned it was based on a model you picked up off ebay a while ago - do you have any photos of it?

Title: Re: Ixine Utility Breed
Post by: Van Helser on August 23, 2016, 06:54:25 PM
I like it! You mentioned it was based on a model you picked up off ebay a while ago - do you have any photos of it?

I believe he's talking about the lizard-like beasties -

Title: Re: Ixine Utility Breed
Post by: RobSkib on August 24, 2016, 09:19:56 AM
You're very right. I was thrown by the statement about them being bipedal, for some reason I remembered those models with four legs instead of two.

I love the mention that the captain had not burdened them with facts - I'm most interested in why they were named such. Is there any out-of-character reasoning for this, or is this being intentionally left shady?
Title: Re: Ixine Utility Breed
Post by: krenshar on August 25, 2016, 02:51:39 PM
Sorry for not being about to respond to your first question, RobSkib.  This background is meant for the mutant gladiator model shown in this post ( but the reference to bestial strains is intended to keep modelling options wide open.  Ideas for the lizard-beasts still escape me but I hadn't thought of linking them to the IUB and that might be just the ticket, thanks Van Helser!

The name was initially inspired by the IX numeral on the troll chest.  I'd recently finished reading God-Emperor of Dune - if you're not familiar with the Dune books, there's a human enclave called the Ix who while advanced technologically, aren't aware that their name is due entirely to them living on the ninth planet of their system.  The adjective form in the books was Ixian and I wanted something only slightly different.

The 'Utility Breed' bit is to suggest that there are other gene-wrought varieties out there.  I envisage the Ixine having adapted the human genome to all sorts of rolls and purposes.  Perhaps there's a monstrously big strain for moving heavy loads or another bred to tow carriages in a perverse echo of the sedan chair.
Essentially it's an excuse to make hulking great humanoid monsters for inquisitor that have no link to Chaos.

Unless of course they do...