Whispers of the Void
A man that knows the sting of war. Straken leads the fight from the very front.
Ships Master at Arms, Cassus Straken
Home World: Catachan (Death World) located in the Ryza warzone.
30 years ago. Cassus Straken was born. His mother died during birth and unknown to the rest of the family his father William was lost in the warp one week before when the warship he was on encountered an anomaly. The entire crew and ship “Dauntless” are still listed as missing presumed dead. Cassus was raised by his uncle Ell and his also orphaned older brother Braxton.
15 years ago. Cassus began accompanying his brother, uncle and others on scouting and hunting expeditions outside the settlement walls.
13 years ago. Cassus’ older brother was sent to serve the Empire as part of the planets annual tithe.
12 years ago. Cassus married Lillith, a member of another nearby settlement. Later that year she gave birth to a boy, Jaxson. Cassus is passed over during the annual tithe.
11 years ago. Cassus is again passed over during the annual tithe. Convinced his wife has given them a strong son Cassus volunteers to join the Imperial Guard. He left Catachan convinced the strength of his wife and the wisdom of his uncle would protect his son.
10 years ago. Unbeknownst to Cassus a second son was born. His wife named him Victor.
By this time Cassus was already embroiled in Waaagh on the planet Kulth in The Periphery.
War, Waaagh!, Blood and Bombs
This was a pivotal time for Cassus. The war on the planet was already nearing it’s 8th decade when his unit arrived. Cassus was originally attached to a bunker clearing company. He manned his squads heavy flamer. During a battle in his second month on planet his squad was hit with an artillery shell fired from a looted Basilisk. He was the only man that survived the attack. This was due to him being in the forward most position of his squad and the fact that the fuel tanks on his back absorbed most of the shrapnel. He sustained wounds to the backs of his legs and was considered unfit for frontline duty during the following months. He still carries part of that flamer for good luck. With the correct parts it may some day work again.
After the destruction of his first squad he was transferred to a squadron of scout sentinels. His duties involved assisting the Adeptus Mechanicus in the maintenance and repair of the walkers. Primarily he performed tasks that involved free thinking that servitors were not capable of. During this time he learned the basics of sentinel operation.
Once fully recovered he was transferred to a squad of forward observers for an artillery regiment designated “Animal House.” Being forward observers his squad operated many miles ahead of the regiment, just behind the front lines. They provided accurate coordinates for the artillery. This came to an end late in the year of 989.M40. In a mass offensive approximately 500 Ork Kommandos snuck behind the lines and sabotaged multiple Death Strike missile launchers. The resulting explosions all but wiped out the artillery regiment. The following lack of artillery support doomed the frontline guardsmen who counter attacked the next morning. Cassus and his squad then took part in a 17 day fighting retreat. It was deemed too costly to reform the regiment. He and the remaining few survivors were transferred to various posts throughout the sector.
7 years ago. Cassus was sent to the pleasure planet Askelphion Secundus in the Drusus Marches. He was placed on bodyguard duty for dignitaries of the imperial military. He hated this duty. Being stuck on a world without strife and waiting on the Empire’s most pampered went against every fiber of his being. He watched over at least a dozen different commissars, lords, and other high ranking members of the Empire.
6 years ago. The final man he would watch over was a lord commissar by the name of Keating. Keating was a particularly shrewd man who had over his years developed a disdain for the soldiers of Catachan. He saw them as crude, unorthodox brutes not worthy of the God Emperors blessings. Sensing great unrest within Cassus commissar Keating determined it was the perfectness of life on a pleasure world that was weighing heavily on Cassus’ spirit. After weeks with the lord commissar Cassus’ patience was stretched thin. Disrespect began to show in his behavior towards Keating. Seeking an appropriate punishment Keating decided sending Cassus back to a warzone would be doing him a favor and killing him outright would be a waste of a bolt shell as well as a grave. So he decided the best punishment would be to release him from duty, fated to be stuck destitute on a near perfect world with little chance of leaving on his own terms.
5 years ago. Cassus had adapted to survive in a new type of hell. Sometimes fighting for sport in front audiences of fat dignitaries for mere handfuls of change. Some days eating what he could find discarded in back alleys.
Fate would soon change all of this. One evening after a modest payout from a fight, Cassus was on his way to drink his fill in a local brothel. While on his way he came upon a gang of drunks arguing off to the left, he also caught a glimpse of a man off to the right. Thinking nothing of it he began crossing the street, when a shot rang out. Searing pain tore through his left arm just below the shoulder, then everything went black.
He came to his senses a short time later to stern requests of “please calm down you are only making it bleed worse.” A man with his face badly mauled, bolt pistol stuffed down his throat lay at Cassus’ feet. Cassus was being held upright by a man with the look of a tech priest about him. The “priest” informed Cassus that Cassus had unintentionally intercepted a bolt round that would have hit him, and that after the loss of his arm Cassus flew into a rage, killed the man that fired the shot and that his show of brutality had scared away the rest of the gang.
The man went on to explain to Cassus that he was an explorator on one of the ships in the rogue trader Manos Krieg’s fleet. He then told Cassus he would take care of that “flesh wound.” Cassus eased into a blood loss induced coma.
When he awoke he was on a bed in the medical bay of a ship in Manos’ fleet. He also had a cybernetic left arm. His recovery was short, lasting only a few days. He spent his recovery time looking over technical specifications of weapons and talking to the man who’s life he had saved and who in turn had saved his life. When fully recovered Cassus opted to join up with the rogue traders fleet. Seeing it as an opportunity off the pleasure planet and as a way to repay the favor of not bleeding to death.
4 years ago to present. Cassus was transferred to the shorthanded crew of the ship captained by Octavius Fitzgerld Krynn. Over the course of the next 4 years cassus worked his way up the ranks in the weapons department of Krynn’s ship. Surviving one weapons officer and seeing another retire, two years ago Cassus was deemed most qualified and appointed as the head of ships security. He currently maintains the readiness of the ships boarding parties and oversees the maintenance of the ships armory. His right hand man and equal is an old salt on the ship who goes by Gunnery Chief Harkens. Where Cassus handles man to man combat Harkens handles ship to ship fights. When Cassus puts boots on the ground he knows Harkens and the rest of the ship will be there to back him up.
Cassus puts faith in himself first and foremost and his captain second. He treats the rest of the crew as family as well. He treats other department heads as his equal. Not a very social person except to those that understand him Cassus is viewed with some mystery by the majority of the crew. He is surrounded by rumors. The most prominent one is that he determines which wounded members will be converted into servitors by the ships explorator. This is not true and Cassus knows of the rumor but he does not bother proving it false because he understands it is at least a bit helpful in gaining some of the crews respect. After all, for the crew it is best not to piss off the man that may some day hold the key to your fate.
When not doing anything important Cassus can be found in the ships armory cleaning weapons or instructing the ships boarding party on proper combat techniques.
He almost never complains and so far he has not shown fear.
He almost never talks about it but all he wants to do is earn a modest pay to return home to his family.
If he should die he wants his body sent home to Catachan. Dressed proper in his uniform with his medals pinned about his chest.