One of the foremost strategists of his day, High Marshal Ardias Ioculus began his honored rise through the ranks of his chapter on the first day he was sent into battle as a Scout Marine: He single-handedly ambushed a dozen Chaos Death Cult warriors on the war-torn world of Dactyl V during the Vitiosus Campaign of 493.M41.
As the campaign wore on, it quickly became apparent that that Ioculus’ ferocity in battle was matched only by his tactical acumen. He appeared to grasp the most subtle tactical opportunities when faced with an opponent, and whether in single combat or leading a small contingent of Battle Brothers, he invariably outmaneuvered and defeated his enemies with a startling rapidity.
Unlike other Battle Brothers, Ioculus devoted significant time to the study of the Tactica Imperialis, one of the supreme treatises of Imperial military strategy, and with the permission of then-Chief Librarian Artemis Peleregon, was one of the few Battle Brothers granted permission to read the chapter’s sacred copy of the Codex Astartes. Once promoted to Brother-Sargeant, Ioculus continuously challenged the squad under his command with tactical exercises of the most exacting difficulties, honing his Battle-Brothers’ skills to the point that several were honored with promotion to the 1st Company.
All Astartes chapters make use of the lightning assault as the preferred combat doctrine, but Ioculus has refined this tactic to near perfection. The chapter frequently utilizes a combined-arms attack—with drop pods, Thunderhawks, Land Speeders, and Land Raiders—to launch surgical strikes, turn flanks, and avoid the heavy casualties usually associated with the frontal assaults of the Imperial Guard. The result is a fierce toll amongst the foes of the Emperor, in both numbers and morale, with their defeat inevitable.
Despite his unparalleled ability to adapt to the chaos of war, Ioculus is not a commander who long leads from the safety of a command center. As with any true Astartes, he longs for battle. He will take quick stock of a tactical situation, decide upon the best course of action, and then charge to the most critical point of the front line to lead the attack.
Well respected by the members of his Chapter, Ioculus is, however, a leader who remains formal and aloof in bearing when not in battle. He also is a strict disciplinarian who has little patience for Battle-Brothers who do not maintain the highest standards of conduct. This was made very clear by the harsh judgment of Brother-Sargeant Valerus after a military clash with the Tau on Hyberia II.
Treat as High Marshal Helbrecht of the Black Templars, as per Codex: Space Marines.
TheGM: My model of Ioiculus is based on the GW model of Helbrecht. When it’s completed, I’ll post it. In my conversion, the skull and candle icon on Helbrecht’s pack is removed–and his power sword replaced with a chainsword. (The chainsword will be treated as a chapter relic—and thus have the same stats as a power sword.) The color scheme of Ioculus is similar to that of Helbrecht, despite the normally gray color scheme of the Knights. He is, after all, a high marshal.