The Honorifica Imperialist, 2nd Class, has been awarded posthumously to Colonel Elias Manikas, defender of the Lorca Valley during the recent Death Guard incursion into that strategically important agricultural region.
Manikas, 52, was commander of the 44th Dozarian PDF Regiment, which itself received a Regimental Honors Campaign Ribbon for “extraordinary courage, valor and intrepidity in the face of overwhelming odds and extreme danger that resulted in regimental losses exceeding 66 percent.”
The renown Confessor Guidonis Bernard, who served under the colonel, offered this tribute to the deceased: “Colonel Manikas was a true believer of the Imperial Creed and a shining example of the commitment of our military leadership. Despite impossible odds, he never wavered in his duty, and his ultimate victory is a sign of the God-Emperor’s favor.”
Born in 689.M41 in the city of Mygor, Manikas entered the Officers Candidate School at the Dozarian Military Academy in 707.M41 and was commissioned a lieutenant of the Dozarian Planetary Defense Force (PDF).
Until the initial outbreak of the Kassig Plague in 737.M41 , Manikas served a largely administrative role in the PDF—serving as a training officer of the 3rd PDF Regiment, a battalion commander in the 21st Regiment, and executive officer of the 55th Regiment.
The first wave of plague victims included the commanding officer of the 44th Regiment, and Manikas was promoted to colonel and given the regiment’s command. Upon his arrival, he found that nearly one-quarter of the regiment’s roster were dead,
For several months, the 44th enforced marshal law in the Callaga Province, which experienced significant civil unrest as the plague ravaged the region. The 44th later conducted a search-and-destroy mission in the city of Aldemey, where plague zombies had overwhelmed the city’s populace.
Manikas was cited in dispatches in 738.M.41, when the Death Guard conducted a drop pod assault on the Bernhard Military Base near the Lorca Basin. The 44th Regiment was one of only four military units on the base that had not been infiltrated by heretical cultists and, during the subsequent uprising by seditious units, Manikas commanded the rearguard action that allowed loyalist forces to withdraw to safety.
For most of 739-740.M41, Manikas participated in the defense of the Brendon Valley, the retreat through the Valymar Forest, and the unsuccessful counterattack in the Thunderhold Valley.
In late 740.M41, Manikas was assigned to defend the Pottoa Flatlands, a province of the Lorca Basin. It was on 6 905.740.M41 that the 4th Battalion of his regiment fought the first battle of a four-month campaign for control of the Flatlands.
With the exception of a handful of well-executed ambushes, Marnikas was unable to defeat the traitor forces facing him. In two large battles, and five smaller ones, the 44th Regiment suffered heavy defeats.
Over the course of the campaign, nearly 70 percent of the 44th was lost to battle or the host of virulent biological diseases that has been spread by traitor forces. Military authorities say that Manikas himself suffered through most of the campaign with a respiratory illness associated with a Type IIa virus first introduced by enemy aircraft spraying pestilent spores across the Lorca Basin.
Despite repeated anti-viral treatments, Manikas never fully recovered from exposure to the virus. It is assumed that exhaustion, aggravated by his command responsibilities, led to the colonel’s declining health and his untimely death on 3 194 741,M41—just days after his ultimate victory over the Death Guard.
Manikas’ parents, sister, and other immediate family were lost to various plagues in recent years, and the colonel has no known surviving family. He was cremated and given a military burial on 3 197 741.M41.
TheGM: The death of Col. Manikas is a tragic loss to the Corvus Cluster. But no character is safe in this narrative campaign. Every once in a while, when a hero falls, I roll a die and check some old 40K charts to see if there in impact on their stats—or even a very unlucky roll of permanent death.
For Manikas, however, I must admit his death is simply what I consider a properly tragic end to a campaign that is, despite its fictional basis, extremely tragic.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Dozaria Campaign