About Battlefleet Prosperitas
|Commanders:|| Lord Solar Admiral
The High Guard, the Void Nobility, the Imperial Navy is a culture unto itself, many of its Officers and Crew are born aboard the vast city-sized Battleships, and the leadership of many vessels is often determined by a combination of merit, breeding and heritage. Every ship has it’s own community, and every Fleet it’s own culture. The Ships of the Imperium are truly deadly things, each carrying enough firepower to utterly destroy anything from a city, to an entire planet.
Proud, noble and often considered to be backwards by their peers, Battlefleet Prosperitas is a bastion of the highest Imperial Culture in the Prosperitas Sector, maintained by those of good breeding, the Battlefleet sneers with disdain at the ‘ground pounders’ of the Crusade and often believes itsself a separate entity from the Crusades ‘lesser’ forces.
In truth the Battlefleet is one of the worst equipped in the Imperium, with many vessels being ancient long before the start of the Prosperitas Crusade, they are old venerable models of vessels, but with their own severe limitations. For example, the “Iron Lady”, an ancient Gloriana-class Hull, is a potent and deadly battleship, but due to the long-distant failure of her maneuvering thrusters, she is now unable to turn under her own power, dependent on assistance from other vessels, or the pull of stellar bodies to alter her course.
Though it is easy to dismiss the Navy as hiding behind the hulls of ships and the gigantic guns of it’s vessels, Naval Officers and Armsmen are no less deadly in a fight than a member of the Imperial Guard, often they make excellent close quarters fighters, and are incredibly dangerous melee opponents.
The Captain of an Imperial Navy warship has absolute authority over her ship. Even an Inquisitor might think twice about contradicting a Captain on her own deck, though it would be a foolish officer indeed who tested this tradition. To avoid confusion with the junior rank, Imperial Guard officers ranked “Captain” are by ancient tradition temporarily brevetted as Majors for the duration of their transit aboard Prosperitas fleet voidships. A ship’s Commanding Officer is referred to as “The Captain” aboard that ship regardless of rank – for example, the commander of a frigate might be ranked Commodore, but referred to as “Captain” on board.
Forms of address
Officers are addressed as “Sir” or “Ma’am” by subordinates; informally, commanding officers of ships might be called “Captain”. Ratings and junior officers are usually addressed by rank and/or surname by their superiors. Among their peers, Prosperitas sector Captains tend to be known by an abbreviated form of the name of their ship. The Captain of the Malcador’s Reply might therefore be known as “Reply” by his fellow Captains, while the unfortunate commander of the Fires of Damnation would be called “Damnation” by hers.
An officer of Battlefleet Prosperitas has the right to expect a salute and greeting (called ‘paying the compliment’) from ratings and junior officers. (The Captain of a ship is always saluted aboard her own vessel – even by visiting officers who outrank her.) Unlike other Sector fleets, the officers of Battlefleet Prosperitas do not keep elaborate traditions concerning wearing or removing head-dress before saluting. In former years, some officers adopted the Gothic Sector tradition of clicking their heels together when greeting a superior or receiving an order; this is now seen as archaic and has fallen out of fashion with younger officers.
Fleet Commissars, like terrestrial Commissars, are political officers responsible for maintaining morale on naval vessels through a programme of inspiration and fear. Commissars are often found on the bridge during transit, so that they might respond to isolated pockets of unrest within a voidship as quickly as possible. During naval engagements, Fleet Commissars can be found either orating over the ship’s Laud Hailers, or directly inspiring the crew by helping repel boarding actions.
As with terrestrial Commissars, Fleet Commissars do not Pay the Compliment as they are not technically part of the military hierarchy. Conversely, ratings and junior officers are expected to Pay the Compliment to a Commissar, as a show of respect for their station.
Fleet Commissars tend to greet each other with handshakes rather than salutes, given that they are not, technically speaking, military personnel.
Toast of the Day
After a meal, Battlefleet Prosperitas officers typically drink the “Loyal Toast” to “His Divine Majesty, the God-Emperor of Mankind” (shortened on some ships to simply “The Emperor” or other acceptably orthodox variants). This is usually followed by the Toast of the Day, given by the youngest officer present:
Sunday: Absent Friends
Monday: Our Ships in the Warp
Tuesday: Our Ratings
Thursday: Victory for Us and Glory for our Comrades
Friday: A Willing Foe and Void-Room
Saturday: Spouses and Sweethearts (may they never meet)
Language and Slang
When Battlefleet Prosperitas personnel are forced to operate on planets, they take great delight in confusing their Guard comrades with their unique dialect. Terms vary substantially from ship to ship, but some common ones include:
Ashore – on a planet
Deck – floor or ground
Deckhead – ceiling
Galley – kitchen or dining facility
Forward, aft, port, starboard – ahead, behind, left and right. Navy ratings and officers often use these directions even ashore, to the great frustration of Guard soldiers.
Dit – A story or information
Rating – also Voidsman/Voidswoman – the lowest rank of crewmember, making up the vast majority of the population of a ship
Petty Officer – equivalent of an Imperial Guard Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (Lance-Corporal, Corporal etc)
Chief Petty Officer – equivalent of an Imperial Guard Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (Sergeant and above)
Joss – Nickname for the ship’s Fleet Commissar (never in their presence!)
Pit – also rack – bed space
Stoker – Irreverent nickname for a member of the ship’s Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood