In the great tableau of galactic strife within the 41st Millennium, the Adrilles War is lesser in size, length and scope then many of the battles waged by the Imperium against heretics and xenos alike, but it has attracted to it a large number of philosophers and historians because of the number of factions involved. Certainly some of the most eccentric figures in academia have wrestled with the Adrilles War at some point in their career. There was even a time when to ponder the Adrilles War was a ritual of passage for fringe thinkers. Indeed, to set one’s mind to the intricacies of the war is still common among academics when the shackles of Imperium doctrine feel too tight. Furthermore, to those scholars, Magister Militum Frans Ruldolf and Alois Fischer are certainly the most intriguing of the war’s dramatis personae.
The Erkunden were a celebrated Scout regiment within the 4th Company of the Jager Corps. Magister Militum Frans Ruldolf had seen fit to bestow upon the regiment this honourific title during the Corps’ defense of the League of Veiled Star Systems. This was years before the Magister Militum moved the Jagers to Adrilles. In the space of time after the Corps’ arrival on Adrilles but before the outbreak of the war there is little mention of the Erkunden. Presumably, the Corps’ psykers under the guidance of Grand Librarian Hoeth were responsible for searching for and isolating dormant but viable Tyranid presence.
Within the varied histories of the Adrilles War, the earliest mention of the Erkunden comes via orders from Magister Militum Frans Ruldolf to his company commanders 72 hours before the planetary assault known as the Battle of First Contact, specifically that the Erkunden were to be sent into the “wastelands” to “find, study, and report the plotted sites” with a “propensity for instability” in order to ascertain if said sites should be acquired by the Corps as “positions of strength where the instability is likely to hide but not hinder Corps activity” or should be reported to Grand Librarian Hoeth for “high priority psychic cleansing.”
To some scholars, these orders– specific to the Erkunden and its support staff– is a suggestion that Magister Militum Frans Ruldolf was aware of the psychic storms forming and increasing in certain sectors of Adrilles and that he was willing to use the turmoil to his advantage in the inevitable war. Where this was not possible, the Corps would attempt to quell the storm. The herculean effort required for such “psychic cleansing” operations would require not only Grand Librarian Hoeth’s personal attention but also the bulk of his psykers. As an exceptional strategist of many military operations in defense of the League of Veiled Star Systems, Magister Militum Frans Ruldolf would have known using Hoeth and the psykers in this manner would have been at the expense of the Corps’ defense of the planet against the Vlka Fenryka sent to destroy them. If this is all true then this means that perhaps only Magister Militum Frans Ruldolf fully understood the threat taking shape in regions scattered across Adrilles.
This theory clearly flies in the face of other more established histories that claim the Jager psychic experiments with Tyranids were responsible for the development of the powerful storms that would grow to ravage the planet. It is worth noting, of course, that Grand Librarian Hoeth in the personal records he kept during the Jagers journey to Adrilles makes mention of such storms being the “light that guides us to this abandoned planet.”
Setting all that debate aside, it is clear the Magister Militum did order the Erkunden into the lesser explored territories of the planet– specifically volatile regions of the volcanic north, including the depths of the Klendathu Canyons.
Alois Fischer had been with the 4th Company for less than two years when the Magister Militum bestowed upon the Scout regiment the name Erkunden. He goes mostly unmentioned in the Jager histories until the time of the Adrilles War, where his journals would elevate his status in history. Before he chronicled what he witnessed of the series of battles that came to be known as The Klendathu Three, Fischer recorded the details of a small skirmish between Tyranids and forces of the Rubicon Necrons. The clash took place…
[more to come]