|Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation - the legions of the Omnissiah march to war, backed by the firepower of the Imperial Knights of House Yato.|
House Yato, as you can see above, has their Knights painted in black and gold, and their heraldry is a simple yellow smiley face...because you know, someone has to preserve the sense of humor in such a grimdark and bleak future of the 41st Millennium. No, seriously.
Anyway, let's get down to the history of Draconis III. Draconis III is a lush agri-world full of greenery, fertile plains, life-giving rivers, streams and oceans, and vibrant forests. The first colonizers immediately set up farming settlements and fishing villages across the four major continents that stretched across an otherwise ocean-populated world, but to protect them from the amphibious Leviathans that rear from the seas, and the monstrous behemoths that assault their relatively small villages, the human colonizers had to depend on the newly constructed Knight suits from the Standard Construct Templates that they had brought along. Along with the Knights we all know, there were also STCs for the ancient Reaver Titan, which was enoguh to incinerate the gargantuan monstrosities from the forests.
Yet, these colonizers, having hailed from the Asian continent of old Earth (now Terra), sought harmony with Nature. So unlike more extreme colonizers who valued technology and efficiency over coexistence, they did not exterminate life from Draconis III. Rather, they built their homes beside forests and oceans, and respected Nature as an admirable force of life. For Millennia, the colonies expanded, basing their trade largely on agriculture and fishing, and they became quite wealthy, able to set up small but bustling and packed metropolises on an Eastern chain along the biggest continent. Similar cities were also built on the other three continents, but they served to integrate Mankind with Nature rather than attempt to subjugate it.
This peace did not last long, as the great Age of Strife soon came upon them. Warp rifts tore open the fabric of reality, vomitting out daemonic hordes and destruction. Yet, as necessity Draconis III had already constructed countless Knight suits to combat immense goliaths from both sea and forests, the Draconian population was able to stem the horrific tide and repel them back to the foul dimension from which they emerged. In this way, Draconis III managed to survive the horrors of the Old Night and continue to prosper despite being isolated from the rest of humanity. Having practiced self-sustainance, and already alienated because of their attempts to coexist with Nature rather than subjugate it, Draconis III welcomed this change and continued to develop. However, much of their technology was reduced to ruins when their Artificial Intelligences rebelled, only to be ruthlessly put down by the Knights that patrolled the continents for any sign of Chaos. It was this that led to their technological regression and further deepened their faith in Nature rather than technology.
|An imposing figure, the Knight Paladin of House Yato stands guard over Draconis III.|
The warriors did not care about coexisting with Nature in the way their preceding ruling class did. Focused solely on victory, they trampled upon the grassy plains of Draconis III in their hulking, adamantine armor, followed by columns of armored tanks. Thankfully, they did not have the technical expertise or vision to industrialize their world either, so the ecology of Draconis III remained largely untouched. The Rough Riders used to make up the majority of the soldiers, escorted by marching ashigaru, or foot soldiers, but their ineffectiveness against the colossal armor of Imperial Knights drove them to obsolescence, and the warlike leaders grudgingly acknowledged the futility of sending mere foot soldiers into combat with these giants. What few Standard Template Constructs and manufactorums left were used to construct armored tanks, which allowed even the common soldier to at least wound a towering Knight. A single tank might not be able to put a dent, but an entire squadron of tanks firing in concerted unison could put down a single Knight. This, of course, was limited to the relatively few tanks produced - numbering only in their thousands as opposed to the millions of marching foot soldiers, but it at least reduced the senseless loss of life. The particular military tradition was kept and later served as the foundation for the Planetary Defense Force, and subsequently the Draconian Armored Defense Force, which is almost entirely made out of tank and aerial companies. The few foot soldiers who stubbornly volunteetered to march into suicidal skirmishes were whittled down, and the survivors formed the core of an elite infantry force that will later be organized into Kamikaze troopers - the Draconian ADF's version of storm troopers. Dropping from obsolete hover crafts such as helicopters to execute impossible missions, they have now evolved into an airborne force that grav-chute out of Vendetta gunships to strike surgically at key installations or high-value targets. This has not changed and they carry out similar operations much like they did in the past when a small elite squad assassinated isolated Knights by themselves after steathily parachuting from their helicopters.
It is in this dark period when a shrewd tactician emerged. The Daimyo of House Yato, Yato Yasutaka, devised a strategy to begin uniting the divided Houses of Draconis III under one rule. Forging alliances with the powerful House Takeda and the indomitable House Uesugi, he slowly picked off one House after another, adding their domains and military might to that of his House and his allies. Manipulating politics so that the rulers of House Takeda and House Uesugi would remain loyal to him, either through family marriages or promises of glory, he was able to unite Draconis III under four decades of constant warfare. At long last, he had all the Knight Houses, including the great House Oda, the stubborn House Tokugawa, the resilient House Akita, all pledge loyalty to him as he took up rule as the High King. Dispersing his defeated foes into divided territories, he was able to build up and maintain his power base, ensuring the rule of his descendants. Under House Yato, Draconis III returned to propsering once more, the civilians able to experience peace and joy after millennia of bloody warfare. As centuries went past, House Yato and its allies, House Takeda and House Uesugi, began to subsume and integrate the other Houses into their own clans, and eventually there were only three Houses left, the others either now part of the three great Houses or destroyed.
This was not to last, however, as within another few millennia, the Imperium stumbled upon the isolated world. Already 5 millennia past its Great Crusade, the Imperium was still continuing their efforts to reclaim long-lost human colonies and return them to the fold of the Emperor. The naval armada, as well as a garrison of Imperial Guard troops descended onto the planet to negotiate with the powerful but aging Knights. Recognizing the immense firepower and undecipherable scale the Imperium presented, the current ruler, Yato Yoshinobu decided to minimize bloodshed and attempted to preserve his planet's autonomy through negotiations. He was intelligent enough to understand that the aging Knight suits of the three great Houses would not be able to stand up to the massive firepower the Imperium wielded, and that they would never survive a war of attrition against an Imperium that numbered thousands...no, millions of worlds. Even if they somehow fought off this incursion, they would have incurred unsustainable losses and suffered bloody damage. Not to mention, Yato was already aware of the orbital weapons, and having witnessed the devastation a single Reaver Titan could cause, he reasoned that the naval fleet above could actually destroy their world whenever they wanted.
Fortunately, Yato knew that there would also be benefits to returning to the Imperium, either through old Mythology about an Emperor descended from a sun goddess, or the ancient technology scattered about the planet but rendered out of use by the Age of Strife. Shrewd enough to find an opportunity to recognize this rule, he then made use of the deified Emperor (thanks to the Ecclesiarchy) to legtimize his rule further and named himself Shogun of Draconis III. As Shogun, he had received the right to rule from the Holy Father of Terra, the Emperor Himself, and will reign over this world on His behalf. Recognizing his authority, the Imperium did not aggressively press for more concessions, and after pledging his fealty to the Imperium and promising to send troops to pursue the now defunct Great Crusade or at least defend Mankind from encroaching Chaos and hostile Xenos, House Yato's dominance was all but assured. Yato also saw the need to modernize, realizing that his world's antiquated Knight suits and obsolete armored vehicles were no match for the vast armies the Imperium could bring to bear. Above all, he craved the military technology he was exposed to, such as those huge, orbital vessels, better optimized gunships such as the Vendetta, and the much more armored and powerful Leman Russ tanks that the Imperium had.
|The more Imperial Knights, the merrier...right? Right?|
The combined Knights of House Yato, House Uesugi and House Takeda number over hundreds, their massive roster only second to that of the great House Raven. Thanks to the Adeptus Mechanicus coming to claim Draconis IV as a Forge World, another cunning move by Yato Yoshinobu to secure allies and the prosperity of his House and allies, they continued to grow in strength, the Mechanicus providing new Knight suits and able to help maintain, repair and even upgrade the existing ones. This also saw Yato realize his dream of modernizing and his House...no, his world emerging as a pre-eminent power much like his ancestors were in the past, and achieving honor and glory that surpassed those of historical legends. With never-ending wars erupting across the Imperium, House Yato and their allies send their Knights across the galaxy to stem the horrific tides of merciless Xenos and corruptible Chaos, the presence of their black adamantium frames a welcome sight to the Imperium Guard and even the vaunted Space Marines. However, the Knightly Houses of Draconis III prefer to fight alongside their most trusted allies, such as the armored tanks of the Draconian Armored Defense Force, a newly formed Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum regiment from their world, and the hi-tech Skitarii Tech-Guard of the Adeptus Mechanicus, or more specifically their allied Forge World, Draconis IV. Marching alongside overwhelming firepower, they continue to wreck and destroy whatever enemies foolish to throw themselves in the path of the Emperor's quest of Enlightenment.