2. Brigade "Children of Heq"
|"Children of Heq"|
"Zeal, Corruption, Loyalty!"
Blue & Black
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The 2. Brigade "Children of Heq" was a brigade in the 2nd Division of the Tarentum I Corps. It had a darkly religious background due to members of a cult, the Children of Heq, comprising a notable part of the troops. It was run with the same military standards but still carried out religious customs. The brigade was later dissolved when the I Corps was replaced with the Yridian Surface Command.
The Spider in the Caves
According to the teachings of the cult, Heq was an energy spider smuggled from Kessel by the original Imperial colonists in order to set up a glitterstim mine on Yridia. While she was the only energy spider picked up to serve as a test run, it was a setback for the colonists when she disappeared into the caves, adapting to the partly-submerged environment. As her captors could not control her in this condition, Heq's movements resulted in a very small amount of glitterstim being spread throughout the caves, making commercial harvesting virtually impossible.
After some years, a Kuati man named Dusemer forced to work in the mines faced a deadly encounter from the energy spider that had nested in the caves. After seeing his entire party killed by the creature, he began to revere it, naming it "Heq," or "terror" in his Kuati tongue. Without his group to aid him and never put into a replacement, due to a conflict with the Sergeant of the Guard who wished him dead, Dusemer worked in the tunnels alone for several years. Because of this, he continued to have various encounters with Heq, but she never made a move to strike him, let alone kill him. His curiosity soon got the better of him, and the miner followed the spider back into her lair, swimming partway in order to get there. This particular, inaccessible cave was covered from top to bottom in web and glitterstim deposits.
Heq, adoring her new "child," often blocked Dusemer's attempts to flee or leave the cave, and he was forced to consume the remaining scraps of the various prey animals the miners released into the caves for Heq to consume in the hope of forcing her to produce more glitterstim. Dusemer, on a diet of rodents and glitterstim, soon lost his mind and accepted his role as the son of Heq, giving up all hope of fleeing.
Wrath of the First Child
A year after Dusemer's captivity had begun, he awoke to find that Heq had vanished from the cavern. Forcing his way out of the lair, he traveled through the mines in search of Heq only to find a party of miners instead. For the next several months, miners and guards went into the caves to hear Dusemer preach, his haggard, now almost arachnid-like body enshrouded in darkness. He told them of his life with Heq, whom he referred to as "Mother," and that she was a war god. With this came many sermons that focused on the idealism of death in battle, zeal, and absolute loyalty.
With his followers growing in number, Dusemer decided to lead them in revolt against the mining facility authorities. The excited mob of miners and guards overwhelmed those in charge of the facilities and burned each building to the ground. Then, leaving the smoldering ruins behind, Dusemer and his congregation traveled across Yridia IV's many islands in 15 ABY. Establishing itself in just built colonies, the cult - now called the Children of Heq - operated as a secret religious order, congregating in sewers to be closer to their goddess. Members of the cult, or "Heqites", had a strange tendency to live as close to the earth or as deep in the earth as the region would allow. Many turned caves into comfortable residences; and those who had traditional houses often lived in the basements, using the upper floors to entertain guests or just leaving them completely empty. Virtually all of them kept several pet spiders that were allowed to roam the houses freely.
Dusemer himself, having led his people to the land of light so they could engineer its downfall, returned to the darkness to search out Heq. Though none of his followers have ever heard from him again, due to his ability to survive in the caves it is likely that he is either living with his mistress or he is still zealously searching for her to this day.
With the reformation of the Tarentum Military in 24 ABY, the followers of Heq and Dusemer - many of them being the original miners and guards - saw the perfect opportunity to achieve oneness with Heq. As they had permeated the governmental structure of the Yridia system, they were able to engineer their inclusion into a single Brigade. The brigade drew men and women from all walks of life, but under the eyes of their officers and therefore Heq, they were all equals and had soon filled the ranks to bursting. Due to the filling of the brigade, competition to attain slots increased drastically and only the healthiest Heqites with the most fury in their hearts were weaseled into the military by their political elders.
After seeing Tarenti Ronovi Tavisaen's zeal and prowess during a strike on Prakith, Maxamillian von Oberst approached the young Obelisk with a unique proposition. As he was not fond of the religiously driven brigade, he desired a strong-willed individual to be its commander. At first Ronovi was hesitant to take command of such a brigade due to its less than respected status among the other military units, but after speaking with several Heqite officers about their religious beliefs, her curiosity was piqued. Therefore, Ronovi became the commander of the brigade with the intention of using the Heqites' practices to the military's advantage; she did this by subjecting the soldiers to rigorous and intense exercises and training while enjoying their loyalty to her, which in turn was loyalty to Heq. After Ronovi's promotion to Brigadier General and subsequent transfer to command over the Corps' first division, however, the brigade was commanded by Major Eriro Dusquen.
The brigade was vital in the assault on Salas V during the Sixth Rite of Supremacy, but the cost was dear. Dozens of Heqites were slaughtered by the Killiks, unable to hold off the creatures as well as the Dark Jedi could. While many in the troops considered it a blessing that Heqites were killed and could join Heq, the strike simply became too overwhelming, and several soldiers actually fled and stayed scattered on the planet. Most likely they had been captured or killed by forces of Independent House Revan, the unit that proved itself worthy of owning Salas V.
The I Corps in general was severely reduced in number after the assault, and the military force seemed impossible to mend without full military reform. When the Yridian Surface Command was formed, those remaining Heqites who had not dispersed either returned to Yridia IV or enrolled into different divisions of the new army. Since then, the Cult of Heq dispersed around the Yridia system, with no real leader as Dusemer had all but disappeared.
The Teachings of Heq and her Son
Select Teachings and Verses from the Children of Heq
- Only by falling in battle against the forces of the light and surface can one achieve full union in Darkness with Heq. Only as one is cut down and hewn asunder will Heq reaccept him into her womb.
- As the men of light are struck from the land show no mercy. Render their fields barren. Destroy their livestock. Force their children to see the glory of Heq! Through these deeds can you descend back into the dark.
- Obey your officers without question! For their voices convey to you the wishes and demands of Heq. Offer them your absolute loyalty as you would to Heq herself. For they will lead you out of the light and into darkness.
Practices and Customs
- Most of the soldiers kept large spiders as pets in their barracks, which were adorned with emblems and decorations that referenced their goddess.
- Lighting in the barracks was often kept dim and was usually provided by firelight, as soldiers preferred darker settings in order to be closer to Heq.