The Command Crew of the Relentless
First Officer, Commander Ward
Relative Years of Service: 21
Ward is a man who expects to succeed. Ambitious, ruthless and fixed of purpose, he is a scion of one of the long-established naval families of Battlefleet Bethesba and is the third generation to serve about the Relentless itself. He knows the ship's glorious history by heart and holds its traditions sacrosanct.
As First Officer, Ward cemented his authority aboard ship by exercising complete control over the officer corps. Any who opposed or inconvenienced him quickly found themselves consigned to the most degrading duties, disgraced, cashiered or worse.
Now, since the old captain's death, Ward has been in effective command of the Relentless, and he is only awaiting formal recognition by Battlefleet before he assumes the title of captain as well as its duties. He's already begun to appreciate its privileges.
With the guns of the Relentless at his command, Ward is a powerful figure on the fringes of the Bethesba sector where the ship patrols. The local potentates know from bitter experience not to refuse his 'requests' when the warship is in orbit above their world.
Second Officer, Lieutenant Commander Guir
Relative Years of Service: 17
Guir is Ward's right-hand, a key man to control the officer corps. Now that Ward has taken on full command of the ship, Guir has assumed operational authority over several of the First Officer's networks of informants. It is through their eyes and ears that Ward holds his officers in such an iron grip.
As reward, Guir has also been a major beneficiary of the cargo that the Relentless confiscates along its patrol route. With these riches, and the privileges of his position as Second Officer, he now has significant patronage at his disposal; the junior officers know that his favour is just as necessary as Ward's if they wish to advance their careers aboard ship.
Senior Armsman Vickers
Relative Years of Service: 5
Vickers is a tough, hardbitten survivor who has risen from the murky bowels of the ship to a place on the bridge. Though officially equivalent to a Chief Petty Officer, Vickers has a presence aboard ship that far outstrips his rank. At rest, his post is by Commander Ward's side on the bridge; in action he is at the forefront of every boarding party and raid. He is a fearsome individual: a native of a feral planet, captured and brought aboard the Relentless, chained to a conscript gang in the lower decks who are worked until they are dead.
Vickers survived. He was elevated to trusted crew and soon after selected to become an armsman. It was here, amongst the bloody boarding parties and the brutal press gangs that he excelled and came to the notice of Commander Ward. The Commander himself awarded Vickers the rank of Senior Armsman, and Vickers has been by his side ever since, ready to do the dirty work asked of him. It's what he's good at and all he's good for.
Few amongst the common crew have met, or would even recognise, one of the senior officers - but they all know the Senior Armsman. Many of the officers look at the scars that mottle his hide and dismiss him as a brute, Ward's unthinking muscle. The crew know better.
Ship Commissar Bedrossian
Relative Years of Service: 29
Commissar Bedrossian suffered near-critical injuries whilst serving on the front lines. Exactly what those injuries were, how they were sustained, no-one knows. After an extended convalescence at Battlefleet Command on Emcor, he was reassigned to the Relentless and has served there for nearly four years. Yet no-one really knows him - he has no intimates - he is a man of few words. Indeed, many say that he does not need to speak at all. The mere presence of the unmoving, expressionless steel mask he wears is intimidating enough.
Confessor Pulcher Purcellum
Relative Years of Service: 62
The Confessor is truly concerned. Only he appreciates the dangerous extent of the idolatry and atheism that runs rampant amongst the common crew. Ever since the old captain crossed to the Emperor's Judgement, the Confessor has railed while the senior officers have sealed themselves away from the concerns of the lower decks. Now he is determined to change this deplorable state of affairs.
Though the Confessor's mortal form is now burdened with layers of flesh and fat, his immortal spirit is as fiery and vigorous as ever.
Magos Majoris Nestratanus
Relative Years of Service: 187
A gifted engineer of long experience, guarding the workings of the ship as if it were his own child, no one has been better placed to watch the slow decline of the Relentless than the leader of the resident order of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Magos Nestratanus has served aboard ship through hundreds of engagements, under a dozen captains, and has watched in silent dismay as each, in his turn, has fallen and been succeeded by men lesser than those who went before.
Through neglect and conceit, the Relentless has been relegated from being one of the foremost warships of Battlefleet Bethesba to a third-rate scow, used only to intimidate backward planets, keeping them under the Imperial heel. Disheartened, defeated in spirit, Nestratanus now prefers to linger within his sacred communion with the venerable machine spirit of the ship.
Other Personnel in the Bethesba Sector
Master Ferrol, Merchant Fleet
Ferrol has achieved something few citizens within the oppressive Imperium accomplish. He is his own man. An independent. Though he is formally a shipmaster in the merchant fleet, their supervision is virtually non-existent in the vast Bethesba Sector, and there is profit to be had aplenty, both through legitimate trading and through less legal means.
Life as a trader at the fringes of Imperial control is a constant struggle, but so long as he has his ship and his handpicked crew, he is more than content. There's conflict in spades, and Ferrol is just the man to spot an advantage and seize an opportunity.
Relative Years of Service: 33
Captain Becket has earned his reputation of being iron-willed, inflexible, dauntless and brave. His service in the Navy is everything to him. Yet all this is at risk, as he is currently in transit back to Battlefleet Command at Emcor to face a court-martial. The Navy Articles demand a court-martial for any captain who loses his ship, no matter what the circumstances, and the destruction of Becket's command, the cruiser Granicus, is a loss that Battlefleet Bethesba can ill afford. The naval courts of Emcor are a treacherous place, old scores are settled and careers are made and ruined at a stroke. No matter what his defence, Becket's fate is uncertain.