- "I will have them hate me more than their enemy and I will have them fear me more than their enemy."
- — Commissar Ibarra displaying her style of enforcing order.
- "Do you think you can contain these examples of human scum and villainy? They will rip you apart in seconds. No, the joy to crush their will and make them twitch over every step they hear will be mine alone."
- — The Fallen Commissar in conversation with a loyal counterpart.
Frantziska Ibarra is a reminder that even those as trained and faithful as an Imperial Commissar are not impervious to the insidious influence of Chaos.
Once a proud specimen of her profession, her fall from grace came along with that of her regiment, the 1st Cairngorn Penal Legion and its commander, Major Evangelija Atanasov and it is suspected that the Commissar herself played a significant role in the events leading to their betrayal.
Like millions of children all across the vast Imperium, Frantziska grew up in the care of the Ecclesiarchy. At the age of 5, she was brought to the gates of the Schola Obedia, operated by the Schola Progenium on the Shrine World Sylvain. Dropped off by a crew-member of a merchant vessel, there is no information regarding her parents and she herself didn't remember either.
Despite being only 5 years of age, her strong will and stern mindset made her unsuited for the ranks of the Adepta Sororitas. Instead, she was assigned to the masses of potential recruits for Storm Troopers or Commissars. Out of both roles, she identified more with the latter. Even from a young age, she displayed a distance to the children around her and would often report to Officers about their misdeeds. Naturally, this isolated her from her comrades, which seemed to leave her unfazed.
Eventually, she took on the path of the Commissar with all of her being.
Much of the records detailing her rise to the position of a full-fledged Commissar have been sealed away, though those personally involved with her describe her as a diligent, conscientious individual with a high standard for herself and others.
Eventually, in 022.M42, she was assigned as the Commissar to the 1st Cairngorn Penal Legion under the command of Colonel Dougal Monroe. Together with Major Atanasov, the direct command of the legion essentially shifted to these two.
After the death of Colonel Monroe during the liberation of Eachann, the 1st Cairngorn's tactics strained the regiment's discipline more and more, with Commissar Ibarra understanding herself as the one to uphold it. Major Atanasov had convinced her that the men's excessive violence were a tool in the arsenal of the Imperium, necessary to remind those who strayed from its light that rebellion was not an option. While she agreed with this reasoning, the effort it would take to keep a force of savage criminals under control proved to be greater than she could have imagined.
Over the course of the regiment's corruption, their increasingly loose morality and lacking discipline, promoted by the Major, made her resort to ever harder punishments. Penal labor was at one point simply not enough anymore. Ibarra saw it necessary to resort to methods featuring public humiliation and eventually even minor mutilations. The legionnaires' transgressions continued regardless, as the contrast between combat and the time on leisure seemed to blur for them. Unbeknownst to her, her efforts were undermined by practices akin to slaaneshi Pleasure Cults introduced by the Major and actively furthered their popularity.
A development that Atanasov had not foreseen was that some legionnaires would develop pleasure from the punishment itself, though. These individuals began to actively misbehave in the presence of Commissar Ibarra in order to receive a punishment. Upon discovering this, the Major actively encouraged these legionnaires to intensify their efforts while she convinced Commissar Ibarra that it was this comparatively small group which caused the unrest in the other legionnaires.
Believing to face a much more manageable trial now, Ibarra left the broad majority of the 1st Cairngorn mostly unattended in order to root up this perceived source of unrest. This proved to be a downward spiral, as those who sought her attention saw their efforts rewarded and only doubled them. Fueling each other's obsession with punishment and the enforcing of authority, this eventually developed into a sub-culture within the regiment, putting on public displays of disciplining and disobedience. Such displays would momentarily lead to an improvement in the victim's behavior, only for them to act out even more extremely later on. The cycle of frustration, excitement, relief and renewed frustration became mutual and eventually, Ibarra lost the original purpose of it all and merely acted on behalf of keeping this procedure running.
During the Massacre of Ruun finally, there was a brief moment of hesitation within Ibarra. As Major Atanasov revoked her loyalty to the Imperium and devoted herself and her men to Slaanesh instead, the Commissar faltered, for before her laid a clear display of heresy. However, Atanasov persuaded her that Imperium at large lacked control and needed to face a punishment on a scale sufficient enough call it back to order. Furthermore, her own depravity was a fact Ibarra could not dismiss, neither the deep satisfaction she drew from it. Faced with the reality that her methods had indeed bore fruits, although in a far different way than intended, she cast her Imperial vows aside and indulged in the rampant orgy taking place in the name of the Prince of Pleasure. The Commissar had fallen.
During the Ecstasy's involvement on Kadukus, one of the Major's two orders was to instill a lasting impression of the warband's capabilities into the records and minds of the Imperium. To achieve this goal, Ibarra left the heretics' HQ soon after the initial take-over of the Hive was completed. Along with Drom, a corrupted Ogryn and Atanasov's bodyguard, she roamed the streets to enslave the population for the upcoming rituals and sacrifices, slaughtering those who resisted in a bloody display of the legionnaires' love for explosives.
At the same time, executed Atanasov's second directive: That to find and press powerful Psykers into service for the warband. An achievement adequately rewarded with a number of prisoners from the Hive was the capture of a Beta Level Psyker named Medeor. He had been a member of one of the Hive's gangs, kept in control with powerful narcotics, only to be released to execute his crude but powerful abilities against the gang's enemies. As his former masters either surrendered for found a fast death at the hand of the invaders, Medeor pledged allegiance to both the Major and Ibarra in exchange for his freedom. With his help Ibarra rounded up around 300 potentially psychic children, of which only few would survive the campaign.
Duel Of The Commissars
It was during this search that she met Rose Whitlock, a Commissar from the Kor Saran 1st Infantry. The two recognized each other as hailing from the very same Schola Obedia, indicated by its sigil imprinted on their left hands. A fierce duel ensued in the wake of the Kor Sarans' fight against Drom and his pillagers. The clash of the two forces eventually saw Drom slain and Ibarra escaping with her prey of Psykers but not without severing Whitelock's right arm.
Described as a control freak and overly adherent to rules in her youth, becoming a Commissar masked these edges of her character rather than dulling them. Her standard for discipline which she enforced on herself before all others never dropped. While this made her an excellent Commissar in theory, it meant that she came across as unreasonably stern and lacking some of the flexibility necessary on a battlefield. Despite that, the number of executions committed by her are surprisingly low as she regarded any offense as redeemable through appropriate disciplining.
The inability to overcome these deficiencies would eventually culminate in the obsessive relationship that developed between her and the men willfully seeking her painful attention within the 1st Cairngorn. Her desire for control seems put directly across the wildly erratic nature of Chaos, yet the triumph of publicly whipping a resilient prisoner into obedience in front of his comrades is truly fitting for a devotee of Slaanesh.
Ibarra is tall, pale woman with the body of military service altered by the vile energies of Slaanesh's affection. her formerly gray eyes have taken on a burning glow as if an unholy purple fire would burn behind her pupils. Her black hair is cut straight at the jawline, safe for a waist-long tail of it, braided into a noose. Few of her followers have experienced the pleasure of being suffocated by this noose.
In combat, she wears blackened Carapace Armor over tight leather gear commonly associated with the demons of Slaanesh. The boots of her armor have grown heels and while this would be utterly impractical for any human soldier, this does not apply to Ibarra who has forsaken her humanity. additionally, these heels are adorned with razor sharp blades, making them a lethal weapon against unwary foes.
Occasionally, she also dons her former uniform, consisting of the heavy cloak and the distinctive head. However, the imperial insignia on both have been replaced with the sigil of the Ecstasy and Slaanesh.
Abilities and Traits
The training in the Schola and the experience on the battlefield have made her a more than capable fighter, most prominently displayed in the rather one-sided duel against Rose Whitelock. She prefers close combat, slaying foes with her sword or the unholy needle protruding from her left index finger.
The years of developing punishments to cope with the ever increasing disobedience of her men have also turned her into a gifted interrogator and it is her who oversees the indoctrination of new recruits into the ranks of the Ecstasy.
Gifts Of Slaanesh
- Needle Of Desire: A double-ended needle, one end of which is permanently inserted into the champion, from whom it absorbs various poisons and toxins produced by champions of Slaanesh. The venom will throw anyone into a state of delirium and many simply shut down the moment the toxins reach their blood stream, so potent is the poison. They will often then remain slumped over the needle.
- Carapace Armor: Though warped in shape by the influence of Slaanesh, this armor has lost nothing of its protective power and instead gained additional movement of freedom.
- Bolt Pistol: The Garm Pattern Bolt Pistol, often associated with the Commissars who wield them, has never seen much activity, as Ibarra prefers melee over other forms of combat.
- Thorn Of Failure: Rumored to be a Daemon Weapon, this straight, superficially simple blade proves to be both sturdy and powerful.
Friends and Allies
- Evangelija Atanasov: The Major and 'her' Commissar shared a deep bond that reaches back to the Second Liberation of Eachann and goes beyond that of commander and her substitute. Both women mutually respect and depend on each other.
- Rose Whitelock: Though victorious during their duel, Frantziska is left unsatisfied with the outcome. Rather than the death of Whitelock, however, she strives to capture and subdue the Commissar and purge this connection to her past.
- "The Schola taught us that discipline is the first line of defense against destruction. I am not sure if they have been aware just how right they were."
- —Ibarra, overheard after the 2nd Liberation of Eachann
- "I have discarded my rank, but my role remains the same. I am the handler, the tamer of these men and women. They are beasts and it is on me to be their leash."
- —The Fallen Commissar to those prisoners