The Crane Agent is here to solve Yu Jing’s problems, with style.
Having started playing 40K around the time that you were meant to ask permission to use special characters, I always had a nagging subconscious discomfort that the only Lieutenant option I had available for Imperial Service was a character, Sun Tze. The situation changed when I impulse bought the Celestial Guard with Kuang Shi Control Device, giving me the option of having IS’ most baseline grunt lead my army. Still, that did not strike me as cool enough, as I like having an ultimate badass lead by example. After all, one of the many ways I envisaged my eventual IS team was like a 40K Inquisitor and retinue built up of apprentices, acolytes, soldiers of fortune and all manner of freakshow. So I resolved to one day get a Crane Agent to be my Inquisitor. Sadly, the Crane was at the time considered a poor investment of points so I ended up biding my time.
With the advent of N3, The Imperial Agent Crane Rank has been elevated to the status of rock star, gaining all kinds of useful buffs at the expense of his seldom used Mono CCW. His points went down, his MULTI Rifle got better, his armour went up, he picked up sensor and his kung fu remains strong. How could I resist any longer?
Well to be honest I probably would have delayed longer if I knew how much of an intricate bitch to paint he was going to be.
The ponytail came off once during painting. It is quite a feat to attach normally, but once the shoulder antennae are on it’s a real challenge. Too small an attachment to pin as well…
On to the educational stuff. The full name of the unit includes the pinyin Xiān Hè, the correct spelling for the characters 仙鹤, which indeed denote ‘Crane’.
Xiān/仙 can be pronounced by taking the ‘sh‘ from ‘shot’, and placing it before ‘yen’ like the Japanese currency, and saying it all as one syllable. This character means ‘immortal’ and interestingly, is made up of the character for ‘person’ (人) and ‘mountain’ (山). The implication here is one of transcendence, becoming immortal by ascending the mountain. The relationship between immortals and mountains is hardly unique to China of course. Another interesting point is that under Wade-Giles, an earlier system for romanizing Chinese language, ‘仙’ is written as ‘hsien’. Presumably this is the hsien that gives Yu Jing’s Hsien Troops their name, as their name is also meant to mean immortal. Therefore I am left scratching my head as to why their unit logo instead features the character ‘永/Yǒng’ prominently. 永/Yǒng means perpetual/eternal etc, so why not just use 仙 in the logo or call them Yong Troops?
Moving on, The second character, Hè/鹤, is specific to the crane. It’s pronounced close enough to ‘her’. If you remember the post about the Pheasant Agent, you’ll notice that it also incorporates the same little character for ‘bird’ (鸟) that the character for chicken does (鸡).
As the second character means crane on it’s own, I’m unsure exactly why crane is often written as immortal crane. I’m told it’s in a similar vein to the way a black crow provokes feelings of unease. I suppose if there is lucky lions there can be immortal cranes.
The updated logo, like it’s predecessor does not feature the characters for Crane. The central character on the stylised silhouette of a crane is 龙/Lóng, which means ‘Dragon’ and denotes the Emperor of Yu Jing. The characters at the top are 龙服务/lóng fú wù, the same lóng as before, with the latter two characters denoting service. We can safely deduce from this that 龙服务/lóng fú wù is the in-universe name for the Imperial Service. Cool!