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IA: Ice Lords

Octavulg DA Loyalist IA 26th Founding

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92 replies to this topic

#76
Octavulg

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Revised a bit of language, took out a few extraneous sentences in a vain attempt to get the word count down, added a chapter symbol (finally).

After this, it goes into the Librarium, where I will no doubt poke at it for years. Barring a revelation which forces me to completely rethink everything about it.

Thoughts or criticisms?

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#77
Lysimachus

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Only a couple of tiny bits I could see:

The Ice Lords, though an obscure chapter of recent founding


Should these be capitalized? Pretty sure Chapter should be, not sure on the other?

all they could do was collapse, sobbing with horror and pain


‘collapse together’ or something? Just to highlight more that the experience has brought them together.

punish from the Emperor himself


‘punishment’ surely?

Telemachus and his supporters insisted that that was the way to true greatness for the Ice Lords.


Not entirely sure but would 'that this was the way to true greatness' sound better?

Very good as always, mate. My only other concern was the lack of 'proper' headers, but I’m guessing they’d interfere with the pics/sidebars? Maybe just do an extra empty line at the end of each section to break it up more, also maybe just up the text size by 1 on the headers themselves?

Other than that, all I can say is:

After this, it goes into the Librarium


It’s about bl@#dy time!!! ;)

Edited by Strike Captain Lysimachus, 08 December 2009 - 11:37 AM.


#78
Octavulg

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Should these be capitalized? Pretty sure Chapter should be, not sure on the other?


Chapter should be (maybe, anyway). Founding shouldn't be because it's not referring to any specific one.

‘collapse together’ or something? Just to highlight more that the experience has brought them together.


I think I had it that way once but it made me picture a big group cryfest. Which felt a little too...

‘punishment’ surely?


Yup. Changed in the Big Document of Ice Lords.

Not entirely sure but would 'that this was the way to true greatness' sound better?


Dead right. Changed in the Big Document.

Very good as always, mate. My only other concern was the lack of 'proper' headers, but I’m guessing they’d interfere with the pics/sidebars? Maybe just do an extra empty line at the end of each section to break it up more, also maybe just up the text size by 1 on the headers themselves?


They greatly muck up the sidebars, yes. They also use blue, and people used to get all complainy about how you couldn't read the headers. I may well fiddle with ways to break things up more - likely the text size.

It’s about bl@#dy time!!! laugh.gif


Thank you. :P The fact that I'm still finding things to fix says to me that it's good that I waited, though. :)

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#79
Octavulg

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Updated with Lysismachus' revisions, pared down the word count by about 200-300 words.

At this point, I think it's basically done, but opinions to the contrary are welcome.

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#80
Codex Grey

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I have nothing specific to say. I have always liked this Chapter, and now that the article is even better I just want to voice my approval.

My only suggestion is to use black halfheaders with white text, and then place all the sidebars and captions/pics to the right of the article.
This way, you get the main article along the left side of the page, with all the extra goodness on the right side, and the halfheaders won't screw up the stuff on the right.
Black with white text is pretty bland and doesn't directly fit with the color scheme, but it's easy to look at ( and black headers fits with the grimdark? maybe? )
This is the style I've used for both my articles, and I personally think it gives an article a clean, orderly look. Others have noted that they didn't like it, and I understand if you don't use it, but hey, it's just a suggestion. But I definitely think the article needs headers, because its current look is kinda 'texty'.

But please, submit this to the Librarium already!

Edited by Codex Grey, 03 January 2010 - 06:03 PM.


#81
Octavulg

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This is the style I've used for both my articles, and I personally think it gives an article a clean, orderly look. Others have noted that they didn't like it, and I understand if you don't use it, but hey, it's just a suggestion. But I definitely think the article needs headers, because its current look is kinda 'texty'.


For some reason, I find the alternation from left to right more organic. I find it makes it easier to read, and helps me remember to read sidebars when they appear.

Though there is now a sidebarred version, should I ever change my mind.

But please, submit this to the Librarium already!


Alright. I can take a hint. :P

Article is submitted. Though I'm going to make someone else review it.

Thank you very much. :)

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#82
Ferrus Manus

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And Approved!

Congratulations and well done on an excellent article.
 
My WIP Space Marine Chapter

#83
Lysimachus

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Awesome. Well done, mate, and thanks for the acknowledgement, honoured to have been able to help!

Now, resist the urge to fiddle with it! ;)

What's next, the Stone Hearts and Bronze Prophets could do with some love? (Damn, give the poor man a break! Ok, take a day or two off, then back to work! :D )

#84
Brother Argent

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Honestly I think this one is up there with some of the best. An inspiring standard to aspire too. Congrats of the Librarium entry. You, my friend, are one of the elite. Gives me some ideas on how to attempt to improve my Star Wardens IA.

gallery_36568_13287_1351.jpg


#85
Octavulg

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Lysimachus:

Awesome. Well done, mate, and thanks for the acknowledgement, honoured to have been able to help!


I just wish I'd spelled it right. :P

You spent more time reading this IA than I could ever have expected, and I appreciate it.

What's next, the Stone Hearts and Bronze Prophets could do with some love? (Damn, give the poor man a break! Ok, take a day or two off, then back to work! tongue.gif )


The Bronze Prophets are already 200 words up from where they were yesterday, and growing steadily.

* * *

Honestly I think this one is up there with some of the best. An inspiring standard to aspire too. Congrats of the Librarium entry. You, my friend, are one of the elite. Gives me some ideas on how to attempt to improve my Star Wardens IA.


Thank you. :D

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#86
Octavulg

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The various drafts of the Ice Lords are below, for reference in the Octaguide.

As can be seen, there's a lot. Most of the big changes happened from Mark I to Mark III. Mark III to Mark V was much less prominent, and arguably Mark V was really Mark III.V.

Eventually, I'll add a little more organization, a table of contents and some commentary on the whole thing at the end. But not right now.

Initial Post (27th September, 2007)
+Chapter Founding+
Chapter records of the Ice Lords founding were destroyed in the Fall of the Fortress, meaning the Chapter today has only the vaguest of ideas where they came from, and are unaware of their Primarch or even from what Chapter their original Master (Askarliel) came. There are even suggestions that such information may not have been known before the Fall of the Fortress, prompting speculation by both members of the chapter and Imperial authorities as to just what the chapter's exact history is. What is known is that the Chapter was founded around the thirty-seventh millenium, at the unusual request of a "Lord Caliban" and was assigned to the border planet Franklin's World. Although it is a border world of ice and snow, the population of Franklin's World is housed in floating cities high above the glacial waste below. These cities are incredibly complex relics of an unknown time, and are believed to be relics of the Golden Age of Technology. The largest, Elnorea, houses over three million as of the date of the last Imperial census (M36.441), while some of the smaller cities hold only a few thousand. Many cities feature large gardens and architecture that inspired visitors to the planet. The Ice Lords took over one of the smaller cities, Falconscott, which came complete with a formidable fortified complex of sufficient capacity for marines and serfs. Defense turrets were installed, and the monastery became an even more imposing structure.

The Ice Lords built up their numbers and performed their duties admirably. They remained virtually undistinguished from other Astartes chapters until M37.432.

+The Fall of the Fortress+
In the fourteenth year of the term of Chapter Master Amundal (second to hold the post, and one of the two founders) disaster struck the chapter. Shortly before a visit by an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus, the brothers of the Chapter were shocked to feel the decking of the monastery list and jolt beneath their feet as the fortress began to plunge from the sky. The civilians of the city began to panic, and the overwhelmed brothers had to maintain order and attempt to deal with the problem as swiftly as they could. Although the harried Techmarines succeeded in concluding just what had caused the precipitous descent and managed to repair the damage, the monastery's descent was only slowed, not stopped. It slowly came to rest in an ice canyon on the planet's surface.

The shock of landing caused chaos. The city was greatly damaged, and the Chapter Archives, housed in the lower portions of the monastery, were nearly unsalvageable. The Chapter Armory and Apothecarion survived intact, but much of the civilian population was injured or killed, as were some of the battle-brothers. In the midst of this confusion, two things were discovered - the damage which had caused the monastery's precipitous descent was attributable only to sabotage, and Chapter Master Amundal was dead, crushed to death in the ruins of the Archives. Shattered and mangled record discs surrounded his corpse. The beloved founder was burned with the highest of honors, and the Ice Lords turned to the task of rebuilding. Second Company Master Ergathon was acclaimed as Chapter Master in his place.

The Master of the Forge soon informed the new Chapter Master that no amount of repair or retrofit would allow the city to fly again. The (relatively) sheltered location of the monastery's new resting place was deemed acceptable as a site for the new Fortress' establishment. The chapter began the arduous task of weatherproofing their home and seeking out informaton about the virtually unmapped surface they now found themselves on. When the Inquisitor's message cancelling his visit arrived, it passed nearly unnoticed in the bustle.

+The Dreams+
As work continued on the reestablishment of the monastery, the new Chapter Master began to be plagued by dreams of an unknown origin. A great wolf and an armored knight, resembling those on the chapter banner, appeared to him in a dream. Both told him that the Chapter's homeworld hid great secrets, and the chapter's solemn duty was to ferret them out and use them for the benefit of Humanity and the Emperor. These dreams occasionally appeared to others in the chapter, though only in the case of Ergathon did the apparitions speak. Although both visions advised investigation of the planet, each offered differing methods for how it was to be done - the wolf advocating independent scouting missions on longer term assignment, the knight suggesting organized and coordinated sweeps of the unknown. Eventually, Ergathon chose to despatch the more coordinated misions of the Knight, much to the Wolf's consternation. When the first scouting mission returned, the visions ceased.

The scouts had discovered a maze of tunnels with several nearby entrances, a network which stretched deep beneath the planet. In contrary to the lifeless surface of the planet, the tunnels had occasional creatures, although many were cunning and deadly. In addition, the scouts brought back valuable items of technology which bore a marked resemblance to that with which the floating cities had been constructed. Ergathon was greatly pleased, and ordered further exploration of the tunnels while the rebuilding continued.

+The Scouring of the Warrens+
As the explorers of the Chapter ventured deeper and deeper beneath the icy crust, they began to face resistance from strange, four-armed creatures with claws of steel and wriggling, tentacled maws. Although the marines fought bravely, mere power armour was no match for the creatures and the Chapter's valuable Terminator armor had to be deployed for further exploration. Assaults of these strange creatures began to venture forth against outposts of marines in the tunnels, and soon permanent guard positions had to be established to prevent the creatures from reaching the surface. Groups of marines still ventured further and further, returning with treasures like Terminator armor and arcane devices of unknown purpose.

However, one day in M38, even the guard positions proved insufficient. A huge swarm of creatures erupted from the depths, smashing through the guard positions and streaming toward the fortress monastery and its inhabitants. The First Company was on-planet at the time, and the entire company was needed (along with the assistance of the Fifth and Seventh Companies) to turn back the assault. As soon as the last of the creatures fled into the tunnels, Chapter Master Impralion announced that it was time to deal with the menace that faced the chapter. He retired to his quarters to create a plan of action.

The next morning, the Chapter Master announced that the Wolf and Knight had appeared to him in a dream, and that the Wolf had advised that this was an opportunity to whet the steel of the Chapter even sharper. Although exterminating the creatures from the possibly limitless tunnels was impossible, once sufficiently reduced the creatures would provide ample opportunities to train the Chapter in the skills needed to fight in the cramped environments of space hulks and other such cramped locales. The constant threat would ensure that the Chapter never grew soft or idle, and would ensure that the Chapter would always be ready to fight the creatures should they ever mount such an attack again.

The First Company then ventured into the Warrens, cleansing every creature they found to a predetermined depth. They then withdrew, and ever since squads from the first two companies of the Chapter have been allowed the honor of exploring the Warrens, searching for treasures and the glory of battle. The chapter symbol was changed from a single diamond of ice to a black diamond with white spears of ice hanging from the top - representing the tunnels which the chapter would use as a proving ground forever afterwards. The Chapter Banner had been shredded by the rending claws of the creatures, and it was rewoven to incorporate the new heraldry - the Wolf and the Knight framing the new symbol.

+The Cult of the Wolf and the Cult of the Knight+
Over the next centuries, visions of the Wolf and the Knight became more and more frequent. Alhough they only ever spoke to the Chapter Master, other marines on the cusp of great decisions often said they were visited by them. Two cults sprang up, one favoring the more passionate and brawling approach of the Wolf, the other the more restrained and ordered forms of the Knight. The friendly rivalry between the two cults won the approval of the Chapter Master, and the Chapter's Reclusiarch deemed that there was no offense to the Emperor in the organizations, which have been allowed to continue to this day. Although the cults are not technically secret, they are simply not mentioned to outsiders, and debate rages even within the chapter over whether the visions are manifestations of the Emperor or something else entirely. The official explanation for the few visions known to the Inquisition is "manifestations of the Emperor", but the Inquisition is likely not aware of the extent of the visions within the Chapter. If they were aware, their course of action would difficult to predict.

Recent History
The Ice Lords have remained relatively inactive compared to other Space Marine chapters. They have fulfilled their obligations to the local area, and some companies have ventured further afield, but generally the Chapter has devoted much effort to the exploration and excavation of the Warrens and the less well-mapped portions of the nearby sector. Greater treasures are discovered at each depth, prompting furious discussion in the workshops of the Chapter over what will be found at the next level.

Home World
Franklin's World is a fairly unimportant world on the extreme northeastern edge of the Ultima Segmentum. Little is known about this portion of the Segmentum, and the Ice Lords have made great strides in bringing the Emperor's light to the benighted barbarian worlds of the region. It is unknown what kind of planet Franklin's World used to be, but it is apparent that at some time in the past some unknown disaster covered the planetary surface with ice kilometers thick. The planet's indigenous life is limited to ferocious creatures which inhabit the tunnels beneath the ice. The human population lives in floating cities in the clouds, cities which appear to date from the Golden Age of Technology. Occasional Adeptus Mechanicus missions venture to the planet to study the mechanisms which keep these grand constructions aloft, but attempts to duplicate them have met with failure. Why the cities were built and who built them remain one of the planets many mysteries, as does the question of where the Warrens beneath its surface came from and why so many technological treasures can be found beneath them. Ferreting out the secrets of the planet has become almost an obsession with some members of the Ice Lords, who descend time after time into the Warrens while they are on garrison duty.

Organisation
The Ice Lords originally adhered to the Codex Astartes, but the powerful relics unearthed beneath the ice have allowed some changes to their strategies. The Tactical Dreadnought Armor uncovered in the Warrens has been put to good use by the Chapter, so much so that over a company of Terminator Marines can be fielded by the Chapter at any one time. The relocation to the surface of the planet also forced some adjustments to the force structure of the Chapter. Since the surface of the planet is almost unsurvivable to an unarmored human or Marine, the Scout Company of the Chapter was integrated into the Battle Companies of the Chapter, allowing the troops to see regular combat experience offworld. This also has the advantage of teaching the scouts to work in a more integrated fashion with their battle-brothers, which allows graduation to full marine in a slightly quicker time. The abundance of Terminator armor available to the Chapter has meant that the first two companies are largely equipped with it. These companies rely on Terminators and vehicular support to carry the day, although each company does possess some power-armoured assets and maintain a scout squad each. The remaining battle companies of the Chapter are structured in the same fashion, although they each possess a squad of scouts in place of one of their tactical marine squads. Each Battle Company is capable of independent operations or working in concert with the other companies.

Combat Doctrine
The Ice Lords favor the use of firepower from fixed positions where possible. They excel in close-quarters fighting in cities and environments like Space Hulks, but retain tactical flexibility as much as is possible. Where fixed positions are not available, a drop-pod or Terminator assault supported by heavy weapon elements is preferred. At any given time, two garrison companies remain on Franklin's World. One of these will focus on exploring the Warrens and training, the other on the day-to-day garrison duties of the world.

Beliefs
The Ice Lords venerate the Emperor as their creator and the founder of the Imperium. They believe (in most cases) that the Wolf and the Knight are guides sent by the Emperor to show them the proper path to victory in any situation. Like the people of Franklin's World, they appreciate beauty and value the kinship shared by humanity. They view aliens as a test of humanity's strength, and like any test, feel that they will eventually triumph. They see technology as a mystery, but not one to be worshipped, but one to be investigated and understood. This desire for discovery is shared by every chapter member, and a marine who discovers something new to the chapter is respected and honored.

Gene-seed
The Ice Lords geneseed is quite stable, but its source remains unknown. The excessive bond with their civilians has been attributed to various factors, including the geneseed, but it does not appear to impair their combat efficiency, and remains tolerated. Their visions are widely attributed to divine manifestations of the Emperor, but there is a school of though among the Chapter's Apothecarion that, much like the Blood Angel's visions, the visions of the Knight and the Wolf may relate somehow to the Primarch of the Chapter, or to some great individuals within the Founding Legion's history. The Chapter Librarians have done their best with the archives, but no conclusive evidence has been found.

Battlecry
The Emperor, the Knight and the Wolf!

* * *

Notes prepared as a reaction to this:
Normal Marine: http://bolterandchainsword.com/sms.php?bpe=FFFFFF&bpj=83D8F2&bp=83D8F2&bpc=83D8F2&hdt=FFFFFF&hdm=FFFFFF&hdl=FFFFFF&ey=FF0000&er=FFFFFF&pi=FFFFFF&nk=83D8F2&ch=83D8F2&eg=FFFED9&sk=FFFED9&abs=83D8F2&bt=FFFFFF&cod=83D8F2&ull=83D8F2&lk=FFFFFF&lll=83D8F2&lft=83D8F2&url=83D8F2&rk=FFFFFF&lrl=83D8F2&rft=83D8F2&slt=FFFFFF&sli=83D8F2&srt=FFFFFF&sri=83D8F2&ula=83D8F2&lel=FFFFFF&lla=83D8F2&lw=FFFFFF&lh=83D8F2&ura=83D8F2&rel=FFFFFF&rla=83D8F2&rw=FFFFFF&rh=83D8F2&bg=FFFFFF&rb=000000&gr=FFFFFF&wg=true&lightshade=true&blt=000000

Terminator Marine: http://bolterandchainsword.com/tsms.php?hdt=FFFFFF&hdm=FFFFFF&hdl=FFFFFF&ey=FF0000&er=FFFFFF&pi=FFFFFF&nk=83D8F2&cht=83D8F2&ch=83D8F2&abs=83D8F2&bt=FFFFFF&btd=FF0000&cod=83D8F2&ull=83D8F2&lk=FFFFFF&lll=83D8F2&lft=83D8F2&url=83D8F2&rk=FFFFFF&lrl=83D8F2&rft=83D8F2&sl=83D8F2&sli=FF0000&sr=83D8F2&sri=FF0000&ula=83D8F2&lel=FFFFFF&lla=83D8F2&lh=FFFFFF&ura=83D8F2&rel=FFFFFF&rla=83D8F2&rh=FFFFFF&eg=FFFED9&sk=FFFED9&rta=FFFFFF&lta=FFFFFF&lhd=FF0000&rhd=FF0000&ct=FFFED9&cts=FF0000&camh=A3A3A3&camb=A3A3A3&cams=A3A3A3&caml=238C00&brc=FFFFFF&rb=000000&gr=FFFFFF&bg=FFFFFF&

The Ice Lords

What needs to be reconciled about them
-Craploads of Terminator Armor
-Prescence of so much DA and Space Wolf iconography - visions is one option.  The iconography having always been present is another.  
-Visions of the Knight and the Wolf is a good idea, probably.  Mixed geneseed is even doable - hint at it.  Don't say it.  But why do they get visions?  Are they actually from Jonson and Russ?  
Do we need the Fallen?  We need an explanation for why the Chapter is the way it is (most especially so close to its civilians).  The working together upon the crash of the monastery?  That could work.  - if the first Chapter Master were a powerful psyker, he could maybe somehow convince the other members of the command cadre he had always been there.  One of the Chapter Librarians could stumble upon the inconsistencies, forcing him to destroy the 

Option 1: Visions et al

Option 2: Lost mission to Whatever's World.  Space Wolves and Dark Angels joint force was despatched for some reason.  Fought Chaos Marines beneath the surface.  All sides destroyed.  

First force -> Chaos marines. Fights the first genestealers.  Fewer genestealers at the time, so make it the furthest.  Finally brought down.  
Second force -> Dark Angels and Space Wolves.  Arrive at the same time, work together.  Penetrate deep into the planet, due to their greater numbers, but are also brought down by the Genestealers.  
Third -> The Ice Lords.  Moving in far more slowly, prompted only by the Knight and the Wolf.  

Russ and Jonson want whatever the two forces were originally there to seek - perhaps they were sent by visions of Russ and Jonson as well.  

Pre-heresy fits best.  Now need to figure out what's down there.  What would tempt both Jonson, Russ and a Chaos Lord, and make them all try and get their hands on it.  Not fight each other for it, but want it for the good of mankind.  

Jonson and Russ both discover information about some great treasure or artifact which they feel would aid the Imperium.  For some reason, they don't tell the other Primarchs about it (why?).  They send their men to retrieve (destroy?) it.  However, the Genestealer Cult is already present, and the expedition is lost.  The heresy breaks out, and Jonson is wounded - he's not going to be able to tell anyone.  Russ is busy fighting, then fighting, then fighting some more.  The mission is forgotten.  It's a fairly chaotic legion, in any case.  (OK, that one needs some better justification).  

Idea A: 
Genestealer Patriarch.  From when the planet was still warm.  Sleeping.  His children defend him.  Maybe more powerful than the Emperor.  So powerful, that when he awoke, he could call down more Tyranids on the galaxy than it could in any way handle.  He actually knew the Tyranids intended to devour him (for some reason - he was just that good a psyker, maybe?) and put himself into stasis for the future of the cult.  

That WOULD do it.  Now, why would Russ and Jonson NOT tell the other Primarchs about this?  Would the very knowledge of his existence somehow alert either him or the Tyranids?  Did the Emperor order them to keep it a secret?  If so, why did he?  Fortunately, he's inscrutable a lot.  :P  

Idea B: 
Giant artifact of some sort.  Perhaps a planet-destroying weapon, which has slowly accumulated a coating of ice.  The Genestealers are just coincidental.  

Idea C: 
King of the Zoats.  Upon his revival, the knowledge of all the Tyranid Hive Fleets would be his to share with the Imperium.  

Idea D: 
Lost Eldar craftworld.  Filled with the blackest knowledge of the Eldar - nearly as much as the Black Library, which might blast out the minds of others.  Emperor wants to limit the danger and the damage, so sends the marines least likely to be influenced by such (and whose Primarchs already know about it anyway).  Russ and Jonson personally sworn to secrecy.  

Idea E: 
Darkest secrets of the Chaos Gods.  Explains it perfectly - that's why the Emperor wants it gone, and why it is a secret.  Even Russ and Jonson probably don't know what's REALLY down there.  

!Idea F: 
Dark Age of Technology AI.  And its army.  The Iron Men.  Also explains why the Emperor wanted it kept a secret - if the Mechanicus found out, there was the very real chance they might elect to side with it against humanity.  

Hazoriel the Undecided.  Fallen Angel.  Jonson appears to him in a vision, and explains to him what he must do.  Not for Jonson, but for the Imperium.  Hazoriel does it (though he's not pleased).  Insinuates himself into the command cadre setting out with the Ice Lords (how does he do this - either psychics or he kills them all).  He is to take command of the Ice Lords, a Cursed Founding chapter.  It uses both Jonson's and Russ' geneseed, making the marines open to visions from both Primarchs - letting them continue their mission.  

Why does he do this?  Greater good of the Imperium.  Hazoriel hates Jonson, not the Imperium.  And although he hates Jonson, he knows that Jonson can't lie well enough to deceive him.  

Of course, that stupid Librarian finds out who and what he is, and prepares all that evidence for the Inquisitor.  So Hazoriel has to do something.  

They have lost their minds
Trapped within ice, they are blind
Should they stir at all
All the worlds of man shall fall
-

Thread is here

* * *

Commentary

As can be seen, this IA is very different than the final version of the Ice Lords. It's also a lot more crowded, and is pulling in several directions at once.

+Chapter Founding+
Chapter records of the Ice Lords founding were destroyed in the Fall of the Fortress, meaning the Chapter today has only the vaguest of ideas where they came from, and are unaware of their Primarch or even from what Chapter their original Master (Askarliel) came. There are even suggestions that such information may not have been known before the Fall of the Fortress, prompting speculation by both members of the chapter and Imperial authorities as to just what the chapter's exact history is. What is known is that the Chapter was founded around the thirty-seventh millenium, at the unusual request of a "Lord Caliban" and was assigned to the border planet Franklin's World. Although it is a border world of ice and snow, the population of Franklin's World is housed in floating cities high above the glacial waste below. These cities are incredibly complex relics of an unknown time, and are believed to be relics of the Golden Age of Technology. The largest, Elnorea, houses over three million as of the date of the last Imperial census (M36.441), while some of the smaller cities hold only a few thousand. Many cities feature large gardens and architecture that inspired visitors to the planet. The Ice Lords took over one of the smaller cities, Falconscott, which came complete with a formidable fortified complex of sufficient capacity for marines and serfs. Defense turrets were installed, and the monastery became an even more imposing structure.

The Ice Lords built up their numbers and performed their duties admirably. They remained virtually undistinguished from other Astartes chapters until M37.432.


There are a number of problems with this opening paragraph. Firstly, it should be more than one paragraph. But aside from that, there are other issues. It's trying to present too many ideas at once, and is doing so out of order - I'm trying to introduce things that rely on things that I have not yet explained. I'm a little confused right now, and I know what I was trying for.

There are also bad practices aplenty - in addition to the Chapter's history being concealed (though I did have a reason for it), I've just spent a remarkable length of time without really mentioning anything that interesting. With the last line I'm also skipping over vast chunks of history - but I'm not doing it smoothly. In later drafts I simply reduced the time between the events.

+The Fall of the Fortress+
In the fourteenth year of the term of Chapter Master Amundal (second to hold the post, and one of the two founders) disaster struck the chapter. Shortly before a visit by an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus, the brothers of the Chapter were shocked to feel the decking of the monastery list and jolt beneath their feet as the fortress began to plunge from the sky. The civilians of the city began to panic, and the overwhelmed brothers had to maintain order and attempt to deal with the problem as swiftly as they could. Although the harried Techmarines succeeded in concluding just what had caused the precipitous descent and managed to repair the damage, the monastery's descent was only slowed, not stopped. It slowly came to rest in an ice canyon on the planet's surface.

The shock of landing caused chaos. The city was greatly damaged, and the Chapter Archives, housed in the lower portions of the monastery, were nearly unsalvageable. The Chapter Armory and Apothecarion survived intact, but much of the civilian population was injured or killed, as were some of the battle-brothers. In the midst of this confusion, two things were discovered - the damage which had caused the monastery's precipitous descent was attributable only to sabotage, and Chapter Master Amundal was dead, crushed to death in the ruins of the Archives. Shattered and mangled record discs surrounded his corpse. The beloved founder was burned with the highest of honors, and the Ice Lords turned to the task of rebuilding. Second Company Master Ergathon was acclaimed as Chapter Master in his place.

The Master of the Forge soon informed the new Chapter Master that no amount of repair or retrofit would allow the city to fly again. The (relatively) sheltered location of the monastery's new resting place was deemed acceptable as a site for the new Fortress' establishment. The chapter began the arduous task of weatherproofing their home and seeking out informaton about the virtually unmapped surface they now found themselves on. When the Inquisitor's message cancelling his visit arrived, it passed nearly unnoticed in the bustle.


Again, I'm introducing information that isn't necessary or well-explained. I should have explained a lot more about how the Chapter was founded and who did so - but I didn't. Instead, I kept shoving that information in parenthetically, and it simply doesn't work.

What's supposed to be going on here is an exciting grand conspiracy - Amundal intentionally sabotages the city in order to cover his destruction of the Chapter records that reveal their heritage as Fallen. It's not necessarily bad in concept, but it's bloody complicated, confusing, and hard to convey to the reader without removing any mystery whatsoever.

What is interesting here is that what became the focus of the IA in later drafts is almost an afterthought, left aside in order to get to the far more important matter of the tunnels and beasts beneath the fallen city - which didn't even make it into the final draft (though only just). I still like the concept, but there simply wasn't room.

+The Dreams+
As work continued on the reestablishment of the monastery, the new Chapter Master began to be plagued by dreams of an unknown origin. A great wolf and an armored knight, resembling those on the chapter banner, appeared to him in a dream. Both told him that the Chapter's homeworld hid great secrets, and the chapter's solemn duty was to ferret them out and use them for the benefit of Humanity and the Emperor. These dreams occasionally appeared to others in the chapter, though only in the case of Ergathon did the apparitions speak. Although both visions advised investigation of the planet, each offered differing methods for how it was to be done - the wolf advocating independent scouting missions on longer term assignment, the knight suggesting organized and coordinated sweeps of the unknown. Eventually, Ergathon chose to despatch the more coordinated misions of the Knight, much to the Wolf's consternation. When the first scouting mission returned, the visions ceased.

The scouts had discovered a maze of tunnels with several nearby entrances, a network which stretched deep beneath the planet. In contrary to the lifeless surface of the planet, the tunnels had occasional creatures, although many were cunning and deadly. In addition, the scouts brought back valuable items of technology which bore a marked resemblance to that with which the floating cities had been constructed. Ergathon was greatly pleased, and ordered further exploration of the tunnels while the rebuilding continued.

+The Scouring of the Warrens+
As the explorers of the Chapter ventured deeper and deeper beneath the icy crust, they began to face resistance from strange, four-armed creatures with claws of steel and wriggling, tentacled maws. Although the marines fought bravely, mere power armour was no match for the creatures and the Chapter's valuable Terminator armor had to be deployed for further exploration. Assaults of these strange creatures began to venture forth against outposts of marines in the tunnels, and soon permanent guard positions had to be established to prevent the creatures from reaching the surface. Groups of marines still ventured further and further, returning with treasures like Terminator armor and arcane devices of unknown purpose.

However, one day in M38, even the guard positions proved insufficient. A huge swarm of creatures erupted from the depths, smashing through the guard positions and streaming toward the fortress monastery and its inhabitants. The First Company was on-planet at the time, and the entire company was needed (along with the assistance of the Fifth and Seventh Companies) to turn back the assault. As soon as the last of the creatures fled into the tunnels, Chapter Master Impralion announced that it was time to deal with the menace that faced the chapter. He retired to his quarters to create a plan of action.

The next morning, the Chapter Master announced that the Wolf and Knight had appeared to him in a dream, and that the Wolf had advised that this was an opportunity to whet the steel of the Chapter even sharper. Although exterminating the creatures from the possibly limitless tunnels was impossible, once sufficiently reduced the creatures would provide ample opportunities to train the Chapter in the skills needed to fight in the cramped environments of space hulks and other such cramped locales. The constant threat would ensure that the Chapter never grew soft or idle, and would ensure that the Chapter would always be ready to fight the creatures should they ever mount such an attack again.

The First Company then ventured into the Warrens, cleansing every creature they found to a predetermined depth. They then withdrew, and ever since squads from the first two companies of the Chapter have been allowed the honor of exploring the Warrens, searching for treasures and the glory of battle. The chapter symbol was changed from a single diamond of ice to a black diamond with white spears of ice hanging from the top - representing the tunnels which the chapter would use as a proving ground forever afterwards. The Chapter Banner had been shredded by the rending claws of the creatures, and it was rewoven to incorporate the new heraldry - the Wolf and the Knight framing the new symbol.

+The Cult of the Wolf and the Cult of the Knight+
Over the next centuries, visions of the Wolf and the Knight became more and more frequent. Alhough they only ever spoke to the Chapter Master, other marines on the cusp of great decisions often said they were visited by them. Two cults sprang up, one favoring the more passionate and brawling approach of the Wolf, the other the more restrained and ordered forms of the Knight. The friendly rivalry between the two cults won the approval of the Chapter Master, and the Chapter's Reclusiarch deemed that there was no offense to the Emperor in the organizations, which have been allowed to continue to this day. Although the cults are not technically secret, they are simply not mentioned to outsiders, and debate rages even within the chapter over whether the visions are manifestations of the Emperor or something else entirely. The official explanation for the few visions known to the Inquisition is "manifestations of the Emperor", but the Inquisition is likely not aware of the extent of the visions within the Chapter. If they were aware, their course of action would difficult to predict.


This entire piece exists simply to justify two things - having a lot of Terminators and those Terminators having Deathwing and Space Wolf iconography on them. And it simply isn't worth it. There are much simpler (and less ridiculous) methods of doing it - providing it even really needs to be done at all, which is debatable. Additionally, I'm dedicating reams and reams of the IA to exploring the Chapter's equipment and showing things happening to them without getting into anything resembling who they are.

I absolutely adore the whole "delving too deep" schtick, and I kind of regret having to leave it behind, but there was simply too much going on in the IA.

The rest of the IA is pretty much an afterthought - which is kind of the problem. The effort was focused on a narrative which was focused on justifying things that should not be explored in IAs - I should have been focusing on the unique traits of the chapter's character that lead me to use Fallen leadership in the first place. The basic reasoning behind the Ice Lords is here, but it's buried under a lot of stuff that simply didn't matter.

And it took me the better part of three years to realize it. :mellow:

A note about the notes: I may have abandoned the basic concept, but I really want a Chapter to dig up some Iron Men sometime. The notes are probably the best thing I took from this draft - it's a decent system that has served me well. Make notes.

I am intrigued to discover that I evidently wasn't that interested in having the Fallen. There's a lesson here, kids. I'm not sure what it is, but it's definitely a lesson.

Edited by Octavulg, 19 June 2010 - 01:32 PM.

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Octavulg

Octavulg

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Two drafts and some intermediary notes in the middle. This is Mark II.

* * *

Draft (April 16th, 2008):
The Ascendant Festival on Falconscott marks the longest day of the year. Even the ice which typically covers the tips of city spires melts, and the cities are suffused with warmth and laughter. Martial contests and feats of arms are not uncommon, and young men test their strength against each other, and even against their mammoth lords. All Space Marines present on the planet are dispatched throughout the cities, both to mingle with the population and to observe those who might make good candidates for the Chapter. Although ordinarily a happy time, the five hundred and first Festival after the Chapter's arrival on their homeworld was marked by calamity.

As the revelers celebrated in the streets of Falconscott, joined by their titanic lords, the very streets began to shudder. The strength of the spasms threw grown men from their feet, and even the Space Marines were hard pressed to keep their balance. Clouds whisked by, and the wind grew to a howling shriek as the mighty city began to plunge toward the surface of the planet below.

Techmarines and officers raced into the bowels of the city, while the other marines attempted to contain the panic among the citizens. However, the arcane machinery which had confounded the best Tech-Priests of the Imperium would hardly give up its secrets to mere Techmarines, and the Marines remained ignorant of what might have caused the precipitous descent. Somewhere within the kilometers of tunnel and ductwork, some ancient piece of machinery must have finally given way, but there was no way for the Marines to determine what or where. They could only do their best to ensure that the city was not destroyed upon impact.

Fortunately for the Chapter, ancient backup systems were functional. As the city approached the surface, its rate of descent began to slow. However, impact was still inevitable, and the population was thrown into confusion and panic as the thousands upon thousands of tons of metal impacted with the ancient ice of the planetary surface.

The upper levels of the city remained mostly intact after the impact. However, the lower tunnels were breached in dozens of locations, buried deep beneath the ice. Some were crushed, along with their inhabitants. Some were damaged, the people within left to slowly starve with no chance of rescue. The mostly organized levels of the lower city were gone, replaced with a crazed metal-ice warren of tunnels, chasms and precipices.

Master Taramant emerged from his meditations in the Librarium and quickly dispatched the marines into the lower tunnels to search for survivors, while he and a few others organized the remaining citizens. Adaptation would be required, for the city had been badly damaged by the crash, and many systems which had sustained the citizens for millenia no longer functioned.

Deep in the tunnels, the humanitarian marines discovered something they had not expected. Foul Genestealers had apparently been lurking beneath the surface of the planet, in a winding warren of unknown dimensions. The crash of the monastery had broken into these tunnels, and now the warrens and the lower levels of the city were hopelessly intermingled, and Genestealers spread throughout.

The Marines withdrew, taking all those they could find, and carefully sealed all entrances to the lower levels, awaiting the return of their brothers from the other cities. Upon their return, Taramant ordered the Chapter's sacred Tactical Dreadnought armor into action, supported with other brethren in their power armor. The Ice Lords moved into the chaos beneath the city, slaughtering every Genestealer they found. It took months to clear most of the Genestealers from the tunnels, but the brothers of the chapter knew that each Genestealer they slew was one less which might trouble the city above. Once they had swept the warrens to the best of their ability, they moved into the Genestealer tunnels proper, where they discovered something no one had expected.

The Caverns of Ice

The vaulting galleries of ice and twisting, intricate sculptures of frost were expected. What was not expected were the remains of dozens of Astartes Terminators, corpses frozen where they had fallen. Time and the abrading tread of Genestealers had worn away much, but it was still clear that the dead marines were from the Dark Angels and Space Wolves Legions. They had lain for millenia, forgotten, on a mission no one remembered. The Chapter took every suit they could find back to the surface. Master Taramant secluded himself in mourning and meditation for the fallen brothers of the Astartes, where he would remain for several months.

Contact was established with both Dark Angels and Space Wolves. Both chapters were shocked to learn of the discovery, and agreed to dispatch ships to retrieve the sacred relics and their former owners. Upon their arrival, however, the surprised Ice Lords were informed that both chapters had received prophetic visions suggesting that catastrophe would result were the Ice Lords not to retain the salvaged equipment. Although surprised, and somewhat apprehensive, the Ice Lords were eager to add the still-potent weapons and armor to their arsenal.

The suits were lovingly restored by the Chapter Techmarines, each suit's iconography carefully maintained and honored. Though today they are in the colors of the Ice Lords, each suit bears as much of the heraldry of its original owner as can be preserved, and each marine chosen to wear one of the suits is proud to be so honored.

Exploration of the caverns was deemed a priority by Taramant, and it was decided that a certain portion of the chapter's forces beyond the usual planetary garrison would be devoted to exploring and mapping the warrens of the planet. Unusual or significant discoveries were to be reported to Taramant immediately.

Ever since, two companies have remained in the Chapter fortress, one providing security for the planet, the other delving beneath the surface for the mysteries within. Progress is slow and methodical. It can take years to clear a single set of tunnels, and the Genestealers excavate new warrens and intrude into previously cleared areas regularly. Still, the Ice Lords remain determined to cleanse the monsters, no matter how long it takes.

The Death of Taramant

A century after Falconscott fell from the skies

The Lion and the Wolf



Home World

Franklin's World lies on the edge of the Segmentum Obscurus, close to the border with the Segmentum Ultima. Sheathed in ice to unknown depths, nearly all of the population of Franklin's World must live in the floating cities which slowly circle the planet, high in the sky.

It is unknown exactly how old the floating cities are. Though the technology involved is obviously human, its workings are a mystery to the Adeptus Mechanicus. Despite the lack of understanding, the floating cities have functioned without mishap (except for one obvious exception) for nearly the entire span of Imperial records. Gaps in the equatorial ring of cities suggest accidents before the advent of Imperial authority, but otherwise the floating cities are as safe as any city on any other world.

The cities are made up of an overstructure, full of giant towers which stretch hundreds of levels into the air, some nearly scraping the dome on the top of the city, and an understructure. Each is ruled by various noble houses, each of whom maintain their own personal guard forces, which often skirmish in highly ritualised engagements. Disputes are usually resolved by a city council, though some cities are almost completely dominated by one local house or another. The Space Marines, of course, are the last word on all matters, and if a problem becomes severe enough to warrant their attention, they are swift to mete out justice.

The people of the cities are relatively capable in regards to craftsmanship, the limited resources available to each city having made them excellent at scrounging and repair. Nonetheless, the cities of Franklin's World are forced to secure many of their supplies through mining and prospecting efforts throughout the system.

The understructure is a veritable warren of small cells, tunnels, ducts and vaulted caverns. Some inhabitants are honest and law-abiding, but the less-travelled regions of the understructure are often home to gangs as vicious as those of any underhive. The Space Marines find the people of the overstructure valuable recruits for their hardiness and technical skills, but find the vicious gang members of the understructure equally capable in their own ways.

Combat Doctrine
The Ice Lords make heavy use of Terminators. Power armored marines tend to function in support roles, while the Terminators provide the main thrust of an assault. Drop pods and teleport assaults are favorite techniques, and firepower is preferred to the force of a hand-to-hand engagement.

In close environments like hive worlds or Space Hulks, the Ice Lords truly shine, their time in the warrens below Falconscott having made them masters of such environments.

Unlike many chapters, the Ice Lords despise unneccessary sacrifice. They hold nothing but contempt for those officers who rely upon the endless sacrifice of their soldiers to achieve victory, and have been known to forcibly take command from officers who do so. Needless to say, their popularity with members of the Imperial Guard officer corps varies wildly, and their views of the Ecclesiarchy and that organization's fanatical crusades borders on disgust.

Organization

The Ice Lords adhere to codex structure in regard to individual squads, but their company formation is much less standard. Due to the inature of Falconscott's environment, which makes on-world training repetitive at best, scout training has devolved to the individual companies, each of whom maintain anywhere between ten and twenty scouts in their ranks at any one time.

Each company also possesses large quantities of Terminator armor, with some three or four squads of marines using it. Company captains all possess Terminator armor, though not all elect to use it.

A typical front-line company looks something like this:
A Captain, with his personal suit of Terminator armor.
The usual support staff of Chaplain, Apothecary, Standard Bearer and Librarians.
Four squads of five Terminators.
One Scout squad, though this number may grow after particularly fierce engagements.
Two Tactical squads.
Three Assault or Bike squads
Two Devastator squads

Vehicles and other support apparatus are assigned as needed.

The seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth companies serve as reserve units. Each maintains two scout squads, and another eight squads reflecting their appropriate discipline. The seventh is the tactical reserve, maintaining two scout squads, two Terminator squads, and seven Tactical squads. The eight is another tactical reserve company.

The ninth and tenth each maintain two squads of Scouts and eight squads of Assault Marines and Devastators respectively. Each company cross-trains extensively in bikes and vehicles, respectively.

Beliefs
Taramant placed incredible emphasis on the defense and preservation of civilians, explaining to his marines that the Imperium was its civilians. To betray the people of the Imperium, he said, was to betray the Imperium itself. These beliefs became ingrained into the chapter through his long command, and the people of Franklin's World are viewed as a sacred trust from the Emperor, and their preservation one of the most important duties of the chapter.

The formation of bonds with civilians was also given unusual priority, and it is not uncommon for a marine to maintain some association with his family after his admission into the chapter. “Marines should not forget what it was that made them,” Taramant said, and his words have echoed through the Chapter ever since.

Gene-seed
The Ice Lords exhibit remarkable geneseed stability. All organs function perfectly. However, it exhibits several unusual points, and it's physical effects are not consistent with any particular chapter. The noted strength of their aspirants has caused some to speculate on their gene-heritage being that of Russ, but

Battlecry

* * *

Notes From this Draft (May 29th, 2008):
Let's see.  

What are the plot threads: 

Taramant creates a new chapter in the mold he wanted
-Need to take over the original command cadre.  
-Need to shape the new chapter appropriately
-Need to make sure no one finds out what you are - avoid the DA at all costs.  



Jonson attempts to exert his exciting new influence over this chapter - and make them complete the mission he sees as paramount



The Misfortune of the Ice Lords

[rightsidebar=Excerpt from Ascension Thesis of Tech-Priestess Solona]
...the visions of the Ice Lords chapter point to an unusual form of manipulation which may have been undertaken in those dark days.  As the attached transcripts explain, the Ice Lords are prone to visions from two figures - the Knight and the Wolf.  Each counsels various courses of action in certain circumstances.  It is possible that the adepts of that far-gone time manipulated the geneseed of Russ and attempted to add stabilizing influences through the use of that of Jonson, and that some genetic memory thus provides the two figures to the consciousness of the marines in question.  Though how they might have done this is impossible to determine, its possible effects seem quite clear.  The resultant visions seem likely to be the result of some increased stimulation of the brain, producing hallucinogenic chemicals.  It is clear from this tragic case that the valuable geneseed of the Primarchs is not yet fully understood, and that further research is necessary before we can appropriately manipulate it.  

[i]Note: Tech-Priestess Solona failed her thesis examination.  Happy are those secure in their station.[/i]
[/rightsidebar]

[leftsidebar=Excerpt from the Diary of Chapter Master Taramant]
[i]Most of the diary remains encrypted, but the following excerpt, from shortly before the Master\'s disappearance, was not encoded.  The reason for this is not apparent.[/i]
Damn him.  Damn the blasted Tech-Priests and their meddling.  Damn me for thinking I could ever be free of him.  But damn him for his arrogance, his thrice-cursed pride and above all his refusal to realize that loyalty is given in both directions.  

He will use them, as much as he can.  But they are my children in all but blood, and whatever he wants them for, he will not have them.  

I will be strong.  The others are gone, and only I remain.  But I will do it for all the souls of my family, who still cry out at night.  And all the souls of his brother knights, who were never his brothers at all.  

He burned them.  My children will not burn as well.  [/leftsidebar]

OK - what\'s their curse - the attention of their Primarch(s)?  Not a curse as such, but certainly works out that way.  = Ascension Thesis of Tech-Priestess Solona.  
Why do their Primarchs pay attention to them?  Normally dormant genes which activate latent psychic abilities?  Drawing the attention and intervention of their Primarchs?  

Assigned to homeworld - Primarch - how did he manipulate it?  Orders change en route - between two courier points?  = Vicious dialogue between two Imperial agents (mention in main body, briefly).  

Fall of Fortress - one marine with visions damages equipment?  (Imply one of their own did it - how.  Growing suspicion among the chapter)

Taramant should be more and more agitated by the visions.  = Diary extract.  Kills himself out of sheer remorse over realising what the visions of the Knight represents and what his pledge will lead the Chapter to?  Or goes into the depths in an attempt to prevent what he knows must come?  Or both, at the same time.  

Wolf wants the chapter to branch outward and explore, serving the Imperium.  Knight focuses on fulfilling the Chapter pledge to cleanse the planet to the very depths.  

Geneseed manipulation of the Ice Lords: 

Merger of Space Wolf and Dark Angel.  Thought to achieve stabilization through activation of previously dormant genetic markers within the geneseed, plus combination of same.  Some of these markers linked to various areas within marine brain chemistry.  Others serve purpose not immediately apparent.  

Guided by the spirits of Russ and Jonson to deal with the threat under the planet.  (Is this too much?  Perhaps yes, perhaps no.  Leave it vague).  

Began assigned to other homeworld - reassigned to current one.  Taramant intercepts en route - learns of change, and moves there.  Note from Inquisition, explaining its origin with an unknown data signal of high-ranking clearance - the origination of the signal was deep space.  

Crash also has no obvious cause.  

Visions begin before the death of Taramant - he should be obviously disturbed by these.  Excerpt from his journal: \"You try to take away the damned dead hand of a damned dead traitor, and it still pulls your strings from beyond the grave.  He is inside all of them, he is inside me, he is moving all of us - and he doesn\'t give a damn.  And he never did.\"  


[rightsidebar=Reference List: Taramant]
Reference Null 321-A - Gothic-class cruiser, destroyed 291.M34 in battle with the Eldar.  

Reference Tri-Gamma Complex 9 - Winged figure of destruction in the mythology of Beta Coronis VII. 

Reference Matrix-Chi-341 - Apocrypha of Skaros references a \"Sergeant Taramant of the Dark Angels\" in one of its example passages.  

Reference Omicron-ni - Small planet in the west of Segmentum Pacificus[/rightsidebar]

* * *

Draft (July 5th, 2008)
FIRE IN THE SNOW: The Ice Lords

A Space Marine's duty is to defend the Imperium. Though we are no longer men as they are, the people of the Imperium are our sacred trust, the people of our home worlds especially so. To forsake them is to forsake our honor and our right to serve the Emperor. Never forget this, or you forget yourselves.
- from Chapter Master Taramant's Ascension Day address on the third year following the Ice Lords' mobilization


[Picture of Chapter Banner]

Origins
The Ice Lords are a proud chapter, for all their inexperience. Founded as part of the 26th Founding, the Ice Lords have had a history spotted with misfortune, but equally blessed with opportunity. What the future holds for them, none can say.
Ice Lords Marine

The Ice Lords suffered a blow early in their history, when their chapter training cadre was ambushed by renegade pirates as they travelled to join the new chapter. Though the enemy was repelled after fierce fighting, only three marines of the Angels of Absolution training cadre survived - Taramant, the senior Sergeant, Belicarius, a junior Chaplain, and Lahdemor, a Codicier. When they related their tale to their horrified charges, the new marines swore that they would redouble their efforts at training, in memory of their fallen tutors. The Feast of the Fallen is celebrated every year, and is a day of mourning, remembrance and contemplation of what might have been.

The chapter was issued a newly-revised training schedule, to compensate for their losses. They performed admirably, especially considering what had befallen them, and it was remarked how the remaining trainers made new use of seemingly archaic tactics. Soon, the battle-brothers of the chapter were ready for activation, and they proudly marched aboard their ships for transfer to their new homeworld. Chapter Master Taramant remained secluded throughout the journey, in consultation with the Emperor's Tarot. He emerged just as the flagship left warp space. As the chapter's new homeworld loomed, cold and white, in the viewport, he declared that the chapter would henceforth be known as the Ice Lords. "For duty and honor are cold as ice. And when all else is gone, duty and honor will remain."

The Fall of the Fortress
Franklin's World is a cold and desolate planet on the northernmost rim of the Segmentum Obscurus. The harsh conditions do not matter, however, for settlement of the planet is confined to the large cities which float high above the surface. Arcane technology keeps the cities aloft, technology which has resisted the Adeptus Mechanicus' best attempts to decipher it. There were closer and easier mysteries which commanded their attention, however, and the world had been left to the Administratum, though the occasional enterprising team still returns for an exercise in frustration and disappointment. Geographical surveys of the planet below had been frequently thwarted by the raging winds and snows of the surface, making the workings of the world below as much of a mystery as those above.

The Ice Lords took Falconscott (the smallest and least populated of the cities) for their own, fortifying it and adding weapons emplacements across its hull and spires. They began inducting recruits from the population, whose adventurous pilots and vicious tunnel-gangs both proved excellent Space Marines. After the celebrations surrounding the Chapter's arrival on the world, Taramant promoted close association with the populace, exhorting the Space Marines to remember that these were the people of the Imperium, and their duty incarnate. The young marines took these lessons to heart, and association between the Marines and their people grew. Once every few months, half the Marines were to mingle among the populace, so as to better remember their purpose in the Imperium. Small chapterhouses were established in the other cities, both to aid in recruitment and to promote the marines' association with the populace.

The Ascendant Festival on Falconscott marks the longest day of the year. Even the ice which typically covers the tips of city spires melts, and the cities are suffused with warmth and laughter. All Space Marines present on the planet are dispatched throughout the cities, both to mingle with the population and to observe those who might make good candidates for the Chapter. Games of strength and skill are common, and bloodless aerial battles between young pilots an entertaining diversion for the crowds. Although ordinarily a happy time, the twenty-third Festival after the Chapter's arrival on their homeworld was marked by calamity.

As the revelers celebrated in the streets of Falconscott, watched over by their titanic lords, the very streets began to shudder. The strength of the spasms threw grown men from their feet, and even the Space Marines were hard pressed to keep their balance. Clouds whisked by, and the wind grew to a howling shriek as the mighty city began to plunge toward the surface of the planet below.

Techmarines and officers raced into the bowels of the city, while the other marines attempted to contain the panic among the citizens. However, the arcane machinery which had confounded the best Tech-Priests of the Imperium would hardly give up its secrets to mere Techmarines, and the Marines remained ignorant of what might have caused the precipitous descent. Somewhere within the kilometers of tunnel and ductwork, some ancient piece of machinery must have finally given way, but there was no way for the Marines to determine what or where. They could only do their best to ensure that the city was not destroyed upon impact.

Fortunately for the Chapter, ancient backup systems were functional. As the city approached the surface, its rate of descent began to slow. However, impact was still inevitable, and the population was thrown into confusion and panic as millions of tons of metal impacted with the ancient ice of the planetary surface.

The upper levels of the city remained mostly intact after the impact. However, the lower tunnels were breached in dozens of locations, buried deep beneath the ice. Some were crushed, along with their inhabitants. Some were damaged, the people within left to slowly starve with no chance of rescue. The mostly organized (if unruly) levels of the lower city were gone, replaced with a crazed metal-and-ice warren of tunnels, chasms and precipices.

Master Taramant quickly took control of the situation, dispatching most marines into the lower tunnels to search for survivors, while he and a few others organized the remaining citizens. Adaptation would be required, for the city had been badly damaged by the crash, and many systems which had sustained the citizens for millenia no longer functioned.

Deep in the tunnels, the marines discovered something they had not expected. Foul, ravening beasts had apparently lurked beneath the surface of the planet, in a winding warren of unknown depth. The crash of the monastery had broken into these tunnels, and now the warrens and the lower levels of the city were hopelessly intermingled, and the unknown creatures spread throughout them.

The Marines withdrew, taking all those they could find, and carefully sealed all entrances to the lower levels, awaiting the return of their brothers from the other cities. Upon their return, Taramant ordered the Chapter's sacred Tactical Dreadnought armor into action, supported with other brethren in their power armor. The Ice Lords moved into the chaos beneath the city, slaughtering every monster they found. It took months to clear most of the creatures from the tunnels, but the brothers of the chapter knew that every twisted thing they slew they slew was one less which might trouble the city above. Once they had swept the lower levels to the best of their ability, they moved into the creatures' tunnels proper, where they discovered something no one had expected.

The Caverns of Ice
The vaulting galleries of ice and twisting, intricate sculptures of frost were expected. The remains of dozens of Astartes Terminators, corpses frozen where they had fallen, were not. Countless years and the abrading tread of clawed feet had worn away much, and what traces of heraldry remained on the marines were no longer identifiable. With reverent care, the precious armor was returned to the surface for repair, and its occupants interred in the chapter crypt pending identification while genetic samples of the dead marines were dispatched to the Adeptus Mechanicus for that very purpose.

Meanwhile, Taramant himself lead the Chapter Terminators into the depths of the warrens, slaughtering every one of the twisted monsters that they found. It soon became evident that this was a task far greater than first supposed. The tunnels of the foul beasts stretched for miles in depth and width, and purging them completely was clearly not an exercise which could be completed quickly or easily. After seven days of constant battle against the scourge, Taramant and his men returned to the surface.
Mechanicus Report on Falcon's World Creature 0.274.jo.222


Honered Senior Genetor,

I direct this report to your attention so that you may decide if further investigation is warranted of this most unusual species. As you know, it is one of the race of creatures which dwell beneath the citadel of the Ice Lords, in the far north of the Imperium. They appear to be endemic to the planet, and to be a most ferocious and dangerous group of creatures.

However, there are some marked incongruities about them. I shall explain these, and then explain to you my conclusions, which I think you may find most interesting.

Firstly, there is the matter of the creature's diet. It appears that despite their ferocious nature, the creatures are not carnivorous, and logically should be somewhat calmer in temperament. The source of their rage appears to be a small device within the creature's skull, which apparently somehow manipulates the creature's hormones, provoking massive and dangerous rage - at which point the creature's claws and fangs come into play. The origin of this device appears to be human, though of an incredible age. Despite its relatively recent manufacture, the device is of remarkable sophistication, using techniques not available to ourselves.

Secondly, there is the matter of the creature's diet. It does not appear to actually have any particular means of obtaining sustenance, certainly not in the quantities necessary to support the almost berserker fury which the Ice Lords report the beasts display.

Thirdly, there is the matter of the creature's gender. All creatures so far recovered have been male, and apparently incapable of some other means of reproduction. Thus, the source for new creatures is of an open question.

Finally, there is the matter of the creature's origin. The whole species displays a remarkable genetic uniformity, suggesting to me some artificial source. Added to this, the species' genetics are wholly incompatible with those of the other animals of Falconscott, suggesting that they originated on some other world.

Combined with the earlier factors, it would appear these creatures are somehow controlled by some outside source. Considering the creatures appear to have originated inside the planet, it can thus be determined that whatever source is making and controlling these creatures, it is not a natural one. When one adds the fact that the creatures appear to be controlled simultaneously, and that the Ice Lords have reported engaging incredible numbers at various times, and facing the same creature in several different battles (despite, I remind you, them having no apparent means of sustenance), it is clear what the Ice Lords face beneath the surface.

What the Adeptus Mechanicus should do is, of course, up to you.

I remain,

Tech-Priest Govannin

The Knights and the Wolves
In their absence, conflict had arisen. Younger members of the chapter were calling for change and modification to the way the chapter lived. They saw their fall to earth as some divine punishment from the Emperor, and claimed that the Chapter's bond with its people was weakening the chapter as a whole. They claimed that the Chapter needed to abandon its old ways, and take on new ways. They took the mighty wolves of Franklin's World as their inspiration - great, hulking beasts, long of fang and powerful of limb. Franklin's World wolves know loyalty only to the pack, and these marines insisted that that was the way to true greatness for the Ice Lords. The people of fallen Falconscott should be left to survive by their own means - for if they could not survive on their own, they were not worthy of survival at all.

Taramant's wrath was terrible to behold. He stripped all the high-ranking officers who had supported this view of their rank, and appointed others in their place - others loyal as much to his precepts as to the chapter. Belicarius and Lahdemor supported him wholeheartedly, as did the majority of the Chapter brethren. Their influence within the chapter greatly eroded, the Wolves subsided, and their grumbling slowly quieted.

Lately, however, there are signs that the Wolves are growing in influence again. Wolf-based iconography is growing common among some of the more vicious members of the Chapter, while those who hold to Taramant's ways have begun to adopt the sign of a broken sword to show their allegiance to his ideas. The Wolves refer to their ideological enemies as the Knights, and the Knights have eagerly adopted this name as their own. Taramant, meanwhile, seems to hope that a schism within the chapter can somehow be avoided, and appears to be trying to contain the schismatic beliefs to their current holders, while ensuring that new recruits of the Scout Company are firmly convinced and indoctrinated in the thinking of the Knights. It remains to be seen whether this policy will preserve his vision of the chapter.

There is growing worry that the Wolves may resent the attempts at suppression of their views even more than they already seem to. Although combat operations have in no way suffered as yet, it is a sign of the depth of the problem that several officers are beginning to express concern about the possible loyalty of their troops. A breach may be unvaoidable, and the cost to the chapter and the people enormous.

Home World
Franklin's World is nearly as cold as the empty space which surrounds it. Howling winds lash the snow and ice into strange and twisted forms, and life is rare and dangerous. The people of Franklin's World, however, are isolated from this in their expansive floating cities. These cities date to the Dark Age of Technology, and their prescence on this desolate world on the edge of the galaxy has been a question of great debate among Imperial scholars. Whether it was once, military base, research station, or something far stranger, Franklin's World is now an isolated planet which has little contact with other systems. Its people are relatively happy, and the floating cities are ruled by powerful noble families, each of which maintain their own fortified towers within the cities. These nobles pride themselves on the mastery of their ritualized forms of war, and duels upon gliders which soar on the shrieking winds between the towers are a popular form of entertainment and an equally popular method of settling dispute. The tunnels beneath Falconscott, meanwhile, were home to few other than criminals and those forced down from the surface due to mutation or heresy. The vicious tunnel gangs which bred in this dark environment were the source of some of the Ice Lords' fiercest recruits, but that practice has come into question due to the marked tendency of former gangers to become Wolf adherents. The fall of Falconscott also made the tunnels virtually uninhabitable, and only the most tenaciously anti-social denizens remain, further limiting their usefullness as a source of recruits. Most of the gangers were killed by the crash of the city, and those few who remain have had difficulty reintegrating into the surface population. Crime has risen greatly, and more punitive judicial measures have been put into place in an attempt to discourage the depredations of the former tunnel dwellers.

Another source of growing concern for the chapter is the possibility that the monsters below might work their way into the city, where they could cause unparalleled destruction. At all times, one company of the chapter sweeps the tunnels of the city and the warrens below, exterminating all creatures that might enter and doing their best to push the infestation further back into their own warrens. The Ice Lords thus maintain a garrison of two companies on their home world - far in excess of that normal to a Space Marine chapter. Nonetheless, this increased force is necessary should the chapter ever hope to exterminate the monsters completely. Although each sortie pushes the creatures back a little further, the difficulty of supplying a force underground over great distances prevents true progress. Taramant himself has sworn that one day, the chapter will sweep the tunnels with fire and sword for however far they extend, and determine why so many Astartes died there. However, the constantly shifting nature of the tunnels and supply concerns make mounting a prolonged operation difficult, and the Ice Lords' other commitments draw on their forces sufficiently that some wonder if the mystery will ever be solved, and the monsters exterminated.

The surface of Franklin's World itself has lately been discovered to be far different than previously thought. Leaving aside the twisted creatures, the mighty wolves discovered after the Fall of the Fortress are just one of the dozens of newly discovered creatures which seem to make their homes in the freezing wastes. Mechanicus Genetor teams have expressed a pronounced interest in the makeup of the monsters, and have taken several corpses for study.

The Fall of the Fortress has done little to change the attitudes of the people toward their masters. Only the most foolish residents of Falconscott blamed the marines for the calamity, and far more of them were simply grateful that the marines had been there to assist them - recognizing the ravening horror from below which would have consumed them. However, the advent of the Wolf political movement within the chapter has begun to erode the populace's good feelings. The Wolves treat the population as inferiors, and the people are swift to resent it. Although most of this resentment is confined to the Wolves themselves, it is beginning to spread to the chapter in general - and some even blame Master Taramant personally. The reintroduction of the former tunnel dwellers and the corresponding rise in civil disorder has also done nothing to endear the chapter to the population, many of whom feel the marines should have allowed the gangers to die rather than inflict their prescence on those in the city.

The major difficulty now is maintaining contact with the other cities, as the high winds of the planetary surface make flight difficult and even dangerous. Even Space Marine Thunderhawks find flight treacherous, and travel is limited only to that necessary for chapter business.

Beliefs
The Ice Lords maintain a surprisingly diverse array of beliefs. Firstly, there are the general beliefs of the chapter. The chapter subscribes to the typical marine belief that the Emperor is the savior of humanity, but not a god, and they hold to it with a vehemence equalled only by that of First and Second Founding chapters. However, the Ice Lords maintain no veneration for their Primarch, Lion'El Jonson, a quirk which has astonished Imperial observers.
798.M41 - The Trabizilia System Aboard the Angels of Absolution Rapid Strike Vessel Heart of Caliban

Sometimes, guilt troubles Taramant's hearts. Not often, of course. And never for things he could have helped. Though life carries in it the semblance of choice, for the true knight, some things cannot be helped. And though a man can be firm in his choices, it is hard to be proud when there was no choice. And it is always those moments Taramant remembers.

He remembers standing on the deck with the other Dark Angels, as Caliban gleamed quietly below. He remembered watching the gleam of his home, his charges, become a roaring furnace, that left none but marines alive. And he remembers bowing his head, and knowing that his lord and master had made this come to pass. And though he could do nothing, his heart is weighed with guilt for following.

He remembers duelling with two of his former brethren, Belicarius and Lahdemor, men he had once called friend, his feet slipping across ground nearly-molten with the heat of bombardment. Their armor was blacker than night, blacker than treachery. But not, his soul whispered, blacker than the spirit of his Primarch. Not blacker than the mind of a man who would raze a world he had sworn to protect to assuage his wounded pride, who would betray a greater commitment to punish a personal betrayal. And though he could do nothing, his heart is weighed with guilt for doubting.

He remembers the terrifying seconds in the Warp, then collapsing against his former foes, who were also once his brothers, sobbing with horror and pain together. He remembers the oath they swore - to restore their honor through service, the others who had lost through promises broken, he who had lost through promises kept. Resolving to find a way to redeem themselves. And though a man of honor could do nothing else, his heart is weighed with guilt, for he fears he did it for himself alone.

He remembers when they discovered how the Imperium had changed. How the Astartes were now broken shadows of their former glory. How the people of the Imperium were mere fodder for their endless wars. How the Emperor's Church now ruled so many worlds, and fear of shadowy Inquisitors ruled the rest. How the once true knights of the Dark Angels had been made twisted and cruel by some guilt no one knew (though Taramant thought he could guess). That they decided that there was no way to restore what had been, and that the only hope was to make it anew. That perhaps if they shaped an instrument by which the Emperor's will could be done, perhaps it would be. And he knows that they could do no more, but he fears they only lied to themselves to stave off the horror. He fears there is no chance.

And now Taramant looks down at the Angels of Absolution Captain. He lies bloodied on the deck, spitting curses from a swollen, battered face, with one eye ruined and weeping blood. Breathing defiance at an enemy who should not be his enemy, even as that same man levels an ancient and scarred bolter at his head. Taramant knows what happens next cannot be helped.

He hopes redemption will come. He hopes redemption is worth it.

The beliefs of the Knights were for many years the beliefs of the chapter as a whole. Taramant and the Knights believe that the role of the Space Marines in the Imperium is to defend the people of the Imperium and the Imperium as a whole. Concerns of the chapter and of individual marines are subordinate to the need to defend the people, and to defend the Imperium.

To reinforce these beliefs, Taramant encourages communication with the people of Franklin's World, often making use of civilian artisans or laborers. There are relatively few chapter serfs, most of the chapter's servants being drawn from the general population, and returning there after a period of service. The few serfs are generally drawn from the pool of failed aspirants, and are encouraged to maintain bonds with their families outside the fortress monastery. Most serfs direct ordinary laborers or serve in relatively honorable positions in the fleet or monastery. Space Marine participation in public rituals and in the administration of the world is common. The Captain of the garrison company also serves as the Lord Commander of Falconscott. The Lord Commander is the final court of appeal on the world (though it would be a fool who requested his judgement in a trivial matter), and a Space Marine also serves as executioner to the courts. On holy days, Space Marines often judge tests of skill and strength, and occasionally participate in melees where one marine confronts several challengers from the people. In addition to this, the marines are expected to wander the streets of whatever city they may be in, visiting family or friends from their old lives. This had produced a remarkably close bond between the marines and the people, but the advent of the Wolves has soured it.

The Wolven beliefs spring from the discovery of the Franklin's World wolf upon the crash of Falconscott. This new, undiscovered life form was seen as a sign from the Emperor, and observation of its habits convinced some of the more disgruntled members of the chapter that Taramant's methods were wrong. Many of the chapter's recruits had been drawn from the gangs in the tunnels below the city. These recruits were not enamored of surface society, and resented being forced to associate with it. Although Taramant's efforts force them into submission have been mostly successful, their silent defiance and all-too-public initial protestations have greatly hurt the chapter, which has suffered both in its relationship with the people and in its relationships internally. Although no overt conflict has arisen yet, the people of Falconscott are noticeably less welcoming toward the marines. This appears to greatly trouble Master Taramant, and what course of action he will take to try and mend this breach is unknown.

Combat Doctrine
The combat doctrine of the Ice Lords cleaves closely to the Codex. The increased numbers of Terminator armor available to them has resulted in an increased use of teleport assaults and other such tactics, and experience in the warrens below Falconscott seems to be slowly turning them into experts in confined engagement. It has been remarked by observers that there are a number of tactical similarities to the Dark Angels chapter, but this is hardly surprising considering the Ice Lords' origins. They have often displayed the Dark Angels' legendary tenacity, especially when defending civilian populations. However, they display none of the Dark Angel intolerance towards abhumans and non-humans, and none of their standoffishness or inscrutable tendencies to desertion of a combat zone. These traits have combined to make them popular with Imperial commanders, who appreciate tenacious and capable allies, but appreciate them even more when they do not suddenly depart the field of battle without explanation.

Organization
The Ice Lords were a traditional codex chapter. However, the vast numbers of Terminator armor suits recovered from the undercity tunnels resulted in changes to their organization. Each of the Battle Companies now maintains several squads of Terminator-armored brethren, and the Ice Lords have even begun to adopt strategies and tactics similar to the Dark Angels Deathwing. The First Company is even more heavily equipped than the Battle Companies. Further expeditions to the depths have unearthed even more suits of armor, and only the Emperor knows how many of his fallen warriors lie below the monastery. The reports of the Mechanicus genetors indicate that the armor is from a defunct force, though they refused to specifically name the source. Thus, the chapter has industriously refurbished and reintegrated every suit they find. The Ice Lords Scout Company is hardly ever assembled as a formation, and usually operates as individual squads attached to companies fighting offworld.

Geneseed
The Ice Lords bear the geneseed of Lion'El Jonson. Their geneseed appears pure and uncorrupted, which is of little surprise considering their relatively short history and the notable purity of the Dark Angel seed.

Battlecry


Notes: Personally, I feel the reasoning behind the chapter name is a little trite, but damned if I want him to name them the Ice Lords because their homeworld is COLD. That's just coincidence. Fortunate, fortunate coincidence. Like the Space Wolves living on Fenris. ;)

I also still need a battlecry. They are most definitely my weak spot.

Comments and critiques are, as always, welcome.

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Thread is here

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Commentary:

An interesting tip about Caslon headers. They're the anti-Christ. Caslon headers massively screw up when you edit a post containing them - which is what prompted me to start saving my drafts in separate documents and cut-and-pasting them into place. That's probably the best thing I got out of this draft. :mellow: Actually, that's not true. You can really start to see the modern Ice Lords taking shape now. There's still a lot of extraneous stuff, but the core concepts are much more distinct.

A Space Marine frigate in black-and-green livery dodges and twists, attempting to avoid the fire of dozens of smaller ships. Its cannons lash out, ripping into the enemy with silent shrieks and explosions, but it is obvious that the Space Marine ship is losing. Gases vent from its hull in several spots, and gaping rents reveal raging fires. The frigate's guns continue firing, even as its hangar doors open and shuttles begin to slide forth, gleaming with reflected weapons fire.

The shuttles immediately break for open space beyond the deadly ring of pirates, and the pirates move to pursue, abandoning the frigate to its fate. One by one, they are struck down, but one, somewhat battered and worn, outdistances the others. The pirates fire on it, but miss repeatedly, and soon the shuttle shudders, and the strange tendrils of warp space reach out to draw it in. Just before the feed dies, the pirates can be observed turning back toward the frigate.


The first draft shown here adds several touches that have (at least in my mind) come to define the Ice Lords. I still like this method of taking over the training cadre best on some levels - instead of somehow sneaking aboard the ship and killing off the cadre, the Fallen simply use the pirate band they commanded to take down the Space Marines and staged their 'escape'. The problem was explaining that to everyone else. In the end, the current version let me explore Taramant's head a little better, which was probably necessary. And I got to use the word pauldron.

Franklin's World is a cold and desolate planet on the northernmost rim of the Segmentum Obscurus. The harsh conditions did not matter, however, for settlement of the planet was confined to the large cities which floated high above the surface. Arcane technology kept these cities aloft, technology which had resisted the Adeptus Mechanicus' best attempts to decipher it. Mechanicus teams still occasionally attempted to do so, but there were closer and easier mysteries which commanded their attention, and the world had been left to the Administratum. The Administratum found the planet's tithes not worth the difficulty of administering the faraway world, and eagerly handed the planet over to the Ice Lords.

The Ice Lords took Falconscott (the least populated of the cities) for their own, fortifying it and adding weapons emplacements across its hull and spires. They began inducting recruits from the population, whose adventurous pilots and vicious tunnel-gangs both proved excellent Space Marines. Taramant promoted close association with the populace, exhorting the Space Marines to remember that these were the people of the Imperium, and their duty incarnate. The young marines took these lessons to heart, and association between the Marines and their people grew. Each holy day, half the Marines were to mingle among the populace, so as to better remember their purpose in the Imperium. The bonds developed in these early days were to serve the Chapter well throughout their history.


The emphasis in this draft has already moved heavily away from the narrative and more toward the Chapter's relationship with the people and their revolt against Jonson's deeds. Everything after this is me hanging on to stuff I think is cool despite the fact that it's getting in the way of exploring this better. However, a lot of space is still devoted to exploring stuff that isn't that - the focus of this IA is still the battles in the tunnels, which it should not be.

I don't think I ever actually posted this draft. I was going to, then I got sidetracked, then I redrafted with the version after the notes.

The Ice Lords adhere to codex structure in regard to individual squads, but their company formation is much less standard. Due to the inature of Falconscott's environment, which makes on-world training repetitive at best, scout training has devolved to the individual companies, each of whom maintain anywhere between ten and twenty scouts in their ranks at any one time.


Everything after this in the Organization section is completely unnecessary. Less is more, kids.

Taramant placed incredible emphasis on the defense and preservation of civilians, explaining to his marines that the Imperium was its civilians. To betray the people of the Imperium, he said, was to betray the Imperium itself. These beliefs became ingrained into the chapter through his long command, and the people of Franklin's World are viewed as a sacred trust from the Emperor, and their preservation one of the most important duties of the chapter.

The formation of bonds with civilians was also given unusual priority, and it is not uncommon for a marine to maintain some association with his family after his admission into the chapter. “Marines should not forget what it was that made them,” Taramant said, and his words have echoed through the Chapter ever since.


While I do buy into Molotov's assertion that the Beliefs section is the most important part of the IA, I often have difficulty actually putting that into practice (as can be seen here). However, I have begun to think that that's not necessarily a bad thing - a Beliefs section does not need to be long, so long as the beliefs it mentions are clearly demonstrated throughout the rest of the IA. The Beliefs section of the Imperial Fists is quite minimal, but you can definitely tell me what they believe.

What are the plot threads:

Taramant creates a new chapter in the mold he wanted
-Need to take over the original command cadre.
-Need to shape the new chapter appropriately
-Need to make sure no one finds out what you are - avoid the DA at all costs.


Look! I figured out what I should be focusing on! Good for me.

Jonson attempts to exert his exciting new influence over this chapter - and make them complete the mission he sees as paramount


And if I could have pulled this off in a fashion that wasn't deathly dull, it would have been awesome. However, visions are dull, I don't write them well in any case, and finding the right balance of subtlety and explanation would have been (and was) really hard.

Note: Tech-Priestess Solona failed her thesis examination. Happy are those secure in their station.


I think I love this.

Most of the diary remains encrypted, but the following excerpt, from shortly before the Master\'s disappearance, was not encoded. The reason for this is not apparent.
Damn him. Damn the blasted Tech-Priests and their meddling. Damn me for thinking I could ever be free of him. But damn him for his arrogance, his thrice-cursed pride and above all his refusal to realize that loyalty is given in both directions.

He will use them, as much as he can. But they are my children in all but blood, and whatever he wants them for, he will not have them.

I will be strong. The others are gone, and only I remain. But I will do it for all the souls of my family, who still cry out at night. And all the souls of his brother knights, who were never his brothers at all.

He burned them. My children will not burn as well.


And in its way, this is still a much better encapsulation of the Ice Lords than anything else. The events it's supposed to interact with are gone, and I don't think it was ever actually part of a draft, but I still quite like it. I don't think anything else I've done has really captured the utter disgust and resentment Taramant has for Jonson.

I may drag out the "Chapter being used by their long-dead Primarch to fulfill a mission he did not" schtick again. I rather like it. Problem is, the only Chapter who really could have that sort of relationship with their Primarch are the Dark Angels, and I think people might question my sanity if I produced another Fallen Chapter. Still. I see why I hung on to these ideas so desperately. They're fun. I wonder if I can slip this back in somehow...

The problem with diary excerpts, by the way, is that the person writing the diary knows what he's talking about, which makes the content difficult to explain to the reader. They're also kind of silly when people are trying to keep deep, dark secrets.

A Space Marine's duty is to defend the Imperium. Though we are no longer men as they are, the people of the Imperium are our sacred trust, the people of our home worlds especially so. To forsake them is to forsake our honor and our right to serve the Emperor. Never forget this, or you forget yourselves.
- from Chapter Master Taramant's Ascension Day address on the third year following the Ice Lords' mobilization


And with this draft, we arrive at what are almost the modern Ice Lords.

[Picture of Chapter Banner]


HA!

In their absence, conflict had arisen. Younger members of the chapter were calling for change and modification to the way the chapter lived. They saw their fall to earth as some divine punishment from the Emperor, and claimed that the Chapter's bond with its people was weakening the chapter as a whole. They claimed that the Chapter needed to abandon its old ways, and take on new ways. They took the mighty wolves of Franklin's World as their inspiration - great, hulking beasts, long of fang and powerful of limb. Franklin's World wolves know loyalty only to the pack, and these marines insisted that that was the way to true greatness for the Ice Lords. The people of fallen Falconscott should be left to survive by their own means - for if they could not survive on their own, they were not worthy of survival at all.


This was a good move. It keeps the tension between Taramant and Jonson (albeit in a more metaphorical sense), is rather more logical than visions, and for some reason reminds me of the Clans, which is usually a good move.

Sometimes, guilt troubles Taramant's hearts. Not often, of course. And never for things he could have helped. Though life carries in it the semblance of choice, for the true knight, some things cannot be helped. And though a man can be firm in his choices, it is hard to be proud when there was no choice. And it is always those moments Taramant remembers.


This story has changed massively through several drafts - narrative prose isn't one of my strengths. But I am still inordinately proud of "hearts". Space Marines have more than one, you know.

Edited by Octavulg, 19 June 2010 - 02:12 PM.

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

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Octavulg

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This is a later version of Mk IV. I skipped over some bits in the middle, because they were boring and not much changed. :P

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FIRE IN THE SNOW: The Ice Lords

A Space Marine's duty is to defend the Imperium. Though we are no longer men as they are, the people of the Imperium are our sacred trust, the people of our home world especially so. To forsake them is to forsake our honor and our right to serve the Emperor. Never forget this, or you forget yourselves.
- from Chapter Master Taramant's Ascension Day address on the third year following the Ice Lords' mobilization


The Ice Lords, though an obscure chapter of recent founding, have a proud history of service to the Imperium. Their fair and just governance of Franklin's World is widely admired, and their reputation in combat is sterling. Tenacious, honorable, and dangerous, the Ice Lords are a credit to the Adeptus Astartes and to mankind. Their service to the Imperium is as honorable as that of any other chapter, and the depths of their duty to mankind have not yet been found.

Origins
Black were the first days of our history. But so are all days, until mankind is triumphant. - The Chronicle of the Ice Lords, III Canticle

Formed as part of the 26th Founding, the Ice Lords have had a history spotted with misfortune. The chapter suffered a blow early in its lifetime, when their training cadre, forced out of warp due to a drive malfunction, was ambushed by iniquitous traitors even as they traveled to join their new charges.

Though the enemy marines were repelled, the ferocity of the battle meant only three marines of the Angels of Absolution training cadre survived - Taramant, the senior Sergeant, Belicarius, a junior Chaplain, and Lahdemor, a Codicier. Undaunted, they consigned their brothers to the depths of space, as tradition demanded, then continued on to join the Ice Lords. They pledged to do all possible to ensure that the Ice Lords would be a fine Chapter, worthy of service to the Emperor. Their vessel, The Heart of Caliban, was ceremonially rededicated to the service of the Ice Lords, and remains a proud part of the chapter fleet today.

Though the chapter was issued a newly-revised training schedule to compensate for their losses, they performed admirably. It was remarked by observers how the remaining cadre made new use of seemingly archaic tactics, and on how they seemed to possess experience and capability far beyond their junior ranks. The battle-brothers of the chapter were ready for active duty, and they proudly marched aboard their ships for transfer to their new home world.

Chapter Master Taramant remained secluded throughout the journey, in consultation with the Emperor's Tarot, finally emerging just as the flagship left warp space. While the chapter's new home world loomed, cold and white, in the viewport, he declared that the chapter would henceforth be known as the Ice Lords. "For duty and honor are cold as ice. And when all else is gone, duty and honor will remain."

Franklin's World is a cold and desolate planet on the northernmost rim of the Segmentum Obscurus. The harsh conditions do not matter, however, for settlement of the planet is confined to the large cities which float high above the surface. Arcane technology keeps the cities aloft, technology which has resisted the Adeptus Mechanicus' concerted attempts to decipher it. Closer and easier mysteries commanded their attention, though the occasional enterprising team still returns for an exercise in frustration and disappointment. Geographical surveys of the planet below had been frequently thwarted by the raging winds and snows of the surface, making the workings of the world below as much of a mystery as those above.
798.M41 - Aboard the Angels of Absolution Rapid Strike Vessel Heart of Caliban

The twisting currents of the Empyrean were whirling around the Heart of Caliban. Taramant could not see them, but he could feel them nonetheless, as he had been able to ever since the moment on Caliban when the planet fell to pieces around him and he and his opponents were ripped through time and space with it. Belicarius and Lahdemor - the three of them had spat curses at each other as their feet slipped across the nearly-molten surface of Caliban, but when the twisting currents of the Warp released them all they could do was collapse, sobbing with horror and pain. He remembered that day.

In front of Taramant, at the Navigator's podium, Lahdemor's brow was knit with the effort of a duty that the Librarian had never expected to perform. Belicarius was watching Lahdemor, drumming fingers on the pauldron of armor freshly painted with the white of the Angels of Absolution. They had considered salvaging the armor of Prilbu Gossk and his marines, who had thought capturing three 'Fallen' a good start to their time with a new chapter. But it seemed that the artificers of the Great Crusade had wrought better than the artificers of the modern day, and Taramant's green armor had become white, as had the black armor of his two brothers. The armor of the training cadre was no longer fit to wear, in any case. Too many holes, and none of them were artificers.

So Captain Prilbu Gossk and his men were drifting ever-closer to some half-forgotten moon, some day to reassure the inhabitants of the Emperor's favor as bright streaks in the sky, and Taramant and two men damned by the Lion as traitors were taking their place. Not that Taramant would have escaped such damnation - as he had watched Caliban burn, he had quickly realized that to the Lion, there could only be one treachery - betraying the Lion, surpassing the Lion, doing anything other than the Lion's will. While for Taramant the flames were burning honor, duty and home, all they burned for the Lion were those so bold as to cross their lord. The oaths they all had sworn to protect the people of Caliban were meaningless, sacrificed to the Lion's pride, just like the people below.

The honor of the Dark Angels had died with the people of Caliban. Taramant, Belicarius and Lahdemor would restore it, or die in the attempt. Death, Taramant admitted, seemed more likely. Three loyal Dark Angels were mighty, but they were not mighty enough.

But then, soon there would be more than just three.

The Heart of Caliban shuddered as it slipped into reality. Lahdemor opened his eyes, leaning against the podium in exhaustion. Belicarius weighed his Crozius in his hand. And Taramant smiled, cold as ice.

The Ice Lords took Falconscott (the smallest and least populated of the cities) for their own, fortifying it and adding weapons emplacements across its hull and spires. They began inducting recruits from the population, whose adventurous pilots and vicious tunnel-gangers proved excellent Space Marines. After the celebrations surrounding the Chapter's arrival on the world, Taramant promoted close association with the populace, exhorting the Space Marines to remember that these were the people of the Imperium, and their duty incarnate. The young marines took these lessons to heart, and association between the Marines and their people grew. Once every few months, half the Marines were to mingle among the populace, so as to better remember their purpose in the Imperium. Small chapterhouses were established in the other cities, both to aid in recruitment and to promote the marines' association with the populace.

The Fall of the Fortress
Although I am not certain as to the cause, Sergeant, I think what may be far more important are the effects. - Techmarine Janos

The Ascendant Festival on Falconscott marks the longest day of the year. Even the ice which typically covers the tips of city spires melts, and the cities are suffused with warmth and laughter. All Space Marines present on the planet are dispatched throughout the cities, both to mingle with the population and to observe those who might make good candidates for the Chapter. Games of strength and skill are common, and bloodless aerial battles between young pilots an entertaining diversion for the crowds. Although ordinarily a happy time, the hundred-and-twenty-eighth Festival after the Chapter's arrival on their home world was marked by calamity.

As the revelers celebrated across the planet, the very streets of Falconscott began to shudder. The strength of the spasms threw grown men from their feet, and even the Space Marines were hard pressed to keep their balance. Clouds whisked by, and the wind grew to a howling shriek as the mighty city began to plunge toward the surface of the planet below.

Techmarines and officers raced into the bowels of the city, while the other marines attempted to contain the panic among the citizens. However, the arcane machinery which had confounded the best Techno-Magi of the Imperium would hardly give up its secrets to mere Techmarines, and the Marines remained ignorant of what might have caused the precipitous descent. Somewhere within the kilometers of tunnel and ductwork, some ancient piece of machinery must have finally given way, but there was no way for the Marines to determine what or where. They could only do their best to ensure that the city was not destroyed upon impact.

Fortunately for the Chapter, ancient backup systems were functional. As the city approached the surface, its rate of descent began to slow. However, impact was still inevitable, and the population was thrown into confusion and panic as millions of tons of metal impacted with the ancient ice of the planetary surface.

The buildings and lower tunnels of Falconscott were breached in dozens of locations, driven deep into the ice. Some were crushed, along with their inhabitants. Some were cut off from the rest of the city, the people within left to slowly starve with no chance of rescue. The coherent, regular levels of the lower city were gone, replaced with a crazed metal-and-ice warren of tunnels, chasms and precipices, while the upper city was a twisted wreck, shattered ice and building intermingled to form a strange and confusing new world.

Master Taramant was gone from the city, fighting the last of the Genestealers from the hulk Vociferous Abomination. Captain Telemachus of the Sixth, the senior officer on planet, took control of the situation. He notified Taramant of what had happened and began to search for survivors in the undercity, leaving a few of his junior officers to organize the citizens above. Adaptation would be required of the people, for the city had been badly damaged by the crash, and many systems which had sustained the citizens for millennia no longer functioned.

Deep in the tunnels, the marines discovered something they had not expected. Foul, ravening beasts had apparently lurked beneath the surface of the planet, in a winding warren of unknown depth. The crash of the monastery had broken into these tunnels, and now the warrens and the lower levels of the city were hopelessly intermingled, and the unknown creatures spread throughout them.

The Marines withdrew, taking all those they could find, and carefully sealed all entrances to the lower levels, awaiting the return of their brothers from the other cities. Even so, their casualties were significant - the creatures below the city were fierce and numerous. Penned in the upper city by the horrors below, the Marines and their people were trapped, out of reach of the other garrisons on-planet, who possessed no ships capable of penetrating the howling winds on the surface.

The Knights and the Wolves
Your thoughts do not show us a new way, Telemachus. All they show is my failings as a teacher. - Taramant of the Ice Lords

By the time Master Taramant returned, with powerful Thunderhawks that could penetrate the winds below, conflict had arisen. In the months in which Telemachus and his men were isolated on the surface, they had grown embittered toward the people. Now they saw Taramant's beliefs in the role of the Chapter as flawed and weak, and believed they should free themselves from restrictive bonds with the people. To Telemachus, the fall of Falconscott was divine punishment from the Emperor, and when a mighty wolf had leapt from the driving snow into the city, slaying a half dozen of the citizens before being brought down itself, he had taken it as another sign.

As the weeks dragged by, more and more civilians were killed by the beasts, their strength and cunning allowing them to strike wherever the Marines were not. As the cries of the people for aid grew more plaintive, Telemachus and his men came to admire the wolves for their power. And as their admiration grew, so did they grow to resent the citizens for their weakness. These wolves had been unknown before, overlooked by unambitious Mechanicus genetors who feared the planet's harsh environment, but they soon became a common sight in the snow outside the city. They were great, hulking beasts, long of fang and powerful of limb, solitary and dangerous.

Telemachus and his supporters insisted that that was the way to true greatness for the Ice Lords. The Ice Lords should concern themselves with the Ice Lords, first and foremost. Consorting with the people of Falconscott hurt the people, for they could not become strong enough to stand on their own, and it hurt the Ice Lords, for they were weakened by the need to defend the people, instead of using all their might to strike against the enemies of man. Using less than their full strength was a betrayal of the Emperor, as was weakening his subjects by not allowing them to achieve strength on their own. Thus, said Telemachus, the best course of action for the Ice Lords was to leave Franklin's World and its people behind. Though the people would find it hard at first, it could only strengthen them in the long run. His supporters, who had christened themselves the Wolves, agreed.

Taramant did not, and his wrath was terrible to behold. He rebuked Telemachus in a public Conclave of the Chapter, calling the Captain dishonorable and little better than a traitor. Telemachus had confused personal glory with honor, Taramant said, and deserved neither. Belicarius and Lahdemor supported Taramant wholeheartedly, as did the majority of the Chapter brethren, who were nicknamed 'Knights' by the jeering Wolves. Further incensed by the behavior of the Wolves, Taramant stripped Telemachus and his supporters of their rank in the Chapter and of their place in the Chapter's Roll of Honor, declaring that they had abandoned their honor, and must earn it back or be forgotten. Humiliated, beset by the Knights, and with their influence within the chapter greatly eroded, the Wolves subsided, at least for a time.

Home World
I understand what it represents, Taramant. I just wonder if there were not warmer worlds which symbolized our duty to humanity. - Chaplain Belicarius of the Ice Lords

Franklin's World is nearly as cold as the empty space which surrounds it. Howling winds lash the snow and ice into strange and twisted forms, and life is rare and dangerous. The people of Franklin's World, however, are isolated from this in their expansive floating cities. These cities date to the Dark Age of Technology, and their presence on this desolate world on the edge of the galaxy has been a question of great debate among Imperial scholars. Whether it was once a military base, a research station, or something far stranger, Franklin's World is now an isolated planet which has little contact with other systems. Its people are relatively happy, and the floating cities are ruled by powerful noble families, each of which maintain their own fortified towers within the cities. These nobles pride themselves on the mastery of their ritualized forms of war, and duels upon gliders which soar on the shrieking winds between the towers are a popular form of entertainment and an equally popular method of settling dispute. The tunnels beneath the cities, meanwhile, were home to few other than criminals and those forced down from the surface due to mutation or heresy. The vicious tunnel gangs which bred in this dark environment were the source of some of the Ice Lords' fiercest recruits, but that practice has come into question due to the marked tendency of former gangers to become Wolf adherents.

Falconscott, of course, is now much different than the other cities. Always the smallest city, its population is now even smaller than it was, and the remaining citizens have been forced into the remains of the buildings and into newly built tunnels and caverns in the ice. The old social order has remained much the same, but the introduction of the former residents of the undercity has sapped the power of the nobles, who now face a large, dangerous group unfamiliar with obedience. Falconscott's streets are now mostly empty, the violent weather forcing the citizens inside. Some few of the city's areas still have fully functioning environment systems, and these have become havens for commerce and community. The remainder of the city is increasingly moving into ice tunnels, preferring to build anew rather than attempt to salvage the chaotic wreckage that most of the city has become.

The surface of Franklin's World itself has lately been discovered to be far different than previously thought. Leaving aside the twisted creatures that wait under the snow, the mighty wolves discovered after the Fall of the Fortress are just one of the dozens of newly discovered creatures which seem to make their homes in the freezing wastes. Mechanicus Genetor teams have expressed a pronounced interest in the makeup of the monsters, and have taken several corpses for study. They still remain loathe to actually explore the surface themselves.
Excerpt from Anecdotes of the 41st Millennium, Volume MCXVI by Stanforth McGramman, junior archivist to the Library of Sycorax

The Medea Incident has been all but forgotten in the massive campaigns and vast slaughter of the 41st Millennium When systems are laid waste in swift and terrible campaigns by equally terrible forces, it is easy to lose sight of the slow bleeding of a world by the lesser enemies of Man.

Nonetheless, the Medea Incident deserves to be remembered. The world of Medea is an unimportant planet in the far north of the Imperium, and its plaintive calls for aid against raiders had been overlooked in a galaxy where the forces of Man are needed everywhere. Hope had been forsaken by the Medeans when a single rapid strike vessel slipped from the Warp above their world, containing Chaplain Belicarius and a tactical squad of the Ice Lords.

The vulnerable planet had become a frequent target of Orkin, Human and Dark Eldar raiders, all eager to steal what they could from the planet, all delighting in bloodshed and destruction. Such delight was quickly stemmed by the Ice Lords, who undertook training and equipping of the Medean population for war. Where raiders had once been met with flight and frantic pleas for mercy, they were now met with a hail of bullets and cries of havoc and war. The raiders began to make larger and larger forays, seeking security and strength in numbers, only to be met with greater concentrations of Medeans, supported by marines. As the raiders were forced into larger and larger groups for their own protection, the Ice Lords were better able to bring their strength to bear, along with the new-found strength of the Medeans. Soon enough, the raiders who had once wreaked havoc across Medea were simply a nuisance - and soon after that, they were gone completely, and Medea prospered, stronger than it had been before.

Where other chapters would have sent a front-line company, thus being forced to allow some other world to fall, the Ice Lords sent a minimal group from a Reserve Company. Where some chapters might have leapt to confront one enemy, and thus left the planet open to others, the Ice Lords remembered their duty, and instead prepared the planet so that even together its enemies could not prevail.

It was not glorious, exciting, or a grandiose display of power and the Emperor's might. But it saved the planet just as well, and that was enough for the Ice Lords.

The Fall of the Fortress itself did little to change the attitudes of the people toward their masters. Only the most foolish civilians blamed the marines for the calamity, and far more of them were simply grateful that the marines had been there to assist the people of Falconscott - recognizing the ravening horror from below which would have consumed them. However, the advent of the Wolf political movement within the chapter has begun to erode the populace's good feelings. The Wolves treat the population as inferiors, and the people resent it. Although most of this resentment is confined to the Wolves themselves, it is beginning to spread to the chapter in general - and some even blame Master Taramant personally. The introduction of the former tunnel dwellers into the general population of Falconscott, and the corresponding rise in civil disorder has also done nothing to endear the chapter to the population, many of whom feel the marines should have allowed the gangers to die rather than inflict their prescence on those in the city above.

What may be the Ice Lords' greatest fear is that another city might fail in the same way as Falconscott. They have attempted to open further communication with the Adeptus Mechanicus, for aid in investigating this and to ask about the possibility of regular shipments of Tactical Dreadnought Armor, to facilitate the cleansing of the tunnels beneath the city. They have received only silence in return.

The creatures under the snow remain a point of concern for the Chapter, but a lack of knowledge and equipment hampers any action more involved than simple containment. Scans of other areas of the surface have been attempted in an attempt to deduce the full extent of the tunnels, but results are inconclusive. Unless the Ice Lords receive some form of aid, whether from the Adeptus Mechanicus or from another Chapter, they will be unable to defeat the threat which lurks below them.

Beliefs
You are no longer men. You are to be Space Marines. You now serve mankind, in a way that you could not before, because you were of mankind. You must defend them, help them, and die for them. That is as it should be. - Chaplain Belicarius, addressing a group of new initiates

The Ice Lords subscribe to the typical Astartes belief that the Emperor is the savior of humanity, but not a god, and they hold to it with a vehemence equaled only by that of First and Second Founding chapters. However, they maintain no veneration for their Primarch, Lion El'Jonson, a quirk which has astonished Imperial observers. Unsurprisingly, they are reticent about this facet of their beliefs, and also demonstrate a marked aversion to associating with those chapters that refer to themselves as the Unforgiven.

The beliefs of the faction known as the Knights were for many years the beliefs of the chapter as a whole. Taramant and the Knights believe that the role of the Space Marines in the Imperium is to defend the people of the Chapter home world and the people of the Imperium. Concerns of the chapter and of individual marines are subordinate to the demands of that duty. To reinforce these beliefs, Taramant encourages communication with the people of Franklin's World, often making use of civilian artisans or laborers. There are relatively few chapter serfs - most of the chapter's servants are drawn from the general population and return there after a period of service. The few serfs are generally drawn from the pool of failed aspirants, and are encouraged to maintain bonds with their families outside the fortress monastery. Most serfs direct ordinary laborers or serve in relatively honorable positions in the fleet or monastery.

Space Marine participation in public rituals and in the administration of the world is common. The Captain of whichever company is serving to garrison the planet at any particular time also serves as the Lord Commander of Falconscott. The Lord Commander is the final court of appeal on the world (though it would be a fool who requested his judgment in a trivial matter), and a Space Marine also serves as executioner to the courts. On holy days, Space Marines often judge tests of skill and strength, and occasionally participate in bloodless melees where one marine confronts several challengers from the people. In addition to this, the marines are expected to wander the streets of whatever city they may be in, visiting family or friends from their old lives. All this had produced a remarkably close bond between the marines and the people, but the advent of the Wolves has soured it.

Although Taramant's efforts to force the Wolves into submission have been mostly successful, their silent defiance and all-too-public initial protestations have greatly hurt the chapter's relationship with the people. Although no overt conflict has arisen yet, the people of Falconscott are noticeably less welcoming toward the marines. This appears to greatly trouble Master Taramant, and what course of action he will take to try and mend this breach with the populace is unknown.

Wolf-based iconography is growing common among some of the more vicious members of the Chapter, while those who hold to Taramant's ways have begun to adopt the sign of a broken sword to show their allegiance to his ideas (and, the more cynical adherents note, the probability that they will come to naught). Taramant, meanwhile, seems to hope that a schism within the chapter can somehow be avoided, and appears to be trying to contain the schismatic beliefs to their current holders, while ensuring that new recruits of the Scout Company are firmly indoctrinated in the thinking of the Knights.

There is growing worry among high-ranking officers that the Wolves may resent the attempts at suppression of their views even more than they already seem to. Although combat operations have in no way suffered as yet, it is a sign of the depth of the problem that several officers are beginning to express concern about the possible loyalty of their troops. Civil war may be unavoidable, and the cost to the chapter and the people enormous.

Combat Doctrine
Your enemy's realization that he watched every direction but above is the most gratifying sight you can see in this life. - Captain Darius of the First Company
The Vociferous Abomination Campaign
The Space Hulk Vociferous Abomination had drifted through dozens of systems before the Ice Lords discovered it. Cleansing it cost the lives of dozens of marines, but that was necessary to determine just where the vile construct had been. No one could tell in how many of those systems it had released foul Genestealers to pollute the purity of Man. Nonetheless, the Ice Lords did not do what many chapters would have done. They did not leave the matter to the Imperial Guard, and they did not annihilate the populations of those planets in a quick and simple solution.

Working with the Inquisition, three companies undertook the monumental task of ensuring that every planet that might have been corrupted by the Hulk was pure. The forces of the Inquisition would labor tirelessly to determine whether a planetary population had been corrupted, while the forces of Ice Lords waited in orbit. When the darkest concerns of the Imperium were confirmed, as they were all too often, the Ice Lords would land and carefully ferret out and destroy the Cult, even when whole populations turned against them.

Twenty-three years of tireless work and near-constant fighting still resulted in a death toll of millions, including many Ice Lords. Still, billions were saved who might otherwise have been slain in an attempt to save the lives of Space Marines and Inquisitors. And why should men die to save those who should die to defend them?
Ice Lords combat doctrine has been heavily influenced by the Codex Astartes, and just as heavily influenced by the three officers of its training cadre. Though the three all demonstrate familiarity with the precepts with warfare, their willingness to disregard the dictates of the Codex has been surprising to Imperial observers, and this willingness has been passed on to their charges. They are also noted for their use of air support, which presumably derives from Franklin's Worlders extensive experience with piloting. Aircraft allow the Ice Lords to provide the killing blow to an enemy force with minimal risk, in circumstances which might otherwise cost the lives of Battle Brothers.

It has been remarked by observers that there are a number of tactical similarities to the Dark Angels chapter, but this is hardly surprising considering the Ice Lords' origins. They have often displayed the Dark Angels' legendary tenacity, especially when defending civilian populations. However, they display none of the Dark Angel intolerance towards abhumans and non-humans, and equally none of the standoffishness or inscrutable tendencies to desertion of a combat zone the Dark Angels are infamous for. These traits have combined to make the Ice Lords popular with Imperial commanders, who appreciate tenacious and capable allies, but appreciate them even more when they do not suddenly depart the field of battle without explanation.

Organization
Slavish adherence to formal ritual is a sign that one knows the wrong rituals - Lahdemor, Master of the Librarium

The Ice Lords are generally a traditional codex chapter, with all that entails. In an unsurprising exception to the norm, the Ice Lords Scout Company is hardly ever assembled as a formation, and usually operates as individual squads attached to companies fighting offworld. However, Captains are given relative leeway in the structure of their companies, and the reserve companies are generally not the monolithic organizations of specialists that they are in many other chapters, though they are expected to maintain facility with particular areas of expertise.

The Reserve Companies often engage in pirate-hunting and other such exercises, to keep their skills fully honed. The First Company is regarded similarly to a normal Battle Company, and often undertakes similar engagements and serves a normal rotation in garrison on Franklin's World. The First Company is almost always under the personal command of the Chapter Master, and the post of First Company Captain is thus usually held by the least experienced of the Captains.

Geneseed
It will be hard to defend the Imperium if we succumb to corruption from within, young initiate. Harder still if that corruption involves tentacles. - Tull, Master of the Apothecarion

The Ice Lords recruit from every city on Franklin's World, though most extensively from among the people of Falconscott. The nobles of the upper cities are trained in warfare from early ages, as are many of their adherents, and these youths make fine Space Marines. The glider duels common among city spires have made piloting almost second-nature to a warrior of Franklin's World, and the Space Marines retain this aptitude. The vicious gangers of the undercities are excellent hunters and close-fighters, but their overwhelming tendency to follow the beliefs of the Wolves has lead to a noted decline in their recruitment (as has the destruction of the Falconscott undercity).

Among the gangers, recruitment by the Space Marines was seen as recognition of one's prowess as a fighter, while recruitment in the upper city is looked upon as one of the highest honors a family can receive. Many commoners have found their other children sought after as husbands or wives for nobles after a son is taken as a Space Marine, while a failing noble house can find itself restored to popularity and good fortune with such a coup.

The Ice Lords bear the geneseed of Lion'El Jonson. It appears pure and uncorrupted, which is of little surprise considering their relatively short history and the notable purity of the Dark Angel seed. Quite why the Ice Lords do not maintain many Dark Angel practices has not been determined, but it clearly cannot derive from the geneseed. No record has ever been found of the Ice Lords referring to themselves as Unforgiven, and the Chapter actually seems to actively shun the company of such Chapters. Much speculation has arisen among some Imperial scholastic communities as to why this might be so.

Battlecry
Roar your defiance to the enemy. Let them feel the chill of fear, and let them know that they face the true defenders of Humanity - Chaplain Belicarius

Honor and duty remain!

* * *

And lo, it is Mk IV. Remember when I said Mk III was the best kind of Mark? I totally lied. Mark IV is.

I think they've come a long way from a hatred of Jonson and a need to explain all the Wolf Guard Terminators and Deathwing Terminators in my army. And, of course, the desire to have more Terminators in general. :mellow:

Acted on Lysismachus' recommendations.

* * *

This IA was posted in this thread. Thus, I cannot link to it.

* * *

Formed as part of the 26th Founding, the Ice Lords have had a history spotted with misfortune. The chapter suffered a blow early in its lifetime, when their training cadre, forced out of warp due to a drive malfunction, was ambushed by iniquitous traitors even as they traveled to join their new charges.


Moving them away from the Cursed Founding was inevitable (and also helped solve the issue of how they'd avoided being found all this time). The Cursed Founding bit was mostly an attempt to justify the mixed geneseed, which was an attempt to justify their iconography. Without that last, the rest was unnecessary. It also let me go make another Cursed Founding chapter! With pink!

Master Taramant was gone from the city, fighting the last of the Genestealers from the hulk Vociferous Abomination. Captain Telemachus of the Sixth, the senior officer on planet, took control of the situation. He notified Taramant of what had happened and began to search for survivors in the undercity, leaving a few of his junior officers to organize the citizens above. Adaptation would be required of the people, for the city had been badly damaged by the crash, and many systems which had sustained the citizens for millennia no longer functioned.

Deep in the tunnels, the marines discovered something they had not expected. Foul, ravening beasts had apparently lurked beneath the surface of the planet, in a winding warren of unknown depth. The crash of the monastery had broken into these tunnels, and now the warrens and the lower levels of the city were hopelessly intermingled, and the unknown creatures spread throughout them.

The Marines withdrew, taking all those they could find, and carefully sealed all entrances to the lower levels, awaiting the return of their brothers from the other cities. Even so, their casualties were significant - the creatures below the city were fierce and numerous. Penned in the upper city by the horrors below, the Marines and their people were trapped, out of reach of the other garrisons on-planet, who possessed no ships capable of penetrating the howling winds on the surface.


I eventually got rid of the beasts - they simply weren't necessary any more, and there wasn't enough room to do the cool things I wanted to. So I cut my losses and simply let the planet be the enemy - it was more than up to the task.

Home World
I understand what it represents, Taramant. I just wonder if there were not warmer worlds which symbolized our duty to humanity. - Chaplain Belicarius of the Ice Lords


For some reason, I love the idea that the Ice Lords are snarky. Especially the Fallen. Everyone's always too serious in 40K.

Also, it occurs to me I never mentioned the quotes - I'm not sure what prompted me to add them. I may have outrageously stolen the idea, or I may have come up with it independently. Regardless, it's a good idea - it gives a chance to give the Chapter some depth and work in a few people without dedicating excessive space to them. It also let me get away with just using bolded words as titles by making the section break even clearer. I can't recommend them highly enough.

Excerpt from Anecdotes of the 41st Millennium, Volume MCXVI by Stanforth McGramman, junior archivist to the Library of Sycorax
The Medea Incident has been all but forgotten in the massive campaigns and vast slaughter of the 41st Millennium When systems are laid waste in swift and terrible campaigns by equally terrible forces, it is easy to lose sight of the slow bleeding of a world by the lesser enemies of Man.


Sycorax, of course, is Caliban's mother. Not sure why I chose Medea. I like this sidebar. It's a little more subdued than most, and I think it shows the priorities of the Chapter well.

Beliefs
You are no longer men. You are to be Space Marines. You now serve mankind, in a way that you could not before, because you were of mankind. You must defend them, help them, and die for them. That is as it should be. - Chaplain Belicarius, addressing a group of new initiates


Space Marines are not human. It is that simple. Hundreds of IAs could be written exploring how and why they're not. And if you're writing an IA, you should never forget it.

There is growing worry among high-ranking officers that the Wolves may resent the attempts at suppression of their views even more than they already seem to. Although combat operations have in no way suffered as yet, it is a sign of the depth of the problem that several officers are beginning to express concern about the possible loyalty of their troops. Civil war may be unavoidable, and the cost to the chapter and the people enormous.


This Chapter continually reminds me (appropriately enough) of Clan Wolf in Battletech. They're not quite the same, but there are some serious points of commonality, most of which were arrived at unconsciously. Still, there are worse influences than the children of Kerensky.

It will be hard to defend the Imperium if we succumb to corruption from within, young initiate. Harder still if that corruption involves tentacles. - Tull, Master of the Apothecarion


For some reason, I default to referring to random Space Marines as Jethro. I kept referring to my Apothecary as such, and he performed quite distinguishedly. He deserved an appropriate surname.

Anyway, that's the IA, and my commentary on it. It's probably not as insightful as I hoped, but I think there's something resemblind education in it somewhere. Hope you enjoyed it. ;)

Edited by Octavulg, 19 June 2010 - 03:10 PM.

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

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#89
Octavulg

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Complete Commentary

As can be seen, this IA is very different than the final version of the Ice Lords. It\'s also a lot more crowded, and is pulling in several directions at once.

+Chapter Founding+
Chapter records of the Ice Lords founding were destroyed in the Fall of the Fortress, meaning the Chapter today has only the vaguest of ideas where they came from, and are unaware of their Primarch or even from what Chapter their original Master (Askarliel) came. There are even suggestions that such information may not have been known before the Fall of the Fortress, prompting speculation by both members of the chapter and Imperial authorities as to just what the chapter\'s exact history is. What is known is that the Chapter was founded around the thirty-seventh millenium, at the unusual request of a \"Lord Caliban\" and was assigned to the border planet Franklin\'s World. Although it is a border world of ice and snow, the population of Franklin\'s World is housed in floating cities high above the glacial waste below. These cities are incredibly complex relics of an unknown time, and are believed to be relics of the Golden Age of Technology. The largest, Elnorea, houses over three million as of the date of the last Imperial census (M36.441), while some of the smaller cities hold only a few thousand. Many cities feature large gardens and architecture that inspired visitors to the planet. The Ice Lords took over one of the smaller cities, Falconscott, which came complete with a formidable fortified complex of sufficient capacity for marines and serfs. Defense turrets were installed, and the monastery became an even more imposing structure.

The Ice Lords built up their numbers and performed their duties admirably. They remained virtually undistinguished from other Astartes chapters until M37.432.


There are a number of problems with this opening paragraph. Firstly, it should be more than one paragraph. But aside from that, there are other issues. It\'s trying to present too many ideas at once, and is doing so out of order - I\'m trying to introduce things that rely on things that I have not yet explained. I\'m a little confused right now, and I know what I was trying for.

There are also bad practices aplenty - in addition to the Chapter\'s history being concealed (though I did have a reason for it), I\'ve just spent a remarkable length of time without really mentioning anything that interesting. With the last line I\'m also skipping over vast chunks of history - but I\'m not doing it smoothly. In later drafts I simply reduced the time between the events.

+The Fall of the Fortress+
In the fourteenth year of the term of Chapter Master Amundal (second to hold the post, and one of the two founders) disaster struck the chapter. Shortly before a visit by an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus, the brothers of the Chapter were shocked to feel the decking of the monastery list and jolt beneath their feet as the fortress began to plunge from the sky. The civilians of the city began to panic, and the overwhelmed brothers had to maintain order and attempt to deal with the problem as swiftly as they could. Although the harried Techmarines succeeded in concluding just what had caused the precipitous descent and managed to repair the damage, the monastery\'s descent was only slowed, not stopped. It slowly came to rest in an ice canyon on the planet\'s surface.

The shock of landing caused chaos. The city was greatly damaged, and the Chapter Archives, housed in the lower portions of the monastery, were nearly unsalvageable. The Chapter Armory and Apothecarion survived intact, but much of the civilian population was injured or killed, as were some of the battle-brothers. In the midst of this confusion, two things were discovered - the damage which had caused the monastery\'s precipitous descent was attributable only to sabotage, and Chapter Master Amundal was dead, crushed to death in the ruins of the Archives. Shattered and mangled record discs surrounded his corpse. The beloved founder was burned with the highest of honors, and the Ice Lords turned to the task of rebuilding. Second Company Master Ergathon was acclaimed as Chapter Master in his place.

The Master of the Forge soon informed the new Chapter Master that no amount of repair or retrofit would allow the city to fly again. The (relatively) sheltered location of the monastery\'s new resting place was deemed acceptable as a site for the new Fortress\' establishment. The chapter began the arduous task of weatherproofing their home and seeking out informaton about the virtually unmapped surface they now found themselves on. When the Inquisitor\'s message cancelling his visit arrived, it passed nearly unnoticed in the bustle.


Again, I\'m introducing information that isn\'t necessary or well-explained. I should have explained a lot more about how the Chapter was founded and who did so - but I didn\'t. Instead, I kept shoving that information in parenthetically, and it simply doesn\'t work.

What\'s supposed to be going on here is an exciting grand conspiracy - Amundal intentionally sabotages the city in order to cover his destruction of the Chapter records that reveal their heritage as Fallen. It\'s not necessarily bad in concept, but it\'s bloody complicated, confusing, and hard to convey to the reader without removing any mystery whatsoever.

What is interesting here is that what became the focus of the IA in later drafts is almost an afterthought, left aside in order to get to the far more important matter of the tunnels and beasts beneath the fallen city - which didn\'t even make it into the final draft (though only just). I still like the concept, but there simply wasn\'t room.

+The Dreams+
As work continued on the reestablishment of the monastery, the new Chapter Master began to be plagued by dreams of an unknown origin. A great wolf and an armored knight, resembling those on the chapter banner, appeared to him in a dream. Both told him that the Chapter\'s homeworld hid great secrets, and the chapter\'s solemn duty was to ferret them out and use them for the benefit of Humanity and the Emperor. These dreams occasionally appeared to others in the chapter, though only in the case of Ergathon did the apparitions speak. Although both visions advised investigation of the planet, each offered differing methods for how it was to be done - the wolf advocating independent scouting missions on longer term assignment, the knight suggesting organized and coordinated sweeps of the unknown. Eventually, Ergathon chose to despatch the more coordinated misions of the Knight, much to the Wolf\'s consternation. When the first scouting mission returned, the visions ceased.

The scouts had discovered a maze of tunnels with several nearby entrances, a network which stretched deep beneath the planet. In contrary to the lifeless surface of the planet, the tunnels had occasional creatures, although many were cunning and deadly. In addition, the scouts brought back valuable items of technology which bore a marked resemblance to that with which the floating cities had been constructed. Ergathon was greatly pleased, and ordered further exploration of the tunnels while the rebuilding continued.

+The Scouring of the Warrens+
As the explorers of the Chapter ventured deeper and deeper beneath the icy crust, they began to face resistance from strange, four-armed creatures with claws of steel and wriggling, tentacled maws. Although the marines fought bravely, mere power armour was no match for the creatures and the Chapter\'s valuable Terminator armor had to be deployed for further exploration. Assaults of these strange creatures began to venture forth against outposts of marines in the tunnels, and soon permanent guard positions had to be established to prevent the creatures from reaching the surface. Groups of marines still ventured further and further, returning with treasures like Terminator armor and arcane devices of unknown purpose.

However, one day in M38, even the guard positions proved insufficient. A huge swarm of creatures erupted from the depths, smashing through the guard positions and streaming toward the fortress monastery and its inhabitants. The First Company was on-planet at the time, and the entire company was needed (along with the assistance of the Fifth and Seventh Companies) to turn back the assault. As soon as the last of the creatures fled into the tunnels, Chapter Master Impralion announced that it was time to deal with the menace that faced the chapter. He retired to his quarters to create a plan of action.

The next morning, the Chapter Master announced that the Wolf and Knight had appeared to him in a dream, and that the Wolf had advised that this was an opportunity to whet the steel of the Chapter even sharper. Although exterminating the creatures from the possibly limitless tunnels was impossible, once sufficiently reduced the creatures would provide ample opportunities to train the Chapter in the skills needed to fight in the cramped environments of space hulks and other such cramped locales. The constant threat would ensure that the Chapter never grew soft or idle, and would ensure that the Chapter would always be ready to fight the creatures should they ever mount such an attack again.

The First Company then ventured into the Warrens, cleansing every creature they found to a predetermined depth. They then withdrew, and ever since squads from the first two companies of the Chapter have been allowed the honor of exploring the Warrens, searching for treasures and the glory of battle. The chapter symbol was changed from a single diamond of ice to a black diamond with white spears of ice hanging from the top - representing the tunnels which the chapter would use as a proving ground forever afterwards. The Chapter Banner had been shredded by the rending claws of the creatures, and it was rewoven to incorporate the new heraldry - the Wolf and the Knight framing the new symbol.

+The Cult of the Wolf and the Cult of the Knight+
Over the next centuries, visions of the Wolf and the Knight became more and more frequent. Alhough they only ever spoke to the Chapter Master, other marines on the cusp of great decisions often said they were visited by them. Two cults sprang up, one favoring the more passionate and brawling approach of the Wolf, the other the more restrained and ordered forms of the Knight. The friendly rivalry between the two cults won the approval of the Chapter Master, and the Chapter\'s Reclusiarch deemed that there was no offense to the Emperor in the organizations, which have been allowed to continue to this day. Although the cults are not technically secret, they are simply not mentioned to outsiders, and debate rages even within the chapter over whether the visions are manifestations of the Emperor or something else entirely. The official explanation for the few visions known to the Inquisition is \"manifestations of the Emperor\", but the Inquisition is likely not aware of the extent of the visions within the Chapter. If they were aware, their course of action would difficult to predict.


This entire piece exists simply to justify two things - having a lot of Terminators and those Terminators having Deathwing and Space Wolf iconography on them. And it simply isn\'t worth it. There are much simpler (and less ridiculous) methods of doing it - providing it even really needs to be done at all, which is debatable. Additionally, I\'m dedicating reams and reams of the IA to exploring the Chapter\'s equipment and showing things happening to them without getting into anything resembling who they are.

I absolutely adore the whole \"delving too deep\" schtick, and I kind of regret having to leave it behind, but there was simply too much going on in the IA.

The rest of the IA is pretty much an afterthought - which is kind of the problem. The effort was focused on a narrative which was focused on justifying things that should not be explored in IAs - I should have been focusing on the unique traits of the chapter\'s character that lead me to use Fallen leadership in the first place. The basic reasoning behind the Ice Lords is here, but it\'s buried under a lot of stuff that simply didn\'t matter.

And it took me the better part of three years to realize it. :P

A note about the notes: I may have abandoned the basic concept, but I really want a Chapter to dig up some Iron Men sometime. The notes are probably the best thing I took from this draft - it\'s a decent system that has served me well. Make notes.

I am intrigued to discover that I evidently wasn\'t that interested in having the Fallen. There\'s a lesson here, kids. I\'m not sure what it is, but it\'s definitely a lesson.

* * *

An interesting tip about Caslon headers. They\'re the anti-Christ. Caslon headers massively screw up when you edit a post containing them - which is what prompted me to start saving my drafts in separate documents and cut-and-pasting them into place. That\'s probably the best thing I got out of this draft. ;) Actually, that\'s not true. You can really start to see the modern Ice Lords taking shape now. There\'s still a lot of extraneous stuff, but the core concepts are much more distinct.

A Space Marine frigate in black-and-green livery dodges and twists, attempting to avoid the fire of dozens of smaller ships. Its cannons lash out, ripping into the enemy with silent shrieks and explosions, but it is obvious that the Space Marine ship is losing. Gases vent from its hull in several spots, and gaping rents reveal raging fires. The frigate\'s guns continue firing, even as its hangar doors open and shuttles begin to slide forth, gleaming with reflected weapons fire.

The shuttles immediately break for open space beyond the deadly ring of pirates, and the pirates move to pursue, abandoning the frigate to its fate. One by one, they are struck down, but one, somewhat battered and worn, outdistances the others. The pirates fire on it, but miss repeatedly, and soon the shuttle shudders, and the strange tendrils of warp space reach out to draw it in. Just before the feed dies, the pirates can be observed turning back toward the frigate.


The first draft shown here adds several touches that have (at least in my mind) come to define the Ice Lords. I still like this method of taking over the training cadre best on some levels - instead of somehow sneaking aboard the ship and killing off the cadre, the Fallen simply use the pirate band they commanded to take down the Space Marines and staged their \'escape\'. The problem was explaining that to everyone else. In the end, the current version let me explore Taramant\'s head a little better, which was probably necessary. And I got to use the word pauldron.

Franklin\'s World is a cold and desolate planet on the northernmost rim of the Segmentum Obscurus. The harsh conditions did not matter, however, for settlement of the planet was confined to the large cities which floated high above the surface. Arcane technology kept these cities aloft, technology which had resisted the Adeptus Mechanicus\' best attempts to decipher it. Mechanicus teams still occasionally attempted to do so, but there were closer and easier mysteries which commanded their attention, and the world had been left to the Administratum. The Administratum found the planet\'s tithes not worth the difficulty of administering the faraway world, and eagerly handed the planet over to the Ice Lords.

The Ice Lords took Falconscott (the least populated of the cities) for their own, fortifying it and adding weapons emplacements across its hull and spires. They began inducting recruits from the population, whose adventurous pilots and vicious tunnel-gangs both proved excellent Space Marines. Taramant promoted close association with the populace, exhorting the Space Marines to remember that these were the people of the Imperium, and their duty incarnate. The young marines took these lessons to heart, and association between the Marines and their people grew. Each holy day, half the Marines were to mingle among the populace, so as to better remember their purpose in the Imperium. The bonds developed in these early days were to serve the Chapter well throughout their history.


The emphasis in this draft has already moved heavily away from the narrative and more toward the Chapter\'s relationship with the people and their revolt against Jonson\'s deeds. Everything after this is me hanging on to stuff I think is cool despite the fact that it\'s getting in the way of exploring this better. However, a lot of space is still devoted to exploring stuff that isn\'t that - the focus of this IA is still the battles in the tunnels, which it should not be.

I don\'t think I ever actually posted this draft. I was going to, then I got sidetracked, then I redrafted with the version after the notes.

The Ice Lords adhere to codex structure in regard to individual squads, but their company formation is much less standard. Due to the inature of Falconscott\'s environment, which makes on-world training repetitive at best, scout training has devolved to the individual companies, each of whom maintain anywhere between ten and twenty scouts in their ranks at any one time.


Everything after this in the Organization section is completely unnecessary. Less is more, kids.

Taramant placed incredible emphasis on the defense and preservation of civilians, explaining to his marines that the Imperium was its civilians. To betray the people of the Imperium, he said, was to betray the Imperium itself. These beliefs became ingrained into the chapter through his long command, and the people of Franklin\'s World are viewed as a sacred trust from the Emperor, and their preservation one of the most important duties of the chapter.

The formation of bonds with civilians was also given unusual priority, and it is not uncommon for a marine to maintain some association with his family after his admission into the chapter. “Marines should not forget what it was that made them,” Taramant said, and his words have echoed through the Chapter ever since.


While I do buy into Molotov\'s assertion that the Beliefs section is the most important part of the IA, I often have difficulty actually putting that into practice (as can be seen here). However, I have begun to think that that\'s not necessarily a bad thing - a Beliefs section does not need to be long, so long as the beliefs it mentions are clearly demonstrated throughout the rest of the IA. The Beliefs section of the Imperial Fists is quite minimal, but you can definitely tell me what they believe.

What are the plot threads:

Taramant creates a new chapter in the mold he wanted
-Need to take over the original command cadre.
-Need to shape the new chapter appropriately
-Need to make sure no one finds out what you are - avoid the DA at all costs.


Look! I figured out what I should be focusing on! Good for me.

Jonson attempts to exert his exciting new influence over this chapter - and make them complete the mission he sees as paramount


And if I could have pulled this off in a fashion that wasn\'t deathly dull, it would have been awesome. However, visions are dull, I don\'t write them well in any case, and finding the right balance of subtlety and explanation would have been (and was) really hard.

Note: Tech-Priestess Solona failed her thesis examination. Happy are those secure in their station.


I think I love this.

Most of the diary remains encrypted, but the following excerpt, from shortly before the Master\\\'s disappearance, was not encoded. The reason for this is not apparent.
Damn him. Damn the blasted Tech-Priests and their meddling. Damn me for thinking I could ever be free of him. But damn him for his arrogance, his thrice-cursed pride and above all his refusal to realize that loyalty is given in both directions.

He will use them, as much as he can. But they are my children in all but blood, and whatever he wants them for, he will not have them.

I will be strong. The others are gone, and only I remain. But I will do it for all the souls of my family, who still cry out at night. And all the souls of his brother knights, who were never his brothers at all.

He burned them. My children will not burn as well.


And in its way, this is still a much better encapsulation of the Ice Lords than anything else. The events it\'s supposed to interact with are gone, and I don\'t think it was ever actually part of a draft, but I still quite like it. I don\'t think anything else I\'ve done has really captured the utter disgust and resentment Taramant has for Jonson.

I may drag out the \"Chapter being used by their long-dead Primarch to fulfill a mission he did not\" schtick again. I rather like it. Problem is, the only Chapter who really could have that sort of relationship with their Primarch are the Dark Angels, and I think people might question my sanity if I produced another Fallen Chapter. Still. I see why I hung on to these ideas so desperately. They\'re fun. I wonder if I can slip this back in somehow...

The problem with diary excerpts, by the way, is that the person writing the diary knows what he\'s talking about, which makes the content difficult to explain to the reader. They\'re also kind of silly when people are trying to keep deep, dark secrets.

A Space Marine\'s duty is to defend the Imperium. Though we are no longer men as they are, the people of the Imperium are our sacred trust, the people of our home worlds especially so. To forsake them is to forsake our honor and our right to serve the Emperor. Never forget this, or you forget yourselves.
- from Chapter Master Taramant\'s Ascension Day address on the third year following the Ice Lords\' mobilization


And with this draft, we arrive at what are almost the modern Ice Lords.

[Picture of Chapter Banner]


HA!

In their absence, conflict had arisen. Younger members of the chapter were calling for change and modification to the way the chapter lived. They saw their fall to earth as some divine punishment from the Emperor, and claimed that the Chapter\'s bond with its people was weakening the chapter as a whole. They claimed that the Chapter needed to abandon its old ways, and take on new ways. They took the mighty wolves of Franklin\'s World as their inspiration - great, hulking beasts, long of fang and powerful of limb. Franklin\'s World wolves know loyalty only to the pack, and these marines insisted that that was the way to true greatness for the Ice Lords. The people of fallen Falconscott should be left to survive by their own means - for if they could not survive on their own, they were not worthy of survival at all.


This was a good move. It keeps the tension between Taramant and Jonson (albeit in a more metaphorical sense), is rather more logical than visions, and for some reason reminds me of the Clans, which is usually a good move.

Sometimes, guilt troubles Taramant\'s hearts. Not often, of course. And never for things he could have helped. Though life carries in it the semblance of choice, for the true knight, some things cannot be helped. And though a man can be firm in his choices, it is hard to be proud when there was no choice. And it is always those moments Taramant remembers.


This story has changed massively through several drafts - narrative prose isn\'t one of my strengths. But I am still inordinately proud of \"hearts\". Space Marines have more than one, you know.

* * *

Formed as part of the 26th Founding, the Ice Lords have had a history spotted with misfortune. The chapter suffered a blow early in its lifetime, when their training cadre, forced out of warp due to a drive malfunction, was ambushed by iniquitous traitors even as they traveled to join their new charges.


Moving them away from the Cursed Founding was inevitable (and also helped solve the issue of how they\'d avoided being found all this time). The Cursed Founding bit was mostly an attempt to justify the mixed geneseed, which was an attempt to justify their iconography. Without that last, the rest was unnecessary. It also let me go make another Cursed Founding chapter! With pink!

Master Taramant was gone from the city, fighting the last of the Genestealers from the hulk Vociferous Abomination. Captain Telemachus of the Sixth, the senior officer on planet, took control of the situation. He notified Taramant of what had happened and began to search for survivors in the undercity, leaving a few of his junior officers to organize the citizens above. Adaptation would be required of the people, for the city had been badly damaged by the crash, and many systems which had sustained the citizens for millennia no longer functioned.

Deep in the tunnels, the marines discovered something they had not expected. Foul, ravening beasts had apparently lurked beneath the surface of the planet, in a winding warren of unknown depth. The crash of the monastery had broken into these tunnels, and now the warrens and the lower levels of the city were hopelessly intermingled, and the unknown creatures spread throughout them.

The Marines withdrew, taking all those they could find, and carefully sealed all entrances to the lower levels, awaiting the return of their brothers from the other cities. Even so, their casualties were significant - the creatures below the city were fierce and numerous. Penned in the upper city by the horrors below, the Marines and their people were trapped, out of reach of the other garrisons on-planet, who possessed no ships capable of penetrating the howling winds on the surface.


I eventually got rid of the beasts - they simply weren\'t necessary any more, and there wasn\'t enough room to do the cool things I wanted to. So I cut my losses and simply let the planet be the enemy - it was more than up to the task.

Home World
I understand what it represents, Taramant. I just wonder if there were not warmer worlds which symbolized our duty to humanity. - Chaplain Belicarius of the Ice Lords


For some reason, I love the idea that the Ice Lords are snarky. Especially the Fallen. Everyone\'s always too serious in 40K.

Also, it occurs to me I never mentioned the quotes - I\'m not sure what prompted me to add them. I may have outrageously stolen the idea, or I may have come up with it independently. Regardless, it\'s a good idea - it gives a chance to give the Chapter some depth and work in a few people without dedicating excessive space to them. It also let me get away with just using bolded words as titles by making the section break even clearer. I can\'t recommend them highly enough.

Excerpt from Anecdotes of the 41st Millennium, Volume MCXVI by Stanforth McGramman, junior archivist to the Library of Sycorax
The Medea Incident has been all but forgotten in the massive campaigns and vast slaughter of the 41st Millennium When systems are laid waste in swift and terrible campaigns by equally terrible forces, it is easy to lose sight of the slow bleeding of a world by the lesser enemies of Man.


Sycorax, of course, is Caliban\'s mother. Not sure why I chose Medea. I like this sidebar. It\'s a little more subdued than most, and I think it shows the priorities of the Chapter well.

Beliefs
You are no longer men. You are to be Space Marines. You now serve mankind, in a way that you could not before, because you were of mankind. You must defend them, help them, and die for them. That is as it should be. - Chaplain Belicarius, addressing a group of new initiates


Space Marines are not human. It is that simple. Hundreds of IAs could be written exploring how and why they\'re not. And if you're writing an IA, you should never forget it.

There is growing worry among high-ranking officers that the Wolves may resent the attempts at suppression of their views even more than they already seem to. Although combat operations have in no way suffered as yet, it is a sign of the depth of the problem that several officers are beginning to express concern about the possible loyalty of their troops. Civil war may be unavoidable, and the cost to the chapter and the people enormous.


This Chapter continually reminds me (appropriately enough) of Clan Wolf in Battletech. They\'re not quite the same, but there are some serious points of commonality, most of which were arrived at unconsciously. Still, there are worse influences than the children of Kerensky.

It will be hard to defend the Imperium if we succumb to corruption from within, young initiate. Harder still if that corruption involves tentacles. - Tull, Master of the Apothecarion


For some reason, I default to referring to random Space Marines as Jethro. I kept referring to my Apothecary as such, and he performed quite distinguishedly. He deserved an appropriate surname.

Anyway, that\'s the IA, and my commentary on it. It\'s probably not as insightful as I hoped, but I think there\'s something resemblind education in it somewhere. Hope you enjoyed it. ;)

Edited by Octavulg, 19 June 2010 - 03:06 PM.

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

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"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#90
Ecritter

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I think using the captionright anc captionleft for images looks better, just my humble opinion.

#91
Octavulg

Octavulg

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I have used captions.

The problem is that captions will display properly first, then improperly, then properly again. It changes each time you edit the post.

EDIT: Check the last post: should look appropriately captiony now.

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#92
Apothete

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You said you wanted nitpicks and teardowns...

A Space Marine's duty is to defend the Imperium. Though we are no longer men as they are, the people of the Imperium are our sacred trust, the people of our home world especially so. To forsake them is to forsake our honor and our right to serve the Emperor. Never forget this, or you forget yourselves.


Shouldn't "home world" be a single word, and shouldn't there be a lack of comma between "this" and "or" in the last sentence?

Their fair and just governance of Franklin's World is widely admired, and their reputation in combat is sterling.


Similar gripe here as the last one above, sadly.

In fact, I think there's a number of places where you basically break out into subclauses through commas that really aren't necessary. It's nice to see someone besides me suffers from an inapropriate addiction to those bendy little bits.

It was remarked by observers how the remaining cadre made new use of seemingly archaic tactics, and on how they seemed to possess experience and capability far beyond their junior ranks. The battle-brothers of the chapter were ready for active duty, and they proudly marched aboard their ships for transfer to their new home world.


This feels... off.

The second sentence is clunky for reasons covered above but the first one just seems to halt at the transition. Could it be phrased differently while keeping the same meaning? Reading it aloud makes the point better than I could explain, I think.

After the celebrations surrounding the Chapter's arrival on the world, Taramant promoted close association with the populace, exhorting the Space Marines to remember that these were the people of the Imperium, and their duty incarnate.


Extraneous comma... I choose you!

This is fine except for the very end.

I think I'll leave off any further comma-ments until I know if this is your close-to-final draft, per our discussion on critique. Anything else from this point on will be looking for major issues of continuity, contradiction, or structure not having to do with punctuation.

...and there aren't any that I can find. Either I suck or you've done a masterful job.

The problem is that captions will display properly first, then improperly, then properly again. It changes each time you edit the post.


What I've found to work is keeping your work offline and pasting in a clean copy every time you edit, while avoiding the back button on the browser. Make any and all changes to the offline copy and paste it in fresh when you edit or else

How would I learn this?

The Exonerator's headers suck if I don't.
You just had to look around you, Grey Knight, and you'd have seen it. What is Chaos? Suffering, you might say. Oppression. Deceit. But could not all of these things be said of your Imperium?
-Ghargatuloth, Prince of a Thousand Faces, Grey Knights.

The Exonerators Index Astartes WIP + The Inscrutable Index Traitoris WIP + The Black Friars Index Astartes WIP


#93
Kurgan the Lurker

Kurgan the Lurker

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Test post. Attempting to diagnose a possible issue (or not issue).

The Cult of Orange -- None Can Withstand Our Color!
Duck Blind Miniatures - The website has been gone for a long time so I've put up a FaceBook page to show what photos I have left or may add in the future.
Duck Blind Minis IG - I do post on IG too but fair warning there are other things (mostly the gym) on here besides minis.
Kurgan's Twitter Feed
Kurgan's FaceBook Page

"And maybe the Traitor Legions would come to their senses, renounce the Ruinous Powers and return to the light of the Emperor." -- Ciaphis Cain on the likelihood of a Mawloc being scared off by a melta blast.
 






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Octavulg, DA, Loyalist, IA, 26th Founding

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