Jump to content

Welcome to The Bolter and Chainsword
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

[LI01] Alt-Heresy IA: Raven Guard - Feedback wanted


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
39 replies to this topic

#1
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

    ++ GESTORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 5,726 posts
You may have come across the Alt-Heresy project I have been working on, to flesh out a whole Alternate heresy timeline where legions are all a little different. The overview article and the IA: World Eaters where they stayed loyal are now in the Librarium (link in my sig) and the Emperor's Children and Ultramarines IA's are done. I know how stupidly ambitious it is to get 18 IA's, but I am not put off...

Something that has been really useful for the creative process and to keep up motivation is feedback. Rogue Trader, Sigismund Himself, Ferrata and SCC have been invaluable as sounding boards for this, (and Chris has even offered to write an IA himself!) but I have been keeping it off the main board (like my beloved Liber Astartes) as I have had the offer of it being turned into a B&C Legio Imprint. This would be the overview and 4 or 5 IA's, with at least a few that have not been seen before.

So to keep it board fresh, but to get feedback I am hoping to do the development process for the latest, Alt-IA: Raven Guard here. The first three have taken 6 weeks to two months each, so it will be a slow process, but I would be really interested in your thoughts, be they Lexii, AD, mod, custards, cedos or Admin.

With such a big interlinked project, some of the ideas either set up or pay off things in other IA's. For instance, the Emperor's Children IA mentions that Fabius Bile goes rogue and apparently kills himself rather than be caught by Fulgrim. This never mentions Bile's name, but it should be clear who the shadowy 'Clone Lord' that comes to 'help' Corax rebuild his legion really is. ;)

So while some things I am pretty set upon, there are plenty of others that are mutable, so if you have a view or a bright idea please shout out! I would ask, though, that like other things in the AD section, you don't mention this on the main board as I want to keep it fresh for the Legio Imprint. :D

So with no more stalling, here is the very WIP skeleton of the latest IA. Some of it may not make sense yet, and as time goes on I will tidy it up and turn into proper prose rather than a stream of ideas.

+++ Edit: In the article below, passages I am relatively happy with are in the usual grey, the most recent changes are in orange and rough outline text is in yellow. Hopefully every day a little more yellow will be gone.

Cheers,
John.


Index Astartes: Raven Guard

An Alternate Heresy


Corrupted while attempting to rebuild their legion after the Istvaan, the Raven Guard have dedicated their lives and souls to Tzeentch, the God of Change. Flesh follows desire, as bone and armour is moulded into wings and claws. Even before their Fall the legion was able to strike from the darkness, to end the battle before it even began. Now, guided by their powerful sorcerers, they manipulate the fates of whole worlds.

Origins
W
hen the infant Primarchs were scattered across the galaxy, most came to rest on worlds outside the bounds of the growing Imperium. The infant Corax, though, landed on a moon orbiting a planet that had recently been brought into compliance, yet there was no way for The Emperor to know that His lost son was already within His domain. The pale youth was found on Lycaeus, an airless mining moon orbiting the world of Kiavahr. Unfortunately, the Imperium’s presence on the planet extended little beyond a handful of officials sent to ensure that the ruling Tech-Guild kept up the flow of equipment and weapons to nearby expeditions. Lycaeus was a penal colony, with the mines worked by criminals and dissidents opposed to Kiavahr’s rulers. To be shipped up to Lycaeus was a life and death sentence combined, as the back-breaking labour, bad air and ever-present risk of cave-ins meant that life was ugly, brutish and short. Protests were quickly stamped upon by the guards, backed up with the ultimate sanction that if unrest ever became too vocal, the force-domes that enclosed the settlements would be deactivated and the unruly elements vented to open space.

The boy-Primarch was found by the convicts, who recognised something exceptional about him. They hid the child from the guards and named him Corax, or ‘the Deliverer’, so certain were they that he held the key to their salvation. This vision was shared by Corax, who from an early age had dreams of a vast, winged presence, a raven that guided him in times of trouble and spoke of a great destiny to protect mankind from its enemies. The first steps on this long road were to free the downtrodden population of Lycaeus from their brutal masters.

Despite the sickly surroundings, Corax matured rapidly to become a warrior of superhuman proportions. As he did so the convicts taught him all manner of techniques honed in Kiavahr’s criminal underworld. Tactics such as sabotage, misdirection, intimidation and assassination would be vital in freeing them from the iron grip of their jailers, and Corax put all these skills and more to use. It was clear that they could not hope to match their overlords in open combat as the only weaponry they possessed were mining tools and machinery.

Corax clinically analysed his enemies’ weaknesses and constructed an ingenious plan to bring about their demise. Through a subtle campaign of sabotage, Corax's followers steadily increased the pressure on the guards without ever drawing their wrath. The prisoner’s mining skills were invaluable in this, first in gaining access to restricted areas, and later to outflank and surround their enemies. A series of ‘accidents’ at the spaceport grounded much of Kiavahr’s small fleet of mining shuttles which saw the guards’ tours and shifts constantly extended as their replacements were trapped on the planet below. By the time Corax’s revolution finally ignited, the warders were exhausted, disgruntled and easy prey. The greatest threat came from the towering black mountain from which their overlords ruled the moon, but it too was neutralised when the defenders found their control of the force domes had been subverted. Their attempts to vent the rioting prisoners into space only resulted in their fortress’s blast doors grinding open and the force dome over the tower failing, flushing the guards themselves into space.

Incensed by the rebellion, the rulers of Kiavahr used their remaining shuttles to carry military forces up the gravity well. They fared no better than the guards before them, and were torn apart by Corax’s grim-faced rebels, made all the more deadly by the weaponry taken from their former warders. Finally recognising the seriousness of the threat they faced, the leaders of the Tech-Guilds called for aid from the Imperium to put down the revolt. Without access to their moon’s mineral resources the forges would rapidly fall cold, and the expeditions they supplied would soon falter.

The Imperial fleet arrived with creditable haste, heading directly for the turbulent moon, and after only a brief time the heads of the Tech-Guilds were curtly informed that the rebellion was at an end. When the Imperial flagship’s landing craft touched down at Kiavahr’s main spaceport, the rebel leader was brought out not in chains, but emerged proudly as a victor, alongside none other than The Emperor Himself. All assembled fell to their knees before the Master of Mankind, who proclaimed Corax as His son, and the man who would from that day onwards rule the Kiavahr system in His stead.

Cowed by this edict, and the legion of Astartes placed under Corax’s command, the now subservient Tech-Guilds were given the task of providing arms and armour for his new ‘Raven Guard’. Conditions for the miners were dramatically improved, and the moon of Lycaeus, now renamed ‘Deliverance’ for Corax’s achievements, became the legion’s home. The forbidding black tower that had been the symbol of the Tech-Guild’s power was reinforced and expanded to become the legion’s Fortress-Monastery, and named the ‘Ravenspire’.

It has been suggested that the great raven in Corax’s dreams was a manifestation of The Emperor reaching out to find him. Certainly, after father and son were reunited Corax was rarely visited again by this mysterious presence. At Ullanor, Corax famously asked his father about this phenomenon, but, ever enigmatic, The Emperor simply smiled knowingly.

The Great Crusade
E
ven with the power of a legion of Astartes at his disposal, Corax continued to follow the precepts with which he had been brought up. He trained his commanders to observe the enemy, to strike at the place they were the most vulnerable, and to cripple their ability to strike back. While some Primarchs used their forces as a bludgeon to bring worlds to compliance, the Raven Guard were the rapier of the Legionnes Astartes.

Because of this, the Raven Guard rarely needed to operate in large groups. Instead they spread themselves out across dozens of expeditionary campaigns alongside many other legions. Indeed, it is said the reason Horus claimed so many victories was because he so readily used the Raven Guard to crack open the defences of worlds, which his own legion then followed up and took credit for liberating. In other cases, though, the cultural differences were just too great. Corax had forbidden the creation of a psychic Librarium within his legion, and considered that the way the Thousand Sons’ embraced their burgeoning psychic potential bordered upon sorcery. He forbade the Raven Guard from fighting alongside them, and even spoke out against Magnus at his trial at Nikaea.

"Do not ask me to approach the battle meekly, to creep through the shadows, or to approach my foes quietly in the dark. I am Rogal Dorn. Imperial Fist. Space Marine. Emperor's Champion. Let my enemies cower at the thunder of my advance and tremble at the sight of me."

Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the Imperial Fists

The other legion the Raven Guard went out of their way to avoid was the Imperial Fists. Rogal Dorn’s distain for tactics he deemed dishonourable was legendary, publicly decrying camouflage as being “the colour of cowardice”. It is not clear if offense was intended, or if it was simply part of Dorn’s brash insensitivity, but in the wake of such pronouncements the Raven Guard saw fit to remove themselves from Imperial Fist led campaigns.

Despite this, the list of worlds brought into the Imperium thanks to the Raven Guard’s subtle application of military pressure continued apace. The Fortress-system of Sangramor had withstood the might of the Imperium for decades, but within three months of arriving Corax’s legion succeeded in isolating and crippling the system's rulers. With the planetary confederation fractured, the system’s planets easily fell one after another and accepted The Emperor’s rule. Their mastery of warfare was not restricted to battling human societies, either. When the Tanaburs sub-sector was threatened by a massive Ork uprising, the Raven Guard were able, through assassination and sabotage, to kill and discredit the most troublesome leaders without detection. The inevitable squabble for power stalled the Orks long enough for the Imperium to amass a large enough force to exterminate the Xenos threat once and for all.

With the future of His Imperium seemingly assured, The Emperor withdrew to Terra, but before He did, He called His sons together at Nikaea. Evidently Corax was not alone in his concerns over Magnus, who stood accused of pushing beyond the boundaries of the psychic and into the forbidden realms of sorcery. One after another Russ, Mortarion, Corax and even Dorn spoke out against their brother. Evidently the Raven Guard were not the only legion to have rejected Librarians, and at Nikaea the nature of psychic ability itself was put on trial.

On the night before The Emperor rendered His judgement, Corax’s dreams were again visited by a great bird. Rather than the comforting presence, it was troubling and elusive, an indistinct figure spied out of the corner of his eye. This disturbing omen presaged The Emperor’s decision, which not only allowed the legions, with certain precautions, to continue the use of psychics, but went further and gave significant concessions to the Thousand Sons. Magnus was to be personally instructed by The Emperor in the subtle arts of the psychic, and could pass this knowledge on to his legion. In return, he and his marines would submit to the Soul-Binding process. By merging their essences with that of The Emperor, it was claimed, they would be shielded from the horrors and temptations of sorcery. This compromise did little to allay the fears of the most sceptical Primarchs and led to bloodshed later, yet The Emperor seemed blind to the resentment it caused.

The Primarchs returned to their legions to continue the Great Crusade. Under Horus’s stewardship as Warmaster the list of worlds under The Emperor’s dominion continued to grow, but without His presence a sense of malaise set in. This found form when the Warmaster himself was struck down by a sickness, and was unable to respond to the stories coming from the Eastern Fringe that Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines was about to secede from the Imperium. With Warmaster Horus indisposed, Rogal Dorn, in his role as The Emperor’s Praetorian, assembled a fleet sufficient to bring the massive Ultramarine legion to heel. Along with many others, the Raven Guard was one of the legions summoned in their entirety to the Istvaan system.

The Istvaan Betrayal
G
uilliman’s new ‘Ultramar Segmentum’ composed a sizable portion of the galactic east, and in their relative seclusion the Ultramarines had grown to vast proportions. To oppose them, fully half of the Legionnes Astartes had been called to the task, with seven alone assembled to strike at Guilliman in his forward base of Istvaan V. Though disturbed that it could have come to brother fighting brother, and worse, doing so at the command of Rogal Dorn, Corax approached the task with his usual analytical nature. His offers to aid in the planning of the assault were brushed aside by Dorn, whose own skill at siege-breaking was legendary. Corax was dismissively informed that Dorn would lead the first wave of four legions to make planet-fall. They would weaken the Ultramarines, while the Raven Guard, World Eaters and Emperor’s Children waited in orbit ready to strike the killing blow.

On the eve of the attack on Istvaan, as often happened at times of great turmoil, Corax's dreams were visited once again. As on Nikaea, the presence was elusive and did not reveal itself, but this time it spoke to him. Corax had been counselled by the raven countless times before, and so the warning that the legion faced a great disaster chilled him to the core. Corax’s journal describes the dream:

‘I begged the figure to show itself, to explain what must be done to avert this terrible fate. From behind me I heard a scratching of claws in the shingle floor and turned to see not the raven that had guided me in my youth, but a thing far more like a vulture in aspect. The creature spouted bile, hissing that The Emperor had forsaken me, but that the lives of my men could be saved if I denounced my father and dedicated body and soul to his God of Change.

I confess to be so revolted and stunned that I could not speak. Perhaps mistaking my silence for consideration of its offer, the thing came closer and asked again if I would betray my father. “Never!” I shouted, and pushed it roughly away. It reared up into the air, plumage flushing pale blue, and fixed me with its evil, malevolent gaze. In a sibilant hiss it claimed that I would run like a coward on the battlefield of Istvaan, and consign my legion to utter ruin.

I picked a stone from the ground, and pouring into it all my revulsion and anger, cast it at the apparition. It caught the vulture in one of its hateful, blue-filmed eyes, provoking it into a fit of screeching curses. Its final threat of “Nemo me impune lacessit”, or ‘No one attacks me with impunity’, echoed in my ears long after I awoke.’

Disturbed by the dream, Corax re-examined anything he could find about the coming battle to make sure that the prediction would not come to pass. At the final briefing Corax raised his concerns about the lack of visibility over the drop-site, but was mocked by Dorn for his caution. The Praetorian even portrayed it as cowardice in ‘not wanting to take to the battlefield in an honest fight for once’. Before this escalated further, Dorn threw down a sheaf of images of the planet below, taken, he said, the previous night during his unsuccessful visit to persuade Guilliman to surrender. None of his brother Primarchs would return Corax’s gaze as they filed out to start the attack on Istvaan V.

The four vanguard legions landed and reported good progress, and after what seemed like an eternity of waiting Dorn gave the command for the second wave to attack. Despite having scoured the images, Corax could find no fault in Dorn’s plan. An orbital strike was part of the Raven Guard’s favoured approach, so they took to their drop pods and ships with confidence, but even before they reached the ground it became clear that something was very wrong. They were targeted by ground fire far beyond that predicted, with jump pack equipped brethren cut to bloody shreds and even the lightning-fast drop pods meticulously blown apart by the Ultramarines’ defences.

Corax assembled the survivors, only to be set upon not just by the Ultramarines, but also Dorn’s vanguard legions gone turncoat. Stung by the prophesy that he would run like a coward, Corax assembled what remained of his legion for an attack against their betrayer, Rogal Dorn. Time and again the Raven Guard struck out of the darkness at Imperial Fist command positions, and yet Dorn himself was nowhere to be found. Certain that Dorn had finally been located, Corax appealed to the World Eaters and Emperor’s Children for support, only to find them making a fighting retreat to their rescue landers. Cursing his brother Primarchs for their weakness, Corax led the remnants of his legion in a forlorn, hopeless attack into the teeth of the Imperial Fist’s guns. Heavily outnumbered, they sustained hideous losses, but while their Primarch marched on, his men loyally followed to their doom. Finally, with only a score of his brothers left around him, Corax realised what his pride had done to the legion. He bitterly ordered the retreat, and the tattered remnants of the once-mighty Raven Guard faded back into the fog of war to join the evacuation.

With the Imperium alerted to Dorn’s betrayal, the three broken legions evaded the traitors and paused, before returning to their respective homeworlds to rebuild. Corax silently fumed, not only at the traitors but at his allies for not supporting his final, catastrophic attack upon Rogal Dorn. He was certain that if they had followed his lead they could have killed the Great Betrayer and ended his treachery there and then. This resentment only deepened as the true scale of the war reached Deliverance.

The Fall
N
othing was heard from the legion for some years after Istvaan. This in itself was not surprising as the entire Imperium was in the midst of a civil war, and the Raven Guard was ever a taciturn legion. When Imperial forces finally investigated rumours of dark goings on in the surrounding area of space, they found not just Deliverance, but also Kiavahr completely deserted. Even the force domes which retained the atmosphere around the Ravenspire were down, the great gates flung wide, and the Fortress-Monastery exposed to the vacuum of space. The account of what happened in that dark time has been drawn from what are thought to be Corax’s own words, although their accuracy, and completeness, are matters of much conjecture.

Corax’s journal tells that in his desire to rebuild his legion, he used the kind of accelerated zygote implantation techniques used in the earliest days of the Imperium. These methods had been abandoned for good reason, as the vast majority of the test subjects proved to be grossly deformed. Rather than dramatically increasing their numbers, it only resulted in the depletion of their stocks of gene-seed. The lowest levels of the Ravenspire were filled with slavering monsters that became known as the ‘Weregeld’, and their rhythmic, hypnotic hammering against their prison walls – like his shame – haunted Corax wherever he went.

At this low ebb, Corax’s dreams were again taunted by the daemonic presence. It did not speak, and only looked down in silent judgement upon him with those cold, dead, vulture eyes. The next day, as Corax walked the corridors of the Ravenspire’s vaults and happened to stare at one of the pitiful wretches penned within, he noticed the same vulture-like gaze staring mockingly back. Down the rows of Weregeld he searched, and inside each cell he found the same corruption of the soul looking back at him. Knowing what he had to do, Corax dismissed his assistants and went from cell to cell to systematically expunge his mistakes from existence. The rhythmic hammering of the creatures rose to a shuddering crescendo in the hour of the wolf, but by the dawn, it was at long last silenced.

The equerry paused before the inner sanctum’s door, his knuckles inches from the dark wood. The Lord Corax had wallowed in the depths of depression since the night of slaughter, shifting between raging anger and black melancholy. Feeling the calculatingly expectant gaze of the visitor at his back, he rapped sharply three times, and entered at the grunted response.

“My lord,” he said, “the honoured envoy from the Emperor’s Children has arrived and seeks an audience.” His Primarch stood before the window in finely polished power armour, but looked haggard, as though he had not slept in weeks. Receiving a curt nod, the visitor was ushered in. Rather than coming as a warrior in armour, he wore the simple white robes of an apothecary, overlaid with a tabard of soft, finely tanned leather.

On his way out, the equerry heard Lord Corax rumble that he had thought they had been forgotten after Istvaan, but then brightened, his voice filled with hope once more. As the door swung shut he heard the expectant, almost pleading words from his Primarch.

“So, Fabius, you have come to help me rebuild the Raven Guard... Do you think you can really do it?”


The full story of what happened later – of how Corax was deposed and of his eventual fate – is far from clear. The bloody raids that brought the Imperium back to Deliverance were commanded not by the legion’s Primarch, but a shadowy figure known variously as the Clonelord, Progenitor or even the Manflayer. Extant records such as Corax’s journal talk in glowing terms of an individual that had ‘solved’ the problem with the creation of new marines, although any reference of how this was achieved, or the identity of the Clonelord, had been carefully removed. As the Raven Guard’s numbers rose, so did Corax’s spirits. He took to training the new battle brothers and even wrote of taking a force to help in the Siege of Terra. However, this was eventually replaced by disquiet at the nature of his new marines, in particular their increased level of uncontrolled psychic abilities, and the disturbing methods used to create them.

After this the journal entries end, although further information has been gleaned from writing on the wall of a specially constructed cell in what would have been the Fortress-Monastery’s Apothecarion. The following was written in what was undoubtedly Corax’s hand, and indeed in the Primarch’s own blood:

“At first I thought I was still asleep; all I could hear was the same rhythmic thumping that has haunted my dreams for so long. Then I opened my eyes and realised I was truly in a waking nightmare. What I saw about me made the Weregeld look like beatific angels in comparison.”

It appears that Corax had been drugged and imprisoned by the Clonelord as both a vital source of genetic material, and a cruel demonstration of what his legion was becoming. Corax went on to describe, in painful detail, how the Clonelord went about perverting his genetic legacy, and repeatedly chastised himself for a wilful blindness of how his new brothers had been created. He told of the breeding of monsters, the forerunners of those who would go on to become all-too familiar opponents of the loyal legions. Through blasphemous rites their natural psychic potential was dramatically enhanced, turning the most skilled into sorcerers able to effortlessly manipulate the powers of the Warp. The majority were only able to use their latent powers to reconfigure their own bodies, and to a lesser extent their armour and weapons.

“For these abominations, form follows desire. Fingers mould into talons. Nascent wings are extruded to lift them aloft. The failures, and those unable to control the changes they invite upon themselves, become little more than amorphous sacks of claws and spite.”

The remainder of Corax’s writings become ever-more incoherent as imprisonment, realisation and whatever experiments the Clonelord subjected him to took their toll. The final marking, drawn in blood, was a simple representation of a raven.

What ultimately became of Corax is unknown. When the Imperium came to investigate Deliverance the door of the prison cell was open and no body was ever found. At first it was thought that rapid decompression when the Fortress-Monastery’s force dome failed had vented all of its occupants into space, but the rest of Deliverance, and Kiavahr were similarly deserted. The Imperium has recorded seventeen different instances of Raven Guard warlords and daemon-princes claiming to be Corax, but all have been discredited over the millennia. As the corrupter of one of The Emperor's loyal legions, much time and effort has gone into establishing the real identity and fate of the Clonelord, though after ten thousand years the trail has grown cold. No-one by that name has been associated with the Raven Guard since they fled Deliverance, although he could easily have taken another.

Corax loped through the shadows, slipping effortlessly back into the role of the terror in the dark. It was only a matter of time before the bodies were found and the alarm was raised, but for now he ruled the darkness. The raven, though bloodied and broken, had returned to him at long last and had purged his mind of the madness that had poisoned him. He didn’t even want to consider the deeper significance of the apparition's torn flesh and ragged plumage. Here and now he knew what he had to do. With the controls to the force domes and the Fortress-Monastery’s blast doors set and locked down – a repeat of his earliest visit to the tower - only one thing remained.

He caught sight of his prey, surrounded by those monstrous acolytes. Corax was emaciated, exhausted and unarmed, but he was one of The Emperor’s Primarchs, and still more than a match for the grubby little apothecary that had murdered his legion. Then the alarm howled through the halls of what had once been his home, and more of the creatures started to arrive. There was no other choice. Without a sound he scaled the wall the better to leap over the heads of the beasts and get as close as possible to the Clonelord. Whatever else happened with the force dome, however thorough it might be at expunging his mistakes, he had to end the life of the traitor no matter the cost.

Embracing his fate, Corax leapt.


Post-Heresy
Kayvaan Shrike - Daemon-Prince of the Raven Guard
Of all the Raven Guard covens at large in the galaxy, the most feared is undoubtedly that led by Kayvaan Shrike. He claims to have been born on Kiavahr, which the Adeptus Mechanicus have periodically tried to repopulate, and rose swiftly through the ranks to command the Subtle Blade Coven. His campaign to destabilize the Targus system, long a bulwark against the local Ork empires, reduced the million strong Imperial Army stationed there to a fraction of its former strength. Even the arrival of the Sixth Grand Company of the Iron Warriors could not halt this decline, who themselves lost more than half their number and three associated titans to the crippling Raven Guard raids.

The loss of the Targus system, and the subsequent Ork rampage across the surrounding sub-sector crowned Shrike’s ascension to daemon-princehood. His taunting proclamations that 'We are closer than you think, and our blades are sharp' strikes fear into what little remains of the Imperial Army in the area. What deeper reason Tzeentch might have for unleashing this tide of greenskins, beyond fomenting chaos and unrest, is unclear, but the High Lords of Terra themselves watch for Shrike’s next appearance with great apprehension.
I
n the wake of Dorn’s Heresy, the corrupted Raven Guard fled their home moon of Deliverance and scattered to the whims of the Warp. While many of the Traitor Legions gravitated to the Eye of Terror to craft daemon worlds in their own images, the Raven Guard rejected such stagnation and have never been observed to stay in one place for long. Instead they endlessly move from planet to planet and from place to place, following the unfathomable whims Tzeentch, their dark God of Endless Change.

Anywhere touched by their foul presence is never the same again, as crops grow twisted and insanity and mutation run rampant. Investigations by the Adeptus Mechanicus, Thousand Sons and the Ecclesiarchy have each put forward theories to explain these phenomena, yet none have been able to effectively combat the corruption. Purging the area with fire and sowing the ground with salt seems to be the only way to prevent further loyal Imperial subjects from becoming corrupted.

For all the many changes that their corruption had wrought, they retained their Primarch’s ability to cripple an enemy before they even know they are fighting. In the centuries following their Fall, the Raven Guard carried out raids on disparate targets that left Imperial commanders bemused. While they had been bloody and militarily successful, the targets themselves were unusual, leaving other, much higher priority locations untouched. Initially it was attributed to the inevitable insanity associated with the worship of Chaos. In time, though, it became clear that these small, seemingly unconnected attacks were part of something far more sinister. For instance, a chain of events that started with a small raid on a promethium refinery in Pinosa Minor has been shown, with nudges from the Raven Guard, to have caused the loss of the entire Jhadra sub-sector a century later.

Because of this, confirmed attacks by the Raven Guard are analysed time and again by Imperial commanders for fear of where it might lead. Sometimes the very reinforcements and pursuit forces requested to bolster a region pays directly into their hands, as defences around the legion’s true target are drawn away and left ripe for destruction. Such are the subtle weaving of fates the Raven Guard seek to engineer.

Of all the loyal legions of Astartes, the one with the best record of deflecting and thwarting the Raven Guard’s wiles are the Thousand Sons. Their psychic divinations have enabled them to set traps for the Raven Guard, to counter their sorcerers, and banish their daemonic allies back to the warp. This rivalry has led to titanic battles between the two legions, although many of the worlds caught in these aetheric conflagrations have been left as uninhabitable husks.



Recruiting
S
ometimes on their twisting path through the galaxy the Raven Guard choose to take captives rather than simply kill their victims. Among those destined to become slaves and sacrifices for their dark rituals, a few may be chosen to join the legion’s ranks. Given their eldritch powers, it has been postulated that they are drawn to claim those with psychic potential. Be it an isolated agri-world settlement or the depths of the underhive, it seems that nowhere is beyond their grasp.

Whereas in most legions the creation and implantation of new marines is the responsibility of the Apothecarion, in the Raven Guard this grisly duty is solely the domain of their sorcerers. The process is an abomination of warp-craft which transcends any mere chirurgical procedure. It wipes away the conscience and morality of the victim and opens them up to the God of Change, and in doing so unlocks their psychic potential. This horrific process unleashes an uncanny ability to twist flesh and armour so that, as Corax put it, ‘form follows desire’, and in the most receptive individuals produces psychics amongst the most powerful in the galaxy.

Combat Doctrine
T
he Raven Guard has retained the ability to attack without warning where the enemy is most vulnerable, and a favoured tactic is to strike under the cover of darkness, be it true night or a form of stygian gloom conjured up by their sorcerers. As befits their lightning-fast ambush tactics, the legion favours infantry over heavier vehicles. At the forefront of attacks are always their assault squads, who sweep in on sable wings before rending their victims apart with razor-sharp talons. In their wake come all manner of daemonic creatures spitting balefire and hate, and the grossly mutated spawns that can only be directed, if not controlled, by their sorcerer masters.

The youngest, least mutated marines are tasked with providing a strong gun-line to suppress the enemy. These brethren, whose abilities to transform their bodies and armour are yet to fully mature, fight instead with bolters and on occasion with heavier weaponry. An over-reliance on static firepower is rare though, and the role of laying down the heaviest ordnance is most often provided by the monstrous Annihilators. These abominations have willingly given themselves over to daemonic possession to enhance their natural abilities, and are able to transform their bodies and armour into a wide array of exotic weaponry. Be it a mob of Orks or an Imperial Land Raider, there is no target that these living tanks are unable to deal with.

How the Raven Guard are able to travel so rapidly between battle-zones without the aid of conventional transportation has never satisfactorily been explained by the Imperium. The most mundane theory has it that they have well-camouflaged transport vehicles away from the site of the battle. In recent centuries, though, credible reports have claimed seeing Raven Guard forces both appearing out of, and disappearing into, thin air. This could point to their ships possessing some advanced form of massed teleportation array, although the Raven Guard have only been observed to use the smallest types of capital ships. Given the power of their sorcerers, it is possible that this ability may be warp-derived, or, given their battles with the Farseers of the Ulthwé Craftworld, the Raven Guard may have forced access to the fabled Eldar Webway.

Beliefs
A
fter leaving Deliverance, the Raven Guard fragmented to all intents and purposes, and has never fought as a legion since. They broke into warbands called ‘covens’ and spread out to every corner of the galaxy to further their own vision of how best to serve Tzeentch, the God of Change. These missions are frequently inexplicable, and on some occasions have led them into bloody conflict with rival covens. With a great deal of hindsight and infinite patience, dozens of seemingly minor nudges at history by the legion over the course of centuries have been shown to have catastrophic consequences. Imperial scholars and strategos have spent lifetimes trying to unravel the greater meaning behind the Raven Guard’s actions, to as they say ‘unweave the strands of fate’. The Adeptus Terra conducts periodic crackdowns upon this kind of research, saying, with some justification, that such cogitation is to invite only insanity, and that no good can come from trying to know the mind of a Chaos god.

Organisation
R
aven Guard covens are led on the battlefield by their greatest warriors, although careful examination has shown that the true leaders are the sorcerers. As direct conduits to Tzeentch, the cabal of sorcerers guide their charges and direct them towards whatever incomprehensible mission they might be intent upon. The number of sorcerers in a coven varies depending upon its size and prestige, and the coven will sometimes split apart or merge with another seemingly on a whim.

According to Chief-Librarian Mieuren of the Thousand Sons, the success of a Raven Guard coven can be judged by its composition. Older, more established forces are composed largely of assault troops. Ones that have recently split off from a larger warband, or that have taken heavy losses contain more of the younger bolter armed marines that have yet to fully manifest their abilities to transform. According to Mieuren, covens rarely grow beyond a hundred marines in size – not including the attendant spawns and summoned daemonic entities - as their style of warfare achieves with lightning strikes what others would attempt with a massed assault. The number nine also seems to hold a fascination for them, with units composed of nine members being particularly favoured.

Because of the vital role played by the sorcerers to the continued existence of the coven, on only the most critical and sensitive occasions does a senior magus venture onto the battlefield. Usually lesser members of the cabal are sent in their stead, but such is the importance of even these individuals that they are inevitably surrounded by a cadre of brutal killers, summoned daemonic entities and the hideous results of their failed genetic experiments. Outside the cabal, marines are given respect based upon the extent to which they can transform their bodies. The monstrous Annihilators and the raven-winged assault squads held high above their younger bolter-armed brethren. Even the youngest initiates, though, look down in pity upon the amorphous spawn. These unfortunates have proved unequal of Tzeentch’s gifts, and in doing so have paid the price with their sanity.

... because of the nature of the targets the Culexus Temple was approached, who dispatched six of their operatives to locations throughout the Dortask sector. The Eternal Night Coven was finally identified on the northern continent of Argosa II, and Operative Dervlas Rykhart was rushed to the scene. On arrival, Operative Rykhart was able to infiltrate the Raven Guard defences and carried out his primary objective of executing every one of the coven’s cabal of sorcerers, but was killed while attempting to evade the remaining traitor marines.

The follow-up operation was delayed by a warp-squall, and when Imperial forces arrived on Argosa II more than a month later, they expected to find the coven long gone. While the initial settlement was abandoned, it was clear that the coven had not left the continent. Aerial scans revealed sixty eight shapeless spawn creatures spread out across the barren landscape, the exact number of Raven Guard that remained after Operative Rykhart’s mission. This supports Magos Karsarno’s theory based on observations of captured Raven Guard marines that the sorcerers somehow keep their brethren’s transformations in check, and without their presence they eventually degenerate in an uncontrolled manner...

Officio Assassinorum mission status report (Extract)



Gene-Seed
T
he shadowy Clone lord's perversion of the Raven Guard intentionally and irrevocably altered the legion’s gene-seed; not only was Corax betrayed, his genetic legacy was murdered. In addition to the usual methods of implantation, chemotherapy and psycho-indoctrination, the sorcerers of the cabal utilise other, more esoteric methods to create new brethren.

Many of the original implants, such as the Mucranoid, Betcher’s gland and often the Haemastamen are absent in the Raven Guard, while the intent of others have been changed radically, and completely new ones added. These changes, in particular the drastic alterations to the catalepsean node, are primarily focussed on enhancing psychic abilities. In true prodigies this leads to the creation of sorcerers of incredible power, and in time can stimulate transformational abilities in others. While the remarkable ability of Raven Guard brethren to grow wings may be due in part to a hyper-stimulation of ossomodula and biscopea, nothing short of warp-craft would explain the way that ceramite and adamantium can be re-shaped at will into razor-sharp talons.

Despite the seemingly infinite variety into which the Raven Guard twist themselves, one constant remains. Just like their tragic, betrayed Primarch, their skin remains white as snow and their hair and eyes are black as night. If this is an immutable part of Corax’s genetic heritage or a bitter, taunting joke at his expense, only the God of Change knows for certain.

Battlecry
D
ue to their chosen role in conducting ambushes, assassinations and covert operations, the Raven Guard prefer to silently approach their prey. Instead the legion’s motto is simply “Nemo me impune lacessit”.

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 19 February 2009 - 11:36 PM.

Posted Image

Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#2
Ferrus Manus

Ferrus Manus

    +LEXICANUM+

  • + LEXICANIUM +
  • 2,705 posts
Not really much I can comment on for now as it is a note form. But one question I have to ask is, is the idea of the dream from the fluff or is it something which you have invented, for want of a better word? Either way, I have no issue with it. I think it is a great idea.

EDIT: Do you mind if I catch you on msn? It would be easier to give some "running" feedback.

Edited by Ferrus Manus, 14 January 2009 - 03:55 PM.

 
My WIP Space Marine Chapter

#3
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

    ++ GESTORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 5,726 posts
The dream is new. I included it because it might explain the reason for naming the legion (and indeed himself) and also it could be merged into the birdlike image of Tzeentch as represented by the Keeper of Secrets.

Hopefully it will tie together the early part that otherwise wouldn't have changed at all pre-Istvaan. It would either have been very dull to repeat the events of the Norm RG IA, or would need to be severely edited down. This way it can be part of the theme, although bar the battlecry I don't know how much it will go on beyond Corax's death.

+++ Edit: I have not used MSN in a while, but will try to find out my address and if it is still active. What is your RL name, by the way? +++

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 14 January 2009 - 04:05 PM.

Posted Image

Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#4
Ferrus Manus

Ferrus Manus

    +LEXICANUM+

  • + LEXICANIUM +
  • 2,705 posts

+++ Edit: I have not used MSN in a while, but will try to find out my address and if it is still active. What is your RL name, by the way? +++


It's Matt. Nice too meet you B)
 
My WIP Space Marine Chapter

#5
Ferrata

Ferrata

    ++ PUNIO TRUCIDO ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 9,909 posts
I'll get this printed off out and kick my brain cells into gear now that I'm free of revision.

It's Matt. Nice too meet you

So that would make you Matt 3671 I believe :D

#6
Ferrata

Ferrata

    ++ PUNIO TRUCIDO ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 9,909 posts
I got think about this, and then the image of Corax stuck in a cell scribbling all over the walls came to mind. Anyway, here is some random thoughts on the matter.

Corax and his Fall

I don’t think his opinion on the matter is overly important, though it might be interesting to reason why he wasn’t on Dorn’s list of people to turn (or turn immediately.), it makes sense that neither the World Eaters nor the Emperor’s Children would cross the Emperor, but why wouldn’t the Raven Guard?

On the dream, I would make it something a little more blurry. Instead of coming as one defined bird, a bird-like creature wraps itself around Corax (save yourself), every time Corax looks at it, it takes the shape of the raven but if he turns away he sees a more daemonic bird out the corner of his eye. When the bird whispers in his hear to denounce the Emperor, Corax pushes it away. The bird, now in obvious daemonic form, tells him before the battle is over he will run away like a coward and then he will beg to be saved. Corax throws the stone and you get ‘Nemo me impune lacessit.’

Now on Istvaan, everything starts going tits up. Realising that they are doomed, the World Eaters and Emperor’s Children make a fighting retreat. Corax on the other hand, enraged by the bird calling him a coward refuses to retreat (maybe link it in to Dorn or someone calling him a coward for his tactics, could be the reason why Dorn didn’t recruit him directly as he knew Corax hated him.). His men will not retreat whilst their Primarch marches on and the die in their masses. Finally coming to his senses, Corax retreats and runs off with his legion.

Returning back to deliverance, Corax is in a foul mood for a number of reasons. First, he’s pissed with the World Eaters and Emperor’s Children for falling back so easily but then he is also angry with himself for allowing so many of his men to die needlessly. Doing the norm ‘verse thing with the Weregeld, to the point when he goes to the dungeons and personally kills the all. He’s just about to leave (muttering neverm…) when Bile appears and offers help from a fellow Istvaan survivor (Corax finishes with …ind). Bile convinces Corax to leave the recruitment and creation of Marines to him whilst Corax focuses on the training of his few remaining marines.

Bile keeps sending new marines to join Corax, though they remain silent and never remove their helmets (for the hideous creatures which lurk below). At some point, Corax discovers the truth and confronts Bile but he loses, and although all his men are slaughtered, Corax is captured and locked in the dungeons (keeps Corax because of the chance to play with Primarch DNA?). Bile continues his creature creation project.

Corax in his dungeon slowly goes insane. He can hear the screaming of what he believes is the very Weregeld he destroyed but they are in fact the worse of Bile’s creations. As his mind falls away from him, he is continuously visited by his bird dreams, goading him into oblivion. I had the cool image of Corax covering his walls in random scribbling (using his own blood?); if you’ve ever finished Assassin’s Creed you’ll get the idea of what I mean. This is how the Imperium knows about the fall of the Raven Guard.

I’m not sure how to end this, either have Bile finally kill him, or the other way around or have Corax now serve under Bile. Corax becomes a beast, similar to the Strgyian (sp?) vampires from Fantasy. Maybe embracing the full aspect of the Lord of Change, his image changes depending on his insanity. Sometimes he appears almost fully normal, maybe with longer black hair, white skin and a withdrawn look. Here he is rather intelligent (as things go), other times when his insanity grips him, he becomes a monster of changing form (rage = weregeld-esque beast, blood-lust = raven wings)

The Legion is composed of three rough types of marines; sorcerers, the sane and beasts.

Beasts are the worse of the bunch, being nothing more than insane killers. They can’t control their form; they just take what ever form fits their current rage. Many will lose human form altogether, and become little more than spawns. These form the shock troops of the Legion, unable to really understand anything more than a point in the right direction.

The Sane are capable of controlling their mutations, and as such can produce wings, blades from their arms etc. Calling them sane is a little favourable as they require the Sorcerers to guide them in battle. These form the backbone of the Legion, capable of actually normal fighting.

Sorcerers are immune to the changing effects of Tzeentch, instead using the winds of chaos to guide their brethren in battle. Like Thousand Sons counterparts who guide the automotive marines, these guys are needed to make sure everyone knows who the enemy is.

As for Obliterators, if you’ve ever seen Full Metal Alchemist there is a certain sequence with Basque Gran that really shows how I would see these guys well. When I get home, I’ll grab a couple of screenshots to get the idea across.

Edited by Ferrata, 15 January 2009 - 11:24 AM.


#7
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

    ++ GESTORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 5,726 posts
This is great stuff, Phil! You have done more on the idea now than I have! :huh: Does this come from your work on the Black Guard, who, as I seem to remember, had a Fabius Bile connection as well?

I got think about this, and then the image of Corax stuck in a cell scribbling all over the walls came to mind.

That would well be a better (and more gothic) way of getting the story about the dreams than my ideas of entries from his journal.

I don’t think his opinion on the matter is overly important, though it might be interesting to reason why he wasn’t on Dorn’s list of people to turn (or turn immediately.), it makes sense that neither the World Eaters nor the Emperor’s Children would cross the Emperor, but why wouldn’t the Raven Guard?

True. As with all these Alt-IA's I will be re-reviewing the background of the Norm-RG, and in particular their IA. There was a bit about Corax removing his troops from Horus's command because he didn't trust him, and probably sealed his fate there, but this wouldn't work in the Alt-'verse. It will need some thought!

On the dream, I would make it something a little more blurry. Instead of coming as one defined bird, a bird-like creature wraps itself around Corax (save yourself), every time Corax looks at it, it takes the shape of the raven but if he turns away he sees a more daemonic bird out the corner of his eye. When the bird whispers in his hear to denounce the Emperor, Corax pushes it away. The bird, now in obvious daemonic form, tells him before the battle is over he will run away like a coward and then he will beg to be saved. Corax throws the stone and you get ‘Nemo me impune lacessit.’

I really like the taunting 'you will run like a coward' bit... that should push his buttons nicely when Istvaan comes, and mean he loses more than the other survivors, and drives a wedge of bitterness between them.

Now on Istvaan, everything starts going tits up. Realising that they are doomed, the World Eaters and Emperor’s Children make a fighting retreat. Corax on the other hand, enraged by the bird calling him a coward refuses to retreat (maybe link it in to Dorn or someone calling him a coward for his tactics, could be the reason why Dorn didn’t recruit him directly as he knew Corax hated him.). His men will not retreat whilst their Primarch marches on and the die in their masses. Finally coming to his senses, Corax retreats and runs off with his legion.

Good rationale. Dorn famously called camoflage the 'Colours of Cowardice', I believe. Perhaps he voiced the same opinion of the Raven Guard's sneaky tactics of assassination / striking from the darkness at some point in the past? It would explain why Dorn didn't try to turn him.

Returning back to deliverance, Corax is in a foul mood for a number of reasons. First, he’s pissed with the World Eaters and Emperor’s Children for falling back so easily but then he is also angry with himself for allowing so many of his men to die needlessly. Doing the norm ‘verse thing with the Weregeld, to the point when he goes to the dungeons and personally kills the all. He’s just about to leave (muttering neverm…) when Bile appears and offers help from a fellow Istvaan survivor (Corax finishes with …ind). Bile convinces Corax to leave the recruitment and creation of Marines to him whilst Corax focuses on the training of his few remaining marines.

I was hoping to completely leave out 'Nevermore' because it is just too cheesy! :(

Bile keeps sending new marines to join Corax, though they remain silent and never remove their helmets (for the hideous creatures which lurk below). At some point, Corax discovers the truth and confronts Bile but he loses, and although all his men are slaughtered, Corax is captured and locked in the dungeons (keeps Corax because of the chance to play with Primarch DNA?). Bile continues his creature creation project.

Keeping him alive sounds good - ranty writing on the walls are a go! If he is bricked in it could also link to 'Amontillado'... 'For the love of The Emperor, Fabius!' but I worry that it would approach 'Nevermore' in cheese factor.

Corax in his dungeon slowly goes insane. He can hear the screaming of what he believes is the very Weregeld he destroyed but they are in fact the worse of Bile’s creations. As his mind falls away from him, he is continuously visited by his bird dreams, goading him into oblivion. I had the cool image of Corax covering his walls in random scribbling (using his own blood?); if you’ve ever finished Assassin’s Creed you’ll get the idea of what I mean. This is how the Imperium knows about the fall of the Raven Guard.

I’m not sure how to end this, either have Bile finally kill him, or the other way around or have Corax now serve under Bile. Corax becomes a beast, similar to the Strgyian (sp?) vampires from Fantasy. Maybe embracing the full aspect of the Lord of Change, his image changes depending on his insanity. Sometimes he appears almost fully normal, maybe with longer black hair, white skin and a withdrawn look. Here he is rather intelligent (as things go), other times when his insanity grips him, he becomes a monster of changing form (rage = weregeld-esque beast, blood-lust = raven wings)

Not sure about Corax being turned into a gimp for Bile... It seems a little insult to injury! :lol:

Beasts are the worse of the bunch, being nothing more than insane killers. They can’t control their form; they just take what ever form fits their current rage. Many will lose human form altogether, and become little more than spawns. These form the shock troops of the Legion, unable to really understand anything more than a point in the right direction.

The Sane are capable of controlling their mutations, and as such can produce wings, blades from their arms etc. Calling them sane is a little favourable as they require the Sorcerers to guide them in battle. These form the backbone of the Legion, capable of actually normal fighting.

Sorcerers are immune to the changing effects of Tzeentch, instead using the winds of chaos to guide their brethren in battle. Like Thousand Sons counterparts who guide the automotive marines, these guys are needed to make sure everyone knows who the enemy is.

The 'sane' need the sorcerors to be able to control their transformations - there is always a chance of turning into a spawn, but it becomes significantly more likely without the presence sorcerors guiding them. This would mean they have to protect the sorcerors at all costs, as without them they would inevitably degenerate into mindless spawns. (Examples of when this has happened?) Timescale?

As for Obliterators, if you’ve ever seen Full Metal Alchemist there is a certain sequence with Basque Gran that really shows how I would see these guys well. When I get home, I’ll grab a couple of screenshots to get the idea across.

I have not heard of Full Metal Alchemist. Sounds interesting, though.


Has anyone read 'The Bloody Red Baron' by Kim Newman? A great read - The vampire transformations of the german pilots seems similar to what I am seeing with the flying RG. +++Edit - In an extra twist, the book is also an alternate history, with a 'turned' E A Poe appearing as a character in the book. He is tasked with ghost-writing the memoirs of Baron Richtofen, (sp?) the novel's eponymous Bloody Red Baron. +++

John.
Posted Image

Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#8
Ferrata

Ferrata

    ++ PUNIO TRUCIDO ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 9,909 posts
Just managed to grab three stills from his transformation. A give you your Obliterators:

Posted Image

In brief, in the Full Metal Alchemist world, alchemy was developed instead of science and it works. People are able to chance anything into anything (pretty much). The above guy was called the Iron Blood Alchemist because he could turn the iron in his blood to guns.

I was hoping to completely leave out 'Nevermore' because it is just too cheesy!

I know, but changing it to Nevermind was too good to miss :(

Not sure about Corax being turned into a gimp for Bile

That was my least favourite of the three, personally I like the idea of him getting his revenge. Bile comes in working for Tzeentch, then Tzeentch finds someone better in Corax and kills his old, weaker, play thing :huh: Plus it would allow Corax to lead his legion.

I think the timescale between sane -> beast should depend on the individual sanity of the 'marine'. The ones with stronger will might be able to survive months without the coverage of a Sorcerer, those of weaker disposition can collapse within minutes (maybe those of this short of scale are allowed to become beasts)

Edited by Ferrata, 15 January 2009 - 02:11 PM.


#9
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

    ++ GESTORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 5,726 posts
Ah, I didn't pick up on the change to 'Nevermind', Phil. ;)

I am looking forward to collating all this - usually the creative vacuum has meant that the process is a lot more drawn out!

If anyone wants to read the two Poe short stories for ideas to subtly incorporate, here are some links:

The Cask of Amontillado

The Tell-Tale Heart
Posted Image

Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#10
Ferrata

Ferrata

    ++ PUNIO TRUCIDO ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 9,909 posts
Two pretty damn good stories, especially compared to my current 'feast' for the eyes, Galaxy in Flames. Oh, how I hate you Ben Counter...

Looking forward to the re-draft.

#11
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

    ++ GESTORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 5,726 posts
Working on a more cohesive version now, Phil. I thought having Corax respond to the daemon's offer to betray The Emperor by saying 'Never!' might be a subtle nod to the Norm-'verse without dipping into the cheese. On the subject of Corax's fate, I feel that he could at least be given a shred of dignity if he realises what would happen if the 'Clonelord' gets his hands on a Primarch to study, and knowing that he is going to be vivisected, breaks out and does something that would both incinerate his body and strike back at his tormentor, such as leaping off into the generators that supply the force dome for the Ravenspire - leaving his body unusable (apart from the blood he used to write on the walls) and the fortress monastery open to vacuum as it is on an airless moon.

The Strigoi (sp) idea was really interesting, and the idea of him finally killing Bile gave him a measure of retribution, but depending on the timeline, the Clonelord will need longer to establish the decimated legion.

Oh, and I really have to remember how to spell 'sorcerers' properly! :mellow:
Posted Image

Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#12
Ferrata

Ferrata

    ++ PUNIO TRUCIDO ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 9,909 posts

On the subject of Corax's fate, I feel that he could at least be given a shred of dignity if he realises what would happen if the 'Clonelord' gets his hands on a Primarch to study, and knowing that he is going to be vivisected, breaks out and does something that would both incinerate his body and strike back at his tormentor, such as leaping off into the generators that supply the force dome for the Ravenspire - leaving his body unusable (apart from the blood he used to write on the walls) and the fortress monastery open to vacuum as it is on an airless moon.

That has promise, but it would lead to the question why didn't Bile run any experiments before Corax decided to kill himself, how insane could he be to realise he needed to kill himself and how many of the monsters survived?

The Strigoi (sp) idea was really interesting, and the idea of him finally killing Bile gave him a measure of retribution, but depending on the timeline, the Clonelord will need longer to establish the decimated legion.

It would be possible for Corax to continue Bile's work in a more magical way over Bile's science work.

Oh, and I really have to remember how to spell 'sorcerers' properly!

Have you had little plates leading the Raven Guard? :)

#13
Sigismund Himself

Sigismund Himself

    ++SCRIBERE NOVELLUS++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 6,415 posts
I can't top any of that work, so I'll just keep lurking <_<

I've given the Ultramarines one or two read overs, I'll try and get some feedback to you tomorrow, John.

#14
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

    ++ GESTORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 5,726 posts
I have fleshed out the early sections some more - the most recent changes will be in orange. I have not yet got to importing the ideas about the different types of Raven Guard that we discussed, Phil, but the ideas are solid. After some mulling I think that the sorcerers will lead the warband, but the timescale would have to be longer than previously said - Months? Long enough to reach another sorcerer and join his warband? - otherwise they would never have made it to the 41st millennium! There would doubtless be scope for multiple sorcerers in a warband - a heirarchy - and without the sorcerers they can't create new 'marines' as they take the place of the Apothecaries as well... There is still scope for a colourpiece about an Imperial force (say, assassins?) killing the sorcerer(s) and trapping the RG on the planet, and when they return with more Imperial forces they have degenerated into nothing more than spawns.

Urk! I am still deep in development mode!

@Sigismund / Matt - Thanks for looking at the UM IA. :o I will be interested to see your thoughts.

@Ferrus Manus / Matt - My MSN account was on my previous PC (was it aureliusrex@hotmail.com?) which is no longer connected to the net, and anyway I have completely forgotten my password... Me and tech! Until I remember the password or I create another account, I think that this thread might be the easiest way to discuss the article. :o

Are you interested in a preview of the IA:UM mentioned above? If you are, and your pc can support Word 2007 format, then tell (pm?) me your e-mail address and I will forward it to you.

Cheers,
John.
Posted Image

Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#15
Ferrata

Ferrata

    ++ PUNIO TRUCIDO ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 9,909 posts
Looks good :(

A few things seem missing from this note form (or not going to be included) - The Tell-Tale Heart bit about hearing the screams of the dead weregeld (actually Biles creations). I presume this would have to be true only if Corax didn't know about what Bile had done (or to what extent). It would make a good reason for him to go insane, although currently he doesn't come across as insane.

I'm not sure if it was the style the idea was put across (bullet points) or the idea itself, but I'm not sold on the fate of Corax section. I think it has a little too much mystery/unknown about it. Actually, I think it is because it says it is option A or option B, so pretty much how it was delivered.

#16
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

    ++ GESTORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 5,726 posts
Agreed - it still needs a lot more work. The later sections of The Fall especially are a mess still.
Posted Image

Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#17
Ferrus Manus

Ferrus Manus

    +LEXICANUM+

  • + LEXICANIUM +
  • 2,705 posts
Ok, slightly off topic but:

The leader, a talented but misguided Apothecary by the name of Fabius Bile, took the coward’s way out rather than having to answer to Fulgrim for his crimes. By the time they were able to break into the apothecarion, Bile's body had been rotted to an organic stew inside his armour by powerful enzymes. If he had lived, Bile’s punishment would undoubtedly have been an order of magnitude worse.


Here I would stop at 'took the coward's way out' and poosibly add 'and with that the threat to the Legion's purity was ended.' Simply because if you state that he killed himself it makes it look like you've contradicted your own fluff, if you bring him back in the Alt RG IA. But if you change it the coward's way out implicitly suggests he killed himself, but could also be take to mean that Fabius ran. So it adds a bit of mystery to the whole situation, and looks less contradictory.
 
My WIP Space Marine Chapter

#18
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

    ++ GESTORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 5,726 posts
The intention was that the Emperor's Children, the Imperium, everyone but the reader with benefit of Norm-'verse knowledge thinks Bile was dead. +++Edit: He is only referred to as the Clonelord or Primogenitor in the main article. In the colourpiece it will refer to him as from a fellow Istvaan survivor legion, although these story colourpieces are often supposed to contain out of character info that even the chronicler of the IA (or the Imperium) is not supposed to know, like Dorn's conversation with the Chaos gods in IA:EC, or Captain Varren's battle against the Space Wolf in IA:WE. +++

I will have to review this, but within this context, does the wording seem better?
Posted Image

Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#19
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

    ++ GESTORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 5,726 posts
OK, my brain is slowly working on the early section, but I wanted to jump ahead to the later bits and then come back to exactly what Corax and Bile did after I have got that drafted. A good run up at the later sections like organisation, combat doctrine, geneseed etc is the plan by the end of the weekend.

+++ Edit 23/01/09: Updated things throughout the article and had a good crack at the Origins section. The middle bit still needs work, but the rest is pretty solid. +++

+++ Edit 24/01/09: Worked the Organisation section up to a good level and sorted out some things about the way the corrupted legion works. This has led to some other ideas in the Gene-seed and Combat Doctrine sections. +++

+++ Edit 25/01/09: Completed the Combat Doctrine section section. Hoping to keep up the momentumin the next few days and iron out the Gene-seed and Recruitment sections. +++

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 25 January 2009 - 08:05 PM.

Posted Image

Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#20
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

    ++ GESTORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 5,726 posts
Geneseed section drafted. The Recruitment (replacing homeworld) section is next, and that will be most of the later sections completed.. then it is reviewing to check the replications as I think I will have covered the same ground on more than one occasion.

The normal text is the draft I am pretty happy with (pending endless re-writes), orange is the newest stuff and yellow is in ideas form still. Any thoughts on the later draft stuff?
Posted Image

Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#21
Octavulg

Octavulg

    +LEXICANIUM+

  • + LEXICANIUM +
  • 8,010 posts
Me, I would have expected a corrupt Corax to simply just land on Kiavahr proper, rather than start out the same way.

Other than that...Corax was one of the marines most opposed to the integration of psykers (according to Lexicanum, anyway).

This is definitely an interesting way to do it, though.

Personally, I think it'd provide a nice symmetry with the normalverse Magnus if Corax survives. It's a much better joke if the target's there to suffer, after all.

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


#22
Ferrata

Ferrata

    ++ PUNIO TRUCIDO ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 9,909 posts

Me, I would have expected a corrupt Corax to simply just land on Kiavahr proper, rather than start out the same way.

Again (like the White Scars) that would completely change the Primarch/Legion. He would have become a tech-Primarch, maybe even more than Ferrus. He wouldn't have developed his favoured tactics, not having to lead the Penal Colony to freedom and he wouldn't become the Corax we know.

I still support Corax surviving though, seeing as in the norm 'verse all four of the dedicated Primarchs survive whilst three of the five undivided brothers bite the dust :P

#23
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

    ++ GESTORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 5,726 posts
Oops - I think this belongs in this thread, really!

This info has not been posted yet but a couple of the primarchs have their fates changed because of who they were found by. For instance the young Vulkan's incubation pod crashes into lava leaving him hideously burned and an outsider - later turns to Malal - and Sanguinius is found by the mutants rather than the normals on Baal. I considered Guilliman being found by Gallan rather than Konor, but it just didn't work with the rest of the story, and in any case I didn't want to over-use that plot hook.


On Corax surviving, I am still leaning heavily against it as it doesn't feel right to me. Corax gets hosed in both histories at Istvaan, captured and his legion corrupted in front of his eyes. After all that I can't envision him ever going over to Tzeentch, even if he is driven loopy. After all that I feel for the guy and want to give him a little dignity at the end by trying to destroy what has happened by breaking out of his cage, performing one of his trademark stealth warfare missions through his own fortress monastery and venting the whole area to vacuum with his last breath. Even if he doesn't stop them, he can hurt them a lot.
Posted Image

Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#24
Octavulg

Octavulg

    +LEXICANIUM+

  • + LEXICANIUM +
  • 8,010 posts

Again (like the White Scars) that would completely change the Primarch/Legion. He would have become a tech-Primarch, maybe even more than Ferrus. He wouldn't have developed his favoured tactics, not having to lead the Penal Colony to freedom and he wouldn't become the Corax we know.

I still support Corax surviving though, seeing as in the norm 'verse all four of the dedicated Primarchs survive whilst three of the five undivided brothers bite the dust biggrin.gif


Well, you could have him lead a rebellion against the organized rule for his own corrupt purposes, but you're right. It would change him a bit too much.

You've misunderstood what I mean by the White Scars, 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


#25
Ferrata

Ferrata

    ++ PUNIO TRUCIDO ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 9,909 posts

After all that I feel for the guy and want to give him a little dignity at the end by trying to destroy what has happened by breaking out of his cage, performing one of his trademark stealth warfare missions through his own fortress monastery and venting the whole area to vacuum with his last breath. Even if he doesn't stop them, he can hurt them a lot

Fair enough (I suppose I was attached to the Stygian beast-version), I think the idea is as good as any. I presume the 'marines' would be able to survive as they can be exposed to vacuum and live, but what about the more bestial members of the Legion?