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[LI01] Alt-Heresy IA: White Scars WIP


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Ferrata

Ferrata

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Though a trusted friend to the Warmaster, it was Jaghatai Khan’s fate to fall to the clutches of Slaanesh. The Dark Lord of Ecstasy enticed the White Scars’ Primarch with promises of material wealth, power and, above all else, freedom from the confines of the Imperial war machine. Their betrayal was as swift as their attacks and equally devastating; bringing a tear to the eye of the sternest warrior. Since the decline of Jaghatai into his own pleasure and luxury, his Khans terrorise the Imperium with lightning strikes; each a mockery of The Emperor they used to serve.

Origins
The inhabitants of Mundus Planus know nothing about the past of their world, the truth hidden deep in ancient lore kept secret since the Heresy. The only surviving text, The Terror of Quan Zhou, predates the arrival of the Imperium of Man to Mundus Planus, when the people called their home Chogoris. The long verses paint a picture of soaring mountains, vast green plains, and deep turquoise seas. Cities of white stone sparkled along the coasts of these oceans, their inhabitants leading a relatively peaceful existence under their leader, the Palatine. Though they had achieved little beyond basic black powder technology, these metropolises were havens of luxury and learning. Opposed to these high walls lay the spartan land of the Empty Quarter, which stretched featureless for as far as the eye could see. Scattered across these grass plains were tribes of horsemen; nomads whose savagery and lust for battle were infamous across the lands of the Palatine.

Many of the tribesmen’s own fables told of the dreaded Talskar tribe and their Khan, or leader, whose spirits still roamed the steppes long after their bodies had failed them. Though he was called many names, such as Aŭdac, Ciĥttera and Mephaeta, amongst his own he was Jaghatai, the great warrior. His legend began when Ong, then the Khan of the Talskar, happened upon a small child wandering lost across the plains. Knowing that any soul alone in his world should return to the earth within a day, he was astonished to find the boy had survived the passing of the moon. Believing he was a gift from the Sky Father, Ong took the youngster as his own. Teaching him the arts much valued by their society, Jaghatai became a master of the bow, the sword and the horse. His tactical wisdom and foresight earned him the respect of many of his father’s bondsmen, though others mocked him for his preaching of a united tribe of the plains.

Sensing the power and potential of his son, Ong heeded the young Jaghatai's words, approaching many tribes under banners of peace. Initially few gave them presence in their camps, deeming such friendships signs of weakness, a plea for aid. Countless times the Talskar had to prove their strength in arms to be allowed to leave alive. But, against the odds, and eased by the smooth tongue of Jaghatai, a fledging alliance grew around Ong and the Talskar. Unfortunately many still refuted this new nation and war continued to rage across the Empty Quarter. When brute force did not achieve the desired result, raiders of the Kurayed tribe ambushed the Ong and Jaghatai. Father and son fought back-to-back, the last two remaining souls of their hunting party. Skill and courage won the day and the two returned to their encampment more determined in their quest. Reinvigorated, the united tribe prospered, gaining from each other’s strengths more flocked to the banner. Soon they lived an ease of life which had not been seen upon the steppes before, where food could be promised and children were allowed to play. Jaghatai was held as a champion of the times, holding true to the ideals and virtues of his teachings. Even as this young nation bloomed to life, fate would play heavily against it.

Jaghatai spurred into action when he came across three Palatine horsemen attempting to ravish a young tribes-woman. The years of luxury had not dimmed the skills of the young warrior, quickly taking the heads of two and allowing the third to escape mortally wounded as a warning to his people. Jaghatai was not to know that he had damned himself, his father and his tribe that day, for one of the men he had killed had been a favoured son of the Palatine and soon an army stood on the plains craving revenge.

The Palatine was not a foolish man; he knew full well the strengths and weakness of his enemy like all great commanders. As vanguard to his army, a force of diplomats visited the tribes, offering money, horses and countless luxuries if they refused to take to battle. The campaign of subterfuge and bribery succeeded in the turning the heads of Ong’s allies, leaving the Talskar alone on the battlefield. Though they had been abandoned they fought like beasts. They were almost slaughtered to a man before they fled the battlefield. The few who were able to retreat were left to do so in peace, the broken ranks of the Palatine unwilling to pursue further into the field of blood. Unfortunately for the tribesmen, amongst the survivors was Jaghatai, a son who had lost his father and a man who had seen his dream shattered by the weaknesses of others.

"When I was a youngling, my father honoured me with his company on a hunt. He was a man many thought weak due to my teachings, my dreams. The vultures of the plains swooped down from their hidden perches, striking our party. Our strength in arms saw victory that day, but maybe it would have been better if my father had died instead of falling this night. ‘Words’ I told my father, ‘promises and pacts’ was the way forward, the way to unite the tribes, not by sword and bow. We shared our food, our gers and our horses; we gave and ask for nothing in return. I was wrong. Silent words and dirty handshakes have defeated the alliance, slain my father, your Khan. Tonight we take back our lands, our homes, our women. Tonight we unite the tribes through fear!"

Jaghatai Khan as night drew
close on the Fields of Zhangiu


Outraged by their treachery, Jaghatai swore that the Empty Quarter would die by his sword. Riding down upon those who had failed them, the remaining warriors of the Talskar became daemons of the Plains. Finding pleasure in the screams of pain that surrounded them, they elongated the torture of their enemies. Though it was the Palatine’s nation which had shed the blood of the Talskar, it was the tribesmen who suffered the pain of Jaghatai a thousand fold. The legends of the Aŭdac took form from these horrors and by taking their rights of conquest in armour, horses and women, the Talskar grew in strength. Not even a united force, like the one Jaghatai himself had dreamt of, could withstand their fury, their warlord Temüjin slain by the Primarch’s own hand.

As the Empty Quarter fell under the terror of the Talskar, the Imperium finally made contact with Chogoris. The Emperor Himself is said to have walked upon the soil of the planet, with the Palatine quickly offering his allegiance. Sensing one of His sons, The Emperor wandered the lands in search for one of humanity’s greatest heroes. The first meeting between the Master of Mankind and Jaghatai was far from pleasant, The Emperor found His son perched upon a throne in a ger of luxury, the years of war funding a tent of pleasure and excess. Surrounded by intricate armour, feasts of food and women, Jaghatai was not a warrior-hero but a dreaded warlord drowning in his own ecstasy. The Emperor was outraged with how low one of His own had fallen, the bitter irony that though the Talskar’s lightning emblem echoed His own, the two leaders could be no more different. This ghoul had destroyed were he could have conquered; terrorised those he could have ruled, but The Emperor was forced to embrace this child of His. So simple were the urges of Jaghatai that The Emperor had little trouble convincing His son to join the Great Crusade; promises of the treasures of the Golden Palace and the glory he could find amongst the stars. With his eyes wide with greed, Jaghatai eagerly pledged himself to The Emperor, becoming the Great Khan of the Fifth Legion of Astartes; baptising them the White Scars after tribal markings of the Talskar.

The Great Crusade
As with all things in his life, Jaghatai took to commanding his legion with ease. He abandoned his home world to train in the heat of battle, he adapted to the bike over the horse with the skill only a son of The Emperor could. Unwilling to trust His new found child with an expedition of his own, the White Scars were enlisted to aid others. Serving alongside Dorn, Guilliman and Magnus, the Scars became infamous for being reckless allies; abandoning their duties to charge the flanks of the enemy, chasing those who fled and bathing in the agony of the foe. It was whilst fighting alongside the Luna Wolves that Jaghatai found purpose. Horus, angered by the needless losses his Legion had sustained because of Jaghatai’s actions, struck his younger brother, telling the wild Primarch to act like a commander not a dog. Instead of lashing back, Jaghatai embraced his brother, saying he had finally met a man he could respect.

The White Scars and their Primarch were reborn, the silver tongue that Jaghatai had used to first unite the tribes of his homeland now eased the desires of his men, chastising their mindless actions. After barely a year they had become a respected ally and Jaghatai a trusted friend of Horus. Indeed, the Legion became popular amongst expeditions of the Great Crusade, their swift strikes timed beautifully to crush the enemy. When The Emperor decreed that Jaghatai would lead his own grand campaign, twelve of his brothers Legions sent representatives to congratulate him, three of them personally attending the great feast. Though sad to be leaving the comfort of those he held dear, Jaghatai’s face was alight with pride as his father bestowed the greatest honour upon him – allowing the Fifth Legion to bare the lightning emblem of The Emperor which had been refused when the legion had been renamed.

Many new worlds fell to the war machine of the White Scars, so swift were their actions that the Imperium failed in documenting many. The battle honours for the legion did little to represent the number of victories that the Scars claimed. From the Hive World of Kerait to the jungles of Olkhun, it seemed wherever the Fifth Legion took to battle, glory and triumph stood with them. Jaghatai personally headed many of the battles himself, his personal banner standing tall at the rear of his modified jet bike, his huge shoulders thrusting his power lance deep before assaulting the enemy with his sword. Not only did his men see the honour of the Khan, but those who he defeated would gratefully serve him and the Imperium.

For a second time when his life looked fruitful and promising, Jaghatai was struck down. The isolation from his brothers who he had begun to trust, love and depend upon troubled the Primarch deeply. He had felt loneliness like this only once before, during the battle against the Palatine. Without council from those who he respected, such as Horus and Mortarion, he took the responsibility of each and every death, either brother, ally or foe - all his own personal sins. Constantly confined to his war room, he spent sleepless nights stalking tactical maps, viewing and reviewing the wide-reaching arms of his expedition. He became distant from the warfront, instead swamped by petitions for his presence, local governors seeking aid in petty disputes or to honour them by accepting invitations for social gatherings. For a man born under the night stars with blood on his hands, the imprisonment of the diplomatic world was a grinding axe worse than death. Alone, with no-one to turn to for conversation without sly meanings, he attempted to find tranquillity in this sea of chaos that was becoming his life, learning to appreciate the many great artefacts which had come to adorn his chambers. Tributes, bribes, gifts, each item was tainted by hidden meanings, underhand favours and silent wants – though he found an old feeling of comfort and security within such items.

These years were not kind to the wild Primarch, he became less the warlord and more the bureaucrat, separated from the rush of battle and the emptiness of the plains. His only connections to the frontline were the few times he was able to abandon his quarters to spectate selected battles; his khans showing him his heroic legion. Though once Jaghatai had receded to his chamber, his men continued to plundered armouries, reliquaries and treasuries seeking the perfect gift for their Lord. Those who brought him the most precious items were heavily favoured, and soon Jaghatai was surrounded by sycophants instead of leaders, minions not heroes. As he listened to their tales of valour, honour and bravery, warzones were scavenged by blade and blood in the most brutal of ways to satisfy his wants. The tide of victories earned by Jaghatai’s expedition slowed to a trickle, the poor tactical acumen of the new khans causing horrific losses on the Fifth Legion.

The item which gained the lion’s share of the Khan’s pride was the twin pair of gauntlets named Mamonas and Avauras, who had been bestowed to him by the High Priest of Ikesentii. The jewel incrusted gages were of little combat use, their protection compromised by the golden weaving and the delicately placed stones, but the Great Khan had a decreasing need for weapons of war, instead his vanity took dominance. It is said that he became bound to them, unwilling leave their presence, even as going as far as to declare that ‘only a son of The Emperor was equal to their beauty and magnificence’.

The Dorian Heresy
Jaghatai had ventured far from the heart of the Imperium when the direst of messages reached him. When all those around him were turning against his father, Horus contacted one of the few souls he could trust to support him. He was forced to inform his younger brother that Dorn, a son of The Emperor had turned his back on Him, and he was not alone. With echoes of the Fields of Zhangiu against the Palatine reverberating in his heart, Jaghatai flew into a violent rage, swearing that he would personally destroy all those who had failed mankind. Halting his expedition and recalling all of his forces to his banner, the fleet prepared for warp jump destined for Terra, only stopping at Chogoris to recuperate their losses. Retreating to his chambers to reclaim his calm, Jaghatai lost himself in his precious gifts; the intricate armour plates from Khasa, the hand-crafted sword which had cost the lives of three Arslanii forge masters, and finally Mamonas and Avauras, which whispered sweet words of comfort into the Primarch’s heart. Even when the ships warp engines failed, he would not be distracted from his obsession.

“A dog they call you – a tamed beast with no claws.”

The voice was in his head, yet Jaghatai knew the voice belonged to Mamonas. He couldn’t remember a time when the two spirits didn’t guide his way – a blessed gift from the Sky Father.

“Caged. No freedom, no power, nothing. Just a pawn to their whims. We can offer you all of it. Rule without question, wealth beyond the damned Imperial treasury. We can give you an escape from this coffin – you can live again. All you have to do is listen and obey.”

Jaghatai listened and Jaghatai obeyed.

The warp has neither night nor day, just a constant stretch of time without respite. When Jaghatai emerged from his quarters, his crew and men had lost all morale, believing themselves abandoned in the warp and their commander distraught from his brothers’ treachery. Though his eyes looked sore from lack of sleep, they glistened with an energy which only emphasised the grin which spread across his face. Unknown to all bar Jaghatai himself, he had found a saviour from the troubles that racked his mind. Walking amongst his blood-brothers, he called them all by name and judged their skill with a sword, their worth as a comrade and their eagerness to follow his lead. With his renewed vigour he personally fixed the warp engines, labouring for many hours alone in the dark confines, with only his gauntlets for company.

When the fleet finally broke into real space, Jaghatai had organised a patchwork force of all the Brotherhoods, stating that if the White Scars were to fail, then all shall be represented in the rebirth of the Legion. As this detachment secured the fortress-monastery upon Chogoris and prepared the citizens for war against a fallen Imperium, the Khan left them with chilling orders, “Isolate yourself from the outside, be the viper in the pit, hidden but ready to strike. Bar me or The Emperor Himself, trust no-one.”

As the forces of The Emperor threw themselves at the outer walls of the Golden Palace, the arrival of the White Scars Legion was meant to be a beacon of hope; reinforcements to aid the war against the traitorous Dorn. Unfortunately, all communications with the legion were lost in static, with only the crazed mumblings and screams of the damned breaking the interference. The Khan had lost none of his tactical mastery over the years, leading his host of Thunderhawks directly for the Lion’s Gate space port. The anti-air defences, in addition to the heavy shields, were left activated, the commanding officer realising the aggressive formation of the White Scars crafts. Only the direct command of the Warmaster himself finally deactivating the systems; just in time for the arrival of the White Scars – one of Horus’s greatest errors. The details of the slaughter which followed were overshadowed by later actions across the globe, but the ground of Terra shook under the bikes of White Scars dedicated to Slaanesh.

Horus yelled through his vox caster – his usual calm demeanour finally broken through the stress of the Siege of Terra. Whilst his men, and those of the other loyalist legions present, threw themselves at the walls of The Emperor’s Palace to rescue their father; this captain, this damn captain, refused to allow allies to land. Every second the anti-air defences remained up was a second the White Scars could not be fighting alongside him.

“Lower those batteries captain, or do I have to come down there myself?”

“...Warmaster...Scars are...attack formation....no call signs...sounds of screams...sir?.”

The weak voice of the captain struggled to break through the interference which had plagued Imperial communications for the past few hours; only the visual sightings of the White Scars’ Thunderhawks had announced their arrival. Horus had to rely on a series of short-distance messages to relay his commands across the battlefield; his temper shortening with each minute he was left in the dark.

“I don’t care if they start shooting at you - lower those defences!”

“Sir!”

++

Horus stalked his command bunker, his armoured boots ringing heavy in the air with every step. It had been two long hours since any reports from the space port, the radios filled with cold static and the Arch-enemy’s damned screaming and murmurings.

At first, Horus refused to believe the reports which reached his command post but once Jaghatai had accepted the bounty of the Golden Palace; a prize which was rightly his after the promises of his father, the Warmaster was forced to accept even one of his closest friends could betray him in these darkest of days. Painting a single tear drop in the corner of the Eye of Horus which emblazed his chest, he stood amongst his Sons as they accepted the charge of the White Scars. When the Fifth Legion finally broke and fled to their space port, the Siege of Terra had taken a drastic turn – The Emperor had been revealed from hiding and was preparing to board the Phalanx.

Since the Heresy
Fleeing towards the Eye of Terror, Jaghatai led his legion on a savage cull against the Imperium. Whilst the victorious Loyalists still wept at the death of The Emperor, the White Scars slaughtered world after world. These targets were not at random, Relic worlds, Shrine worlds and Forge worlds all suffered from the lightning strikes of the Scars. Hundreds upon hundreds of planets were ransacked for all their wealth, countless treasures lost to the greed of Jaghatai before he finally retreated into the Heart of Chaos.

Jaghatai never set foot upon Chogoris again, seemingly forgetting his childhood home. The fate of the planet is detailed extensively in the chronicles of Abaddon’s Crusades, after stabilising what remained of the Imperium; the High Lord turned his gaze to the worlds of the Traitors. A combined force of Death Guard and Black Templar under the dead-eyes of Mortarion was given the honour of Chogoris. The skeleton brotherhood abandoned by Jaghatai fought like wolves, alongside the endless tides of tribal horsemen and Palatine infantry. Still heeding the words of their Khan, none dared to question the rightfulness of their cause. Though their hearts were full of sorrow, the coming of the enemy meant Jaghatai, and indeed The Emperor had failed, they were the last warriors of His memory.

There would be only one result to this war; a triumphant Imperium. The tragedy of this conflict would only come to light when the few surviving White Scars were interrogated for the locations of their Primarch. The defenders believed themselves the final guardians of The Emperor’s dream, the invading force, to them, were traitors. As the truth was told, many refused to accept that their father could discard them. Others wept as it struck chords within them, their souls telling them all they needed to know. Those left by Jaghatai were those he was unable to taint, those too noble, too pure. For their virtues, they had led their people into a massacre. A remembrance of Abaddon’s fleet penned the words for this most harrowing of events; Chogoris, burnt to ashes, bloodied by war. Not an evil man fell that day, as the loyal fought the loyal.

The first few millennia after the Great Betrayal, a daemon-centaur, claiming to be Jaghatai, led invasions into the Imperium, striking without warning and seemingly without logic. During this time, the beast commanded the legion to such horrors as the Red Highway Massacre, a feat which, even with their bitter hatred of one another, the Khornite Space Wolves respect as a martial conquest almost without comparison. As the centuries wore on, Jaghatai became increasingly distracted from his conquests, instead depending upon his Khans to fight in his name whilst he lived in ecstasy surrounded by treasures and pleasures. It has been many millennia since the Daemon Lord of Slaanesh has personally made war upon the Imperium, with many scholars believing he no longer truly commands his Legion.
The Red Highway Massacre
One of the most sadistic acts in the history of the White Scars, the slaughter of the refugees of Urgench is by far the bloodiest. After days of constant attacks, Jaghatai retreated to his ger to watch the hive cripple itself with fear. Instead, the valiant Imperial Governor led his people on a march across the plains to the neighbouring hive, Merv.

The onslaught of the Scars was swift, their bikes allowing them to easily catch the massive train of civilians. Over a period of six days and nights, the population of Urgench was besieged by the murderous hordes of Jaghatai.

Not a single soul made it to the gates of Merv.
Homeworld
Mundus Planus, or Chogoris as it was once known, was a planet of two worlds when Jaghatai rode across its soils. The cities that had belonged to the Palatine were built from white rock, a shining beacon of humanity’s glory from horizon to horizon. The ivory walls secured a life of peace and prosperity for its inhabitants. Both landscape and lifestyle stood in contrast to that of the Empty Quarter. As grasslands stretched into grasslands, it was impossible for any single man to claim it as his own. Hills rolled into mountains, of which the elixir of life trickled into the mighty rivers which fed the land. Upon these nomads a strict life was forced, food was scarce, war was frequent and many died young. Master of horses, the bow and the sword, it was these people who had raised Jaghatai as their own and it was these people who formed the ranks of the White Scars.

All the bloodshed in its history paled in comparison to the fate of the world. Abandoned and deceived by Jaghatai, a small force of loyal White Scars stood alongside both tribesmen and warriors of the Palatine against Abaddon’s Crusade. Not only was every inhabitant slaughtered in the foolish war, the culture and legacy of the world was obliterated. In the centuries to come, the planet would be transformed into the Mundus Planus of today. The cities of marble were replaced by endless factories, pumping smoke and pollutants into the air whilst the Empty Quarter hosts towering hives that would make the nomads turn in their graves. Once the home world of an Astartes Legion, Mundus is now a simple cog in the machine that is the Imperium, producing its worth in goods and men, unknowing of its dark past and its place amongst the stars.

Of the White Scars traitor Legion, they settled upon the daemon world Kaprax, located deep within the Eye of Terror. The vast plains of their home world were recreated to the whims of Jaghatai, the very earth given form by the desire of the Primarch. Allowing his men to roam free, doing as their urges decreed, the planet became home to excess, greed and indulgence. Those with enough blood-money and power erect pleasure gers, copying the great Pleasure Dome of Jaghatai himself, filled with exotic luxuries. From the magick-infused herbs which intoxicate even Astartes, to masters of pain receptors who turn the greatest agony into the highest of ecstasies. It is unknown how many brothers of the White Scars, like their Primarch, have not left Kaprax since its creation, spending all eternity there without ever growing bored.

Recruitment into the White Scars is a torment for even the sternest of soldiers, none enter the path willingly. The ancient rituals which once produced loyal warriors of The Emperor have become twisted like their masters into ceremonies of pain. The magicks of Chaos allow any host to be overcome by the power of Jaghatai’s seed. Stormseers, masters of the winds of Slaanesh, bind the genes of the Khan to the captive whilst Apothecaries cut the ritual scars. The transformation is not instant; it takes weeks of constant entombment to produce a Space Marine. During this time, the Stormseers never cease in their trance-like chants, delivering new souls to the Dark Lord, whilst the bodies of the new recruits are racked with pain. Many weaklings fail, their physical forms to frail for the power of Jaghatai.

Beliefs
The ideologies and practices of the White Scars have travelled a dark path much like the Legion itself. The teachings of the Stormseers, both skilled in the art of magicks and faith, are structured around two core pillars which all brothers live, and die, by. These central beliefs are that one must attain all that is possible and that one must live to their body’s fullest capabilities. If an Imperial Preacher taught these words to his flock they would be virtues of life, creeds that would surely send a soul to the table of The Emperor, but the twisted minds of the White Scars have belittled these tenets to nothing more than greed and ecstasy. They want for all that is not theirs but once they have acquired it, it pales and fails to satisfy their lust. They take their bodies to the highest of pleasures and the deepest of pains all in the name of their patron Slaanesh.

Organisation
Though all Marines of the White Scars still remain loyal to the Great Khan, it has long been since he left his palace of pleasure to lead his legion. Instead, brothers have formed around inspiring Khans who command by strength of arms, fear and, above all else, the promise of wealth. These brotherhoods range from a gathering of like-minded individuals to forces equalling a few loyalist Great Companies. Few keep the name of the original Legion, instead taking ones to strike terror into those they attack; Marauders, Rampages, Destroyers to name the most infamous. Though few are cursed across the Imperium as banes of humanity, none can compare to the brutality of the White Scars. Actions such as the Red Highway Massacre make even the sternest of veterans quiver in their sleep.

Each brotherhood is structured around the disposition of their Khan and his resources, making each individual and unique. A few commonalities have survived the fall of the Legion, such as the absence of Havoc squads and the distaste towards Dreadnoughts. Whilst the first simply are antagonistic to the flowing style of warfare taught by Jaghatai, the latter strikes a fear into the hearts of the fearless. Entombment within the sarcophagus of these beasts would be the greatest of torments, the cold metal devoid to the sense of pleasure. It has been known for Khans to punish soldiers under their command by condemning them to a Dreadnought when such behemoths can be captured from loyalist forces. These poor souls quickly fall to insanity and are fired into the heat of battle, resulting in much consternation throughout the enemy’s ranks.

The preference of mobile warfare within the Legion still echoes from the tribesmen of Chogoris, with bike squads being heavily prevalent. These brothers will often group in sixes, the sacred number of Slaanesh, those who embrace it are smiled upon by their Dark Lord. Those not mounted will often take to battle with stripped down versions of the Rhino APC, granting them mobility only inferior to their bike-borne brethren. The White Scars are the only traitor legion able to field Land Speeders, though their numbers are limited by the Legion’s inability to produce the vehicle, instead depending on pillaging them from the battlefield. A Khan who has managed to acquire such treasure will find his wealth and power much advanced.

Though there is no true ranking of the splinter-factions bar that Jaghatai is lord of all, there are positions of great power within the Legion. The Khan of the White Scars, or the Voice of the Great Khan as he is known, effectively rules all speaking in the name of Jaghatai. No bonds bind one to another, but it is a foolish Khan who refuses to follow the orders of the Voice for the wrath he can bring is almost equal to that of a Primarch. The Storm Lords faction has also become a dominant force within the Legion, their expertise in the magicks of Slaanesh granting them power beyond the dreams of others. They are often found accompanying other brotherhoods, though they have been accused of playing the puppet-master over their brethren.
The Legend of the Hunter

Brother-Captain Kervelius was a proud warrior of the Ultramarines, a champion of Guilliman and heir-apparent to the throne of the Legion. He was quick with the blade, precise with the pole arm and deadly with the axe. This degenerate, this White Scar, had been a fool to challenge him, though he had been a competent foe. No-one, loyalist or traitor, could match the martial prowess of the Ultramarines.

Kervelius sighed at the waste of such ornate armour. The helmet alone was a masterpiece, crafted in the form of a snarling wolf; it was a work of art. His foe was crippled, unable to move for the pain racking his body, though he seemed to be revealing in pleasure. Raising his sword to the neck of the chaos puppet, Kervelius whispered a final insult. Taking the head of his enemy in a single stroke, it was his last act as a warrior of Ultramar. Deep within him a voice stirred;

‘Welcome vessel, I am the Lord of the Hunt – and you are mine.’
The Lord of the Hunt is a much feared brother of the White Scars. Owing no allegiance to any force, he roams all realms in search of his prey. A few marines, drunk on the thrill of the hunt, follow the stalker on his missions, though none survive long. The Imperial records on the Lord are confused at best, whether it is a single man who has survived since the Heresy or if as one dies, another takes up the title, is mere postulation by scholars. The legend states that a Khan walked the fields at the Siege of Terra, challenging both Loyalist and Traitor champions alike, to single combat. The number which fell to his blade is unknown, but since that day, the coming of the Lord of the Hunt signs the death warrant for an individual.

Combat Doctrine
Since their fall to the Dark Prince of Excess, the White Scars have only furthered their mastery of mobile warfare. Their assaults are reminiscent of those of the Talskar as they bled the Empty Quarter dry. Appearing from all sides, the only warning is the thunder of engines as bikes appear on the horizon. Strikes will come hard and fast, only for an eerie silence to settle as the White Scars retreat though they had achieved victory. Such tactics may be deemed foolish by many strategists, as they allow an unprepared foe time to dig in, but such is the brutality of the first blow, the enemy is demoralised and terror begins to spread its insidious roots. The Scars watch in glee as the enemy force tears itself apart from within, unable to cope with the fear of a second attack that might come at any moment.

Wherever the sons of Jaghatai tread, destruction follows. Their ability to isolate the weak chinks in the defensive force wreaks havoc across the line. A once secure flank finds itself surrounded by the enemy, whilst a foe thinking itself under attack awakes to see no enemy but can hear the screams of men in defensive lines behind them. There has been occasions when the strength of humanity has prevailed and instead of falling apart, a strengthened community, a more united one, stands against the White Scars. Such insults are often treated harshly, and the brave fools find themselves suffering a fate worse than death – induction into the Legion.

Many have confused brothers of the White Scars as leaders, such is the decoration and wealth of the armour and weapons which adorns each marine. Blades worthy of loyalist captains are found in the hands of mere warriors. It is said that a victory over the Legion is a lucrative victory indeed, for the riches earned from pillaging the bodies of the Astartes could build a city. Pirates have been known to ambush the White Scars, but such bravado is only welcomed by death.

Gene-seed
Even while serving the Emperor during the Great Crusade, the purity if the White Scars gene-seed was thrown into doubt. The genetics of the tribesmen of Chogoris proved as resolute and strong as the people themselves, entwining itself with the gene-seed of Jaghatai. Their lust for war and savagery became one with brutality of the Space Marine to produce a dark stain in humanity’s history. Even without the recruits of their home world, the White Scars have become increasingly sadistic and barbaric in their nature. Even their most hated ally, the Khornate Space Wolves, have been known to call the White Scars cruel.

Mutations have become rife in a number of the Brotherhoods, whilst others have managed to maintain some genetic integrity. The Marauders are renowned for the daemonic forms many of their marines have taken; their horror almost rivalling that of the myriad creatures of the warp. The magicks which are used to create new recruits for the Legion only further stifle the purity of Jaghatai’s legacy, the taste of chaos flowing early into what was once a holy ritual. Even before a marine is born into the foul life of the White Scars he is obsessed with want and destroyed by pleasure - a true child of Chaos.

Battlecry
Although many different calls are used by the White Scars, ‘For the Khan!’ remains a constant across the brotherhoods.

Edited by Ferrata, 06 September 2009 - 10:15 AM.


#2
Aurelius Rex

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This looks interesting, Phil. :( I will have to review IA: White Scars again and try to get my head around it. :)
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#3
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Personally, I always thought the ideal time/way for the White Scars to turn to Chaos was through their conquering of that nasty ol' Chaotic Empire on their home planet. Instead of Jaghatai remaining proud and strong, have him adopt some of the religion or culture of that Empire, or have him corrupted by a slave, or something like that.

The Lost in the Warp/Daemon Weapon methods of turning Primarchs always feel like the biggest cop-outs, IMO.

You could also add in a bit of "corrupted decadence" as the tribesmen lose their edge somewhat in the cities - they used to hunt for food, now they hunt for sport...and the prey is completely different...

Edited by Octavulg, 27 January 2009 - 01:00 AM.

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#4
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Personally, I always thought the ideal time/way for the White Scars to turn to Chaos was through their conquering of that nasty ol' Chaotic Empire on their home planet. Instead of Jaghatai remaining proud and strong, have him adopt some of the religion or culture of that Empire, or have him corrupted by a slave, or something like that.

One of the original ideas was to have him found by the Palatine's instead of the tribesmen, but then I realised a few things. They wouldn't call him Jaghatai (and neither would he assume the title of Khan), he wouldn't love speed (instead he would be a infantry-force man) and he wouldn't name his Legion after the facial scaring of the tribesmen - White Scars - so in the end we have a totally different Legion but they would be too different to classify as an Alternative and would be "Ferrata replaces the White Scars with some random Legion..."

#5
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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.
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#6
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I don't mean have him found by the Palatine's men at all, Ferrata.

I mean have the tribesmen start to adopt Palatine ways after conquering the place. Like what happened to the Mongols when they conquered China.

Conquering armies often adopted aspects of the culture or religion of the conquered. Look at anyone who invades Ireland, for example. I think it'd make a lot of sense if Jaghatai and the others are corrupted by the new luxury they find themselves in after conquering the richest Empire the world has ever known. So instead of hardy hunter marines, you end up with hardy marines who used to be hunters but now pursue it out of tradition - and a love of the blood and sport of it. They no longer need to hunt (though they still do), and this hunting is now wasteful, indulgent and cruel - like what they've become.

Again, I'm not saying have him be part of the Palatine to start with - simply have him choose to stick with more of the luxury of the Palatine's rulers - and have that luxury corrupt him and his people.

If they're corrupted by the beliefs of the Palatine, it'd be an even simpler switch, but it rings a little less true due to the Emperor presumably noticing blood sacrifices. Possibly if coupled with the other, but...

Anyway, that seems like a really good way to include the touch of Slaanesh from the beginning, and beats the hell out of them stuck in the Warp. Alternately, it makes the Warp thing feel a bit more natural - Slaanesh uses it to drive them mad with boredom, and Jaghatai swears loyalty to them in exchange for the opportunity to hunt again. Keep in mind that the stuck in the warp thing bears a lot of marks of stagnation and slowness, which doesn't really feel right for Slaanesh/the White Scars.

* * *

The Vulkan one is a good one which I had never thought of. Getting him to turn always struck me as tricky. Of course, that's partly because he has no personality, but...

Edited by Octavulg, 27 January 2009 - 02:21 PM.

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#7
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Now you've explained it further, it is definately a good idea. With my first idea, I attempted to move Jaghatai away from Genghis Khan, something which I think GW overplayed. With the your above idea, he is still very much a Genghis character if a little tainted by Temuge's ideals.

As for others being found by others, it should be able to work but in the case I stated above, it would change the Legion too much to be able to work.

Edited by Ferrata, 27 January 2009 - 03:25 PM.


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The concept of having Khan become complacent and decadent even before The Emperor arrives is a very nice way to soften him up so they snap believably when the final trigger comes. Having him be a disappointment to his father is another really interesting twist… the Norm-Lorgar trod a similar path, and the Norm-Angron started out similarly distanced from The Emperor. This leads nicely to stronger friendships with other Primarchs instead. (Note – I shall have to make sure Horus doesn’t end up sidelined in the next few IA’s – Dorn is getting a lot of attention which is understandable as it is his Great Betrayal, but Horus was the Warmaster for a reason. Hmmm, have Horus front and centre with the TS IA!)

What is your opinion of using ‘trapped’ (in the warp or otherwise) as the final trigger for them snapping and going over to Slaanesh, Phil? ‘Lost in the warp’ rightly has a bad rep, though this is mainly because it is used to lazily jump marines through time rather than corrupting them, and this adaption of the norm-DG's fall, which they avoid because the Eldar intentionally stopped it by blowing up their warp engines before they started the journey was a nod to the reader that you can’t fight fate! ;) Initially I had thought of them as a (nominally) loyal legion called to help in the siege of Terra who are trapped, go stir-crazy and go over to the dark side to escape, where they pop out corrupted, but late into the events of the Siege. Without the delay of the trigger event then there is less reason for them to turn up late for the party. Admittedly they could just be corrupted and having too much ‘fun’ that they turn up late, but then there would have been some word about their whereabouts, mainly ‘Aargh! The White Scars are killing us all!’ :)
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#9
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The concept of having Khan become complacent and decadent even before The Emperor arrives is a very nice way to soften him up so they snap believably when the final trigger comes.


Danke.

Also helps explain the Slaanesh angle a little better.

Having him be a disappointment to his father is another really interesting twist… the Norm-Lorgar trod a similar path, and the Norm-Angron started out similarly distanced from The Emperor. This leads nicely to stronger friendships with other Primarchs instead.


A combination of the two might be good. If Jaghatai starts out kind of bitter, conquers the Palatinate partly out of a desire to prove his adequacy to his father, then succumbs to decadence in his triumph - and then the Emperor shows up and shows him just how petty he is...

I think Jaghatai'd nurse a bit of bitterness over that, no matter how many more victories he won.

(Note – I shall have to make sure Horus doesn’t end up sidelined in the next few IA’s – Dorn is getting a lot of attention which is understandable as it is his Great Betrayal, but Horus was the Warmaster for a reason. Hmmm, have Horus front and centre with the TS IA!)


Or just do the Luna Wolves IA. :P God knows, it needs the attention.

Initially I had thought of them as a (nominally) loyal legion called to help in the siege of Terra who are trapped, go stir-crazy and go over to the dark side to escape, where they pop out corrupted, but late into the events of the Siege. Without the delay of the trigger event then there is less reason for them to turn up late for the party. Admittedly they could just be corrupted and having too much ‘fun’ that they turn up late, but then there would have been some word about their whereabouts, mainly ‘Aargh! The White Scars are killing us all!’ laugh.gif


Keep in mind that the 'real' Slaaneshi Legion, the Emperor's Children, were too busy amusing themselves with the civilian population to contribute much.

Perhaps they join the heresy normally, get bored fighting at the siege (dull work for the Scars), and start tormenting the civilian population in great hunts (across the field of the Lion's Gate spaceport, perhaps). Eventually, all they care about is those hunts, and the siege is forgotten.

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#10
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Okay, whilst I was watching a Protein Purification machine play, I was able to organise my thoughts.

#11
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And those thoughts were...

Seriously, man, it's hard to separate one wall of text from another. :)

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#12
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Well, I left all the previous thinking up, for reference sake. I'll copy the organised thoughts into this post:

Index Astartes: White Scars

Origins

As normal until Jaghatai and his father are able to repel the ambush; Jaghatai martial prowess indentifying him as most favoured bondsmen and obvious heir (his father survives the ambush.)
When his father later dies, Jaghatai succeeds after him to become Khan of the Talskar.
Under the command of Jaghatai, the Talskar prosper, their military power feared across the plains and they are able to raid neighbouring tribes for flocks, horses, and women at will.
Living a life of luxury on the plains, the need for war becomes less as the other tribes pay him off not to attack (possible link to the Palatine ruler paying Jaghatai off to invade other tribes which look east)

Finding
Emperor arrives to destroy the civilised part of Chogoris (if there is a link between the Palatine and Jaghatai, Jaghatai does not respond to their pleas for help).
Emperor senses one of his sons is on the planet and heads out to find him.
Finding Jaghatai sitting drunkenly in his ger, the Emperor is disappointed with his newly found son. ‘Whilst his other sons had conquered and dominated their home worlds, Jaghatai was content to sit and grow fat on luxury.’
How does the Emperor manage to persuade Jaghatai to join him? No respect for the Emperor nor the urge to unite the tribes of the stars like in the Norm ‘Verse and the Emperor will not leave a son behind (Angron).
I see Jaghatai challenging the Emperor to a fight to prove is the stronger, the Emperor refuses (‘I shall not strike one of my own sons’), this cements the lack of respect for the Emperor.

Great Crusade
The White Scars become a reckless force in the Great Crusade, abandoning the tactics and strategy to speed towards the enemy for the kill.
After a joint attack with the Imperial Fists, Dorn strikes Jaghatai for his behaviour stating ‘You are the son of Mankind, one of the twenty greatest men ever to live, start acting like it’. Instead of responding in anger, Jaghatai embraces his brother saying ‘Finally, a man I can respect.’
White Scars become a much more controlled force, co-opting well with allied forces especially those of Dorn and Russ.

Heresy
Jaghatai is an obvious candadiate for corruption via Dorn, due to their friendship, Allying with his brother over his father (who he doesn’t respect) is a simple choice for him. Maybe Dorn promises him luxury beyond his wildest dreams?
Why not on Istvaan? Ace up Dorn’s sleeve? Unsuited to the ambush/static warfare? Else where?
Why didn’t the Imperium suspect treachery? Time confused logical thought? Jaghatai heard the news of Dorn’s betrayl and acted like a brother fuelled by hatred?
Lost in the Warp? Possible to be used to fully embrace Slaanesh

Post-Heresy
After Siege of Terra, flee to [Home world? Eye of Terror?]
Breakdown into independent Brotherhoods
What about Jaghatai/Russ Slaanesh/Khorne? Possible hatred for not being there to help their brother, or more of a rivalry than hatred...
Jaghatai becomes a Daemonic Prince (after Red Highway Massacre?) (Sagittarius form?)
Strikes out a couple of times but then retreats to a Daemon World in the Eye

Home World
Same as normal
Destroyed after the Heresy by ? Emperor’s Children (would be a nice hint towards the Norm ‘Verse as would be the Dark Eldar)

Combat Doctrine
Speed, bikes, the usual. For some reason the image of explosive lances is coming to my mind, and the sheer enjoyment on the White Scars faces when the front line of the enemy simply explode.
Daemons will not be daemonettes (not about the sex this time) so maybe something more akin Beast of Chaos Centigors, they look both daemonic and speedy.

Beliefs
The Thrill of the Hunt/Kill. Luxury comes in all forms, but is its truest when it is so good war is but a hobby.

Organisation
Independent Brotherhoods under the command of Khans.
‘A couple of these brotherhoods have become infamous across the Imperium, such as the Rampagers, Destroyers...’

Gene Seed
As normal but focus on the infection of the tribal DNA

Battle cry
‘For the Khan’ is generic across the Brotherhoods, but others would have their own individual ones.

Edited by Ferrata, 28 January 2009 - 11:21 PM.


#13
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Origins
As normal until Jaghatai and his father are able to repel the ambush; Jaghatai martial prowess indentifying him as most favoured bondsmen and obvious heir (his father survives the ambush.)


Again, I much prefer the corruption arising from Palatinate influence, but if you're hellbent on this course...

Why does his father survive? Indeed, Jaghatai was already pretty much the heir apparent due to his martial prowess - I'm not sure why his father living would convince him that they didn't need to stop fighting among themselves.

Under the command of Jaghatai, the Talskar prosper, their military power feared across the plains and they are able to raid neighbouring tribes for flocks, horses, and women at will.


This would seem an obvious point for him to bring them under his control and conquer them, and it seems inconsistent with the personality of Jaghatai that he would not take this opportunity.

Emperor arrives to destroy the civilised part of Chogoris (if there is a link between the Palatine and Jaghatai, Jaghatai does not respond to their pleas for help).


Since Jaghatai only conquered the cities six months before the Emperor arrived in the realverse, it seems odd that the Emperor would want to destroy the civilized part of Chogoris. The Emperor seems to be more of a "drag 'em in" man.

Finding Jaghatai sitting drunkenly in his ger, the Emperor is disappointed with his newly found son. ‘Whilst his other sons had conquered and dominated their home worlds, Jaghatai was content to sit and grow fat on luxury.’


This really feels conflicted with a hunting man who was the greatest warrior in his tribe. Plus, sloth feels more Nurgly than Slaaneshi.

This just completely clashes with Jaghatai's traditional character. Your comment about how the Raven Guard would change if Corax landed on the planet instead of the moon is definitely something to think about here - a slothful, indolent Jaghatai would not produce the White Scars we know.

I see Jaghatai challenging the Emperor to a fight to prove is the stronger, the Emperor refuses (‘I shall not strike one of my own sons’), this cements the lack of respect for the Emperor.


In which case, he'd refuse to come. The Emperor would thus kidnap him. However, Jaghatai doesn't seem like the type to work for people he hates (Angron was used to it).

Jaghatai is an obvious candadiate for corruption via Dorn, due to their friendship, Allying with his brother over his father (who he doesn’t respect) is a simple choice for him. Maybe Dorn promises him luxury beyond his wildest dreams?
Why not on Istvaan? Ace up Dorn’s sleeve? Unsuited to the ambush/static warfare? Else where?
Why didn’t the Imperium suspect treachery? Time confused logical thought? Jaghatai heard the news of Dorn’s betrayl and acted like a brother fuelled by hatred?
Lost in the Warp? Possible to be used to fully embrace Slaanesh


Imagine the riches of the Emperor's Palace...

Daemons will not be daemonettes (not about the sex this time) so maybe something more akin Beast of Chaos Centigors, they look both daemonic and speedy.


Hey. It's always about the sex. That's the allure of Slaanesh - the beauty of destruction (of yourself, and of others). Seems like the sort of

* * *

Honestly, I think it needs some rethinking. Jaghatai doesn't think like Angron - having him act in a similar fashion strains credulity. Hell, having Angron act like Angron strains credulity to the breaking point.

As is, a lot of his decisions feel...forced.

To me, obvious thing to do is have him persuade his father to undertake the conquest of the Palatinate - and possibly even kill him when he disagrees. Have him full of ambition - which develops into cruelty. Jaghatai already has a cruel streak - look at what he did to the Palatine's son. Develop that aspect of his character further, perhaps have him pursue his campaign more efficiently - so he has time to grow bored and restless, and sink into depravity as a ruler.

Then the Emperor finds him, and leads him off to the stars. Jaghatai initially rejoices at this new challenge, but soon grows to find it dull. He begins to resent the Emperor, and turns to his previous vices to restore his good spirits.

Then it's just a matter of deciding whether Slaanesh calls him or whether Dorn convinces him that there could be no greater challenge than fighting Space Marines and the Emperor.

Edited by Octavulg, 29 January 2009 - 04:55 AM.

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#14
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Why does his father survive? Indeed, Jaghatai was already pretty much the heir apparent due to his martial prowess - I'm not sure why his father living would convince him that they didn't need to stop fighting among themselves.

Because when his father was killed, it forced Jaghatai to take control and go after the tribes in revenge. He took one tribe, then it snowballed into another and another.

This would seem an obvious point for him to bring them under his control and conquer them, and it seems inconsistent with the personality of Jaghatai that he would not take this opportunity.

That's the point, I'm changing Jaghatai away from being Genghis. The other tribes bribe him not to attack, he decides he rather have the easy life than fight/risk his life. Without the hatred of the other tribes for killing his father (and thus the hatred of all the tribes fighting) he has no urge to do anything special.

Since Jaghatai only conquered the cities six months before the Emperor arrived in the realverse, it seems odd that the Emperor would want to destroy the civilized part of Chogoris. The Emperor seems to be more of a "drag 'em in" man.

The Emperor was known to destroy civilisations that refused his right to be their Emperor. He used force to impose His Will all the time, in fact, that is what the Great Crusade was.

This really feels conflicted with a hunting man who was the greatest warrior in his tribe. Plus, sloth feels more Nurgly than Slaaneshi.

Slaanesh is about excess, be it in pleasure, food, money or drink. He was the greatest warrior in the tribe, but years of accepting bribes from the other tribes to keep peace allowed him an easy life.

Hey. It's always about the sex. That's the allure of Slaanesh - the beauty of destruction (of yourself, and of others). Seems like the sort of

See above, Slaanesh is not the 18+ God, it is about excess.

To me, obvious thing to do is have him persuade his father to undertake the conquest of the Palatinate - and possibly even kill him when he disagrees. Have him full of ambition - which develops into cruelty. Jaghatai already has a cruel streak - look at what he did to the Palatine's son. Develop that aspect of his character further, perhaps have him pursue his campaign more efficiently - so he has time to grow bored and restless, and sink into depravity as a ruler.

Whilst that is a possible route, I just don't like it. There is nothing against it, but I dislike the idea of him becoming a world conqueror, allowing him to drag himself up before his fall. I prefer to keep him down, never letting him being great. I might insert the cruelty bit, that could work nicely with a Jaghatai sitting in his ger surrounded by riches.

Edited by Ferrata, 29 January 2009 - 09:35 AM.


#15
Aurelius Rex

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It sounds like a solid plan, nicely different from the way the Norm-Emperor's Children approached Slaanesh. It might be impossible to completely eliminate the sexual excess side, but it seems to be done to death by Fulgrim's boys and so would be a breath of fresh air to have a different view. I still like the idea of khan being a disappointment, and looks like a good plan for the execution.

What is the saggitarius form? Do you mean Daemon-Primarch Khan is a Centaur? Better than half-man, half-motorbike! ;) Given that Fulgrim turned into a snakey thing and Mortarion became the Grim Reaper.

How much booze would it take to zonk out a primarch? Still, if Russ can get drunk then so could another primarch. A chogoran herb that nullifies the natural immunity similar to the SW? Too similar?

The only thing is didn't The Emperor punch out Russ when they first met? Hehe, serves the big lummox right! :lol: I do like the twist that he bonds with the brother who gives him the tough love the Emperor denied him, but it may need some thought about the exact mechanics.
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#16
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Because when his father was killed, it forced Jaghatai to take control and go after the tribes in revenge. He took one tribe, then it snowballed into another and another.


...No it didn't.

He destroyed the one tribe, then vowed to end intercenine bloodshed. That's not snowballing.

You make it sound as if he just couldn't stop with one, and then there were no tribes left one day.

He took his vengeance, then set out to end the fighting in general. Which he did, because of his "military talents and the sheer force of his personality".

That's the point, I'm changing Jaghatai away from being Genghis.


So you're basically changing him to not be Jaghatai?

What's the point, then?

Without his strength of character and ambition and such traits, what is the point? I thought the point of this was to take existing characters and twist them the minimum necessary to make them be traitors. Subtle changes.

Yours is a moderately subtle change, but it takes the character in a direction virtually the opposite of the canon one. And honestly, it really doesn't seem particularly justified.

The other tribes bribe him not to attack, he decides he rather have the easy life than fight/risk his life. Without the hatred of the other tribes for killing his father (and thus the hatred of all the tribes fighting) he has no urge to do anything special.


You seem to be placing a remarkable amount of weight on his father's death. While that's definitely a motivating factor, I can't buy this new angle for Jaghatai. It's the complete opposite direction. Even with his father alive, I fail to see how he will somehow stop being a mighty general with ambition and the persona of a leader.

Frankly, the Jaghatai you have here wouldn't lead a Space Marine Legion. He wouldn't care enough. You have stripped away everything that made him a Primarch. He needs to be at least marginally worth the Emperor's time - and at the moment, he isn't.

The Emperor was known to destroy civilisations that refused his right to be their Emperor. He used force to impose His Will all the time, in fact, that is what the Great Crusade was.


Yes. But he also used to negotiate with worlds for admittance. Hell, you'd expect him to have destroyed Angron's civilization - but he didn't (well, not in the realverse).

The hammer came out after negotiations failed. Of course, the whole Chaos aspect would likely prompt some purging.

Slaanesh is about excess, be it in pleasure, food, money or drink. He was the greatest warrior in the tribe, but years of accepting bribes from the other tribes to keep peace allowed him an easy life.


Contentment? Not very Slaaneshi.

Slaanesh is a pleasure that can never be satisfied. Sloth does not work with that. Slaaneshi devotees seek out all sensations. They don't just sit about and debauch. Devotees of Slaanesh are passionate, and pursue those passions. The Emperor's Children don't just sit around the Eye of Terror. They go out and plunder, maim and *ahem*.

And Jaghatai certainly liked warfare, too.

See above, Slaanesh is not the 18+ God, it is about excess.


You're not familiar with hyperbole any more, are you...

More to the point, excess doesn't magically limit itself to non-sexual pursuits.

Whilst that is a possible route, I just don't like it.


That's alright. My impression of your idea is sinking swiftly downward.

There is nothing against it, but I dislike the idea of him becoming a world conqueror, allowing him to drag himself up before his fall. I prefer to keep him down, never letting him being great.


Primarchs are great by nature. Even Curze, Perturabo and Angron are all great. Jaghatai as he is here is pathetic. And that conflicts with his nature as a Primarch and with his previously established character. To be frank, you are not writing about Jaghatai Khan. Which defeats the point of this project.

Furthermore, if there is no 'up', there is nowhere to fall to.

I might insert the cruelty bit, that could work nicely with a Jaghatai sitting in his ger surrounded by riches.


It's necessary for the rather petty man you're turning him into.

To be frank, what you're doing contradicts Jaghatai's established character to a ridiculous extent and assumes what seems to be a very limited interpretation of Slaanesh's cult. This is, personally, making it ring incredibly false.

* * *

It sounds like a solid plan, nicely different from the way the Norm-Emperor's Children approached Slaanesh. It might be impossible to completely eliminate the sexual excess side, but it seems to be done to death by Fulgrim's boys and so would be a breath of fresh air to have a different view.


They do everything to excess. It's rather the point.

The sexual aspect of it gets emphasized, but I think that has more to do with the audience than with the concept itself. ;)

Edited by Octavulg, 30 January 2009 - 05:53 AM.

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#17
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You seem to be placing a remarkable amount of weight on his father's death. While that's definitely a motivating factor, I can't buy this new angle for Jaghatai. It's the complete opposite direction. Even with his father alive, I fail to see how he will somehow stop being a mighty general with ambition and the persona of a leader.

This is based on the life of Genghis Khan, how his life and mentality was shaped by his father’s death. Genghis was the second eldest son of the Khan of his tribe (the Wolves); though he was still in contention to become the next Khan as Mongolian succession wasn’t quite as straight forward as the typical western style. Aged twelve, he was sent to live with his mother’s tribe but on his way back from taking him, his father was ambushed and killed by Tartars. This lead to a major problem, neither son was old enough to lead the tribe (being twelve and fourteen) and thus his father’s favoured bondsmen (Eleuk) took control of the Wolves. Not wanting to watch his back every minute as the brothers grew older, he abandoned them (his mother, five sons and a daughter) as the Wolves headed south, expecting the first winter to kill them.

It might be the right time to point out that at this time Genghis despised all other tribes and looked upon the wanderers (those who had been kicked out of the tribes) as subhuman, he was now forced to be one of them. They manage to survive the years until Genghis is nineteen (he does kill his older brother though), actually becoming friends with many wanderers. The Wolves return back north, and manage to capture Genghis. With the help of some wanderers, he is able to escape and has his epiphany; all those who belong to the land are his tribe.

He gathers a few of these wanderers, being ruthless in their selection and takes them to Tartar land to slaughter those who killed his father. After a successful winter of killing, the Tartars prepare a large force to strike back in the spring. This causes Genghis to alter his behaviour slightly. He manages to become Khan of his mothers tribe by killing their Khan and claiming it based on bloodline and conquest, adding one tribe under his command. Along with a second tribe which he managed to acquire the respect of in some battles against the Tartars and the Wolves, the three tribes manage to defeat the Tartars. Genghis and Eleuk then battle it out, who ever wins gets the others tribe; Genghis of course wins. When the Khan of the third tribe runs away, Genghis now commands three tribes. He then decides he will unite them all, either through force or other means.

I know this is a long reason behind a certain few factors, and ironically based on Genghis’ life, something I want to move away from, but it shows the start of all the base thinking. Genghis’ father’s death changes the direction of Genghis’ life, it could be postulated it was the driving force behind a number of factors which lead him to become a world conqueror. Obviously, we will never know what would have happened if his father hadn’t died, but we can guess.

This explains the weight on his father’s death, the term ‘snowballing’ for how he dominated the tribes and a few other points.

I’ll follow some other points up later.

#18
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So you're basically changing him to not be Jaghatai?

What's the point, then?

Without his strength of character and ambition and such traits, what is the point? I thought the point of this was to take existing characters and twist them the minimum necessary to make them be traitors. Subtle changes.

Yours is a moderately subtle change, but it takes the character in a direction virtually the opposite of the canon one. And honestly, it really doesn't seem particularly justified.


No, I believe you have missed the point. I cannot speak for Aurelius; he would have to state his ‘point’ of the Alternative Universe. My interpretation was he was creating a universe in which the traitors were loyal and vice versa. I don’t believe it was ever mentioned that the characters would only be twisted the minimum necessary to alter them enough to become traitors, it depends where we decide to insert the change. I could way to translate this (in my head anyway) is to Down Syndrome, which severity depends on when the mutation occurs (the earlier in development, the more severe the Syndrome as more cells carry the defect) and which of the three -derms (endo-, meso- and ecto-) it is located in. Ectoderm mutations are the most severe occurring within the nervous system. What does the little science tangent show, depending on where we decide and when we decide to insert the change, we can have major or minor changes on the character. For example, Angron change in his life is the Emperor doesn’t kidnap him instead helping him, but this massively changes him and his legion as it occurs early in his (well, the Legions) life. Fulgrim has his change (not entering the temple of the Laer) later on in his life and his Legion is basically the same as it is in the Norm ‘Verse before their fall. Jaghatai’s change occurs early in his life; it alters him and takes him on a different path. He is no longer Genghis Khan in Space he is the Primarch of a Mongolian inspired Legion.

More to the point, excess doesn't magically limit itself to non-sexual pursuits.

I have hinted at some sexual pursuits, ‘neighbouring tribes for flocks, horses, and women at will’, but as you say the Emperor’s Children sexual exploits are emphasised, I’m deemphasising them.

Furthermore, if there is no 'up', there is nowhere to fall to.

I disagree. Whilst Jaghatai might not fall in a normal sense of the word, he does still fall in comparison to the Emperor’s expectation of him. I’m not sure how familiar you are with Red Dwarf, but one episode (Inquisitor) each crewmember is judged by themselves to see if they have lived a worthy life. It is not about how much they have achieved, but how much they have achieved in comparison to what they could have achieved. In Red Dwarf, whilst the Rimmer and the Cat have lived less worthwhile lives than Lister, he had the ability to achieve much more than he did. Again, another tangent (I do love them) but it explains this well. Jaghatai has achieved so little in comparison to his brothers, the Emperor never clicks with him.

@John

What is the saggitarius form? Do you mean Daemon-Primarch Khan is a Centaur? Better than half-man, half-motorbike

Someone doesn’t know their horoscope creatures ;) The Saggitarius is a centaur creature. It seemed to be the best fit, bar leaving him human-esque or dead.

I’ll have to look into the Russ-Emperor meeting.

*grumbles*

Bloody Space Wolves, I shall have to rethink that bit

Edited by Ferrata, 30 January 2009 - 06:25 PM.


#19
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No, I believe you have missed the point. I cannot speak for Aurelius; he would have to state his ‘point’ of the Alternative Universe. My interpretation was he was creating a universe in which the traitors were loyal and vice versa. I don’t believe it was ever mentioned that the characters would only be twisted the minimum necessary to alter them enough to become traitors, it depends where we decide to insert the change.

If it is believable and gives an original twist then that is fine. I was really interested in the way you were taking this, Phil, as the 'disappointment' angle was something I had not even considered. I have intentionally tried to put the time or reason the legion (primarch) changes be varied. Sometimes it happens early, others it is late. For Corax it happens after Istvaan. Sanguinius was found by the mutants rather than the normals and Vulkan's pod lands in lava and turns him into a freakishly disfigured outcast figure.

There is lots of scope for Khan to show his full potential - I assume after he gets roughed up by Dorn. This could show what he could have been before his fall - that he wasn't useless - and still make the fall poignent.

A suggestion on which brother gets him in line: It sounds like uncorrupted Dorn at the moment, and he would well have been fighting alongside The Emperor so location is with him, but how about if it was Horus? This admittedly comes partly from what I said earlier this week about Horus being partly sidelined so far (my fault I know) and his role as prime mover partly being swallowed by Dorn the Betrayer. However, he was Warmaster and was supposed to be the real people person / the arch manipulator and would well be able to see that Khan needed a good kick up the bum to put him on track, even if they still quietly continue their path to excess, if not to the point of chaos worship.

Having Khan be Horus's friend might make the eventual betrayal all the more shocking... the Warmaster thought they could be trusted, and so is confident about recalling the White Scars to guard Terra. If Khan was already suspect and a close friend of The Arch Betrayer, would the Imperium have wanted to take a risk on having them anywhere near Terra? Admittedly they may not have had much choice.

I think it could well work with Dorn, but let me just throw Horus into the idea mix instead and see how it tastes. :evil:
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#20
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I do like the Horus idea, it would require some work to make sure Jaghatai's fall is nice. I'll be thinking about it.

#21
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Just to show I have been working on this...(Obviously, the opening teaser paragraph needs to be changed, but I just found it funny)

Index Astartes: White Scars

Known and feared throughout the Imperium for their highly mobile way of war, the Space Marines of the White Scars are the masters of the lightning strike method of attack, able to tear into their foes and vanish before they can respond. Fierce warriors, bearing the ritual scars of bravery, they fight with all the tribal savagery of their home world and bring swift death to all enemies of Slaanesh.

Origins

The inhabitants of Mundus Planus know little about the past of their world, bar a select few individuals who have knowledge of the ancient lore. These texts tell about a time before the Imperium of Man had welcomed Mundus Planus into its bosom, when the people called their home Chogoris. The few images that have survived, along with the many verses of word, paint a picture of an earth covered with soaring mountings, vast green plains, and deep turquoise seas. Around these waterways, vast cities had sprouted under the command of the Palatine. Though they had achieved little beyond basic black powder technology, these metropolises were fruitful and productive. Opposed to these high walls lay the spartan land of the Empty Quarter, whose barrenness stretched as far as the eye could see. Scattered across these grass plains were tribes of horsemen; nomads whose savagery and lust for battle was the terror of the civilised.

The tribesmen weren’t without fear themselves, many of their fables telling of the dreaded Talskar tribe and their Khan. Though he was called many names, such as Aŭdac, Ciĥttera and Mephaeta, amongst his own he was Jaghatai, the great warrior. His legend began when Ong, Khan of the Talskar, happened upon a small child wandering lost across the plains. Knowing that any soul alone in his world should return to the earth within a day, he was astonished to find the boy had survived the passing of the moon. Believing he was a gift from the Sky Father, Ong took the youngster as his own. Teaching him the arts of much valued by their society, Jaghatai became a master of the bow, the sword and the horse. His tactical wisdom and foresight earned him the respect of many of his father’s bondsmen, but the resentment of others for his preaching of a united tribe of the plains.


Edited by Ferrata, 04 February 2009 - 10:31 PM.


#22
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Okay, Long story short. I did have more on this but my hard drive failed, so I was without a full computer for a while. I finally got round to installing word on this computer and put all my paper notes together. Whilst this is a very rough form, it does cover the raise of Jaghatai.

Index Astartes: White Scars

Known and feared throughout the Imperium for their highly mobile way of war, the Space Marines of the White Scars are the masters of the lightning strike method of attack, able to tear into their foes and vanish before they can respond. Fierce warriors, bearing the ritual scars of bravery, they fight with all the tribal savagery of their home world and bring swift death to all enemies of Slaanesh.

Origins

The inhabitants of Mundus Planus know little about the past of their world, bar a select few individuals who have knowledge of the ancient lore. These texts tell about a time before the Imperium of Man had welcomed Mundus Planus into its bosom, when the people called their home Chogoris. The few images that have survived, along with the many verses of word, paint a picture of an earth covered with soaring mountains, vast green plains, and deep turquoise seas. Around these waterways, vast cities had sprouted under the command of the Palatine. Though they had achieved little beyond basic black powder technology, these metropolises were fruitful and productive. Opposed to these high walls lay the spartan land of the Empty Quarter, whose barrenness stretched as far as the eye could see. Scattered across these grass plains were tribes of horsemen; nomads whose savagery and lust for battle was the terror of the civilised.

The tribesmen weren’t without fear themselves, many of their fables telling of the dreaded Talskar tribe and their Khan. Though he was called many names, such as Aŭdac, Ciĥttera and Mephaeta, amongst his own he was Jaghatai, the great warrior. His legend began when Ong, Khan of the Talskar, happened upon a small child wandering lost across the plains. Knowing that any soul alone in his world should return to the earth within a day, he was astonished to find the boy had survived the passing of the moon. Believing he was a gift from the Sky Father, Ong took the youngster as his own. Teaching him the arts of much valued by their society, Jaghatai became a master of the bow, the sword and the horse. His tactical wisdom and foresight earned him the respect of many of his father’s bondsmen, but many mocked him for his preaching of a united tribe of the plains.

Ong heeded to the words of his son and approaching many tribes under banners of peace. Many laughed him out of the encampments, the Talskar called to arms as some struck out believing their Khan to be weak. Against the odds, eased by the smooth words of Jaghatai, a fledging alliance grew, promoting unity amongst the people of the plains. As the united tribes prospered, gaining from each other’s strengths, more flocked to the banner. Jaghatai was held as a champion of the times, holding true to the ideals and virtues of his teachings. Even as this young nation bloomed to life, fate would play heavily against it.
Coming across three Palatine horsemen attempting to ravish a young woman, Jaghatai’s code of honour spurred him into action. The years of luxury had not dimmed the skills of the young warrior, Jaghatai taking the heads of two and allowing the third to tell the Palatine not to use the Empty Quarter as a plaything. Returning to his tribe, he was not to know that one of the men he had killed had been a favoured son of the Palatine and soon an army stood on the plains craving for revenge.

The Palatine was not a foolish man and he knew his enemy well. As the vanguard to his army, a force of diplomats visited each of the tribes, offering money, horses and countless luxuries if they refused to take to battle. The success of this small campaign was complete, the Talskar stood alone on the battlefield. Though they had been abandoned, they fought like beasts. Almost slaughtered to a man, they had ripped out the fighting heart of the enemy. Those few able to retreat were left to do so in peace. Unfortunately for tribesmen, amongst the number of the survivors was Jaghatai, eager for retribution.

Outraged by their treachery, Jaghatai swore that all would die by his sword. Riding down upon those who had failed them, the remaining warriors of the Talskar became daemons of the Empty Quarter. Finding pleasure in the screams of pain that surrounded them, they elongated the torture of their enemies. Survivors of an assault were allowed to escape, only to be chased down at the luxury of Jaghatai’s men. Striking from all sides, only to retreat to make sure their enemy feared their return. The legends of the Aŭdac took form from these horrors and by taking their rights of conquest in armour, horses and women, the Talskar only grew in strength. Not even a united force, like the one Jaghatai had dreamt of himself, could withstand their fury, their warlord Temüjin slain by the Nightmares own hand.

A much greater foe was needed to halt the terror that was the Talskar, the coming of the Imperium of Man. The Emperor Himself is said to walked upon the soil of the Empty Quarter, after the Palatine had offered his allegiance. Sensing one of His sons, the Emperor wandered the lands in search for one of humanities greatest heroes. The first meeting between the Master of Mankind and Jaghatai was far from pleasant, the Emperor found His son perched upon a throne in a ger of luxury, the years of war funding a tent of pleasure and excess. Surrounded by intricate armour, feasts of food and women, Jaghatai was not a warrior-hero but a dread warlord drowning in his own ecstasy. Upon hearing the story of His so called son, the Emperor flew into a rage, distraught by how low one of His offspring had fallen. It is said, as He left the ger, He declared “You have destroyed were you could have conquered; you’ve terrorised those you could have ruled. You are no son of mine. He knew the words were a lie, for all that Jaghatai was not, he was of His blood. Forced to embrace this ghoul, the Emperor sung to the urges of this Khan; the treasures of the Golden Palace, the strength of Imperial Arms, the victories that would be his. His eyes wide with greed, Jaghatai eagerly pledged himself to the Emperor, becoming the Great Khan of the Fifth Legion of Astartes; baptising them the White Scars after tribal markings of the Talskar.

The Great Crusade

As with all things in his life, Jaghatai took to commanding his legion with ease. Training them on the plains of Chogoris, he adapted to the bike over the horse with the skill only a son of the Emperor could. Unwilling to trust His new found son with an expedition of his own, the White Scars were entrusted to aid others. Serving alongside Dorn, Guilliman and Magnus, the Scars became infamous for being reckless allies; abandoning their duties to charge the flanks of the enemy, chasing those who fled and bathing in the agony of the foe. It was whilst fighting alongside the Lunar Wolves that Jaghatai found purpose. Horus, angered by the losses his Legion had took because of Jaghatai’s actions, struck his younger brother, telling the wild Primarch to act like a commander and not a thug. Instead of lashing back, Jaghatai embraced his brother, saying he had finally met a man he could respect.

The White Scars and their Primarch were reborn, becoming a respected ally and trusted friend of Horus. Indeed, the Legion became popular amongst expeditions of the Great Crusade, their swift strikes timed beautifully to crush the enemy. When the Emperor decreed that Jaghatai would lead his own expedition, twelve of his brothers Legions sent representatives to congratulate him, three of them personally attending the great feast.

Edited by Ferrata, 20 February 2009 - 09:54 AM.


#23
Aurelius Rex

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Printed off for a good read, Phil. :P
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#24
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Beware, the wording is very brutal at the moment. This is more about getting the story flowing in a reasonable way before I make it read pretty.

#25
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Looks good - certainly can't complain about it so far. B) The Horus section at the end looks good too.

Playing wild associations, while we are on the history of the Khan's, how about his grandson, Kubelai (sp?) and the mention in Coleridge's poem about decreeing that a stately pleasuredome be built for him in Xanadu. I would only recomment a subtle hint rather than laying it on too thick, but a mention of him constructing a pleasuredome / pleasure palace - the place he is in when The Emperor arrives, perhaps, might add some colour. ^_^
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Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn