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IA:Twilight's Hand


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#1
Walter Payton

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The Twilight's Hand


"Renegades and Traitors! A ring of steel surrounds your foul fastness! We will crush all those who dare to continue to resist the will of the God-Emperor. Abandon your posts!Abandon your guns! Abandon all hope! For the Emperor!"
Chaplain Markhov of the Twilight's Hands, Siege of Dryussina, 456th Day


Posted Image Posted Image
Brother Volokhonsky, 6 Company, Squad Patria, "The Spear of Noxxara" Honoured Brother Veridan, 1 Company, Squad Thorius, "The Argeads"

'What is it to be a Twilight's Hand?'
'It is to be a Weapon of Righteousness'
'What is it to be a Twilight's Hand?'
'It is to be a Weapon of the Emperor'
'What is it to be a Twilight's Hand?'
'It is to fight with wisdom, and strength'
'What is it to be a Twilight's Hand?'
'It is to be a Deliverer'
'What is it to be a Twilight's Hand?'
'It is to be a defender to those who cannot defend themselves'
'What is it to be a Twilight's Hand?'
'It is to be a master of the four suites of war:'
'Skill, Strength, Wisdom and Fear'


A recital of the Twilight's Hands pledge of service, as uttered by every recruit on their ascension to Battle Brother.


Battle Cry

"Abandon all hope!"
or
"URAAAA"

(Ura means Emperor in the tongue of the Twilight's Hands Homeworld)


Origins and Founding


"Great God-Machine. What have we done?" Magos Ferranus, Adeptus Mechanicus

The Thirteenth Founding was known as the Dark Founding by the Adeptus Terra, and it is a name well chosen. None amongst the Administratum possess the original geneseed, and no records exist of the chapters created then. The names of the chapter's founded then are unknown. Process of elimination is no help, becuase hundreds of Chapters have lost their records in the monolithic bureacracy of Terra. In piles of dusty scrolls and cogitator banks higher than hive cities, this data likely lies, yet none amongst the Administratum have the time, nor the inclination, to seek it out.

The space marines of the Twilight's Hands believe that they are one of those missing chapters. Having found no record of their creation in the annals of other chapters. Most think them to be of Raven Guard stock, for they possess the pale skin and black hair and eyes of that Chapter, yet they still are able to spit acid and survive hard vacuum, two things that the Raven Guard cannot do. This has led some to question the origin of Twillight's Hands gene seed, for it has no direct match amongst that of other chapters. Some claim that it is a result of secret Adeptus Mechanicus tampering, others that it comes from one of the lost legions (though this is vehemently denied). Whatever the case, the fact remains that on 99867 M36, a force of Twilight's Hands fought alongside the entire Crimson Fists chapter and wiped out an Ork Waaaagh under the command of the Mad Dok of Loki V, and adding their first entry into Imperial Annals.

Despite their manifest loyalty, their mysterious origin leads many chapters to be suspicious of them. Notably, the Dark Angels, Gorgonites and White Consuls refusing to fight alongside them, claiming that they are 'cursed.' They have even come to blows with these chapters on occasion. However, they have close links with the Raven Guard, Mentor Legion and Crimson Fists, having fought alongside these chapters on many occasions.


Homeworld


"In the beauty of the jungle, the artist finds inspiration, the philosopher finds knowledge, but the warrior finds death."
Old Twilight's Hands proverb.

The Chapter has its homeworld in the Noxxara system, in the Segmentum Obscurus. Of the five worlds in the sytem, three are gas giants. These are home to several small Adeptus Mechanicus mining facilities, that the chapter protects (and trains the Skitarii forces garrisoned there) in exchange for weapons and refuelling rights. The other two, Noxxara Primus and Noxxara Tertius, are where the chapter has its home. On Noxxara Primus, the chapters main fortress monastery, Telum, stands in the centre of the jungles like a vast obsidian obelisk. Noxxara Primus is a death world, its equatorial jungles some of the most beautiful in the Imperium, yet filled with deadly and dangerous creatures. It is here that the chapter conducts its training regime. Sometimes, the lords of the chapter declare a contest of companies. Each company selects five warriors, usually the Captain's command squad, and they set off into the wilderness. Whilst there, they must stay alive, for many of the creatures are a match for any Astartes, and hunt the other teams. The team that is the last one standing is the victor. When a team captures the other, they mark their position with an orbital beacon, and a shuttle will collect the losers. Though the marines are only supposed to capture one another, the losers are carried back to Telum, trussed and bound, where they are forced to endure a series of ritual humilliations. After this has taken place, the winners then have to fight the losers in a training battle, in which they suffer a humilliating defeat (only once has a team beaten both challenges) so that none can call themselves victor, and thus fall victim to the greatest sin of all: pride.

Whilst Noxxara Primus has many tribes who live within the jungle, and who make perfect astartes recruits, they are hard to find, and often hostile to those who try to take their young. Nevertheless, some find their way into the chapter, where they are almost invariably highly sucessful. Noxxara Tertius is the primary recruiting world. The massive hives of the planet hold those labourers who toil to extract the precious promethiate gases on the moons. The hives are home to a series of clan gangs, which require a large Arbites presence to keep under a semblence of control. This gives the chapter two sources of recruits. The clan gangs, whose internecine wars and heists often turn a plentiful harvest of recruits, and the Arbites, whose attempts to keep the gangs under control usually end in a shoot-out. The effect is a rivalry within the chapter, with those who were once enforcers and those who were once gangers often competing against each other to win plaudits and fame. Though this can sometimes turn nasty, it is not prohibited, indeed, it is actively encouraged by the Lords of the Chapter, who see it as all for the good of strengthening both sides.

Recruitment and Indoctrination


"You are not in Kansas any more..."
Pre-Unification Fragment, Source Unknown

The aspirants are returned to Noxxara, where they are delivered to the chapter's training facility at Vindolanda, a small tribal village in the frozen northern ice caps. The aspirants are kept in cramped, difficult conditions, with only a pair of leggings for protection. This tends to weed out the weakest early on. After a series of brutal training exercises, the recruits begin the first of the four main trials, the Trial of Skill: The aspirants must journey into the polar ice sheets, where the fierce high winds will freeze a man within hours, armed only with a knife. The aspirants are told by an Apothecae adept that they have perhaps nine hours to live out on the ice. The only way to survive is to hunt down and kill and skin a polar wrym, a ferocious predator with skin that can protect them from the fierce winds. After this, they must then endure a further five days without food. This is intended to give them time to reflect on their duty to the Emperor.

When the trial ends, and the men are picked up, they leave Vindolanda, and move Southward to Novalya. This is the second of the three training camps that they must journey through. At this camp, they recieve their first implants, as well as guidelines on how to use them, followed by more months of training. The training is followed by the Trial of Strength. First, the aspirant must run a three-day marathon across the grassy tundra. Then, they must do a variety of strenous physical excercise (a drill sergeant's favourite is forcing the aspirants to do press ups with many multiples of their body weight stacked upon their back) followed by a series of contests of strength against a 1st Company veteran. Obviously, in this stage, the aspirant is judged not on whether or not they win, but on how much they lose by.

After this, the remaining aspirants, (usually numbering half of their original number), hike Southwards to Zemyla, the third camp. Here they perform the Trial of Wisdom. This trial has three stages: Trial by Fire, Trial by Rock, and the gruelling Trial by Ice. In the Trial by Fire, the aspirant must negotiate a treacherous hot lake of mud, seeded with volcanic activity, and, for good measure, landmines. The aspirant's wisdom lies in whether or not he can navigate the mud, and avoid the mines. the Trial by Rock forces the aspirant, to arrange a series of rocks in a pile, and it is as much a test of strength as a test of skill. The Trial by Ice is the most gruelling. Given a knife, the aspirant must swin under a sheet of ice, as far as he can, then cut his way back out. It is a test of the aspirant's wit as well as stamina. He may leave it too early, and disgrace himself, or leave it too late...

Finally, the aspirants embark on the Trial of Fear. The aspirants trek from Zemyla to Telum, through five hundred miles of predator infested jungle. Beforehand, each aspirant is given whatever personal weapons they had when recruited, and told to set off. They must arrive at Telum within fifty days of setting out, and must collect the skull of a great beast on the way. When they arrive at Telum, they are given their geneseed implant, they welcomed by their battle brother's of the Scout Company with a feast, and a curt smile from their Scout Sergeant.

Chapter Organisation


"You are a battle brother of the glorious twelfth. Your name is now part of the glorious roster that has woven a long and proud path through our history. Take up your weapon, son of Noxxara, and go forth. Let them fear you name, but let them taste your shadow."
Black Captain Galea, 12 Company, Twilight's Hands

The current chapter strength stands at twelve companies, plus a scout company. One company always remains at Noxxara to guard their fortress monastery and environs, whilst the other twelve make war across the galaxy. They set great store by martial honour and battle, and every three hundred years they embark on a Diaspora. All their companies set off across the galaxy, and are expected to return on Uternicht, their holy day. Their quest must take one year from beginning to end, and they tell tales of their valour when they return to Noxxara.

The Chapter is ruled by the Senatus Nox. The Captains of the Twelve Brotherhoods, the Twilight's Hands companies, sit on the Senatus, as does the Chapter Master, the Master of the Forge, and the three most senior dreadnoughts. The Master of Chirurgeons (chief apothecary), and the Lord Epistolary sit on the Senatus, as does the Master of Sanctity. The Twilight's Hands may never go to war without the vote of the Senatus Nox. The Chapter Master's vote counts as three, the Master of the Forge, Master of Sanctity, Lord Epistolary and First Captain's for two, and the Dreadnought's for one. However, the Dreadnoughts have the power to veto any action taken by the council, if all three are of the same mind. The council meets either aboard the Talonlord, their flagship, which has been upgraded many times, so that its firepower matches that of the most powerful Imperial battleships, or on Noxxara Primus, atop Mount Unas, which is inacessable to those without flight. The Senatus was formed so that the Chapter Master would never become victim to the sin of arrogance, nor would he become a dictator, for both these sins open the door for Chaos to creep in. The dreadnoughts have the power of veto because of their ancient and experienced nature. They provide valuable counsel to the less experienced Captains, and speak for the ancients of the Chapter, and as the voice of the chapter's fallen, the battle-brethren viewing them as a kind of link between living and dead.

The 1st Company is comprised of Veterans. Few marines make this prestigious cut, and fewer still survive more than a handful of bloody battles. The 1st most commonly seen in its Vanguard Armour, and the Twilight's Hand's jump pack assaults are legendary in their effectiveness. The most common method is for the chapter's air power to fly overhead at high altitude, the Vanguard Squads leaping from the rear of their gunships and activating their jet packs as low as possible, so as to maximise the crushing impact of their landing. Unlike most chapters, the Twilight's Hands insist that their Veterans train in both Sternguard and Vanguard disciplines, and the 1st is a highly flexible formation that can adapt to any tactical eventuality, be it storming an Iron Warrior's fortress, holding the line against a Tyranid hive fleet, or a search and destroy mission against a Tau ethereal. The obvious drawback is that the 1st cannot excercise the same degree of aptitude in each discipline that other chapters can, but the Twilight's Hands see this as a worthy price to pay.

Whilst the Twilight's Hands maintain some suits of Terminator Armour, they do not have the same resources as other chapters, and so only maintain around 30 suits. These are reserved for high ranking members of the Librarium, Chapter Command Staff and Chaplaincy, they still maintain two Terminator Squads within the 1st, Squad Thorius, known as the Argeads, after the hive gang most of them were recruited from, and Squad Rezhnov, the Sarrisae, who specialise in boarding space hulks. Sergeant Rezhnov wears a fearsome battle helm, fashioned from the skull of the first genestealer he killed. These squads are rarely seen on the field of combat, however, and normally fight in power armour, though their suits of Terminator armour, go with them always.

The 2nd to Seventh Companies are the tactical companies of the chapter, each retaining the standard Codex organisation of six tactical squads, two assault squads and two devastator squads. The eighth and ninth are the assault companies. Captain Nguyen of the ninth and Captain Vos of the eigth are like brothers and the two have fought side by side many times, such as at the siege of Kasr Vasan, where they slaughtered a horde of mutants five times their number. The tenth and eleventh are devastator companies, and they spend almost every waking hour training in fire discipline and on the target range. The twelfth company is almost as highly regarded as the first. It is known in the chapter as the Black Company, for it is a second scout company. Whilst the scouts of the thirteenth company are raw recruits, swords yet to be tempered in holy battle, the twelfth are an elite cadre. They number barely 50 Astartes, yet their surgical strikes and stealth missions have achieved what a full division of Imperial Guard could not. During the Third War for Armageddon, they managed to sneak past Ork sentries, and mine several Gargants. Their actions bought time for the defenders of Hive Acheron to muster enough armour to halt the assault. The Thirteenth are the recruits. It is they who guard Noxxara during the Diaspora, and they who look in awe at the rest of their brethren.

The commanders of the First, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Twelfth and Thirteeth companies hold special positions within the chapter, and it is they who represent the Chapter on official business. The dreadnoughts are rarely activated, save for the trio that sit upon the Senatus Nox.

Combat Doctrine


"Spill their blood, certainly. Gut their leaders, by all means. But never forget: They must fear you as you do it."
Scout Sergeant Zakaev of 13 Company

What the Twilight's Hands are most famous for is their use of psychological warfare. Different companies manifest this technique in different ways. The seventh company favour a noisy and intimidating armoured assault. The third company make extensive use of morale-destroying flame weaponry and napalm strikes, the fifth are masters of drop pod attacks and the ninth have fitted amplifiers to their armour that project their war cries at a destructive level. May foes have simply surrendered out of fear before a single shot is fired. A notable incidence was during the Rua'Yan Planetstrike, where a scout squad attached to the Black Company assasinated a Tau Ethereal and Shas'O with a roadside bomb, flipping their Devilfish and killing the entire Tau command section just as a Twilight's Hands drop assault screamed from above. The Tau surrendered as the first pod touched down. None were spared as a consequence.

The Chapter's use of psychological warfare was used to its fullest extent during the Battle of the Black Sword Pass. The renegade and power hungry men of the Erymanthian 12th Armoured were advancing down the pass with the intention of laying waste to the planetary capital. They were accompanied by a squad of Alpha Legion veterans who had formented the rebellion. The Alpha Legion were unaware, however, that their strike cruiser was at that time crippled and subject to punishing bombardment from the Talonlord, which had destroyed its Vox array and astropathic cadre with its first lance strikes. When the Twilight's Hands gunships screamed out of high orbit, they fired hundreds of wailing missiles, destroying hundreds of traitor armour pieces, including those at the front and rear of the column. This demoralised the traitors to such an extent that when the Twilight's Hands attacked, only the battle hardened Alpha Legion were left to resist. Unable to escape, the Alpha Legion were all slaughtered, save for one, whom the Twilight's Hands managed to capture alive, though his interrogation was fruitless. Trapped, the remaining traitors were wiped out to a man, and the pass burned with incendiary missiles. This act earned them an Imperial Laurel from the High Lords themselves.

Another notable facet of the Twilight's Hands is their humanitarianism. They have come into conflict with the Inquisition, at one point even refusing to perform Exterminatus on a Chaos-infested planet becuase there were Imperial Guardsmen fighting on the surface. On another occasion, they murdered an Inquisition Cleansing Unit, who were executing Imperial citizens who had come into contact with Chaos, and rescued the refugees, putting them to work in Telum. Whilst this has led to an emnity with the Inquisition, their cordial relations with the Adeptus Mechanicus, as well as the remote location of their fortress, has and will continue to shield them from direct harm.

However, this relationship has had its repercussions. The Inquisitions forces are increasingly unwilling to aid the Twilight's Hands, even when it would be beneficial to them. Whilst the Inquisition has had no chance to destroy the chapter as it did with the Celestial Lions, the Twilight's Hands are ever alert for a similar attempt, having guessed the nature of the Celestial Lions's downfall. However, the Inquisition have not been entirely unsucessful in their underhand attempts to defeat the chapter. Twelve companies were trapped in the Garro system when a freak warp storm prevented them from making warp back to Noxxara, which was under attack by Eldar pirates. It was no coincidence that an Inquisition Black Ship was nearby at the time. A second incidence was when a massive force of Tarellian and Galg mercenaries attacked Noxxara, again when the chapter were out-system. The mercenary chieftain was found to have massive amounts of Imperial Credits on his body, and other mercenaries had gold decoration that appeared to be made from Imperial Credits. This further reinforced the chapter's suspicions that the Inquisition have a vested interest in their destruction. Interstellar communication has become harder for the chapter's astropaths, and the chapter often find themselves bogged down in needless bureacracy when associating with other Imperial organizations. Whilst they have a few allies in the Inquisition, most Inquisitors hate them, and often refuse their aid, even in situations that would tactically warrant it. The Twilight's Hands view the Inquisition as needlessely cruel at best, heretics at worst. The Inquisition view the Twilight's Hands as dangerous mavericks, not to mention a powerful enemy, both on the stage of politics, and in the crucible of bloody combat.

The Dorannan Schism


During the Doranna campaign, the Twilight's Hands fought alongside the five companies of the Blades of Tyrian chapter, a Blood Angels sucessor chapter. During the final battles against the Khornate cultists waging war on the system, the cultists committed mass suicides, in addition to sacrificing any prisoners taken from the Imperial Guard pacification forces. Before long, they had called to their side a warband of Khorne berzerkers, led by a mighty Bloodthirster. The Blades of Tyrian took this especially badly, their repressed geno-memories driving them to greater acts of carnage and slaughter. Chainswords whirring, they took several traitor fortresses. It was during one such assault, that the Blades of Tyrian's commander in chief, Elial, dissappeared without trace, vanishing into the bowels of a shattered hive. The Blades were sorely aggrieved, for Elial had been a competent and liked commander. Soon however, their loss was forgotten, as with each battle the Blades became more and more vicious. In the assault on the second last bastion of traitor power, the Blades finally went too far. Slaughtering the World Eaters, they then turned on the Imperial Guard sent to join them, killing hundreds, before the Twilight's Hands, who had thus far kept away from the Blades's affairs, beliving, rightly, that honour should run its course, intervened, forcing a truce, but not before five Blades were dead, along with over seven hundred guardsmen. The Lord Commander refused to continue to prosecute the campaign, digging in and awaiting Inquisitorial intervention. The new commander of the Blades, Manix, told the Twilight's Hands that they would assault the final stronghold regardless. The Twilight's Hands had little choice but to go with them.

The final battle was a clash of epic proportions. Defilers clanked forward on stalk-like legs. Devastator Squads fired blistering salvos. Terminators mowed down men like wheat. Through it all, the Blades hacked and slashed, with no thought to their own safety. In the enemy's throne room, they came face to face with the mighty avatar of the Blood God, a monstrous horned beast with eyes of fire and wings as black as coal. The Bloodthirster accounted for fifteen of the Blades's finest warriors before it was hacked down by the frenzied Sons of Sanguinius. When the Twilight's Hands commander entered the room, the Bloodthirster was lain upon the floor, in the centre of a lake of daemon-ichor. As its essence dissipated, the Blades's missing Captain emerged from the shadow. He was clad in garish half-armour, and his visage was more beautiful and yet more terrible than it had been when he had dissappeared. He was surrounded by a coterie of Slaaneshi daemonettes, as well as the corrupted brethren of his command squad. He offered the Blades a place in his new warband. They accepted at once. The Twilight's Hands fought, but were thrown back, suffering stinging defeat after stinging defeat. Eventually, they sent for aid, and the call was answered by the Dark Angel's, Gorgonites and White Consuls chapters.

But apart from aiding the Twilight's Hands, the Dark Angels, and their companions rebuked them for failure, their haughty commander telling the chapter master to go on a penitent crusade. The Twilight's Hands commander flatly refused, denying any wrongdoing. This further incensed the newly arrived chapters, but they had little choice but to band together and repulse the Blades of Tyrian, who had changed their name to Blades of Ecstasy. The Blades escaped with close to three hundred warriors. When the Twilight's Hands told the remainder of the Blades chapter, they painted their armour black, and set off to destroy their wayward brothers. They were never seen again. This led to a belief that the Hand's were unlucky, somehow cursed. For their part, this sorry tale is told to every Hand on his ascension to battle-brother, and they see it as their duty to hunt down and destroy the Blades of Ecstasy, whose failure they see as their own. This gives the Twilight's Hands an almost fatalistic demeanour, but they continue to hunt, and, most importantly, continue to hate.

Edited by Brother-Captain Alecto, 22 January 2010 - 04:17 PM.

"Never die easy."


#2
Lt. Smash

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You've justified the use of a traitor leigon more or less, and writtena fairly epic piece of fluff. Although people round here aren't big fans of traitor gone loyal. Best bit? Russ telling what he did to traitor.

#3
Brother Caleb

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I like what your going for, but I don't see Guilliman having anything to do with creating a chapter against imperial law; Russ maybe, but not Guilliman. He wrote the Codex to diffuse power and prevent another marine civil war. He would not then create a chapter without the sanction of the High Lords. He's like Supes, a big blue boy scout.

I don't say this to discourage you, but perhaps the stretch from traitor to sanctioned is too far. You may try a smaller jump from traitor to unsanctioned loyal renegade.

Keep at it,

#4
ALIENAGENUS_Mordray_FALSUS

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Perhaps renegades is for the best but consider this...

replacing a lost chapter...

What if your guys remained loyal for a few thousand or so years and kept themselves hidden always disengaging rather then risk a fight with the very people they seek to aid?

Imagine then if they stumble upon a chapter in the process of going rogue. Lets say this rogue chapter was fleet based and post civil war... I just can't imagine and entire chapter moving to go against the Imperium without a civil war.

So with this rogue chapter injured the Twilight's Hand stumbles onto them and learns the horrible truth... these marines are throwing away the very thing the Twilight's Hands have craved from the beginning and they attack slaughting the traitors and taking their ships and hardware for themselves. In the aftermath or perhaps during the slaughter they learn the Imperium doesn't know about the rogue chapter's intentions and your Twilight's Hands step into their place taking over and now find themselves with a legitimate cover and... well I'm not going to concept it all.

You can do with that what you will. It's all spur of the moment stuff and inspired by your intent so I give it freely.

The name is a little screwy though just saying it out loud or in the thought line of a marine speaking it to an ignorant fool as though it would explain everything.

For example my chapter is the Void Reavers.

Void = space or 'lack of'
Reaver = one who reaves... ie one who rends, breaks or tears...
Thus to me it means a Void Reaver is a violent brutal :(... at least that's the goal.

Edited by Mordray, 15 January 2010 - 08:04 AM.


#5
Walter Payton

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Thanks for the input guys!

@Lt Smash-thanks very much indeed,

@Brother Caleb-I see what you mean. I think it is more Guilliman doing what his heart tells him, rather than his big Aquila-tatooed head. I might do my own little retcon later though

@Mordray-Void Reavers -good name. The reason they are called Twilight's Hand is that they were originally called Twilight's Hammer, but my friend tells me that they are a WoW Orc Clan, and I really don't want to be forever answering that question. The other name was Twilight's Angels, but that just sounds like a stripper gam.

I seem to have done one of the don'ts of chapter creation. Oh well, I like being rebellious against the evil lords of the B&C

Edited by Brother-Captain Alecto, 18 January 2010 - 09:06 PM.

"Never die easy."


#6
ChaplainMathreyn

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It's not so much "rebelling" it's improbability and trying to fit snugly into established canon...Which leads to the existence of This forum... Heck, I've seen more than a few well-though out, and written Chapters that Both fit into the universe And incorporate strange quirks (Traitor geneseed, "undead" Marines, etc.)

The Forum isn't to say "Hey,this is cool" it's to say "Does this fit?"... Hell, anyone can make a Chapter of traitor Marines who've been "lost 'n the Warp, get "found" by a rogue Inquisitor/their fellow, kind-hearted Space Marine brethren, and get back to fighting the "bad guys"... The trick is making it believable, and having it fit into the rest of the universe...
No fear. No pity. No remorse.

#7
Walter Payton

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I was joking :-D. What I do seriously want to know is: do I make it believable. Comment & Criticism is certainly very welcome, especially criticism.

"Never die easy."


#8
ChaplainMathreyn

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You'd surprised at how some people respond... They put stuff on a Public forum concerning established canon and it's rules, and they get all bent out of shape... Pah!... "Seriously, the invisible, loyalist Lunar Wolves 10,000 Marine Great Company thing is really out of place... No, it Really is..." >.<

Well, I'll throw in my cents into the collective piggy bank then...

Unfortunately, I do not know alot about the Night Lords and their history... However, I can't see a "secret social club" existing in a Chapter that relies on pure terror, fear and panic... A secret society nonetheless that promotes, and I quote, "restoring the NL to their former glory"... I can't really think of a glorious way of causing someone unutterable fear and tear shedding terror...


In fact, Twilight's Hand, which numbered little more 250 marines, began a campaign of retribution. They had emerged from the warp in the Noxxara system, and there liberated the system from their erstwhile brothers. When the Ultramarines reached the system, they found a peaceful system, dedicated to the Emperor's Light. Making contact with the small flotilla of Space Marine vessels that had been patrolling around the largest world in the system, they found Twilight's Hand, who pledged their allegiance to the Emperor. Roboute Guilliman, suspicious, convened his brother primarchs to the system for a meeting:


Now, realistically, think about what is, and has occurred... Your best friends, brothers, and most noble people that you know (Your fellow Space Marines) have just turned traitor, thrown down your trust, shattered humanity's glory, and even worse, have trampled on their brothers-in-arms.That is Betrayal on a grand, and terrible, scale... I don't think no matter How many times a "loyalist" traitor force says 'We're the Good Guys though', anyone is going to listen or care... That's the grand tragedy of the Horus Heresy...

I Would Not put words into the Primarch's mouths... Unless you're a GW novel writer... As above, the Primarchs themselves no doubt would've been Most hurt (Their fellow brothers, the other Primarchs), had betrayed them...

Now...

All that aside, I don't know How you could make a "Oh hai, we're Good Guys Loyalist-Traitor" warband come off without sounding tacky, and flubbing with the universe...

You're men are Traitors... The Imperium was Betrayed by the Primarchs and their Legions, and with how it keeps a tight reign on it's Loyalist Chapters in the modern era, it's going to be highly improbable that a band of traitors are going to be ever re-integrated back into "Imperium Marine society".
No fear. No pity. No remorse.

#9
Walter Payton

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Well, the NL weren't always running around killing things and taking their skin. But, having slept on it, I think I will retconn it to make them just an RG successor. I will get on that later.

"Never die easy."


#10
Captain Juan Juarez

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Fought with the entire Chapter of the Crimson Fists?

Seems a bit... Over the top to me?
" They made you to be untouched by God or mortal. As I cannot kill you, so I curse you, not with death but with life.

I curse you - with the pain of ten thousand days in the Dark Place, with the life's blood of a mage's sacrifice, with Death's authority held in my hands.

I curse you, and I strike your name from history, stripped of arrogance and pride, empty of the self you once knew, gutted of all you are. I take your name and all you have won by the strength of your hand. I curse you for eternity, to find only darkness where once you knew your own face.

And I dub you the Ragged Man."

#11
ChaplainMathreyn

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... Did the Night Lords Marines have any distinguishing genetic features that stood them out, by any chance? I've never read to much about the Marines themselves (Just about the actions of their Chapter)... You could tie in subtle references to the Night Lords, That way... Like, whereas the Raven Guard get paler, and their hair darker, did Night Lords Marines' get darker, and their hair paler, or something?

Maybe the Chapter has just a small fraction, an old tome of History, or something, that -hints- at their origins (A journal, kept by one of the Administratum staff, revealing a little bit about what they have done during the Founding, or something. :D ) "By the Emperor, what have we done... " Har har har.

Although, you'd need to explain Why they'd use Traitor geneseed...

See... It's not that Traitors are "bad", it's that survivors who wander in the warp and come back out right in the nick of time, millenia after the Heresy has occured is really cliched... Also, you always, Always, need a good reason Why... Please, I'd be more than happy to bounce around ideas on how to incorporate Traitor geneseed if you'd still like, but Why Why and more Why.

13th is an alright Founding... But why won't those Particular Chapters work with your Marines? I demand to know more! Well... Ask to know more. Because you could have a cool potential conflict here... Even though your Chapter has earned the ire of my Dark Angels, I'll forgive you (This time. ;) )...
No fear. No pity. No remorse.

#12
Terminatorinhell

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I absolutely love this fluff, ties to the night lords, their color scheme, their motto, everything is wicked hard core, but what I fine is the best bit is here.
" What the Twilight's Hands are most famous for is their use of psychological warfare. Different companies manifest this technique in different ways. The seventh company favour a noisy and intimidating armoured assault. The third company make extensive use of morale-destroying flame weaponry and napalm strikes, the fifth are masters of drop pod attacks and the ninth have fitted amplifiers to their armour that project their war cries at a destructive level. May foes have simply surrendered out of fear before a single shot is fired. A notable incidence was during the Rua'Yan Planetstrike, where a scout squad attached to the Black Company assasinated a Tau Ethereal and Shas'O with a roadside bomb, flipping their Devilfish and killing the entire Tau command section just as a Twilight's Hands drop assault screamed from above. The Tau surrendered as the first pod touched down. None were spared as a consequence."

Roadside bombs= awesome way to assassinate a tau :HQ:

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The Emperor's Champion:
"Never forget, getting tackled by a charging Marine is a LOT like getting hit with a VW Beetle at 30+mph. A VW that hates you and everything you stand for..."


With a lonely whisper you hear him say, on this night you will die this way...


#13
Walter Payton

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Thanks terminatorinhell, I like your avatar too :)

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#14
Darrell

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I read through the entire IA, and I want to first commend you for the amount of work you've obviously put into writing the article.

However, that said, I do see some issues with the concept you've created. The biggest problem I see is that, I really see no uniting theme or concept to the Twilight's Hand. Typically, while reading an IA, I am able to see a general theme that the author has used to create the Chapter. They might be trying to imbue their Chapter with the traits of an animal, the characteristics of a historical civilization (Mongolians, Spartans, Aztecs), or the author might be inspired by a more general concept (Purity, judgement, love, hate, et cetera). While reading the Twilight's Hand, though, I can't really see any uniting themes that tie the article together. As a whole, I don't really come away with an idea of what the Twilight's Hand is supposed to be, beyond they are apparently the best at everything (More on that momentarily). May I ask what the concept of the Chapter is supposed to be? I honestly have no idea at this point.

The second issue I see lies in the seeming invincibility and total domination of this Chapter in every aspect. Throughout the article, you are constantly pointing out how the Twilight's Hand is way better than those other Chapters you've heard about. Granted, an Index Astartes article is all about making your Chapter sound really cool, but it requires a far more subtle touch than what I see here. To demonstrate what I mean, I'm going to quote a few lines from the article:

"Unlike most chapters, the Twilight's Hands insist that their Veterans train in both Sternguard and Vanguard disciplines, and the 1st is a highly flexible formation that can adapt to any tactical eventuality, be it storming an Iron Warrior's fortress, holding the line against a Tyranid hive fleet, or a search and destroy mission against a Tau ethereal." So, they have Veterans that are basically twice as good as everyone else's Veterans. That may not be what you mean, but that is the implication made with that statement.

"[The 12th Company members] number barely 50 Astartes, yet their surgical strikes and stealth missions have achieved what ten times their number in Terminators could not." Wow. So, each member of the Black Company is worth ten terminators. Why even have other Companies? Just send the Black Company, and it's like having an entire Chapter of terminators. I'd tone that down a whole lot to avoid the Mary Sue factor.

"The council meets either aboard the Talonlord, their flagship, which has been upgraded many times, so that its firepower matches that of the most powerful Imperial battleships" ... "When a drop assault is not available, the chapter uses assault shuttles of the type most commonly used by the Imperial Navy." The Imperium is very, very paranoid about giving too much power to any one group of people. Giving Astartes access to Imperial Navy assets, on a permanent basis, would not make anyone comfortable. There's nothing wrong with having an ancient Battle Barge that has been expanded over the years, but I would avoid statements like "It's just as good as anything the Imperial Navy has, if not better". As for the assault shuttles, again, you need to ask what your Chapter gains versus staying with the Thunderhawks. Every other Chapter seems to do just fine, why do the Twilight's Hand have to resort to the Imperial Navy's ships to get what they need?

In addition to that, consider that they absolutely dominate traitor Astartes like the Alpha Legion and Emperor's Children (Even managing to wipe out a Greater Daemon with minimal losses). They are humanitarian, so everyone loves them. Then, they also basically tell the Inquisition to go sit in a corner on a regular basis and suffer only a relatively bad relationship with Inquisitors. Apparently, they've also got a hotline to the Grey Knights, whom I thought were an extremely well-guarded secret within the Inquisition. Essentially, there's a lot of examples of how the Twilight's Hand is better in every way than anyone else, but no real examples of any flaws or shortcomings. In the end, flaws are what will make your Chapter interesting. People love the Imperial Fists because they're masochists. People love the Blood Angels because they are fighting a curse which drives them insane. People love the Dark Angels because they are hiding a shameful secret that is millenia old. You need something to grab a reader's attention and make them say "Hey, I never heard of anything like that before, that's awesome!"

Beyond those issues, there are also aspects of the Chapter which seem to exist only to be different for the sake of being different. Twilight's Hand has 13 Companies; why? What does your Chapter gain, in terms of interest from readers, by having three extra Companies compared to a Codex organization? You also start the article out by hinting that your Chapter was created in the Dark Founding; again, why? Why not use a founding that isn't such a sensitive topic? The Chapter doesn't really gain anything by being 13th Founding, except perhaps more critics. For the Companies, I would suggest a) explain why there are extra Companies, or B ) use a Codex organization. For the founding, I think you'd get the best results by just switching to another Founding. 2nd, 13th and 21st are usually pretty sensitive and rarely offer more than points of contention between you and your readers. Linked to the founding issue, is the issue of some groups not trusting the Twilight's Hand due to their mysterious origins. How, exactly, would anyone find out about the Chapter's mysterious origin? More than likely, the only way to confirm those origins would be to look at the Chapter annals directly, and the Hand doesn't sound like they're going to let the Inquisition pour through their history books.

I also think that the "Notable Engagements" section of the IA can be edited out entirely. While there is nothing wrong with detailing various battles in your Chapter's history, the IA is not really the place to flesh them out. Examples spread throughout the IA, and given just enough detail to make them interesting, are appropriate if they showcase a particular aspect of the Chapter's beliefs or combat doctrine. Otherwise, it just makes your IA bigger and more intimidating to readers. Try to keep the article focused on the Chapter itself, and what makes your Chapter different from every other Chapter out there. Every aspect of the article should be written with that goal in mind, to keep the IA's length from running wild.

All that said, however, you do present some concepts in the IA that could provide your Chapter with much-needed depth. You just need to expand on those concepts. For instance, you explain that the Captains of the 1st, 5th, 8th, 12th and 13th Companies have special roles in the Chapter. What are those roles? Why does it make them suited for diplomacy? How were those roles created? Are they the typical roles you might expect (Master of the Armory, Master of Recruits, Master of the Fleet, et cetera) or something entirely different (Blade of Vengeance, Blade of Honor, Blade of Purity, et cetera)? The Chapter is ruled by the Senatus Nox; how did that come about? Why did it come about? Who determined that a veto ability was needed, and why give it to the Dreadnoughts (Who can be notoriously temperamental and detached, in addition to sleeping most of the time)? You also make a lot of mentions regarding the Twilight Hand's poor relationship with the Inquisition. While I think that you overdo the Hand's constant thumbing, consider the fate of the Celestial Lions when they told the Inquisition exactly where they could stick their Exterminatus. Exploring the implications of having a poor relationship with the Inquisition could be very interesting; perhaps the Hand often end up arriving at a Forgeworld to restock their ammunition but conveniently the Mechanicus has just run out of bolter shells. Perhaps when the Chapter requests support, their Astropath messages often end up experiencing inexplicable delays before being received and acted upon. A Chapter, while not really having any direct superiors to which they answer, is not capable of totally functioning on its own. There will always come a time when they need to call in a favor from another part of the Imperium, and what happens if you don't have any favors?

Unfortunately, I don't have as much free time as I used to, and I'm rusty on my IA critiques. I apologize if I came across as harsh or rude at any point, but I am a firm believer in honest, constructive criticism. I don't want to hurt feelings, I just want to help you make the best article you can. :lol:
"You are not free whose liberty is won by the vigour of other, more righteous souls. You are merely protected. Your freedom is parasitic, you suck the honourable man dry and offer nothing in return. You who have enjoyed freedom, who have done nothing to earn it, your time has come."

"You may cleave to your courage but that will fail you, look to your weapons but you will find them not enough. Run, fight, hide, pray, cry out or cower -- it does not matter, for we are come."
— Fafnir Rann, Patriarch and first High Executioner of the Executioners Chapter

#15
Walter Payton

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Thanks for the comments and criticism guys. Especially the criticism

@Chaplain Mathryn, I am ditching the whole NL thing (well, not quite ditching,) the new idea is to make it mystery, with hints, rather than a massive Welcome to Las Vegas sign with flashing lights and pole dancers :D. The new idea is to create an air of mystique around the founding. They could be a result of Mechanicus attempts to remove flaws in the geneseed, they could be formed from the geneseed of one of the two lost legions, they could be one of the lost legions (although they aren't), they could be formed from traitor geneseed, the list is endless (I don't even know the answer myself, and I am sure as heck not going to come up with one. That is why I am sticking to the Dark Founding (which is, after all only their view, they themselves could be incorrect,)

@Darrell, don't worry, I really don't mind harshness, so long as it is polite: "you've created a pile of :)," is what someone once said about my last IA, only without the :cuss.

As for the meat of your critique: You have said exactly what I knew someone would say: They are too good. Fear not, I intended to add a few new sections to the article: Relations with other chapters (which will have plenty of drawbacks), Notable Members, a description of their fortress monastery and the Talonlord, and a secret section that I am planning, which will have the big massive drawback to rule them all and in (hopefully) character bind them. For the record, I just want to say that it was not my intention to create a massive uber-pwnage chapter.

As for the notable engagements sector, fair enough, you are right, will remove.

As for your concerns about using IN assault boats, and the Talonlord, this is the only area that I disagree with you: I don't think the Imperium would mind much, considering they are not using Thunderhawk gunships instead. Re: the Talonlord, well, the Relictors had a Ramilies class starfort, plus at least one battle barge, WD295. Another chapter (the Dark Hunters, I think, though I am probably wrong), have a pre-Heresy starfort, and the Blood Ravens have the Omnis Arcanum, which is described in the novels as being massively upgraded. Those were my justifications. Disagree if you wish, I enjoy fluff debates :D


As for your comments about theme, well, the themes are meant to be psychological warfare and mysterious origin. Looking over the IA, I see that these aren't really being expanded upon. The Historical theme is the WWII Red Army of the Soviet Union. The huge size of the Red Army (though obviously they won't be nine million marines strong) and the Katyusha rocket launchers and broadcasts into Berlin in the dying days of the war (including the famous 'abandon all hope' broadcast) give me the psychological warfare. I accept, however, that this needs more fleshing out. It's just that I don't want to labour the point by calling everyone Vladimir or Brezhnev, though a few Russian names works fine. Here are some soviet rocket launchers:Whirlwind/Katyushas
Again, outside the Reich Chancellery

Re: the whole Thirteen Companies thing, well, that is to give them a little bit of divergence from the ranks of the Codex Astartes worshipping main. I really don't want to make Ultramarines with a new name. NOT THAT I HAVE ANYTHING AGAINST ULTRAMARINES, SO DON'T GET THIS THREAD STOPPED WITH ANOTHER ULTRA-HATE DEBATE!!

Thanks again

Oh, PS, they don't have a "hotline" to the GK, it is just that as fellow Astartes, and fairly impressive ones at that, they would, I think, trust them more than Inquisitor XYZ, especially as it is an Inquisitor who has just killed one of their captains. This was, after all, during the 13th Black Crusade, so it wouldn't have been hard to find some GKs!

Edited by Brother-Captain Alecto, 18 January 2010 - 07:51 PM.

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#16
Maleagant

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Hello,

I loved reading about your Chapter...good work on the fluff. Keep at it!

One question I have though, and I have read your earlier remarks about it, but why 13 companies? Roboute Guilliman and other Chapters went a long way to ensure that nearly ALL Chapter conform to size limits in order to limit abuse of power. (y'know..the whole Horus Heresy thing) The only reason the Wolves get away with it is because they were pretty butch having survived most of the Heresy intact and Guilliman couldn't really force Russ to conform to the codex without coming to blows. But by the 13th founding...even one so mysterious, nearly every chapter would probably have to stick to 10 companies.

Just my two cents...keep up the good work!

#17
Walter Payton

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Well, other chapters have non-codex organisation: Also, the Exorcists have eleven companies, there is another chapter with thirteen, so I don;t think it is too much. The BT got away with, and they were created when the heresy was still raw-whilst the vast majority of chapters stick to it, the twilight's hands are just a little bit different, especially since a) they are often spread out, and :( their operational strength outside the Noxxara system is only 1150, not that far removed from a codex chapter. Also, they only have 150 extra marines, the rest are scouts. Plus, they have few tanks-more on that later, and a chapter is barely ever at its max operational strength, so I don' think the Imperium would care much.

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#18
Walter Payton

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Have added some more stuff lately, so that should balance it out.

"Never die easy."