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Alt-IA: Iron Hands - Complete


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Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

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Index Astartes: Iron Hands

The Dornian Heresy


Throughout their history, the Iron Hands have striven to strengthen humanity by purging the weak, knowing that it is the only way for mankind as a race to survive. On learning of the enormity of the threat posed by the Ruinous Powers, and the insidiously corrupting effect it had upon the body and mind, Ferrus Manus decreed that only through mechanisation could Chaos be defeated. His aim was to create cold, logical intelligences, shorn of the emotions which stirred up the Warp, and housed inside bodies of unyielding metal. The Iron Hands have clung to this ideal even at the expense of being classed as traitors and renegades, but now, after ten thousand years of hiding, their preparations to ascend the human race beyond the frailties of the flesh are nearly complete.

Origins
K
nowing that only the greatest of warriors would be equal to the task of commanding His legions in the Great Crusade, the Emperor used all of His skill to create twenty primarchs - beings of unparalleled potency. Before His sons could even be born from their metal wombs, they were stolen away by the Ruinous Powers and scattered across the length and breadth of the galaxy. The one containing the primarch of the Tenth Legion of Astartes fell to earth upon the death world of Medusa, a planet plagued by constant tectonic activity and an atmosphere wreathed in choking ash. Medusa bred a hardy and unsentimental people, who banded into clans which were constantly on the move, and clashed on occasion to claim what little food was available. For them every day was a new trial, and any weakness a luxury they simply could not afford.

In the decades after arriving on Medusa, the young primarch wandered the world. On his travels he sought out the clans, accompanying them briefly to exchange knowledge or to defeat a predator, but never formally joining any of them. Given his abilities and the esteem in which he was held, he could easily have unified the clans under his leadership. Instead he remained a distant figure, subtly guiding their actions, but never taking sides in their skirmishes, or even trying to prevent them, recognising as he did the important role this played in winnowing out the weaker elements.

According to legend, he was drawn to a nightmarish area of the planet known as the Land of Shadows, a place haunted by monsters and the spirits of the dead. There, he hunted down a terrible creature known variously as the Great Silver Wyrm, or Asirnoth the Dragonshard, which had preyed upon the clans for as long as anyone could remember. After an epic battle he was finally victorious, though his hands were forever stained with the silver blood of the beast, gaining him the name of Ferrus Manus – He of the Iron Hands.

The arrival of the Emperor and His armies upon Medusa caused great fear and suspicion amongst the clans, but Ferrus Manus was unafraid. He strode out alone to face the newcomer, and challenged Him to trials of strength and skill to prove His worth. Over the coming days of evenly matched contests, a great bond of familial love and respect was forged, and Manus accepted wholeheartedly his destined role within the Great Crusade. Command of the Tenth Legion of the Adeptus Astartes was bestowed upon him, and with it the planetary governorship of Medusa. Though he had up until then resisted all such leadership roles, Manus grasped its importance, and approached this challenge in the same way he had every other in his life; with fortitude and cold logic.

He was intrigued to meet the Astartes who had been created from his genetic template, and was satisfied to recognise much of himself in their character, even renaming the legion the Iron Hands to reflect this. From them he continued his education about the wider Imperium, absorbing knowledge at a prodigious rate and demonstrating an innate genius for technical matters which astounded the legion’s techmarines. Just as he learned from the legion, he also instilled within them the Medusan philosophies of stoicism and self-reliance, and the attitude that for a society to flourish, weakness must be unsentimentally and brutally eliminated.

The Great Crusade
T
he legion’s Expeditions of conquest spread out from Medusa to bring the scattered human colonies under the Emperor’s dominion, and in the main headed into the wild, uncharted expanses of Segmentum Pacificus in the galactic west. For the Iron Hands, especially those born and raised on Medusa, they found that very few planets could match their ethos of self-reliance. Their approach to these worlds was straightforwardly single-minded; any resistance was met with merciless and overwhelming force. Just as they fought clan against clan on Medusa to compete for scarce food and resources, they had no qualms about inflicting horrendous casualties to bring worlds into the light of the Imperium. In the face of these tactics planetary leaders would frequently find their pleas to surrender ignored, only to be tasked with weeding out the weaker elements from their populations themselves before the Iron Hands would call a halt to hostilities. Though many deemed the Iron Hands’ methods to be thuggish and barbaric, it was simply their way of ensuring that humanity was strong enough to face the myriad dangers the galaxy held.

In the forges deep beneath Mount Narodnya, Ferrus Manus laboured long into the night to hone the blade. Where other men would have long-since professed it as a masterpiece, Manus saw the scope to improve and refine it still further into a thing unsurpassed by human endeavour. When Fulgrim of the Emperor’s Children had swaggered into the forge and boasted of his skills, he had instantly hated such preening arrogance, but as the weeks had passed he had actually come to respect and even admire his brother. In his own way, Fulgrim’s quest for perfection was like his own drive to eliminate weakness in all its forms. Their competition had driven them both to the limits of their powers, which could only be a good thing.

The subject of his labours had long ago ceased to be a mere power sword. It had transcended. He supposed it must simply be inspiration, but looking back now at the schematics he still could not fathom from where many of the ideas had sprung. It was as though - without even any conscious thought - his silver hands had time and again fashioned the ideal solution. At long last the sword was complete. No armour forged, no protective field, could stand against such a weapon. Let his brother look upon this Fireblade and weep, for it was what he had been searching for – It was perfection.

Ferrus Manus set the Iron Hands the formidable challenge of bringing every human world within a wide arc of the galaxy into Imperial Compliance, an undertaking they carried out with resolute stoicism. Though it took more than a century of blood, sacrifice and pain, at long last they reached the Halo Stars at the very edge of the galaxy. On a world so distant from Terra that the Astronomicon was but a guttering candle in the night, the Iron Hands reached the furthest extent of their conquests. The planet, appropriately named Terminus by fleet astrocartographers, was a place of dust and sand long-since scoured of life - even its star was old and nearly exhausted. Yet it was a milestone, and the place where the legion’s fate would change forever.

Scans of the planet revealed that deep beneath the surface lay a network of vast caverns clearly not of natural origin. Upon gaining entry they found all manner of seemingly potent, though dormant, machineries of xenos origin and after only the briefest of examinations, Ferrus Manus bade his legion leave him and return to orbit. Though much vexed by this turn of events, the Iron Hands respected their primarch’s wishes. When Manus emerged, he was a man transformed, and much saddened by what he had found.

Ferrus Manus explained that he had been able to decipher some of the databanks, which told the history of an advanced race from a time before life on Terra had even emerged from the oceans. Their empire had spanned the galaxy and their power seemed unassailable, little realising the malevolent threat of Chaos that lived at the heart of the Warp. The Empyrean, they eventually came to learn, was populated not just by the mindless warp-predators which attacked unprotected ships, but by entities of godlike power and unspeakable evil. They had at first welcomed the rise of psychic powers amongst their race, realising too late that their use weakened the walls protecting reality from this universe of horror, allowing madness and daemonic possession to run rife.

This caused a tide of suspicion, bloodshed and hysteria to sweep the galaxy, which only acted to strengthen the creatures which lived in that shadow-realm, as such powerful emotions were a feast for them. Even their most powerful warriors were not immune to corruption or possession, and they turned their weapons upon any who would not follow them into damnation. As the war raged, the Ancients tried to use their advanced technology to create wholly synthetic bodies for themselves that would be immune to the temptations of the flesh, and the warping powers of Chaos. In scores of hidden bases across the galaxy, of which the caverns of Terminus were but one, they raced desperately to free themselves from the trap of flesh before their entire race was extinguished. They failed. The countless millions of silent metal shells which they found in the depths of the catacombs below were to have been hosts to the race, but instead stood silent and dead as statues.

The words of their primarch moved the assembled Iron Hands deeply, not least because it voiced for them feeling they had been unable to properly express since the earliest days of the Great Crusade. Despite their pragmatic and rational nature, the legion had seen much which could not be explained, and this gave reason to the irrational. In particular, the proximity of Medusa to the Eye of Terror meant that their Expeditionary forces had faced whole worlds in thrall of psykers, where madness and mutation were rife, and daemonic creatures of nightmare had been all-too real.

It was clear to the Iron Hands that history was even now repeating itself, and that humanity was sleepwalking towards the same fate as the Ancients before them. Unless they acted, mankind would be corrupted, trapped and consumed by the Dark Gods of the Warp. On that day, Ferrus Manus set his Iron Hands the task of examining the technology contained within the scattered tomb-worlds and developing it to the point where it could be used to ascend mankind beyond the frailties of flesh.

Ferrus Manus walked ahead of his brethren, drinking in the majesty and power of the dormant machines. They were old – old beyond imagining – and yet something within him was certain that they could be made to live again... “To live” struck him an odd phrase to apply to a machine, but here, inside the hidden caverns of Terminus, it felt somehow fitting. As he walked, his armoured feet kicked up eddies of the fine brown dust which coated every surface. All except the thing he had at first taken to be a large mirror. Upon closer inspection he noticed that the silvery surface was fluid, like a pool of mercury held vertically against the wall. Something about the way it moved fascinated him, and without knowing quite why, Ferrus Manus reached out his silver hand to touch the shimmering mirror...

The Hard Road
T
he undertaking before the Iron Hands was an epic one, made all the more difficult as it had to be carried out alone, and in complete secrecy. They could not risk telling even the Emperor of their plans, concerned either that He might oppose them, or, given the interconnected nature of psychic powers and the Warp, that the Chaos Gods might learn of it. As long as they continued to bring fresh worlds into the Imperium, the legion’s private mission to investigate the tomb-worlds went without notice. While his legion did this, Manus returned to Medusa, and in a rare seismically calm area located at the centre of the Land of Shadows, constructed a vast chamber to house his great work. A steady stream of data and arcane machinery flowed into Medusa from across the galaxy, but it soon became apparent that not all of the equipment they required was to be found on dead worlds. The most important artefact of all was located on a planet that was far from deserted. It was buried beneath the surface of Mars.

Given the jealous way with which the Adeptus Mechanicus guarded their secrets, the idea that they would allow the Iron Hands to excavate and remove anything from Mars was simply out of the question. Despite the Terran system being the most heavily defended in the Imperium, and Mars being protected by Titan Legions and other potent engines of destruction, plans were drawn up to take the Artefact by subterfuge. These desperate ploys were abandoned when it became clear through the Ancient’s machines that the Ruinous Powers were already moving to tear the Imperium apart in civil war. With time so desperately short, Manus formulated an audacious scheme to use these events to his advantage.

Knowing that Rogal Dorn, the chosen pawn of the Ruinous Powers, would attempt to play upon any perceived character flaw, Manus deftly used this to his advantage. He contacted Dorn and spoke of his concerns for the Great Crusade, for the need for strong leadership if the Imperium was not to crumble under its own weight, and of the high-handed way the Adeptus Mechanicus so jealously guarded their technological treasures. Over the course of that fateful conversation, Manus allowed Dorn to draw him into the conspiracy to depose their father, and was sure to let just a flash of avarice tarnish his modesty when told that the Iron Hands would be the ideal rulers of Mars under the new order.

Fine words alone were not enough to secure Dorn’s trust, and the access to Mars they required. The pact had to be sealed with blood and sacrifice at Istvaan V. There they were expected to help ambush and crush three legions that Dorn had been unable to convert to his cause, including their brothers-in–arms, the Emperor’s Children. They yearned first to warn them, and later to join them in battle against the traitors, yet knew they must not. It is a testament to the legion’s resolve and trust in their primarch that not a single Iron Hand faltered in the face of their duty, even when the battle brought the two legions together. They could not be seen to hold back even in the slightest against their former friends, and Fulgrim’s legion attacked their perceived betrayers with incandescent fury. The two primarchs met, albeit briefly, and although Manus had his brother at his mercy, he faltered. In that instant of hesitation, Fulgrim pressed his attack, grievously wounding Manus and severing his left hand before they were again separated by the tides of battle.

Ferrus Manus, or rather the thing which now wore his face, selected his next victim. The Emperor’s Children as a legion may not have fallen to Chaos, but the Dragonshard Manus could see it had taken root within the heart of the arrogant duellist captain before him. Though not as pronounced as that which had claimed Rogal Dorn, it would have consumed him within a short span had they not come here to die on Istvaan V. Before the man could even open his mouth to issue a challenge, the Dragonshard leapt forward and gripped his sword by the naked blade. Lucius’ eyes widened first in surprise, and then shock, as the powerfield strained uselessly against the impenetrable silver metal. Inefficient and incomprehensible though it was, such acts of intimidation were vital in maintaining the illusion of humanity. Similarly, it took not even a moment of pleasure at the man’s demise.

As the Dragonshard considered the irony that the death had been caused by the warhammer forged by the man’s own primarch, it was transfixed with unutterable agony. It looked down to see a blade erupting from its chest, and the stench of its own seared flesh filled the air. As the sword was ripped from its back, the Dragonshard toppled over into the trampled mud, and from the corner of its eye saw the unmistakable sight of Fulgrim - the Phoenician – bearing down once again. Reflexively, he raised his hand to ward off the blow, but the blade was of no ordinary construction. It was the Fireblade, forged by the original owner of this body, and then given away in a useless display of friendship. Though he had not even known it, the weapon incorporated the peerless technology of his master. With a sickening crunch, Fireblade sheared clean through the metal of the Dragonshard’s left wrist, and in the moment before it was swept to safety by a phalanx of Manus’ personal guard, the thing at last felt the bitter sting of emotion. It at last felt fear.

With the three loyalist legions effectively destroyed and their place inside Dorn’s rebellion cemented with blood of their brothers, the Iron Hands set course for the Terran system. During the journey, Manus crafted a masterpiece of the bionic art in adamantium to replace the hand he had lost. It was a reminder not just of the price they had all paid at Istvaan, but also of the dire cost of even a moment’s sentimentality.

While the Imperial Fists and the Salamanders continued on to Terra, the Iron Hands headed for Mars. They ignored the calls for aid from their supposed Chaos allies and instead made planet-fall close to the area known as the Noctis Labyrinthus. While the region was being secured from attack, Ferrus Manus led the legion’s assembled techmarines through caves deep beneath the red planet, and to the prize they had sacrificed so much to obtain. What they found was a vast cavern that, but for the patina of aeons, was all-but identical to the one constructed back on Medusa. Although empty to the naked eye, the chamber gave an indefinable impression of being somehow crowded and oppressive, which Manus explained was a side-effect of the Martian Artefact’s extra-dimensional nature. Such was the complexity of the item that Manus ordered all manner of arcane equipment be put in place before it could be moved.

The wilds of Noctis Labyrinthus were far from the most intense clashes between the Mechanicus and their Chaos corrupted brethren, and for more than a week the Iron Hands faced little in the way of attacks. It was, however, simply a matter of time before their presence brought down the full might of the Titan Legions. Before the Iron Hands could test their mettle against this formidable foe, Ferrus Manus called every one of his battle-brothers down to the cavern. There he revealed that the equipment they had installed was designed to transport them, and the Martian Artefact, across the galaxy to Medusa in an instant.

Manus instructed the Iron Hand fleet to break orbit and return to Medusa using the more traditional method to avoid the technological devastation that would result as a side-effect of this device. By the time everything was in place the surface above was subject to a full-scale bombardment which shook the very bedrock with its fury. As Ferrus Manus approached the control panel and raised his hands for silence, even the drums of war seemed to fall silent in anticipation. This was broken by the unearthly howl of pent-up energies seeking release, and a sickening sense of movement. They had returned to Medusa, but before the legion could celebrate their success it became clear that something had gone terribly wrong.

Manus had learned much in the years of his imprisonment. So sure had the Dragonshard been in its mastery of him, that it had not even felt the need to restrict his access to its memories. What he had found had filled Manus with anger and grief, but he was resourceful, patient, and one of the Emperor’s primarchs. Now, with the loss of its silver hand at Istvaan, and the ritual to transport its alien master back to Medusa requiring so much of its concentration, Manus knew that his moment had come. If it worked, both he and his legion would be destroyed, but better that than they misguidedly continue down their current path. Exerting all of his considerable will, Manus subtly began to prematurely rouse the entity from its aeons-long hibernation.

The Void Dragon awoke both disoriented and hungry, and reflexively began to feed upon the life forces which surrounded it.

Ascension Delayed
T
hrough some unforeseen mishap the translation process from Mars to Medusa had prematurely triggered the Artefact, with dire consequences for the assembled Iron Hands. The machine had been intended to free humanity from its reliance on flesh and bone and transfer consciousness seamlessly into constructs of unyielding metal, but without the necessary equipment in place it proceeded to drain the life from all those around it. By the time Ferrus Manus was able to stop it, the majority of his legion had been reduced to powder-dry husks inside their suits of power armour, and even those who could be saved were debilitated, their flesh and muscles atrophied.

Worst of all, the Martian Artefact had been so badly damaged that many decades of work, and the full resources of all of the hidden bases, would be required before another attempt at re-activation could be attempted. Their intention had been to start the process of transforming mankind within weeks, ending the threat of Chaos and Dorn’s Heresy at a stroke. Instead, the terribly weakened Iron Hands were viewed by both sides as pariahs; the Imperium classed them as traitors for their actions at Istvaan, and the Chaos Legions cursed them for ignoring their calls for aid during the Siege of Terra. As much as it revolted them, they needed to hide. By the time the Iron Hands’ fleet had arrived back from Mars, the individual great companies, as well as their attendant clans, were ready to relocate to the Ancient’s bases across the galaxy.

What they found on arrival was that the tomb complexes had also been destroyed by the same cataclysm which had afflicted them on Medusa. At precisely the time the Martian Artefact had been triggered, the machineries had activated and built to catastrophic overload. With only the detailed scans taken by the survey teams, and the technological genius of Ferrus Manus, the newly integrated clan companies set to the task of rebuilding not just their depleted numbers, but the machines of the Ancients.

For thousands of years the Iron Hands remained hidden from prying eyes, venturing out only to raid for vital supplies, and even then making certain they did not leave any witnesses or hint of their involvement. To the wider galaxy it was assumed that the Iron Hands had simply been casualties of the Dornian Heresy, their passing unmourned by both sides of the war. However, with each machine they rebuild, more and more advances in technology were revealed. Bionics, powerful Gauss weaponry, space travel without passing through the Warp and phased teleportation were all developed and put to use in improving the legion’s capabilities.

While Astartes had been designed to be long lived, unlike their primarch they were not ageless. Though able to alleviate the weight of centuries by mechanising their bodies, had it not been for Iron Father Blantar’s breakthrough of transferring the brain and personality into crystal matrix form then their only option would have been entombment within the support systems of a Dreadnought. The Blantar Process proved once and for all that it was indeed possible to eliminate the weaknesses of the flesh, but so complex and difficult was it that not every Iron Hand, let alone every member of the human race, could be converted in this way.

The Martian Artefact had taken a terrible toll upon the Iron Hands, not least upon Ferrus Manus himself. Although it took many millennia, he eventually recovered sufficiently to face a fellow primarch, and in the process gained a measure of vengeance for the injury done to him on Istvaan. Ferrus Manus was able to phase into the heart of the Emperor’s Children’s flagship and confront Fulgrim alone in his own state room. He defeated his brother in single combat and stripped him down to his component atoms with Gauss blasts, before reclaiming the silver hand taken as a trophy by Fulgrim on Istvaan. With his silver hand restored and his body whole once more, Ferrus Manus returned re-energised to the task ahead.

It was with something approaching reverence that the Dragonshard approached the primarch’s gaudily ornamented trophy case. After spending so long separated, being less than whole, the anticipation was palpable. There, amongst dozens of other relics of importance to Fulgrim, lay its severed left hand cradled upon a cushion of purple velvet. The pane of glass shattered easily, and it plucked the hand hungrily from where it lay. As though pulling on a glove, its bionic left hand slipped easily inside the fluid silver, and merged seamlessly with the metal at its wrist.

A sense of wholeness, of completeness, washed over the Dragonshard. It even drove away the sullied nature of its victory over Fulgrim. It was certain that before the Phoenician had been completely flayed away to his component atoms, that he had been phased away, although to where, or in what state he would be, it was impossible to tell. It had thought the echo which haunted him had long-since been driven to insanity by his containment, but it seemed that he had merely been waiting for the moment to strike. Let Manus savour that small victory, because with this body whole once more, the troublesome ghost would soon be exorcised.

With the legion resurgent, the Iron Hands were at last able to carry out raids to procure the more difficult items required to reactivate the Martian Artefact. This has involved the legion attacking targets openly, along with the attendant risks of retribution. The largest assault was their campaign to capture the Blackstone Fortresses, in which the entire legion combined to attack strategic locations in the Gothic sector to cripple the Imperium’s ability to stop them from attacking their true targets. The Blackstone Fortresses were orbiting bastions, thought to be of Xenos origin, that the Imperium had crudely fortified with little concept of their true potential. Manus, however, through close study of the archives of the Ancient’s machines, had learned their secrets, and how to turn them against their defenders.

During the opening stages of the campaign they were able to claim three of the Blackstone Fortresses before the arrival of massed Imperial reinforcements. This made matters significantly more difficult, with the Astartes of the Death Guard destroying the fourth at Anvil 206, and the fifth spirited away from Fulvaris by the Eldar. However, the Iron Hands were able to take advantage of the bitter in-fighting between the Eldar and the Death Guard to claim the final Blackstone Fortress at Schindlegeist.

Leaving the Gothic Sector, the Iron Hands brought the Blackstone Fortresses to their full potential, and combined the four into a force capable of destroying whole stars. On the orders of Manus they attacked and completely obliterated worlds which were pivotal to the future schemes of the Dark Gods. No visible seed of Chaos was detected on Pavonis in Ultramar Segmentum, a Dyson Sphere hidden beneath the plane of the galaxy, or in any of the half a dozen other systems they destroyed, indicating that the legion had prevented the corruption from spreading any further.

The Farseer studied the wraithbone runes once more, but their divinations were as opaque as ever. Despite his best efforts, the Dragon’s servants remained shrouded from view, with only the most maddening of hints revealing themselves. He searched the possible futures for the best path to take, but the fates were too tangled even for someone of his abilities to be sure. In the attempt to understand his enemy, he had studied the many possible strands of Manus’ early history, and remembered with envy the fates where mercy had seen him die before he had been drawn to one of the Dragon’s traps. The Farseer did not know what lie the Iron Hands had been told, but he was certain that they must even now be unwittingly assembling and arming vast numbers of Necron-like constructs, unaware that the mon-keigh would not be spared the great harvest when the Dragon awoke.

The three Talismans of Vaul already in their possession could be combined to destroy whole planets and even stars - what damage would they wreak if they were allowed to claim all six? Most of his peers believed that, despite their incredible destructive capability, their aim was simply to destroy them, thereby removing one of the few weapons capable of killing the Yngir. However, the more perceptive among them had realised that they would instead be used to destroy the other Yngir, leaving the Dragon to rule unopposed. Most of the other Craftworlds had claimed that such in-fighting was an outcome to be welcomed, and that any intervention only risked provoking the Death Guard into persecuting them all the more, but they were wrong. Whatever the cost, and whatever the other Craftworlds chose to do, they must retain some way to defeat the Yngir. The Em’brathar Craftworld must go to war.

In the dying days of M41, the legion is in the process of claiming the final items for their primarch, and the caverns beneath the tomb worlds are filled with countless billions of metal shells ready to house the essence of humanity. As though sensing that the end is near, both the forces of Chaos and the Imperium have sought out the Iron Hand’s hidden bases, but nothing can be allowed to interfere with their second, long-delayed attempt to activate the Martian Artefact.

Organisation
I
n the aftermath of the Medusan Cataclysm the clan companies were desperately few in number, but over the millennia they have steadily rebuilt their ranks so that each now contains many thousands of warriors. Each Iron Hand clan company is resolutely independent, isolated beneath the surface of their own world not just from humanity, but from the rest of the legion. Their insular nature is such that forces from different clan companies rarely fight alongside one another, except upon the orders of Ferrus Manus himself. The primarch still resolutely commands the scattered legion, and in recent centuries the silver which had before coated his hands has spread to cover his entire body. He moves between the clan companies in a heavily converted Battle-Barge, which contains at its heart the cavern that houses the Martian Artefact. With every visit to a clan company, Manus consults with their leaders, directs their research, collects fresh components, and designates new targets for raids.

The clan companies themselves are led by marines so ancient that most are veterans of the Great Crusade. With such great age comes immense experience and wisdom, which has been rewarded with complete mechanisation. So bulky and valuable is the Blantar equipment that fully mechanised marines must enter battle housed inside one of the legion’s suits of Terminator armour. Such is the veneration of these ancients that their presence is used to inspire and lead squads of their younger power armoured brethren on particularly critical missions.

While the commanders direct the clan companies in the ways of war, it is the Iron Fathers who lead the research into rebuilding the machineries of the Ancients and applying their secrets to strengthen the legion. Because of this, Iron Fathers hold extremely influential positions, not just within their clan companies, but amongst the wider legion, and are able to move unimpeded between Iron Hand worlds in pursuit of the next technological breakthrough.

Homeworlds
A
fter their evacuation from Medusa, the clan companies scattered to the forgotten corners of galaxy. There, hidden from prying eyes, they quietly and patiently rebuilt their bodies and worked to bring about their primarch’s master-plan. These new homeworlds were little more than lifeless lumps of rock, having been scoured of life aeons before in the war between the Ancients and the Ruinous Powers. Such barren worlds would have been the death of most settlers, but to the stoic former inhabitants of Medusa this was seen as simply another challenge.

While the Imperium degenerated into confusion and weakness, they lived underground among the ruins, raiding to get what they needed to painstakingly piece the vast machines back together. With the culmination of Manus’ great plan almost at hand, the Iron Hands have had to become ever bolder in their attacks to claim the final, vital items needed to activate the Martian Artefact. This has meant that their enemies, in particular the Eldar, the Thousand Sons and Sigismund’s Black Legion, search all the more intensively for the location of the Iron Hands. Though their bases are buried far beneath the surface of otherwise dead worlds, and are shielded from even the most determined of scans, it is surely only a matter of time before the hidden weaponry which protects the worlds of the Iron Hands are used in earnest.

Gene-seed
T
he Iron Hands recruit almost exclusively from amongst the attendant clans of the Medusan diaspora, both due to the need for secrecy and because of the natural superiority of such a hardy breed. The exceptions to this are those staggeringly rare individuals who, through a quirk of genetics, cast no shadow into the Warp. Similar to the Sisters of Silence, the mere presence of these Blanks or Psychic Nulls causes pain and unease amongst psykers and disrupts the use of their unnatural powers. So valuable are these abilities to the Iron Hands that despite their lower rates of successful gene-seed implantation than those recruited from the Medusan clans, the Iron Hands have been known to raid worlds specifically to capture these anomalies.

Those recruits strong enough to bear the stresses of the implantation process gain all the benefits of the Manus gene-line. However, they recognise that even as paragons of the human form they are still vulnerable to the predations of the Warp and the innate frailties of the flesh. To this end, the first act an Iron Hand undertakes upon becoming a full battle-brother is to symbolically have his left hand removed, and replaced by a bionic fist of unyielding metal. This is symbolic both of the sacrifice and loss suffered by their primarch on Istvaan, and the first step on a path they hope will lead to complete mechanisation. Although only the oldest and most senior members of the legion ever attain this lofty ideal, they retain a palpable link to their primarch even when every last gene-seed implant has been replaced by metal and circuitry.

Combat Doctrine
A
lways a technologically adept legion, the Iron Hands have used the xenos artefacts and secrets of the dead worlds unlocked by Ferrus Manus to give them access to weapons and abilities far exceeding those of the Imperium. Their phasing technology allows the Iron Hands to appear seemingly from nowhere, catching their opponents unawares. It is also used to instantaneously redeploy forces across the battlefield without the need for transport vehicles, pressing any advantage and allowing them to vanish again like wraiths should the tide of battle turn against them.

The Iron Hands have also applied their technological prowess to their weaponry, producing war-blades capable of shearing through not just the toughest of armour, but of overloading powerfields with ease. The legion has also forsaken their former arsenal of ranged weaponry for those based on the principle of gauss flux projection. This engulfs the target in a coruscating beam of energy which rapidly strips it away layer by layer, be it the flesh of a living being or the adamantium armour of a battle-tank. Every type of Iron Hand weapon uses this principle, from the basic sidearm to the heavy weapons carried by Devastator squads, with even more powerful examples found mounted upon vehicles such as the Predator and Land Raider.

The Iron Hands are coldly logical and methodical in their approach to combat, probing for areas of weakness and suppressing the enemy with ranged fire before their specialised Assault squads phase in to strike the final blow. This is where the Nulls are most commonly to be found. Their mere presence is an anathema to daemons and psykers, and they fill even normal humans with a sense of dread which makes their onslaughts so effective.

- Testimony of Sergeant J.G. Lander, Tanakreg PDF

…knew how vital it was to destroy the Land Raider – that they were used to coordinate their forces and help them phase around the battlefield. We knew we had to stop it dead! The lieutenant sent me every melta-gunner in the platoon, and then threw everyone else against it as a diversion. I heard him urging them forward even while men were being flayed alive around him, but I don’t think there was anyone left by the time we got into range. We unleashed hell on that thing – more than enough firepower to melt it through to the planet’s core – and yet all it did was to burn off its ugly black paintwork. Just for a second it looked as though the metal beneath had liquefied – it rippled like mercury - but then it just reformed again and hardened. It wasn’t even warm…

Battle Cry
T
he Iron Hands attack in silence, but for the static and crackle of jammed vox-nets that precedes their arrival.

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 01 November 2010 - 12:11 AM.

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Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#2
Ferrata

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I've just been having some thoughts about the difference between the Horus Heresy and the Dornian Heresy. Something that we have mentioned before about the divided nature of the Chaos forces - especially later on after the Heresy. I feel that Dorn needs to do a little more in his role of Arch-Traitor, at the moment he merely tricks the Ultramarines and organises Ivstaan. Looking at the Chaos forces so far.

Ultramarines - Tricks them into believing that the Imperium is wrong.
Raven Guard - Nothing to do with their fall
White Scars - Again, nothing to do with their fall
Space Wolves - Nothing to do with their fall.
Blood Angels - Sanguinius has already fallen and Dorn simply recruits him
Iron Hands - Pre-fallen, even abuse Dorn

In comparison, Horus has his hand in the fall of many of the other Legions (from what I can remember) or at least sows the seeds for their fall. Whilst I think it is interesting to see Dorn not rely on his charisma for the Heresy to happen but instead of his planning, personally I would like him to do a little bit more. I'm not sure if he could work with the Iron Hands, maybe promise them Mars. But I'm guessing with Malalite Salamanders and split-Dark Angels, Dorn isn't going to play a large role in their falls so the Iron Hands are the last option.

#3
Aurelius Rex

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Sorry about the delay in getting back to you, Phil. I have been pondering this, and hopefully there is a possible solution to this. :)

You are certainly right that Dorn doesn’t have as much to do with the fall of the other legions as Horus did in his heresy. Some of this may be intrinsic – after all, Horus held a huge position of power, both as Warmaster, and even before as an arch-manipulator, setting up rivalries between the BA and WE, IF and IW etc to drive legions into his sphere of influence.

In the Dornian Heresy, Horus was still their first choice, and the Chaos gods had to pull out all the stops to corrupt Dorn after Davin was a bust for them. (If Horus had succumbed he would have taken down even more of the legions, and it would have been a seriously outnumbered fight for the remaining loyalists, it is fair to say.) Dorn had the position as Praetorian and respect as an honest man from some legions, although this honesty / social awkwardness also saw him alienate more than a few primarchs, such as Corax, Fulgrim, (only in the DH), Perturabo and Curze (in both versions).

Without the Warmaster’s long-practiced manipulation and networking skills, Dorn had little time and less resources to pull off the coup. He was however in a position to have Terra and the Imperial Palace locked down nicely while he set up the actually loyal Guilliman as the fall guy and also get him to aid in the destruction of three loyal legions at Istvaan. He took advantage of Horus being temporarily out of the picture and was partially successful in dragging the Iron Warriors out of the way, so both legions at least reached them after the IF and Sals got to Terra. All in all, he worked pretty well with the resources available.

The other reason for this probably occurred during the planning stages, where I was trying to think of reasonable explanations for why the traitors fell. It has ended up with their seeds for breaking from Terra being things which are integral to their pasts rather than the Betrayer swooping in late in the day and corrupting them with a single conversation – for example the way Horus corrupted the Emperor’s Children or to an extent the Iron Warriors. (Admittedly they had been ‘primed’ for this fall to a greater or lesser degree by what had gone before.) The only one that comes close to this in the DH is the way Dorn tricked Guilliman, and that was to drive a wedge between the Ultramarines and the Imperium with misunderstandings rather than actually corrupt the Ultramarines to Chaos in a single meeting.

So Dorn certainly has less of a role in corrupting the Primarchs in the Dornian Heresy than Horus did in the HH. Instead, as you rightly point out, most of them were on their own paths to the Dark Side with little intervention from him. In the DH, Dorn was chosen by the four powers combined (who knew of the corruption of the individual legions) to draw the renegades together, and because his legion guarded the Imperial Palace, he was in a prime position to kill The Emperor.

OK, that is the justification for how it has turned out… that is not to say that with the benefit of hindsight I would not have done things differently, and give Dorn – my favourite Primarch an even more pro-active role. :) The skewed perspective style of the IA’s has meant that at times each of the protagonists comes out looking flawed, but hopefully it also makes each of their fates sympathetic to the reader.

I will see if I can do something in the IA’s that remain, but in the case of the Iron Hands, I think that fall to the Dragon is an event that Dorn, corrupt or not, would have a limited role in causing. Sals? Could be. DA… Could Dorn have had a hand in turning Luther, or more likely, realising Luther was also a Chaos devotee, urged them to come to Istvaan and openly damn all the Dark Angels, even the loyal ones under The Lion’s command.

OK, how about this for a plan to make Dorn’s role more pivotal? Without Dorn’s intervention and urging, Luther’s Fallen Angels would just have stayed on Caliban until the end of the Heresy when the loyal big J returns - just as they did in the HH. In the Dornian Heresy, Dorn gets Luther’s Angels to overtly flag themselves as Chaos by coming to Istvaan, tarring the whole legion’s reputation with the same brush… even if the loyalists win and Luther’s side is destroyed, the Lion’s name will still be remembered as that of a traitor however loud he would try to deny it.

How does that sound? :)

Regards,
John.

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 17 February 2010 - 05:02 PM.

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Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#4
Darrell

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In the DH, Dorn was chosen by the four powers combined


Brother-Captain Planet?

I don't know much about the Iron Hands, and even less about the whole C'Tan/Dragon theories. However, I'll read over the Iron Hands IA again and see if I can maybe offer some feedback about possible directions.

Agreed that it's nice for Primarchs to basically set themselves up for the fall, rather than crumbling after one conversation with Horus. Still, surely Dorn was in a position to corrupt someone. Could possibly see Dorn promising Mannus to be the second head of the Imperial Eagle, with one ruling Terra and the other ruling Mars.

On the flipside, might be interesting to see a Primarch turn the tables on Dorn. Basically playing the part of a manipulated patsy, then coming out on top by completing a secret objective and leaving Dorn with his privates in the wind. Helps demonstrate that Chaos is rarely a happy, unified front.
"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."

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#5
Ferrus Manus

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Play up the C'Tan / metal hands link, with the legion falling under the influence of the Dragon (?)

I'm guessing the ideal time for this to begin would be after Ferrus' duel with the Wyrm? The metal on his arms in some way begins to slowly corrupt him - maybe eventually urging Ferrus to become covered in the Metal, one of the reasons he goes to Mars; possibly a mirror of Norm Verse Fulgrim - Fulgrim chooses to give over to the daemon, whilst Alt Verse Ferrus gives himself over to the Ctan metal.

Just a thought :)

Edited by Ferrus Manus, 17 February 2010 - 07:07 PM.

 
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#6
Aurelius Rex

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I have edited the first post with the very rough outline for the legion that I was working up yesterday

In the DH, Dorn was chosen by the four powers combined

On the flipside, might be interesting to see a Primarch turn the tables on Dorn. Basically playing the part of a manipulated patsy, then coming out on top by completing a secret objective and leaving Dorn with his privates in the wind. Helps demonstrate that Chaos is rarely a happy, unified front.

That is sort of what happens with the Iron Hands pulling a fast one, only they are Xenos influenced rather than Chaos factional in-fighting. :D

I'm guessing the ideal time for this to begin would be after Ferrus' duel with the Wyrm? The metal on his arms in some way begins to slowly corrupt him - maybe eventually urging Ferrus to become covered in the Metal, one of the reasons he goes to Mars; possibly a mirror of Norm Verse Fulgrim - Fulgrim chooses to give over to the daemon, whilst Alt Verse Ferrus gives himself over to the Ctan metal.

I have a more subtle thing set up for him. The hands are of course the first step... would he have been subverted to the C'tan if he hadn't died on Istvaan in the HH universe?

He doesn't have much option in the 'possession'. The colourpieces are going to reveal how it creeps up on him slowly at first, then he is effectively subverted, a prisoner in his own body. Fulgrim takes his hand as a trophy on Istvaan - see the Alt-EC IA - and this gives the real Ferrus Manus a chance to exploit the weakness when 'he' tries to activate the reclaimed Dragon... Effectively his sacrifice / intervention (haven't decided if I want to keep him as a shred of personality in there or not) is the thing that puts back the Dragon's plan by ten thousand years, decimating the legion and destroying necrons in tomb worlds across the galaxy.

You also find out what happened to Fulgrim - the mystery from the EC IA finally paying off ten IA's later. <_< Bwahahaha! :lol:

It is still a rough (very rough) plan, but it is effectively what I had in mind for them since the overview.
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#7
Ferrata

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I was expecting Dorn to do little in comparison to Horus, but just wanted to make sure it was taken note of before you got to the end. The idea with Luthor seems the best route, especially seeing as it is a Primarch manipulating an Astartes. By taking action at Ivstaan, he tells the Universe that the Dark Angels are traitors and no-one will ever believe them otherwise. Maybe he should turn up in Jonson's flagship (god-knows how he would get it). As for the Sallies, seeing as they eventually turn to Malal, I'm not sure if Dorn could trick them to Chaos, unless they were tricked to Chaos and then realised it and now dedicate themselves to hating themselves :)

I've just finished reading Fulgrim, so I am up-to-date with his fall (and very annoyed at numerous things, like stealing my ship name for the Wings of Death)... I like the idea of another noble Chaos Primarch, whilst turning against the Imperium he still fights against the Necrons.

#8
Aurelius Rex

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I am really glad you raised this, Phil, as thinking about it really clarified things in my mind. :tu: I will think more about the Salamanders, but I am very happy about Dorn being much more pro-active with Luther and the DA. :) Having Luther get the Lion's flagship would probably be pushing it - in fact it may not even be required as it would be damning enough for half of the legion to throw in their lot with the Arch-Traitor. After word gets out about that, things would become extremely difficult for the loyal side. :evil

I have been thinking about the current IA as well... it was bugging me that I would in effect be writing from the perspective of a Xenos race, which would make things challenging to say the least, so instead, the main body of the IA will be written from the point of view of the Iron Hands that think they are following their primarch's genuine orders to rule / strengthen humanity, and only in the colourpieces does it reveal that Manus has been long-ago subsumed and controlled by the C'tan. Not even the marines will know that they are the unwitting puppets of their Xenos overlords.

This should make it much easier to write, as it keeps them essentially human. Having them openly be Xenos and essentially controlled by one being would have made things pretty much impossible, and worse, dull to read. This has more layers and texture, I hope.
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#9
Aurelius Rex

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After about three weeks intensively proofing the first ten articles it is good to get back to writing a new IA. ;)

At the moment it is still fleshing out the plot. More to come.

+++Edit 25/03/10: I have made lots of changes, including clarifying what went on with the Gothic War. +++

+++Edit 04/04/10: Finally back to the Iron Hands. I have made a range of additions to the article, and that it is slowly taking shape. Now I just need to get rolling on an actual proper draft and things should go smoothly. +++


Edited by Aurelius Rex, 04 April 2010 - 08:57 PM.

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#10
Bannus

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Sorry for the incredibly late contribution, but the idea just dawned on me recently.

Does this version of a heresy have to mirror the actual one?

What about a possible three-way split? I would think that playing up an Iron Hands/Mechanicus (Dark Mechanicus) alliance driving a third wedge into the Imperium could make for an interesting option in this alternate reality.

Just food for thought.

Edited by bannus, 13 May 2010 - 11:18 PM.

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#11
Badaboom

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Hi, sorry too for the late contribution; after reading the article, I find strange that Dorn, with his direct hot line with the Four Gods, is fooled by Manus trying to pretend he´s also a Chaos pawn. Not only he´s not, but he´s also a servant of one of Chaos´most dreaded enemies, the C´Tan! Even if the Big Four are not able to detect his true afilliation, they should warn Dorn that he´s not a true believer. Perhaps the Gods could suspect about Manus but Dorn, given his desperate need of allies, ignores the warning and thinks of solving the problem "once the Heresy is ended".

About Fulgrim´s death, I can´t recall if it was stated before in the EC article, but I personally don´t like such end for such an important and interesting character as the Loyalist Fulgrim. Why not end up the fight with Manus crippling Fulgrim before phasing out? That way, the Phoenix would need to rise again from its ashes, struggling for perfection despite a mauled body and perhaps changing. Think of Jaime Lannister of A Game of Thrones.

EDIT: I just re-read the EC article and about Fulgrim´s fate; though it fits seamlessly with the IH history, I still think Fulgrim´s end shouldn´t be that clear and, somehow, simple. Allow him a chance to survive, perhaps dissapearing from Imperial history to secretly seek and kill the blasphemy his old brother has come to be.

Edited by Badaboom, 14 May 2010 - 09:28 AM.


#12
Aurelius Rex

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Thanks for the input, guys. :P I hope to get back to working on this article - provisionally aiming to get it dusted before the end of the month, and so this feedback is helpful.

Regarding the third faction, I had not considered this. The idea is that the IH would be aloof from both sides on Mars during the Heresy, and until recently have been very much hidden from view. The legion itself thinks it is doing this for the good of Humanity - unaware of the true motivations of Manus / Dragon - and this philosophy may have reached the Mechanicus, if not the wider Imperium. I shall have to see if this could be integrated into the storyline. ;)

I have been wrestling with how Manus would be able to fool Dorn / Chaos too... The idea of them not being able to read Manus through the C'tan's intervention, not necessarily trusting them but needing them though to tip the balance at Istvaan is the provisional plan - Chaos thinks they can use them and tip them over into their worship later... I am working on the rationale. :)

As to Fulgrim's fate... initial ideas were to make the battle's conclusion not be so clear cut... it sounds like it is worth re-introducing that again. For instance, having Fulgrim's armour flayed away by Manus' Gauss weaponry, Manus reaches for the visibly flayed Fulgrim to phase out with him and indulge in more vindictive torture, but when Manus phases back at his tomb world Fulgrim is gone... Atomised by the gauss weaponry? Lost in the phasing process? Transcended to the Emperor? Teleported away to safety by the sliver of the true Manus that remains inside his head? Is Fulgrim out there somewhere, a flayed, physical wreck, but saved by his friend?

Hmm... sounds dopey at the moment, but let me work on it. <_<

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 14 May 2010 - 11:49 AM.

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#13
Badaboom

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-"Free me, brother."-The words still echoing in Fulgrim´s very soul; that was all he could remember after the moment when the silver thing that has once been his closest brother, took his broken body with him to...That emptyness, that place out of space and time. Now he was back on reality, his pain and injuries made it clear enough; never before had Fulgrim of the Emperor´s Children, son of the Emperor Himself, felt so much pain, suffered so much, felt so broken. But he was still alive, his spirit unbroken, and the fire of vengeance fueling his hearts. No, it was more than vengeance, there was something else, much stronger than vengeance. He knew now that Ferrus was not a traitor, he had seen what remained of him still struggling, trapped inside the very depts of his soul, fighting the hardest battle century after century.

Across the shroud of pain, Fulgrim smiled defiantly; his brother, his beloved brother, the strong and proud Ferrus, always fighting when all others would have given up. He will set him free, or die trying.

The Phoenix shall rise.
...

Well, just couldn´t help myself ;D

About the third faction thing, yes, it would be interesting to find three Mechanicum sub-sects: Imperials, Chaotic and Dragon followers.

Edited by Badaboom, 14 May 2010 - 06:00 PM.


#14
Aurelius Rex

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I really like it, Diego. :huh:

I'll see what it inspires.
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#15
Barret

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Good read, and giving me delicious ideas for Dornian Iron Hands conversions... :D

I don't have time to go into great detail right now, but there are a couple immediate thoughts that come to mind. Why does the Manus-Dragon want to destroy the other C'Tan? I'm not hugely familiar with the background of the Necrons and the C'Tan, but I thought their purpose was the eradication of life, and thus Chaos, not establishing temporal power over each other. Even if they did normally contend against each other, the crippling blow dealt to the Necrontyr by the attempted awakening of the Dragon could have persuaded the Manus-Dragon to seek common cause with the other C'Tan, and uses the Blackstones not to kill them, but to free them.

As far as the showdown between the Manus-Dragon and Fulgrim goes, the Iron Hands diehard in me says a reversal of the norm-verse fight is... desirable. The Manus-Dragon slays Fulgrim and carries his head around on a spike for ten thousand years. Potential rationale being that a) the Emperor's Children are powerful defenders of the meatbags and slaying Fulgrim reveals their weakness, and, :rolleyes: it would be a psychological blow against what remains of Ferrus inside the Manus-Dragon.

The Necrontyr desire to defeat Chaos by eliminating all fleshy life could be dovetailed with the Iron Hands' revulsion of weakness neatly. The corruption of Dorn and the Legions reveals the weakness of the Imperium and and the Imperium's defeat of Dorn reveals the weakness of Chaos. By aiding Dorn, the Manus-Dragon weakens both sides and makes the culling easier.


I'll break down more specific feedback later, but I think overall it's got a lot of potential and makes good use of hooks that already exist in the norm-verse. I think only other thing that came to mind was to have the Iron Hands moved more into the mysteriousness of the norm-verse Iron Hands. They're very much A Bad Thing, but they could also be known to aid the Imperium against, say, the Tyranids, who are the ultimate threat to the planned culling. Also, perhaps touching on their relationship with the Eldar might be a nice touch, as they would have inherited the Necrontyr's ancient emnity with the Eldar. Also also, those Necrotyr who did survive and are now, presumably, awakening much as they are in the norm-verse; what's their relationship with the Iron Hands?
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#16
Barret

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Just had another thought... In norm-verse, Iron Fathers are Chaplain/Techmarines. What if in alt-verse, they're Apothecary/Techmarines? Their responsibility is not the promulgation of the Chapter Cult which would, in my opinion, be less necessary given that they're still lead by Manus himself, but instead overseeing the unrestricted blending of flesh and technology.
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#17
Aurelius Rex

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At long last I am getting myself in gear and back to this. I will see what I can integrate from all of the feedback. I put up some early ideas for the Combat Doctrine today which I will add to in the coming days and try to turn it into a proper readable form.

Good to see you back with us, Barret, and here as well. :verymad: The Eldar are going to take a turn somewhere, if only in the three way fight for the Blackstone fortresses.
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#18
Barret

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The new Combat Doctrine stuff looks good, in general. A thought I had was that if much of the Necron presence was destroyed by the backlash of the failed attempt to fully awaken the Dragon the Legion could perhaps be combining Imperial and Necron Tech, so Predators upgraded with heavy gauss cannons and Living Metal armour plates, but still built on the Rhino Chassis, that sort of thing. A similar progression could perhaps be seen with the Marines themselves. Newer recruits would be largely human/Astartes, with little mechanical upgrades. The older and more experienced a Marine gets, the closer he draws to true mechanization. The bodyguards of the Primarch and his Captains might be little more than half a brain inside a Necronized suit of TDA, armed with gauss-glaives, for example. One of the things I recall from the Necron lore, and this might be outdated, is that the Lords retain a greater degree of their former minds and autonomy. Could this be the case with the Iron Hands?

Also, what about an analogue for the Flayed Ones? Iron Hands whose psyches haven't been able to withstand the process of mechanization and live a shadow life, trying to reclaim what they had. Although despised by the rest of the Legion, they could be excellent shock troops, appearing from nowhere, draped in gory shreds of previous victims.


Also also, one thing I wonder about is the relationship between Arsinoth and the Dragon. What if Arsinoth was a fragment of the Dragon, a literal limb cut off in some ancient battle that grew into a discrete creature. Manus fights and defeats Arsinoth, taking a portion of the creation, and thus the Dragon, into himself. In norm-verse, it remains benign, giving him his silver hands. In alt-verse, it invades his psyche, leading to his corruption. Thus, the ritual on Mars attempts to use the fragment within him to restore the Dragon to life.



--edit--
And thank you for the welcome back. :D

Edited by Barret, 25 May 2010 - 10:40 PM.

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#19
Aurelius Rex

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At long last things are back up and running nicely with this project. I won't bore you with the tales of woe, and instead just jump ahead to the progress I have made and plans to get it all completed.

While I have not been updating the thread, I have been working on it on my home PC, and the ideas have reached a critical mass in my head. This last weekend I have reorganised most of the article, re-drafted the later sections (Organisation, Gene-seed, Homeworld, Combat Doctrine, Beliefs and Battle Cry). I have thrown a lot of the storyline down too, in varying degrees of completeness.

The plan is this week to properly draft out from the Great Crusade through to Istvaan. For the moment I will leave the colourpieces until later. At the moment the Great Crusade to Istvaan sections are way over-long, and so I am going to have to edit down while still retaining the vital character setup and development to make the fake Manus's actions sound plausable.

More updates as they arrive, with the intention of getting it out on the board before the end of the month. With this in mind, would anyone be interested in volunteering for some ultra-rapid feedback sessions like Ferrata, Sigismund and Ferrus Manus did for me on the virtually completed Iron Warrior IA earlier this year? If so, shout out and I will e-mail you a copy of the completed draft when it is ready - detailed feedback at this stage would be a waste as it is still so up in the air. :P

Regards and thanks in advance,
John.

Edit (11/10/10): Made an edit to the last part of the Homeworld section. Hope to crack on with the Great Crusade tonight.

Edit (12/10/10): I have re-ordered the Great Crusade section now, but not properly drafted it. The concern is that while it is vital, establishing how they got to the point where they would believably turn on the Imperium, it is still far too long - about 1200 words, which is getting on for a quarter of the intended length of the whole article. I will give the section another pass tomorrow and try to give it the gift of brevity.

Edit (13/10/10): I have decided to split the Great Crusade section in half to stop it being so long, and putting the Terminus bits in its own section. That won't stop it from getting edited down when I get to properly drafting it as I still want to cull a couple of hundred words off it. That has had to wait, however, as I have focussed on the next longest section, Ascendance Delayed, covering the history from the Martian Artefact going wrong to the 'present day'. A lot to cover, so I have divided it into subsections of what has to be said and editing out anything which didn't advance the story. Cut out a good couple of hundred words, and intend to cut out as much again - probably from the Blackstone fortress parts when I tighten it in the drafting.

So going in the right direction, but still more to do when I can devote more than an hour and a half to writing.

Edit (14/10/10): Just time this lunchtime to make some proofing changes to the previously drafted sections on Homeworld, Beliefs, Organisation, Gene-Seed, Combat Doctrine etc. Hopefully more progress on actual drafting sections tonight.

Edit (16/10/10): Over the last two days I have drafted the Great Crusade / Terminus sections, pruning down and tightening it in the process. It is now a much more focussed single section which is more than 300 words lighter, still conveying what was required, and being all the better for it. The plan is to use the same process on the other sections, starting with the Ascension Delayed part.

Edit (17/10/10): Ascention Delayed fully drafted, and I was able to squeeze about 50 words out of it as well. The Greater Good section (never liked the name - too Tau) will roll into The Hard Road section which I will work on next. I think that there are far too many colourpieces at the moment - nine at last count - and that at it will have to be cut down to the most vital six or perhaps seven at the most. The Apothecary one stands out as interesting, but ultimately less important to the plot... although that is a job for later.

Edit (18/10/10): (Lunchtime) At a first pass at the Hard Road section I have decided to cut the Apothecary colourpiece I mentioned above, and on top of that I have trimmed the wordcount down by 150 words. I have to properly draft the section as it is still just placeholder ideas, but I think it is pretty focussed.

(Evening) Pulled it together some more, but still far from ready. I have a whole section about Istvaan itself still to put down here, which I will keep down to a paragraph if at all possible - far from the pages it got in the Istvaan devastated legion IA's, and then I will start tomorrow with the drafting proper.

Edit (19/10/10): The Hard Road section is proving time consuming to pull together, but it is getting there. The Istvaan section is straight in my head now, so it is just a case of drafting it now.

Edit (20/10/10): (Lunchtime) The drafting process on the Hard Road section has started this lunchtime, with about 40% of it complete. The other 60% will get looked at tonight.

(Evening) Another good run and now only 20% of the section left to be drafted. As always even when the drafts are complete it will need proofing to high heaven - usually four or more passes to polish it up properly, but I think this has been a good evening's work.

Edit (21/10/10): The last, tricky 20% of the Hard Road section has been drafted. I have got the basic elements of the origins in place - relatively short as it doesn't change much from that in the norm-'verse IA. Not in a draft form yet, sadly, and don't know if I will get it any further advanced tonight. Also dropped the proposed colourpiece about his hands knowing how to make technology as I don't know if it is essential. It might reappear as a handy foreshadowing, but it would have to be very brief.

Edit (22/10/10): The first half of the Origins section drafted... Nearly there!

Edit (23/10/10): Origins section and introductory paragraph drafted. This leaves the main body of the text complete - with the exception of the colourpieces. I will crack on with a first proofreading pass now and get to them later, although as the intro section was based upon the beliefs section, I will probably have to work a lot to differentiate them from one another. This leaves about a week before I intend to post this, and while I know it is not complete yet, is anyone available to give it some intensive and fast turnaround feedback around the middle of the week?

Edit (24/10/10): Completed the first proofreading pass which threw up a lot of things. It will probably need at least three more proofing passes on previous form, and the colourpieces need to be done, but overall, good news.


Edited by Aurelius Rex, 24 October 2010 - 10:17 PM.

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Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#20
Aurelius Rex

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This is nearly complete now, and any feedback before I post is welcomed, but a question arises for the group...

As the IA stands I am in the position of trying to re-write the beliefs section (because I cannibalised it for the intro paragraph), but after a couple of proofing passes I am pretty certain that anything I write here will be redundant as their beliefs are well covered in the rest of the article... they are the motivation for their whole existence.

In light of this I am currently perfectly happy to just not have a beliefs section at all, as if they aren't crystal clear by this point then I have not written it right. Further, I would say it is better to leave a redundant section out than to have it in merely as a box-checking exercise.

So the questions to the group are this:

1) Would you object on principle to a section being left out if it had been covered intrinsically by the rest of the article?

2) Have I done this sufficiently in this case with the beliefs section? (And if not, what would you suggest I say that hasn't been covered?)




Edit 26/10/10: Second proofing pass changes made, including removing the Beliefs section (See above). Tightened up the wording generally. This reduced the word count by 250-300, to under 5563 words. The last 4 or so have been in the range of 6000-6600 words, and I am conscious of trying to keep down the count as much as possible, so this is a comfortable position to be in just before drafting the (now seven) colourpieces, which as they stand contribute about 700 words of the 5.6K total in their current state... with luck I intend to come in under the 6K figure.

Edit 27/10/10: (Lunchtime) Colourpiece 7 drafted and added. I have made a third proofread of the first half of the article, and am still finding changes, although I really think that every time it is steadily improving. I have not had time to update them in a digital form yet. This leaves me to draft six colourpieces by the end of today, before I send off a copy of what is available. This is pretty steep, so I may only get to do very basic 'Here's what I was going for' placeholders on the other colourpieces. Sunday is still a few days away, but getting ominously close.

(Evening) Slow and steady progress, with the emphasis on slow. Colourpiece 2 drafted and added. More later.

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 27 October 2010 - 07:58 PM.

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Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#21
Ace Debonair

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Ask, and ye shall recieve. :P
Although if I'm honest, until Aurelius asked me to take a look, I've been forcing myself not to read the next wave of DH articles (VERY difficult) until they're ready.

-=-=
Well, that's pretty damn awesome. I suddenly want to buy lots of Immortals and Devastators and build a legion of them. ;)
Alright, them and Necron land raiders. :D

Reading through, I think a nod to the friendship between Fulgrim and Manus before they have to fight would be nice. Maybe the 1st colourpiece could be Manus making the sword for Fulgrim relying on instinct rather than careful procedure? (That doesn't really count as tech, though, so maybe not :) )

Colourpiece 2: Ferrus Manus walked ahead of his brethren, drinking in the majesty and power of the dormant machines. They were old – old beyond imagining – and yet something within him was certain that they could still be made to live again... ‘To live’ struck him an odd description for a machine, but here, inside the hidden caverns of Terminus, it felt somehow fitting. As he walked his armoured feet kicked up eddies of the fine brown dust which coated every surface. All except the thing he at first took to be a large mirror. On closer inspection he noticed that the silvery surface was fluid, like a pool of mercury held vertically against the wall. Something about the way it moved fascinated him, and he absently broke the seal on the gauntlet and removed it. Without knowing quite why he was doing it, Ferrus Manus reached out his silver hand to touch the shimmering mirror...


I'm not sure I get the gauntlet reference.
Unless it's his gauntlet, in which case, that might need re-wording. :P

I'm also not sure how Manus is meant to work out Dorn is the Arch-Traitor.

I'd take a more careful look through, but I have to go out now.
Hope that helps!

EDIT:

By the time Ferrus Manus was able to stop it the majority of his legion had been reduced to powder-dry husks inside their suits of power armour, and even those who could be saved were debilitated, their flesh and muscles atrophied.

You know, that sounds a lot like the Rubric marines in the normal 'verse. Unless you mean they were dead, in which case, carry on. :lol:

Edited by Ace Debonair, 28 October 2010 - 03:39 PM.


#22
Aurelius Rex

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Thanks for getting back so fast, Ace. By the way, what is your real name, as I don't want to get the mental image of Ace Rimmer from Red Dwarf in my head... Oh, and call me John, by the way. :)

Glad you are enjoying it so far. B) I suspect there will be a lot of attention on the article as it will be the first to be posted after the Legio Imprint PDF.

Reading through, I think a nod to the friendship between Fulgrim and Manus before they have to fight would be nice. Maybe the 1st colourpiece could be Manus making the sword for Fulgrim relying on instinct rather than careful procedure? (That doesn't really count as tech, though, so maybe not

One of the fascinating things that I find when I put late-stage ideas up for feedback is that people often call me on things I kind of knew were weak, but skirted over, hoping it wouldn't be an issue! It is great to get pulled up on these things, as it keeps me honest! :lol: In this case I was fighting to get a foreshadowing of the Ferrus / Fulgrim friendship in the early stages, but just couldn't think of a way to seamlessly work it in. I think that your idea is a brilliant one, as it brings in both the friendship, gives the colourpiece far more of a point, and it can tie in with the later colourpiece where Fulgrim uses the sword to chop off his hand... Ferrus made it so well and used such advanced (C'tan phase-sword?) tech in the formation of its powerfield that it would be the only thing able to penetrate the incredibly tough metal skin of his hand.

Love it... consider it stolen! :lol:

I'm not sure I get the gauntlet reference.
Unless it's his gauntlet, in which case, that might need re-wording.

I shall look at the wording again, but it was to emphasise the similarity between the silver hands and the silver necron 'mirror'. Ramming it home, perhaps, I used it as a short cut because of the brevity of the colourpiece to establish that there was a connection between the two 'items'. I mentioned the gauntlets as I thought that if he would be wearing power armour he would also be wearing gauntlets, and so needed to show he was touching the mirror with bare 'flesh'.

Again, if the gauntlets thing is throwing off the reader I will take another look at re-wording.

I'm also not sure how Manus is meant to work out Dorn is the Arch-Traitor.

This caused me a lot of problems of how to phrase it... Because Evil Manus (for want of a better description) has a full range of 'Demigod-like' C'tan senses, and so is sensitive to Chaos (as I understand it... the Warp is after all an anathema to them) he is able to sense people influenced by Chaos, and someone like Dorn would show up particularly strongly to him... I will mention that he uses the trick to see the chaos growing inside Lucius in the Istvaan colourpiece. OK, it is a handy plot device, but I hope that I will be able to do enough for the reader to suspend disbelief.

That is the truth told in the colourpieces... the Manus tells his legion is that the McGuffin of 'The Ancient's Machines' were able to show it, and perhaps they had been designed in part to do such things in the completely fictional war between the ancients and Chaos:

These desperate ploys were abandoned when it became clear through the Ancient’s machines that the Ruinous Powers were already moving to tear the Imperium apart in civil war. With time so desperately short, Manus formulated an audacious scheme to use these events to their advantage.

Knowing that Rogal Dorn, the chosen pawn of the Ruinous Powers, would attempt to play upon...


This was an attempt to keep the sweep epic (and the wordcount down as much as possible!) rather than go into too much depth which I hoped was not needed.

It is up to the reader - and you as the pre-release audience - to say if it needs more clarification. It is an issue that obviously I knew exactly what I meant to say, and perhaps assume too much that the reader knows exactly what I meant... That is why this kind of feedback is so valuable and interesting. :)


Overall, it is a tricky IA for a number of reasons. It is pulling at the not terribly subtle plot thread the GW design team have left about the link between Manus's silver hands and the C'Tan, and unravelling it all over the floor. There may well be complaints that I am being too definite that the link was there and killing the ambiguity, which I understand, but thought overall it would be a great aspect to explore, of what if the C'tan's plan had come to fruition before Manus was killed at Istvaan V.

Another tricky thing with this is having the main article be effectively a lie believed by the wider legion, and the colourpieces showing the truth from 'Evil Manus'. Also, would it put people off them, especially Iron Hand fans, as they could be seen as a bunch of patsies in this plot to destroy humanity? Personally I think it adds a poignancy that they are trying to do the right thing with what they have been told, but are only paving the way for the destruction of humanity when the Necrons they have made activate and wipe out the galaxy.

Aargh... this raises two more questions...

First, is it clear that the activation of the Martian Artefact / C'tan Dragon is not really going to convert humanity to robots, and that instead they have just built a massive army of necrons with which the Dragon is going to harvest life from the galaxy as a breakfast snack? If not, I could add it in as another colourpiece.

Second, I call the race 'Ancients' rather than Necrontyr or similar, as that sounds pretty evil and suspicious! Is it clear who they are, and would anything be gained from referencing them as necrons outside the colourpieces?

OK, that's enough questions from me! :lol:

Cheers,
John.

Edit: The powder dry husks inside the armour was a slight parallel to the Tsons, although they are indeed meant to be truly dead and not mechanically reanimated, which was an early idea I dropped. This was first seen in the throwaway line I put in the overview article of fully mechanised Iron Hands being the Rubric of Paullian Blantar... I left out the Rubric bit in the IA and adapted Blantar's role as it seemed too much of a stretch that they would also be Rubrics, but I can't row back from it in the PDF now. :P Think of it as a minor retcon, or at least something I decided not to pursue and quietly dropped. :lol:

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 28 October 2010 - 03:53 PM.

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Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#23
Ace Debonair

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Thanks for getting back so fast, Ace. By the way, what is your real name, as I don't want to get the mental image of Ace Rimmer from Red Dwarf in my head... Oh, and call me John, by the way. :)

Actually, most people who know me call me Ace. ;)
I'm pretty careful (ahem; paranoid) about giving out my real name, so the nickname will have to do. Besides, Ace Rimmer was cool.

Love it... consider it stolen!

Happy to help. :D

I shall look at the wording again, but it was to emphasise the similarity between the silver hands and the silver necron 'mirror'. Ramming it home, perhaps, I used it as a short cut because of the brevity of the colourpiece to establish that there was a connection between the two 'items'. I mentioned the gauntlets as I thought that if he would be wearing power armour he would also be wearing gauntlets, and so needed to show he was touching the mirror with bare 'flesh'.

Again, if the gauntlets thing is throwing off the reader I will take another look at re-wording.

On second thoughts it's not bad. I just always had a mental picture of the Primarch not wearing gllves 'cause he has metal hands anyway. :P

I'm also not sure how Manus is meant to work out Dorn is the Arch-Traitor.

This caused me a lot of problems of how to phrase it... Because Evil Manus (for want of a better description) has a full range of 'Demigod-like' C'tan senses, and so is sensitive to Chaos (as I understand it... the Warp is after all an anathema to them) he is able to sense people influenced by Chaos, and someone like Dorn would show up particularly strongly to him... I will mention that he uses the trick to see the chaos growing inside Lucius in the Istvaan colourpiece. OK, it is a handy plot device, but I hope that I will be able to do enough for the reader to suspend disbelief.

Right, gotcha. It might be worth dropping a hint or two in the IA just before he starts chatting to Dorn, though, just in case others don't pick up on it.

Overall, it is a tricky IA for a number of reasons. It is pulling at the not terribly subtle plot thread the GW design team have left about the link between Manus's silver hands and the C'Tan, and unravelling it all over the floor. There may well be complaints that I am being too definite that the link was there and killing the ambiguity, which I understand, but thought overall it would be a great aspect to explore, of what if the C'tan's plan had come to fruition before Manus was killed at Istvaan V.

Another tricky thing with this is having the main article be effectively a lie believed by the wider legion, and the colourpieces showing the truth from 'Evil Manus'. Also, would it put people off them, especially Iron Hand fans, as they could be seen as a bunch of patsies in this plot to destroy humanity? Personally I think it adds a poignancy that they are trying to do the right thing with what they have been told, but are only paving the way for the destruction of humanity when the Necrons they have made activate and wipe out the galaxy.


You could add something in the Eldar colourpiece lamenting the misplaced loyalty of the Iron Hands, maybe. It's sort of guessable that the 'Hands aren't clued in to the truth, but an outsider-looking-in perspective could make it a great deal easier to comprehend.

First, is it clear that the activation of the Martian Artefact / C'tan Dragon is not really going to convert humanity to robots, and that instead they have just built a massive army of necrons with which the Dragon is going to harvest life from the galaxy as a breakfast snack? If not, I could add it in as another colourpiece.

Actually, I got the impression they were going to turn people into Necrons.

Second, I call the race 'Ancients' rather than Necrontyr or similar, as that sounds pretty evil and suspicious! Is it clear who they are, and would anything be gained from referencing them as necrons outside the colourpieces?


Yeah, I wouldn't trust a race called the Necrontyr. :lol:
It's easy enough to work it out. (At least from my perspective)

Edit: The powder dry husks inside the armour was a slight parallel to the Tsons, although they are indeed meant to be truly dead and not mechanically reanimated, which was an early idea I dropped. This was first seen in the throwaway line I put in the overview article of fully mechanised Iron Hands being the Rubric of Paullian Blantar... I left out the Rubric bit in the IA and adapted Blantar's role as it seemed too much of a stretch that they would also be Rubrics, but I can't row back from it in the PDF now. :P Think of it as a minor retcon, or at least something I decided not to pursue and quietly dropped. :lol:


Cool.
On a similar note, do the IH get back up after getting killed at all?
I'd imagine this could be a trait of the more veteran units, perhaps, but I'm just spouting random ideas. :lol:

Sidenote - I spotted the use of the word 'pariahs' as well. A nice little nod there, intentional or not.

#24
Sigismund Himself

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Because studying economics and japanese was getting boring and I've run out of Fawlty Towers to watch, here's my normal gentle critique ;)


Throughout their history, the Iron Hands have striven to strengthen humanity by purging the weak, knowing that it is the only way for mankind as a race to survive. Upon learning of the enormity of the threat posed by the Ruinous Powers, and its insidiously corrupting effect upon the body and mind, Ferrus Manus decreed that only through mechanisation could Chaos be defeated. Their aim was to create cold, logical intelligences, shorn of the emotions which stirred up the Warp, and housed inside bodies of unyielding metal. They have clung to this ideal even at the expense of being classed as traitors and renegades, but now, after ten thousand years of hiding, their preparations to ascend the human race beyond the frailties of the flesh are nearly complete.

Just alternate wording considerations here, though it's probably more just my style of writing. Perhaps existence instead of history? Perhaps 'as a race' could be moved after 'survive'? Perhaps a little bit needs to be added to mechanisation, as it sounds like he's merely ordering them all to get Rhinos :lol: Maybe 'within' instead of 'inside'?

K

nowing that only the greatest of warriors would be equal to the task of commanding His legions in the Great Crusade, the Emperor used all of His skill to created twenty

primarchs of unparalleled potency

. Before they could even be born, their incubation chambers were stolen away by the Ruinous Powers and scattered the length and breadth of the galaxy, and the one containing the primarch of the Tenth Legion of Astartes fell to earth upon the death world of Medusa. They banded into clans which were constantly on the move, and even clashed upon occasion to claim what little food was available. For them every day was a new trial, and weakness of any kind a luxury they simply could not afford.

'Created' needs to lose the 'd'. 'primarchs of unparalleled potency' makes it sound like there are other primarchs out there in the galaxy. Maybe it's just me? I would add something about 'from their mechanical wombs' after 'born' (and possibly change 'born' to something else). I would also make this sentence into two different ones, as it seems to run a little too long and there's 3 'ands' in quick succession. 'constantly on the move' and 'a luxury they simply could not afford' sound a little weak or cliched.

In the decades after arriving on Medusa, the young primarch wandered the world, as though searching for something. On his travels he met with the clans, accompanying them briefly to exchange knowledge or to defeat a predator, but never formally joining any of them. Given his abilities and the esteem in which he was held, he could easily have unified the clans under his leadership. Instead he remained a distant figure, preferring to subtly guide the clans and even encouraged their skirmishes to continue, the better to winnow out the weaker elements.

I would rework the first sentence a little, as the ending is a little weak. I would also put the time after 'wandered', as it seems a little more natural to me. Perhaps in the rest of the paragraph you could give a little more detail on the emergence of his 'purge the weak' doctrine, given this is the first mention of it really.

According to Medusan legend, Manus was drawn to a nightmarish area of Medusa known as the Land of Shadows, a place haunted by monsters and the spirits of the dead. There he hunted down a terrible creature known variously as the Great Silver Wyrm, or Asirnoth the Dragon, which had preyed upon the clans for

as long as anyone could remember

. After an

epic

battle he was finally victorious, though his hands were stained forever after with the silver blood of the beast, gaining him the name of Ferrus Manus – He of the Iron Hands.

Underlined sections/words above seemed a little weak/cliched.

Command of the Tenth Legion of the Adeptus Astartes was bestowed upon him, and along with it the title of planetary governor of Medusa.

They're known as the Legionnes Astartes until after the Heresy in the norm verse, not sure if you've changed this. Also, I think the mention of planetary governor is a little strange, the Primarchs normally dress the title up a bit more ie. Regent of Ultramar.

Ferrus Manus set the Iron Hands the formidable task of bringing every human world within a wide arc of the galaxy into Imperial Compliance, and it was an undertaking they carried out with resolute stoicism. Though it took more than a century of blood, sacrifice and pain, at long last they reached the halo stars at the very edge of the galaxy.

Capitalisation of Halo Stars?

Upon tunnelling in they found all manner of seemingly potent, though dormant, machineries of xenos origin and after only the briefest of examinations, Ferrus Manus bade his legion leave him and return to orbit.


'tunnelling in' sounds a little weird, perhaps 'gaining access'? Also, not sure on the pluralisation of machineries.

With this realisation a tide of suspicion, bloodshed and hysteria swept the galaxy, which only acted to strengthen the creatures which lived in that shadow-realm, as such powerful emotions were food and drink to them.

Perhaps something along the lines of 'sustenance' would work better instead of 'food and drink'?

Despite their down to earth and rational nature, the legion had seen much which could not be explained. In particular, the proximity of Medusa to the Eye of Terror meant that their Expeditionary forces had faced whole worlds in thrall of psykers, where madness and mutation were rife, and daemonic creatures of nightmare had been all-too real.

Perhaps remove 'down to earth' or replace it with 'practical'?

Something about the way it moved fascinated him, and he absently broke the seal on the gauntlet and removed it.

Took me a few reads to get this, if he's got metal hands I wouldn't expect him to be wearing gauntlets on top of them.

The undertaking before the Iron Hands was a mammoth one, made all the more difficult as it had to be carried out in complete secrecy.

While his legion did this, Manus returned to Medusa, and in a rare seismically calm area located at the centre of the Land of Shadows, constructed a vast chamber to house his great work.

'mammoth' doesn't quite work for me here, I keep getting funny images instead :P Also, some details on the great work or why exactly Ferrus goes home to do would work here I think.

With the three loyalist legions effectively destroyed and their place inside Dorn’s rebellion cemented with blood, the Iron Hands made their way to the Terran system.

Perhaps you could add 'with the blood of their brothers' to 'blood'. 'Made their way' sounds a little funny too.

During the journey, Manus crafted a masterpiece of the bionic art in adamantium to replace the one he had lost.

Might need to mention it's a hand there, took me a second to get it.

Such was the complexity of the item that all manner of equipment had to be put in place before it could be moved.

This bit could be better explained or made more mysterious, along the lines of 'Ferrus ordered...'

However, with each machine they rebuild, more and more advances in technology were revealed. Bionics, powerful Gauss weaponry, space ships not needing to travel through the warp and phased teleportation were all developed and put to use in improving the legion’s capabilities.

Some tenses trouble here. "not needing to travel through the warp" could also be reworked better.

While Astartes were designed to be long lived, unlike their primarch they are not ageless. Though able to alleviate the weight of centuries by mechanising their bodies, had it not been for Iron Father Blantar’s breakthrough of transferring the brain and personality into crystal matrix form then their only option would have been entombment within the support systems of a Dreadnought. The Blantar Process proved once and for all that it was indeed possible to eliminate the weaknesses of the flesh, but so complex and difficult was it that not every Iron Hand, let alone every member of the human race, could be converted in this way.

First sentence reads a little weird, clash of tenses.

Although it took many millennia, he eventually recovered sufficiently to face a fellow primarch, and in the process gain a sweet moment of vengeance for the injury done to him on Istvaan.

Underlined part sounds a little cliched/weak.

The largest assault was their campaign to capture the Blackstone Fortresses, in which the entire legion combined to attack strategic locations in the Gothic sector to cripple the Imperium’s ability to respond.

Perhaps 'to their true strikes' or something along those lines could be added to the end?


A damn good read :tu: I really enjoyed the difference between what the legion believes and Ferrus' real intentions. Perhaps the only ideas I have to add it to possibly mention the Pylons around the Eye of Terror and also put a bit more in about the Eldar rivalry, considering they are half Necrons. Perhaps the Eldar are the best at detecting where the tomb worlds are and have been systematically hunting them over 10 000 years, a problem only solved by the wholesale phasing of bases to reserve tomb worlds?

#25
Ferrata

Ferrata

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I have started my word document commenting - but you know me, I get extremely picky with your work :huh: