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IA: Sons of Lightning

Loyalist Shinzaren Eldar

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Shinzaren

Shinzaren

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IA: Sons of Lightning

Warriors of the Veil, Slayers of the Eldar.

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Origins:

 
"There is nothing in this galaxy as dangerous and deviant as the Eldar. They are a race without conscience, without soul. They may wear a face like that of Man, but it conceals the mind of an alien. You may ally with them, thinking them your friends, but they will turn on you, devour you, and when you die, it will be to suit their vile machinations. And your death will be the deserving death of the traitor." -Captain Rai Debonachi, Sons of Lightning 3rd Company 


Founded in mid-M34 in response to repeated Eldar attacks in the Veiled Region, the Sons of Lightning are a mobile, fleet based chapter born of the gene-seed of Rogal Dorn. The Emperor's Tarot revealed that they would be named the Sons of Lightning, and time would prove this an accurate name indeed. Upon the creation of the chapter, the Adeptus Mechanicus gifted the Sons with the mighty Battle Barge, Thunderhead, and the Forge Ship, Lightning's Wrath. Now supplied with ships, a handful of marines from the Crimson Fists Chapter formed the core of the chapter's leadership; guiding the chapter's development into a full-fledged war machine. With the beginnings of a fleet and the start of a Chapter, the training cadre led their charges into the Veiled Region where they were intent on forging their legend.

The Veiled Region had long been host to Eldar raiders and the Sons quickly set about cleansing their new home. Their first conflicts did not favor the budding chapter however, as the Eldar outmaneuvered them or slipped away time and again. The Sons found it nearly impossible to bring the Eldar raiders to decisive combat, and every battle, even their victories, were tainted by the idea that the perfidious aliens had somehow gotten the better of them. When word came from the nearby system of Cajarta that they were under a massive and organized attack by Eldar raiders, the Sons of Lightning responded in force. Having reached full strength in the decades following their founding, the cleansing of Cajarta would prove to be their first true test as a chapter, one that would forge them into greatness or see them cast into oblivion.

The Old Man and The Moon
Imperial Scribes have transcribed the events of the day the Astropath touched upon the Craftworld, preserving the record of its discovery. Though very old, very senile, and more than a little confused, the Astropath possessed the presence of mind to utter one clear sentence before his mind was completely destroyed. Though many differing accounts exist of this famous moment, they all share one commonality. The Astropath's last words, spoken clearly and with absolute certainty have been preserved. "That's no moon, it's a Craftworld!".

Arriving in Cajarta, they found a system in chaos. Supply lines between the worlds had been nearly severed, the Hive World had been cut off from its imports of food and material, and the agri-world was suffering ceaseless attacks. Billions were dying of starvation and no force in the area had even seen the attackers. Deciding that the first order of business was to restore supply lines, the Sons set about clearing the agri-world of invaders and reestablishing communications and trade. Initial battles favored the Sons, though the casualties they inflicted seemed few and far between. Each time the Eldar slipped away and the Sons were allowed to claim an uncertain victory. With food flowing to the Hives and trade being slowly restored, the Sons turned their attentions towards locating the Craftworld. Every report of Eldar activity was investigated, and nearly every lead turned up only stones. Compounding this frustration was the fact that the raiders had returned, spreading the Sons thin trying to cover convoys and defend critical locations. Fighting a defensive war against the Eldar was proving untenable, and the system was poised to fall. The search for the main enemy stronghold had become paramount, and eventually their quarry was discovered hiding behind one of the many moons of Cajarta. The Sons confirmed the presence of the enemy Craftworld and gathered their entire force to strike. However, the presence of a nearby Ion Storm made scans and traditional sweeps impossible, meaning the Sons had no idea of the strength of their enemy.


Mustering the entire might of the Chapter and pulling all their forces from duties of defense, they struck. With no way to know what they were facing, the Sons had sent general calls for aid to several nearby systems, though none would arrive in time. The battles in the space around the Craftworld were bloody affairs, as the Eldar tried to buy time for their brethren to escape. They attempted to lure the invaders into the Ion Storm where both sides would be savaged by its fury. However, the Sons would not be baited, nor would their wrath be denied, and slowly they began their assault on the Craftworld proper. Almost immediately, the Sons were set upon, and the first hours to establish a beach head were amongst the bloodiest of the entire campaign. Pushing back the Eldar and establishing a drop point, the Sons slowly began to drive into the Craftworld itself. At every turn, Eldar ambushes and attacks came from nowhere, as the wraithbone of the world shifted and changed around them. Testing their tactical acumen and flexibility to the limit, the Sons learned to anticipate the ambushes, moving quickly to fall back or reinforce areas as necessary.  Every step forward was made over hundreds of Eldar corpses and it was during this time that the Sons discovered the importance of the Spirit Stones. When Captain Hessa burst the stone of a Striking Scorpion Exarch, he noticed the surviving Scorpions falter briefly, before striking out in an uncontrollable rage. Relaying this information, the Sons began to focus on the stones when they could; a tactic that, while effective, earned the hatred of an entire race.

Pushing further into the Craftworld, the Sons came across the Avatar of Khaine for the first time, suffering fearsome casualties as they tried to bring the eldritch monster down. Knowing that this was the Eldar's last stand the Sons committed all their forces and the battle in the Court of Isha's Cradle was waged. The Craftworld itself, seemingly sensing its end, sailed into the nearby Ion Storm and the last battle was fought as thunder and lightning shook the sky and pounded defender and attacker alike. The Eldar paused to look upon the storm in terror but the Sons took the storm as an omen; a sign from their Emperor. Hurling themselves forward, they set upon the Eldar in a fury, harnessing the elemental rage of the storm as their own. Nowhere was this more personified than in the center of this bloody melee, where Hessa struck down the Avatar as lightning smote his blade. The storm itself raged into the God of War and when Hessa raised his power sword, it glowed red with the heat of the strike and the blood of a God. The death cry of Khaine became a scream that would herald the end of the Craftworld. Every Eldar that did battle that day was put to the sword and in a move that could never be forgiven, the Sons shattered the spirit stones of every Eldar they found, dead or alive. Ya'Jalden had been conquered, though not without cost.

More than eight hundred marines had perished in the assault, in addition to the dozens of tanks and other vehicles lost. The fleet had suffered as well, both from the defenders, and the fury of the storm which slowly burned itself out as the battle did the same. Realizing the vast strategic potential the dead Craftworld presented, Hessa and his surviving marines set about cleansing the last pockets of resistance and establishing the mighty Fortress that would come to be known as World Fall. From here they would slowly rebuild their devastated Chapter, strengthening their ties with other Imperial organizations in the process. Nearly one-hundred and fifty years later the Sons would emerge whole, having restored their ranks and their pride. With the aid of noted Inquisitors of the Ordo Xenos, as well as strong ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Sons rebuilt themselves stronger than ever and continued their never ending war against the vile Xenos of the Veiled Region.

Homeworld:

 
"I cherish the hope the Eldar will try to retake this place. We will hold our ground here, and add to the supposed ghosts screaming their sorrow in the night." -Sergeant Jeras of the  10th Co.
The Fate of Ya" Jalden
After the defeat of Craftworld Ya'Jalden, the Sons of Lightning were weakened to the point of death. Though they had successfully captured the Craftworld, keeping it would be another test altogether. Word of their trophy was sent to the various organizations of the Imperium and Inquisitors and Adeptus Mechanicus Magos alike responded. Additionally, the requests for aid that the Sons had put out prior to the battle arrived in time to help defend the battered Sons from Eldar retaliation. A combined force of Inquisitorial Guard, Magos Skitaari, and other Space Marine Chapters shielded the young chapter as they rebuilt, fighting off several concerted attacks from the Eldar, most of which seemed to come from inside the Craftworld itself. As the defenders sought out the source of these attacks, they found several intact Webway gates which they shattered and brought down, often against the insistence of the scholars present. It was ruled that the safety of their prize was more important than the research of the Webway, and it is a decision debated to this day. The assaults culminated in the Day of Wrath, when a massive Eldar invasion force emerged from a previous unseen Webway gate, intent on finishing the Sons once and for all. Rallying their allies and their own rebuilt might, the Sons met the Eldar in battle across the entire Craftworld. In a single bloody day of fighting, the Eldar were defeated and driven back through their Webway, which they collapsed behind them, rather than risk being followed. Their fortress monastery safe, the Sons continued to rebuild themselves eventually reaching full strength. Able to handle defense of the Craftworld on their own, their allies departed with Oaths of Brotherhood and the thanks of a Space Marine chapter, debts that Sons honor even now. As for the Eldar, they never gave up on reclaiming the Craftworld, attacking often and relentlessly in an attempt to avenge their brethren. The Sons of Lightning remain the masters of Ya'Jalden however, and have defended their home with a fierce resolve.  


The Sons do not maintain a typical homeworld; no planet serves as their home and place of rest. Instead, the Sons of Lightning have built a mighty Fortress Monastery, known as World Fall, on the remains the dead Craftworld Ya'Jalden. Though a dead and lifeless world, the immense psychic construct of the Craftworld's Infinity Matrix, as well as the terrible weapons and powers unleashed in the planet-ship's last stand, combine to make the Craftworld a haunting and terrifying place. Inquisitors and dignitaries visiting the Keep have described the Craftworld as a living entity, burning with hatred and impotence against those who destroyed its people and took control of its being. Though incapable of direct harm, the Craftworld's hate begins to take a toll on visitors, who slowly feel the impotent rage pressing in on them, driving some quite mad. The effect is even more prominent on Psykers, who can feel the living essence of the world more clearly than others. The Sons remain stoically unaffected, meeting hatred with hatred, and impotence with power. They have mastered the dead world and the price of its defeat is eternal servitude to its betters.


World Fall serves as the heart of the Sons of Lightning, and, with the aid of the Adeptus Mechanicus, hundreds of weapon emplacements, as well as docking facilities and hangers have been grafted onto the dead world. This makes Ya'Jalden, and World Fall, an odd sight indeed. Human technology is crudely meshed with flowing Eldar wraith-bone, and the keep itself sits like a jutting mountain of adamantium and plasteel, rising out of the aft of the Craftworld. Though incapable of even the shortest warps jumps, Ya'Jalden's crudely mounted Imperial thrusters ensure that it avoids any deadly obstacles in its near aimless drift through the Veiled Region. The sight of the Craftworld entering a system or combat zone has a demoralizing effect on their Eldar enemies, who come to realize that even their mightiest defenses are nothing to the might of the Imperium.

The Sons recruit from three main worlds: Sujuta, the deadly jungle; Gennis, the burning waste; and Cajarta Prime, the hive world. Sujuta is a lush, feral world, where the relatively primitive men wage a constant war of survival against the jungle and its inhabitants. The planet of Gennis is one large and unbroken desert, with vast underground seas at the North and South poles, connected to each other by subterranean rivers, whose waters are tapped by deep wells, each a relic of a long forgotten past. However, the wells are few and competition for them is extremely fierce, leading to constant warfare and hardy recruits for the Sons. Cajarta Prime is a massive hive world, and from its gangs, recruits are taken.

The Sons recruit equally from all three worlds, and have established small keeps on each, to which recruits must journey to be considered worthy. Each world is fraught with its own perils, and the journey weeds out many of the weak and unworthy recruits. Those that make it to the keeps are kept and trained by the Marines stationed there, prepared as best they are able for the trials that will soon follow. When the fleet returns to each world, a Proving is held at each keep, wherein all the recruits that have made the journey are tested against one another in lethal combat. The strongest of the survivors are then taken by the Chaplains and Apothecaries, where they will become true Sons of Lightning.

These three worlds are not the original recruiting worlds of the Sons of Lightning however, their previous worlds being lost to bizarre and deadly Xenos weaponry. The twin world of Gellias and Kellias were once fertile recruiting grounds for the Sons, until the Eldar deployed ancient and unknown weaponry to strip the life from both worlds and leave them as shattered husks. Both worlds are cracked and broken, though to this day, no trace of Eldar presence was ever seen or heard. Only a vengeful message from the Biel-Tan Craftworld gave indication as to the fate of the people of the world: 

 

"We have reaped your world as you reaped ours. There will be no mercy for your sins. The Swordwind comes for you."

 

Hearing this, the Sons of Lightning swore terrible oaths of vengeance and retribution, and have vowed to hunt the Eldar to extinction. Blind to the notion they have only themselves to blame, the Sons have embarked on a campaign of deliberate and measured genocide against the Eldar people.
 

Organization:


"When you hear the thunder, there is no time to wonder how long the storm has been building." -Captain Lizevius,  4th Co.

Constant battle across the Veil and the mobile nature of the Sons has led to them possessing a fluid command structure. Captains and Commanders are given large freedoms, able to wage wars as they wish. The Chapter Master oversees the myriad battles and skirmishes from the Thunderhead, and often leads the chapter to war, especially against the hated Eldar. Though scattered and divided across the Veil, the Sons are quick to unite as a chapter against a large enemy, and especially so against an Eldar force. In the event that battle with their most hated adversary is possible, the Sons will summon the entire chapter back, and the Captains of the companies will each lobby their case that they should be given the honor of the assault. Such debates are short, as prolonged negotiations would only allow their foe time to escape. When the battle plan is formed, and those fortunate companies are assigned, the Chapter Master himself will lead the forces of the Sons, often drawing first blood against their most hated enemy.

The Sons command structure, company organization, and division are all Codex based, with the exception of a slightly smaller armory, as the Sons favor speed over firepower, especially against such a mobile enemy as the Eldar they often battle. The Sons also employ a larger than average Librarium, a response to their constant battles with the Eldar. Realizing the danger and power of Eldar Seers and Witches, the Sons look for psychically attuned recruits, to better counter this threat. These tactics have led to some suspicion amongst certain Inquisitors, as the Sons maintain a higher than average psychic presence and still actively recruit candidates with strong psychic potential as often as possible. However, given their record of success, as well as their strong ties to several noted Ordo Xenos Inquisitors, the issue has never been forced.

Combat Doctrine:

 
"Above all else, A Son of Lightning must strike fast. And he must strike hard enough that there is no need to strike twice." -Sergeant Irvine Steiner, 2nd Co.

The Sons favor close combat when possible, preferring to look their enemy in the eye as they slay them. Against the Eldar especially, the Sons of Lightning prefer these tactics, as they find it is much harder for their foe to make a cowardly retreat when locked in bloody melee. They favor close combat for another reason as well, as the Sons prefer to take trophies from mighty enemies, especially leaders amongst the Eldar. The Avatar of Khaine is the greatest example of this, as the Sons rush into melee combat in an attempt to slay the vengeful deity and claim the glory of the kill. This has led to a higher than average casualty rate when the Avatar is fielded, as the Sons tend to abandon strategy in an attempt to claim this honor, though the sighting of such a foe is a rare thing indeed.


The Sons of Lightning prefer a method of warfare that relies on speed and surprise over ponderous strength and firepower. Years of battling the Eldar have ensured they are flexible and highly adaptable, able to avoid being bogged down and surrounded. However, because of their predilection for close combat, the Sons are lacking in heavy armor, and field comparatively fewer tanks and Land Raiders than other chapters. They consider this no great loss, instead arming their squads with heavy weapons and anti-armor. Each such squad is nearly always given a Rhino transport, enabling them to quickly maneuver about the battlefield, bringing their heavy weapons to bear where they can be most useful. This allows them to remain highly mobile, without sacrificing their anti-armor capabilities.

 

Beliefs:

  
The Sons and the Stones
The Spirit Stones of the Eldar race trap their psychic energy at the moment of death, preserving them from the predations of She Who Thirsts, the vengeful deity created by Eldar wickedness. Because of this, these stones hold a near mystical reverence for the Eldar, a reverence the Sons do not share, and indeed, exploit. Though they are unaware of the true nature of the shining stone that every Eldar wear upon their chest, the Sons do know they are important. In battle the Sons make a point of trying to destroy these stones when possible, as they have noted the destabilizing effect it tends to have on the psyche of the Eldar. At battles end, they usually patrol the battlefield, destroying any intact stones they find as an insult to their Xenos enemies. This cold act of destruction is thought to be the source of the greatest conflicts between the Sons and the Eldar, as the former seek to destroy an alien nemesis, and the latter seek to avenge the forever-lost souls of their kin. Should the Sons ever learn the true significance of the stones, it is likely they would try even harder to destroy them, ensuring their eldritch foes suffer even more.
"I thought I had long understood the meaning of hatred; that I knew the nature of the killing hate that lurks within a man. Campaigning with the Sons of Lightning against the Eldar has shown me I was wrong. True hatred -their hatred- is an inferno, consuming all who stand against them, and leaving naught but death in its wake. Such hatred shakes the very soul." -Inquisitor Lorquin Montegarde of the Ordo Xenos.

The Sons of Lightning hate the Eldar. They despise them with a cold and irrationally deep hate, that many claim has crossed the line into obsession. The slightest rumor of Eldar forces is enough to commit the Sons to battles and campaigns across the Veil and woe to any who stand between them and their quarry. Battles between the Eldar and Sons are amongst the bloodiest in the galaxy and their treatment of the very few Eldar who survive long enough to be taken prisoner is whispered to rival that of the scions of the Chaos Gods. To the Sons, nothing, not even the lives of their allies, is as important as destroying their Xenos enemies. They have embarked on a campaign of deliberate and measured genocide, with an ultimate goal of a galaxy cleansed of Eldar, no matter the cost. To the Sons there are no bystanders in this war, there are only two sides, with any not allied with the Sons being arrayed against them.

Though there have been no confirmed reports of the Sons attacking Imperial forces, there are whispers amongst the Guardsmen of the Veiled Region that the Sons secretly destroy any Imperials who side with the Eldar. This whispered belief has led to more than one mutiny against a commanding officer who accepted Eldar aid against another enemy, often with disastrous results for the world they are defending. Still, even this is often not enough to slake the Sons' hatred, and whole Guard companies have disappeared, even after turning on their commanders. The Sons do nothing to deny such rumors and some even suggest that they start them, though this has never been proven. Charges have, in the past, been leveled against the Sons of Lightning, accusing them of attacking Imperial forces or refusing to battle alongside units who have accepted Eldar aid at any point in their histories. Each time, the charges are dismissed out of hand when their record  of service, as well as their many, many Inquisitorial and Mechanicus allies are mentioned.

The Sons place a high respect on Eldar kills, often taking trophies from their slain foes. The slaying of Exarchs, Autarchs, Seers, and Witches are especially respected, each earning a kill marking tattoo on the inside of the right forearm. Those marines that display outstanding skill in the slaying of their foes are quickly promoted, and thus the veteran First Company is filled with tattooed warriors each bearing the kill tattoos of many a dread foe, as well as bearing scalps, trinkets, and other trophies taken from their slain enemies. The quickest, and most reliable way to earn a place in the hallowed First is to slay one of the mighty Avatars of Khaine, the enemy's mightiest warrior. Given the extreme circumstances required for the Eldar to resort to fielding such a foe, its destruction is even more monumental. Though such a foe is never slain single-handedly, being far too powerful to engage without heavy firepower and support, the marine who makes the killing blow is always singled out for glory. The reward for slaying the Avatar is nearly always instant promotion to the First, as well as a ruby service stud, marking such a slayer for all to see. Many Chapter Masters of the Sons have borne such a ruby, and it is rumored that Nikolai Hessa, first master of the Sons, bore three at the time of his death, though it is hard to believe that one man even saw three separate Avatars, much less slew them himself. More likely this is legend grown tall to better accentuate the Sons’ first master.
The Vengeance Wars
The Sons' open taunting of the Eldar, along with the defiling of their Craftworld, once led to a horrific and terribly bloody campaign known as the Vengeance Wars, in which the Sons and their allies waged a region wide war against a combined force of at least three Eldar Craftworlds. What started as a simple skirmish along the outer systems became a bloody campaign when the Eldar discovered the remains of their scouts; spiritstones broken, bodies wracked after terrible tortures, and a mass grave of cruelly disposed dead. What was a minor victory for the Sons became a long campaign in which the Sons were ambushed at every turn and drawn into a bloody war to hold their own. Though brought on by the Sons’ own hatred and cruelty to their ancient foes, the Sons did not yield and stubbornly refused to give ground. Exterminatus was declared twice over the course of the campaign and the total casualties from both sides totaled in the billions, with the majority being innocent Imperial citizens caught in a vendetta of blood. After nearly three years of constant fighting, the Sons stood on the brink of annihilation, but their Eldar foes were too weakened to make the killing blow. A very uneasy ceasefire came about as both sides could simply fight no longer. The Eldar pulled back and left the Sons and their allies with fragile control of the systems, though it would be centuries before full peace was restored to the area.


Geneseed:

 
"Spit acid?! Are you so weak and worthless that you need to spit acid to deal with your foes? Emperor preserve us if all our recruits are so pitiful..." -Overheard conversation between Sergeant E.C. Ritter and a recruit of the Sons of Lightning.

The Sons of Lightning are of the gene-seed of Rogal Dorn, and thus lack both the Sus'An Membrane and the Betcher's Gland. They show no signs of mutation or destabilization of their gene-seed, and their purity has remained of the highest standard. Though their gene-seed is clean, many Sons of Lightning display psychic powers, which several Inquisitors have theorized is a result of both the Sons predilection for psychic recruits  and their Fortress Monastery's hateful presence. It has been postulated that those recruits with even small psychic potential strengthen considerably during their time on the Craftworld, as the constant rage projected at them slowly hardens their resolve, building their power as a resistance to this. If this is true, then the dead Craftworld is at least partially responsible for even more Eldar deaths, as the Librarians of the Sons of Lightning are powerful indeed, and turn their gifts most often against the Xenos that are their nemesis. No theories have been proven as of yet, as the Sons are loathe to be examined by a prodding Inquisitor.

The Craftworld colors the Chapter in other ways as well. The Sons point to it as an example of all things Eldar, of the weakness of the race and how even their mightiest bastions can be brought down. It also serves as training ground for the Sons, giving their recruits an excellent foundation against their hated foe, for they train where their own enemies once lived. Though the Craftworld can still subtly alter its wraithbone shape, leading to ever changing mazes, it is otherwise powerless against its captors, who flaunt their prize openly.


Battle Cry:

 
"Lightning Strikes! Thunder Roars!"
 
Symbol:

 
sonsoflightning.png


Edited by Shinzaren, 12 March 2013 - 03:48 PM.

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#2
RagingGriffon

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Holy grey scale, Batman!

Just kidding, of couse. A few things:

- why not just make them Raven Guard descendents. I think I see what you were going for. They tried to be like a stereo-typical Dornian, but they got shwacked, so they adapted. If that is the case, leave out referrence to RGs.
- I feel like once the High Lords sanction the creation of the Chapter, they don't get directly involved. Your guys got shwacked, then they rebuilt, and re-attacked. Leave out mentioning High Lords again.
- Speaking of, 3/4 of your Chapter is a lot of peeps. It would probably take several hundred years to rebuild from that
- Leave out "they have Eldar characteristics" It is ok that they are reclusive.
- "near perfect night vision" should be changed to, "even further enhanced night vision" and drop the "see in the thermal spectrum." The second part is a bit much.
- "Book of the Dark War" is interesting. Expound on that. Maybe that replaces the Codex for them

Good start. Just remember. Critiques are going to be hard, fast, and not held back. Don't get discouraged, don't go emo on us, and keep trying. It is a long road, but I am sure it is worth it when it is immortalized on the board.
-

#3
Shinzaren

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GAH!!! CRITICISM!!! MY LIFE IS RUINED AND I MUST COMMIT SEPPEKU FOR THIS INSULT TO MY HONORZ!!!

Ha, all kidding aside, very good points, which I will address as best I can in future editions. Gray scale is because I am a TERRIBLE painter. That, and I always liked the smoke grey, almost black scheme anyway.

I didn't want to make them Raven Guard as one of the genetic defects associated with the Raven Guard is pale skin and dark hair, which is opposite of my ideas entirely. Leaving out the RG reference definitely makes sense when I look it from that light. Plus, I love Dorn and the IF, they were my first army, I just also love stealth. And stealthy, IF are NOT. But yes, you did get exactly what I was going for. Typical Dornian style engage got punked, and they went back to the drawing board to relearn.

I've always had kind of a rough time visualizing how the HLoT are involved with Space Marine chapters, so I guess the best bet probably is to leave them out.

I figure at the time of the defeat, still in its infancy/growing stage, 3/4 might only be say 75 marines? Yes its a high percentage, but since they are in the expansion stage, they simply started over per say, rather than losing like 750 marines. However, it is something I will consider, perhaps the defeat was more demoralizing than physical, high rate of injury, not so high on mortality.

I was having trouble explaining their beliefs, and the whole Eldar thing kept coming up, so I used that where it definitely wasn't necessary, an easy fix.

I think as its my first DIY chapter, I wanted to be all SUPA-UNEEK!, and took the eye thing a bit too far. I can't even really picture how thermal version on an organic would work anyway. How does one switch vision modes :) ? Definitely in need of a rethinking.

The Book of the Dark War came as an after thought late at night before I went to bed. I am intrigued by the possibilities, though I wanted to get the first draft and see how it could be changed a bit for the better. As the suggestion builds, I can already picture how I would change/incorporate it.

Thank you very much RagingGriffon for the comments/support. Its nice that my first response wasn't a total hammer on my forehead :lol: Back to the laptop we GO!!

#4
CKO

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First off thats a really cool marine, second its hard to believe that a chapter would switch combat doctrines like that, giving us a better reason such as a new chapter master would be easier to accept.

#5
Sons of Erebor

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I've only skimmed, but I like what I've read. But I agree with RagingGriffon about probably taking out the name dropping on the Raven Guard; I also think RagingGriffon's idea about the "Book of the Dark War" replacing the Codex is interesting, seeing how them using codex tactics led to 3/4ths of their chapter being eliminated.

#6
Shinzaren

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Yep, second draft is already written/edited. I'm going to wait awhile to see if there are any other ideas that I might wanna consider. Probably post it later tomorrow or Sunday, I don't know for sure though, wait and see is my approach at this point.

Dropped the RG reference, and added a lot more of the Book of the Dark War.

CKO, the reason I had it switch doctrines, is at this point, the chapter is tiny, and therefore more likely to accept changes. Plus, being Chapter Master for the first time and failing, Nikolai probably took a lot of the blame on himself, and so when he relearned how to lead others in war, others learned how to fight according to his style. It would only be possible early in the chapter history, when it was still very small and flexible in its theories and traditions. I do appreciate the interest though, and I'm glad you like the marine. Colors are based on ease of modeling and shadowy-ness, and weapons are the weapons passed down from CM to CM ^_^

#7
CKO

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I understand the change in doctrines now, a little clarification is really all you need.

#8
RagingGriffon

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I'm pretty sure, but not 100%, that Chapters start at a full, or darn near, 1000 battle brothers. If you look at the Scythes of the Emperor they are having a very difficult time saving their Chapter from failing, and they were reduced to a couple hundred.

I also think the death of the first Chapter Master and then a new one would allow that doctrinal change with the death of so many Astartes.

One more thing... you said, "handful of marines from an unknown chapter, including its first chapter master, Nikolai Hessa..." What does this add to your story from the being unknown? You know your lineage, I think you would know who was your core leadership.

#9
Shinzaren

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As I was reading the guide to DIY Chapters, the basic, agreed upon theory, was that a Chapter could take decades to reach full strength, and the initial cadre of true Marines from other Chapters would only be 20-40. So, along those lines, if there were say, 30 marines, plus 60 Initiates at the time of the first battle, losses suffered might only set the Chapter back a decade or so, since they engaged so early. Future drafts will reduce the numbers lost by a more significant margin, 3/4 was a little much I think.

The reason I didn't list the Chapter, is that I can't see any IF, CF, or BT changing his ways, and relearning a non-Dornian way to fight. However, if the Chapter Master was to die in this failure of an initial campaign, I think that would become slightly more viable. I'll contemplate this for a rewrite. Nikolai Hessa may end up being a secondary Sergeant or something until after the first battle when everyone above him dies and he is suddenly thrust into a leadership role. We'll see though, I'm gonna do some more writing, see where we end up :)

Thanks for the continued interest/support.

#10
Shinzaren

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Edited and Updated. Lots of new things, taking suggestions and comments and working them in as I thought they worked. ^_^

#11
CKO

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The combat doctrine transition is alot smoother and easier to understand. I love the Book of War idea, but you left out personality.

What are your marines like? Are they cool and collective or always ready to strike?

#12
Shinzaren

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Thanks, and thanks for pointing that out. I added a second paragraph to the Combat Doctrine section, hopefully that will help :D

#13
Brother Daeger Helsir

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The colorscheme/example scheme is visually arresting and intimidating in the extreme, and I love it.

The IA itself is very well-knit and covers most of the salient points; although I admit I haven't given it a completely thorough read through, my only suggestion so far is to re-edit and tighten up the language some, paying particularly close attention to the beginning sections.

I like your chapter's concept and you seem well on your way to making it a genuine IA reality.

"He who has lost sight of protecting the common man in his zeal to destroy the Emperor's foes- Shun him! He has betrayed his very purpose as an Astartes."
- Joachim Bornhald, first Chapter Master of the Bright Lords (attributed)


Lux Permanet!


#14
Shinzaren

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The colorscheme/example scheme is visually arresting and intimidating in the extreme, and I love it.


Thanks :)

The IA itself is very well-knit and covers most of the salient points; although I admit I haven't given it a completely thorough read through, my only suggestion so far is to re-edit and tighten up the language some, paying particularly close attention to the beginning sections.


Thanks again :) Do you have an example? I guess I'm not really sure what you mean. Too much prose and description for the amount of content? Something like that? I can definitely trim the proverbial fat, but I'm not sure where to start I guess :/

I like your chapter's concept and you seem well on your way to making it a genuine IA reality.


Thanks a third time :D I'm really glad you like it!

Edited by Shinzaren, 06 July 2010 - 03:55 AM.


#15
Brother Daeger Helsir

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Well, most especially in the lead-in quote and the beginning few paragraphs, the phrasing and wording are somewhat awkward, and the writing as a whole does not "flow" well. I would go back and rephrase/rewrite it if I were you, paying close attention to what words you choose, and how the sentences flow together. The first few paragraphs are the most important part, as a well-written intro can draw a reader into slogging through the marathon read that is an IA, while a poorly written one can make them grow bored and wander off.

As I too often suffer from overly convoluted and awkwardly phrased sentences, I'll give you this little bit of advice I've come across- reading something silently or imagining how words sound in your head really doesn't give an accurate assesment of their feel. To really figure out whether or not your writing flows well and sounds good, read it out loud, and try to write something that sounds good when you read it in this fashion. If you find yourself stumbling over your own words or not liking the way it reads, that's a strong pointer that your writing could use a little more TLC in that specific area.

"He who has lost sight of protecting the common man in his zeal to destroy the Emperor's foes- Shun him! He has betrayed his very purpose as an Astartes."
- Joachim Bornhald, first Chapter Master of the Bright Lords (attributed)


Lux Permanet!


#16
Shinzaren

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Ahh gotcha. Duly noted :D

I rewrote the intro bit, and I'll look at cleaning the rest tomorrow. I may also end up changing the intro again. We'll see when i'm well rested though. Now its sleepy time!

#17
Gharad

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Looks good to me. I agree with others that it doesn't flow in places.

Also, you appear to have a broken tag in your Battle Cry. :)

#18
Shinzaren

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I read it out loud and made a lot of adjustments/small rewrites. Should read a little smoother. Plus I finally figured out how to format it the way I wanted. Thanks to everyone who commented so far. Been very helpful.

P.S. Thanks Gharad for pointing that out. :P

#19
Espada Azul

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I oh so love the unique takes to what constitutes a 'stealthy' Chapter, especially one from a gene-line with a predilection for stealth (the Raven Guard). The Sons of Dorn are a stubborn lot, but as we've seen with the Crimson Fists post-Rynn's World they can adapt if faced with the choice of survival over annihilation.

I love the decidedly low-key choice of color scheme, perfect for a Chapter that seems to dislike being seen out in the open, or with allies. It's a more practical contrast to my own Chapter, the Azure Blades (borderlands rangers), and closer to the Shadow Warriors (compassionate hunters), minus the humanistic part.

Decided on a place to situate your recruiting worlds yet, or are you going to be deliberately vague and just leave it as 'Somewhere in Segmentum such and such'? Grey Hunter Ydallir and I both have handy-dandy Galaxy Maps for reference if you intend to do the former.

Edited by Espada Azul, 07 July 2010 - 08:09 AM.



"Strike hard, strike swiftly, strike silently. Leave no trace of your passing but shadows, and the remains of your enemies." -- Brother-Captain Janus 'Lawin' Lawson, Azure Blades 2nd Company

#20
Shinzaren

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They would be in the Veil Region most definitely, though I am undecided as to whether I should actualize them or not. The advantages of being able to point to a map and say, "Yeah, this is mine." are obvious and cool, but I kinda like not knowing exactly where they are, and not needing to get specific with other, more Canon, events that might have happened there. We'll see though.

Edited by Shinzaren, 07 July 2010 - 07:07 PM.


#21
Sigismund Himself

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"The blade unseen cuts surest, and the knife in the dark is the cleanest kill. Strike unseen and your enemy will falter. Attack unheard, and the enemy will flounder. Kill from the unknown, and the enemy will flee before you. Bask in the Emperor's shadow, and be the silent death of His enemies."

'unseen' is ued relatively close together here. Perhaps one of them could be replaced with 'unexpected'? The second half of the first sentence doesn't flow quite as nicely as the first half and ruins it a little (though this is super pedantic :lol:). I think the 'Attack unheard' sentence doesn't work as well as the others and should probably be cut. 'from the unknown' sounds a bit odd as well but I don't have any better suggestions unfortunately. Not sure on the use of 'bask' in regards to shadow, perhaps something like 'Stalk' or 'Clothe yourself in' would work better?

"Cowards and back stabbers who dishonor the memory and teachings of the Great Primarch, Rogal Dorn. They hide in the shadows, unable and unwilling to face their foes and their fate. Do not speak to me of the Shadow Warriors." -Darnath Lysander, Captain of the Imperial Fists 1st Company.

There looks to have been a slip up in the name there (bolded portion). I would also use a generic madeup Imperial Fist captain from a lower company as it makes it seem less namedroppy.

Founded in 298.M37, the Shadow Keepers are a space born Chapter hailing from the Veil Region, though their crusading nature keeps them mobile. Founded by the High Lords of Terra in response to repeated Eldar attacks in the Veil Region, the Shadow Keepers were born of the geneseed of Rogal Dorn.

First two sentences both start with 'Founded'. I would also avoid putting a definite date on when they are founded as we don't know the dates of any Foundings between the 21st and the 26th.

Alongside these gifts, a handful of marines from the Crimson Fists chapter, including its first true chapter master, Nikolai Hessa, formed the core of the leadership of the chapter; overseeing its infantile development into a full fledged war machine. The earliest recorded battle in which the Shadow Keepers were present was on the [now dead] world of Jacarta IV.

"its first true chapter master" sounds like the guy was the chapter master of the Crimson Fists ;) Just a problem with the wording there. Also not sure about naming a world after the capital of Indonesia?

Making planet fall by drop pod assault, the marines engaged the Eldar quickly, only to be out maneuvered and surrounded. Their head on assaults failed time and time again, and eventually the Shadow Keepers were forced to withdraw, leaving the Eldar free to claim the planet. The battle cost them nearly half of their budding chapter, including the entire command structure, save a handful of sergeants. The most senior of these remaining sergeants, a young Crimson Fist named Nikolai Hessa, stepped into this void, taking command. Trained to fight in the stubborn way of Dorn and his ilk, Hessa was young enough to be open to change, an attitude that would save his chapter, and lead to their eventual rebuilding and success. Nikolai withdrew the few remaining marines he had, intent on both building his fledgling chapter, and training them in the ways of shadows and darkness. Frontal assaults were abandoned, dropped in favor of lightning raids and shadowy ambushes. They had been created to fight Eldar, and so they would relearn how to fight. Despite having have to retrain themselves to fight an entirely new style of war, the Shadow Keepers did not falter, and when they fought the Eldar again, they did so as a different army. On the Imperial world of Sinead, the Eldar of the Biel-Tan Craftworld again brought war to the Imperium, and as before, the Shadow Keepers stood ready to meet them. When battle was joined, the Shadow Keepers struck at high speed, attacking before vanishing only to reappear and attack again. Gone were the proud full on assaults and fusillades. Now they fought as wraiths, striking out, only to fade to the shadows. Victorious over the Eldar, the planet was saved, a salve on the chapter's wounded pride. Fresh from their victory, Hessa turned his attentions to Jacarta, still held in the grip of fear by Eldar raiders. In a nearly year long campaign, Nikolai and the Shadow Keepers finally purged the system, ending in a ferocious battle on Jacarta IV, burning away the shame of defeat in the fires of victory, though the planet would later suffer its own, terrible, fate.

I think the death of the entire command structure is perhaps just a little too convenient. And then having command in a young marine's hand and this being more successful than Captain who have had centuries of experience? I don't really quite buy it unfortunately.

vacillating Imperial worlds and more

Although vacillating is indeed a cool word, I'm not sure it's quite right to use here. Perhaps apostate or recreant would serve better?


The Shadow Keepers have no home world, no base of operations from which they recruit. Instead, they are a fleet based Chapter, a host of ships surrounding the massive forge ship, The Shadow’s Arm, and the heart of the chapter, the mighty battle barge, Shadow of Night.

Perhaps in the first sentence is should be 'no singular bas of operations...'. And I'm not sure the second sentence quite works after the second comma. Perhaps something more along the lines of 'the heart of which are the mighty battle barge, Shadow of Night and the massive forge ship, The Shadow’s Arm'.

To be continued...

#22
Captain Juan Juarez

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"Cowards and back stabbers who dishonor the memory and teachings of the Great Primarch, Rogal Dorn. They hide in the shadows, unable and unwilling to face their foes and their fate. Do not speak to me of the Shadow Warriors." -Darnath Lysander, Captain of the Imperial Fists 1st Company.


I have not read the whole article, I admit.. I've turned into a person who just picks at points of IA's rather than a reader... *shrug*

The above though does kind of resemble a roadbump on an otherwise flat road; it sticks out rather highly as name dropping.
" They made you to be untouched by God or mortal. As I cannot kill you, so I curse you, not with death but with life.

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

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

And I dub you the Ragged Man."

#23
Shinzaren

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'unseen' is ued relatively close together here. Perhaps one of them could be replaced with 'unexpected'? The second half of the first sentence doesn't flow quite as nicely as the first half and ruins it a little (though this is super pedantic tongue.gif). I think the 'Attack unheard' sentence doesn't work as well as the others and should probably be cut. 'from the unknown' sounds a bit odd as well but I don't have any better suggestions unfortunately. Not sure on the use of 'bask' in regards to shadow, perhaps something like 'Stalk' or 'Clothe yourself in' would work better?


Changed, slightly. Reworked it a bit, and I think it flows slightly better.

There looks to have been a slip up in the name there (bolded portion). I would also use a generic madeup Imperial Fist captain from a lower company as it makes it seem less namedroppy.


Ah, good catch. Changed, also changed from Lysander.

First two sentences both start with 'Founded'. I would also avoid putting a definite date on when they are founded as we don't know the dates of any Foundings between the 21st and the 26th.


Combined the first two sentences together, changed from precise date to "mid-M37"

"its first true chapter master" sounds like the guy was the chapter master of the Crimson Fists msn-wink.gif Just a problem with the wording there. Also not sure about naming a world after the capital of Indonesia?


Fixed. And Jakarta is the capitol of Indonesia eh? That explains why spell check never hated it like it did all my other names. Quick and easy change. Jacarta is now CAJARTA! Letter swappers rejoice! I think I changed all instances, but if I missed any, lemme know ^_^

I think the death of the entire command structure is perhaps just a little too convenient. And then having command in a young marine's hand and this being more successful than Captain who have had centuries of experience? I don't really quite buy it unfortunately.


Alright, I changed it up a bit. All became most, added a second paragraph, etc. Tried to explain that he didn't start amazing, he just had the faith in his vision, and stuck with it through trial and error, and learned ;) Would you be interested in buying now?

Although vacillating is indeed a cool word, I'm not sure it's quite right to use here. Perhaps apostate or recreant would serve better?


Gonna keep it as is for the moment. It kinda says they step in to ensure worlds that are considering Heresy/taking steps away from the Imperium are brought into line, and planets on fence, are kicked squarely off it, and into the Imperium's yard again. Also, vacillating is a great word. Flippy floppy wishy washers will all be brought into LINE!

Perhaps in the first sentence is should be 'no singular bas of operations...'. And I'm not sure the second sentence quite works after the second comma. Perhaps something more along the lines of 'the heart of which are the mighty battle barge, Shadow of Night and the massive forge ship, The Shadow’s Arm'.


Yeah, rewrote it a bit, I think it flows better. I also changed some other minor issues with repeating phrases throughout the IA.

Thank you Juan and Siggy for your wonderful input :) I look forward to further crushing of my soul and storyline :P

#24
RagingGriffon

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the Exarch was ordering the set up


Word Choice on bolded.

Stubbornness gave away to stealth, and even the traditionalists were eventually swayed by Nikolai's faith and vision.


I want to see stubborness gave way to X, and X gave way to stealth. There is no correlation between "stubborness" and "stealth".

respected foes


I still don't like the word "respected." I know what you are getting at as in you don't take them lightly, but I don't think respected is the best word choice.

Recruits come from the planets of the Cajarta and Sinead systems respectively


I feel like this diverse culture from recruits might cause rifts. Do you mind wipe your recruits? Maybe I am nitpicking... ok, I am, but it is because I like you :)

assassinate enemy leaders


change to: "target command and control formations," because I think it was you who said Astartes don't assassinate because the connotation is one person in and out.

The Shadow Keepers have no particular hatred or distrust of Psykers, featuring an average sized Librarium


I found this odd. Your primary hate is towards Eldar, and the Eldar are the reason for your inception, I would imagine you would have a higher than normal use for Librarians (Eldar being powerful psykers and all). I mean, psykers can do some cool stuff towards stealth attacks.


I like this edition much more than the first time I read it. I have also come to respect your criticism here in the Liber, so I hope you don't mind my tough love. It is a bit late for me, and I am about to get off shift so I hope you don't mind the "Word Choice" I gave you with no suitable alternate. Also, welcome to the far forgotten part of the Imperium. My Paragons are in your neck of the woods ;)

#25
Shinzaren

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I generally have a large dislike of using Astartes as assassins, and my own words have come back to bite me in the arse :( I was considering defending my point with the whole, "They're not marines yet! They use sniper rifles!" argument, but you're probably right haha. Should be changed a bit, and reworded.

I found this odd. Your primary hate is towards Eldar, and the Eldar are the reason for your inception, I would imagine you would have a higher than normal use for Librarians (Eldar being powerful psykers and all). I mean, psykers can do some cool stuff towards stealth attacks.


Ahh, so it's using the whole Nieztche-ing philosophy that if they fight monster they become monsters? My enemies use psykers so I should too? Tbh, I like psykers, and they present a unique situation for any chapter. I think that in this case however, there is enough going on, and enough uniqueness about the chapter already that if I tried to focus on Librarians more it would actually detract from the rest. However, I am open to the idea, and if there is a general consensus that it should be expanded, I am wiling to listen :huh:

I want to see stubborness gave way to X, and X gave way to stealth. There is no correlation between "stubborness" and "stealth".

Stubbornness gave way to pragmatism, and firepower gave way to stealth? Perhaps?

Word Choice on bolded.

change to preparation, more Eldar-y.

I feel like this diverse culture from recruits might cause rifts. Do you mind wipe your recruits? Maybe I am nitpicking... ok, I am, but it is because I like you msn-wink.gif

Maybe it does cause minor rifts/issues, like the Salamanders rivalry, but its nothing major, or that affects the chapter to any large degree. Might get mentioned in a fanfic or something, but unnecessary for the IA I believe. And I'm glad you like me haha:)

I still don't like the word "respected." I know what you are getting at as in you don't take them lightly, but I don't think respected is the best word choice.

I know you dislike respecting Xenos haha ^_^ I think the first part is more important: Hated adversaries. Just because you hate something, doesn't mean you can't respect it. That's my theory anyway.

All in all, reworked again, included points RG made.





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