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IA: The Iron Hounds

IW Buddhist Norse Traitor Zen Saxon Pure Land

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#26
ringlancer

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But I LIKED the pictures!

(ducks as someone throws an Iron Waffle at him)

Seriously, I like what you've done. I like how different they are and I like how they aren't too derivative but still evoke what you are going for.

Good job, and thanks for being a good sport with the names. And the pictures.
War without fire is like sausages without mustard. Henry V of England

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#27
Captain Juan Juarez

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Please removes the pictures!


They remind me of bad holiday pictures :huh:


OK, everybody hated the pictures. I mean, I liked them, but that's what peer review is for...

What if I instead I put photos there that were just the models without any cheesy background? Like so ☝ ?


It isn't hate, hate implies caring ;)

They just don't fit and are so obviously photoshopped.

Edited by Captain Juan Juarez, 12 January 2011 - 07:38 AM.

" 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."

#28
Apothete

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A Challenger Approaches...

I've read through the writeup and, counter to my usual style, I'm going to open with some general remarks and follow with the specifics rather than just going point by point from the get-go. The single, largest issue that I have with this article is that it's way, way too full of itself when it comes to altered titles, mash-up of languages, and cramming new information down the reader's throat without necessarily adding to or exposing the character of the Chapter any more meaningfully than showing us that there's other terminology. A common criticism I receive is that I have a tendency to either write too much about minutia or to get lost in telling stories, which is not the purpose of an IA. Rather, it exists to explain to us who your Chapter is and what it is that makes them unique.

You, sir, have me beaten.

Who do you kill for? Who would you die for? The Imperium betrayed the Emperor as surely as the Emperor betrayed his sons. Do not seek your Way there. What reward do you see your brothers earning from the Gods of the Warp? Do not seek your Way there. The Old Dead Gods in their Pure Land are the only Way, and sacred Wælheim is that Way. - Forn Grimnir, Gothi of the Iron Hounds, addressing a closed meeting of the Company's Cult


Scansion, pacing, and tone could be tighter and more punchy while also sounding more like something that a person would speak and less like a quote being read out.

Additionally, I question opening the article with a quote attributed to someone with a long, involved title and attribution well before any of those things are revealed to the reader. Some of the meat of the matter is revealed in Grimnir's words, but then you go and heap lots of private lingo on top of it at the end and it just doesn't look right. Also, is the use of Grimnir an intentional invocation of the Dwarven gods from Fantasy, a use of one of Odin's many traditional ethnographic names and derivatives/forebears, or something more like an accident?

The story of the Iron Hounds is the story of it’s four principle leaders: Jarl Bolverk, the unpredictable and savage Terminator lord; Forn Grimnir, the mysterious and manipulative Sorcerer; Thegn Volundr, the mad, mechanical genius; and Lord Callixtus, dedicated servant of a powerful Greater Daemon.


The story is the story? I'd change that, though Octavulg will probably pop in and say that repetition has a purpose at times.

So... Odin and Totally Not Odin But Actually Odin, along with a German smith with Nordic ties, and a rather strange Beatified Papal figure who was originally responsible for something akin to plenary indulgence? That's an interesting cast of character associations you have there, though only two of them make a particular amount of sense to me, since Odin was something of a mystic as well as being a god and Volundr was a renowned swordsmith, though not particularly insane as far as I know. You also continue the use of the title system without having explained its significance to us, though there's some semblance of suggestion in the way that each named figure has characteristics assigned to them in the exposition.

The Astartes Chaos Lord currently known as Jarl Bolverk was loyal to the Warmaster Horus and commanded a force of Terminators during the Siege of Terra. His faith and his mind were fractured when word of the Warmaster’s death reached him on the battle field, and in the chaotic withdrawal Bolverk abandoned both the fight and the Legion, striking out for the furthest edges of known space. He remained a fearsome leader to his Terminator brethren, though his mood outside of battle was subject to long bouts of melancholy punctuated by violent fits of rage.


So he takes a force of the most maintenance-intensive and complicated armor in the Imperium and strikes out for parts unknown, damn the logistics and the ability to keep his men able to fight effectively? That sounds less like a man to be followed and more like a petulant child to me.

Even assuming that Jarl, who you've told us is a hard-bitten and bloodthirsty killer, is prone to flights of capricious fancy, would he really risk the integrity of his Company or Chapter (you don't tell us which) on a momentary surge of emotion? He is, after all, an Astartes. The usual response to negative emotion is to make your opponent pay for what they've done, not to turn tail and flee for the hills without regard for those under your command. As it is, this looks like a petulant tantrum and not the choice of someone selected for their grit and determination, which you would expect the hand-chosen leader of a Terminator unit to possess. You don't necessarily state that he was a Son of Horus/Luna Wolf commander, but it's not necessarily unreasonable to take that conclusion away from the text.

The one eyed Astartes Sorcerer called by the Jarl as Forn Grimnir found the Jarl and the remnants of his Terminator force decades later, engaged in random raids that did little but vent their wrath and deplete their dwindling numbers. He has never spoken of his Legion of origin, but gained the Jarl’s confidence by sharing tales of fighting for the Warmaster in the Istvaan campaigns. Forn Grimnir also wove tales of the Gods of the Warp, and of the gods from Mankind’s history that the hated Emperor had tried so hard to destroy knowledge of. He gave the Jarl a new faith and a renewed sense of purpose, guiding his movements and raids with prophetic visions.


One... eyed... sorceror... Really?

Could you perhaps tone this element down slightly, considering that it's a not at all subtle callout to Odin? I'm halfway expecting to see ravens and trees any time now, perhaps along with a reference to seeing all things and nailing one's enemies down, respectively.

I'll again mention that TDA is a particularly poor choice for a unit operating away from the support of the Mechanicus in terms of spare parts, replacement suits, powerplants, and repair facilities. If you insist on having them leave the Siege of Terra and be found later, I would have them operating in suits of scrapped-and-salvaged power armor salad that have been doctored together, with very few of the Astartes still wearing functional Terminator plate. It's common practice for renegades and Traitors to strip the dead of their supplies and armor for this very reason, a fact bestowed upon us by Games Workshop in multiple codices.

The Iron Warrior stronghold manned by Volundr’s small garrison force was among the first prophecies that Forn Grimnir directed the Jarl toward. Abandoned by their own Legion and harried by Imperial forces that would eventually arrive in force to crush them, Volundr and his battle-brothers were frustrated and lost. Forn Grimnir mediated a long negotiation between Bolverk and Volundr, and Volundr, who had a genius and passion for his work with the mechanical but no taste or skill for command, became the Jarl’s First Thegn, accepting Bolverk’s command. This deal added much needed armor and manpower to the Jarl’s warband, and made them a far more flexible fighting force.


So the incredibly sensible, practical Perturabo - or one of his chosen Warsmiths - left a talented Techmarine-equivalent in charge of a bastion without support, but chose him to run the place despite an inability to effectively command? That's not terribly believable to me.

Why would Volundr bend his knee to someone else, a leader you haven't really established as possessing any of the qualities that you want us to believe would have him be acceptable for betrayal of one's Legion, when he has the regimented and formalized nesting of heirarchy and obligation that steers the Iron Warriors? If anything, Bolverk's hasty flight from Terra and his unfocused and meaningless raiding are anathema to the patient, brutal siegecraft that sees fortresses fall by deliberately applied force. Unless he's being bound to his new lord by way of lies and trickery, this doesn't make sense either.

Forn Grimnir led the Jarl’s warband around the edges of known space for many more decades, guided by his visions and dreams. He kept the force away from avenging loyalist Astartes, found the Jarl needed supplies, revealed satisfying targets and discovered the occasional group of outcast Legionnaires fleeing the retribution of the Imperium but cut off or cast out of their parent Legion. These foreswore the Primarchs and commanders who they felt abandoned them or let them down, rededicating themselves to the Jarl after Volundr’s example. The Jarl filled their need for an authority, and Forn Grimnir filled their need for something to believe in and fight for again.


If they're traveling the edges of known space, let alone Imperial space, the journey would take centuries. Just crossing from Ultramar to Terra in as direct a path as possible probably takes the better part of a year and that's if you don't care who knows where you're going and why you've chosen to do so. Avoiding Inquisitorial and Munitorum listening posts, Astartes and Naval patrols, Rogue Traders, and any other Imperial interaction would require a much more circuitous and careful approach to navigation. Layer on top of that the complete lack of shipyards, the necessity of taking on reaction mass and other supplies through raiding, then dealing with any damage to ships, Thunderhawks, and other vehicles by means other than the Mechanicus or their darker counterparts, the need to either gather recruits and implant geneseed (itself another problem, sourcing-wise) or find more traitor Astartes to replace lost Brothers, and the thousands of other tasks that make keeping the Marines in battle akin to midieval knights or modern fighter pilots.

Moving on from those general concerns, I think you have some handwavium here that needs to be dealt with more convincingly before it can be meshed into the article as a whole.

Firstly, you've got Odin the Seer using his connection to the dead old gods to show them everywhere they need to go and what they need to do, which hits right on the point I predicted earlier in my response. On top of that, you've got "outcast" Legionnaires who are somehow willing to hear out Astartes they don't know, rather than either fighting for their lives or fleeing from what would likely seem as if it was a task force sent to exterminate them. You also don't tell us about any Loyalists they come across, and unless we're going to be salting the article with more handwavium, odds are that you're going to find some if this is happening even remotely contemporaneously with the Heresy. Using Volundr's example isn't necessarily the best option, either, as I don't think you've adequately justified his leaving behind his past. There's also the minor matter that you're asking men who've been betrayed at least twice, assuming they were Horus' and not the Emperor's during the battle, to take it on faith that this new leader isn't just going to fail them like the previous one did.

The Jarl’s warband, directed by Forn Grimnir, scoured the edge of the galaxy looking for something. The found it when they found Lord Callixtus, a former Word Bearer in the service of a warp entity called The Hidden King. Callixtus and his coterie had been lured into slavery by this entity while hunting for arcane knowledge for their Legion. Callixtus, on the orders of his new master, was recruiting an army among the fractured and tumultuous corners of the Imperium, and the Jarl’s now sizable strength, along with the auspicious visions he had shared with Forn Grimnir, made him believe this was fated. Callixtus guided the Jarl to the warp storm known as the Utgaard Phenomenon and within to the Hallow Moon, the world that was destined to be the Jarl’s prize for his service to the Hidden King. Lord Callixtus remained with the warband, given the title of Nuncio, the representative to the Jarl of the Hidden King’s will.


Where to begin?

If Grimnir is so unerringly great at finding the more practical elements like wargear, supplies, additional followers, and safe routes for the fleet to travel, why would he stumble around so blindly when it comes to locating a being that is, itself, looking for followers who would be prone to accepting its dogma? He's a psyker, he shines like a beacon to warp entities, and he's been incredibly, unbelievably good at what he does to reach this point. It makes no sense for the journey not to just lead them arrow-straight to this Hidden King, especially if Bolverk is going to live to serve its purpose.

Callixtus, somewhat akin to his real world counterpart, seems like he's somewhat inept if he allowed himself to be enslaved to a power from the warp rather than bending it to his will. The Word Bearer Dark Apostles preach the power and reach of their new cause, the untold potency of the Ruinous Powers, but they're not foolish enough to make bargains that will destroy them. Completely unlike Saint Callistus, he leads these other Astartes into bondage and the ruination of their souls, rather than the indulgence of Catholicism. More pertinent to the game world, though, I don't understand why he would change his title from Apostle to Nuncio unless it's just to sate your desire to have all the important titles be something other than their default nomenclature. They're roughly equivalent in meaning and origin within Latin, as both are speakers for and students of a greater power than themselves.

Aside from the general pagan connotations of "Hallow" in modern parlance, I'm not really sure what it has to do with the outer realm of the giants from Norse mythology. Were you going somewhere with this, aside from the mention of Yule that you previously cut?

The Hallow Moon is a place of violent contrasts, and the inhabitants have learned to live with it. They are at once superstitious and pragmatic, and the Jarl has directed their culture to respect martial valor, the rule of law, and the family unit. This aids in the Jarl’s indoctrination of recruits for his company serfs, his small planetary militia and, most importantly, his program of developing Astartes with stolen gene-seed to fill his ranks with fanatically loyal homegrown battle-brothers. He further develops both respect for his rule among the peasants and respect for company traditions among his own warriors by occasionally sending select champions to wander among the folk without their power armor, living as legendary heroes by taking sides in the wars of the nobility and slaying lesser Warp creatures that lurk in the countryside menacing peasant villages. This breeds loyalty among the people and weeds out the weak in his own ranks, along with supplying inspiring tales to recite in his Fortress mead hall.


I'm going to skip the pastoral, prosaic description of the previous passage and focus on this portion. I'd say that most of that paragraph could be cut without losing any of the character of the Chapter, though I can feel your pain if you don't want to remove it. We just don't learn anything useful from it.

The first issue I see is with your assertion that the people of Hallow are both pragmatic and superstitious, as it doesn't seem particularly superstitious to ward one's home against daemons you've seen take people, nor does it seem particularly pragmatic to maintain a practice if it isn't demonstrably useful. The contrast is forced and doesn't seem to meld well. After that, it seems curious that you claim that one of the Jarl's main points of emphasis is on the rule of law and the power of family, yet his current situation stems from a war of fratricide and he perpetuates his regime by outright theft and deception. If anything, his following of Horus Lupercal is complete hypocricy in the face of his stated morality. Does he have a way of preventing those following him from noticing just how two-faced he is, or is the truth of his origins concealed from those who follow him? I realise that it might be best to deal with their view of the Imperium under the Beliefs header, but it doesn't seem likely that anyone with half a brain would fail to realize that a leader who betrayed his oaths and took up arms against the Emperor and the Legions isn't someone to be preaching the benefits of filial loyalty.

The Jarl relies on speed and violence of action, blitzing the enemy with sudden and ferocious assaults.


This is different from other Astartes?

Bolverk insists on rigid martial discipline, which is enforced by his Comitatus of threatening Terminators, and reinforced by their habit of recruiting recent apostates from the Imperium’s many Space Marine Chapters.


Oh, good. At least they're threatening Terminators and not the far more common and less motivating daffodil-planting ones.

I'm not entirely sure how recruiting the rejects and disenchanted of the Imperium is going to lend to an air of martial order, considering what you usually have to do in order to be drummed out of a Chapter in the first place. Failures and cowards, waifs and strays... These are not men who are out of service becasue of a simple difference of opinion, they're derelict of duty, callous murderers, abject losers and the worst of those not too dangerous to let live. Basing your command on them is likely a risky proposition, as Chapters aren't likely to just throw away their investment in a Brother without great evidence that it ought to be done. The single exception to this point is going to be those Legionnaries who were a part of the Heresy and whom continue to fight afterwards but, barring intervention of the warp, that's a resource that's going to dry up after a few millenia.

The Iron Hounds exhibit a high degree of professionalism, and the company is arranged around ten core squads. They are a mechanized force primarily, and when the company takes to the battlefield as a whole they form an armored column of Rhinos, Predators and War Engines supported on their flanks by jump troops and cavalry, and sometimes Vindicators. They are usually tasked with driving straight into enemy salients and strong points, which they do with relish. More often than not, however, a thegn of the Jarl, one of his loyal champions, will lead a task force composed of two or three squads arranged for a specific objective.


Why is this worth mentioning? This is quite nearly Codex orthodoxy.

He has a fanatically loyal squad of Terminators called The Comitatus, and while he is always surrounded by some of their number, others he employs as a heavy strike force. For line breaking he relies on his squadron of ancient Dreadnoughts, the interred remains of some of his oldest and most loyal warriors, completely mad but still fanatical to serve.


Where, exactly, is he getting Dreadnoughts from? I can almost believe that he might be able to keep a small number of Terminators in fighting condition through salvage or theft, but it's not as if you can just raid a Forge World and know that there's going to be ten Dreadnought chassis being loaded to ship to waiting Chapters. Or maybe you can if you have all-seeing Odin on your side.

Einherjar-Bodhisattva


There's really no reason to start throwing Sanskrit in amongst all the northern European language. The concept is adequately carried across by the first part of the title and could be developed to use the ideas inherent in Bodhisattva without garbling things even worse than the titles already have.

It reads like a more sophisticated brand of name-dropping. Really, the entire title section reads this way, but it's particularly egregious when it comes to the linguistic blender ones.

The banner they fight under carries the Chaos Star of the Hidden King and the numeral IV denoting their Free Company designation.


I find their motto entertaining. Their star is so free that they had to bargain their service to get it.

The primary belief of the cult is that all of the old gods of Mankind are dead, dwelling in an afterlife of their own making. To escape being absorbed by the Ruinous Powers on their deaths, the Iron Hounds rely on the cult of Khalder, a Lesser Chaos God of martial valor and warrior virtue. By living disciplined soldiers lives and dying a glorious death in battle, Khalder will recognize his worshipers and guide their souls through the Warp, back to the Utgaard Phenomenon and Wælheim, the orange and black gas giant the Hundred Moons circle.


So Bolverk, who cravenly fled Terra upon the death of Horus, who raided aimlessly afterwards, who steals and pillages to maintain his own glory and leadership, is preaching a doctrine where the primary virtues are discipline and glorious death? A soldier and leader who ran away from the greatest fight he could ever hope to take part in is telling others that they need to keep order, stay the course, and stand against hopeless odds to sell their lives dearly? Really?

This is then sold to men who are either oathbreakers, cowards, failures of another sort, or the product of the Jarl's mendacious ways.

Sorry, I don't buy it.

It is believed by the Iron Hounds that Wælheim is not just a planet, but a nexus of colliding realities that is the pathway to the paradise of the Old Dead Gods of Mankind, a world they sometimes call the Pure Land, and it was this that Forn Grimnir had the Jarl desperately searching the outer rim.


This would be an adequate nod to Buddhism. You don't have to club people over the head with it in the titles.

Their helmets are painted skull white to represent their own deaths, after their final initiation ceremony renders them ritually dead, the better to scorn this life in battle, enabling them to perform heroic deeds in the face of violent death.


Death, dead, death, skulls... You might want to look at your word choice here.

Khalder makes himself known to the Iron Hounds through dream prophecies, sudden insights during ritual meditations and visions in the midst of battle. Callixtus, an outsider who is firmly devoted to the four major warp gods, has learned the name and nature of Khalder, if nothing else of the cult. It is his belief that Khalder is simply a lesser aspect of Khorne, or even possibly a mask of Tzeentch. He is both suspicious of their private, peculiar faith and jealous of their secrets, watching them and reporting to the Hidden King.


This is another point on which I'm not really sure the dynamics make for a believable whole.

You have this dedicated follower of the Hidden King, one so devoted that he's left behind all remnants of his former life and forged out amongst the stars. He chooses to follow this temporal leader, one who goes against not only his god but also the Ruinous Powers in general. Unless Callixtus is blind, he has to know that their beliefs would be dangerous if true - another power source, one not connected to the Imperium but independent of the four major powers would be yet another axis in the conflict. If false, they could still be incredibly dangerous, especially if the Iron Hounds were to turn to their other masters and forsake the Hidden King and their oaths to him, which isn't all that unbelievable when you consider that Bolverk is already twice an liar in a very potent sense.

The bedrock of the geneseed of the warband is that of the Iron Warriors, from the absorbed garrison of the Iron Warrior renegade Thegn Volundr.


"Hi, you're too incompetent to receive actual support or to command effectively, but have all these Marines, equipment, and enough geneseed to rebuild yourselves after a major conflict."

I think you need to resolve this issue earlier in the writeup before this will make any sense at all.

There is precious little of this geneseed, and the Jarl employs a brutally rigorous process called the Choosing, conducted annually. The Choosing gathers the 100 best candidates from across his holdings, forming them into a cadre of Initiates. Very few will survive their Initiation, and in this way the Jarl keeps a small but steady trickle of locals filling into his ranks, forming a fanatically loyal vein to stand beside those recruited from among the Renegades and Apostates.


Assuming that only a hundred candidates are selected each year and that even one makes it through the process, you're still looking at needing at least a hundred progenoids a century. That number goes up if you have more than one survive, and I think we can all agree that a theft of geneseed that sizable would be something tracked feverishly by the proper authorities, to say nothing of the Chapter it was taken from.

Among their own kind any who develop minor mutations have them replaced with bionics by Volundr’s apprentices and Dark Mechanicus allies.


Would it not have been a good idea to mention the Dark Mechanicus before now, and also to give Volundr ties to them? As it is, this reads like a sudden bandaid for the issues already raised.

Where did Volundr even get access to the Mechanicus if he was stationed far from the main conflict during the Heresy? Why would they pay him any heed when he was apparently part of an unimportant posting, with little regard from his superiors and no particular strengths that would command the respect of a faction fanatically dedicated to Horus and his cause?

It is believed that Khalder will not lead the souls of mutants through Wælheim to the Pure Land of the Old Dead Gods, so corrupted body parts are scorned for these augmentic products of pure human intellect.


How, exactly, does surgical removal and replacement lead to purity when mutation is genetic?

Ever since becoming Jarl-Captain Bolverk, Lord of the Hallow Moon, Bolverk has split his time strengthening his position among the Free Companies and pursuing the enemies of the Hidden King. His first actions were defeating the old Lord of the Hallow Moon, who had greatly displeased the Hidden King.


So why hasn't the Hidden King done the same to him, unless the Hidden King actually is Khalder? He's not exactly showing a whole lot of loyalty when you get right down to it, what with worshipping a different god.
You just had to look around you, Grey Knight, and you'd have seen it. What is Chaos? Suffering, you might say. Oppression. Deceit. But could not all of these things be said of your Imperium?
-Ghargatuloth, Prince of a Thousand Faces, Grey Knights.

The Exonerators Index Astartes WIP + The Inscrutable Index Traitoris WIP + The Black Friars Index Astartes WIP


#29
Warsmith Aznable

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Just when you think you've come really close to being done... :no:

A very thorough critique, Apothete, which I appreciate. I don't want to point-by-point your point-by-point, because that's tedious. I will examine the IA in light of your points and try to rework it to address the issues you raise. I have to say that I didn't/don't see some of the interpretations of the reading you came up with, but it's something to think about all the same.

The names of everyone involved except for Callixtus come in whole or in part from a list of by-names for Odin I got off Wikipedia. Characters were named so that the meanings would match job or personality. I have a hard time coming up with names, so since they're Norse-Buddhist themed I thought I would use that list, since the Old Man has dozens of by-names to choose from.

I got Callixtus off a list of Catholic Popes, because I thought it sounded neat and meshed with the Word Bearers ecclesiastical theme. I am ignorant of connotations specific to the saint you mention.

Back to the drawing board I go... :)

The Iron Hounds (CSM) project log here & IA here. | Our Martyred Lady (SoB) project log here  | Lamenters (BA) WIP thread here.

Index of Inspiration Friday entries here.

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#30
Apothete

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The names of everyone involved except for Callixtus come in whole or in part from a list of by-names for Odin I got off Wikipedia. Characters were named so that the meanings would match job or personality. I have a hard time coming up with names, so since they're Norse-Buddhist themed I thought I would use that list, since the Old Man has dozens of by-names to choose from.


Hey, I'm not going to bag on you for using historical names. One of the prominent characters in my primary Index Astartes article is a callout to a comic book and I reference all kinds of goofy stuff in my work. My point was that some names have loaded implications to people who know them, especially when combined with thematic elements in your writing.

Interesting that Volundr came up as an alternative for Odin, since he's pretty clearly Germanic with some older roots.

Back to the drawing board I go... :)


Oh, do I know that feeling... Two years in and I'm still not done with the first IA I started here.
You just had to look around you, Grey Knight, and you'd have seen it. What is Chaos? Suffering, you might say. Oppression. Deceit. But could not all of these things be said of your Imperium?
-Ghargatuloth, Prince of a Thousand Faces, Grey Knights.

The Exonerators Index Astartes WIP + The Inscrutable Index Traitoris WIP + The Black Friars Index Astartes WIP


#31
Warsmith Aznable

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I went through and tried to address everything I could. With so much to work through I'm sure there are things I left out. But I hope this is dialing it closer to where it needs to be.

Creative writing is my favorite way to aggravate myself... :D

Many thanks to those who have and continue to provide much needed criticism of this project!m :)

The Iron Hounds (CSM) project log here & IA here. | Our Martyred Lady (SoB) project log here  | Lamenters (BA) WIP thread here.

Index of Inspiration Friday entries here.

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#32
Brother Tyler

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I don't know how I missed this before now - I would have thought that I'd have noticed this discussion right away since "Iron Hounds" is a name I've used for my own DIY Chapter.

I haven't had time to read the full article, but I skimmed through it and took a look at a number of the comments you received.

The one thing I'll say right now is that you shouldn't feel constrained to describe the warband the way others want you to. Instead, decide how it is that you want to describe them and the members here will help you with that. If you want to use the IA format, that's the forte of this group. If you want to use some other format, they can help, too (and don't bow to the pressure to turn it into an IA if that's not what you want to do).

I'll definitely be taking a closer look at this later today. My initial impression is favorable, and I really like that you're taking a Chaos warband, demonstrating some of the breadth that this forum is supposed to allow for, but which is rarely followed. Naturally, all I've seen is the result of your edits today so I don't have the proper framework for some of the suggestions that were made based on the previous versions.

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#33
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The one thing I'll say right now is that you shouldn't feel constrained to describe the warband the way others want you to. Instead, decide how it is that you want to describe them and the members here will help you with that. If you want to use the IA format, that's the forte of this group. If you want to use some other format, they can help, too (and don't bow to the pressure to turn it into an IA if that's not what you want to do).

I'll definitely be taking a closer look at this later today. My initial impression is favorable, and I really like that you're taking a Chaos warband, demonstrating some of the breadth that this forum is supposed to allow for, but which is rarely followed. Naturally, all I've seen is the result of your edits today so I don't have the proper framework for some of the suggestions that were made based on the previous versions.


Thanks for the comments. This forum has been very helpful for peer review. Iron Hounds already been done, eh? Well, it's a big galaxy... :lol:

Somehow or another between my rewrite and posting the changes I lost an entire paragraph. The electro-goblins ate those precious 1s and 0s, so now I have to try and rewrite them.

This IA is getting big, even after I sent the majority of the Utgaard Phenomenon stuff to my reference blog. There's just so much I want to write about, I could probably do a whole article on each individual squad. ;) I probably will do some of the squads in my blog eventually :lol:

The Iron Hounds (CSM) project log here & IA here. | Our Martyred Lady (SoB) project log here  | Lamenters (BA) WIP thread here.

Index of Inspiration Friday entries here.

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#34
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OK. I think this is Major Revision #4. It's been a long while since I've done anything with it, apparently over two years! I revised the whole IA in the first post, abandoning lengthy descriptions for shorter and more concise information. The point of view is that of an Imperial commentator, so too many specifics aren't related, but I hope it gives the general idea of what I do with my warband: Zen Vikings in Space.

 

The great thing is that in 6th edition with the proliferation of flyers, official ally rules, and new walkers in the codex, I can FINALLY deploy them on the tabletop in the manner I originally envisioned.

 

The blogs are apparently dead, so for the time being I'll go back to using this as my IA for my signature...


The Iron Hounds (CSM) project log here & IA here. | Our Martyred Lady (SoB) project log here  | Lamenters (BA) WIP thread here.

Index of Inspiration Friday entries here.

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#35
Octavulg

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Who do you kill for, cousin? Who would you die for? The Imperium betrayed the Emperor as surely as the Emperor betrayed his sons. Do not seek your Way there. What reward do you see your brothers earning from the Gods of the Warp? Do not seek your Way there. Hwaet! I will tell you of the true Way. - "Sayings of the Warsmith"

"Hwaet" feels silly (and un 40kish). It's quite jarring to read.

Hwaet! From the Kingdom of Sorrow we ride! Bow your neck and bend your knee! Hwaet! The massacre of cities is the pastime of my idle moments, the destruction of planets the serious business of my life! The boundless vastness of the great Galaxy is my enclosed property, and I bury the dead on my own premises! Hwaet! Bow your neck and bend your knee, for the Child of Calamity is coming!

Again, so much Hwaet...

The Iron Hounds are a fleet based warband, though they are suspected to have several recruiting worlds hidden throughout the galaxy. Though the Iron Hounds possess multiple smaller warships, it is their ancient battleship The Child of Calamity that can truly be considered their home, and it is far and away their most dangerous asset. Adeptus Mechanicus observers believe the origins of this immense vessel lay in the Dark Age of Technology, but whatever noble aspirations of Humanity it once embodied were burned away upon the Daemon Forges in the Eye of Terror. Archeotech has melded with perverse xenotech and heretical Mechanicum devices. The result is a deadly leviathan that defies Imperial classification, bristling with weapons and launch bays, capable of housing hundreds of marines and their thousands of auxiliaries, even maintaining and landing Dark Mechanicum war engines and superheavy battle tanks.

Having the Child of Calamity be an actual thing somehow makes the previous quote less impressive. Good section, though.

A bit about the recruiting worlds or their home area would seem logical here.

The Old Gods are always watching, and it's a sin to leave them bored. On the other hand, there isn't much glory getting shot in the face while trying to climb a city wall. It's best to let the big guns have their say first. Anything hard enough to survive the amount I normally bring is worthy of my blade.

I always avoid contractions in Marine dialogue - makes it feel more weighty somehow.

* * *

I still like 'em. They're still weird.

I'd like it if there were a few more hints toward how they became this way (assuming you know for sure). Not necessarily telling the reader, but making it a little more practical to work out. Right now they're neat, but they're not Iron Warriors, and I can't figure out how one would get from Iron Warriors to pseudo-Space Wolves.

I don't know how much I got Zen, but I don't know how much the matters. I would commend a bit of reading about this guy to you. Not that he's Zen, but he is Buddhist, and the feel of your IA sort of reminds me of him. Though you'd need more atrocities and blood. And anti-communism.

Describing the artwork a little might also help convey the theme (have some captured or left on planets or something).

What aspects of Zen and of Vikings are you after?

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#36
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Thanks for reading, comments and critique are always appreciated! thanks.gif

 

The "hwaet" thing is from Anglo-Saxon (with cognates all over European languages), surviving in poetry as a sort of "Listen!", an attention grabber. I chose it to reinforce the Saxon/Norse aspect of the warband. I can see how it would be a little much in the one quote you pointed out. That quote is adapted from Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, from the bragging match between two bargemen, and "hwaet!" seemed better than "whoop!" It may be too silly to put in, but it's where I got the names of their fleet ships from so I thought a literary nod to it would be fun. I'll have to think about that one.

 

The contraction thing is dead on. I try to avoid it in my fan fiction, but sometimes it slips through because I tend to write how I talk myself. I'll definitely fix that.

 

I've had all kinds of histories for them to explain the "pseudo-Space Wolves thing" (which is not what I'm going for at all, I'm only using similar background material to build from), but it always seems to make the IA too long and involved. I'm not sure how to explain it in short. Actually, I'm not sure how to explain it at all, except that this is how I want them to be. Everything I've tried so far has ended up looking crap to me, so I thought this time I would be vague about what happened to make them how they are now.

 

The Iron Hounds are basically an extreme cult of personality centered around the character of Bolverk. He's bugnuts crazy; half the time he manages to be a lucid intellectual with idealistic views and a paternal instinct toward his warriors, and the other half of the time he's an axe-crazy madman who scares the hell out of his own warband.

 

Maybe I could say that Bolverk forged the Iron Hounds from the remains of the 49th Grand Company by deliberately choosing cultural aspects that would occupy and direct the minds of his warriors, keeping them loyal and focused in the face of the temptations of Chaos and the persecution of the Imperium. Life in the Eye of Terror and Medrengard was demoralising and deadly for the true idealists, and Bolverk gathered them and gave them something to believe in again. Something like that, maybe. I don't know if it would just be in passing, or if it would need a longer section.

 

The Buddhist aspect is in two parts. The Zen aspect is hard to represent in an IA, since it's about meditation, mindfulness, and perfecting a worthy pursuit. The other part is Pure Land, which is the idea that a bodhisattva can remove a soul from the karmic cycle. For a Chaos Marine what you have to look forward to is the madness of spawndom, the slavery of ascension, or more likely simply having your soul consumed by the Warp and ceasing to be (or worse). Bolverk is a Chaos Lord who understands this, and finds the idea of ascension not only a long shot, but no better than either of the other options. He sees no redemption in the Imperium, viewing it as a corrupted shadow of what it once was, and he has given up hope on what it could have been. So what is he to do? He knows of the Eldar gods, and he reasons if they had gods, then humans did too. He doesn't believe that all of the religions he helped to destroy during the Great Crusade were just fronts for the Ruinous Powers. This is the hope that he built the Iron Hounds on, a vision he came to believe with towering conviction. The figure of Khalder is their version of Amida Buddha, a deity that removes the Chaos Marines from the threat of being consumed by the Warp or being slaves to the Chaos Gods. He will take them to his Pure Land, Waelheim, where they will prepare themselves to meet with the Old Dead Gods and live in a perfect warriors' paradise. It was actually a coincidence that this ended up being similar to the Harlequins beliefs about the Laughing God, something I didn't realize until later when I was reading Eldar stuff on Lexicanum.

 

But if I really did have a way for my warband to escape that fate, it would be terrible Mary Sue-ism. I've in the past tried to hint that it's a delusion or even a Tzeentchian ploy, but if I come outright and say either of those things it takes some of the magic out of them.

 

The Saxon/Norse thing comes from the warrior aspect. I could have easily gone for an Eastern warrior tradition, but I thought that would be too obvious. Then they just would be "space samurai". One of the reasons I don't like the Space Wolves is because they're just "space vikings". They're all the ridiculous unhistorical stereotypes of vikings from popular culture, and I think it's boring. I wanted to create a fusion of two very different things and make it work. Instead of "space samurai", I thought that the Zen reasoning behind bushido could be applied to a different culture and take it somewhere new.  And since they're both warrior cultures they're going to have overlap. An Iron Hound warrior would be just as happy with a rowdy recitation of a mead hall saga as he would with a spirited renga competition. It's hard to get that across in an article, but in my longer fanfics based on last summer's Arx Rift campaign it was easier to incorporate.

 

I'll get it right eventually. Probably about the same time I'm done painting them...


The Iron Hounds (CSM) project log here & IA here. | Our Martyred Lady (SoB) project log here  | Lamenters (BA) WIP thread here.

Index of Inspiration Friday entries here.

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"Three times faster than the usual Warsmith."


#37
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The "hwaet" thing is from Anglo-Saxon (with cognates all over European languages), surviving in poetry as a sort of "Listen!", an attention grabber. I chose it to reinforce the Saxon/Norse aspect of the warband. I can see how it would be a little much in the one quote you pointed out. That quote is adapted from Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, from the bragging match between two bargemen, and "hwaet!" seemed better than "whoop!" It may be too silly to put in, but it's where I got the names of their fleet ships from so I thought a literary nod to it would be fun. I'll have to think about that one.

I'd recommend "hark", which serves roughly the equivalent purpose and apparently derives from a very similar word.

The contraction thing is dead on. I try to avoid it in my fan fiction, but sometimes it slips through because I tend to write how I talk myself. I'll definitely fix that.

If only Michael Stackpole would do the same... tongue.png

I've had all kinds of histories for them to explain the "pseudo-Space Wolves thing" (which is not what I'm going for at all, I'm only using similar background material to build from), but it always seems to make the IA too long and involved. I'm not sure how to explain it in short. Actually, I'm not sure how to explain it at all, except that this is how I want them to be. Everything I've tried so far has ended up looking crap to me, so I thought this time I would be vague about what happened to make them how they are now.

Oh, good.

No, really. Much better you have an end result with no idea how you got there than an attachment to a really terrible progression to that point.

I'll think about it a bit.

Maybe I could say that Bolverk forged the Iron Hounds from the remains of the 49th Grand Company by deliberately choosing cultural aspects that would occupy and direct the minds of his warriors, keeping them loyal and focused in the face of the temptations of Chaos and the persecution of the Imperium. Life in the Eye of Terror and Medrengard was demoralising and deadly for the true idealists, and Bolverk gathered them and gave them something to believe in again. Something like that, maybe. I don't know if it would just be in passing, or if it would need a longer section.

That'd make a certain degree of sense. Honestly, I really want to start ripping of Ungern-Sternberg, because the resemblance is getting kind of uncanny.

I'll think some more.

The Buddhist aspect is in two parts. The Zen aspect is hard to represent in an IA, since it's about meditation, mindfulness, and perfecting a worthy pursuit. The other part is Pure Land, which is the idea that a bodhisattva can remove a soul from the karmic cycle. For a Chaos Marine what you have to look forward to is the madness of spawndom, the slavery of ascension, or more likely simply having your soul consumed by the Warp and ceasing to be (or worse). Bolverk is a Chaos Lord who understands this, and finds the idea of ascension not only a long shot, but no better than either of the other options. He sees no redemption in the Imperium, viewing it as a corrupted shadow of what it once was, and he has given up hope on what it could have been. So what is he to do? He knows of the Eldar gods, and he reasons if they had gods, then humans did too. He doesn't believe that all of the religions he helped to destroy during the Great Crusade were just fronts for the Ruinous Powers. This is the hope that he built the Iron Hounds on, a vision he came to believe with towering conviction. The figure of Khalder is their version of Amida Buddha, a deity that removes the Chaos Marines from the threat of being consumed by the Warp or being slaves to the Chaos Gods. He will take them to his Pure Land, Waelheim, where they will prepare themselves to meet with the Old Dead Gods and live in a perfect warriors' paradise. It was actually a coincidence that this ended up being similar to the Harlequins beliefs about the Laughing God, something I didn't realize until later when I was reading Eldar stuff on Lexicanum.

Interesting. To a certain extent, might this lead to the conclusion that the Gods were the same? After all, if the Chaos gods can be worshipped my multiple races, surely the Eldar gods could be too?

There's an interesting Craftworld in there. I've been looking for a hook for mine...

But if I really did have a way for my warband to escape that fate, it would be terrible Mary Sue-ism. I've in the past tried to hint that it's a delusion or even a Tzeentchian ploy, but if I come outright and say either of those things it takes some of the magic out of them.

I don't know that its truth or untruth is necessary to the IA. Indeed, either would hurt it.

The Saxon/Norse thing comes from the warrior aspect. I could have easily gone for an Eastern warrior tradition, but I thought that would be too obvious. Then they just would be "space samurai". One of the reasons I don't like the Space Wolves is because they're just "space vikings". They're all the ridiculous unhistorical stereotypes of vikings from popular culture, and I think it's boring. I wanted to create a fusion of two very different things and make it work. Instead of "space samurai", I thought that the Zen reasoning behind bushido could be applied to a different culture and take it somewhere new. And since they're both warrior cultures they're going to have overlap. An Iron Hound warrior would be just as happy with a rowdy recitation of a mead hall saga as he would with a spirited renga competition. It's hard to get that across in an article, but in my longer fanfics based on last summer's Arx Rift campaign it was easier to incorporate.

So which bits of vikings are you after? The cultural trappings? I'm just having a hard time figuring it out.

I'll get it right eventually. Probably about the same time I'm done painting them...

You've managed interesting, which is far more important than right.

Right would be a nice bonus, though. msn-wink.gif

Edited by Octavulg, 06 March 2013 - 07:11 PM.

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

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#38
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Honestly, I really want to start ripping of Ungern-Sternberg, because the resemblance is getting kind of uncanny.

 

I read through his Wikipedia after you mentioned him. He was a really interesting dude.

 

Interesting. To a certain extent, might this lead to the conclusion that the Gods were the same? After all, if the Chaos gods can be worshipped my multiple races, surely the Eldar gods could be too?

 

It's tricky sometimes to draw on mythos from the real world since 40k draws so heavily on them already. There ends up being a lot of overlap. If the Eldar gods are canonically real, the conclusion would have to be that ancient human gods were some sort of reflection of them, distorted through the lens of human experience (and eventually usurped by aspects of the Ruinous Powers.) Sort of like how the human image of death is supposed to be a reflection of the C'tan Nightbringer.

 

So which bits of vikings are you after? The cultural trappings? I'm just having a hard time figuring it out.

 

Think Beowulf, I guess. Bolverk presides over the mead hall on The Child of Calamity the same way that Hrothgar sits at the head of the table in Heorot. His Terminator bodyguard are his comitatus, the standing army of heroes he keeps around him. The sergeants are his thegns, and their squads are the herjar they bring to battle when called. Bolverk is the jarl, the wisest, fiercest, wealthiest, and most god-touched warrior, so he is hero-worshiped and admired the way Beowulf is after he has killed Grendel. And the cultural bric-a-brac that goes with that like blowing horns, drinking mead, feasting on meat, reciting epic poetry, etc.

 

So, imagine if a pre-Christian era Saxon warband found themselves in the Far East. They travel through India, Korea, parts of China, and Japan. Along the way they pick up Hindu, Buddhist, and Shinto ideas here and there, running it through their Saxon warrior worldview and coming up with a syncretised version. They're still Saxons and they're still all about Wotan and drinking mead, but they've picked up Zen meditation and the chanting of sutras and likened it to seidh and galdr. They've picked up on the Buddhist and Shinto ideas of personal cleanliness. The Jarl encourages Bushido because it gives him absolute authority over his warriors. Their love of clever poetry leads them to become fascinated by renga competitions, so they adapt it by combining it with flyting. Their exposure to the Hindu concept of "10,000 gods, 100 gods, 1 god, no god" causes them to examine the relationships of their own gods and broadens their minds to accepting much more abstract notions of religion rather than a concrete belief in the pantheon.

 

Now put that into 40k terms.

 

They start off the Iron Warriors 49th Grand Company. Maybe the 49th had a large contingent that was recruited from a Saxon-like world, or maybe they were garrisoned on a feudal world with a strong Saxon flavour. It could be that Bolverk found a trove of ancient literature and was fascinated by it. But for whatever reason, this is their starting point.

 

The Imperial Truth of the Great Crusade is broken by the Horus Heresy, and the belief in the Warmaster and his cause is left in the ashes at the Siege of Terra. Their brothers in the Legion constantly fight over the citadels of Medrengard, and their Primarch has given himself over to the Ruinous Powers. The Eye of Terror demonstrates the illusive nature of reality on a daily basis, and the remnants of the 49th have difficulty coping. They turn to the abstract philosophies of Buddhism and its concept of maya to understand what's happening to them. Maybe they learned this from a lost enclave of philosophers on some forgotten planet. Maybe Bolverk found a library on a world he was sacking. Maybe Tzeentch is having a laugh. Maybe some Eldar Farseer manipulated Bolverk into a life of introspection to avoid a future where he burns an entire Craft World in a bid for daemonic ascension.

 

They seize the chance to escape the Eye of Terror by participating in the 7th Black Crusade. It's the perfect opportunity, because the different fleets are told to break out in every direction and operate independently. By this time they've become radically changed. They are no longer simply the 49th Grand Company, but a wild card group of extreme philosophy and cult built around this eccentric warlord who no longer sees any value in the Long War and never bought into the Great Game. They are now the Iron Hounds, galactic mercenaries and space pirates. They'll even answer the pleas of Imperial worlds being invaded by xenos, if there's enough worth looting when they're done. Worthy battles and enough spoils to keep the war machines running is all it takes, and they spend their spare time enjoying life in the mead hall and pursuing the refinement of the psyche through zen artistry and meditation. Each warrior struggles with the unwanted attentions of the Ruinous Powers, cleansing their body and soul by removing mutations. Their hope is to die heroic deaths after a long service to their Jarl, and their greatest fear is turning into a spawn before that opportunity comes.

 

Maybe these last two posts should just by my IA...


The Iron Hounds (CSM) project log here & IA here. | Our Martyred Lady (SoB) project log here  | Lamenters (BA) WIP thread here.

Index of Inspiration Friday entries here.

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This is an excerpt of the epilogue I wrote to the battle reports from the Arx Rift campaign. It shows a little bit of the Iron Hounds after a long campaign:

 

++Iron Hounds – the Jarl’s Mead Hall – the Hallow Moon – Utgaard Phenomenon++


Warsmith Bolverk, Jarl of the Iron Hounds, sat upon an intricately
embellished throne carved from a single piece of wood taken from the
heart of an enormous tree. Before him was a table piled high with red
meat and honey golden drink, and beside him, on chairs considerably less
ornate than his own, was a collection of favored warriors, honored
guests, and important ambassadors. Geiri and Freiki stood behind him to
either side of his throne, their hulking suits of TDA the only armor
allowed into the feast. At long tables running the length of the
enormous hall his warriors and their own invited guests wore simple
robes or expensive versions of the many different national costumes of
the Hallow Moon.


The mood was merry, and the conversation was boisterous as the
herjar-brothers from First Company traded stories of the recent fighting
in the Arx Rift with the herjar-brothers of Third Company. The 3rd,
usually a sedate rotation for front line squads, were eager to hold the
campaign against an unexpected pirate flotilla against the sacking of
the Titan Stacks.


“I am bored.” the Jarl leaned over and whispered to his chief
sorcerer, the hoary Forn Grimnir. At his feet the Jarl’s wolfhounds
stared hungrily in the direction of the meat the Jarl was neglecting to
eat.


“The duty of tradition, my lord.” Forn Grimnir replied evenly.
“Without this we would be merely another group of rabble, clawing at the
edges of the Imperium.”


“Don’t quote me to myself.” Bolverk sighed, staring into the mead he
swirled absently in his cup. “I am bored, and I don’t mean just right
now.”


“Of course,” Forn Grimnir stroked his well trimmed beard, his bionic
eye whirring in vain as it tried to adjust itself to the unfocused
wanderings of his biological eye as the old wizard thought. “The Time of
Choosing draws near. Perhaps you can discover your normal vitality by
spending time with the new recruits?”


“New recruits?” Bolverk’s eyes lit up, and he smiled. He let out a
hearty laugh and slapped the table, rattling earthenware along its
entire length. The hall fell silent as everyone turned to look, dreading
a violent outburst from their master. “That IS good news! Fine, right,
traditions and all that… Poetry contest! Left side of the room versus
the right side, spontaneous compositions… uh… subject is your first
kill, the forbidden word is blood. Where is my favorite word-smith?
Where is Byrlindi? Not here? YOU! You get to start! On your feet!”

 

++Iron Hounds – Child of Calamity – Apothecarion – Anchorage Orbit – Hallow Moon – Utgaard Phenomenon++


“How long?” the Apothecary asked, examining the outstretched
appendage with distaste. The medical room was quiet, and the lights were
dimmed, and the conspiratorial whispering of the apothecary gave it the
atmosphere of a religious confessional. Which, in this instance, it
technically was.


“During the mop up at Hadley’s Hope on LV 427.” Sergeant Byrlindi
grimaced at the memory. He wore neither his battle plate nor his
contemplative robes, but plain utilities covered by a hooded environment
robe. “There was… a rage. I don’t remember much. I don’t think anybody
saw it.”


“You know that’s not true.” the apothecary intoned. He was deeply
religious, as they all were. He had a patriarchal bedside manner, stern
and accusing, where most of the Iron Hounds met each other with bravado
and affection.


“Just fix it.” Byrlindi gritted through his metal teeth.


“Of course, Byrl.” the apothecary’s use of the sergeant’s
affectionate diminutive sounded sterile and without warmth, serving to
irritate the sergeant of 1st squad even more. But the champion said no
more, would have endured any social offense to receive the service he
required of the doctor.


The apothecary led the sergeant to and had him to lie down on a T-shaped table.


“The straps are necessary.” he apologized without feeling to the
champion as he cinched down and buckled tightly the thick leather straps
that held him in place.


“It is not my first time.” Byrlindi said quietly. “Just get it over with.”


The whine of the bone saw made Byrlindi tense involuntarily, but the
grinding squeal as it bit into the ceramite and bone of what was once
his power fist was soothing. Just to know it was coming off, even
through the incredible pain, it was enough. He closed his eyes and his
mind drifted to a song that Corporal Thekk had composed to mock him and
his extensive bionics. It was a friendly jibe, and he had laughed along
with the squad and added a verse of his own to it, but deep down inside
it haunted him.


Was he not worthy of Khalder’s Eye? Was he not worthy of the Waelheim road?


In the dim light of the apothecarion, the mutated, corrupt power fist
and the insanely crafted lump of bone and flesh that was once his left
arm from the elbow down were slowly cut, ground, and burned off. The
medic savaged his skin until there was only pure flesh and blood, and
even some more for good measure. So much of him was bionic that he could
could easily be taken for a Tech Adept of Mars outside of his battle
plate. So much of him had been stolen by the Ruinous Powers. Even if
Khalder turned an approving eye on him now, what was left to stand
before the Old Dead Gods?


He would try harder, and this would not happen again.


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"Three times faster than the usual Warsmith."


#40
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I read through his Wikipedia after you mentioned him. He was a really interesting dude.

The Wikipedia page doesn't quite do him justice. Among other things, it misses his rather impressive degree of religious fanaticism.

Quote
It's tricky sometimes to draw on mythos from the real world since 40k draws so heavily on them already. There ends up being a lot of overlap. If the Eldar gods are canonically real, the conclusion would have to be that ancient human gods were some sort of reflection of them, distorted through the lens of human experience (and eventually usurped by aspects of the Ruinous Powers.) Sort of like how the human image of death is supposed to be a reflection of the C'tan Nightbringer.

I will now throw an Ungern-Sternbergy suggestion your way. He was rather obsessed with Eastern religion and mysticism. You could have a similar obsession in your fellow: he throws over the Chaos Gods for the Eldar (at least to some extent), claiming that they're reflections of an older, purer truth. The whole Zen thing could be a light reflection of the Paths of the Eldar.

As to how he'd develop this...I'm sure the ruins of the Eldar Empire were quite interesting in the days of the Great Crusade. Perhaps he stumbled on some libraries when he was hanging around the Eye of Terror.

Quote
They start off the Iron Warriors 49th Grand Company. Maybe the 49th had a large contingent that was recruited from a Saxon-like world, or maybe they were garrisoned on a feudal world with a strong Saxon flavour. It could be that Bolverk found a trove of ancient literature and was fascinated by it. But for whatever reason, this is their starting point.

Recruitment would be one good way. Another option is that they're from the Saxon part of Olympia.

No, seriously. Olympia no doubt has hill tribes, or perhaps a more Saxony city-state. I'm not a huge fan of you saying what Olympia was like (not really your place to do so), but it could work. I WOULD recommend de-Saxonizing the terminology a little, but keeping the practices the same would be quite possible.

That, or have them be a small garrison force on a world with this culture. Long cold nights, nothing to do, they start imitating the practices of the natives to some extent. Most of the company is post-Heresy recruits in that version, of course (recruited after much of the original company is destroyed and Whasisname assumes command).

Quote
The Imperial Truth of the Great Crusade is broken by the Horus Heresy, and the belief in the Warmaster and his cause is left in the ashes at the Siege of Terra.

I'd really recommend the Eldar Gods again here. They're the only pantheon that has a king. The Phoenix King. Even if he is dead.

Quote
Story!

Hadley's Hope? Really? tongue.png

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#41
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Hadley's Hope? Really? tongue.png

 

The campaign organiser named a subsector using locations from the Alien franchise. There was Hadley's Hope, the Alien Range, and the Wreck of the Prometheus as areas to contest. I didn't actually fight for any of them, but my last battles on Arx Minoris didn't go very well, even though I previously had stomped all over the Titan Stacks on Tartus Magna. That was a pretty fun campaign, and I'd love to do another one again.

 

 

You could have a similar obsession in your fellow: he throws over the Chaos Gods for the Eldar (at least to some extent), claiming that they're reflections of an older, purer truth. The whole Zen thing could be a light reflection of the Paths of the Eldar.

As to how he'd develop this...I'm sure the ruins of the Eldar Empire were quite interesting in the days of the Great Crusade. Perhaps he stumbled on some libraries when he was hanging around the Eye of Terror.

 

Hmmmm.

 

I like that: Bolverk ran across a Crone World in the Eye of Terror and discovered a trove of ancient lore. It's something to think about.

 

 

That, or have them be a small garrison force on a world with this culture. Long cold nights, nothing to do, they start imitating the practices of the natives to some extent. Most of the company is post-Heresy recruits in that version, of course

 

One of the versions I wrote previously had the original group stationed among a feudal warrior culture and basically abandoned during the Great Crusade. Out of sheer boredom and over a period of a few decades they slowly went native, using the tribal warfare of the locals as a way to pass the time. I could rewrite some of that for this latest version.

 

How's this? They were plonked down on a feudal backwater late in the Great Crusade. They were stuck there for a long time with nothing to do but guard a minor cache of war materiel, and they started to pass the time by going among the natives. Because they had access to an apothecarion, they decided to start recruiting a larger garrison from among the natives as well. After the disaster of the Siege of Terra many of the older Iron Warriors were gone, leaving the newer recruits a major faction.

 

They returned to their homeworld and attempted to rebuild. When the Ultramarines Legion discovered them during the Scouring they packed up and retreated in the face of overwhelming odds, finding this a much more attractive option than setting their nuclear stockpiles off the way certain other garrisons did. They were ultimately chased into the Eye of Terror, but for previously noted reasons became permanently disillusioned with their situation.

 

The old guard is paralysed with indecision, and high command fractures. Bolverk assumes command as the new Warsmith,  and introduces the new philosophies as a way to cement his control and keep a sense of purpose in the new warband, ultimately purging or expelling those who refuse to come on board with his new direction. They break out during the Ghost War and from that point are free to pursue their own agenda, which is mainly pirating their weasely guts out.


Edited by -Max-, 07 March 2013 - 08:15 AM.

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"Three times faster than the usual Warsmith."


#42
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Makes sense, I think.

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#43
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Version 4.2 now in the first post, the rewrite using the latest round of suggestions and critique.

 

It feels really long, even without the "sayings of the Warsmith" quotes.


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"Three times faster than the usual Warsmith."


#44
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I'd merge the first four sections into "Origins" (with the quote from the first or second section). Right now they feel really short and it looks weird with all those dropcaps.<br /><br />I like 'em. I actually find them to be short, rather than long, but they're characterful without being over the top about it. They're weird, but in a good way.<br /><br />Anything you want to add? Feel you need to explore more?

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#45
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I'd merge the first four sections into "Origins" (with the quote from the first or second section). Right now they feel really short and it looks weird with all those dropcaps.

 

I like 'em. I actually find them to be short, rather than long, but they're characterful without being over the top about it. They're weird, but in a good way.

 

Anything you want to add? Feel you need to explore more?

 

I was trying to avoid the dreaded Wall of Text, but I see see your point.

 

As for anything else to add or explore, oddly enough I don't think so. The real problem of writing the Iron Hounds has been getting across the "Buddhist Saxons" idea and coming up with a credible origin for it. A lot of what I've cut out but that I've kept in my "head canon" is squad level details and character personalities that probably don't belong in an IA anyway. The biggest change over the course of these different versions was the shift from writing about the Utgaard Phenomenon and the Hallow Moon, to putting the Iron Hounds on The Child of Calamity instead. I think the warp-hole and its planets overwhelmed anything I tried to write about the Iron Hounds until I relegated it to vague references. Frankly it became an idea that weighed me down more than helped me, and I like their awesome battleship better.


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"Three times faster than the usual Warsmith."


#46
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Yup.

I really would recommend having some light reading on a Crone World push him toward the Old Gods, but beyond that what you have here feels quite solid.

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#47
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Yup.

I really would recommend having some light reading on a Crone World push him toward the Old Gods, but beyond that what you have here feels quite solid.

 

I tried, but didn't like my result. The obvious place for it to be would be in the "Waelheim & The Old Gods" section where I mention the Eldar gods, but I'm not sure how to include something like time spent on a Crone World without it turning into a much longer and more involved section.

 

I'll have to think about it some more.


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#48
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I'll ponder it for a while and then let you know what I'd do.

I know. I'm so awesome. msn-wink.gif

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#49
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I'll ponder it for a while and then let you know what I'd do.

I know. I'm so awesome. msn-wink.gif

 

The Jarl & Galactic IP Law

 

In M.36 The Iron Hounds received a Cease and Desist order from Craftworld Samhain. The Eldar representative argued during a pre-trial arbitration session that Halloween and re-purposed European paganism was "completely done already," and presented evidence that Jarl Bolverk had not in fact received a vision, showing the court a library card from a Crone World signed with Bolverk's personal rune. They also demanded 72¢ in late fees, offering to meet the Iron Hounds halfway by not requiring the interest be paid. The arbitration session ended when the Jarl attached a meltabomb to the table and teleported back to The Child of Calamity. The Iron Hounds were tried by the Galactic Trade Organisation in absentia, and ordered to pay millions of thrones in restitution. In early M.37, during the run-up to the 7th Black Crusade, the Iron Hounds re-registered their fleet with a small planet in the remains of the former Union of Sentient Space Races that had no treaty with the GTO. They remain at large, daring the Eldar to do anything about it.


  • Octavulg, Messor and Carrack like this

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"Three times faster than the usual Warsmith."


#50
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...I kind of want you to put that in. Really, really, really badly.

Alternately, I want to steal that for the Stone Hearts. tongue.png

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