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Alt-IA: Dark Angels


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#26
Aurelius Rex

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Working feverishly to get this article done, but really appreciated the feedback, and wanted to address it more fully.

[An interesting read as always John I think this has a few more loose ends though, which I've pointed out below.]
Agreed, although I hope that the loose ends are due mainly to the scattered state of that version, and that as the drafts, proofing passes and feedback kicks in they will be ironed out.

[I think that the Adminastratum having control of Caliban is a bit of a weak point in the story. Did any legion hand over control of their home planet to the Adminatratum?]
This was something that I took from the Dark Angels HH novels, Descent of Angels and Fallen Angels. In fact a lot of this is informed by this as it is about the only source of info on what Luther was up to on Caliban… although Fallen Angels is pretty scattered and meandering when it comes to the plot, and seems to have large logical inconsistencies. This is a slightly altered version compared to the books to make things work, but generally follows the same outline. They did ‘have to’ overthrow the Imperium’s rule (and an Administratum representative was involved) because of the corruption in the Northwilds being revealed… so the motivation is the same. They were also annoyed of the ecological destruction and industrialisation of Caliban. Cypher (or the second one at least) was found to have been a member of the Knights of Lupus, hence his involvement in Chaos, but I think I will have to assume the knowledge of the books to an extent as his backstory won’t fit and is stupidly convoluted in the books. Overall, I will tone back the control that the Admin has, but it was to an extent needed to explain the ecological destruction wreaked on Caliban supposedly under Luther’s watch.

[ I would paint it as the Lion's will that it be industrialised and it helps show the disconnect/aloofness the Lion's views have when compared to normal people.]
Having the Lion force the above is something I am trying to work in for the proof passes..

[Something that should be explored further is Luther before the Lion arrives. He's a far, far greater player in this universe and knowing more about him would

As part of this, I would also explore the relationship between the Lion and Luther more in the article, since this seems to be part of the key of Luther's turning (which I don't think is explained too clearly at the moment). What's it like for a father to be surpassed by his child, be proud of him, be one of the few who thought they understood him and then be apparently be betrayed by him, before taking revenge. It's epic! I'd try and work it and the emotions in a little more.]
Hopefully this will be examined in the Origins, and I think is covered at length in the article, although it could do with being refined.

[I'd put in about Cypher leading the assault on the knight of Lupus and that's how he gets/knows of the books. I'd also have him being killed by the exploding Thousand Son in the attempt to possess it. It ties up loose ends so that you don't have to mention him again and there's not confusion on why there's no Cypher running around or the role.]
See above for how Cypher knows of the books – assuming knowledge, or those that read the books will at least smile knowingly at knowing why. As to killing him off, I will investigate this in the colourpiece.

[I think the section on the Watchers are a little confusing at the moment but then it is a draft]
It is still a WIP… the intention is that – mirroring the info in the books - they stand against Chaos but are not interested in the squabbles of humans generally, and are immune to mortal weapons. However, Luther requests from Dorn a custom made technological doodad in return for coming to Istvaan which makes them vulnerable, and he can then torture them (there seems to be a sadistic streak in the DA gene-line!) to gain info on how to resist the corrupting nature of Chaos. This explains why walking the spiral is actually so effective, even if they don’t say where they got the info.

[The relic Dorn gives him should probably be corruptive, why would the Dark Gods not want to corrupt a servant to ensure loyalty?]
The intention is that the relic was simply payment for the DA coming to Istvaan… and as Luther was already dabbling in Chaos tomes, he would be seen as on the path to damnation anyway. There was no expectation that the DA would actually be able to (at least in part) resist Chaos and actually master it as a weapon.

[Also, why wouldn't the Emperor use the Imperial Webway to escape? The reasoning for the loyalist DA being saved doesn't make much sense at the moment to me. Perhaps tie it in to the Sensei in someway? Or maybe the Emperor did it to distract the traitors from actually taking on the Imperium fully?]
There is a section in a previous IA where the Emperor is being urged to leave Terra by Horus and get to safety, but He refuses. He seems determined that Terra will be the place where the Heresy will end, and is unwilling to cede his homeworld to Chaos.

[Walking the Spiral- love it!]
Good!

[Perhaps an additional reason the Imperium doesn't keep a permanent force at Caliban is the risk of taint and infrequent recurrances of the worm thingy/tentacles being summoned.]
I have seriously considered this… it seemed like an extra thing to explain and got dropped at the moment, though.

[Apart from that, the small details really shine. The last point I want to know is what happens to the Lion! ]
The intention is that while Luther says he is dead, he still suspects in his heart of hearts – or fears - that he was plucked away like the other Unforgiven while falling down the chasm… It is intentionally ambiguous, and that he may have been spat out by the portal already, or might one day come back into the physical universe. I had considered have a colourpiece mentioning that a mysterious ‘alt-Cypher’ figure was moving through the galaxy, destroying the DA’s plans, but was never sure if I could make it fit so it is in limbo right now.
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Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
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Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#27
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Overall, I do like this legion, they seem to take a different approach not seen in any of the other legions, including the norm-verse. I am not 100% sold on the non-Primarch fall thing, I feel like this has been done with the Raven Guard and, in my heart of hearts, the HH or DH should be brother on brother :D. I do feel like I am left asking a few questions though;

Are the Dark Angels really pro-Chaos or is it merely a weapon to use against the Imperium?
What are they fighting for, do they fight for Chaos or are they fighting against the Imperium (which they hate) in revenege for the destruction of Calbian?
How much does the average Dark Angel know about their fall? Do they believe Luthor was right, that the Lion betrayed them, or is the Inner Circle much darker in nature?
What happened to the daemonwing idea? :D

I think two themes should really be pushed with the Dark Angels, one is their scientific approach to Chaos which is a beautiful mirror of the religous approach taken by the Word Bears (HH). The idea that they test the water, play with cults to work out the best way to extract the power of Chaos without damning themselves too much is a great one and this really needs to come across in the article. Secondly is more a motivation idea, instead of being bred on pure hatred, is one of attempting to bring the universe back to its natural state. They see the Imperium as a pollutant, a plague across the universe that destroys everything in its path. Like what they did on Calbian, the Imperium builds on what is beautiful, destroys that which is a pleasure, slaughters anything it doesn't understand. The Dark Angels want everything to be returned to normal, maybe not a state of total Chaos (anarchy) but just natural order. This would give them a little more drive and a little more character over beings of pure hatred. They will be like Satanic Eco Warriors in Space :D

#28
Aurelius Rex

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[Overall, I do like this legion, they seem to take a different approach not seen in any of the other legions, including the norm-verse. I am not 100% sold on the non-Primarch fall thing, I feel like this has been done with the Raven Guard and, in my heart of hearts, the HH or DH should be brother on brother.]
I can see where you are coming from with the brother versus brother aspect, and certainly take your point about the Raven Guard – who I see as the inverse of the Blood Angels’ fall… RG had the Primarch being unseated by his (externally) mutated legion, while the originally pure Blood Angels were killed and on occasion eaten by their Primarch…

The idea for doing the Dark Angels like this was because one side of the legion did turn to Chaos (definitively as far as I can tell from the HH novels), and the fear that the Imperium would find out defined the character of the loyalist ‘half’. This looks at what would have happened if Luther had beaten the Lion, and importantly makes sure everyone knows what in the norm-‘verse is a deep dark secret. It also takes some of the characteristics of the normal DA, such as them going to any lengths to hunt, torture and convert their erstwhile brethren to their way of thinking, and it is I hope believable, and that there is something in the Lion geneline that draws them to this kind of thing, whatever the situation.

I also wanted to add an extra twist to why they really were so driven to hunting the Unforgiven, and hope I made it tie in to the rest of their character which is the drive to destroy the Emperor.

[ I do feel like I am left asking a few questions though;

Are the Dark Angels really pro-Chaos or is it merely a weapon to use against the Imperium?]
I would say that it is just a weapon, and that while they are understandably slightly corrupted by now, their ‘shield’ of Walking the Spiral has protected them greatly.

[What are they fighting for, do they fight for Chaos or are they fighting against the Imperium (which they hate) in revenege for the destruction of Calbian?]
The latter. The promotion of cults, and even allying with other legions, is just a means to an end, although they would need to keep the other chaos legions on-side, so they do not (openly) belittle and sneer at Chaos.

[How much does the average Dark Angel know about their fall? Do they believe Luthor was right, that the Lion betrayed them, or is the Inner Circle much darker in nature?]
I will think about this – they would certainly believe Luthor was right and that the Lion betrayed both them and Caliban. As to the Inner Circle, I will consider this. At the moment it is just a group skilled enough to handle more chaos powers abilities than their lesser brethren. All of the DA, and indeed all of the Traitor legions know of the Unforgiven and their hunt for them, but I would say that only Luthor himself knows of the true reason for capturing them is to get a ‘photocopy’ of the Emperor’s soul so he can be dealt with… the other DA are just convinced of the cause of converting them, and the Traitor legions think it is some elaborate psychosis along the lines of killing the father / proving the Lion was wrong and he was right over and over.

[What happened to the daemonwing idea?]
There are groups of possessed marines (mainly from other legions) that was what I imagined for this, but didn’t want to overtly use the name in the article because I was worried that it would come over as a ‘suspension of disbelief’-busting reference to Loganwings, Dustwings, lustwings and every other ‘wing that is thrown around on the board… There is no problem with it being discussed in these terms if an armylist was ever created for it, but the name didn’t seem to fit in the context of the article.

I will get back to you later on the other point you raised, Phil, and will definitely bear the points you raised above in the proofing passes to make sure the themes are as clear as possible. I did one proofing pass last night and it looked tighter, but have not put up the changes yet. I will really have to plough on with drafting the last, but very significant pieces of the puzzle like the colourpieces and the Origins. There are just not enough hours in the day, ‘cos it is certainly not due to laziness or lack of drive. :)

EDIT 06/04/11: Lots of proofing changes made to the first post, but there are so many that it would take too long to highlight them individually.
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Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#29
Aurelius Rex

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One very full day ahead, and still far much to do. The origins section is complete, and although like the rest of the article in general I think it is longer than I would like, it does lay in a number of themes quite nicely, and establishes the tone of the article as being focussed more on Luther than the Lion.

The colourpieces remain to be done, but I have cut out two, leaving five, one of which is now the Thousand Son colourpiece from the angle of a textbox telling how cypher got killed in the explosion. It ties back nicely to the Space Wolves article, and hopefully foreshadows the big reveal from Luther in the last colourpiece. I have been working on the first two 'Watcher' colourpieces, but have not got them transferred yet.

So, sleep now, then a mad rush through the colourpieces followed by multiple proofing passes, any feedback (although I will happily amend things after it has been posted) and then it is the hellish matter of bbcoding. Saturday is going to be fun.

Regarding feedback, apologies for not getting this in a better state sooner. I completely understand that it is going to be virtually impossible to give proper feedback on it this time because of the missing elements, so absolutely no pressure. However, if anyone wants to volunteer for some hyper-quick turnaround first impressions, either in this current copy or I can e-mail once the colourpieces are dusted, then feel free to shout out here.

Regards,
John.
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Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#30
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Well seeing as I broke up yesterday for two-weeks, and my honour-bound commitment from the Wings, send me the latest copy and I'll get feedback to you asap :P

#31
Aurelius Rex

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Many thanks for the offer, Phil. ^_^ Much appreciated. I have just completed colourpieces 1, 2 and 4, and am now moving onto number three. Do you want to review the current version here, or wait until I finish drafting the colourpieces and e-mail you that version?

Cheers,
John.
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Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#32
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I'll take the full version when it is complete ^_^

#33
Aurelius Rex

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That is the article drafted now, so any feedback, please have at it! :)

And yes, I know it is longer than I had planned, but it does cover a hell of a lot of plot. I will see if I can trim it back, but otherwise it may just have to live with it and consider editing it back some more when the second Dornian Heresy PDF arrives.

I will send a copy through to you now, Phil, and then go into intense proofreading mode for a couple of hours.

Cheers,
John.

Edit - After midnight, and proofreading done, notes back from Phil (Thanks again!) BBcodes are a mess, but I am too tired to care. I will post tonight, and tidy up any stray formatting like the italics tomorrow.

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 09 April 2011 - 11:41 PM.

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Alternate Heresy Index Astartes articles for the World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, Word Bearers,
Ultramarines, White Scars, Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and Blood Angels available as a pdf
Click here for the Legio Imprint download thread
Iron Warriors +++ Iron Hands +++ Alpha Legion +++ Dark Angels

Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn