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The Black Chapter

BLACK COMPANY SPOILERS Drafting IA Octavulg Octaguide

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#26
legoss

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I've also jumped on the bandwagon and ordered as many of the books as I could find, the interesting story hooks you've been alluding to, and the wicked sinister paint schemes you guys have thrown out there make me want to know more about your inspiration. As an aside, I say go yellow for the lenses, the white is a little too much to me. Or maybe try an orange?

#27
Heru

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Posted Image
My Chapters (Blue) & Traitors (Red):
gallery_20677_1567_12051.jpg
1st Row: Falcon Knights, Darkwatch, Silver Scorpions, Phantom Hounds, Onyx Warlords, Wicked Gods, Wolves of Horus, The Blight, The Bloodborn
2nd Row: Iron Raptors, Immortals, Imperial Monarchs, Starbreakers, The Shadow Kings, The Fallen Lords, Black Wasps, Black Oracles, Dream Eaters

#28
legoss

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Heru that looks pretty awesome, not sure how Octavulg feels about it, but that's pretty sweet in my mind.

#29
Ace Debonair

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Orange lenses look better on your scheme than they do on mine. :D

Good stuff. ;)

#30
Arkangilos

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Maybe "Where's the pay?!"
Answered by, "In their death!"

Previously known as Telanicus

 

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#31
Captain Juan Juarez

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My respect for Batman goes up a notch.

That is all.
" 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."

#32
Octavulg

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On color schemes
I can't decide. I'm leaning toward black and grey, but I think I might like Ace's brown better in the long term. Definitely going to go with halved, I think, though I might add a few touches of the opposite color on each side. Lenses will likely be yellow, though I may just mix things up and do a variety of colors. And since I mostly paint Epic these days, it may never actually matter. :P

I'll paint some test models at some point in the nearish future, and that'll decide me.

* * *
legoss

I've also jumped on the bandwagon and ordered as many of the books as I could find, the interesting story hooks you've been alluding to, and the wicked sinister paint schemes you guys have thrown out there make me want to know more about your inspiration. As an aside, I say go yellow for the lenses, the white is a little too much to me. Or maybe try an orange?


They're a pretty good series of books. It can take a little while to get going, but it's worth it. The first trilogy's the important bit, IMO.

* * *

Telanicus

Maybe "Where's the pay?!"
Answered by, "In their death!"


Too mercenary. Also, they don't get paid that way.

* * *

CJJ

Impossible, since I'm already the boss of you and the most respected creature in existence.

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

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#33
Ace Debonair

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On color schemes
I can't decide. I'm leaning toward black and grey, but I think I might like Ace's brown better in the long term. Definitely going to go with halved, I think, though I might add a few touches of the opposite color on each side. Lenses will likely be yellow, though I may just mix things up and do a variety of colors. And since I mostly paint Epic these days, it may never actually matter. :evil:

I'll paint some test models at some point in the nearish future, and that'll decide me.


Brown is a good long-term colour, it's true.

And if you're looking for meaning in your colours, then it could be a rather unsubtle visual hint that your Chapter isn't afraid of fighting dirty. That and the classically chivalric halved pattern with the ever-ominous black serves as a reminder that whatever else they are, they're Space Marines, and not even to be frowned at lest the frownee risk the Emperor's wrath.

Posted Image

Is that any better?

EDIT:
Typos, again.

Edited by Ace Debonair, 25 October 2011 - 11:44 AM.


#34
Octavulg

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I was actually thinking something more like this:

Posted Image

However, I think that's too busy. Perhaps something more like:
Posted Image

Or even simply this:
Posted Image

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

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#35
Captain Juan Juarez

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I don't think dark/sombre/dull colours work well with halving or quartering.
" 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."

#36
Kihriban

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I don't think dark/sombre/dull colours work well with halving or quartering.


I actually think it works very well - it's a subtle difference that doesn't distract but provides a lot of depth once you get in close. My big concern is that it looks time consuming to paint. I'm very much about practicality when it comes to paint schemes, and I still haven't figured out a way to half or quarter quickly.

#37
Octavulg

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Halving and quartering is easy. Mind you, I paint rather less well than some. Then again, I've got about fifty Epic marines and some vehicular support in yellow and white quartered, so I'm at least a bit qualified to blather about it.

It requires a bit of caution and a steady hand at times. Otherwise it's just like painting anything else.

If you want to be able to do it quickly, there's a couple of things you can do:

1) Don't do what I do - just have solid colors. Don't paint the elbows, trim, or any other little bits opposite colors.
2) Pick colors that cover each other decently, or at least one color that covers the other quite well. You'll have to be careful with that one, but the others are now much simpler.
3) Practice. It gets downright easy once you've done it enough.

I assure you, if it were difficult I wouldn't be doing it. ;)

Edited by Octavulg, 25 October 2011 - 07:29 PM.

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

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#38
Captain Juan Juarez

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I assure you, if it were difficult I wouldn't be doing it. ;)


This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside ;)
" 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."

#39
Kihriban

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It requires a bit of caution and a steady hand at times. Otherwise it's just like painting anything else.

If you want to be able to do it quickly, there's a couple of things you can do:

1) Don't do what I do - just have solid colors. Don't paint the elbows, trim, or any other little bits opposite colors.
2) Pick colors that cover each other decently, or at least one color that covers the other quite well. You'll have to be careful with that one, but the others are now much simpler.
3) Practice. It gets downright easy once you've done it enough.


Agreed on all of it. Not necessarily more difficult, just far more time consuming than a solid colour.

#40
Ace Debonair

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I was actually thinking something more like this:


I was originally going to post exactly that, bar the backpack colour changing.
Then I considered that and decided you'd think it too busy.

However, I think that's too busy. Perhaps something more like:

This was phase two.
Then I considered further and decided you'd think it still too busy.

Or even simply this:


And that's... what I posted. Albeit it's a mirror image, with the colours on opposite sides, but still.

EDIT EDIT: No, wait, it's not. You did shoulder rims in different colours rather than shoulder insets. My mistake!
Still, that's pretty close.

EDIT: Oh, and the top part of the backpack needs colouring in on one side, unless that's intentionally not halved.

To conclude; get out of my head. ;)

Edited by Ace Debonair, 26 October 2011 - 07:03 AM.


#41
Octavulg

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Expanded outline with some other ideas incorporated or filed for later use. I'll work on it some more tomorrow.

Chapter Name
-Still no idea. Storm Crows still has a certain appeal. Marines Atramentar would be fun but people'll think I'm referencing the Night Lords/ripping off the Night Lords. Marines Tenebric is probably my favorite right now. Other suggestions welcome.
-I had been thinking about one of those 'could be a warband but is apparently a loyalist chapter/could be a loyalist chapter but is apparently a warband' names (like the Extinciton Angels or the Flesh Tearers).
-Should also probably reference blackness or darkness

Origins
-"In those days the Chapter was in service to..."
-Founding details will be unknown. Actual founding details may sneak in as hints, but not explicitly. Still haven't decided if they were once loyalists or not.
-Should introduce the concept of the annals, and probably the chapter's mercenary nature.

Later History
-Large gaps, assembled piecemeal from a bunch of different sources. Hints, half-truths, all kinds of fun stuff. Sometimes they're up, sometimes they're down. Sometimes they're in, sometimes they're out. Etc.
-A long list of random anecdotes that demonstrate various things but lack a common thread. Indeed, it might be good to have most sections be based on an anecdote of some kind.

Home World
-None. Fleet is old, battered, and short on supplies and forge equipment. May have possessed a forge ship at one point (or at several points), but not now.
-Discussion of their relationship with employers might fit well here. Basically, the chapter shows up and offers their services. Since they have a reputation for being harbingers of conflict, this is almost always accepted. They then begin recruitment (if permitted), training of local forces, and improvement of local defenses. In some cases, local government is uncomfortable with this, in which case the chapter tends to function more conventionally and independently. In particularly rare cases, the government will insist on more complete control, which the chapter usually accepts unless they think it's going to cost them their lives or their supplies. Chapter fights in eventual war, and will eventually move on. Individual companies may hire themselves out separately to areas near where the main body is serving.
-Generally avoid notable areas

Beliefs
-Close relationship with their history - ceremonial readings from the annals very, very common
-Explain why they don't make duplicate copies
-Company as family - alternate names for brothers. Outsiders tolerated, but not trusted.
-Emperor is not a god. Relatively less zealous than other chapters.

Combat Doctrine
-Preference for underhanded tactics and using preparation and misdirection to minimize casualties (though they are still very capable at head-to-head engagement).
-Discussion of limited resources and their effects

Organisation
-Generally codex
-Company and chapter annalists important and influential positions. Company annals fill the role of standards in other chapters.
-Relatively few Chaplains and Librarians. Often overlap between annalists and specialized positions.
-Need to decide if companies strictly ad-hoc and temporary constructs or if they're long-standing institutions with histories of their own (if not, they don't need annalists or standards of their own). At the moment, I'm thinking something like this: the reserve companies are not yet entirely full brothers (though most have names and such). They (and the veteran company) tend to follow the Chapter Master around and work under his immediate command. The Battle Companies are more independent, and tend to vary a bit in size and composition (not too much, since the Black Chapter find the Codex to be fairly sensible). They're theoretically formal entities, but there's practically a fair amount of fluidity. Individual marines move between squads and companies to some extent, motivated mostly by popularity and success of particular commanders.
-Reserve Captains tend to be less important, since they have fewer men.
-Discussion of effects limited resources has had on organization - chapter is understrength (averaging about half strength, though sometimes more and occasionally less).
-Some of this stuff may need to go elsewhere

Gene-seed
-Unknown. Most of the more special ones don't make sense. I'd lean toward Ultramarine or one of the more stable traitors - stable traitor probably makes the most sense. Not that that will be explicitly stated.
-Lots of discussion and speculation about their origin. Perhaps the chapter even keeps pushing the Mechanicus to do a thorough investigation.
-The chapter is usually viewed as ill-omened, unlucky, dangerous or some combination of the three. Thus, recruits are relatively uncommon (and usually unfortunate).
-Might use Night Lords geneseed. Prophetic dreams figure largely in the Black Company.

Battle-cry
Something terrifying, yet professional, and with overtones of evil or a double meaning if at all possible.
Current #1 suggestion in a field of one is "Wrack and ruin!" by Leonaides

Color Scheme
The colour scheme, at least for the moment:
Posted Image

The symbol they used while in service to Soulcatcher (well, my version of it) will be used as the chapter symbol - a skull, in profile, breathing fire.

The (complicated) banner will also make an appearance. Nine hanged men, a skull, a raven (or crow, can't remember) on a dead head, and six swords.

Sidebars
-One on the chapter standard and its design
-Perhaps one on a notable campaign (the one where they lost their most of their original history?)
-An annalist dedicated to fitting together all the various missing and contradictory pieces of their history

Ideas for Later Use
One thing i'd be interested to see with this chapter is the influence of an Inquisitor discovering something about that banner, or, as they do not like outsiders, an Inquisitor attempting to use them - indeed, could be interesting to have an Inq turn up and demand their services and how this affects them as the Inq aint gonna pay up for their services...hmmm...sounds like it could be a good story... (Brother-Sergeant Bohemond)
I guess an Inquisitor could possibly relate to the oddball type lieutenant they follow? (Lysimachus)
"It is your duty to the God-Emperor to fight.
It is our duty to survive and fight another day."
(Allfather1)

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

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#42
Overlord-Rakszan

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I really like where his is heading. May I suggest something a bit less formal for a battlecry, like "Hit them where it hurts!"

Good luck!
Check out my DIY Marine Chapter...
Ice Warriors DIY


"In those days of old, a man was judged by the grip he held his sword, not by the medals that hung on his coat."



#43
Lysimachus

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Good to see this back up, having now read the first omnibus, I had to comment!

Chapter Name
-Still no idea. Storm Crows still has a certain appeal. Marines Atramentar would be fun but people'll think I'm referencing the Night Lords/ripping off the Night Lords. Marines Tenebric is probably my favorite right now. Other suggestions welcome.
-I had been thinking about one of those 'could be a warband but is apparently a loyalist chapter/could be a loyalist chapter but is apparently a warband' names (like the Extinciton Angels or the Flesh Tearers).
-Should also probably reference blackness or darkness


Not sure on this, presumably they won’t actually go by their original name, so it could be quite fancy sounding? Make it a relic of their forgotten history, now they’re just most often known by the moniker given to them by some ‘grateful’ ally in the less distant past (which I wouldn’t go so far as to actually call them the Black Co, but maybe something that references it )?



Origins
-"In those days the Chapter was in service to..."
-Founding details will be unknown. Actual founding details may sneak in as hints, but not explicitly. Still haven't decided if they were once loyalists or not.
-Should introduce the concept of the annals, and probably the chapter's mercenary nature.


I figure they’d be fairly old, not 2nd or anything (although you could get away with it these days…) but single figures, just to give you plenty of time for them to build up and lose their history a few times.

“Where do we come from? Emperor knows. But we’re old. Damn old…”



Later History
-Large gaps, assembled piecemeal from a bunch of different sources. Hints, half-truths, all kinds of fun stuff. Sometimes they're up, sometimes they're down. Sometimes they're in, sometimes they're out. Etc.
-A long list of random anecdotes that demonstrate various things but lack a common thread. Indeed, it might be good to have most sections be based on an anecdote of some kind.


Sounds good.



Home World
-None. Fleet is old, battered, and short on supplies and forge equipment. May have possessed a forge ship at one point (or at several points), but not now.
-Discussion of their relationship with employers might fit well here. Basically, the chapter shows up and offers their services. Since they have a reputation for being harbingers of conflict, this is almost always accepted. They then begin recruitment (if permitted), training of local forces, and improvement of local defenses. In some cases, local government is uncomfortable with this, in which case the chapter tends to function more conventionally and independently. In particularly rare cases, the government will insist on more complete control, which the chapter usually accepts unless they think it's going to cost them their lives or their supplies. Chapter fights in eventual war, and will eventually move on. Individual companies may hire themselves out separately to areas near where the main body is serving.
-Generally avoid notable areas


Fleet based is good, a Chapter with a home world is automatically tied in with the legends and stories of the local system, sector, whatever; much easier to get lost/be forgotten about if you’re nomadic anyway.



Beliefs
-Close relationship with their history - ceremonial readings from the annals very, very common
-Explain why they don't make duplicate copies
-Company as family - alternate names for brothers. Outsiders tolerated, but not trusted.
-Emperor is not a god. Relatively less zealous than other chapters.


I’d include something about their lack of formality, these are definitely not space warrior monks.



Combat Doctrine
-Preference for underhanded tactics and using preparation and misdirection to minimize casualties (though they are still very capable at head-to-head engagement).
-Discussion of limited resources and their effects


I’d imagine there are occasionally times when their employers expect them to go in all ‘Space Marine’ and they’d rather be more circumspect, could cause some interesting tension?



Organisation
-Generally codex
-Company and chapter annalists important and influential positions. Company annals fill the role of standards in other chapters.
-Relatively few Chaplains and Librarians. Often overlap between annalists and specialized positions.
-Need to decide if companies strictly ad-hoc and temporary constructs or if they're long-standing institutions with histories of their own (if not, they don't need annalists or standards of their own). At the moment, I'm thinking something like this: the reserve companies are not yet entirely full brothers (though most have names and such). They (and the veteran company) tend to follow the Chapter Master around and work under his immediate command. The Battle Companies are more independent, and tend to vary a bit in size and composition (not too much, since the Black Chapter find the Codex to be fairly sensible). They're theoretically formal entities, but there's practically a fair amount of fluidity. Individual marines move between squads and companies to some extent, motivated mostly by popularity and success of particular commanders.
-Reserve Captains tend to be less important, since they have fewer men.
-Discussion of effects limited resources has had on organization - chapter is understrength (averaging about half strength, though sometimes more and occasionally less).
-Some of this stuff may need to go elsewhere


All good. So bolded bit means that an annalist doesn’t necessarily have to be a Libby, could equally be… oh, I don’t know, a medic or something? ;)

Also, maybe say something about the way their command structure is formed – perhaps include that in one of their ‘dark’ periods all officers were lost, resulting in elected commanders ever since, just first among equals kind of thing, which would fit with the less formal mentality?



Gene-seed
-Unknown. Most of the more special ones don't make sense. I'd lean toward Ultramarine or one of the more stable traitors - stable traitor probably makes the most sense. Not that that will be explicitly stated.
-Lots of discussion and speculation about their origin. Perhaps the chapter even keeps pushing the Mechanicus to do a thorough investigation.
-The chapter is usually viewed as ill-omened, unlucky, dangerous or some combination of the three. Thus, recruits are relatively uncommon (and usually unfortunate).
-Might use Night Lords geneseed. Prophetic dreams figure largely in the Black Company.


Nice, NL gene-seed would also fit with the sneaky/underhand/brutal feel to the Combat Doctrine?



Battle-cry
Something terrifying, yet professional, and with overtones of evil or a double meaning if at all possible.
Current #1 suggestion in a field of one is "Wrack and ruin!" by Leonaides


Not certain about this, trying to think if anyone uses a battle cry in the books at any point…
I figure whatever it is, most of them would be pretty half hearted about it anyway.



Color Scheme
The colour scheme, at least for the moment:


The symbol they used while in service to Soulcatcher (well, my version of it) will be used as the chapter symbol - a skull, in profile, breathing fire.

The (complicated) banner will also make an appearance. Nine hanged men, a skull, a raven (or crow, can't remember) on a dead head, and six swords.


Lovely scheme, very gritty, perfect for Black Co.



Sidebars
-One on the chapter standard and its design
-Perhaps one on a notable campaign (the one where they lost their most of their original history?)
-An annalist dedicated to fitting together all the various missing and contradictory pieces of their history


Bonus points for sidebars written in the first person a la Croaker!



Ideas for Later Use
One thing i'd be interested to see with this chapter is the influence of an Inquisitor discovering something about that banner, or, as they do not like outsiders, an Inquisitor attempting to use them - indeed, could be interesting to have an Inq turn up and demand their services and how this affects them as the Inq aint gonna pay up for their services...hmmm...sounds like it could be a good story... (Brother-Sergeant Bohemond)
I guess an Inquisitor could possibly relate to the oddball type lieutenant they follow? (Lysimachus)
"It is your duty to the God-Emperor to fight.
It is our duty to survive and fight another day." (Allfather1)


Continuing on with the Inquisitor idea, this would certainly fit with the idea of the Fallen all working for the Dominator but not necessarily getting on with one another. Plus, look at how weird some of the Inquisitors in GW books are, Heldane would fit right in with Soulcatcher, Hanged Man, etc.

Come to think of it, maybe the Chapter’s view of the big E isn’t all sunshine and light either? They work for him, but they’re kinda scared of him too. After all, he’s a monstrously powerful 10,000 year old corpse-god kept alive by the souls of innocent people – who wouldn’t think that’s a bit freaky?!


Anyway, just a few thoughts to consider...

Edited by Strike Captain Lysimachus, 16 July 2012 - 01:01 PM.


#44
Octavulg

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Overlord-Rakszan

I really like where his is heading. May I suggest something a bit less formal for a battlecry, like "Hit them where it hurts!"


Informal's probably not a bad idea. Though the Black Company do get quite formal when they get the chance. They've got tons of history and such. They're just very practical.

Strike Captain Lysimachus

Good to see this back up, having now read the first omnibus, I had to comment!


Damn right you did.

Not sure on this, presumably they won’t actually go by their original name, so it could be quite fancy sounding? Make it a relic of their forgotten history, now they’re just most often known by the moniker given to them by some ‘grateful’ ally in the less distant past (which I wouldn’t go so far as to actually call them the Black Co, but maybe something that references it )?


Half the fun is them having the original name, because every so often someone'll remember it and react accordingly. :D

The Glorious Foundation of the Marines Tenebric, Guardians of the Imperial Borders and Mightiest of His Chosen Disciples has a certain ring, admittedly. ;)

I do really like the idea of a double-edged name, but double-edged + references darkness/black + not stupid may be a tall order.

I figure they’d be fairly old, not 2nd or anything (although you could get away with it these days…) but single figures, just to give you plenty of time for them to build up and lose their history a few times.

“Where do we come from? Emperor knows. But we’re old. Damn old…”


Indeed.

I’d include something about their lack of formality, these are definitely not space warrior monks.


A fair point. The Black Company do have some degree of formality, though - they just lose most of what they still have through sheer attrition and the pressures of war.

This may be a tricky balancing act.

I’d imagine there are occasionally times when their employers expect them to go in all ‘Space Marine’ and they’d rather be more circumspect, could cause some interesting tension?


Indeed.

All good. So bolded bit means that an annalist doesn’t necessarily have to be a Libby, could equally be… oh, I don’t know, a medic or something? msn-wink.gif


Possibly. Possibly. Stranger things have happened. ;)

Also, maybe say something about the way their command structure is formed – perhaps include that in one of their ‘dark’ periods all officers were lost, resulting in elected commanders ever since, just first among equals kind of thing, which would fit with the less formal mentality?


Good thinking.

Nice, NL gene-seed would also fit with the sneaky/underhand/brutal feel to the Combat Doctrine?


True enough. Though now I just feel predictable. ;)

I figure whatever it is, most of them would be pretty half hearted about it anyway.


Good point. :P

Bonus points for sidebars written in the first person a la Croaker!


Annals excerpts most definitely included.

Continuing on with the Inquisitor idea, this would certainly fit with the idea of the Fallen all working for the Dominator but not necessarily getting on with one another. Plus, look at how weird some of the Inquisitors in GW books are, Heldane would fit right in with Soulcatcher, Hanged Man, etc.


The Taken, not the Fallen. :)

And that's a fairly good point, actually. One forgets how weird the Imperials can get.

Come to think of it, maybe the Chapter’s view of the big E isn’t all sunshine and light either? They work for him, but they’re kinda scared of him too. After all, he’s a monstrously powerful 10,000 year old corpse-god kept alive by the souls of innocent people – who wouldn’t think that’s a bit freaky?!


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#45
Captain Juan Juarez

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After all, he’s a monstrously powerful 10,000 year old corpse-god kept alive by the souls of innocent people – who wouldn’t think that’s a bit freaky?!


This is not the time for a reference to Tom Cruise is it?
" 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."

#46
Madwolf Shadowmane

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Just a minor suggestion. Make the Inquisitor dangle some knowledge of their past (real or make-believe) as the "carrot on a stick" to motivate them. Maybe the Inq is part of their past or is an agent of of the same entity that created them (maybe to bring them back into the fold).

As a fan of the Black Company series, I'm following this with interest. :cuss

Madwolf

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#47
Ferrus Manus

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Company annals fill the role of standards in other chapters.

I'm not so sure about this. It doesn't sit well with me and I'm not sure why.

If it were me, I'd be more inclined to go down the route of the fenrisian skalds, where they are in effect each clan's memory. They are the ones that pass down the histories verbally to each generation and that is how they keep their records. This fits with your large gaps idea too, after all if one of them were killed there goes a lot of history untold.

My two cents.
 
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#48
Captain Juan Juarez

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Company annals fill the role of standards in other chapters.

I'm not so sure about this. It doesn't sit well with me and I'm not sure why.

If it were me, I'd be more inclined to go down the route of the fenrisian skalds, where they are in effect each clan's memory. They are the ones that pass down the histories verbally to each generation and that is how they keep their records. This fits with your large gaps idea too, after all if one of them were killed there goes a lot of history untold.

My two cents.


The Annals though, are a big part of who (the "real") Black Company are so it doesn't seem such a massive stretch for me. Like a skjald, the keepers of the Annals are responsible for keeping the story of the Company told but unlike them they do so in written form.

If you consider the Annals Keeper as bearing the tome like an ancient and revered relic, then quite conceiveably you might find them being lost - and thus gaps would ensue - when the Keeper is melta'd or the like.
" 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."

#49
Octavulg

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OK, I'd really like to figure out a name for them at some point. I think it'd help. It'd certainly be easier to write about!

I've spoilertexted anything that's been superseded but which I still want to keep around for some reason.

I'll try and write up one of the sections this weekend. :D

Chapter Name
-Still no idea. Storm Crows still has a certain appeal. Marines Atramentar would be fun but people'll think I'm referencing the Night Lords/ripping off the Night Lords. Marines Tenebric is probably my favorite right now. Other suggestions welcome.
-I had been thinking about one of those 'could be a warband but is apparently a loyalist chapter/could be a loyalist chapter but is apparently a warband' names (like the Extinciton Angels or the Flesh Tearers).
-Should also probably reference blackness or darkness. So blackness/darkness + double-edged + not stupid.

Origins
In those days the Chapter was in service to the Lords of Fomalhaut, against the Syndork of Mallinkor... - The Annals of the [Chapter Name], ca 210.M34
-Founding details unknown. Earliest records date from 33rd and 34th millenia, with the chapter appearing in wars across the Imperium in support of various local forces and, on occasion, in major campaigns.
-Chapter also unaware of their early history. Indeed, have cooperated with Inquisitors and other Imperial authorities several times on the subject. Not only way in which relationship with Imperial authority unusual
Spoiler


Later History
-Explain the introduction of mercenariness into the chapter's history. Not that I'm sure how to do that yet, exactly. Perhaps chapter always semi-subordinated themselves to local authorities, since their tactics work well in context with other forces.
-Large gaps, assembled piecemeal from a bunch of different sources. Hints, half-truths, all kinds of fun stuff. Sometimes they're up, sometimes they're down. Sometimes they're in, sometimes they're out. Etc.
-A long list of random anecdotes that demonstrate various things but lack a common thread. Indeed, it might be good to have most sections be based on an anecdote of some kind.

Home World
-None. Fleet is old, battered, and short on supplies and forge equipment. May have possessed a forge ship at one point (or at several points), but not now.
-Discussion of their relationship with employers might fit well here. Basically, the chapter shows up and offers their services. Since they have a reputation for being harbingers of conflict, this is almost always accepted. They then begin recruitment (if permitted), training of local forces, and improvement of local defenses. In some cases, local government is uncomfortable with this, in which case the chapter tends to function more conventionally and independently. In particularly rare cases, the government will insist on more complete control, which the chapter usually accepts unless they think it's going to cost them their lives or their supplies. Chapter fights in eventual war, and will eventually move on. Individual companies may hire themselves out separately to areas near where the main body is serving.
-Generally avoid notable areas

Beliefs
-Close relationship with their history - ceremonial readings from the annals very, very common
-Explain why they don't make duplicate copies
-Company as family - alternate names for brothers. Outsiders tolerated, but not trusted.
-Emperor is not a god. Relatively less zealous than other chapters.

Combat Doctrine
-Preference for underhanded tactics and using preparation and misdirection to minimize casualties (though they are still very capable at head-to-head engagement).
-Discussion of limited resources and their effects
-Diversity of languages and such in use, often as battle codes

Organisation
-Generally codex
-Company and chapter annalists important and influential positions. Company annals fill the role of standards in other chapters.
-Relatively few Chaplains and Librarians. Often overlap between annalists and specialized positions.
-Need to decide if companies strictly ad-hoc and temporary constructs or if they're long-standing institutions with histories of their own (if not, they don't need annalists or standards of their own). At the moment, I'm thinking something like this: the reserve companies are not yet entirely full brothers (though most have names and such). They (and the veteran company) tend to follow the Chapter Master around and work under his immediate command. The Battle Companies are more independent, and tend to vary a bit in size and composition (not too much, since the Black Chapter find the Codex to be fairly sensible). They're theoretically formal entities, but there's practically a fair amount of fluidity. Individual marines move between squads and companies to some extent, motivated mostly by popularity and success of particular commanders.
-Reserve Captains tend to be less important, since they have fewer men.
-Discussion of effects limited resources has had on organization - chapter is understrength (averaging about half strength, though sometimes more and occasionally less).
-Some of this stuff may need to go elsewhere

Gene-seed
-Unknown. Most of the more special ones don't make sense. I'd lean toward Ultramarine or one of the more stable traitors - stable traitor probably makes the most sense. Not that that will be explicitly stated.
-Lots of discussion and speculation about their origin. Perhaps the chapter even keeps pushing the Mechanicus to do a thorough investigation.
-The chapter is usually viewed as ill-omened, unlucky, dangerous or some combination of the three. Thus, recruits are relatively uncommon (and usually unfortunate).
-Might use Night Lords geneseed. Prophetic dreams figure largely in the Black Company.
-Alpha Legion another option - certainly fits with the tactics, and may make explaining the transition a little easier.

Battle-cry
Something terrifying, yet professional, and with overtones of evil or a double meaning if at all possible.
Current #1 suggestion in a field of one is "Wrack and ruin!" by Leonaides

Color Scheme
The colour scheme, at least for the moment:
Posted Image

The symbol they used while in service to Soulcatcher (well, my version of it) will be used as the chapter symbol - a skull, in profile, breathing fire.

The (complicated) banner will also make an appearance. Nine hanged men, a skull, a raven (or crow, can't remember) on a dead head, and six swords.

Sidebars
-One on the chapter standard and its design
-Perhaps one on a notable campaign (the one where they lost their most of their original history?)
-An annalist dedicated to fitting together all the various missing and contradictory pieces of their history
-Annals excerpts

Ideas for Later Use
One thing i'd be interested to see with this chapter is the influence of an Inquisitor discovering something about that banner, or, as they do not like outsiders, an Inquisitor attempting to use them - indeed, could be interesting to have an Inq turn up and demand their services and how this affects them as the Inq aint gonna pay up for their services...hmmm...sounds like it could be a good story... (Brother-Sergeant Bohemond)
I guess an Inquisitor could possibly relate to the oddball type lieutenant they follow? (Lysimachus)
"It is your duty to the God-Emperor to fight.
It is our duty to survive and fight another day."
(Allfather1)
He’s a monstrously powerful 10,000 year old corpse-god kept alive by the souls of innocent people – who wouldn’t think that’s a bit freaky?! (Lysimachus)
Balance informality v formality (Lysimachus)
“Where do we come from? Emperor knows. But we’re old. Damn old…” (Lysimachus (and Glen Cook, really))
-Book of Set, recorded by Annalist Coral while the Company was in service to the Archon of Bone, during the Revolt of the Chiliarchs.

* * *
Madwolf

I like the dangly idea. Very Books of the South. I think. I don't remember the second and third trilogies as well.

Ferrus
Physical annals are a critical part of the aesthetic. Plus, not writing stuff down is for idiots. Of course, so is not making copies, but it's still less stupid than trying to pass things on entirely orally.

Edited by Octavulg, 21 July 2012 - 03:54 AM.

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The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#50
Heru

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- Post Soulcatcher Black Company banner from Books of the South cover -
Person in front on the horse is Croaker in his Widowmaker armour, obviously from the Books of the South, but it was still cool.

Edited by Heru Talon, 21 July 2012 - 04:32 PM.

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