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Alt-IA: Salamanders


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#1
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

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There are four more legions to go, and the Salamanders are to be the last one posted on the open board before the Legio Imprint Dornian Heresy pt 2 reveals the fate of the Sons of Horus, Imperial Fists and Death Guard.

Cards on the table - I have the basic idea for the Salamanders but I have never really been able to get much of a handle on Vulkan or his boys in the norm-verse. This might be why I have left him until now, cherrypicking juicier ideas and pushing Vulkan, the mashed swede as it were, to the back of my plate. :P OK, heresy I know, especially as most of the Admins seem to have a soft spot for the Sals, but personally I can't find much of interest to latch my brain upon for them... Hopefully this won't affect the quality of the finished article too much. ;)

Aaaaaanyway, I have a central idea for them which has been touched upon in the previous articles. I have put them in the second post for reference. The brief version - Vulkan and his legion are nihilist turncoats rather than humanitarians that eventually turn to Malal, the Chaos god who even wants to destroy Chaos itself. Sacred number for Malal is 11, the bisected black / white skull is its 'symbol' for want of a better term. Malal was created in the 80's, but disappeared due to some IP shenanigans and is now making a comeback in the normverse via the Sons of Malice and their b/w quartered colourscheme.
So how to turn Vulkan from warm and fuzzy to crunchy, bitter and nihilistic? Rather than his incubation pod landing in the blacksmith's back yard it falls into one of the many lava fields and he is horribly burned - only his primarch constitution saving his life. He eventually makes it to the village but rather than being embraced and adopted as their saviour he is seen as a horrendous monster and is attacked and captured or driven away. Only later, when the Emperor comes (or when he saves them from the (Dark?) Eldar raiders) do they reassess their opinion, but they always treat him with revulsion even after he has saved them. This is echoed during the Great Crusade - rightly or wrongly Vulkan thinks that he and his legion are eternally looked down upon as less than the others - just suitable for war and sacrifice, and disposable once the Great Crusade is finished. Still working on the details. He is corrupted into rebellion by Dorn at Istvaan, and on the way to Terra into the path of Chaos Undivided. He later becomes disillusioned even with that, and falls into the worship of Malal. Well, there is still a lot to finesse before I am happy, but I have got an info-dump of conflicting raw ideas below. I will be working on it to turn it into a proper IA in the coming weeks, but if anyone has any ideas then shout out! :o

Cheers,
John.

+++

Index Astartes: Salamanders
The Dornian Heresy


Index Astartes: Salamanders
The Dornian Heresy

From the start Vulkan feels alienated from society, that it is not worthy and that despite its pronouncements, its members are ultimately hypocritical and never live up to their claims. He is trapped in a cycle of enthusiasm about a new concept, which eventually sours into bitterness as he sees the flaws. Eventually the flaws are all he can see. He then experiences a new concept which appears / promises to tear down the old order and he embraces it wholeheartedly, contributing to the destruction of the old, but soon becomes aware of the flaws of the new system and the cycle starts again. This happens a number of times:
When Vulkan finds the human tribe on Nocturne
• What does he see to initially attract him?
o He is amazed at seeing people like him rather than the salamanders
o They seem to care for one another – the concept of civil society
• How is his idealism soured?
o When he approaches them he is treated like a monster and attacked by N’Bel
o He is held captive or escapes, but either way continues to watch them and desires to be part of their society
o The Eldar raiders give him the chance to prove himself to them as their champion
o He sees how in extremis their good words are drowned by cowardice and fear, as they rush to hide themselves rather to the exclusion of all others, perhaps even heaving him out as an offering?
o Even after he saves them he is still treated with wary reserve – he is good enough to be their champion, to fight their enemies, but he will never be one of them.
o When the Emperor comes to the planet is he sent out to fight what they think is another invader? They see a seemingly insurmountable force (Other Astartes?) and yet they send him anyway, knowing that he is disposable.
• How is he converted to a new cause?
o The Emperor is investigating the place where the pod fell, although it has long-since been consumed by volcanic activity. Do they have a battle? Does he end up dangling above the lava, and is again saved by the Emperor?
With the Imperium during the Great Crusade
• What does he see to initially attract him?
o Saved by the Emperor
o The brotherhood of the other primarchs
o Respect of his legion and the Imperium
• How is his idealism soured?
o A slight by the Emperor – him returning to Terra after Ullanor, leaving Vulkan to fight His wars for Him
o Many of the primarchs seeming to look down on him – Fulgrim definitely, him seeing the manipulation that Horus uses against his brothers... possibly a good initial relationship with Angron, with them having discussions about the Emperor using them to fight His wars just as the humans did to them on both their homeworlds. Angron has already considered this and comes to the Emperor’s defence, and points out that the Emperor also saved him when it came to it. Vulkan says that he suspects that he was only saved as he was of use, not that it was done out of parental affection. He could also say that he even thinks it was done on purpose to make him beholden to the Emperor.
o Whereas his brothers and their legions are seen as angels and heroes of the Imperium, even by the worlds they bring into compliance, Vulkan and his legion are never loved. Their tactics are brutal, composed mainly of direct assaults to purge the enemy with the simple weapons at their disposal such as flamers. Vulkan is not photogenic, and due to his rudimentary synthetic voice his oratory is poor. Because of the influence of the Vulkan gene-seed the marines are similarly frightening creatures of black skin and blood red eyes which makes them appear to be daemonic in origin, and parents invoke them to frighten children into good behaviour.
o Does this mutation (?) get a lot of attention from Imperial genetors, as though the gene-seed is weak or damaged? Vulkan feels defensive, as other legions such as the Thousand Sons have their own problems, and primarchs like Sanguinius have wings, and yet they are not called into question.
o He feels that Horus is putting his legion in low profile campaigns
o Overall they think that the blood they spill in the Great Crusade is not as valued as that of other legions, as though they are dispensable.
• How is he converted to a new cause?
o The only primarch that he respects is Dorn, who has felt his pain with the painglove.
o When Dorn is corrupted, he uses his bond with Vulkan to draw him over to the idea of supporting his coup.
o The destruction of the Imperium and the Emperor which he thinks has turned its / His back on the legion.
o Justified by the feeling that despite its talk of rationality and probity, the Imperium is corrupt and venal.
With Chaos
• What does he see to initially attract him?
o The opportunity to destroy all society and structure - humanity should be self-reliant (echoing a norm-‘verse characteristic) and individual rather than building structure and hierarchy?
o He sees Chaos as the path to this, helping to tear down society and throw mankind back onto their own resources, with only the strongest able to survive and thrive, not those supported by the sweat of others.
• How is his idealism soured?
o A nagging doubt slowly grows... The idea that the Chaos Gods are themselves each supported by the belief and the emotions of their followers, and that they are themselves organised (such as Tzeentch’s wiles) towards a wider organisation he finds distasteful.
o The hypocrisy of Chaos not being truly chaotic is a hard concept to take
o He even finds his own legion too much organisation and leaves them
• How is he converted to a new cause?
o He goes to wander the galaxy and finds Malal on Skeletus (?)
o This gives him the opportunity to bring Chaos itself down from within, the ultimate anarchists.

Intro Paragraph

Origins
When the infant primarchs were stolen away from the Emperor by the Ruinous Powers and cast across the galaxy, each one landed on a world inhabited by one of the lost human colonies. Given the malign agency behind their journey, it is surprising that so few of the primarchs emerged from their incubation pods unscathed, and ready to rise to power, on their adopted planets. Sadly, such a gentle fate was not destined to befall Vulkan on his arrival upon Nocturne.

Always a turbulent and geologically unstable world, Nocturne was particularly active at the time of Vulkan’s arrival. Day and night were indistinguishable due to the choking ash thrown into the sky by the new volcanoes, and the only light came from the freshly disgorged lava as it cooled down from a white heat. It was into one of these lava fields that Vulkan’s pod landed. Where any lesser being would have been killed, Vulkan was able to escape to safety, although he was left bearing scars that even his genehanced physiology was unable to fully heal. The horrendous burns were extensive and bone-deep in places, and he was left in constant, unimaginable pain.

For three years he wandered the wilderness, the only living things he found were the enormous salamanders that lived around the summits of the volcanoes. In that time he rapidly grew to maturity, but was never able to truly shake off the terrible wounds he had suffered as an infant. At long last his travels led him to a village, and to people who he recognised as like himself. Compelled by a strange fascination, he studied them from afar, fascinated by how they cared for one another in a way alien to the fiercely individualistic salamanders of the mountains, and even learning the rudiments of their language.

Despite the innate connection he felt with the people, when he eventually entered the village his hideous and inadvertently fearsome appearance saw him treated with disgust and horror, as though he was a mutant or a xenos abomination. He tried to talk to the villagers, to allay their fears, but his charred vocal cords could only form sounds more akin to the roar of a wild beast than that of coherent speech. His increasingly desperate pleas were silenced as he was felled from behind by repeated hammer-blows swung by N’Bel, the village blacksmith, and when he awoke shortly after, he was shackled with heavy chains in the man’s forge. He was put to work at the bellows, and while he could have broken his bonds and escaped at any time, instead he stayed, drawn to see the society of which he craved to be a part, but from which he was so cruelly rejected and excluded.


The Eldar raid and his brief ascent
Eventually the Eldar raiders come for the villagers, and they hide. He is either left out as an offering, or simply breaks free and grabs the two blacksmith hammers and manages to kill every one in the raiding party. Possibly he is eventually joined by the villagers, who only emerge once the heart has gone from the raiders.

How do the people treat him after this? Is it still with superficial respect, but still with an undercurrent of revulsion that is all-too obvious to his eyes. Does he get paraded before the other villages as a pet?

The souring
He isn’t found for several decades after when he was in the norm-‘verse, and by that time his attitude to them has soured to the point where he leaves them to their fate and goes out into the wilderness to be on his own... echoing him leaving his own legion later on.

The arrival of the Imperium
He sees the Imperial spaceships and shuttles and ponders that they are different to those of the Eldar raiders, but had long-since given up on defending the ungrateful human settlements... could mention that he had thought that they had all been captured by now for all he cared, but the difference in their origin was of some small interest to him.


Chased by the figure in golden armour
+++ Colourpiece:
Vulkan is dangling by his fingertips above the lava far below. He sees the purple armoured giant look down on him with a sneer across his bloodied face, and lets out a wordless croak of defiance. He feels the rock begin to give under his weight, but his tormenter continues to watch, seemingly willing to let nature take its course.

He begins to slip, but in a blur his wrist is grabbed in a vice-like grip and the second figure who had been stalking him lifted him up and away from the edge. It was the second figure that had been stalking him, the one in the burnished golden armour. He says ‘easy – we simply want to talk to you’. He says to Fulgrim that he was going to let him die. Fulgrim responds that the creature is pathetic wreck, and that there is no way he could be a primarch. The golden figure offers Vulkan a flask of water and takes off his helmet to reveal [Dorn characteristic features] then looks at Fulgrim’s broken nose and the disarray of his armour. He says ‘that’s not for you to decide, Fulgrim. We were guided to this planet by our father, and considering the mess he made of you before you decided to throw him off the ledge, I would say that he has the spirit to be one of the missing primarchs.” Look at those blood-red eyes – he is undoubtedly the primarch of the 18th legion.

“Welcome, my brother. I am Rogal Dorn, and I am here to take you to our father... to the Emperor.” +++

Learning of his true identity
When the Imperium found Vulkan, he was more than happy to leave the place for the Great Crusade. He goes back to meet the Emperor on Terra – or as he is still taking part in the Great Crusade at this point, to some point distant... although notably the Emperor doesn’t come to him. [Possibly set up why this is in one of the later IA’s, such as in the BT IA. The Emperor, while fighting alongside Horus was injured and needs to be kept immobile. Alternatively he is busy with something with the webway which will eventually lead to him learning enough to return to Terra to start his masterwork.]

There as well as the Emperor he meets his legion. They are very happy to finally be reunited with him – their genetic legacy had always left them with eyes the colour of blood, which made them feared and outcasts... and especially mistrusted by the superstitious and pious Word Bearers who called them ‘daemon’ and supernatural. As a legion without a primarch they also feel that they are looked down upon by those legions with primarchs, and have long been given the less glamorous missions in support of legions with primarchs.

Vulkan is found late – only Alpharius was found later as he could be said to be so good at hiding... Rather than being greeted by the Emperor personally, He sends Dorn (and Fulgrim) to find him. This allows a minor twist reveal. Vulkan later comes to brood that the Emperor valued him less than the other primarchs as He sent others to bring His son before him rather than to greet him personally, as He had done with so many of Vulkan’s other brothers.


The Great Crusade
The primarch and legion returned to his homeworld. When told that there was to be a Fortress Monastery built for the legion, Vulkan pointedly instructed that it be built on Prometheus, the planet’s moon, rather than on Nocturne. In fact, such was Vulkan’s contempt for the place and its people that he vowed never to set foot on the world again.

There isn’t long between him being found and the start of the Heresy. Vulkan leads the legion, initially positive, but this fades. He is looked down upon by his primarch brothers – Fulgrim, Lorgar who superstitiously sees his appearance as a sign of maleficum, and even by the average Imperial citizen, who see him as a monstrous abomination. The gene-seed mutation (?) gets a lot of attention from Imperial genetors, as though it is weak or damaged? When Vulkan was found, this issue was found to simply be part of their genetic link to their primarch.

Vulkan feels defensive, as other legions such as the Thousand Sons have their own problems, and primarchs like Sanguinius have wings, and yet they are not called into question.

The newly re-named legion was given its first blooding against a massive ork uprising that was sweeping through Imperial space. The young legion finds itself moulded into a straightforward, aggressive form of combat to survive and thrive, with flamers to burn out the infestation and thunder hammers to face them in close combat. Though ultimately successful, this had a stunting effect upon the legion in their formative years. When the campaign was done, and they took their place among the Expeditionary fleets to bring the lost human colony worlds into compliance with the Imperium, they retained their simplistic, brutal tactics. They were seen as unimaginative, callous and uncaring. Example was an attack upon an enemy city, which they set fire to... it got out of hand and the blaze cut off and killed large portions of the Imperial Army that were assaulting the human rulers of the world. This atrocity only hardened the resistance against the Imperial ‘barbarians’.

Soundbite: “What is the use of taking a world into compliance if every living person on it is dead. That’s not compliant – it has been purged of all life.’

Their reckless actions and high incidences of collateral damage mean that they are not seen as being suitable for fighting in wars of compliance, as their indiscriminate nature means that they build up resentment in the populace. However, the Salamander’s skill at destruction cannot be denied, and the legion was moved out of compliance missions and instead found itself pushed into battles where they mainly fight xenos – the orks, the Hrud warrens of Gugann (according to the Liber Historica Vangelia), the megarachnids, what later became known as early tyranid hive-fleets (?) and genestealers etc. There they fight to secure the Imperium from counterattack by xenos races, and participate in xenocidal purges against their worlds where their indiscriminate nature was not a problem. They are likened to their favoured weapon – a flamer... They care not if an alien world is cleansed to the bedrock by fire, but its indiscriminate nature is not the thing you want around humans. [This ultimately leads in to their burning of Skalathrax, and their predeliction and ability to successfully capture and deal with genestealers for their own ends later on.]

He and his legion also learn from other Astartes of the art of fighting a compliance war... they keep their helms on, they try to minimise collateral damage and they try to coordinate with allies. Vulkan and his legion crave the acceptance of Imperial society, but at the same time their actions and appearance mean that they are rejected by it. They think that their effort has been noticed when the Emperor Himself requests that the Salamanders join Him and the Luna Wolves on the Ullanor Crusade. To fight alongside the Emperor – they must be doing something right, they think. Vulkan feels that he will at last be able to connect with his father. Instead they find that it is against the orks. They are vital to the success of the Ullanor crusade, although they do not fight alongside the Emperor. Instead, they carry out a massive diversionary assault which draws the enemy forces away and allows the Emperor and Horus’s speartip assault to take out the big warboss.

Then after Ullanor the Emperor gathers many of His primarch sons around him, and announces that He is returning to Terra and leaving the Great Crusade in the hands of the newly elevated Warmaster Horus. At Ullanor he speaks to Angron, always a dutiful son, of his concerns that the Emperor is leaving them to fight his wars for Him as he returns to Terra. Vulkan says that as a former gladiator, Angron should be suspicious that the Emperor is using him in the same way as the slavers, but Angron disagrees. He says that the Emperor proved himself as a loyal father the first time they met by standing by him at Feghan Mhor (sp) against an army of enemies. This leaves Vulkan even more bitter, as the Emperor sent others to find him rather than going himself, and turns this into yet another perceived slight to take offence about.

Seeing how well the Salamanders have done against the orks, the newly elevated Warmaster Horus instead directs the legion predominantly against Xenos empires, where there would be few chances of collateral damage. They feel rejected - that the Imperium sees them as an embarrassing necessity, and tries to keep them as far from polite society as possible. They are also frequently far from Imperial worlds, and have to rely on infrequent resupply ships. They have to become self-reliant, both technologically and in terms of allies – they are the only ones they can count on, and become bitter and isolated.





On returning from a particularly brutal battle against the Hrud warrens of Gugann, Vulkan was pleasantly surprised and be greeted by Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists. Dorn had long been a friend to the Salamanders, but the news he brought filled Vulkan with despondency.
• As the Emperor’s Praetorian, brought back to the very heart of Terra, Dorn had seen things that been privy to many seen that
• The idea that the Imperium was rotten, that it forced good men to fight and bleed and die to defend its borders, and yet it shunned them when they returned from the front lines.


When Vulkan returned to his legion, he was a man changed. The bitter resentment and malaise that had afflicted the legion had been given focus by what Rogal Dorn had said.
They were a legion that had fought and bled for an Imperium that cared nothing for them.
In their eyes they were fit only as beasts of war, and however long they may labour, they would never be accepted.

Dorn said that he loved the Emperor dearly, but that as his father’s Praetorian he had learned a great many disturbing things that had brought home to him the true hypocrisy of Imperial society. Dorn said that there were innumerable examples, but then gave one specific to Vulkan, and asked him to decide for himself if Vulkan should report him to the Emperor.





He said he was a loyal son of the Emperor, but his honour could not allow him to stand aside and allow this to happen.

He said that by returning to Terra, the Emperor had decided that the end of the Great Crusade was in sight. He also said that the Emperor and Warmaster Horus believed that the Salamanders were simply a brute-force legion that had no place once the Imperium was complete. That they an embarrassing mistake that even now was being sent far from the civilised worlds to quietly drive itself to extinction by attrition, unsupported and undersupplied, against xenos stronghold worlds. to guard the Imperium that wanted nothing to do with them.


He said that he had saved his life when they had first met – and he wanted to do it a second time.

He was a loyal son of the Emperor, but they had to stop the hypocrisy at the heart of Imperial society before it was too late. To do this they had to strike militarily... If they were bold they could strike while the warmaster was recovering from his injury at Davin, and they could take advantage of events to neutralise those legions that they knew would never be convinced of the truth, such as the Emperor’s Children, the World Eaters and the Word Bearers.

The things that Dorn said resonated with Vulkan – the lack of respect given to them by the other legions and the Imperial citizens that they fought and died to protect, the orders from the warmaster which had them throwing themselves, often unaided, against xenos worldssaw them thrown

Given the dissatisfaction within the Salamanders legion, Vulkan needed to do little to convince them to bring the scattered fleet back from the fringes of space to join Dorn at the Istvaan system.

Istvaan
Ultramar – the Istvaan system. Dorn was there with the Salamanders, the Dark Angels and Iron Hands. These four vanguard legions dropped in first, supposedly to trap the Ultramarines.

When the Emperor’s Children, World Eaters and the Raven Guard dropped into the midst of the Ultramarines they were targeted by well-dug in defenders, and when they broke out they ran straight into the guns of their ersatz allies.

What happened from the perspective of the Salamanders?

They dropped first and prepared the trap for the loyalists. (better word?) The drop pod assault was devastated by the Ultramarines, and the ones that survived were set upon by their ersatz allies. Specifically the Salamanders used flamers against their brothers as they advanced into what they thought was safety.

Vulkan would ideally want to confront Fulgrim of the Emperor’s Children, but according to IA:IH he would be too busy fighting Ferrus Manus. They can still fight some Emperor’s Children.

When the smoke cleared the loyalists had been devastated, and while a pitiful few were able to escape back off-planet and spread the word of the rebellion, the three legions were effectively removed from the course of the war.

Colourpiece: Angron 1 – POV Rogal Dorn
After the battle – the area littered with burning pieces of wreckage from the evacuation landers shot down by the Salamanders heavy weapon teams. As well as power armoured bodies of the loyalists that had been broken open by the fall, there were signs of a great battle, a mighty funeral pyre, a great many Salamanders bodies, and Vulkan being tended by an apothecary to treat wounds that would have killed a normal marine. Dorn asks what has happened, and Vulkan simply responds that they had Angron cornered, and that he didn’t die easily. When Dorn asks to see the body, Vulkan simply points jerks a thumb over to the pyre and says that he died like a warrior, and deserved a warrior’s funeral. Make mention / hint at the contents of the Land Raider, and that alive or dead, Angron is in the Salamander’s custody.

Having passed the point of no return with the symbolic bloodletting of Istvaan, the Salamanders embraced the teachings of spent the journey to Terra learning from Rogal Dorn the glory of Chaos in all its glorious aspects.

On the journey, Dorn worked on them and converted their disaffection with the hypocrisies of the Emperor and his vision for the Imperium into worship of Chaos Undivided.

This is important, as the legion starts off as aligned to Chaos as a whole, but there is a sense of unease, as though they are not quite happy. Elements of the legion, and perhaps even Vulkan himself, cast around, aligning themselves with different gods, but never finding them to be right for them.

The Siege of Terra
Little has previously been revealed of the Salamanders’ actions – an open book with sadly few resonances to play upon – open up some for the next few articles?
They arrive on Terra with Dorn, while the Iron Hands go to Mars.
The Imperial Fists left to garrison the palace have the Emperor trapped in his throne room. The Blood Angels have already arrived, and the Night Lords have revealed themselves and unknown to the Fist, have spirited the Emperor away. They continue to attack the throne room, even after the Sons of Horus and the Iron Warriors attack the outer walls of the palace to keep up the pretence.

Once they realise that the Emperor is gone, the traitor legions scatter to search for Him across Terra. I would imagine that burning stuff would be high on their agenda – mindless destruction of the Terran hive cities. Any city that gives resistance is torched, anywhere that He might be hiding is burned. He is actually at the Astronomicon – less of an obvious stronghold than other locations so it slipped under the traitor’s notice. See IA BA / IW for details.

The Emperor bonds the Astronomicon to his spirit and weakens the daemonic across the planet. White Scars turn up and swing things back in their direction. The DA / SW are approaching. IA:BA shows the BA desperate to reach the Astronomicon but encountering fierce resistance from the IW defences. The Sals play no part on the Phalanx, so need something characteristic and pivotal for them to do on Terra before they leave at the end of the Heresy. Note that IA:BA has already said that the BA are the last to leave – are the Salamanders disgusted by the excesses and selfishness of the cult legions present, such as the White Scars and possibly the Blood Angels? Do they leave quite early – as soon as word of Dorn’s death gets out – as their heart isn’t quite in it? Do they battle with the traitors even then, or would it be best to leave it until they go over to Malal later? Is it simply that their fire-raising is so indiscriminate that they are careless of who is hurt, and that traitor allies were killed when their blazes got out of hand? This animosity can grow worse over the millennia until it bursts out into open warfare and eventually reaches fruition in the worship of Malal. [There would always be deadly rivalries between Chaos legions, especially between Nurgle / Tzeentch and Khorne / Slaanesh (and Khorne vs everyone) but this goes beyond that normally witnessed.]

At the end of the Heresy they are far from the last legion to leave Terra. They have no interest in their homeworld – they have effectively been a fleet-based legion and have always recruited from wherever they find themselves at the time. Do they go to the Eye of Terror? Does this happen later?

After the Heresy

- Skalathrax
Check timings – was it about a decade between the end of the Heresy and Skalathrax? (IA: WE)

They get a quest from their sorcerers to get a daemon-world. (Is a quest to the heart of the EoT required at this stage?) They have to burn specific planets to be proved worthy, with the last one being Skalathrax. Check wording – either it would be transformed into the daemon world itself, or would prove them worthy of claiming ownership of the daemon world in the Eye of Terror. Skalathrax was the only one mentioned so far, but it was just the tip of the iceberg. It was where they would have received their big pay-off, and in stopping it the Imperium claimed a bigger victory than even they ever knew.

They are averted by the WE and EC who have rebuilt their legions a bit and have an interest in exacting retribution for their betrayal on Istvaan. Perhaps the Night Lords were the ones to have predicted this – reveal this in the Sons of Horus IA? The saving of Skalathrax meant that they lost the chance for a daemon-world. After this, did they THEN head into the Eye of Terror?

- Attacking both the Imperium and Ultramar
What had they been doing since then? Attacking both the Imperium, Ultramar and even the wiles of the other Chaos legions? Does the incidences of attacking Chaos legions start out small – as a foreshadowing – and that this increases as time goes on.

Early on they were the ‘corrupted Istvaan allies’ that are mentioned in IA:UM. Check it for details. They kick against order and structure even in Ultramar, the home of order. [In the homeworld section cover Nocturne being inside Ultima Segmentum, and that at some point Ultramar expands to the point where it absorbs the planet.

- Vulkan’s Departure
He leaves his own legion at some point, his nihilism stopping him even being a part of any organisation, even one he himself leads. Tie this in with the events of Armageddon, and his supposed death there at the hands of the World Eaters.


- The Cleansing of Gorthan-Liess
A bitterly contested campaign against the World Eaters which was briefly mentioned in their IA. See how this can be tied into the wider story. It could be at any time, and either side could win. If the Sals win Istvaan, the World Eaters gain revenge at Skalathrax and seemingly get a dramatic victory at Armageddon, then Gorthan-Liess could be split – seen by the World Eaters as a victory, but the Sals see it as a wider victory for them as they got the WE to break their own code of honour, or tempted some to fall to Khorne?
Use it to set up the confrontation on Armageddon, with events there having resonance later on.


- Genestealers version 1
The Salamanders are normally notoriously direct in their actions, preferring to trust in purifying flame and crushing thunderhammer-blows to enforce their will. However, they have also been known to use more subtle ways to weaken the resolve of their enemies before they finally strike. Even before their acceptance of Malal they rarely seeded worshippers of the Ruinous Powers, preferring instead to infiltrate captured genestealers onto worlds, knowing full well the damage that such xenos broods can inflict, and willingly helping this process along. The legion goes to great lengths to acquire genestealers, and their Fire-Drake terminator squads have become most accomplished in the boarding of space hulks for just this reason. The creatures’ carapaces are agonisingly melta-burned with runic icons by the legion’s brander-priests, marking those hardy enough to survive both physically, and spiritually, for the rest of their lives.

Once nestled among the underbelly of society, a single genestealer can draw many under its mesmeric influence and can remain hidden for decades or even generations growing ever-larger and more bloated as it does so. Ultimately the patriarch and its brood will draw the attention of either the human authorities or of the Tyranid hive-mind, and the society in which it lies will be plunged into destruction and fire. On that day, it is said that the runes branded into the creature’s flesh catch afire once more, and act as a conduit to the warp for the Dark God to feast upon the psychic trauma, misery and malice the battle generates. While the truth of this cannot be verified, even the normally voracious hive-mind is unwilling to re-absorb the flesh of a patriarch that has been marked in this way, and that their charred husks have been left behind on worlds otherwise stripped bare of organic matter.

The ill-fated Captain Feore of the Third Grand Company led a raid to the moon of Ymgarl, thought, at the time, to be the creatures’ world of origin, but found the strain unsuitable for their needs. Not only were they far more virulent and deadly than expected, but they proved far more likely to kill and feed upon a human host than infect it with its own genetic material. After this nothing more was heard from Feore and his fleet, although investigatory forces found the world purged of all life and the Salamander ships gone... some believe that the xenos got aboard and destroyed the crew, and that the fleet itself are now silent hulks inhabited by dormant genestealers awaiting someone foolhardy enough to board them.

Colourpiece: The Burned Patriarch
Describe an Ultramarine force breaking into the base of a genestealer cult and taking out the massive, bloated patriarch leader with a railgun shot. There is discussion of the burnmarks upon the carapace of the patriarch, welted over by time and grow of the body, but still recognisable to those who know what to look for. A certain positioning, like a brand. The Ultramarine has seen such brands before from actions carried out by other chapters, but is not certain who is responsible for them. Perhaps he blames this on the Alpha Legion?

Many a genestealer patriarch has been found to bear the brand marks upon its carapace, although the of the This can be correlated with a spike in the outbreak of genestealer cults throughout the Ultramar Segmentum (?) (Everywhere?) and may have been inadvertently responsible for drawing the galaxy to the attention of the Tyranid hive-mind. A genestealer having a characteristic Salamander brand / flamer wound from where it was first captured or stored.

Colourpiece: Ymgarl
... thought at one point ot be the source of the genestealers, and so were expected to be an excellent source of the creatures. Unfortunately rather than’ world of origin, rather than being the ideal source but found the strain unsuitable for their needs. Not only have they proved far more virulent and deadly than expected, but are also far more likely to kill and feed upon a human host than infect it with its own genetic material... +++ ... broke through the perimeter and killed scores of my brothers... have decided that the entire moon must be purged of life... +++ Have pulled back to the landers and will rendezvous with the rest of the fleet. +++
The Last Report of Captain Feore Nothing more was heard from Captain Feore. His fleet was never found. Recommended that if their ships are ever found then they are not to be boarded, and are instead to be bombardedmoon of Ymgarl before mention that they intend to purge the moon of life a massive attack by the genestealers, a After this nothing more was heard from Feore and his fleet, although investigatory forces found the world purged of all life and the Salamander ships gone... some believe that the xenos got aboard and destroyed the crew, and that the fleet itself are now silent hulks inhabited by dormant genestealers awaiting someone foolhardy enough to board them.


- Genestealers version 2
The Salamanders are normally notoriously direct in their actions, preferring to trust in purifying flame and crushing thunderhammer-blows to enforce their will. However, they have also been known to use more subtle ways to weaken the resolve of their enemies before they finally strike. Even before their acceptance of Malal they rarely seeded worshippers of the Ruinous Powers, preferring instead to infiltrate captured genestealers onto worlds, knowing full well the damage that such xenos broods can inflict, and willingly helping this process along. The legion goes to great lengths to acquire genestealers, and their Fire-Drake terminator squads have become most accomplished in the boarding of space hulks for just this reason.

According to legend the Salamanders


The ill-fated Captain Feore of the Third Grand Company led a raid to the moon of Ymgarl, thought, at the time, to be the creatures’ world of origin, but found the strain unsuitable for their needs. Not only were they far more virulent and deadly than expected, but they proved far more likely to kill and feed upon a human host than infect it with its own genetic material. After this nothing more was heard from Feore and his fleet, although investigatory forces found the world purged of all life and the Salamander ships gone... some believe that the xenos got aboard and destroyed the crew, and that the fleet itself are now silent hulks inhabited by dormant genestealers awaiting someone foolhardy enough to board them.

Colourpiece: The Burned Patriarch
Describe an Ultramarine force breaking into the base of a genestealer cult and taking out the massive, bloated patriarch leader with a railgun shot. There is discussion of the burnmarks upon the carapace of the patriarch, welted over by time and grow of the body, but still recognisable to those who know what to look for. A certain positioning, like a brand. The Ultramarine has seen such brands before from actions carried out by other chapters, but is not certain who is responsible for them. Perhaps he blames this on the Alpha Legion?

Many a genestealer patriarch has been found to bear the brand marks upon its carapace, although the of the This can be correlated with a spike in the outbreak of genestealer cults throughout the Ultramar Segmentum (?) (Everywhere?) and may have been inadvertently responsible for drawing the galaxy to the attention of the Tyranid hive-mind. A genestealer having a characteristic Salamander brand / flamer wound from where it was first captured or stored.

Colourpiece: Ymgarl
... thought at one point ot be the source of the genestealers, and so were expected to be an excellent source of the creatures. Unfortunately rather than’ world of origin, rather than being the ideal source but found the strain unsuitable for their needs. Not only have they proved far more virulent and deadly than expected, but are also far more likely to kill and feed upon a human host than infect it with its own genetic material... +++ ... broke through the perimeter and killed scores of my brothers... have decided that the entire moon must be purged of life... +++ Have pulled back to the landers and will rendezvous with the rest of the fleet. +++
The Last Report of Captain Feore Nothing more was heard from Captain Feore. His fleet was never found. Recommended that if their ships are ever found then they are not to be boarded, and are instead to be bombardedmoon of Ymgarl before mention that they intend to purge the moon of life a massive attack by the genestealers, a After this nothing more was heard from Feore and his fleet, although investigatory forces found the world purged of all life and the Salamander ships gone... some believe that the xenos got aboard and destroyed the crew, and that the fleet itself are now silent hulks inhabited by dormant genestealers awaiting someone foolhardy enough to board them.


- Their Descent into Malal Worship
They end up battling the other Chaos Legions as much as the Imperium and the realm of Ultramar. This starts out small and increases in intensity as time goes on.

- The War For Armageddon
[In the Normverse they fought against two Ork invasions in the second and third wars. Combine it with them appearing in the first one against the World Eaters – who were the antagonists in the First War for Armageddon.]
In 499.M41 the Salamanders lure the World Eaters there to defend it. Vulkan is supposed to have gone from the legion (had not been seen to have led them for many centuries / millennia) and was supposedly killed / banished by the World Eaters. It is hinted that the creature they killed was actually the captured Angron who they captured on Istvaan, and that it was all a setup. Hive Volcanus. ‘Vulkan’ was banished to the warp and was not seen again for X hundred years. Do the Space Wolves help? The World Eaters manage to defeat the Traitor legions, but at such a cost that the world and the sub-sector was so crippled that it was easily prey to successive Ork invasions

- Sigismund’s Black Crusade
He is finally convincing the various Chaos Legions to come together for a Black Crusade. Perhaps a topic for the Imperial Fists IA. Here, Sigismund notes that even though they know that the Salamanders are devotees of Malal and are actively working against them, that they are, in their own unknowing way, working towards the victory of Chaos. Alternatively this could be said to Sigismund by one of the Tzeentchian Raven Guard sorcerers.

Organisation
Vulkan has little love for techmarines – he says as much that they remind him of N’Bel, the blacksmith who kept him captive and forced him to power the bellows. Could he really believably be held captive? Wouldn’t he be more likely to be attacked and take it badly and leave? Was he knocked out, and then left as an offering or tribute for the Eldar raiders, in the hope that they will be allowed to be left in peace?

Vulkan leaves his legion – he can’t bear to even be around them. His nihilism can’t accept membership of any organisation, even one he leads himself.

Speculate that Vulkan left his legion in disgust at what he had wrought, does he hide his personal artefacts, but the legion is searching for them and has found some of them.

The person left in command is the regent?

Vulkan returns bringing with him the Word of Malal – he has been searching for something and on the world of Scelelus (sp?) near the EoT where the normverse sons of Malice had their homeworld he found his answer.

Similarly, do Salamanders periodically leave the legion, or alternatively do they seemingly go crazy and attack their brothers until they are killed? Put down to the blood-madness of Khorne, but is actually an early sign of Malal influence.

Consider a tie-in with the Salamanders coming to blows with the Marines Malevolent warband... although given the similarity of Malevolent to Malal, will have to decide if they are an offshoot of the Salamanders that gets to Malal worship ahead of the rest of the legion, a mixed warband from other legions who lead the Sals into Malal, or something else. If Vulkan was always subtly in the grip of Malal then it is probably just an offshoot, one of many who split from the Salamanders and who went off to attack the other Traitor Legions.

On his turn to Malal, consider a quartered white / black scheme. Alternatively, more subtle, and from the start the melanochrome is burnt away from one side of his skin. They all have a half white half black skin pattern by symbolically branding their skin to the point that the mecanochrome is destroyed and the skin’s natural dark pigment (influenced by the gene-seed and / or the constant flux of radiation they are exposed to) is bleached in places back to white?

Combat Doctrine
They favour flamers and melta weapons. Possibly hand flamers and ‘inferno pistols’. Consider if they would use flaming hand weapons (swords?) rather than thunder-hammers. Would Vulkan want to ignore the thunder hammers as he was not a ‘builder’, or does he like the thunder hammer as it is simply used to crush things rather than to construct and build – preferable to swords as they are too flimsy.

The legion also uses flamers and meltas for their vehicles – Predators, pintle weapons on Rhinos, adapted land raiders replacing the lascannons with inferno cannons (pioneered by the legion and then the idea stolen by the Imperium for their own use – check the EC IA for what they are called.

They do not have much interest in advanced technology, so rather than crafting intricate technology (like lascannons) they prefer to concentrate their limited resources on simple stuff like flamers and the more complex meltas. This short range firepower means that they have to tailor their tactics accordingly, and have to get into close range very quickly. This would mean transports, drop-pods, speeders(?) and bikes(?) They would be constantly filthy from the smoke their weapons produce – darkened from mid-green to soot-stained black, and often the paint is singed away to reveal the metal / ceramite below. Relatively little care is taken for their armour – at least the outside of it – and it is characteristically filthy. They frequently use sealed armour or at the least, rebreathers. Not many eyebrows left among them either.

Their transports are similarly ugly, but effective, with large slabs of ceramite and armaplas bonded to the outside. These hulking things are designed not for aesthetics, but simply to get the Salamanders into range of the enemy so they can burn them. As the battlefields they fight upon are so often literally ablaze – at least once the Salamanders have finished – their vehicles are also designed to be resistant to such fires with ceramite armour and prow dozer-rams. They are heavy and lumbering, yet all-but unstoppable from reaching their destination.

Is there a chaotic aspect to the way they make their fire – is it semi-mystical in origin – promethium, or something infused with ‘warpstone’? Similarly is there a daemonic possession aspect to their vehicles which makes them immune to heat themselves? Where would they otherwise get the ceramite which is normally on their vehicles?

Beliefs

Homeworld
Vulkan rejected the planet in which he was found – saw them as hypocritical. Couldn’t stomach the idea that they have the protection of the legion’s fortress-monastery, so he came up with a flimsy pretext and had the Mechanicus build it on Nocturne’s moon of Prometheus instead. In any case he had no desire to return to it, and became a fleet-based legion.

They never return, but the Imperium still treats the people with suspicion – the sins of the legion are borne by the home planet. The fortress-monastery was demolished / reconsecrated and removed and the protection it afforded the population was removed – it was cast out of the Imperium of Man and left to fend for itself. It became the subject of Eldar raiders once more, who depopulated the place. (Resist a link-in to the Death Guard?) By the time the borders of Ultramar Segmentum had swollen to pass by Nocturne it was all but a dead world, with only the worst and most desperate renegades from Imperial society taking refuge there. What opinion do the Ultramarines have of it? Make sure that it is not too close to the way Baal was swallowed up – there the Nurgle plagues broke out and turned the chapter founded near it – Check.

Their attempts after the Heresy to win a daemon-world – either Skalathrax itself or that was going to be the final payment… this was averted, and the Salamanders lost for good the chance of a daemon-world – they remain fleet-based. Do they spend lots of time in the Eye of Terror, pondering the nature of Chaos, and hiding from the vengeful Imperium? Have they spent most of the time in the timeless void, so that in many cases they are veterans who remember the Siege of Terra? This would be in opposition to the BA who constantly need to feed on Imperial blood to live. Care to differentiate from the Space Wolves, who have been said (check) to fight in realspace and in the EoT, and that they have a daemon-world which they visit to add the skulls to the foothills of the mountain’s worth they have claimed for Khorne.

What are they doing in the EoT? What is their motivation?

Gene-seed

Battlecry
‘Let the Galaxy Burn!’

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 29 April 2012 - 09:52 PM.

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Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#2
Aurelius Rex

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Previously published references to the Salamanders:

From the Overview.

The first to join the Imperial Fist fleet outside the Istvaan system were the Raven Guard and the increasingly insular and secretive marines of the Iron Hands. These were closely followed by the Salamanders, led by their burned, bitter primarch. Shortly after came the Emperor’s Children, fresh from extinguishing the xenos threat on the planet Laer. The events of that campaign had affected Fulgrim deeply, and on arrival he declared that his legion had achieved the pinnacle of the Emperor’s ‘Perfection’. The relish with which they embraced the chance to prove their superiority over other Astartes bordered on the unseemly.

Then, in precise, well-ordered formation, came Angron’s World Eaters.

+++

The Imperial Fists, Dark Angels, Salamanders and Iron Hands made planet-fall first. Their stated intention was to draw an ever-tightening ring of steel around Guilliman, so that the Raven Guard, World Eaters and Emperor's Children would be able to sweep in from orbit and land the crushing blow.

+++

In the greatest betrayal and military disaster the Legionnes Astartes had then faced, the Imperial Fists, Dark Angels, Iron Hands and Salamanders decimated the survivors of the planet-fall. It was only the timely intervention of the cruiser, Eisenstein, which had been commandeered by loyalists among the turncoat forces, which allowed even a small percentage of the ambushed legions to fight their way back into orbit, and escape.

+++

The Imperial Fists, Salamanders and Iron Hands headed to the Sol system to tighten their grip on Terra, while Luther and his Dark Angels went to rendezvous with their brothers under Lion El'Jonson on Caliban.

+++

This respite was short-lived, though, as within days the Arch-Betrayer, Dorn, arrived back from Istvaan in force, along with the Salamanders.

+++

They fought their way off the ship with cold fury, and after that the Phalanx, under the command of Sigismund, stayed in orbit just long enough to collect the remaining Imperial Fists. The coalition of traitors fractured, and then scattered, with the Blood Angels, Salamanders and White Scars commandeering whatever vessels they could to escape.

+++

Vulkan's nihilistic disillusionment with what he saw as the hypocrisy of the Imperium spread over the centuries to encompass his fellow traitors. He and his legion came to despise the petty excesses of the Chaos Gods and their servants, and made war with both the Imperium and their fellow traitors. Their attempted Burning of Skalathrax was only narrowly averted by a joint action of the newly rebuilt Emperor's Children and World Eaters, and this early success cemented bonds of brotherhood between them. Imperial cogniscii have proposed that the Salamanders have formally aligned themselves with an aspect of the Warp they call 'Malal', although what this means in practice is unclear. What is certain is that the Salamanders remain an unpredictable and dangerous foe.

+++

[IA: World Eaters]

Dorn had been corrupted by the Chaos Gods, and had taken the Imperial Fists, Iron Hands, Dark Angels, and Salamanders with him into damnation. Knowing the World Eater’s legendary idealism and loyalty to the Warmaster, Dorn had not even attempted to turn them to his cause. Instead, he opted to use them as a blood sacrifice to his Dark Masters, and to buy the Ultramarine’s neutrality in the coming war.

Wading through rivers of their own blood, the shattered remnants of the three loyal legions fought their way to evacuation. Angron’s martial code demanded that such a gross betrayal must not stand unchallenged, but even he knew there was nothing to be gained from suffering a glorious massacre. Their mission now became to warn the Emperor of Dorn's treachery. After dragging as many of their fallen brethren as they could onto the evacuation landers, they came under intense fire from heavy weaponry from Salamanders commanded by Vulkan, their hideously disfigured primarch. With shuttles and landers full of his brothers exploding around him, Angron took this final opportunity to save his legion, and to fulfil his personal code. He threw open the hatch and leapt out of the slowly rising vessel into the midst of the Salamanders.

The heavy weapons directed against the transports were silenced, and the few survivors of the three legions evacuated to safety. Angron’s ultimate fate is a matter of heated conjecture. The World Eaters and Emperor’s Children both assert that he met his end in combat with the turncoat Vulkan, while scurrilous black propaganda spouted by the Salamanders hint at a considerably less heroic end. Needless to say, ever since the Heresy the World Eaters have taken every opportunity to take the fight to the Salamanders. Any campaigns involving these two legions, such as the Battle of Skalathrax or the Cleansing of Gorthan-Liess, are bitterly contested in the extreme.

+++
Skalathrax

Their shared experiences on Istvaan brought the legions of the World Eaters and Emperor's Children together, and forged a strong bond of friendship between the two despite their philosophical differences. Just decades after the heresy, while both legions were still in the midst of rebuilding, they deployed together to defend the world of Skalathrax from the Salamanders. The traitors claimed that the incineration of Skalathrax would anoint it as their new daemon-world, but together the loyalists managed to avert this, and in doing so extracted a measure of vengeance for the Salamander's betrayal at Istvaan. The phrase 'Remember Skalathrax' became a rallying cry for a resurgent Imperium, one that echoed from the halls of the High Lords on mighty Terra to the darkest depths of the Eye of Terror.

+++

“For Angron and the Emperor!” is a common battlecry, although where World Eaters face traitors of the Salamanders Legion, “Remember Skalathrax!” is often used instead.

+++

[IA:EC]

Seven legions were called to Istvaan, with the Imperial Fists, Iron Hands, Salamanders and Dark Angels making planet-fall first to encircle, devastate and demoralise the defenders.

+++

For this reason they deigned to fight alongside other loyalist legions, first with the World Eaters, where they saved the planet of Skalathrax from the Salamanders, and eventually took their place in Abaddon’s massed Crusades.

+++

[IA: DA]

The Fate of Lord Cypher
As befits a figure so shrouded in mystery, the ultimate fate of Lord Cypher is suitably ambiguous. No-one has borne the title within the legion since just after the end of the Heresy, and legion records on the matter are sealed. Some claim that he was killed in battle – the most common rumour being that it was against the Salamanders - while others say that he simply cast aside the name for his own reasons and instead put his pistol-wielding skills to use in one of the legion’s Assault squads. As always, the most enduring theory is also the most outlandish. It postulates that he became consumed by the theory angrily proposed by Leman Russ at the Conclave of Nikaea that the Soul-binding process left the Emperor vulnerable to corruption by sorcery, and went about trying to bring this to fruition.

+++

The Dark Angels utilise every aspect of the Chaos pantheon, but far from being blind zealots, they are instead coldly analytical in their approach.
...
They have also attempted to educate the other Chaos Legions in aspects of their chosen paths, most notably in the case of the Space Wolves, but also the Raven Guard, who they tutored in the ways of Tzeentch after the loss of their mysterious progenitor. Other legions, such as the tortured Blood Angels and the self-loathing Salamanders, are less receptive to their insights, and are even openly hostile, for which they are all the poorer.

+++

[IA: IH]

While the Imperial Fists and the Salamanders continued on to Terra, the Iron Hands headed for Mars.

+++
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Index Astartes: Scions of Dorn

#3
Kurgan the Lurker

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Why even have him burned. Just play up the "geneseed defect" that Sals have with the onyx skin and glowing red eyes. The people of Nocturne could view him as some demon from the heart of Nocturne that has reached the surface and do all they can do kill him. He in turn slaughters entire caravans of nomads and his legend as an evil demon would grow and grow.


I'll try and give some more extensive feedback on Weds after work.

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#4
Ace Debonair

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Oooh, excitement. :D

I've had some thoughts on this myself, feel free to make use of or discard them as you see fit.

Aaaaaanyway, I have a central idea for them which has been touched upon in the previous articles. I have put them in the second post for reference. The brief version - Vulkan and his legion are nihilist turncoats rather than humanitarians that eventually turn to Malal, the Chaos god who even wants to destroy Chaos itself. Sacred number for Malal is 11, the bisected black / white skull is its 'symbol' for want of a better term. Malal was created in the 80's, but disappeared due to some IP shenanigans and is now making a comeback in the normverse via the Sons of Malice and their b/w quartered colourscheme.
So how to turn Vulkan from warm and fuzzy to crunchy, bitter and nihilistic? Rather than his incubation pod landing in the blacksmith's back yard it falls into one of the many lava fields and he is horribly burned - only his primarch constitution saving his life. He eventually makes it to the village but rather than being embraced and adopted as their saviour he is seen as a horrendous monster and is attacked and captured or driven away. Only later, when the Emperor comes (or when he saves them from the (Dark?) Eldar raiders) do they reassess their opinion, but they always treat him with revulsion even after he has saved them. This is echoed during the Great Crusade - rightly or wrongly Vulkan thinks that he and his legion are eternally looked down upon as less than the others - just suitable for war and sacrifice, and disposable once the Great Crusade is finished. Still working on the details. He is corrupted into rebellion by Dorn at Istvaan, and on the way to Terra into the path of Chaos Undivided. He later becomes disillusioned even with that, and falls into the worship of Malal. Well, there is still a lot to finesse before I am happy, but I have got an info-dump of conflicting raw ideas below. I will be working on it to turn it into a proper IA in the coming weeks, but if anyone has any ideas then shout out! :)


And this is what I was thinking about! :jaw:

Right then. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the norm-verse Emperor engage in a series of challenges against Vulkan, in a roughly similar fashion as he did with Leman Russ?

If my memory serves, for the final trial they are tasked with slaying the biggest salamander (the creature, not the marines!) they can find and bringing it back to the village. Vulkan finds one but nearly falls into a volcano or something of that nature, and the Emperor throws away the big salamander (creature!) he had to save Vulkan, who promptly accepts the Emperor as his liege since he saved the man who would be his rival.

Perhaps, in the DH-verse, the Emperor didn't find Vulkan in time to save him from falling into the lava. Perhaps his Son falls into the lava, and the Emperor (sensing the pain and near-death of one of his sons, perhaps? ;) ) then races to save him, but too late to prevent Vulkan from becoming a bitter, burnt man who never deep-down truly accepts that the Emperor didn't deliberately leave him to fall.

Or, if you wanted, you could have one of the other Primarchs save him/almost save him. (Horus, maybe, or even Dorn?)

He could then adopt the name Salamanders ironically, to serve as a constant reminder of how callous and merciless the Emperor truly is.

With regards to the dark/eldar raiders, perhaps it's only when Vulkan tries to protect the village even though they drove him away (Still initially a true humanitarian deep down, even though they reject him) that he is eventually, grudgingly, 'accepted' into the village, although he's never truly treated as 'one of us'.

That deeply-buried desire to belong could also see him initially harbouring the hope of finally having a true home with his father and brothers in the Imperium, only to find them every bit (to his mind) as callous and uncaring as the Emperor, waging war without end and causing the deaths of billions. Cue bitter disappointment from Vulkan.

In fact, when the Emperor leaves the Great Crusade, Vulkan could also see that as a further reason for bitterness - the Emperor putting His personal triumphs first whilst others suffer in his stead.

It could also drive him into joining Dorn's rebellion, depending on Dorn's goals.

Of course, that would lead Vulkan to find further bitter disappointment with Dorn and his fellow traitors eventually killing for the sake of killing.
Just an idea!

EDIT:
Cleaned up some sentences. Gods, Ace, you don't half type a load of tripe when it's closing in on midnight.
EDIT EDIT: Typos. Grr.

EDIT EDIT EDIT:
More typos, and at least one sentence that just didn't make sense. I honestly have no idea what I was trying to say, haha.


Combat Doctrine
They favour flamers and melta weapons. Possibly hand flamers and ‘inferno pistols’. Consider if they would use flaming hand weapons (swords?) rather than thunder-hammers. Would Vulkan want to ignore the thunder hammers as he was not a ‘builder’, or does he like the thunder hammer as it is simply used to crush things rather than to construct and build – preferable to swords as they are too flimsy.


Oh, keep the hamers. Hammers are awesome. :D
Besides, like you say, playing up the destructive aspect of them could be a very nice route to take.

Since you've got Vulkan getting burnt in the opening, shouldn't he personally hate using fire?
Actually, forget that. He can use it to subject the Imperium to the pain he endured... although in a less emo-sounding way! :P

Or perhaps his Legion embraces the flames whilst Vulkan himself keeps away from them - the memory of all that pain being what haunts him and drives him in equal measure?

Edited by Ace Debonair, 23 November 2011 - 10:41 AM.


#5
Lysimachus

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I think Kurgan's suggestion works well, keep him with the black skin, red eyes to start with, then when he goes to find+follow Malal, he could ritually burn/bleach half his skin white in devotion to his new God/cause. If it happens before he starts worshipping Malal as an accident, it seems like a bit weak, like it's too much for it to be a coincidence?

The rest sounds good, although they seem less into their craftsmanship than I would have expected? I get why Vulcan might view it differently in the DH-verse, but my problem is that when the Sallies have been mentioned in the DH before I've half wondered how they survive without any kind of allies or support, surrounded by enemies both Imperial and Chaos. Now I'd always assumed that as 'master craftsmen' types they'd probably have plenty of their own forge ships/worlds within the Eye and would be fairly self sufficient, but if they're not that way inclined...

It's probably a relatively minor point, but it might need a line or two of explanantion somewhere as to how they survive?

#6
Aurelius Rex

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Thanks for the early feedback, guys. I have had a bit of trouble really getting my head around some of the early stuff - exactly how to turn Vulkan into the character who sees the worst in society and wants nothing more than to bring it down in fire - so these kinds of views are very helpful to crystallise it into something that works.

Some things - such as those which have already been mentioned in other DH articles - are pretty much set. I want to avoid retcons unless there really is no other way... but others are wide open to going in different enterpretations than I have initially posted. Better to do this early than later! :)

I will definitely have to work with the glowing eyes idea - it would certainly add to his daemonic and fearsome appearance, although if his eyes did literally 'glow' then they wouldn't be much use for seeing. This bit has bugged me since it was recently introduced by Nick Kyme (I believe) and so I think I would prefer to word it as the eyes being red in colour rather than actually producing their own light.

Something I am very open to changing is the legion's attitude to technology. It was initially put up as an inversion to their normverse technical know-how, with the explanation that Vulkan was hurt by the blacksmith rather than trained by him. This led to mental images of filthy, soot stained armour and hulking great leviathan vehicles with armour plates welded all over them, but thinking about it this would make them rather similar both to the Orks, and to the DH Space Wolves who scavenge their kit from their enemies. Perhaps despite his treatment by the blacksmith he still has an innate mechanical / technological skill which is passed to his legion, perhaps explaining their survival on their own. They could also mix some of their tech with chaos enhancements, although I would have to avoid taking them away from the DH space wolves only to make them too close to the DH IF. Perhaps they each have a certain innate knowledge of tech at a pinch, but it is not fully realised, so the IF would be able to be the masters of melding weaponry and the warp?

Oops, time to go! More later.

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#7
Elijah7

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Instead of having Nocturne become a deserted planet, why not have the Salamanders raid the population periodically (ala dark eldar) for provisions and the occasional recruit? This would pretty much undo the 'Salamanders as friendly leaders living among their people' aspect they normally have.
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#8
Bannus

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Why even have him burned. Just play up the "geneseed defect" that Sals have with the onyx skin and glowing red eyes.

I have to agree here. Plus, I don't think even lava would be hot enough to seriously or permanently damage a Primarch (Ferrus Manus held the Necron constuct in a lava flow to drown and dissolve it - Ferrus was not worse off for it.
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#9
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Some things - such as those which have already been mentioned in other DH articles - are pretty much set. I want to avoid retcons unless there really is no other way... but others are wide open to going in different enterpretations than I have initially posted. Better to do this early than later!

I will definitely have to work with the glowing eyes idea - it would certainly add to his daemonic and fearsome appearance, although if his eyes did literally 'glow' then they wouldn't be much use for seeing. This bit has bugged me since it was recently introduced by Nick Kyme (I believe) and so I think I would prefer to word it as the eyes being red in colour rather than actually producing their own light.


Hmm, just looking back at the excerpts of the other DH articles above, so all it says is that Vulkan is burned and bitter just before the Istvaan massacre? I still think this burning would work better as something that happened after his beginning to turn to Chaos, which would still be before Istvaan so no retconning problems there?

Definately agree with the non-glowing red eyes (although if he becomes a DP, it could easily work from that point as Daemons aren't exactly limited by the laws of biology ;) )

Something I am very open to changing is the legion's attitude to technology. It was initially put up as an inversion to their normverse technical know-how, with the explanation that Vulkan was hurt by the blacksmith rather than trained by him. This led to mental images of filthy, soot stained armour and hulking great leviathan vehicles with armour plates welded all over them, but thinking about it this would make them rather similar both to the Orks, and to the DH Space Wolves who scavenge their kit from their enemies. Perhaps despite his treatment by the blacksmith he still has an innate mechanical / technological skill which is passed to his legion, perhaps explaining their survival on their own. They could also mix some of their tech with chaos enhancements, although I would have to avoid taking them away from the DH space wolves only to make them too close to the DH IF. Perhaps they each have a certain innate knowledge of tech at a pinch, but it is not fully realised, so the IF would be able to be the masters of melding weaponry and the warp?


Perhaps you could make them tech skilled, but have them somewhat indifferent to it at the same time? To explain that better, what if they were excellent craftsmen, able to precision engineer technically perfect (master-crafted/artificered) arms and armour, but at the same time have no interest in embellishment or innovation (thereby defining them from the more experimental IF).

Basically, they don't much care about their stuff, but it works and that's all that matters, and so they stick with it and have got very good at keeping it going. I think that might fit well with the rather 'pragmatic but bitter and self loathing' feel the Sallies have?

#10
Aurelius Rex

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RL has kept me from posting, but I have been thinking and mulling things over. Again, not much time to post but the longest journey starts with a single step etc etc. :)

Instead of having Nocturne become a deserted planet, why not have the Salamanders raid the population periodically (ala dark eldar) for provisions and the occasional recruit? This would pretty much undo the 'Salamanders as friendly leaders living among their people' aspect they normally have.


Initially I had the idea of the Salamanders just genociding the whole population - they were the source of his hatred and disaffection with 'society' and so he had his legion just end them, or even have them coming back to periodically raid (if not recruit). However that felt like too obvious an option, that had also been done with other legions such as the Normverse Night Lords and the Dornian Heresy Raven Guard. I thought that he would want them to suffer, but hates the world so much that he vows never to return even when he starts off on the Great Crusade... this is even the reason (in this timeline) that the Fortress-monastery is built on their moon, as he wants nothing to do with Nocturne and it is a pointed rebuke to its population.

So in my head I am leaning towards them leaving the planet be as it is against the most obvious option, and instead go with the idea that Vulkan hates them so much that they are effectively 'dead' to the Salamanders. That's not to say that they wouldn't die out on their own, due to continued Dark Eldar raids, the planet being a volcanic deathworld and the potential for clashes between the Imperium and the realm of Ultramar as it expands to engulf the world.

Rather than friendly leaders of the world, they are aloof, wanting absolutely nothing to do with them, seeing them as not even being worth the expenditure of a bolt-round to kill them... but probably secretly watching out and enjoying every disaster that befalls them, like a bitter person claiming that their ex is dead to them, while at the same time secretly internet stalking them and gloating whenever something bad befalls them. :blink: :evil:


Time to go! More later.
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#11
Bannus

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Another thing to toy with:

You could use the taint of Chaos to cause the Salamander mutation to become even more extreme in changing their appearance.
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#12
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Are these guys more likely to be an active lot or more apathetic?

Perhaps you could make them tech skilled, but have them somewhat indifferent to it at the same time? To explain that better, what if they were excellent craftsmen, able to precision engineer technically perfect (master-crafted/artificered) arms and armour, but at the same time have no interest in embellishment or innovation (thereby defining them from the more experimental IF).

Basically, they don't much care about their stuff, but it works and that's all that matters, and so they stick with it and have got very good at keeping it going. I think that might fit well with the rather 'pragmatic but bitter and self loathing' feel the Sallies have?

This I think works very well.

Also with the building the Fortress Monastery on Prometheus, Vulkan may find a peverse pleasure in making his home on the moon that causes so much chaos on the planet below.

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#13
Ace Debonair

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I think Kurgan's suggestion works well, keep him with the black skin, red eyes to start with, then when he goes to find+follow Malal, he could ritually burn/bleach half his skin white in devotion to his new God/cause. If it happens before he starts worshipping Malal as an accident, it seems like a bit weak, like it's too much for it to be a coincidence?

I dunno. Being burnt early wouldn't neccesarily bleach his skin. Even if it should, he's a Primarch, so it might not, right?

Besides, he could always bleach the half that wasn't burnt at birth, either a sign of devotion to Malal or just to iluminate how unhinged he's getting. :(


One thing Vulkan could do in his latter days could be to deliberately make an effort to destroy other Legion's prized relics and similar when the chance arises, to both prove how meaningless such things are, and by extension (at least in his mind) to help prove how meaningless the entire conflict has become - his brothers and their sons reduced to mere puppets dancing at the whims of 'greater powers'.

His Legion could take up the activity once Vulkan leaves, not understanding why their Primarch did so.
Perhaps they could even think that once they destroy enough of the other Legion's relics, Vulkan will return to them? :)

Edited by Ace Debonair, 08 January 2012 - 03:08 PM.


#14
Lysimachus

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Ace, you sneaky whatsit, you! :D

Any progress on this?

#15
Aurelius Rex

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Sorry about leaving this hanging! I have been painting bike squadrons for the LPC Vow since Christmas but the third and final one - the captain and his command squadron are nearly finished and then it will be back into the Alt-'verse full time and at full tilt.
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#16
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Hi Aurelius.

I know you've been away for a while and since I do t know your RL situation I hope all is okay. I'd been thinking about the Dornian Heresy and re-reading your notes here gave me some ideas for the Salamanders:

1) I actually really like the idea of Vulkan rejecting craftsmanship. Combined with the Salamanders' natural aptitude for tech it makes sense that whilst skilled at keeping their own stuff running they rarely build new gear and ignore cosmetic factors. Indeed maybe each marine is responsible for building/marinating/squiring his own weapons, further emphasising the self reliant aspect.

2) Perhaps their hate could be particularly strong for those who live off the backs of others, whilst having some respect for those who fight bravely/stand up for themselves ala the respect paid to Angron. A Salamanders raid could involve circumventing PDF to strike at those who hide beneath their protection, especially privileged aristocrats/upper classes like Imperial Governors. In this way the worship of Malal could be spread amongst the disenchanted and disenfranchised, before in true grimdark style their master's followers show up and they realise the true error of their ways.

4) Given their norm-verse animosity and the similarities in their isolation, it could be interesting to play up the marines malevolent angle. Hated by everybody and hating everyone in return, struggling to stay operational in the face of isolation, no time for civilians etc, etc. Heck the Malevolents would actually make a really cool loyalist Sallies force - utterly isolated and never trusted by anyone, hating Ultramar for consorting with Xenos, the Imperium for its descent into superstition and bureaucracy, and most of all their Primarch for his self pity, they are loyal only to the Emperor.

5) Whilst I like the idea of Angron being their prisoner, I don't think the idea of having him killed by the World Eaters really works. Perhaps Vulkan seeks to remind him of just what slavery means and takes his feee will by re-implanting him with a modified version of the Butcher's Nails, before unleashing him on his fellow traitor primarchs. However Angron is a different person to the gladiator who was first rescued by the Emperor and his mind rebels against Vulkan's control. Still unable to break free of the Nails entirely and with the knowledge of how to remove them long since lost, he is unwilling to risk a return to the Imperial fold whilst still half crazed and under his brother's control. Whilst he tries to aid humanity where he can, ordinary people are horrified by what the Nails unleash, and he ironically becomes what Vulkan was to the people of Nocturne. Unlike his brought though, Angron does not give in to bitterness and continues to wander the galaxy in search of a cure so he can return to lead his legion.
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#17
Tanner151

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I really wish Aurelius would give a heads up on what is happening. Maybe just a "hey, I am too swamped with life right now, the Dornian Heresy is cancelled until further notice," but instead we get this drop off the face of the earth. I'm sure it was important and I hope he is ok. Would really like to see him come back though. I know this was asked years ago but has anyone talked to him? Is he ok, at least give me peace of mind knowing he is good and all. Sorry to have to open up old wounds, I found the DH about 3-4 months ago and check every couple of weeks for any news on it. Great timeline and inspirational to be honest. Anyway, later DH fans


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#18
Conn Eremon

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Over a year ago, people who messaged him have said his box was full and accepting no more. If anyone knows what is up, they don't seem to be at liberty to say.

As an immense fan of the Dornian Heresy, I do wish he would return. It is what led me to this forum and other, similar projects I have enjoyed for the past couple years.

But it is possible at this point that what we have of the Dornian Heresy is all we are going to get.

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#19
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That's unfortunate

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#20
Azekellon

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Could we get anyone else on this? The DH-verse is too good to let go.


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#21
Conn Eremon

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While this sentiment has been expressed before, the general response has always been that this is Aurelius' project, and it is therefore his to continue, hand off to someone else, and it is his utterly drop without warning.

While it does suck that it seems to be that the latter is the case, at the end of the day that is his choice, and only his. Whatever reason he has, and I assume there is one I don't know, it's just something we will have to live with.

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#22
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While this sentiment has been expressed before, the general response has always been that this is Aurelius' project, and it is therefore his to continue, hand off to someone else, and it is his utterly drop without warning.

While it does suck that it seems to be that the latter is the case, at the end of the day that is his choice, and only his. Whatever reason he has, and I assume there is one I don't know, it's just something we will have to live with.

Ah, well. Is anything being done with the mechanicum?


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#23
Inquisitor Antonius

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But, one question, can the project be cloned? Like expanding it elsewhere and if Aurelius comes back he can continue his own way. Seems fair to me.



#24
Conn Eremon

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At that point, why not just create your own? You wouldn't be alone in that.


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#25
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Indeed. There are multiple alternate heresies now that the Dornian Heresy put it's foot in the door. For example, there is the Guilliman Heresy that me and Conn have been working on since... uh... lemme see... early 2012 (three years?! Really?!), which is on the backburner atm, and there is the Corax Coup which is penned by multiple members but headed by Conn. I think the only real requirements to achieve what Aurelius has, is the drive to keep plugging away at the project and of course the vision to draw up a good alternative in the first place. msn-wink.gif


Edited by Olis, 14 February 2015 - 01:50 AM.
Typo.

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