Jump to content

Welcome to The Bolter and Chainsword
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

The Steel Archons


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
27 replies to this topic

#1
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts

The Steel Archons Space Marines Chapter

Posted Image
Origins
In the early 32nd millennium the Rumel sector, a resource rich area of space in the northern reaches of the Segementum Pacificus was plagued by repeated Chaos incursions and Ork piracy. To combat the loss of materiel in the sector, a space marine chapter was founded to guard this area of space. As the Rumel sector has a high density of forgeworlds, the geneseed of the Iron Hands legion was chosen for the new chapter because of their affinity for technology.


The Great Schism:

In the mid 33rd millennium a cult of techmarines developed that sought the Omnissiah through pure innovation. This cult took hold in the chapter’s armory so that by the end of 699M33, the armory had become divided on the issue of innovation. Gradually, this division had spread to the rest of the chapter, with fierce theological debates becoming common in the chapter’s Reclusiam, and as time wore on, became vicious. This divide then carried over to the battle brethren of the chapter and duels between the Strategoi (captain in the Byzant language) became commonplace. By 790M33, the lines had been drawn. Even among the chapter’s ruling Thematic Council divisions had formed. While officially neutral, members of the council had taken sides, with the chapter’s Magister (chief Librarian) siding with the orthodox marines of the chapter, against the Master of the Forge and Master of Sanctity who favored the innovative cult. Exarch Isaak Komnenos , the Chapter Master of the Steel Archons, had chosen to remain neutral, instead focusing his energies towards diplomacy and military matters. Two of the chapter’s companies, the 1st and 12th had also elected to maintain neutrality. As such these two companies and Exarch Komnenos formed a block that would stay out of the coming civil war.

Tensions between the two factions boiled over in 800M33 when a strike cruiser under the command of the 3rd company attacked one of the 5th company. The factions quickly mobilized, bringing the chapter to the brink of civil war. In a desperate attempt to prevent the outbreak of war, Exarch Komnenos proposed a meeting on neutral ground. The leaders of the respective factions assented to this to avoid shedding the blood of their brothers. The world of Floran was chosen for the meeting to take place. Over several weeks of deliberation, the chaplains and techmarines of both sides had reached a compromise. However, they were too late, the next day word reached the planet than fighting had started. In the absence of wiser minds, pure zeal had won out. The two factions withdrew to their fleets and jumped away to their respective forces.

The initial skirmishes were bloody and raged across the sector, even Byzantion itself was not left untouched, with its main continent becoming ravaged by fierce armored battles. However, by 820M33 the war had reached a turning point, with the orthodox faction gaining the upper hand. Over the next decade, the forces of the innovators were gradually decimated. Then in 831M33 the tide turned against the orthodox. A young techmarine of the innovators had discovered a unique tome in the chapter’s archives. Within it described ways of harnessing the primal forces of nature to be used as weapons. This techmarine along with several of his colleagues worked furiously to incorporate these principles into the innovator’s weapons. The results were devastating. The tanks of the orthodox faction were rent easily by these new weapons. However this was not enough the techmarine soon realized. Acting rashly, the techmarine unleashed a scrap code upon the orthodox faction. The results were immediate, more than half of the marines of the orthodox faction turned upon their brethren, their minds slowly being rewritten through the infection that plagued their mechanical implants. However, this scrap code had unforeseen side effects, as it similarly lobotomized the majority of the innovator faction. Strangely though, the techmarines of orthodox faction had been left unaffected along with those battle brothers who had chosen to eschew mechanical augmentation. This disaffection of the orthodox techmarines is now attributed to the intervention of the Emperor. However, this now shifted the war in favor of the innovators, who swiftly overran their opposition. It was only due to the timely intervention of the 1st and 12th companies under Exarch Komnenos that spared the orthodox marines from annihilation.

Realizing that the taint of chaos had become present in the innovators, Exarch Komnenos had chosen to intervene in the conflict on the side of the orthodox marines. As a result, the conflict would reach its culmination in the battle of Thracion. While the exact details of the final battles around Thracion are the stuff of chapter legend, it is known that the chapter lost most of its archives and its fortress monastery. The end result saw the retreat of the innovators into the warp and the triumph of the Komnenian faction.

The Aftermath:

In the wake of the Great Schism, the Steel Archons emerged bloodied but undaunted. Having lost approximately 700 of the original 1200 battle brothers (discounting elite formations) of the chapter and much of its high command, Exarch Komnenos launched a series of reforms of the chapter.
With the elimination of much of the chapter’s Reclusiam, Exarch Komnenos decreed the formation of the Steel Wardens, a new office akin to that of the Iron Fathers of the Iron Hands. The Steel Wardens were to be an office to oversee the spiritual wellbeing of their brothers, especially their fellow techmarines, now known as the Artificers. To this new office was also given the responsibility to search for and archive technological relics, as the Steel Wardens represented some of the wisest and most knowledgeable techmarines of the chapter. The remaining Librarians were also added to the Steel Wardens, to pass on their knowledge so as to prepare the next generation of Steel Wardens.

Also as a direct consequence of the scrap code that lobotomized many of the chapter, mechanical augmentation would be forevermore shunned to prevent such a great loss from ever occurring again.

The 1st and 12th companies were also credited for their role in the final victory over the innovators. Upon the recommendation of the new Magister of the Steel Wardens and the unanimous decision of the Thematic council, these two companies were declared as tagma and placed solely under the command of the Exarch. This came as both a measure of respect for Exarch Komnenos and as a safeguard to prevent a schism from consuming the chapter again.


Home World
The Steel Archons come from the verdant garden world of Byzantion in the Segementum Pacificus.


With a population of 5.5 billion, Byzantion is largely unpopulated and most of its main continent is given over to agriculture, producing more than enough food to make the colony self-sufficient and support the nearby Forgeworld of Nicomede XII. There are also rumors of mineral wealth below the surface, but these are largely unsubstantiated and have been dismissed by the local government.

Byzantion is also orbited by three moons. Two of these, Thessalon and Corinthus are home to the manufactorums that produce the war materiel of the Steel Archons. Thanks to the wealth of knowledge gathered by the Steel Archons, these manufactorums are able to produce nearly anything the Steel Archons need. In fact, it is rumored that the Steel Archons possess a few examples of the pre-Heresy Fellblade Super Heavy Tank. The third moon of Byzantion, Thracion, is a barren wasteland, scoured and abandoned in the wake of the Great Schism. Upon the surface of Thracion lies a monument in the ruins of the chapter's old fortress monastery upon which are engraved the names of the brothers lost to the infection. Never shall the lost be forgotten.

The lands of Byzantion are organized into ten Thema, military political divisions that originate from the planet’s turbulent past. Mirroring the organization of their parent chapter, each of the Steel Archons’ 10 battle companies draw recruits exclusively from one of the Thema. This leads to a form of rivalry among individual companies, however this is alleviated somewhat by the rotation of squads through the 1st and 12th companies. The 1st and 12th companies represent the personal guard of the chapter master, a practice taken from Byzantion's past.

In its distant past, the central continent of Byzantion was ruled by a long line of Emperors. The militaries of these emperors employed both provincial infantry and their own personal professional units. These latter units were known as tagma, and this practice was rapidly adopted by the Steel Archons, who looked for ways to adapt to the traditions of their homeworld. Thus the chapter's Council (also taken from an ancient body that advised the Emperors and commanded the provincial forces) controls the bulk of the chapter's companies and the chapter master (also known as the Exarch, a title used by the more militant emperors) commands the two 'tagma' companies.



Combat Doctrine
"Only use force when you cannot attain your objective through Diplomacy or Subterfuge" Exarch Manuel I, 300M32
Typically the Steel Archons will only resort to force when they cannot obtain their objectives through diplomatic or covert means. However, when they do take to the field of battle the Steel Archons favor blitzkreig style warfare, focusing around mechanized warfare and speartip attacks. To facilitate this, the


Furthermore, the Steel Wardens employ massive orbital bombardments prior to and after their campaigns. This has earned them a reputation for brutality across the Segementum Tempestus.



Organization

The Consulate
Part of the Steel Archon's operating doctrine involves the use of force as a last ditch option to achieve their ends. To this end, the Chapter will resort primarily to diplomacy and subterfuge to obtain its objective. This is the role of the Consulate.

The Consulate is an organization in the same spirit of the Steel Wardens, comprising members of all twelve companies. Its members are all skilled diplomats and include some of the Strategoi of the Chapter.

It is headed by a council of four Pro-consuls, each one also a Strategoi. Currently these are the Strategoi of the 7th, 4th, 3rd, and 10th Companies.

As a result of the Great Schism, the Steel Archons maintain both the Steel Wardens and the Artificers. While the Artificers maintain and produce the war materiel of the chapter, the Steel Wardens are tasked with the discovery and archiving of technical lore and the spiritual wellbeing of their brothers. While the Steel Wardens are all psykers, their skill-set tends to be more oriented to a support function. The offensive abilities of the Steel Wardens tend to be minimal at best. However, each one is a powerful empath, a trait that complements their role as chaplains quite well. It also allows them to detect the taint of the Empyrean upon relics recovered by the chapter.

The Steel Wardens and Artificers are also divided along the lines of methodology. Whereas the Artificers apply the more logical and accepted approaches to technology, the Steel Wardens are more fluid and intuitive. The reason for this difference is that during training on Mars, the Steel Wardens spend a period of time studying under Rune Priests of the Mechanicum. This specialized training provides them with the mental fluidity necessary for their office. As such, it has given the Steel Archons the capability to experiment with new patterns of equipment.

The chapter operates a total of twelve companies, 10 battle companies, and the two tagma companies. Each of the companies is headed by a Strategos, the rough equivalent of a captain. The 1st and 12th Companies are commanded by the Exarch himself, a marine elected by the Thematic council and who must be above reproach, for the Exarch is given full sanction to intervene if another schism were to occur.

Currently, the chapter does not maintain a fortress monastery, preferring to operate as a largely fleet based chapter. However, its base of operations still remains upon Byzantion, albeit a lessened presence. It is believed that by spreading themselves across the stars, there is less of a chance of such a tragedy occurring again. Even so, the chapter has been known to fight as a whole on occasion, and when it does, it is indeed a terrible day.

The Chapter is governed by the Thematic Council made up of the heads of the chapter, a legacy from their parent chapter. On this council sit the Exarch, the Magister of the Steel Wardens, and the Chief Artificer. The Exarch may deploy the 1st or 12th companies as he wishes, but the rest of the chapter's strength remains firmly in control of the council. However, by tradition, even the Exarch's 'personal' companies are rarely deployed without sanction, for to do so is to undermine the authority of the council.



The Limitanei
The Limitanei are the equivalent of the Scout Company of other chapters. However due to the fighting style of the Steel Archons, the normal training process is untenable. To facilitate their specialty, each Thema company maintains an attached Limitanei platoon. Each Limitanei platoon is equipped to fight as a mechanized force, with supporting tanks and mechanized infantry. To facilitate this, the Steel Archons maintain a sizeable motorpool of Leman Russ battle tanks and Chimera APCs. While on the outside similar to their Imperial Guard counterparts, these vehicles have been upgraded internally to facilitate an easier transfer of skills by the neophytes to crewing the standard vehicles of the Space Marines. Consequentially, the when the Limitanei make the transition to full-fledged battle brother, they are able to adapt rapidly to the mechanized warfare of the Steel Archons.

The 7th Company
Recruiting from the Cappadok Theme of Byzantion, the 7th company of the Steel Archons exemplifies the Byzant ideal of horsemanship. The Cappadok region of Byzantion has a rich tradition of cavalry going back millenia, leading the marines of the 7th to be the most skilled riders in the Steel Archons. Additionally, the Cappadok region is one of the most inhospitable regions of Byzantion, leading to the 7th's specialty to be in hazardous climate warfare. This is further recognized in their choice in the 7th's choice of Kievon as their principle recruiting world.

Kievon is a harsh world in the northern reaches of Segementum Solar and produces both a strong cavalry and warrior tradition. A technologically advanced world, it is still stuck in a feudal mindset, being ruled over by multiple Kings.

The company is currently commanded by Strategos Basil Argyros. Strategos Argyros has currently involved the 7th Company in the Arx Rift Containment.




Beliefs
As a result of their heritage, the Steel Archons are obsessed with technological knowledge. Ever since their founding, this obsession has coalesced into something known as the Quest. The Quest is the belief that is the sacred duty of the Steel Archons to gather the scraps of technological knowledge remaining from the Golden Age of Technology and return humanity to its former glory. This is to be accomplished through sanctioned experimentation and archiving of recovered knowledge. It is their goal to one day amass the full sum of human knowledge and lead the Imperium into a new golden age not seen since the days of the Great Crusade.

Unlike the Iron Hands, the Steel Archons shun all forms of mechanical augmentation. This is a direct result of the Great Schism. While questioned by their parent chapter, this has proven successful, as since the Great Schism, only a handful of marines have fallen to Chaos. However, the cloned organic limbs used for replacement may prove problematic in the future.

The Steel Archons tend to be ruthlessly pragmatic with their relics, to them it is an affront to the machine spirit of a relic if it lies in a vault collecting dust. Thus it is common for relics to be seen at the forefront of a battle. However this does not mean they are deployed carelessly, as relics are typically next to impossible to replicate.

This affinity for technology has won them few friends. Most of their brother marines tend to look upon the Steel Archons with outright suspicion at best or hostility at worst. This causes the chapter to typically fight on its own and when it does fight alongside other marines, they are typically of Chapters with close ties to the Mechanicum. However the technological knowledge of the Chapter has strengthened its ties to the Mechanicum, giving it a staunch ally and far superior equipment to most other chapters. This also has led to the larger than normal number of Techmarines in its ranks.


Chapter Cult
The cult of the Steel Archons bears resemblance to the Mechanicum. The marines of the Chapter venerate the Emperor as the Omnissiah. Naturally this has caused tension with the Ecclesiarchy, whom have come to blows with the Steel Archons on more than one occasion.

Gene-seed
The chapter's Gene-seed is stable, there are no known mutations. Through some quirk, the Chapter has a low number of psykers but a well above-average number of technically proficient marines.

Battle-cry
"Salus Per Scientia" (Salvation Through Knowledge)

Edited by Exark, 18 September 2012 - 06:32 PM.


#2
TrashMan

TrashMan

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,076 posts
The value knowledge...they experiment.
But they view machines as faulty..and biological enhancements as heretical??? They are Space Marines. They are biological enhancement made manifest.

Also, openly defying the Mechanicum may not be the best way to impress them.

It's a bit...odd... would have to read it a few more times to write a more extensive replay.

#3
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
Thanks for pointing that out, after reading through it myself it makes no sense. Thus it has been removed.

Also where do you see the defiance of the mechanicum, is that in reference to the now removed section?

Edited by Exark, 02 May 2012 - 07:25 PM.


#4
Aqui

Aqui

    ++ ARQUUS PRAELIA ++

  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 7,465 posts

Byzantion is also known for its Imperial Guard regiments. While these are few in number because of the small population of their homeworld, they are renowned for their conduct and skill in the field of battle. Due to the Chapter’s close ties to the Mechanicum and Byzantion’s own production capacity, they are often better equipped than their counterparts from other worlds. However, because of the world’s feudal past, the Byzantion regiments tend towards medieval forms of attire which have led to much ridicule from those they have fought beside. However, none who have seen a Byzant regiment in action will doubt their courage or skill.


From what I remember of Marine home worlds - they are exempt from the duty (tithe) of raising Guard regiments. Did you mean the Planets' Planetary Defense Force are skilled fighters?

Nice to see another IH successor around :rolleyes:

Once, a Novice Cantus came to me, troubled and uncertain. A slip of a girl, only a few strides down the eternal path leading her to the Golden Throne. She asked me a question. She asked me how we can ever truly understand what faith is. I told her that there is no coin to measure what we feel in our hearts. There are no scales upon which we might weigh the faith of one woman against another. There is only duty and blood. There are only deeds and words. There is only the service to the God-Emperor, and the price that demands from each Sister can only be known by Him. But know that whatever fears must be faced, whatever hardships endured, that price is forever worth its full cost.
- Sister Katherine Elysius,
Daughter of the Emperor (later Imperial Saint Katherine)


#5
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
Actually did mean the Imperial Guard but PDF does make more sense, changed to reflect that.

Was aware of the lack of IG from Marine homeworlds. Having them deployed elsewhere alongside the Archons like Macragge PDF would make more sense.

To be honest, wrote that part weeks ago not quite sure why I put that there.

But yes, the Byzant regiments are skilled, even though PDF.

Thanks

Edited by Exark, 02 May 2012 - 09:21 PM.


#6
TrashMan

TrashMan

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,076 posts

Also where do you see the defiance of the mechanicum, is that in reference to the now removed section?


Maybe I just got the wrong impressions, but it seems to me that they openly use different practices and experiment, train their own techmarines and stuff.
I dont' see the AdMech being pleased with that, but then again, if your chapter is knowledgable and usefull, they may turn a blind eye to it.

#7
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts

Also where do you see the defiance of the mechanicum, is that in reference to the now removed section?


Maybe I just got the wrong impressions, but it seems to me that they openly use different practices and experiment, train their own techmarines and stuff.
I dont' see the AdMech being pleased with that, but then again, if your chapter is knowledgable and usefull, they may turn a blind eye to it.

Different practices from the ways of mars (in handling machinery), no. They do experiment (purpose of the Forgemasters).

To a certain extent they train their own techmarines. However, there are two branches of the armory. The Artificers are trained in the normal way of techmarines.

The Forgemasters are trained in a master-apprentice style. The current Forgemaster would choose an 'apprentice' from among the current Artificers and would pass his knowledge onto him. --> This is how it should be. After reading it over, I got the same impression you did.

Edited the fluff to reflect this

I'm currently under the impression that the Mechanicum wishes to research but is held back by the Administratum. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Edited by Exark, 03 May 2012 - 04:46 PM.


#8
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
Updated 5/13/12

Condensed Beliefs and Chapter Diplomacy/allies

Also changed the Kataphraktoi to use engineered horses, making them closer to their namesake.

#9
TrashMan

TrashMan

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,076 posts
Hm...much, much better now.
Your Chapter sounds like one my Chapter would work gladly with. :)

But IMHO, you're better off having bikes/hoverbikes than steeds.

A marine is huge and heavy and beast of war really are too arhaic and don't belong. Remeber all the hate thunderwolf cavalry gets? Stick to machines.

#10
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
Thanks, to be honest gonna stick with the steeds, the Byzantine Empire was formed primarily around cavalry, just gonna have them genetically engineered and mech enhanced (trademark of the chapter, their Organicist views mesh with that)

That being said, added in more information on the Kataphraktoi, the Chapter's veterans, also removed unnecessary history of Byzantion and added in the Thema (Steel Archons version of the IH clans system)

EDIT: Edited OP using the templates provided on the site, this is for myself, something nicer to look at while editing

Edited by Exark, 22 May 2012 - 01:04 AM.


#11
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
Updated with a preliminary origins section

#12
Octavulg

Octavulg

    +LEXICANIUM+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 8,018 posts

Gold Lambda


Eh?

As the Rumel sector has a high density of forgeworlds, the geneseed of the Iron Hands legion was chosen for the new chapter.


So because the Adeptus Mechanicus are highly influential in the region, they chose a chapter that would be more likely to do whatever the Mechanicus wanted?

To begin the new chapter, a training cadre under Captain Constantius Komnenos was dispatched to the world of Byzantion. Upon arriving in the sector, Constantius discovered a region rife with civil war.


This is about as subtle as a brick. Historical and cultural references work best in drops, not buckets.

The Steel Archons come from the paradise garden world of Byzantion (3x the size of Terra) in the Segementum Pacificus.


If it's three times the size of Terra, the gravity would be a lot higher.

And it doesn't really matter anyway...

With a population of 15 billion, Byzantion is largely unpopulated and most of its main continent is given over to agriculture, producing more than enough food to make the colony self-sufficient and support the nearby Forgeworld of Nicomede XII. There are also rumors of mineral wealth below the surface, but these are largely unsubstantiated and have been dismissed by the local government. In reality, the Steel Archons maintain a chokehold on the planets mining industry, preventing its resources from going off world and allowing the Steel Archons to remain largely self-sufficient in war production.


I'd cut the last sentence and subtly hint that that's the case instead. A little implication goes a long way.

Byzantion is also orbited by three moons, each approximately twice the size of Terra’s moon Luna. Two of these, Thessalon and Corinthus are home to the vast manufactorums that produce the war materiel of the Steel Archons. Thanks to the wealth of knowledge gathered by the Steel Archons, these manufactorums are able to produce nearly anything the Steel Archons need. In fact, it is rumored that the Steel Archons possess a few examples of the pre-Heresy Fellblade Super Heavy Tank. The third moon of Byzantion, Thracion, is home to vast research facilities beneath its surface. Each moon is also home to a vast array of anti-space weaponry, leading Byzantion to be one of the most heavily defended worlds in the entirety of the Segementum Pacificus. Given the importance of the records stored in the Archives on Byzantion, this is understandable. Additionally, the Steel Archons have been known to destroy unidentified ships that enter the system to prevent any damage to the Archives. This has understandably led to tension with various Imperial organizations.


OK...making your chapter have lots of awesome stuff actually makes them less awesome in inverse proportion. It's an intriguing constant.

None of this stuff makes the chapter seem more interesting, but it does make it seem like you want them to come across as awesome.

The lands of Byzantion are organized into ten Thema, military political divisions that originate from the planet’s turbulent past. Mirroring the organization of their parent chapter, each of the Steel Archons’ 10 battle companies draw recruits exclusively from one of the Thema. This leads to a form of rivalry among individual companies, however this is alleviated somewhat by the rotation of squads through the 1st and 12th companies.


Uh...the Iron Hands have ten companies, not twelve, and no veteran or scout company. So there wouldn't be an 11th and 12th company. And you should explain it if there was. Here, not later, since here is where you talk about it. Alternately, just say "veteran and scout companies", which avoids the issue.

Also - subtlety. Good thing.

To provide close support, the Steel Archons maintain a specialist formation of heavy cavalry called the Kataphraktoi. These are the elite of the Chapters veterans and are highly decorated for their bravery and praised for their skill. The Kataphraktoi ride into battle upon genetically engineered steeds bred to carry the weight of a fully armored Space Marine and ceramite armor. Each marine is girt in a variant of Mk VII armor developed by the chapter specifically for the Kataphrakts to give them superior protection.


And again, subtlety is a good thing.

allowing it to bring the Quest closer to completion with each relic brought into the Archives.


What Quest?

Explain things when you talk about them, or don't talk about them.

The organization of the companies also errs from the Codex Astartes. The chapter operates a total of twelve companies, 10 battle companies, a reserve company and the first company. Each of the companies is headed by a Strategos (Captain), who all answer to the Exarch (Chapter Master) of the Chapter. The 1st Company is commanded by the Exarch himself. Each company bar the 12th is a self contained fighting unit.


So they don't imitate the organization of the Iron Hands, then? The Iron Hands have Clan Companies, after all...

The chapter is furthered organized into four major corps, the Limitanei, the Straitiotai, the Hetaireia and the Steel Wardens.


First, it's strange to have three in Greek and one in English.

Second, SUBTLETY. Rip off Byzantium to your heart's content, but don't do it so blatantly. Especially since it frankly doesn't add much to the chapter.

Third, it's time to quote myself: "Offering a new system provides the reader with a lot of dry, technical information which relates only to this Chapter. Generally, this organization is adopted from history, usually without explanation. Unfortunately, such information is interesting mostly to the author – it is the rare reader who wants to read a long list of alternative terms for Apothecaries and Sergeants. Furthermore, such systems rarely offer anything appreciably different from the standard Codex nomenclature – it is usually change for the sake of change. Even if you do have such changes, unless they actually change how the Chapter functions, it is usually not worthy mentioning them unless it actually arises in the IA."

If your Organization section is your longest section, your priorities are wildly askew. They don't add to the chapter's personality and they don't usually offer anything a normal organization doesn't (and no, yours is not the exception).

The information that really matters/is interesting:
-The Librarians also serve as Techmarines (though I'd remind you that in the Iron hands, Techmarines are already Chaplains)
-The company structure (briefly - and you have nothing you couldn't get from just being like the Iron Hands)
-The council
-Kataphraktoi (though they fit OK in Combat Doctrine)

And you don't even need as much detail as you have on any of them.

Another break with other Marine chapters is the irreverence of the Steel Archons towards relics. The Steel Archons tend to be ruthlessly pragmatic, to them it is an affront to the machine spirit of a relic if it lies in a vault collecting dust. Thus it is common for even the lowest of the chapter to be deployed with relics. However this does not mean they are deployed carelessly, as relics are typically next to impossible to replicate. As such, they are deployed only when necessary.


That sounds like a conflict with the beliefs of the Mechanicus, too...

Also, I'm pretty sure the highest of the chapter get relics because relics are limited and high-rankers are important, not vice versa...

The chapter's Gene-seed is stable, there are no known mutations.


Except, of course, for the hatred of weakness demonstrated by the Iron Hands...right?

Oh, you know the Ad Mech frowns on experimentation, right?

Anyway...interesting concepts and decent writing seem to be held back by three things:
1) You think details of organization are interesting.
2) You don't seem to actually know that much about the Iron Hands
3) The whole "quest for knowledge" thing doesn't really fit that well with the chapter as a whole (among other things, it doesn't work well with a Byzantine theme - Byzantines evoke decline, not improvement and a quest for knowledge).

What are you trying to do here: Byzantines or people questing for lost knowledge?

Edited by Octavulg, 22 May 2012 - 05:08 AM.

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


#13
Watcher in the Dark

Watcher in the Dark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 4,247 posts

The chapter's Gene-seed is stable, there are no known mutations.


Except, of course, for the hatred of weakness demonstrated by the Iron Hands...right?

Oh, you know the Ad Mech frowns on experimentation, right?

Anyway...interesting concepts and decent writing seem to be held back by three things:
1) You think details of organization are interesting.
2) You don't seem to actually know that much about the Iron Hands
3) The whole "quest for knowledge" thing doesn't really fit that well with the chapter as a whole (among other things, it doesn't work well with a Byzantine theme - Byzantines evoke decline, not improvement and a quest for knowledge).

What are you trying to do here: Byzantines or people questing for lost knowledge?

The connection to bionics in the IA:IH article merely mentions that there could be a connection. It does not state one way or the other that it IS a geneseed mutation, merely hints at it. Subtle, no? Since there is very little official information (IA's) regarding IH successors (Brazen Claws, Sons of Medusa, etc.) and whether they utilize bionics to the extreme that the Iron Hands themselves do (which would THEN confirm a geneseed aberration) I would say it's perfectly reasonable to create a DIY chapter using the geneseed that doesn't abuse them. The fact that this chapter uses the geneseed of the Iron Hands doesn't mean that the chapter is the Iron Hands, utilizes clans systems, bionics, etc. I know that seems redundant to say, but unless a specific descriptor of a chapter is a known flaw or effect of a particular geneseed issue (BA, SW) it's not necessarily something a successor need express. It seems that a few of Octavulg's criticisms are "that the Iron Hands don't do this," but these aren't necessarily the Iron Hands either.

As for the ad-mech frowning on experimentation, it's very possible, even probable, that there are splinter factions within the ad-mech, just as there are within the Inquisition, that have different aims and purposes to that of the majority. Just as the different factions of the inquisition makes the organization more interesting as a whole, I think it would also make the adeptus mechanicus more interesting as well. Even the ad-mech is not above favoritism or even creating a chapter of their own to further whatever goals they wish to pursue, as was the case with the Steel Confessors. Yes, at present AFAIK, there are no "canon" described schisms in the ad-mech that would view expermination with machinery and innovation as kosher, but there easily could be.

Finally, I think that some details of organization do make a chapter more interesting, provided they are not there just to flex the awesome muscle of the chapter. I do agree with Octavulg though, that perhaps there is too much explanation in this part of your IA.

#14
Octavulg

Octavulg

    +LEXICANIUM+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 8,018 posts

The connection to bionics in the IA:IH article merely mentions that there could be a connection. It does not state one way or the other that it IS a geneseed mutation, merely hints at it. Subtle, no? Since there is very little official information (IA's) regarding IH successors (Brazen Claws, Sons of Medusa, etc.) and whether they utilize bionics to the extreme that the Iron Hands themselves do (which would THEN confirm a geneseed aberration) I would say it's perfectly reasonable to create a DIY chapter using the geneseed that doesn't abuse them.


"Where this fear truly originates is unclear, although it is widely believed that some genetic flaw is at work. ... Uncharacteristically, the Inquisition appears relatively unconcerned with the Chapter as a whole. They seem to have identified some aberration within the Chapter, but refrain from acting on it, for they do not see the flaw as inherently dangerous to the Imperium."

That's a lot stronger than hinting (and not very subtle at all).

The fact that this chapter uses the geneseed of the Iron Hands doesn't mean that the chapter is the Iron Hands, utilizes clans systems, bionics, etc. I know that seems redundant to say, but unless a specific descriptor of a chapter is a known flaw or effect of a particular geneseed issue (BA, SW) it's not necessarily something a successor need express. It seems that a few of Octavulg's criticisms are "that the Iron Hands don't do this," but these aren't necessarily the Iron Hands either.


Except for three things:
1) They are a successor chapter of the Iron Hands, and so not being like the Iron Hands is somewhat unusual. This is the sort of thing it makes sense to explain.
2) When one aspect of the Iron Hands' organization is imitated and all the rest aren't (with no acknowledgment of them at all), that's weird.
3) Picking an abnormal geneseed and then ignoring all the abnormal things about its owners is just pointless. Either be different, and say so, or be the same. Don't be different and not explain why.

As for the ad-mech frowning on experimentation, it's very possible, even probable, that there are splinter factions within the ad-mech, just as there are within the Inquisition, that have different aims and purposes to that of the majority.


Which would still hardly lead to a good relationship with the majority of the Mechanicus, now would it? There are indeed splinter factions within the Mechanicus, but a chapter full of experimenters is still not going to win the friendship of the organization at large.

Finally, I think that some details of organization do make a chapter more interesting,


I honestly can't think of an example of that being the case, unless you're taking a broader view of the word detail than I. Broad strokes are great. Details are not. For example, the fact that Librarians are also trained as Techmarines is interesting. But we really don't need to know much more than the fact that they are and the reason that is so. Almost everything else will work itself out from context. And that's broad strokes, not details.

Edited by Octavulg, 22 May 2012 - 06:39 AM.

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


#15
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
Thank you Octavulg and Watcher

I've made corrections based on your criticism (including removing the reference to Constantine, that was an abortive attempt I came up with last night to lead into a vision from the Emperor)

Regarding their differences to the Iron Hands: Yes they do not despise weakness as the IH do, that I shall figure out how to implement fully.
The whole Thema system and ten battle companies is a reflection of the clan companies in a way and is also reminiscent of the Byzantine Thematic system. I have updated the fluff related to the 1st and 12th companies to reflect this. The 1st and 12th are a sort of praetorian guard for the Exarch, whereas the 2nd through 11th companies are the chapter's regular forces (thus 'thematic' infantry/clan companies).

Regarding their researches, I've updated this to be more of a 'stockpile all you can get', more in line with the mechanicum.
Regarding the Steel Wardens/ Techmarine librarians. I'd like to expand that more but I shall have to brainstorm on that topic. I thought it was an interesting idea so I included it, to be honest, I didn't put much thought into it.

Also for reference, the researching is not intended to be pure innovation, it is more along the lines of the centuries to millenia long process of going through the proper channels to 'sanctify' a new design.

With regard to their production capacity: what I want to imply here is that they are similar to the raven guard, who to my knowledge are capable of producing their own gear (see C:SM pg 25, Raven Guard entry), with a bit extra because of their technical expertise.

As such I've dumbed it down from where it was (enough I hope).

Regarding the theme. This is a Byzantine themed chapter yes, but it is blended to an extent.

Regarding their geneseed, to my knowledge the 'hate all weakness' thing is more of a mindset than a genetic thing.

Edited by Exark, 22 May 2012 - 09:01 PM.


#16
Octavulg

Octavulg

    +LEXICANIUM+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 8,018 posts

Regarding their differences to the Iron Hands: Yes they do not despise weakness as the IH do, that I shall figure out how to implement fully.
The whole Thema system and ten battle companies is a reflection of the clan companies in a way and is also reminiscent of the Byzantine Thematic system. I have updated the fluff related to the 1st and 12th companies to reflect this. The 1st and 12th are a sort of praetorian guard for the Exarch, whereas the 2nd through 11th companies are the chapter's regular forces (thus 'thematic' infantry/clan companies).


But...why? Why did all this come to be?

Regarding the Steel Wardens/ Techmarine librarians. I'd like to expand that more but I shall have to brainstorm on that topic. I thought it was an interesting idea so I included it, to be honest, I didn't put much thought into it.


Always put thought into it. Whatever 'it' is.

Regarding the theme. This is a Byzantine themed chapter yes, but it is blended to an extent.


Except the two aspects of the theme sort of work in opposition to each other. What about the Byzantines do you want to capture here?

Regarding their geneseed, to my knowledge the 'hate all weakness' thing is more of a mindset than a genetic thing.


That's highly debatable at best, and even if it IS a mindset thing, since chapters are lead by marines from other chapters, an Iron Hands successor would still logically be taught a hatred of weakness in any case. Either way, they should probably hate the weak. If they don't, why don't they?

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


#17
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
Ideally I want to capture the Byzantine military themes and its view of science


In regards to the presence of the 'thematic' companies and 'tagma' companies and council, this came to be as a genesis of the Byzant traditions and the legacy of the IH (see homeworld section, its still a WIP though, I'll definitely be revising it considerably, however this is just the first cut).

Edited by Exark, 22 May 2012 - 11:37 PM.


#18
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
Added a second cut of their origins and greatly expanded upon it. The language of it is bad I know, this form of writing it not my strong suit.

Also, I've addressed the reasoning for the rejection of augmentation and the use of tech-librarians well enough I hope, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong on any fluff.

#19
InquisitorHayn

InquisitorHayn

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 187 posts
Hello there. I'd like to begin by saying that I like the general idea of the tech-innovative splinter group. I was actually discussing something similar with a friend a while ago and I think it's great to see someone developing the idea. Now, to business.

In the mid 35th millennium a cult of techmarines developed that sought the Omnissiah through pure innovation. By unknown means, this cult rapidly spread to encompass the chapter’s armory. Knowing that they would be destroyed by the chapter if they were discovered, the techmarines began to slowly corrupt the chapter’s marines and equipment over the next two centuries.

I'm curious as to why your techmarines jump to malice so quickly. So they have a different tech-philosophy. The idea, I'm guessing, was to help the Chapter and further their own studies through their new avenue of pursuit. Subsequently, they begin to modify equipment and make it better/more functional/look cooler. Why does this immediately make them evil? I understand that it's heresy in the eyes of the AdMech, but it would probably be for the good of the Chapter to them, so why would they actively seek to "corrupt" equipment. There's quite a gap between what likely began as good intentions and damnation that you haven't really covered in the telling. Also, I can tell you that it is most definitely not for unknown reasons that the cult spread to the armoury. Techmarines work there. Adding mysterious phrasing to something that's plainly obvious only decreases its believability.

Seeing their chance to take over the chapter, the techmarines, previously neutral, approached both factions bearing ‘gifts.’ Eager for an end to the civil war each faction greedily accepted these ‘gifts.’ For unknown reasons, those equipped with the ‘gifts’, in reality tainted wargear, began to turn on their brothers, their minds being lobotomized and placed under the control of the techmarines.

How exactly was this accomplished? I don't need a schematic or anything, just a brief touch. Written as it is, especially using the term lobotomized (though, yes, I understand the usage is figurative) I'm imagining special helmets that, once donned, bore a hole into the wearer's skull and insert a programming chip that takes over the warrior's central nervous system, enslaving them to maniacal muhuahahaing techmarines.

Side note: In the name of all that's golden and throne-like, please stop using the phrase, "for unknown reasons". It is, to tip the hat to Octavulg, not subtle in the least. If you want something to remain unknown, use implication and allusion. Stating blatantly that a set of circumstances is unknown is akin to feeding a healthy well-adjusted thirty-year old by hand. It's very unnecessary, and a bit insulting. Let us figure some things out by ourselves.

What happened next is the stuff of legend, but it is known that hours after the ship had been boarded, it was swallowed by a warp rift. Disoriented due to the loss of their command and control, the enslaved marines ceased moving, allowing the loyalists to counter attack, cleansing the surface of Thracion of their taint.

A little too deus ex Empyrean here, but it's livable.

Oddly, the surviving Librarians showed an above average affinity for technology. As such, the chapter’s Librarius was reformed into what would become the Steel Wardens.

I like this, but I have a question. I'm not entirely up on my Iron Hands fluff, but aren't Iron Fathers/Techmarines still trained on Mars? If so, would this change still be possible? Would the AdMech train a psyker?

Byzantion is also orbited by three moons, each approximately the size of Terra’s moon Luna.

This fact adds absolutely nothing to your story.

These tactics are well suited to the typical urban and plains environments they find themselves in.

Tanks and mass mounted cavalry are typically not city-friendly units due to the restricted freedom of movement of enclosed spaces.

For the most part, the Steel Archons are a codex deviant chapter... The organization of the companies also errs from the Codex Astartes... Another break with other Marine chapters is the attitude of the Steel Archons towards relics.

I would suggest you omit these statements. All they do is scream, "Look at me! I'm being different!" As I stated before, you don't have to spoon-feed us. Most of the readers here are aware of what a "Codex" Chapter is. They'll notice the deviations without any indication.

Good work, thus far. I only ask one thing. Don't be stingy with your words. If you make mention of something, then it deserves explanation. If you don't think it merits explanation, it probably doesn't contribute to the piece, in which case don't mention it. This is your opportunity to let fly all the ideas trapped in your head. Condensing is best done once you've already written those things down in their entirety and you evaluate the support each item lends to the story. Good luck on your progress, mate.
QUOTE (Ace Debonair @ Oct 9 2011, 10:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think it's really limiting someone's creativity when we point out, for instance, that a chapter of Tau-worshipping marines who are secretly really necrons with jetpacks built into their feet kills any believability more effectively than an exterminatus to the face.



#20
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
InquisitorHayn: Thanks for the C&C

With regard to the splinter techmarine cult, that's actually a genesis of suggestions I got from a thread I posted about two days ago in the Liber. I realize it is badly explained and I should have put more information in. The whole corruption spreading thing was an attempt to imply the use of scrap code by the Techmarines (and how it spread so quickly) and explaining the chapter's shunning of mechanical augmentation.

In regards to my techmarine librarians, to be honest, I have no idea if the Mechanicum would train psykers, rule of cool won out for me here, idea occurred to me and only as of yesterday had I given an explanation as to the why.

However I think I shall take the splinter innovation cult and run with it. Going to have to go back and conduct a rewrite and better flesh it out.
The way I figure it based on what I have and your suggestions is kind of like what happened in the novel Red Fury by James Swallow, a lone techmarine or group of techmarines start out with the best of intentions, but gradually grow more and more into the ways of chaos. Perhaps it causes a schism among the chapters techmarines, and this degenerates into a schism among the chapter (perhaps I should add the Iron Fathers too to the chapter as a legacy of the IH?). This would also further the byzantine theme of the chapter considerably

Edited by Exark, 30 May 2012 - 02:12 AM.


#21
InquisitorHayn

InquisitorHayn

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 187 posts
Sounds like a good plan. As far as adding Iron Fathers, it's up to you. As Octavulg pointed out earlier, Iron Fathers are a combination of Techmarines and Chaplains, so throwing Librarians into the mix would be quite the combo. It's not outside the realm of possibility if written well though. Psykers have the potential to be spiritual entities as well (a la shamanism or, in your case, maybe a form of the pre-Constantine Hecatian priesthood), and Chaplaincy isn't necessarily dictated by a particular set of skills, so I don't see why it couldn't work.
QUOTE (Ace Debonair @ Oct 9 2011, 10:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think it's really limiting someone's creativity when we point out, for instance, that a chapter of Tau-worshipping marines who are secretly really necrons with jetpacks built into their feet kills any believability more effectively than an exterminatus to the face.



#22
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
Thanks, I have updated the sections on the Great Schism and Aftermath with a complete rewrite and reintroduced the psyker-techmarines (sort of an amalgamation of the Iron Fathers + Librarians for the time being) I shall have to read up on the roman religious system (pre constantine) to get a better idea.

#23
InquisitorHayn

InquisitorHayn

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 187 posts
Just read the whole IA again and it sounds so much better since you dropped all those little comparative statements. It's much more self-definitive now, but I still have a couple of questions/comments.

Over two centuries, this cult took hold in the chapter’s armory. By the end of the 7th century M33, the armory had become divided on the issue of innovation. Gradually, the rest of the chapter had become divided on the issue. For much of the next century...

You use a lot of these types of phrases successively. Readers relate subconsciously to the connotations of specific word choices (ie. "ancient" conveys a slightly different image from "old") and phrases like these make the read subtly longer because we "feel" the length of time you convey. It may not seem like a huge change but, if you just vary your wording and sentence structure, the piece will flow much better without actually cutting the material. Also, be cautious of falling into repetitive patterns. You tend to use the "introductory clause+comma" formula a little excessively. It's the literary equivalent of listening to a story told by Ben Stein.

Furthermore, the Steel Wardens would henceforth be drawn from the psyker recruits to the chapter who displayed above average aptitude with technology.

So what you're telling me is that every potential psyker the Chapter recruits has a flair for technology?

It has also been rumored that the Steel Archons make use of ancient superheavy tanks known as Fellblades. These rumors have not helped in alleviating suspicions against the chapter, however it is thought by their allies that they possess enough resources to field a platoon of these vehicles.

You've mentioned this twice. Is there some significance to this? It doesn't really seem to contribute.

Those who show a more philosophical outlook or considerable purity are taken by the Steel Wardens and the rest become Artificiers.

This doesn't really seem necessary. If you want to have the two factions, one exploring and archiving while the other does more average tech work, that's fine. This just seems a very arbitrary requirement and comes across as an attempt to justify the division, which you don't have to do.

Despite the presence of the Steel Wardens, the chapter still maintains a dedicated Librarius. Since the Wardens spend most of their service in pursuit of technical lore, the Librarius must train the Wardens in the ways of the psyker.

You must have quite the large amount of psykers roaming around to have a fully staffed Librarium and psychic Techmarines. Also, would it not be more prudent for the Wardens to train their own initiates? They are psykers, after all. It just seems rather redundant to send them to the Librarium first.

The work's coming along nicely.
QUOTE (Ace Debonair @ Oct 9 2011, 10:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think it's really limiting someone's creativity when we point out, for instance, that a chapter of Tau-worshipping marines who are secretly really necrons with jetpacks built into their feet kills any believability more effectively than an exterminatus to the face.



#24
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
Thanks again for the C&C

I've gone in and corrected or clarified the IA

To remove repetition I'll need to go in and read through it, however I'll leave that alone for now, except perhaps for areas that are towards their final stages (may as well get the facts straight first so I don't have to do it multiple times) .

The Steel Wardens: I hope I have clarified that in the IA (I moved most of their description to Organization), the idea is that among the psyker recruits there is one every so often that displays the tech skills needed by the Wardens. As such the wardens are few in number. The fact that most psyker recruits would not possess this skill would allow I figure the maintenance of a fully staffed Librarius.

The way I understand the need for the Librarius to train the neophyte wardens is simply due to difference in focus. While the Wardens *are* psykers, the Librarius has the training of psykers as its main focus, so they'd learn initially to control their powers there and maybe a combat ability or two. The Wardens would give the spiritual training that they'd need and technical training (outside that which the mechanicum gives, with relics for example) as this is their primary focus. However It does make a bit of sense, I'll have to consider it.

Edited by Exark, 31 May 2012 - 02:21 AM.


#25
Exark

Exark

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 137 posts
EDITED: Removed additions, going to shelve this for the time being, I'm satisfied with the Steel Archons

Edited by Exark, 03 June 2012 - 09:46 PM.