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IA: Broken Arrows

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#101
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Yeah, it occurred to me as I was writing it how much it sounded like the Eldar laugh.png
 
I don't know if I can refine it enough to make sense in a compact amount of space.  Or I could go with the idea of the three Lodges and Longhouse like in the last post.  I'll try and write up a proper version of each and see how each one looks.


Perhaps writing a little about one of the Lodges and explore what a Marine affiliated to it might be like might help smile.png

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#102
Firepower

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This is how I like to straighten out my thoughts.  This look at a Talon may make my idea a bit clearer:

 

Spoiler

Edited by Firepower, 25 October 2014 - 06:16 AM.

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#103
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So I think I managed to nail down my ideas into a readable, sensible format.  Thoughts?
 
Spoiler

 

Now if only I could edit the Gargoyle's sidebar into something not so...well, bad tongue.png


Edited by Firepower, 26 October 2014 - 06:08 AM.

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#104
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As requested, I have assessed the IA, brother. It's taken me somewhat longer than I had wished (read: I was asked to comment on this LAST YEAR). Having read through the article a couple of times I believe the only issues I can see that I can comment on (and there aren't many) are the oral traditions, the Lodges and the Whisperkin.

 

Now, oral tradition is a good way to differentiate your chapter. But what happens when the chapter suffers heavy or catastrophic losses? Many tales would be lost forever more. Come to think of it - I suspect the chapter has likely lost many tales and sagas over the millennia as those who know them have died. It's a bit like the Spartans; they only ever had an oral tradition and so all we know of them these days, since the realm and people have passed into history, is recorded details made by their rivals, neighbours and enemies. Perhaps this is how some of the older details of the chapter is preserved - by other people and chapters making their own records.  

 

The Lodges sound like they are meant to be clubs for those who have permanently strayed from the path of being a tactical marine, and while this is fine in itself, there is the undertone of the Lodges from the Horus Heresy books. The thing is, by logic, these Lodges would be relatively small brotherhoods, considering that not all members represent their chosen obsession throughout the chapter. There are regular brothers simply moving on their way through onto becoming a tactical marine. In my head, these fraternal bodies would number, each, at less than fifty. Which means that, if these are old fraternities, then their purpose now might have been different to what they were centuries or millennia ago. Surely, at some point or another, these fraternities have needed to be refounded, rebuilt and revived - but with new men and possibly differing attitudes to the previous incumbents. 

 

And the Whisperkin - something feels off about the Whisperkin, to me. I think, perhaps, they don't need to be there. It treads on special snowflake territory, imho, and feels like it's been influenced by the Horus Heresy Raven Guard Shadowmasters. If the intent wasn't for this to be this way, then I advise writing the Whisperkin differently. Perhaps make them penitents? I don't know. I just think they don't need to exist in their present form, if at all. 

 

Onto good things. I like the altercation with the Throneguard, but I think this bit needs a little more fleshing out as it feels a little bit vague (I know it's supposed to be vague but I want more) - maybe you could include a sidebar from their perspective? 

 

The first sidebar is good - telling the audience about how the Broken Arrows treat their weaponry adds character. I'm not much of a fan of the second sidebar, though. It's got a decent premise but it feels clunky. I think editing it down somehow might help.

 

So there we go, that's my take atm. Apologies to you Firepower, for taking so unforgivably long to provide feedback. tongue.png

 


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#105
Firepower

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Having read through the article a couple of times I believe the only issues I can see that I can comment on (and there aren't many) are the oral traditions, the Lodges and the Whisperkin.

 

Uh oh...
 

Now, oral tradition is a good way to differentiate your chapter. But what happens when the chapter suffers heavy or catastrophic losses? Many tales would be lost forever more. Come to think of it - I suspect the chapter has likely lost many tales and sagas over the millennia as those who know them have died. It's a bit like the Spartans; they only ever had an oral tradition and so all we know of them these days, since the realm and people have passed into history, is recorded details made by their rivals, neighbours and enemies. Perhaps this is how some of the older details of the chapter is preserved - by other people and chapters making their own records.


I don't see anything wrong with losing stories. Well, the Arrows would be upset about it, but that's the way things go when you don't write things down. It could be interesting to have a few excerpts from other organizations' or forces' records in the IA, but I don't imagine the Arrows themselves would pay those reports much mind.
 

The Lodges sound like they are meant to be clubs for those who have permanently strayed from the path of being a tactical marine, and while this is fine in itself, there is the undertone of the Lodges from the Horus Heresy books. The thing is, by logic, these Lodges would be relatively small brotherhoods, considering that not all members represent their chosen obsession throughout the chapter. There are regular brothers simply moving on their way through onto becoming a tactical marine. In my head, these fraternal bodies would number, each, at less than fifty. Which means that, if these are old fraternities, then their purpose now might have been different to what they were centuries or millennia ago. Surely, at some point or another, these fraternities have needed to be refounded, rebuilt and revived - but with new men and possibly differing attitudes to the previous incumbents.


Firstly, the Lodges may very well be small. They are effectively the veteran companies of heavy support and assault, and while that does sound a bit eldar-y, you could also just look at them as the equivalent of Vanguard or Sternguard or Terminator troops: Marines that have specialized in one field at the exclusion of all others. The difference is that the Arrows put such emphasis on the Bolter that these sorts of troops are relatively rare. The Long Bows would likely have a decent stock of brothers, because there isn't a huge gap in practice between shooting a Bolter and shooting a Heavy Bolter. Talons, on the other hand, would likely always be a small fraternity (likely in the 50 or less number you mentioned), seeing as its such a deviation from the main teachings of the Chapter and Lacrum. But as Veterans and particularly useful groups, they'd carry a weight beyond their simple numbers in the politics of the Chapter.

On the second point, they almost definitely aren't what they originally were, or at least they didn't exist when the Chapter was founded. It's a result of the slow creep of Lacrum's culture into the Chapter's identity, no different from the reverence for the Bolter or fire-base tactics. As for whether or not they change, fade, rebuild and re-identify themselves as time passes, it's quite possible. The question is, how specific do I get on these points in the IA? Obviously I don't want to list out every Lodge to ever come and go. It may be suitable to simply mention that these things have a way of changing over time, but for some time now it has had the structure of the Long Bows and Talons.

On another point, after the (very) short story above, I think I'll have to write up a story or two for the fluff section. Not that I haven't tried already mind you, but inspiration flows in sputters, with long periods of garbage in between. tongue.png
 

And the Whisperkin - something feels off about the Whisperkin, to me. I think, perhaps, they don't need to be there. It treads on special snowflake territory, imho, and feels like it's been influenced by the Horus Heresy Raven Guard Shadowmasters. If the intent wasn't for this to be this way, then I advise writing the Whisperkin differently. Perhaps make them penitents? I don't know. I just think they don't need to exist in their present form, if at all.


They're meant to skirt the edges of snowflake territory, just like Lone Wolves, Death Company, Wulfen, Mantis Warrior Matrix guys, etc. They're unique and above the norm, but they aren't gods, and they come with the drawback of genetic infertility. And quite likely a much shorter expected life-span, given their connected urge to forge a legend for themselves.

I've never heard of the Shadowmasters, but it's a cool name laugh.png

However, I've thought about them a lot. One of my favorite ideas is something along the lines of a peculiar synesteshia. Wind patterns, barometric pressure, sound and such turning to things like swirling colors and such. Literally being able to see the air, in a sense. It's just a spitballed idea, and maybe one I'll save for a character in a story or something, rather than making it universal.

But on that point, I do think it may be a good idea to standardize the effects of the Ghost, rather than have it be 'they're all better at one thing or another.' A more formalized set of symptoms definitely, and perhaps Whisperkin simply use those effects to different ends.

Rewrites aside, I'm definitely keeping them in one form or another smile.png
 

Onto good things. I like the altercation with the Throneguard, but I think this bit needs a little more fleshing out as it feels a little bit vague (I know it's supposed to be vague but I want more) - maybe you could include a sidebar from their perspective?


Maybe. I have a hard time with sidebars. It's difficult to make something sound good, yet succinct enough to fit in a reasonable space. It's worth mulling over though.
 

The first sidebar is good - telling the audience about how the Broken Arrows treat their weaponry adds character. I'm not much of a fan of the second sidebar, though. It's got a decent premise but it feels clunky. I think editing it down somehow might help.


I've rewritten that damn sidebar a hundred times, and I'm still never happy with it sad.png I love the character, but like I said, sidebars are hard.
 

So there we go, that's my take atm. Apologies to you Firepower, for taking so unforgivably long to provide feedback. tongue.png


Yes, yes. Paddlins and such. tongue.png

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#106
Olis

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Paddlin'? Pah. I'll stick with the pain glove, thanks. I kinda enjoy it these days. :lol:

 

The Whisperkin are staying. I'm cool with that. When you said about standardising the effects, that might be a good way to go. For it to feel logical, I think the 'infertility' of the gene-seed needs to be related to whatever effects are experienced by the astartes. Abnormal functions from particular organs, maybe? 

 

And I know what you mean about inspiration when it comes to writing. There can be periods of creative draught, sometimes quite long ones, and then for some reason or another a little switch gets flicked at the base of your skull and off you go again. It's a bit weird sometimes. ^_^


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#107
Firepower

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Hm, I felt the infertility was fairly well covered simply by saying that the gene-seed itself bonds too closely with the individual Marine, so much so that the genetic anomaly of the Ghost becomes deeply ingrained in the progenoids, making them unsuitable for implantation in a fresh host.  The Whisperkin's unique physiology becomes a permanent part of the progenoids, mutating it beyond the standard baseline of acceptability...or something.  You know what I mean :P

 

But I cannot think of any of the extra organs that would react or play a part in this.  In essence, the people of Lacrum themselves are the mutants, or at least distant enough from the baseline of genetic purity to occasionally affect the gene-seed with the Ghost.  Of course, being outside the baseline of genetic purity could also have nasty side effects, like a lowered rate of successful implantations...hmmm.

 

What do you think of the 'see the air' quasi-synesteshia affect?  Of course, seeing as much of this has to do with the unusual physiology of Lacrumites from the neck up, these poor sods may also be forced to fight without helmets in order to utilize their gift.  A technical issue really, but one that could produce something clever, like a style of headdress or markings unique to their ranks.


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#108
Olis

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 Of course, being outside the baseline of genetic purity could also have nasty side effects, like a lowered rate of successful implantations...hmmm.

 

This thought is what I like to call 'Bingo'. :P

 

What do you think of the 'see the air' quasi-synesteshia affect?  Of course, seeing as much of this has to do with the unusual physiology of Lacrumites from the neck up, these poor sods may also be forced to fight without helmets in order to utilize their gift.  A technical issue really, but one that could produce something clever, like a style of headdress or markings unique to their ranks.

 

I take it you mean synaesthesia? Perhaps a malfunction in either/both the Occulobe and/or the Lyman's Ear?

 

I don't think removing the helmets would make much of a difference. But I have never experienced synaesthesia, so I haven't got much to base that assumption on. However, I'm feeling pretty 'meh' on the headress bit (the markings might be interesting though, like a triangle under each eye or something - almost White Scar-ish).


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#109
Lysimachus

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Just a side thought but I really like the synaesthesia idea, could even fit in with the swirly patterns they paint on their armour?

And I would probably go with the Occulobe as it's actually implanted at the base of the brain rather than in the eye itself, which makes more sense as (I believe?) synaesthesia is a mental/neuro thing rather than optic?

Edited by LySiMachus, 13 February 2015 - 08:03 AM.


#110
Draakur

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And I would probably go with the Occulobe as it's actually implanted at the base of the brain rather than in the eye itself, which makes more sense as (I believe?) synaesthesia is a mental/neuro thing rather than optic?


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#111
Firepower

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Well, the particular evolution of the Whisper among Lacrum's tribes is attributed largely to inner ear functions, relating to balance and hearing.  So logically Lyman's Ear would be the most likely to affect and/or be affected by the Ghost.  I'm also kicking around the idea of a time in the Chapter's history when they attempted to deliberately bring out the Ghost in new recruits during a time of need, and the potential results of that experimentation.

 

Synaestesia is an interesting concept.  If I understand correctly, it's become more of a medical umbrella term which covers a wide variety of possible symptoms, much like schizophrenia.  But for the sake of this concept, it mostly relates to the notion of sounds having 'color,'  though a bit more complicated by the interaction with the Whisper's unique anatomy.  'Seeing' the air would make for superb marksmen, which is right in line with the foundation of the Chapter, though I imagine now and then a rare melee expert could make use of the gift.  

 

I wonder if I should have the Ghost manifest during the implantation stages, or after maturity at some random, unpredictable time...

 

As for the helmet issue, I mainly mentioned this because direct exposure to airflow seems as though it would be necessary.  It would also have the drawback of limiting the environments where the Whisperkin could use their gift (or perhaps operate at all), and also make them more vulnerable on the battlefield.  If you are gonna make special snowflakes, they need to have drawbacks.  :)

 

In terms of special markings, I imagine something that would be noticeable at a distance, like some sort of headdress, or coloring, or other ornamentation.  Tattoos wouldn't be enough to fill that role, although they would doubtless have some unique symbols.  A headdress does seem to push the stereotypes a bit far, but if I ever wrote about one specifically, I would work to make it more tasteful than a simple copy and paste of a Sioux chief.  dry.png

 

I still toss and turn at night as I ponder how to rewrite the Gargoyle's sidebar :teehee:


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#112
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Still working on rewriting the big chunks, but I think I finally, finally got the Gargoyle's sidebar written out into something not so dreadfully unwieldy.  And also, another sidebar: the Vile Birth.  Ohh, spooky name, right? laugh.png

 

The Gargoyle:

Most Whisperkin strive for an epic of glory and the admiration of their brothers, to fill the void of a legacy denied by their gene-seed’s infertility.  Taeo was an altogether different case.  Although the Ghost helped to make him a sniper of supreme talent, Taeo saw himself as a monster, a genetic aberration spared from revulsion only by virtue of his talents.  He became grim and withdrawn, deploying and fighting alone.  Taeo earned his title in the war against the WAAAGH! on Haratis Hive, when he stalked rooftops and towers for two weeks without once setting foot on the ground.  His brothers honored him with the title of Gargoyle: a guardian of above, a fearsome avatar to keep evil at bay.  Taeo embraced it with private amusement, seeing his own truth in the title.  A gargoyle is a monster made to fight monsters, and he wore that role in masochistic indulgence until his final war.

 

The Vile Birth:

Stories tell of a time when the Arrows faced a threat serious enough to warrant experiments with the gene-seed, which tried to bolster the ranks with Whisperkin by deliberately bringing about the Ghost in a whole generation of Newhearts.  This period, known as the Vile Birth, is one of the Chapter’s most closely guarded secrets.  Violating the taboo of tampering with the gene-seed and the gifts of Mother Lacrum is abhorrent enough to disgust the Arrows of today, but only the highest headmen of the Longhouse know what wretched fate befell the poor children whom received the bastardized progenoids.

 

 

The VB is deliberately vague, but perhaps too vague?


Edited by Firepower, 17 February 2015 - 09:11 PM.

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#113
Conn Eremon

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It's suitably vague, given how 40k publications approach such matters. You say what was happening at that time, you say what was done in response, and you say what they think of such actions in the future.

I really like the Broken Arrows, but I do have one criticism: overuse of jargon. The Broken Arrows have a lot of Chapter-specific terminology, which is all well and good, rather expected. But it's not very inviting to new readers if the jargon is used exclusively. For instance, "but only the highest headmen of the Longhouse know" can be written as "but only veteran commanders and officers, the highest headmen of the Longhouse, know." You aren't providing ranks, because maybe those headsmen are not just Captains, but you are at least defining what the headsmen might be. Even if it was explained already, it's good to use non-jargon descriptions alongside or in placement of the jargon to prevent it from seeming too opaque, if that is even the right word. Thick? Complex?

There are other ways to approach this. Use Newhearts, but in another sentence about them just use aspirants or recruits, for people to connect, even if it seems obvious.

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#114
Firepower

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It's suitably vague, given how 40k publications approach such matters. You say what was happening at that time, you say what was done in response, and you say what they think of such actions in the future.

I really like the Broken Arrows, but I do have one criticism: overuse of jargon. The Broken Arrows have a lot of Chapter-specific terminology, which is all well and good, rather expected. But it's not very inviting to new readers if the jargon is used exclusively. For instance, "but only the highest headmen of the Longhouse know" can be written as "but only veteran commanders and officers, the highest headmen of the Longhouse, know." You aren't providing ranks, because maybe those headsmen are not just Captains, but you are at least defining what the headsmen might be. Even if it was explained already, it's good to use non-jargon descriptions alongside or in placement of the jargon to prevent it from seeming too opaque, if that is even the right word. Thick? Complex?

There are other ways to approach this. Use Newhearts, but in another sentence about them just use aspirants or recruits, for people to connect, even if it seems obvious.

 

Very true, and I do struggle with it at times.  When I see the words Whisper, Whisperkin, and Ghost appear 7 times in a paragraph, I grit my teeth in annoyance.  I have a very firmly rooted belief/compulsion/indoctrination in not repeating words in a paragraph if at all possible, but proper nouns get necessary in all the mess.

 

Anyway, the bold bit.  I have tons of gratuitous punctuation, which is another fault of mine.  I would wager I have twice as many commas as I do periods.  Again, I blame my background in academia laugh.png

 

But in that specific case, it's a sidebar, which I try to keep as short as I can.  I think you may be right there though, and the Vile Birth is a short enough entry that I can get away with it.  At any rate, I'm glad it doesn't come off as 'something vague happened, then something vague happened, and something else which is even more vague happened'

 

As per your suggestion, I can easily replace "Newhearts" with "recruits," and then replace "children" with "Newhearts."  As much as I enjoy the unique vocabulary I've developed for the Chapter, I do struggle with using it sparingly, or at least in a way that won't require an encyclopedia for the reader :P


Edited by Firepower, 18 February 2015 - 01:45 AM.

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