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IA: The Nephilim - Updated 1 Aug 2014

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#1
LongGone

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Index Astartes: The Nephilim

The Angels walked through the halls of Hell;

Across their path grim shadows fell

Of many a writhing, nameless shape-

Monsters with dripping jaws agape.

The darkness shuddered with scream and yell

When the Angels stalked through the halls of Hell

- The Fallen Ones, ancient Dominite tome


Origins of the The Nephilim

 

 

The 33rd Millennium was a time of spiritual transformation for the Imperium of Man. The Adeptus Ministorum, referred to by most as the Ecclesiarchy, had just been established as the official state church. Wars of Faith were declared almost immediately, not only to wipe out any trace of competing creeds, but to expand the influence of the Ministorum. It was an undertaking that was both spiritual and military in nature. It is no coincidence that multiple chapters of Adeptus Astartes were founded at the beginning of what would become the centuries-long War of the Confessor.


The Heralds of Sanguinius were one such chapter. Founded in the opening years of M33, the High Lords of Terra decreed the Heralds were to be a crusading chapter, tasked with bringing the Emperor's light to the far reaches of the galaxy. To that end, the High Lords and the Mechanicus bestowed upon the fledgling chapter a sizable battlefleet, centered around the Exorcist-class Grand Cruiser, Wings of Wrath.

During their millennia-long crusade, the Heralds established a reputation as effective assault troops. In their crimson armor, the Heralds were the epitome of noble sons of Sanguinius. Imperial commanders were often overjoyed when the Heralds responded to requests for aid, as they were known for being relatively diplomatic when dealing with the un-augmented Imperial forces.


The Purge

 

 

In the closing years of M38, the High Lords of Terra charged the Heralds, along with four other chapters of Adeptus Astartes, to wage war on the heretical Malagant Sector of the Segmentum Tempestus. Collectively called the Manus Irae, the five chapters were commanded to "spare none and set a bloody, fearful example to the realm of Mankind." During the 21-year long campaign, known as the Great Malagantine Purge, the wrath of almost 5,000 Astartes was unleashed. Either by bolter and blade, or the dreaded Exterminatus, entire planetary systems were cleansed and untold billions were slain. Veterans of countless campaigns, the widespread nature of the heresy in the sector necessitated a level a bloodshed the chapter had never experienced. 

 

The chapter emerged from the campaign fundamentally changed. Where they were once open and unguarded with their allies, they were now taciturn and grim. Rumor has it that a record number of Astartes succumbed to the genetic flaw inherited by all the sons of Sanguinius. Paragons of nobility had descended to the level of bloodthirsty savages during two decades of brutal warfare. Despite being awarded a homeworld by the Lords of Terra for their part in the campaign, what should have been a crowning achievement turned into a black stain on the chapter's history.

While not physically defeated, the chapter was spiritually broken. Despite their high intentions, they had fallen far short of being the exemplars they had built themselves up to be. They had denied the monster within their blood for almost five millennia, only to have it violently thrust into their faces.  Heads hung in shame, the Heralds set out for their new world on the edge of the Segmentum Tempestus. 

 

It would be over 300 years before the chapter once again appeared in the records of the Imperium. Only what rose from the volcanic wastelands of their new homeward bore scant resemblance to the Heralds of Sanguinius.

 

They were dark and brutal killers. They were fallen angels, the Nephilim.


Organization

 

Their descent into savage bloodlust during the Great Purge highlighted an error in the Heralds' basic beliefs. They had thought themselves above the flaw buried in their blood, only to fall into darkness of the rage at a staggering rate. The transformation of the Heralds of Light into the Nephilim was more than just a change of name. Where the Heralds held tightly to the tenets of the Codex Astartes, the Nephilim eschew the sacred tome entirely. Their old doctrine and dogma crumbling beneath them, the warriors of the chapter were heavily influenced by the philosophies and lifestyle of the natives of their new homeward.

 

Instead of companies, the Nephilim are organized into seven Clans. Named after mythical creatures in Dominite lore, the Clans are largely autonomous, maintaining their own armouries and responsible for recruiting their own aspirants.  Each led by a Scourge, the Clans range throughout the segmentum, periodically returning to refit and recruit new aspirants.   

 

Hearkening to the days of the Great Crusade and the original Blood Angels Legion, the Nephilim refer to the leaders of their creed as Wardens. The Wardens are responsible for the spiritual well-being of the battle-brothers under their charge. They oversee the branding rituals and mentor their comrades on calming the savagery running through their veins. Their most important task, though, is keeping watch over the battle-brothers of the chapter's Revenants. Only the Wardens have what it takes to control those lost to the Black Rage. 

 

Battle-brothers who exhibit latent psychic ability are trained as Augurs. As their name would suggest, the Nephilim's librarian focuses heavily on divining the future. With this knowledge they are able to counsel the Harbinger on where the chapter's path should lead. The eldest of the Augurs are amongst the longest-lived battle-brothers in the chapter. Their sage advice is often sought by warriors of the line, as they have controlled the urges of the flaw for centuries.

 

Homeworld

The Angelis Tome 350:17
It is clear the High Lords meant it as a slight, this planet on the edge of known space. It matters not, for it is a blessing in disguise. The tribes of barbarians that call the ash wastes home seem tailor-made for service as Astartes. Already we are working to build our throne...


- Ammon, the First Harbinger of the Nephilim 

793.M38

 

The homeworld of the Nephilim is the only planet in a binary star system known as the Dominus System, located on the rimward edge of the Segmentum Tempestus. Dominus Prime, known colloquially in the Administratum as Dominion, is a brutal, inhospitable world that teeters on the edge of being classified as a death world.

Dominion's tectonic plates are in near-constant upheaval, and it's surface is dominated by vast chains of volcanoes. When areas of tectonic stability coincide with a water source, a veritable oasis can spring up in the ash wastelands. It is around these water sources that feral tribes fight for survival and control of the limited resources the planet has to offer. 

 

The creatures that inhabit Dominion are, by necessity, aggressive and savage - they fight for the same resources as the tribes. The planet's apex predators are known as the khoshekim, or Dark Ones. Vaguely humanoid and sinewy, these ebon-skinned abominations prowl the ash wastes, using their teeth and claws to bring down prey.

The harsh living conditions, combined with a higher than average gravity, have turned the tribal people of Dominion into prime candidates for service as battle-brothers in the chapter. From their mountain-top fortress monestary, known simply as the Throne, the Nephilim keep watch over their planet and the surrounding sectors.

 

Beliefs

 

Much like the barbaric tribes they recruit from, the Nephilim value strength of will, physical power, and skill at arms above all else. While the chapter will work alongside other chapters of Adeptus Astartes or the Imperial Army, they are loathe to risk battle-brothers and resources protecting those with neither the means or desire to protect themselves. The Nephilim believe their Emperor-given duty to actively prosecute a war against the enemies of Man, not to sit in defense of the un-augmented masses of humanity.

 

The chapter's cult is deeply rooted in the religious practices of the Dominite natives. The tribes worship the Emperor as an elemental force, his power expressed through the natural forces that ravage the surface of their planet and control the course of their lives. Dominite warriors will ritually brand words and symbols of devotion on their bodies, or use ash to inscribe terror markings on their faces, in hopes to earn the Emperor's favor. So too will brothers of the Nephilim brand their skin and mark their armour and weapons. 


The Rage

The Rage as a Weapon


Pain is a beacon in the darkness of your mind, the heat a clarion call. Focus, and you can wield the rage inside you as you would the blade at your hip. Let it slip, let your control waiver, and your soul will be lost.

-High Warden Malachi

In contrast to other sons of Sanguinius, the Nephilim seek not to cure the curse of their geneseed, but to wield it as a weapon on the battlefield. The original masters of the chapter sought to temper the brute savagery flowing through their veins with an intense focus on self control. 

 

The chapter has come to view pain as a tool to focus the mind, to control the rage. The ceremonial brands have a dual purpose; they act as marks of devotion and the pain of searing their own flesh brings a certain clarity to a battle-brother's mind. In the same vein, the chapter's many gladiatorial pits give battle-brothers a highly ritualized outlet for their emotions while honing their considerable skills in close combat. If the abuse their body receives in the cages helps to focus their mind, so much the better.

 

Where other scions of The Angel are known to master their emotions through artistic endeavors, the Nephilim devote themselves wholly to the idea of enforcing control over their base savagery. The chapter believes in controlling the flaw so strongly, members of the Revenants who survive a battle are not executed outright. Instead, they are sequestered in the deepest levels of the Throne, where, between battles the chapter's spiritual leaders will exhaust every effort to reach the clouded minds of their lost brethren. In the entirety of the chapter's history, only a handful of battle-brothers have found their way back from the bloody abyss that is the Black Rage.

 

Recruitment

 

Dominion is a harsh world, inhabited by dangerous, malicious creatures.  In order to survive, the planet's natives have responded with a savage brutality of their own. Only the strong survive, and physical power is the only thing the tribes respect - as that is the only thing ensuring they live where others perish. The only time the disparate tribes unite in purpose is Dominion's winter season. This time of darkness brings the tribes together in khoshek'karam, a war of survival against the Dark Ones, who venture further from their lairs in search of prey during the cold twilight. This is when the Nephilim descend from their mountain fastness to recruit the next generation of Astartes. 

 

Tribal youths who exhibit uncommon valor and strength are plucked from the battlefield to be trained as Aspirants in the chapter. From the beginning, they are immersed in the bloody, barbaric rituals of the Nephilim. They are taught the price of letting mastery of their emotions slip, even for a moment. If they survive the initial training and testing, they earn the honor of being infused with the blood of Sanguinius and beginning the transformation into one of the Emperor's Angels of Death. 

 

Before they earn the black carapace and their own suit of power armor, the Aspirants must succeed in the Trial of Ash. Unarmed and unarmoured, the Aspirants must survive a trek through the Angelus Line, Dominion's largest volcanic chain. Home to all manner of dangerous creatures, only the strongest emerge to make their way back to the Throne.

 

The first brand on Initiate's new gene-enhanced body, given to them when they are presented their armour in front of the assembled clan, is the winged blood drop of the chapter's insignia on the inside of their right forearm. 

 

Combat Doctrine

 

 

Where some Astartes could be described as fluid and graceful in close combat, battle-brothers of the Nephilim have adopted a quick, effective and unabashedly brutal style of hand to hand combat. They have translated that style into a form of maneuver warfare tailored to their strengths. Heroic pitched battles and glorious, headlong rushes into the teeth of the enemy are not for the Nephilim. Instead, the chapter prefers to execute savage lightning strikes targeted on their enemies' weaknesses, taking them apart piecemeal. 

 

When the time comes to close with the enemy, battle-brothers of the chapter display a cold brutality. Instead of giving in wholly to the hot bloodlust flowing through their veins, the Nephilim are detached, systematic killers. Many a heretic and traitor have met their doom at the hands of the Nephilim, their last sight a warrior in blood-stained alabaster armor methodically tearing through their comrades.


Geneseed


It is believed by some that the geneseed of the Nephilim descends from that of the Flesh Tearers. This would help explain the high number of brothers who succumbed to the Black Rage and Red Thirst during the Malagantine Purge and the severity of the chapter's fall from grace. Regardless of their direct lineage, it is clear they are sons of The Angel, Sanguinius. The only flaw in the geneseed is the curse encoded in their very blood by the death of their Primarch.

 

On a curious note, the chapter's geneseed seems to have an unusual interaction with the blood of the barbarian tribes they recruit from. All of the Dominite battle brothers have a dusky complexion and jet-black hair.

 

Chapter Appearance

Battle Brother of the Nephilim
The Host


Chapter Colours

As the Heralds of Light, the chapter's original colour scheme was a deep crimson. After their arrival on Dominion, and their transformation to the Nephilim, the chapter painted their power armour ghost white with black trim on the shoulder pads. Members of the chapter's Death Company have their armour painted a dark, ashen gray.

Chapter Badge

The chapter badge of the Nephilim is a dark blue blood drop surmounted by black angel wings.

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Edited by LongGone, 01 August 2014 - 05:06 PM.

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#2
LongGone

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Let me know what you think guys. This is my first attempt at an IA, so I don't really know what I'm doing. I particularly need help with the origin and combat doctrine sections. I have ideas about things, but I don't want to make things sound over the top. I've learned that Mary Sue is not welcome around these parts tongue.png


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#3
Taranis

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I like it.:tu: The next step is putting in some named people and perhaps stories of individuals achievements?
Or just a time line with actions they were part of.:)

Edited by Taranis, 17 November 2013 - 08:25 AM.

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#4
NightrawenII

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All looks good. Only one thing. What makes your Chapter different from the other sons of Sanguinius? Most DIY tries to stand out from the crowd, it's what makes them interesting.

It may seem counterintuitive but in ancient warfare, fleeing from battle was usually a good way to get oneself killed.
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Give the peasants neither life nor death.

~ Tokugawa Ieyasu

 

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

~ Blaise Pascal


#5
LongGone

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What kind of differences would you suggest? I feel like straying too far runs the risk of losing some of the believability. My general theme is Blood Angels in white with a extra dash of angel-ness. Or is that not the case? I'm working on drawing up some notable campaigns and a beliefs section. Is there something else I should add? I'm trying to avoid making them a special snowflake, because that tends to bring out the flamers from the forum.
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"Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there."  (Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC, April 1965.)


#6
LongGone

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Oops, my cell phone editing got away from me. That "Or is that not the case?" question was supposed to be before I explained my extra angely goodness theme.
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#7
NightrawenII

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Well, using angelic names doesn't make your Chapter more angel-esque, in the same way like caling your commander Alexander doesn't make him genius warleader. ↲
Angels are very varied and some of them are quite esoteric.

It may seem counterintuitive but in ancient warfare, fleeing from battle was usually a good way to get oneself killed.
~ Jeffrey R. Cox - Cascading Failure: The Roman Disaster at Adrianople AD 378

 

Give the peasants neither life nor death.

~ Tokugawa Ieyasu

 

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

~ Blaise Pascal


#8
Lord-Captain Cepinari

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Like the Thrones, giant flaming cartwheels covered in eyeballs, or the Cherubs, mindless four-headed death machines the Thrones control like holy marionette puppets.

 

Yes, really.  Look it up.


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#9
Messor

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Aye, as Nightrawen and others have said, don't be afraid to up the angel ante, and give them a little to let them stand apart. I mean, if BAin white is the only thing you need, you're set, but you do have an opportunity to explore a new Chapter's personality, and it's relation to the BA. If you need suggestions: Maybe they make greater efforts than most Astartes to appear/display nobility, favoring that angel-esque quality. Maybe they do it out of shame/to additionally cover up the affliction that plagues them. Or perhaps they feel they must be that much more angelic to offset that darkness within them. It could also simply be a matter of heritage. After all, there was only one Primarch(...that we know of) with wings, and that's a pretty cool quality that they might just really really want to emulate.

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#10
LongGone

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I added a "Beliefs" section into my original post and added more to the Chapter Origins. Let me know if this is something like what you guys are looking for. I want to include something along the lines of the chapter not executing battle brothers lost to the Black Rage after a battle. That they believe individuals can overcome the curse and be forgiven for their loss of control. I know in one of the IA guides posted in this forum says curing the Black Rage is something to be avoided, and I don't want it to come across as the chapter eliminating it, but would it be okay to have a Marine or two (maybe even the current chapter master) coming back from the edge?


Edited by LongGone, 23 November 2013 - 03:05 AM.

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#11
LongGone

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Like the Thrones, giant flaming cartwheels covered in eyeballs, or the Cherubs, mindless four-headed death machines the Thrones control like holy marionette puppets.

 

Yes, really.  Look it up.

 

Where do you think I got the name of their fortress monastery from? yes.gif 

 

Wikipedia's 'Angelology' entry became my friend while I was thinking about starting this IA, I just didn't know how to work a lot of what I read into the IA. I mean, Cheribum with their four man-animal heads are cool, but how do you represent that in the chapter? Plus, when most people see the word cherub, they usually think nekkid flying babies and cupid... that's not really what I was going for. 


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"Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there."  (Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC, April 1965.)


#12
Messor

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I know in one of the IA guides posted in this forum says curing the Black Rage is something to be avoided, and I don't want it to come across as the chapter eliminating it, but would it be okay to have a Marine or two (maybe even the current chapter master) coming back from the edge?

I think that's fine. There are BA who have resisted the Black Rage and continued to serve. Whether or not they later succumbed, I don't know, but I'm sure having just one brother manage to suppress the affliction, even for a short time, could be enough to give the Chapter hope that an end to the flaw might be somewhere in sight, and not execute them. After that, any others that succeed, no matter how few or far between, will just fuel that hope.

Edited by Messor, 23 November 2013 - 06:44 PM.

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#13
Quixus

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I think that's fine. There are BA who have resisted the Black Rage and continued to serve. Whether or not they later succumbed, I don't know, but I'm sure having just one brother manage to suppress the affliction, even for a short time, could be enough to give the Chapter hope that an end to the flaw might be somewhere in sight, and not execute them. After that, any others that succeed, no matter how few or far between, will just fuel that hope.

Well there is Mephiston (unless he is an Alpha Legion Daemon Prince in disguise). Also if each and every marine of every chapter with BA geneseed who succumbed to the Black Rage is supposed to be killed that very day or the day after by Astorath, the Redeemer of the Lost has a hell of a workload.

Edited by Messor, 23 November 2013 - 06:45 PM.
corrected my own typo


#14
LongGone

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Will be doing a lot of work on this tonight. In addition to what I talked about above, concerning Marines overcoming the Black Rage, I also want to overhaul the origins section. The biggest thing is I want to make them from an earlier founding. I have been pouring over Octavulg's DIY guide and he mentions the High Lords of Terra using Blood Angel geneseed less and less for founding new chapters once their flaw comes to light. It's kinda hard to argue with that kind of logic. The BA's second founding chapters are pretty much canon, so I was figuring I would make them 3rd or 4th founding. This also gives me a better explanation for including a lot of Mk IV armor pieces on my plastic angels of noble doominess (there's just something about those helmets laugh.png). Another big motivator for changing the founding date is I came across this sweet little piece of fluff about the Great Malagantine Purge from 770-791.M38. I was thinking about making The Host one of the two unnamed chapters that participated in the Purge, and that the High Lords awarded them the world of Dominion as their demense because of this (like the Fire Hawks received Costeau XI for the same actions). I would tie in that The Host view traitors and heretics as the worst kind of perversion of the Emperor's 'perfect' ideals. They may have a history of fighting invading xenos in the Segmentum, but their 'preferred enemy' is the heretic. 

 

I'm going to break for chow, and take care of some things around the house, but let me know what you guys think. 

 

LG


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#15
LongGone

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Completely overhauled the Origins section, but need to catch some z's before work tomorrow and didn't get a chance to add the bit about controlling the Black Rage. I'll get to that tomorrow hopefully. Let me know what you guys think.

 

LG


Edited by LongGone, 26 November 2013 - 07:26 AM.

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#16
LongGone

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Does anybody know how to code the little sidebars? I have a couple lil' tidbits that would be perfect for a sidebar or two, but I can't seem to get them to work right. Any help would be amazing!

 

I edited the beliefs section to include info on battle brothers controlling the Black Rage. Next up, I want to take a stab at the combat doctrine section and maybe include a recruiting section. I'm kinda stuck on the combat doctrine though, how in depth should I go into their predisposition to deploy assault marines? I don't want them to seem as if they abandon all options but assault. 

 

Also, does anyone have an example of an IA they thought handled the recruiting section particularly well? 

 

Thanks in advance for the help. 

 

LG


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#17
The Lord Marshal

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you have a good start, but you'll have to work with the same problem i have with my BA successor, whats different? it is hard with BA i wont lie.  color is really nice though.  i recommend taking a look at some of Messor's IAs they good examples of solid, but varied IAs.  they should also help you think of what makes your chapter different.


Edited by The Lord Marshal, 09 December 2013 - 10:49 PM.

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#18
Messor

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Knowledge is power

Guard it well

 

If you quote this post, you'll see the code for both sidebars. As has been suggested, be sure to save backups of your AI before coding, as sometimes in glitches out and can take large chunks of an IA with it.


Edited by Messor, 10 December 2013 - 10:00 PM.

gallery_26154_15777_721.png

The Liber; it's like a Biscopea for DIYs!

Messor's Content


#19
LongGone

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Finally got the sidebars to work (Thanks Messor). They are more of a WIP than anything, but I had some time so I wanted to lay something down. I'm not totally happy with the second one. I was reading Death of Integrity, and found boatloads of inspiration in it for my IA. Unfortunately, I'm in Coeur d'Alene, ID, for work, and my copy of the book is in my apartment in Seattle. 

 

Still working on the recruiting section. Basically, once a year, the Watchers descend from the fortress monastary to select new aspirants. I'm trying to decide whether or not they will conduct some kind of Blood Duel between all the youths seeking to become Astartes, or if they should be more like the Space Wolves and the Imperial Fists, stalking battlegrounds and selecting those who stand out. I'm not 100% sold on the first method, as it means the locals are fully aware of the chapter, but there is something to be said for an aspirant actually demonstrating that he is the best of the best. Also, the Blood Angels use the Blood Trial, so it would be in line with what their parent chapter does. But I also like the idea of the chapter being something of a myth to the locals. I like the idea of young men seeking to prove themselves on the battlefield, in the hopes of the Angels of Death (or some other, equally awesome name) are watching him and approve of his valor. What say the members of the forum?

 

Let me know what you guys think. 

 

LG


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Calling all warriors of the XIIth Legion to share their knowledge in the

 

 

Tactica: World Eaters

 

DIY IA: The Nephilim

 

"Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there."  (Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC, April 1965.)


#20
Prefect Apollyon

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Just a side note, the CM is called the Archangel, but in angelology Seraphim were the highest ranking angel, and Archangels are very low in the ranks. It's just a small side note.

 

Looks good so far!


Praetorians, DIY Chapter - http://www.bolterand...orians-chapter/ (Finished)

Warp Stalkers, DIY Renegades - http://www.bolterand...negade-chapter/ (C&C Welcome).

Sons of Andraste, DIY Chapter - http://www.bolterand...draste-chapter/ (C&C Welcome).

 


#21
LongGone

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Yeah, I learned that when I went down the rabbit hole that is googling angels. I just thought 'Archangel' was a better standalone title than 'Seraph'. Its easily switched if you guys think Seraph works better as the CM, and Archangels work better as the SG/HG. There are a couple other 'types' of angels, but because I didn't think their names really 'fit', I couldn't use them.
We badge longgone

 

Calling all warriors of the XIIth Legion to share their knowledge in the

 

 

Tactica: World Eaters

 

DIY IA: The Nephilim

 

"Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there."  (Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC, April 1965.)


#22
Quixus

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What, no cherubim in your army? msn-wink.gif

Sorry, nothing helpful comes to mind.

#23
LongGone

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Haha yes, I'm sure Veteran Sergeant Cupid would strike fear in the hearts of his enemies!!!
We badge longgone

 

Calling all warriors of the XIIth Legion to share their knowledge in the

 

 

Tactica: World Eaters

 

DIY IA: The Nephilim

 

"Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there."  (Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC, April 1965.)


#24
Omega Striker

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You could probably play up your chapter's interaction with the Ecclesiarchy a bit more.  Angels and holiness and all.  Maybe you work really well inspiring faith in Imperial citizens or your chapter and the Adepta Soriatas have traded weapons back and forth, and now your Vanguard Vets have eviscerators (sp?).  

 

If you want some darker edges, have a few brothers seduced away by the Word Bearers legion.  Then you can have Hell's Host!  devil.gif   Actually, that sounds kind of cool.  The religious/apostate tones that work between your chapter and the Word Bearers could be some cool tension.  Good religion vs. Bad religion!  Try thinking of something like that.



#25
Quixus

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If you want some darker edges, have a few brothers seduced away by the Word Bearers legion.  Then you can have Hell's Host!  devil.gif   Actually, that sounds kind of cool.  The religious/apostate tones that work between your chapter and the Word Bearers could be some cool tension.  Good religion vs. Bad religion!  Try thinking of something like that.

Or maybe the Alpha Legion exchanged some of the chapter's geneseed with Word Bearer geneseed. For an added twist, not those with the "wrong" geneseed turned traitor.