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The Oath Keepers: AoA(DA) successor that abandons the Hunt

Hunt for the Fallen DIY chapter Dark Angels Chapter Angels of Vengeance Chapter Libators Chapter Angels of Absolution Chapter

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#1
Welcheren

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Perhaps I should have started this as a debate topic instead, but even so, this format might spur fruitful debate. I have been curious for some time about the idea of a DA successor who chooses to refrain from the hunt. What sequence of events might lead a chapter toward this decision? Here is one suggestion.

 

 

 

The Oath Keepers

 

     (Zealots Echelon)

 

 

spacemarine.jpg

 

Oath Keepers Tactical Marine Battle Brother (The Chapter does not indicate company colour).

 

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Oath Keepers Assault Marine

 

Primarch: Lion El'Jonson

Founding Chapter: Angels of Absolution

Founding: Third Founding

Successors: None

War cry: For the Imperium! or In the name of the Emperor! 

Homeworld: Fleet-based chapter until the latter years of M41

Current Grand Master: None - the last was named Timoleon the Stern

Number: Less than 100

Speciality: Boarding actions

Chapter bade: A gauntleted fist grasping a purity seal

 

 

Origins
 

 

 

The Oath Keepers were an Adeptus Astartes chapter, hailing from the Third Founding. 

 

 

The gene-seed of this brotherhood was drawn from the venerated stock of the First Legion. Their blood line stems from the Angels of Absolution - Second Founding sons of the Dark Angels. Like their redoubtable parents, the order does not carry the title of Unforgiven. Instead, they consider themselves absolved for the same reasons as the Angels of Absolution. Likewise, they have nevertheless shouldered the burden of delivering retribution to the Fallen. Even so, the order struck out on a uncharted path that has dragged them to the edge of extinction. Following events circa 500M39 the chapter’s leadership elected to forsake the hunt for the Fallen.

 

 

The Great Scouring saw the birth and first actions of the Oath Keepers. At first the chapter fought alongside their parents against xenos bastions, seized while the Imperium bled from the Heresy. Soon, however, the Angels of Absolution were petitioned by their brothers from the Angels of Vengeance. Support was needed in actions within the Pacificus, against Chaos factions. Since they could not abandon their current obligations, the Oath Keepers were dispatched instead - honoured with an opportunity to uphold the legacy of their founders. At this time, a subtle (and unacknowledged) degree of ill-feeling still existing between the Unforgiven and those who considered themselves absolved. Fortunately, the selfless devotion and skill of the Oath Keepers eventually gained respect from the Angels of Vengeance (if not from other Unforgiven chapters with whom they had not yet made contact).

 

 

Fighting alongside three full companies of the Angels of Vengeance, the Oath Keepers formed a task force that ventured deep into the Segmentum Pacificus - there to battle against Chaos tainted hosts of traitor Guardsmen. Here, the brotherhood won renown for their acuity in void warfare and swift boarding actions, destroying or disabling key components of opposing vessels before withdrawing.

 

 

It was also during these operations that the two brotherhoods captured an orbital Adeptus Mechanicus shipyard. Concealed within a vast asteroid field, this marvel of a past age had floated undisturbed since the Great Crusade. The Mechanicus had abandoned it at the start of the Horus Heresy for reasons unknown. All data banks had been wiped prior to evacuation. Mountains of mysterious  equipment had been destroyed within its vast holds. One valuable asset remained. Within its decaying bowers lay a vast battle barge, of a class approaching that of the Eternal Crusader. The Angels of Vengeance agreed that the Oath Keepers should take it as their new flagship. The first Techmarine to enter it, declared that the vessel's machine spirit had named itself The Act of ConscienceSince then the Keepers have remained a fleet-based chapter (that is, until their recent tragedy).

 

 

As was the case during void combat, planet-side warfare saw the two chapters (the Angels and the Keepers) pooling and deploying their combined resources with a strategic acumen that prevailed over the entrenched resistance of four sectors within half a century. The Keepers continued in this fashion for seven centuries, displaying the trademark resilience of the scions of El’Jonson. Loyally the chapter committed its forces to the hunt for the Fallen. When the time came, the two brotherhoods took leave with mutual admiration. 

 

 

 

Early endeavours

 

 

Being a fleet-based chapter, the Oath Keepers set about securing recruitment rights over a number of suitable worlds, mainly on the borders between the Segmentums Pacificus and Obscurus. The order showed a preference for feral worlds - believing that these would deliver recruits of pure minds and souls, and strengthened by the hardships of a brutal existence. On three such worlds, Techmarines uncovered evidence of ancient human civilisations. The feral inhabitants of each planet possessed no knowledge of these once-great cities, the ruins of which dotted the polar caps, isolated islands or subterranean caverns. Research suggested that the three worlds had once enjoyed contact with each other, and indicated that each of these technologically advanced civilisations pre-dated the Imperium by many millenia. Uncovering three such planets had a dual influence on the Oath Keepers. On one level, it further invigorated a sense of the Imperium's superiority - a line of thought that was zealously preached by the Chaplaincy. Yet the memory of the Scouring and the Heresy remained raw. Thus, the discovery also instilled in the brotherhood a sense that - for all its greatness - the Imperium was clearly vulnerable. It was magnificent but not invincible. That, after all, had been the motive for the creation of the Adeptus Astartes.

 

 

In the light of subsequent events, it is feasibly that this exerted a prominent influence on the Keepers' chapter cult. It further invigorated a desire to locate and shield the Imperium against any threat. Many of the vast tapestries and murals adorning the great halls and training spaces within the Act of Conscience portrayed approximations of what these ancients civilisations might have looked like. Dominating the far right of every scene was the visage of the Emperor. He looked on in dismay, for he carried full knowledge of their shortcomings. And perched on his shoulder was the image of a lion, looking in the same direction, symbolising the Primarch of the Oath Keepers - as yet unborn, and yet always already within the mind of the Emperor.

 

 

The chapter's first opportunity to incarcerate one of the Fallen arose in M33. A long-planned and carefully nurtured uprising had been nursed by small warbands from what was initially believed to be the Alpha Legion. Entire Imperial Guard regiments had been turned, from the subsector Purgatio. Bribes, threats and other methods of subterfuge had delayed the Administratum from noticing a steady reduction in tithes. When the extent of the treachery was finally revealed, it seemed that the entire subsector had fortified itself against retribution. The Oath Keepers responded. A powerful crusade was dispatched, working in close concert with the Invaders chapter - a successor chapter from the proud lineage of the Imperial Fists, of an uncertain founding.

 

 

From the beginning the hidden leaders of the uprising sought to avoid set-piece battles. The Oath Keepers and the Invaders divided their forces in order to first quell the worlds at the top of their priority list. But once their combined planetary bombardments lifted from the sprawling fortresses, and the Adepts made planet-fall, it was clear that all static defences only boasted token resistance. Instead, the enemy had withrdrawn to mountains, jungles, swamps and subterranean mines. The conflict became a prolonged and bloody war of attrition, as the two Adeptus Astartes chapters learned to adapt their tactics. When a set battle was eventually forced upon the world of Purgatia, the Oath Keepers' highest ranking officers were met with a chilling surprise. 

 

 

Reconnaissance showed hundreds of traitor Guardsmen bearing great banners depicting the face of Luther. In truth, and as the Keepers eventually learned, none of the Guardsmen had an inkling of the significance of this image. They had been ordered to paint and display it by the agents of one of the Fallen. Similarly, the majority of the Oath Keepers could not fathom this practice either. Most assumed that it was the face of some self-obsessed traitor general. But representatives of the Inner Cirlce were perturbed. The danger of exposure increased when Scouts from the Invaders made the same observations and reported this to their own commanders. A hasty decision was made. Veterans from the Oath Keepers boasted of their prowess to the Invaders, stating that they no longer needed their assistance. The Invaders were outraged. Many demanded an honour dual, but instead a decision was made to immediately withdraw all support from the campaign. The chapters parted company in disgust. Among the lower ranking brothers of the Oath Keepers many silently criticised the dishounrable conduct of their veterans. Nothing was said openly.

 

 

The Fallen Angel who had been at the heart of the uprising was eventually captured when his last fortress was razed. This would be the first of only three members of the Fallen that the Oath Keepers would ever capture despite their many years of service.

 

 

Relations between the Oath Keepers and the Invaders were never repaired.

 

 

 

History: A growing burden
 

 

 

During the years of M39 the demands of the Hunt, and the recurring sacrifice of other duties to the Imperium began to tell. More than ever before in its illustrious history, this millennium demanded that the Oath Keepers abandon Imperial citizens, Guardsmen, and Imperial Navy fleets to the predations of Orks, Eldar, Dark Eldar and Necrons, in order to pursue whispers of the Fallen. More often than not, these rumours proved insubstantial and worthless. Even when the chapter managed to trap and capture a member of these ancient traitors, they never succeeded in killing or incarcerating more than one at a time. Moreover, the time and resources devoted to the pursuit demanded overlooking immense suffering elsewhere.

 

 

Entire planetary systems fell to other foes while the Keepers hunted shadows. Space Marine chapters, fighting in the name of other Primarchs, stepped into the breach. And thus the marines of the Oath Keepers felt the burn of shame. Slowly they became aware that they had garnered a reputation as faithless allies among nearly all branches of the Imperial war machine. Operating at the outer edges of the Segmentum Pacificus, the chapter was also isolated from fellow orders from the Unforgiven. As such, they were bereft of the solace of fellow bearers of the old burden. Tensions between warriors at different levels mounted. Members of the order who were not initiated into its concealed histories found it increasingly burdensome to contain their outrage at permitting xenos, mutants and heretics to go unpunished - with little explanation to salve their indignation. The ever-growing slight to their collective honour, and the weight of betrayed vows to safeguard the Emperor’s once mighty realm ground on the nerves of these brothers. Anger and indignation festered between the first and second companies and the rest of the chapter. The battle companies, in particular, grew restless - for tasks assigned to them would suddenly be given to the first and second whenever the possibility of Fallen presence grew.  

 

 

The spiritual malaise of the brotherhood became even more taxing when they returned to a world named Hecat. One standard year earlier the Oath Keepers had responded to urgent calls for aid against a Chaos-inspired rebellion. But the chapter had abandoned the world in the fruitless pursuit of a Fallen psyker. When its brothers returned to Hecat, the Red Talons chapter (Second Founding successors of the Iron Hands) had already bludgeoned the rebellion into submission. Although undoubtedly efficient, the severe cost in lives, raw materials and industry among the loyal citizens of Hecat appalled the Keepers, adding to extant tensions.

 

 

Shortly thereafter an opportunity arose to regain the chapter's tarnished honour. A new rebellion had been sparked in a neighbouring sub-sector. Since the Red Talons had already withdrawn, the Oath Keepers were the closest Imperial force of sufficient strength. Again, Chaos instigators were suspected. Since  the rebellion threatened a vital ring of Forge and Hive worlds - the loss of which would cripple the sub-sector's production capacity - a powerful response was mounted, and the chapter was eager for the contest. Hardly had the Oath Keepers deployed when news reached them that another Chaos force was also active on the borders of the same region. Initial signs pointed to warbands from the Alpha Legion. The chapter understood that these foes should not be underestimated, but in addition, some evidence hinted at the presence of the Fallen. Again this would require the Oath Keepers to divert attention from their initial objectives. So, the current Grand Master and his council devised a strategy that would honour both duties. Mobilising the entire veteran first company as well as the second company, he struck at the Alpha Legion strongholds, located on the periphery of the sub-sector, hoping to punch hard before the enemy could consolidate their position. At the same time, the remaining three battle companies (at full strength) were tasked with subduing the main cluster of rebellions worlds (all reserve companies barring the 10th were assigned to defence duties against other threats). The battle companies prosecuted the war with commendable fervour and tenacity, bordering on the fanatical as they vented caged frustration and rejoiced as their sacred purpose.

 

 

Then, from the Librarians assigned to them, the Chaplains received word that the Grand Master had successfully beaten the Alpha Legionnaires. However, his forces had been ambushed by warbands from the Night Lords. Not a single member of the Fallen had been discovered. With their Lord and Master under threat, the Oath Keepers immediately withdrew two battle companies, dispatching them as a relief force. Although five worlds still remained in the Chaos rebels' hands (barring local loyalist resistance movements), the Keepers trusted in the remaining battle company to successfully divide its forces between the opposing armies.

 

 

However, when the relief force arrived on the borders of the sub-sector, the Grand Master and his entire force had been annihilated by a combined Alpha Legion and Night Lords assault. A fierce battle to regain the chapter's relics erupted. Ownership of the terminator plate of the first company, the equipment of the second company, and many other relics hung in the balance. Although the Oath Keepers eventually prevailed, morale was at an all time low; for once the the battle had been won, word reached them than an Inquisitorial force had ordered the judgement of Exterminatus upon three of the remaining rebellious worlds, despite the protest of the battle company assigned to quell them. To the Oath Keepers, this was tantamount to another failure. For they had intended to preserve Imperial lives as a means of absolving past neglect.   

 

 

 

History: A decision is made
 

 

 

The few surviving members of the Inner Circle instructed the remaining Chaplains to contain the deepening morale problem. At the same time, a chapter summit was called, recalling all companies from current duries. During a series of lengthy and closed conclaves, the Keepers of the ancient secret discovered that they were inclined to share the shame and frustration of the younger warriors. One by one members of the Inner Circle began to voice their consternation, drawing strength from the unexpected accord and fellow-feeling of their brothers. They were, the argument went, allowing cracks to grow and spread across the fraying edges of the Imperium, many of which had broken into far-sweeping catastrophes that were only barely contained by the sacrifice and bloodshed of other Adeptus Astartes chapters and Imperial forces. On the one hand, this negligence had forever marred the chapter’s honour. Yet, despite unanimous agreement, abstaining from the hunt would amount to treachery. These conclaves also occurred during a time when a series of warp storms locked the entire chapter fleet in enforced idleness. Their collective unease grew as they contemplated what might transpire during their absence from the wars beyond.  

 

 

When the Oath Keepers once again exploded into combat, the Inner Cirlce had abandoned the hunt, swearing that as a penance for this choice they would wreak havoc upon all other threats to the Emperor’s demesne. Unleashing a pent-up aggression (and, among the Inner Circle, a nagging sense of betrayal) the chapter exhibited a fervour that enemies from across the Segmentums Pacificus and Obscurus soon learned to dread. During operations in the Halo Stars, three battle and two reserve companies happened upon a crusade by the Black Templars. Finding a likeness in temperament and devotion, the two forces co-operated for many years. At the closure of this joint operation, these companies of the Oath Keepers had adopted a faith in the Emperor as a god - a faith that its Chaplains quickly spread to the remainder. Thus, while the Inner Circle continued to pass the secrets of Caliban and betrayal of Luther on to new generations, they also preached the conviction that Emperor had selected them for a different vocation than the Unforgiven. Brothers outside the circle, of course, remained unaware of the course their leaders had set for them.

 

 

The Oath Keepers never made an official report of their decisions to the Rock. The failure to respond to demands to join the hunt, however, eventually resulted in the deployment of the Angels of Vengeance to investigate.

 

 

 

History: Consequences
 

 

 

Sometime around 800M41, the Oath Keepers intercepted warning signs of an approaching tau fleet in the galactic south of the Segmentum Tempestus. The numbers of this armada, and the skillful manipulation of the water caste that always preceded outright invasion, persuaded the Keeper's leadership to mobilise the entire chapter strength, including their mighty flagship, The Act of Conscience.

 

 

Although still heavily outnumbered, the order fought mercilessly and with great tactical flexibility. Overall strategy saw them avoiding tau strongholds and punching hard into exposed lines, encircling and destroying elite cadres when circumstances developed in their favour. The tau eventually retreated with heavily losses, bloodied but armed with experience and new wisdom. Reinforcements had already been dispatched and a new fleet was ready within three standard months. The Oath Keepers were waiting with commensurate zeal. However, while the first conflict had raged, another faction had been active. Chaos cultists had spread demonic corruption on nearby worlds, usurping the rebellions patiently prepared by the water caste. Before the tau and Astartes fleets could engage each other, both found their supply lines assaulted by ravening mutants. The numbers arrayed against them were overwhelming. The fleets did not co-operate and did not co-ordinate a mutual defence, and thus were steadily, implacably overcome. Astrophatic choirs sang for succour, but when warriors from the Angels of Vengeance arrived, the Oath Keepers had been annihilated, and the order's flagship floated in ruin among the stars. 

 

 

After months of fighting, the Angels of Vengeance cleansed what remained of the Oath Keepers' battered ships from the still powerful mutant horde. In the process, they recovered the gene-seed, armour and relics, as well as the hulk of the Oath Keepers' ancient flagship.

 

 

The Libators chapter (Second Founding Ultramarine Successors) also arrived to aid in defeating the mutant plague. When they had finally destroyed the Chaos cult at its heart, the Libators were banned from approaching the wrecked ships of the Oath Keepers. Interpreting this behaviour as a sign of the Angels’ mourning at the loss of so many brothers from the same lineage, the Libators respectfully avoided all material of the Keepers. For a short while, Navigators among the Libators pointed to data which suggested that the Angels of Vengeance had not responded to the Keepers’ call as swiftly as they were able. Such rumours, however, were quickly dismissed. Surely there was some honourable explanation. For the Angels of Vengeance and the Oath Keepers were brothers after all.

 

 

 

History: Final fate

 

 

A small crew of surviving Oath Keepers, less than 100, had escaped the ruin aboard a damaged sword class Frigate. They arrived on their nearest recruitment world (Redemption Secundus), to discover that forces from the Angels of Vengeance were waiting, having tracked them through psychic means. The future of the chapter is unknown. Doubtless, the Angels have received a full report of the chapter's history. Only a single member of the Oath Keepers' Inner Circle had survived to explain the order's choices. Understandably, the Angels of Vengeance were deeply suspicious. On the one hand, they suspected that the Oath Keepers may have been manipulated by the Fallen. On the other hand, even if their story was true, the Oath Keepers constituted a dire risk to the secrecy of the Unforgiven. The Angels of Vengeance were in a superior position, for they still held all the relics, equipment and gene-seed of the Oath Keepers. Their Chaplains interviewed all the surviving brothers separately, hunting for the truth. Since all these Astartes bore no knowledge of events on Caliban, they could not fathom the suspicion and hostility of their gene-brothers. 

 

 

At some point during the deliberations, elements from the Angels of Absolution arrived. Once they had been appraised of all that had happened, the delegation stepped to the fore, to speak on behalf of their successors. The Angels of Absolution announced that they should take ultimate responsibility for the actions of the Oath Keepers, claiming that their original teachings may have inclined the Keepers to abandon the Hunt. Although barely a feasible argument, it was designed to allow a compromise. Claiming ultimate guilt, the Angels of Absolution proposed to the Angels of Vengeance that they would oversee the rebuilding of the chapter. Moreover, they would insist that from that day onward, a Chaplain from the Angels of Absolution would accompany every task force of the Oath Keepers. Each Chaplain would watch for signs of corruption and treachery.

 

Eventually, it was determined that the Rock should announce the final judgment. Whether the Oath Keepers will be allowed to rebuild has yet to be decided.

 

Ultimately, it was decreed that the brothers from the Oath Keepers would be incorporated into the Angels of Absolution (there to be closely watched). Since all but one were uninitiated in the ancient secrets of Caliban, it was determined that these brothers would simply be told that the Oath Keepers' numbers were too low to make rebuilding possible.


Edited by Welcheren, 14 April 2015 - 06:52 AM.

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#2
Wraith776

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I really like that explanation. It sounds entirely plausible for a DA chapter under those circumstances. I've always wondered what the regular line marines think when a course change happens with no explanation as to why, allowing xenos to kill unchecked.


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#3
Welcheren

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Thanks.

 

In Ravenwing Guy Thorpe provides an illustration of how high tensions can run among the non-initiated companies. At least some of the conditions here would, I guess, be partially present for several Unforgiven.

 

I was hoping that the Angels of Absolution might focus more heavily on addressing their other duties to the Imperium, but from what little fluff is available it seems that they are devoted to the hunt. I don't know how the other DAs would co-exist with such a chapter anyway.


Edited by Welcheren, 23 January 2015 - 12:57 PM.


#4
Wraith776

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I think any chapter that abandoned the hunt for the fallen would cease to get support from other unforgiven chapters. The other chapters would probably never accept that chapter again for turning on the stain on their honour. 


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#5
Olis

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Considering this is intended more of a discussion/debate than an actual IA, at least for the time being, I'll refrain from critique of the OP. Although, one thing I'd like to bring up is the attitude the rest of the Unforgiven would display towards the chapter. If I were an Unforgiven, I'd be, at the very least, suspicious of an Unforgiven chapter giving up the hunt. Perhaps they have turned? Could it be that a Fallen may be influencing them? There is no way to know for certain without using psychic interrogations on the chapter (and we know that's not terribly likely). To a hardliner any protests would be just chaff, any reasoning given just a feint to confound an investigation.

 

Just a thought. :)


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#6
Welcheren

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That makes sense from a fundamentalist perspective. Of course the threat of treachery is very real in 40K. So is there any likely eay for this kind of DA chaptet to co exist with the Unforgiven?

#7
Olis

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Well, I suppose the nature of the relationship with the chapter and the rest of the Unforgiven could be similar to that of a family and a disowned relative. They begrudgingly interact when necessary but are glad to be rid of them as soon as possible. Being cold would be an understatement. And, what with this being 40k, the chance of a friendly fire incident could happen all too easily... It just depends on the specific relationship between the marines on each side of the divide at the time. Get yourself a hardliner or a vindictive brother anywhere in the mix and the likelihood would climb quickly, I would imagine.


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#8
Welcheren

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So provided that they avoid each other co-existence within the Imperium is at least possible, although the Unforgiven will keep a close watch for evidence of corruption.

 

Since I am more familiar with Guilliman's sons but curious about the Lion's, let me ask this here:

 

How credible would a DA successor chapter be in which the chapter cult involves telling battle brothers about the betrayal on Caliban as soon as they become full brothers? Space Marines are unlikely to blad something by accident, so the secret should be safe. If brothers know from the beginning at least about the existence of the Fallen they would at least understand why other duties to the Imperium are abandoned and why they need to withdraw from battle in order to allow the Raven- and Deathwing to engage?

 

This would at least ease tensions within the chapter even if it does not remove the problem of DAs being unreliable allies.



#9
Olis

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The Dark Angels keep the worst secrets to their upper echelons for good reason - fewer people who are in on these secrets means that fewer people could potentially give them away. It's not about whether they would give it away, it's about whether they could. Also, by trickle-feeding the truth to battle-brothers as they rise it lessens the chances that someone will go all 'conspiracy-theorist' on them and skip town. So, letting everyone in on these big secrets is a risk. Maybe even one that the Unforgiven cannot abide. 

 

So, why would the officers of a DA successor change the way they do things? What would make them divulge the terrible secrets of their origins to all and sundry? An Unforgiven could be forgiven for jumping to one conclusion - they're compromised. In which case, what would stop an attempt to silence the Chapter? 


Edited by Olisredan, 23 December 2014 - 11:02 AM.

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#10
Welcheren

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That does make sense. 

 

When I was thinking about a Chapter to collect etc. alongside the Novamarines, the DAs did draw my attention. But the internal secrecy and deception bothers me. The potential for fractures and frustration inside a chapter is significant as Gav Thorpe points out. 

 

Another reason why it occurred to me that a DA chapter might share the secret early on is because (and here I might step on some ties), it really isn't that big a deal. Maybe this is because I am not deeply devoted to, or informed on DA fluff, but: so a several Legio I guys turn to Chaos, and many of them are still our there. To me that does not sound quite so bad bearing in mind that large groups of the White Scars also turned to Chaos while Jaghatai was on Prosperos.

 

I am sure the error is on my part here.



#11
Conn Eremon

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If you want your Chapter to be a successor of the Dark Angels, but don't want to keep all the secrecy and obsessive hunting baggage that typically goes with it, then maybe a better solution would be to have your Chapter simply not know.

It's an idea I have already suggested to someone else looking for much the same thing. Have your Chapter simply not know about the Fallen. There are probably a number of ways you can do that, but the one that most stands out to me is to have the Founding be deliberately kept from the Unforgiven, using stored gene-seed. All the reasons why are there. They are as pure as the Ultramarines, but their heritage makes them untrustworthy. So, let's try making a Chapter without it. There is more precedent now, as the Carmine Blades went a long, long time assuming they were of the Ultramarines before finding out they actually had a little bit of Sanguinius in them. Your Chapter can certainly know of their heritage, of you want, but without anyone there to tell them the true, complete history, they would never really know.

I would still have a confrontation. When the Unforgiven find out, they would definitely investigate. Maybe take a small random sample, from captains to men of the line, under the guise of forging a closer bond. Maybe even leave a few of their own behind. Those left behind would try to root out any possible corruption, see how much they know, or don't know. Those taken would be returned, dead. Fallen in battle against the archenemy, hence the seemingly ritualistic blade work that seems to have been done to their bodies. The Unforgiven pull their own back, and come to the conclusion that this Chapter knows absolutely nothing.

So they retract their hands of friendship. This Chapter might as well not be one of their brotherhood, for they know nothing. They are an outsider, to be distanced. But, watched carefully, because if anyone is going to stumble accidentally on their secret, it's an unwitting Dark Angel successor.

Just as an idea, that you can use wholesale, let it trigger inspiration to something else, or discard as you wish.

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#12
Welcheren

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Thanks.

 

This is wonderful advice and certainly helpful for crafting a DA successor to said specifications. 

 

I might do so in future. Right now I am horribly biased toward officially acknowledged chapters rather than completely DIY ones. I prefer imagining fluff and idly writing about chapters like the Libators (for whom almost no official fluff exist) or the Novamarines for whom there is also enough space in which to play. The idea with this IA was simply to float the idea, and I thank everyone for the incisive and instructive responses. 

 

Just read a wiki on the Carmine Blades. It is great precedent to work with: discovering that they are actually of Blood Angels heritage instead. 

 

Is anyone aware of existing DAs of a similar nature or any other form of exemption from the hunt? The reliability of DA gene-seed is quite attractive.

 

 

Again, my gratitude.


Edited by Welcheren, 24 December 2014 - 11:03 AM.


#13
NightrawenII

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If you want your Chapter to be a successor of the Dark Angels, but don't want to keep all the secrecy and obsessive hunting baggage that typically goes with it, then maybe a better solution would be to have your Chapter simply not know.

*blah blah blah*

Just as an idea, that you can use wholesale, let it trigger inspiration to something else, or discard as you wish.

... which is pretty stupid, I would like to add. Because you made them anything but green Ultramarines. By the same token, there is no need to choose the gene-seed of 1st Legion, it's just superfluous.

 

When it comes to Angels, and by the Angels I mean Dark Angels and Blood Angels, the baggage as you put it is here to provide the DIYer with some food for thought and things for exploration, it is not something to get rid off and certainly not something you should correct all righteous-like. Saying that this successor doesn't hunt the fallen or cured the black rage/red thirst is just escapism.

 

Shoving things under carpet doesn't make interesting story. The way in which these things come back and bite you in the ass when you least expect it does.

 

You have much to learn, young padawan.cool.png

 

 

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#14
Conn Eremon

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Different strokes for different folks, Nightrawen. The secrecy of the Dark Angels Chapter is relevant, but not integral, to the identity of their successors, and there is a lot more to them than that to begin with. I'd suggest being careful of thinking that way, as it might lead to two-dimensional creations. There are multiple facets to the First Founders beyond their more obvious themes.

 

With the Dark Angels, their secrecy is tied to their hunt, and you can't really have one without the other, at least not without actively changing the elements that make them up to rationalize it. The hunt for the Fallen make up a huge chunk of the Dark Angel identity, and it is a major element of their DIY successors, including my own. But there is still some debate on whether or not all Dark Angel successors participate in the secrets and the hunt. It is the Unforgiven who do, and the Unforgiven might mean all sons of the Lion, or it might only mean those born of the 1st and 2nd Founding. Those born of the Dark Angels in later Foundings have a chance of not being Unforgiven. We have statements that say they are not, and examples of Chapters that prove that wrong, leaving us to decide which to accept, depending on our own preferences. So the hunt is not an absolute must for Dark Angel successors, and if there is no hunt, there are no secrets to keep. Saying that makes Dark Angel gene-seed superfluous, or accusing it of escapism, is, I believe, counter-productive. It's a cookie-cutter outlook that doesn't really fit with the lore as expanded by the powers that be. Nor is it a sentiment universally applied, else the possibility of a codex-deviant Ultramarines successor would get a similarly derisive response, which is a closer comparison than the Blood Angels one made above. There is a lot more that makes the Dark Angels who they are than the hunt and the secrecy, and I think forcibly dwelling on those two elements brings them dangerously close to the much-derided 'wolfiness' that the Space Wolves are over-themed with. Boiled down to a more basic nature, the Dark Angels are all about being a contradiction in loyalty. They hold onto their secrets because of their over-riding devotion to loyalty at all costs, even when those secrets force them to act against the object of that loyalty in the eyes of others. This is what the secrets and the hunt are derived from, and what most Dark Angel DIY successors can look to for building a Chapter off of, whether or not they express it as one of the Unforgiven. Just to be clear, I'm not advocating a total abandonment of what makes the Unforgiven who they are, as it remains their more defining trait and is often what attracts people to them in the first place, much like how the viking nature of the Space Wolves gives them much of their popularity. I am only saying that it being the most known and most used ingredient doesn't make it a required ingredient.

 

Now that said, you're definitely not wrong when you say what makes a good story. In fact, I have two Dark Angel successors, one of which was made so I can have a renegade Chapter DIY, and it is the idea I proposed above, plus your second sentence there, that together are the direct cause for their renegade status. It does come back to bite them. Which kind of brings me to my point here, that I wasn't arguing for anything to be brushed under the rug, no consequences. I even brought one up, albeit a minor one. But again, I wasn't saying that's the worst that could happen, just bringing up one example on the fly. But there are a number of ways for that struggle to show through that don't require the Fallen or the secrets, or include them in more than just the usual ways. Maybe the Fallen take advantage of their ignorance, as mine will. Maybe the struggle shows through in their relationship with the Unforgiven, or how the Chapter is perceived by the Imperium at large. Or maybe it's something unrelated to the Fallen or the secrets, but is still derived from that basic nature.

 

The same logic can not be used for the Blood Angels, though, as their obvious flaw is not a cultural one, but a genetic one. It can still be boiled down, and should be to create more depth, but it isn't one that can be overcome. The Blood Angels are all about projecting a facade that is being slowly eaten away an internal corruption they are failing to control. That doesn't need to just be the Black Rage and Red Thirst, and probably shouldn't just be, lest what you create end up just being the Blood Angels, but with a new name and colors. It's why I tried to make my own Blood Angel DIY have something else within them, in their case an extreme religious intolerance. But because the flaws derived from that basic nature are genetic, they can't be dismissed. All Blood Angels successors have to deal with them at some point, or else you will reach a point where you have to question it. Why is this one able to do what the others can not, and why can't its success be repeated? What son of Sanguinius would not want to know the secrets behind their miraculous cure? Even the Lamenters, an official Chapter known for the absence of these genetic flaws, was still shaped by that basic nature, and still had to eventually face the genetic flaws anyways. I am not shoving the problem under the carpet by saying my own DIY has no Death Company, for it doesn't only because it was the natural progression of their character. If I had ignored the flaws immediately, then yes, I would have been doing that. Instead, I showed it for what it is: The characteristics of the Chapter prevented them from utilizing any who fell to these curses in the manner that the Blood Angels do.

 

 

Edit: Oh hell, got it in my head that this was in one of those general DIY advice threads one Liberite has been making of late, not somebody's IA thread. I hope this isn't taken as going off-topic, and that Welcheren can find use in the conversation for his own DIY, however he thinks of either side. I mentioned my own DIYs a lot, but I don't do this because I think they're prime examples of the 'right' way to do it, far from it, they just represent how I applied my own approach to the creation of DIY Chapters, and so are easily accessible examples to get across what I try to say. I never really care if my advice is taken, only that it is found useful in the creation of what you want your Chapter to be, even if it contradicts my advice.


Edited by Conn Eremon, 30 December 2014 - 03:28 AM.

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#15
Welcheren

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Lol. No please Eremon do not apologise. This is marvelously educational in many, including unexpected ways, and I am quite sure thay many casual readers of the thread have gained food for thought. I think that adding some details about your own DIY chapers, far from going off topic, provides a way of making the general theoretic points more concrete.
More debate is welcome.

#16
NightrawenII

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Do you know Conn Eremon, what I find funny?

It's the fact that you just managed with your rather lenghty post to show me how you missed the point I made. Especially the part about DA successors not being part of the Unforgiven or how the Blood Angels issue is, unlike the Dark Angels one, genetical and thus unavoidable.rolleyes.gif

 

When I was writing the above post, I was wondering whether I should add the Iron Hands but decided against it because it would be too cumbersome. Moreover, I have also intentionally missed Ultramarines, because their gene-seed is regarded as blank slate where anything goes and thus irrelevant for my argument.

My argument was, and still is, that some gene-lines have features peculiar to them. The Dark Angels have the hunt of the fallen, the Blood Angels have the red thirst/ black rage, the Iron Hands have 'flesh is weak'. I agree that these are not the only and definite traits, but they are the most distinctive and many other attributes are either tied or derived from them, which in turn makes them integral part of characterization. Take these features away and you make the Chapter in question too much generic. Something, I find counter-productive. It's not improvement but regression. Which can be applied to what Welcheren did with his Zealots Echelon, he removed the confict and thus made the Chapter more plain-vanilla.

Basically, it's not the absence of the Hunt of the Fallen I'm calling stupid, but the absence of essential trait. And the very absence of essential trait questions the use of DA gene-seed - The apples which doesn't grow on tree are not apples.

 

 

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#17
Conn Eremon

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*shrug* You say I missed your point, but after reading you restate it, I don't believe I did, and what I wrote above still applies.

I think the main point of disconnect here between us is this sentence: "My argument was, and still is, that some gene-lines have features peculiar to them."

My argument is that it only applies to features genetic in nature. Those that are not, are peculiar to the Chapter and not the gene-line, however much it spreads down the gene-line anyways.

A second bit is your use of the term generic and vanilla. Taking these features away makes them generic to you, but so does focusing on them and requiring them. If the Hunt is a requisite, than a DA successor with the Hunt is generic. A vanilla DA successor.

Another point I'd like to make is that what I had pointed out earlier about the debate of who is among the Unforgiven is definitely relevant, because it makes your stance lore-breaking. The setting says we have two types, those with and those without. Your stance is that there should only be DIYs l with. It prevents someone from creating something that exists already in 40k, which makes no sense to me. It's like telling me that I can't make a Codex-deviating Ultramarines successor. Yes, there are some in the setting, but DIYs only have one way.

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#18
NightrawenII

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*shrug* You say I missed your point, but after reading you restate it, I don't believe I did, and what I wrote above still applies.

I think the main point of disconnect here between us is this sentence: "My argument was, and still is, that some gene-lines have features peculiar to them."

My argument is that it only applies to features genetic in nature. Those that are not, are peculiar to the Chapter and not the gene-line, however much it spreads down the gene-line anyways.

That's the point you are missing.

It really doesn't matter whether the feature is genetical or cultural. Once is gene-line defined by certain trait, then you simply cannot remove this trait without removing the identity.

In other words, the moment you start losing sight of traits peculiar to certain gene-seed then you are starting to lose the gene-seed itself.

DA successor who knows nothing of the hunt of fallen is not DA successor. The simplest.

 

A second bit is your use of the term generic and vanilla. Taking these features away makes them generic to you, but so does focusing on them and requiring them. If the Hunt is a requisite, than a DA successor with the Hunt is generic. A vanilla DA successor.

DA successor without the Hunt is generic Chapter.

DA successor with the Hunt is vanilla DA successor. Codex-adherent Utramarines successor is vannila Utramarines successor. RG successor who is sneaky ninja is vannila RG successor...

I could go on and on. However, see the trend, all these Chapters are clearly identified as member of particular gene-line, which advocates the use of said gene-seed. Of course, this is time to be creative and do something original with what you have.

 

Another point I'd like to make is that what I had pointed out earlier about the debate of who is among the Unforgiven is definitely relevant, because it makes your stance lore-breaking. The setting says we have two types, those with and those without. Your stance is that there should only be DIYs l with. It prevents someone from creating something that exists already in 40k, which makes no sense to me. It's like telling me that I can't make a Codex-deviating Ultramarines successor. Yes, there are some in the setting, but DIYs only have one way.

Because it makes zero sense to use a gene-seed of Dark Angels for Chapter which has no participation in the Hunt. And yes, it's certainly anticlimatic to do a Ultramarines successor whose main selling point is deviation from Codex. It's kind of lame to be honest.

 

Btw, I never said you cannot do that, I called it stupid. I admit these two things overlap to a degree but they are not quite the same thing.msn-wink.gif

 

 

~ NightrawenII


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


#19
Conn Eremon

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That's the point you are missing.


Let's be a bit more clear. I am not missing your point. I got it. I'm arguing against it, because I disagree with it. There is a difference.

It really doesn't matter whether the feature is genetical or cultural. Once is gene-line defined by certain trait, then you simply cannot remove this trait without removing the identity.


It really does matter, because both require different reasoning for why it can be removed while still seeming appropriate to the setting, and because only the genetic features defines the entire gene-line. The cultural features might continue to feature down the gene-line, but do not define it, and in this particular case only extends to a certain point, with possible examples further down.

In other words, the moment you start losing sight of traits peculiar to certain gene-seed then you are starting to lose the gene-seed itself. DA successor who knows nothing of the hunt of fallen is not DA successor. The simplest.


Not only is that nonsensical, but it's willfully false, whether you're looking at from within the setting or without. Nothing in reality is that narrowly confined in identity, and the setting itself breaks from that confinement (and likely has more examples outside of that confinement than within), making it a nonexistent one in all ways but as a personal preference, and a subjective one at that.

DA successor without the Hunt is generic Chapter.
DA successor with the Hunt is vanilla DA successor. Codex-adherent Utramarines successor is vannila Utramarines successor. RG successor who is sneaky ninja is vannila RG successor...
I could go on and on. However, see the trend, all these Chapters are clearly identified as member of particular gene-line, which advocates the use of said gene-seed. Of course, this is time to be creative and do something original with what you have.


I do get what you are saying, but it honestly does come across like you're using both words to have the same meaning, just using them for different contexts.
 

Because it makes zero sense to use a gene-seed of Dark Angels for Chapter which has no participation in the Hunt. And yes, it's certainly anticlimatic to do a Ultramarines successor whose main selling point is deviation from Codex. It's kind of lame to be honest.


Nothing in 40k makes sense. It's all about mixing extremes of character and circumstance with hyperbolic story-telling, with links to reality present only for the sake of showing just how far distant everything has become. But it doesn't have to be for it to be enjoyable, though there will always be some point where someone finds their limit. Everyone has one, but not everyone has it in the same place And one person's shouldn't define another's. When it comes to somebody else's DIY ideas, though, I think that we should confine our C&C to their own limits, whatever they may be and even if we disagree with it. Because the important thing isn't that it needs to meet our approval. It just needs to meet the OP's, in this case Welcheren's, approval. Which is why I don't really care if he sides with you or me on this, or if any of my suggestions and advice is taken, so long as it helps him one way or another to create what he does want. When you're not really sure, finding something you don't want can help you narrow down what you do what.

Likewise, I'm not arguing this case to prove you wrong, or to change your opinion, I just think it'll be useful to Welcheren and anyone else who might stumble across it and be thinking about their own DIY(s).

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#20
NightrawenII

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That's the point you are missing.


Let's be a bit more clear. I am not missing your point. I got it. I'm arguing against it, because I disagree with it. There is a difference.

No, you don't get it that's why you continue to argument.

 

 

It really doesn't matter whether the feature is genetical or cultural. Once is gene-line defined by certain trait, then you simply cannot remove this trait without removing the identity.


It really does matter, because both require different reasoning for why it can be removed while still seeming appropriate to the setting...

No, it doesn't matter. Defining trait remains defining trait regardless of its source and/or nature. And you cannot remove this trait without losing the gene-line in the process.

 

 

In other words, the moment you start losing sight of traits peculiar to certain gene-seed then you are starting to lose the gene-seed itself. DA successor who knows nothing of the hunt of fallen is not DA successor. The simplest.


Not only is that nonsensical, but it's willfully false, whether you're looking at from within the setting or without. Nothing in reality is that narrowly confined in identity, and the setting itself breaks from that confinement (and likely has more examples outside of that confinement than within), making it a nonexistent one in all ways but as a personal preference, and a subjective one at that.

So? Then tell me what makes Chapter a part of certain gene-line?

As far as I can tell, your conclusion is that what matters is simply choice of gene-seed. The end. Even if you remodel the Chapter nature upside down, it will be undeniably part of chosen gene-line. - This is false.

 

The choice of gene-seed just brings traits and features typical of the gene-line. It's these traits which makes gene-line, not the gene-seed itself. Of course, you can remodel these characteristics, but there is limit how far you can go. Because there is thin red line between doing something similar and doing something different.

 

Therefore, DA successor who knows nothing of the hunt of fallen is obviously too far and as such not DA successor. To deny Hunt of the Fallen means to deny 'DA' part in the DA successor.

 

Nothing in 40k makes sense.

I'm not talking about W40k-verse here. I'm talking about DIY process.

When the people try and correct the defining traits like the curse of Blood Angels or Dark Angels counter-intuitive behaviour, it just shows that they aren't overly interested in what makes these Chapters who they are. In such case, people have to ask themselves why choose the character traits they, in fact, don't want and aren't interested in.

 

When it comes to somebody else's DIY ideas, though, I think that we should confine our C&C to their own limits, whatever they may be and even if we disagree with it. Because the important thing isn't that it needs to meet our approval. It just needs to meet the OP's, in this case Welcheren's, approval. Which is why I don't really care if he sides with you or me on this, or if any of my suggestions and advice is taken, so long as it helps him one way or another to create what he does want. When you're not really sure, finding something you don't want can help you narrow down what you do what.

Likewise, I'm not arguing this case to prove you wrong, or to change your opinion, I just think it'll be useful to Welcheren and anyone else who might stumble across it and be thinking about their own DIY(s).

You see, you stated your opinion. So, you either are confident of its validity or admit what other side says has merit. Saying things like you did here makes you look insincere and untrustworthy.

 

 

~ NightrawenII


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


#21
Conn Eremon

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Therefore, DA successor who knows nothing of the hunt of fallen is obviously too far and as such not DA successor. To deny Hunt of the Fallen means to deny 'DA' part in the DA successor.


The fact that this is not the case in the setting itself means it does not have to be the case for a DIY. Anything else is a personal preference that can be accepted by others or not. Period, end of.

Edited by Conn Eremon, 31 December 2014 - 02:59 PM.

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#22
Olis

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Return to the IA at hand, brothers. This disagreement has gone far enough. Take a step back, assess what you can bring to the table for Welcheren's DIY chapter and return to making comments and suggestions on it. Further arguing will simply see the whole exchange deleted as if it hasn't derailed the thread enough already. If either of you wish to make a reasoned discussion out of this, I suggest starting a new thread. 


Edited by Olis, 01 January 2015 - 07:38 PM.

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#23
Conn Eremon

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My apologies if I didn't make my last post more clear that it was the last I had to say on this particular matter, and I promise I wouldn't have continued the conversation beyond my first post here if Welcheren hadn't seemed to have approved of it, but message received nonetheless.

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#24
Welcheren

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Well the content of the abovr posts have been incisive and pedagogic, especially in two ways. First, (and while this is obvious in itself it is clearly mot thay easu) any attempt to configure a plausible DIY chapter must deal adeqautely with the extant tensions, contradictions and burdens that are today accepted as pivotal to the parent chapter. In this case, if the special-little-snowflake element in a DA successor is that it gives up the Hunt, the creator of that DIY chapter must grasp the expansive work that will be required to explain how this came to pass, how the Unfotgiven respond and what the future is likely to hold (I chickened out and had them all die). Similarly, if a chapter is unaware of its parent's burden this idea must be woven thoughfully into yheir future, i.e how will the Unforgiven respond: will they suspect treason, how will they monitor them, spy on them, how will they determine whether this chapter can be trusted etc etc etc... Second, in whichever way one strives to formulate and follow the repercussions of your snowflake element, it fruitful to remember that narrative us driven by conflict, and in 40k this is typically of a hyperbolic nature. No DIY chapter should simply opt to offer a cleaned-up version of the parent chapter, at least not in the sense that it cleans away all tensions. There should be repercussions, some continuity in the discontinuity. This is not the hundred acre wood.

#25
Ioldanach

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I explored a similar concept when I created the Throne Knights Chapter as part of the Brotherhood of Angels 2014 challenge.

This is really a highly personal debate where you must deliberate between a storytelling approach and a realistic approach. This is an issue of nature over nurture. The genetic flaw of the Blood Angels is an issue of nature and is unavoidable with successors (unless one wishes to explore the seemingly impossible concept of a Blood Angels successor that has "beaten" the flaw - though GW has apparently abandoned this with the Lamenters). The hunt for the Fallen, meanwhile, is an issue of nurture and is a conscious choice. It is not, therefore, an absolute requirement for a Dark Angels successor to take part in that hunt.

In both approaches, the essential theme of the Unforgiven chapters is their hunt for the Fallen and how this hunt takes priority over everything else (or more accurately, their quest for redemption and the measures they'll take to succeed in that quest). In the storytelling approach, the outcome is that all descendants of the Ist Legion hunt for the Fallen. Most are fully committed, while others may participate to lesser degrees. In the realistic approach, one or more chapters have broken ranks with their fellow scions of Lion El'Jonson over the millennia and have abandoned the hunt for one reason or another. Any number of real world examples can be provided for branch organizations deviating from the practices of their predecessors (such examples are so widespread that you could look practically anywhere and see them - religious groups, political groups, labor organizations, fraternal organizations, corporate entities, hobby communities, you name it - and there's really no need to discuss any of these here at the B&C since the issue is incontestable).

The storytelling approach is, to me, a bit simplistic (and I generally dislike imposing simplistic solutions on others). It is a very safe approach to take when developing a DIY, but is by no means the only acceptable choice. This isn't to say that this approach is "bad" by any means, but no player should ever be forced to follow this approach if they'd prefer to do otherwise. The realistic approach provides for more sophistication, but brings greater challenges in that careful consideration must be given to the sequence of events leading up to a chapter's abandonment of the hunt as well as the potential outcomes.

For the Throne Knights, my main focus was really on how far the Unforgiven chapters would go to conceal the hunt for the Fallen from others. In this, a successor's abandonment of the hunt was merely the catalyst for the actions of the other Unforgiven chapters. The article itself was written from the perspective of the larger (ignorant) Imperium based on the input provided by the other Unforgiven chapters after the fact. So to the larger Imperium, the Throne Knights were corrupted by Chaos and a group of Unforgiven chapters was responsible for removing this threat to the Imperium (a clever cover story - the only threat the Throne Knights really provided was to the self-imposed secrecy of the Unforgiven chapters). Now the really interesting thing is that I posted the article for the Throne Knights in the Dark Angels forum and received absolutely zero negative feedback (talking about the story of the article, not the writing style, organization, etc.). I also posted the finished article in the Liber Astartes forum and similarly received zero negative feedback (though that may change now msn-wink.gif ). The implication to me was that the Dark Angels community and the Liber Astartes community both found the story that I had written to be acceptable (probably because I killed the Throne Knights off msn-wink.gif ). The lesson there is that you can explore stories about how successors deviate from their progenitors/predecessors (not that you must shoehorn them in with the example of their progenitors/predecessors).

You've taken a slightly different exploration of the theme. I think that the basic concept is sound and that you should explore it further. While the hunt for the Fallen is the defining theme of the Unforgiven chapters, it is by no means the only element that defines their qualities. In many other regards, the Unforgiven chapters are like any other chapter of the Adeptus Astartes and it wouldn't be unreasonable to explore such a chapter with a focus on any number of these other elements (as long as you adequately cover the aforementioned issues regarding their abandonment of the hunt for the Fallen and the consequences, that is).

Press on, I say!
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Anhrathe (Eldar Corsairs): KT faction rules





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Hunt for the Fallen, DIY chapter, Dark Angels Chapter, Angels of Vengeance Chapter, Libators Chapter, Angels of Absolution Chapter

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