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IL I - The Harbingers (thread 2)


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#51
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Page 16

 

That being said, There might have been a few ruffled feathers among the Terrans when Icarion took over. His Gene seed is predisposed to unlock psychic potential. Among Legionaries from Madrigal or the wider 'Empire', this is fine because of a cultural desire to subdue, calm and control nascent psychic powers. Among the Terrans, there is no such restraint in the use of psychic gifts. Eventually this led to a duel of Psychic Ideologies. The Terrans and some non-Madrigal Legionaries siding with Magnus in the Librarius Debates, while the rest followed the teachings of the Astral college.

 

Eventually those Legionaries with a desire to explore their psychic gifts were allowed to establish their own 'Celestial Order' along side Volta of the Blue shield, and Oni of the Red Path. Thats's actually something  I want to touch on down the road. While those two Orders of the Astral college are the most prominent, there are many others. 

 

  • Kitsune of the Golden Blossom
  • Aki of the White Hill
  • Tengue of the Jade Diamond
  • Sha of the Black star

So basically, the Terran Psykers formed their own Librarius within the orders of the Astral college, and while they are considered reckless by the wider legion. Icarion at the urgings of his brother Sanguinius, has allowed them to follow Magnus' more esoteric teachings.

 

Page 17

 

On Lightning

 

"It is said of lightning that it never strikes twice. But I ask you, why should lightning strike again when once is sufficient?"

-Madrigese Proverb

 

Page 18

 

Excerpt from: Meditation on the Great Ocean
“Required text for Initiates to the Thunder Legion”

 

Why shouldn’t we as beings with terrible gifts utilize all facets of that power, master them in order to defend our Families and countrymen?

 

It is true that some amongst the Colleges still choose to master the arts of Pyromancy, Telekenisis, Biomancy and Telepathy.

 

Some amongst your number may even think that through mastery, a psychic power can be used safely.

 

They are fools.

 

There is no safe Discipline of psychic power, but there is a responsible choice.  And that is why for 500 years the Astral College has promoted the focused study of Precognition.

 

Every other discipline draws power from the immaterium to affect the material universe, whether it be to lift a boulder, pluck a thought from an enemies mind, heal wounds or to torch an adversary alive. Each of these disciplines turns a pysker into a conduit through which energy flows from the warp to real space. But there is more than simply energy that seeks to come to this plain of reality; hungry things lurk on the other side of the door an unwary psyker creates.

 

And a door once opened is hard to close.

 

The mastery of Precognition is still perilous but the method through which the gifted might utilize this power is distinct on a fundamental level. In order to skim the great Ocean for lines of fate with which a seeker may observe the ebb and flow of time and movement, a Student of Precognition must thrust their consciousness momentarily into the aether.

There they may find the knowledge they seek and with it affect the outcome of events unfolding around them.  Or they may be devoured by the selfsame predators that plague the other disciplines. 

The Distinction is this. Where one draws power through themselves from the warp, the other see’s much but takes naught but knowledge back with him.  If the resolve of either fails, one unleashes horrors upon the world around him, the other drops dead a soulless husk. 

 

And there lies the distinction, if you must risk you soul, bear the responsibilities and consequences onto yourself, not the world around you.

 

Learn this lesson well.

 

Page 19

 

From this Close up  map of the Pre heresy Imperium, assuming that Madrigal lies on the edge of the Maelstrom, Then Madrigal Prospero and Chemos are the closest Legion Worlds to Ryza Forgeworld. It seems likely (to me at least)  way to explain the presence of this variant Mk IV armor in the II III and XV Legion.

 

Page 26

 

“Both the victor 

and the vanquished are 
but drops of dew, 
but bolts of lightning - 
thus should we view the world.”


-Attributed to Ouchi Yoshi-taka, Venerable Sejin of the II Legion.

 

-

 

Upon study of the II Legion Astartes,  known as The Lightning Bearers, few idiosyncrasies spark more intrigue than their association with the sakura, known amongst ancient Terrans as the Cherry Blossom.

 

Many Warriors, though far from most, who march beneath the Storm Star bear some variation of a sculpted Sakura upon their armor. It is deemed a personal and meaningful symbol to those marked to wear it, such that they painstakingly repaint the sigil to mend it following the receipt of battle damage at their earliest convenience. In fact, though I am loath to use a word such as ritual in this more enlightened era, the repainting of the Sakura would seem to be one of the LightningBearers most silently respected post-battle rituals.

 

While many observers would claim that the amongst the II Legion, the Sakura is a battle honor or campaign badge, the truth is somewhat more complex. 

 

When pressed upon it's significance, most Legionaries claim it as an honor gifted for great sacrifice made for the Imperial cause, but there are other theories which abound.  There are some few amongst the Legion who would name it a burden which shame demands they carry.

 

The truth as in all things, lay somewhere in between.


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#52
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Page 27

 

Praxis

 

The Praxis are the remnants of the traditional Librarius Division within the II Legion. Before being reunited with Icarion, many Terran Legionaries whose psychic gifts were awakened upon receiving his geneseed chose to hone their powers and wield their arts in the pursuance of the Emperors Great Crusade. Whether Telekines, Biomancers, Pyroclasts or Telepaths, all aspects of the psychic art were pursued by the Gifted of the II Legion. Many of these warriors found secret kinship with the XV Legionnaires who would come to be knows as the Thousand Sons and as fellow psykers gifted with taboo powers. Upon being reunited with their primarch and introduced to the culture of Madrigal, many Terran Librarians choose to focus their psychic gifts toward the preferred arts of Divination; as the reckless use of other psychic powers was looked down upon by the mystic sages of Madrigal. Many chose to enroll in and study the arts of their primarch by seeking out and joining those Celestial Orders whose path suited them best.

 

Many, but far from most Terrans chose another path. Suddenly confronted with a culture and a father that viewed their gifts as dangerous and unwise, they clung to the brotherhood they had forged in pursuit of psychic disciplines and became a core of resistance to the changes being enacted upon their legion.

 

When Magnus pushed for the official formation of Legion Librarius Divisions, the Praxis (as they had come to known) argued in it’s favor, eventually swaying Icarion to side with his brothers Sanguinius, and The Khan for a moderate approach to Magnus the Reds Librarius.

 

For all of the ingrained distrust of the core psychic disciplines on Madrigal, Icarion aloof and wise saw the use of allowing his sons the freedom to explore their gifts. To this end, upon the creation of the Legion Librarius, Icarion allowed the formal recognition of the Praxis as a Celestial Order, and they were subsequently given grounds within the Astral College.

 

While membership within the Praxis was largely made up of Terrans, in more recent years there had been a growing number of aspirants from Madrigal who sought to push the boundaries of their psychic gifts and pursue the arts of Pyromancy, Biomancy, Telepathy and Telekinesis .

 

Page 28

 

Black Dragons

 

For those who commit themselves to the Volta, sacrifice comes naturally. Nowhere is this more apparent than their willingness to forfeit their eyes in pursuit of strengthening their mind-sight. Service to the legion is fraught with sacrifice and this can be seen clearly when one looks upon the Black Dragons.

 

Dreadnoughts inhabit a peculiar place within the wider Lightning Bearers Legion. It is not, for instance; standard practice to place critically injured astartes into a dreadnaught chassis so that they might continue their service to the Legion. In fact, to be 'brought back' from the edge of death is seen as unnatural and a stain upon ones honour. Traditionally, only warriors who request vengeance with their dying breath are granted the chance to serve on within a Dreadnought's cold sarcophagus. To choose vengeance over honourable death is seen as both a source great shame to the warrior and as an incredible sacrifice to his brothers.

 

To be a dreadnaught in the Lightning Bearers is to be a vengeful spirt, a wraith whose sole purpose is to stalk the battlefields of Great Crusade in search of vengeance. The ultimate goal of these cursed warriors is to earn death, that final external sleep when both honour and vengeance have at last been satisfied.

 

There remains however, another manner of service and sacrifice within the II Legion; these are the Black Dragons.

 

The fact that dreadnought service remains taboo amongst the Lightning Bearers means that the critical fire support offered by these adamantium behemoths is quite frequently lacking from the Legion's order of battle. To fill this gap, there exists the Black Dragons, warriors (most commonly devoted to the Volta Order) who choose to willingly submit to the surgeries required to encase their previously healthy forms into dreadnought engines.

 

To willingly embrace this iron future, these warriors must be both strong of will and of faith in their Legions purpose. This manner of sacrifice comes naturally to the Volta, and it is seen as a mark of great character and modesty to their brothers that they would be willing sacrifice their future glories in order to serve the Legion.

 

Page 32

 

I could smite you with a thought. I could hold out my hand just so; and turn you ash.

 

But I won't.

 

I'd rather tear a hole in the fabric of reality, thrust myself through a land that never was; just so that I might look you in the eye as I bring your world crashing down around you.

 

I am a spectre.

 

I am Become death.

 

And I am coming for you."

 

-Mantra of The Oni

 

Page 34

 

The young Legion

 

(Excerpt from “Tales to Astound: The Story of the 20 Legions” A pulp publification in the Hives of Scclax VII)

 

Apocryphal records and treatise dating from late unification and the early great crusade recount several of the cognomen utilized or placed upon the II Legion Astartes. “The Liberators,” “Thunder Legion” and “The Storm Host”, all appear regularly alongside their official designation of “Lightning Bearers” in such accounts. Less understood however, is the usage of  “The Young Legion.”

 

Some records, claim it as a title derogatively heaped upon the II Legion by the elder I Legion Astartes. In these accounts, I Legion officers are claimed to have utilized the descriptor as means to deride II Legion efforts as novice, and as examples of the Legions lack of worth being of secondary lineage.

 

Other Texts claim the title “Young Legion”  for the II Legion as referencing their continual, and apparently remark worthy, youthful appearance. While many biases are inherent in such accounts, it becomes clear that many of their brother Legions viewed the youthful appearance of Astartes bearing II Legion Geneseed as a curiosity. In one account by the poet Skylathis Moore during the Razing of the Xxetul Xenos Hold, that the VI Legion Primogenitor Leman Russ Remarked, “(The II Legion) are an army of Whelps, perpetually wet behind the ears. But bastards with a sword.”

These accounts paint an unclear but intriguing picture. A more disturbing rumor has on several occasions been brought to light.

 

These sources claim that the youthful appearance of the II Legion is owed not to some random quirk of their geneseed but to the actual Sidereal age of their Legionaries. Rumors circulate that Legionaries of a certain age, veterancy or experience are in fact removed from active service and replaced by younger, newly raised aspirants.

 

A deathbed account by a dying II Legionary to a V Legion Apothecary is the only know corroborative evidence to this rumor.

 

-


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#53
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That's all of it, every scrap of lore that hasn't already been incorporated into the General History bit and his few forays into stories. And, well, no real emphasis on any naval tradition/culture that I can see. 

 

On the plus side, there's more than enough material to start a foundation for the Legion Organization bit, so I'll get started on that soon enough.


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#54
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I don't know how far the Young Legion thing would apply in our Crusade; the Legion becomes larger and takes on more duties besides the Ghost Crusade

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#55
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I don't know how far the Young Legion thing would apply in our Crusade; the Legion becomes larger and takes on more duties besides the Ghost Crusade

 

Yes, though I'm curious about the whole 'old legionnaires are replaced' idea was supposed to go about. 


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#56
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It varies, depending on how far past the threshold they get, as far as I'm aware

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#57
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Unit Organisation and Structure within the Legion

 

As the first legion to successfully enact the 'Alpha' induction, the Lightning Bearers would become the test bed for many of the early tactics and wargear developed for the Legiones Astartes. After a lengthy trial period, the ways of war as demonstrated by these transhumans warriors were mastered, standardised, and recorded. Much of this information was codified within the pages of the Principia Belicosa, additions made by the Emperor's own hand, then used as the standard model for rest of the legions. As the original pioneers, the Lightning Bearers dedicated themselves to strictly reflect the tenets of the Principia Belicosa and often assigned veteran officers to their brother legions to impart their wisdom and experience as each legion steadily passed through the phases from initial recruitment to legion deployment.


Edited by simison, 01 December 2016 - 02:03 AM.

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#58
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Given the historic role of the Lightning Bearers in establishing many of the same standards used throughout the early legions, Icarion's discovery would lead only to a few structural changes. As the new commander of the First Legion, Icarion chose to leave a light touch upon the legion's structure to honour the work they had done before him. Among the few changes Icarion enacted, the terms 'Chapter' and 'Company' were replaced by 'Company' and 'Maniple', respectively. As such, companies formed the largest unit within the Lightning Bearers, comprised of three to five battalions that were in turn composed of five maniples.


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By far, the largest impact felt by the Ist Legion would be the adoption of the Astral College of Madrigal and the Celestial Orders. Henceforth after Icarion's ascension, the battle-psykers of the legion would be enrolled into the Astral College often as the last phase of their training. Given the large percentage of psykers within the Lightning Bearers' ranks, this would affect most of the legion. This proclamation would become the source of the sole point of contention within the legion. Prior to Icarion's discovery, the battle-psykers of the Legiones Astartes operated on a new frontier as several legions underwent an ethereal awakening of sorts, primarily the I, V, and XI Legions. Of the three, the battle-psykers of the XIth, lead by the talented Ahriman and Ohrmuzd, encouraged passionate exploration of each of the traditional psyker disciplines to maximise their abilities. 


Edited by simison, 22 November 2016 - 01:01 AM.

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#60
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Although the flesh-change would strike down the XIth, the precedent Ahriman established would linger on. Although one of the greatest psykers in the Imperium's service, Icarion approached his powers, and the Warp by extension, with a mindfulness caution that clashed with the prevailing viewpoint. Icarion and many of the magisters of the Astral College believed that the more garish Warp powers should be eschewed due to the inherent danger in wielding Warpcraft for one's own purposes. Instead, divination was considered the supreme discipline since only the psyker himself was exposed to the Warp for much gain. Although many Lightning Bearers would follow in their gene-sire's footsteps, a remnant refused to do so.  For a time, this rebellious element within the legion were at odds with Icarion who refused to support them and often argued against their cause, seeing their unbound testing as reckless. It was only after his brother, Alexandros, interceded on their behalf that Icarion chose a more permissive attitude. These Lightning Bearers were organized into a new Celestial Order deemed the Praxis.


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#61
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As one can infer from the Praxis, the Celestial Orders functioned as identifiable schools of psychic disciplines within the legion. To become a member of a Celestial Order required dedication to the espoused teachings and the self-control to master the powers practiced by that particular Celestial Order. Often initiates would make their desires known to a member, who would then present them to the local master. After introductions were made, the ranking member, or sensei, would typically measure the candidate in whichever way they saw fit. If satisfied, the initiate was paired to a seasoned member, who would instruct them into the ways of the Celestial Order. How long the initiate remained an apprentice depended solely on the initiate as gifted candidates have been known to achieve status in months, while others took years to satisfy their masters. Once their master believed they were ready, they would be once again presented to the sensei who would test the apprentice. If the apprentice passed, they were inducted as a full member of the Celestial Order.


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#62
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Here's a question: how loved should Icarion be? He's obviously first of the Primarchs and all that for many years, but does that necessarily mean he has that Horus thing where almost all his brothers adore him?

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#63
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It's an interesting question because of the nature of Icarion's aura. Unlike Alex's aura, Icarion's aura affects what people hear his words. Everyone knows that in verbal communication, the words said mean far less than tone and inflection. For Icarion, whenever he speaks, everyone hears the tone they want to hear. Because of that, many people inherently trust Icarion because he always sounds like he's taking their side in any conversation. So, I'd imagine he is quite popular among his brothers. Not sure how much though. 

 

On a minor note, this passive ability, ironically, leads to plenty of social isolation since few people can truly understand Icarion in his own voice. Alex is one of the exceptions as his closest friend combined with his own powerful gifts of perception. 


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#64
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How would that work if he said something that was entirely at odds with someone's beliefs? Say when it comes to the reveal of the Gods to the other Primarchs/legions, wouldn't it jar too much with their indoctrination?



#65
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I imagine that the primarch's auras would have less of an effect on other primarchs, given that they're all, give or take, on the same level.


As for Hec's attitude to Icarion, he'd respect him certainly but I don't think they'd be particularly close
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#66
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How would that work if he said something that was entirely at odds with someone's beliefs? Say when it comes to the reveal of the Gods to the other Primarchs/legions, wouldn't it jar too much with their indoctrination?

 

I'm not sure, we only had a brief conversation about the subject. I would imagine that in that case, the words would override the tone. So, if he was saying something that jarring, the tone would naturally sound like what the hearer would want the news delivered in. So, if someone were to hear about the Chaos gods and would be furious about it, Icarion's tone would have a hint of anger undertone caused by his aura. Keep in mind, Icarion, in at least my portrayal, tends to keep his conversations short, and he is aware of his aura's impact.


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Beyond the belligerent Praxis, half a dozen Celestial Orders operated with the Primarch's blessing. A primary color and a symbol distinguished each of the Celestial Orders. Among the minor Celestial Orders were the Kitsune of the Golden Blossom, the Aki of the White Hill, the Tengue of the Jade Diamond, and the Sha of the Black Star.


Edited by simison, 29 November 2016 - 02:31 AM.

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#68
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Yet, the two Celestial Orders that enjoy the greatest numbers and prestige are the Volta of the Blue Shield and the Oni of the Red Path.  Both distinctions focus on the mastery of star-seeing and battle-scrying, however their aim differs at a fundamental level.  The Volta believe that fate and the future is sacrosanct and that the gifts of future sight must be used to steer events and moments towards a preferred future while respecting that some points in time are fixed. In contrast, the Oni of the Red Path believe that fate and destiny are dynamic and fluid things which can be changed, twisted or manipulated by the proper exhortation of controlled will. While all of the Celestial Orders besides the Praxis practice some form of precognition, what separates the Oni and Volta from the lesser orders is their focused and undiluted mastery of the art of Divination. The other Orders are distinct because members often pair minor abilities with their precognition, such as the Aki utilizing low-level pyrokinetics that compliment their skills. The Volta and the Oni do not dabble in what they see as distractions. Together, the two powerful Celestial Orders compliment each other as the Volta have become ranged specialists, while the Oni excel in close-combat encounters. 


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Regardless of skill or size, the Celestial Orders unilaterally provided an anchor that would tie the Lightning Bearers to Icarion's home planet, ensuring that the customs and beliefs of Madrigal eventually seeped throughout the entire legion. This would have the dual effect of isolating the few Terran Lightning Bearers when Icarion began his path to treason. Members of the Praxis would especially be hard hit as the Lightning Bearers became the Harbingers with well over two-thirds of the Celestial Order being subtly removed from service in attrition and assassination. 


Edited by simison, 01 December 2016 - 02:11 AM.

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Legion Command Hierarchy

 

Sergeants formed the beginning chain of the Lightning Bearers, then later the Harbingers. Any Harbinger promoted to squad sergeant was granted the honour of wearing a longitudinal helmet crest. Likewise, lieutenants, who existed as a rank between sergeant and centurion on a needs-basis, could wear a similar crest though they were not officially recognized unit commanders, according to logistic logs. 


Edited by simison, 01 December 2016 - 04:28 PM.

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#71
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Maniple centurions were the next recognized rank and distinguished themselves by replacing the longitudinal crest with a transverse crest. Within a battalion, leadership was automatically given to the Ist Maniple's centurion, who was renamed as battalion captain. Upon promotion, a battalion captain could choose to replace his centurion crest with a captain's storm-cloak, a traditional Madrigalan item that was often worn by explorators searching the wastes for lost archaeotech on the planet's surface. Given its history, the storm-cloak was a symbol of courage and honour and was rarely refused by a battalion captain. 


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Standing at the height of ranks that a Harbinger could achieve was the post of company captain. Unlike the previous ranks, company captains were distinguished in two important ways. First, to become a company captain required a vote among the battalion captains to ascend to the post, though only rarely was anyone chosen other than the most senior battalion captain. Second, Icarion assigned an honorific title to the post, dubbing a company captain as 'Sentinel'. Given the personal touch of the Primarch, it became legion standard to refer to these officers as Sentinels instead of company captains. Sentinels wore not only the captain storm-cloaks, but could also wear the datemono crest, signifying their nobility in the eyes of the Primarch. The only other Harbingers who earned the right to wear the datemono crest were the most famed or skilled among the legion. 


Edited by simison, 21 February 2017 - 06:02 PM.

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simison

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To become a Sentinel entitled more responsibility and power than the standard captain. Unlike other legions where promotion left a void to be filled by someone else, Icarion instead enacted new regulations that allowed a Harbinger to retain his previous posts of maniple centurion and battalion captain. Thus, every Sentinel not only commanded their respective companies, but also personally commanded their same maniples and battalions prior to elevation. This practice had the effect of greatly magnifying a Sentinel's personal power and centralizing authority of the legion within a small group of legionnaires. Given that sentinels were masters of war and precognition, this also had the unintended consequence of giving the legion a more conservative character from a Madrigalan perspective. Critics of Icarion pointed to this practice of encouraging endless micro-management since Sentinels retained direct command of their previous units. Icarion countered that if any Sentinel felt overwhelmed by their responsibilities at any point of time, they were allowed to assign lieutenants and senior sergeants to manage the daily affairs of a unit. Although the option existed, a large majority of Sentinels refused it, instead preferring to demonstrate their industry in managing essentially three military units of growing sizes. 


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Finally, in addition to all the duties listed, the Sentinels formed the Council of Sentinels. This august body of officers served directly beneath the command of Icarion. Led by the vaunted First Sentinel, they offered advice and counsel to their lord and carried out his commands. Upon the advent of the Insurrection, these Harbingers would form the core of the new ruling elite of the Stormlord's empire, beneath only Icarion's fellow Primarchs. 


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War Disposition

 

The Lightning Bearers enjoyed the privilege of being the largest legion among the Legiones Astartes. This was not due to being empire builders like the Crimson Lions, but rather due to Icarion himself. After the initials successes of the Great Crusade, the legions eventually found themselves stretched thin as the genetic resources necessary for the implantation process could not keep up with the insatiable demands of the war effort. A solution was found after Icarion's discovery. A Primarch's genetic material could be used to supplement the dwindling genetic reserves. As the first Primarch reunited with the Imperium, Icarion gave the Lightning Bearers two full decades of accelerated recruitment which established the First Legion as the largest legion for the entirety of the Great Crusade. 

 

On the eve of the Day of Revelation, the Harbingers counted over 250,000 legionnaires strong, divided roughly into 100 companies. In addition to fielding the largest legion, the Harbingers boasted having one of the largest fleets, numbering well over 6,000 vessels. While the Void Eagles possessed greater number of ships and more experienced personnel, the warships of the First were known for their exceptional quality, built to the Stormlord's high standards at the Akira shipyards. 

 

When the Day of Revelation arrived, the majority of the Harbinger war assets were stationed in the Madrigal system. After battling the Halcyon Wardens' 18th Fleet, Icarion unleashed his legion against the neighboring systems in a lightning attack that quickly secured the foundation for his counterfeit Imperium. 

 

~~~


Blunt, that finishes the rough draft for the Harbingers' Organization chapter. Could you give it a look over for mistakes? I struggled with figuring out capitalization rules for the ranks, but decided Sentinels count as a proper noun and left them capitalized. I want someone to make sure it's all synced up.


Edited by simison, 11 January 2017 - 05:40 PM.

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