Ok. So. Long time lurker here on B&C, and though I've never played 40k I really enjoy the setting and the lore, read lots of Black Library, and so on. A couple years ago I started collecting and painting a Tzeentch-themed Warriors of Chaos WHFB army (was playing lots of Warhammer Online at the time), mostly as something to do other than staring at a screen again all night after doing it all day at work. But now I've been inspired by all the cool stuff I've seen here on B&C to start collecting and painting some 40k stuff. And since I've gotten so much from B&C, felt it was only fair to post my stuff here as well. So this will be a intermittent plog of my 40k stuff, focusing mostly on my favorite factions- Chaos Marines, Dark Mechanicus, and Tzeentch. Nominally I'm planning on putting together enough stuff to have a legal army (assuming some heavy "counts-as") in case I do want to play at some point in future, but mostly will just be painting whatever strikes me as time and budget allows. So enough stalling- thanks to everyone that stops by, feedback is always welcome, and let's kick off with a bit of fluff I put together as a backstory for this army, and some WIP pictures of its leader.
*** The Unbound Brethren ***
The Unbound Brethren are a warband of renegades and heretics, led by Kaldour Zalav, a former captain of the Thousand Sons. Once a rising star in his legion's Order of Ruin who served as a practicus to the Order's leader Ignis, Zalav seemed marked for greatness early in his career. But as his accomplishments grew, Zalav increasingly found himself out of step with much of his legion, including his primarch Magnus. While to Zalav the legion seemed ever more focused upon acquiring and debating esoteric knowledge for its own sake, he found himself drawn to finding new ways of applying his intellect and psychic powers on the battlefield, often through increasingly intricate tactics and battle plans. As the Great Crusade progressed, Zalav spent less and less time with the Thousand Sons, preferring instead to serve alongside battle groups from a number of legions, including the Dark Angels, Iron Warriors, and Alpha Legion. After the Edict of Nikea, he returned to Prospero with the rest of his legion, and was preparing for his next secondment when the Space Wolves came.
Zalav's anger at the Imperium's betrayal of the Thousand Sons was eclipsed only by his disgust for what he saw as Magnus' betrayal during the razing of Prospero. To Zalav, Magnus leaving Prospero, its people, the legion and all their temples of accumulated learning defenseless while Wolves and their allies attacked form orbit, and then dithering with indecisiveness and regret as the Thousand Sons fought and died, only to emerge at the very end, symbolized all of what he had come to despise in his primarch's character. He quickly left Sortiarius with a number of like-minded individuals, and after they renounced their membership in the Thousand Sons, he spent the rest of the Heresy leading this first warband of renegade "Blackshields" in a series of raids upon the Imperium. As their success and notoriety grew, they were joined by Astartes from many other legions, particularly those who felt betrayed or out-of-place in their former lives, and so the Unbound Brethren was born. It was during this time that Zalav learned the truth of the Ruinous Powers, and accepted Tzeentch's patronage.
Zalav and the Brethren fought at the Great Siege of Terra, and most of the warband fell there. Of the original Thousand Sons that had followed him, only a single squad, led by Dakor Zachtim, his second-in-command, survived. This squad had fought alongside a group of Gal Vorbak during the Siege, and in the desperate battle to escape Terra after Horus was slain, the former Thousand Sons bound themselves to their tutelaries in the same way as the Word Bearers had. The power they gained served them well in Scouring and Legion Wars that followed, but provided no protection against Ahriman's rubric. While Zalav and Zachtim saw their psychic powers amplified, all the rest became the unthinking automatons known as Rubric marines. The only signs of their previous nature now lies in the daemonic faces and metallic bone protrusions of their warped armor.
In the millennia that followed the Heresy, Zalav rebuilt the Unbound Brethren, and now leads them across the galaxy, battling the Imperium, xenos, and other renegades as his whims and interests dictate. After masterminding the defeat of an Inquisition fleet attempting to capture the Arch-Heretek Ravion Nixios as he fled Mars to join the Sepktraal Cult, Zalav was rewarded by the Silent Forge with the Revenant Iterator, a Secutor-Class cruiser from which the Brethen now operate. Nixios himself joined the Brethren soon afterward for reasons he will not disclose, bringing with him a number of acolytes and skitarii servants. Other current notable members of the Brethren include the former Dark Angel Sar Baradiel and his fellow Fallen, as well as a number of former members of the Crystal Wyverns renegade chapter.