So! This will finally be my IA for the Desolators, that I've been working on (with the help of many of you, especially Zhiv) over the last 6 months, originally as the canon Chapter the Destroyers.
As some of us are doing again lately, I'm going to keep this list of core concepts and inspirations up the top here, to keep myself honest and refer back to when stuck:
- part Cossack/old Slavic, part Game of Thrones Thenn (30% Nordic, 70% Slav)
- cannibalism, ritual and symbolic
- Chapter ruled and lead by psyker elements and their foretellings/divination
- worship and seek to emulate the Khan to the extreme (hit and run, independent, "at peace" with the warp, value strategy) and tend to go overboard frequently
- on supposed great quest; after huge vision event, the Chapter believes they are fated to be part of something highly significant to come
- Founding undecided as yet
- White Scar geneseed, via Destroyers
- created originally to retake forgotten worlds taken by Xenos in far reaches of ignored imperium
- feral planet, mixture of swampland, semi-mountainous terrain and plains. Lightning storms and resulting fires/floods keep the people nomadic
- tribal but highly organised people, lead by shamanic caste who are also mighty warriors and leaders (muscle wizards), value placed on both a warrior's skill and his insight equally
- cannibalism prevalent throughout, belief system places this and associated practices at core of Homeworld culture
- the soul/spirit is housed in the body
- absolute faith in the utility and near-divinity of those with psychic power (like the Khan but overboard)
- ritualistic consumption of the brain, heart and certain other organs can imbue one with the dead warrior's essence. Meaning depends on situation and ritual involved (also eat friendlies under certain circumstances)
- the Emperor is no God but a hugely powerful psychic force in the universe, who influences fate of everything
- the Khan was the "purest" warrior of all time
- largely Codex, as the Khan
- companies as Scar brotherhoods, independent hunting forces
- Librarians ("Kolduns") ultimately rule over Chapter in all major decisions and influence many minor ones. Warrior-mages, active in the field of battle more than they are lore keepers (Chaplains take these responsibilities)
- Head Koldun ("Porahn") lords over Chapter
- Chapter master is First Warleader, still prime director in martial and Chapter affairs and officially the head of the Chapter when a face is required to represent the Chapter in major events, but is ultimately second in command and able to be vetoed - leadership basically shared. Chosen by Kolduns whenever new one is required
- no Dreadnoughts (unless very rarely decreed necessary by seers), minimal Devastators
- very Landspeeder heavy, see this as the best expression of the Khan on his jet bikes
- specialist veteran scouts, natural progression to Tactical marines is not always the case and some marines stay on in scout roles permanently (need to flesh this out)
- "terror tactics" (?) and psychological warfare used
- prefer to defeat their enemies by weakening them first (cutting off supply lines, sabotage, feints and distractions to separate forces, etc).
- all manoeuvring and stalking to set up prey before striking with overwhelming force. Prefer not to hang around in prolonged warfare if they can avoid it
- the hunt and strategical pre-game is just as significant as the conflict. Some tales are told of the strategical outwitting of enemies by great heroes in the Chapter's history without referencing the battle itself at all
- hunters above all. Hunting contests to track and kill a visited planet's megafauna whenever possible.
- heavy ritual scarring commonplace (like the Khan but overboard)
- poets. Contests of wit not uncommon. Known to play games of strategy as a past time
- idiosyncrasies and minor habits/superstitions make them seem odd
- brotherhood and reverence for past heroes important. Brothers will be acquainted with role, honours etc of every other Brother of the Chapter, even those they have not met (updated repository etc), both out of respect and in order to track the great essences of the Chapter's past. Creates sense of openness and unity among all
- shaved bald heads by choice is standard, heavily bearded/moustached
- insightful and grim but not without humour. "Laugh while you are killing"
- fierce, but still mystics and poets in nature, as the Scars. Encouraged to learn of the universe. Superstitious, eccentric to outsiders
- cunningness is approved of and fostered - in all things, hunters
- highly independent, usually dismissive of other Imperial organisations, trust few
- roamed out far and revelled in it, like the Khan for millennia. Upon initial mission statement of "attack all the xenos invaders in lost areas of Obscurus" chose Dark Eldar footholds with the background intention of beginning a search for information on the Khan's disappearance. Blooded themselves on them thoroughly and first developed their tactically subtle and cunning war style here, and began culture of terror and psychological warfare
- asked repeatedly to return, never do, too free-spirited (like the Khan but overboard), then threatened. Here begins negative imperial relationships
- went overboard in their compliance. "Want us to purge this cult? If you say so!" *eradicates cult, then sends specialist scouts to discover where original instigators of cult conspiracy started, do same to them and everyone they know*. "Want us to purge this new alien race? Sure!" *proceed to crush their forces and save the planet, then leave the current campaign and pursue them for decades until extinct*
- create reputation for being unreliable but effective and utterly thorough in their approach when they turn up/do as they're asked, leaving no job half finished and taking every mission statement to the Nth degree. Scare whole systems into long term compliance with their bloody reputation and creating safe havens for imperial populace before moving on again, never hanging around
- Created enemies and alliances (various stories written about these instances to flesh out their reputation and character)
- Kolduns all have vision that the Chapter must go and roam once more, "until called upon" - not seen again for X hundred years
- imperial record shows they suddenly return: the Kolduns have all divined that they must return to the Imperium, needed for a not yet clear but profoundly significant task to come. See themselves as fated and on an Emperor-guided path now, which they will journey on to its end no matter the cost
- Marine Chapters: differs wildly depending on Chapter. More dislike them than are comfortable with them. Fiercely loyal to Scars and other successors
- Imperial Guard/general human forces: as above. Indifferent towards mankind, somewhat aloof but no inherent disdain
- Adeptus Mechanicus: neutral
- Ecclesiarchy: strained
- Inquisition: generally under close scrutiny whenever possible though certain Inquisitors quietly believe in their agendas
There's more but it's late and I need to break it down into bullet points better. It's a start though!
If anyone has thoughts they'd like to share, I'm all ears This will grow and be refined in the weeks to come.
Edited by Draakur, 19 April 2017 - 06:08 AM.