So the Iron Gauntlet challenge has been an enjoyable experience so far, I've gotten more hashed out in the past few months than I have in YEARS of working on this army This is my second thread in the Liber, so maybe some introductions are due since I spend most of my time over in PCA. I'm NovemberIX, I share a name with my DIY creation the November IX. I've been in the hobby for 6 or so years now, and in that whole time I've pretty much built just one force. The Adeptus Astartes November Warriors. (By this point I'm sure you're asking yourself, what's with all the November this and that, and it shall explained. Soon. maybe. well not really...) I have been on and off working on my IA from my beginning in the hobby, and I'd like to believe at this point I have a pretty good grasp of it, but as with all things, this is a work in iterative progress. This first post has a lot of our of universe background information on the Warriors and the IX, but given just how long everything is, I'm gonna hide this post behind a spoiler tag.
So let's get it out of the way, the short and sweet. The November Warriors are the chamber Militant of the Ordo Chronos, who have (for reasons) amassed a military force and are now marauding through time. The Warrior geneseed is rarely referenced, but being cutesy, maybe, just maybe, these guys might be the last of the missing XI legion, though they often claim Dorn as their Primarch. As a quirk of either their indoctrination or geneseed, as a whole the Warriors are rather flippant (allowing them in integrate better with their human companions). They are the Astartes equivalent of that one uncle with a shed full of fabrication machinery in his backyard, three half disassembled old big body cars on cinder blocks in his front yard, and a basement wonderland of mechanical-chemical projectile implements. There are time travel shenanigans, giant robots, nuns with guns, angry short dudes, and some folks that really really likes toasters too.
That's the general idea anyway, but before we get into the nitty gritty of details let me touch on some general information.
1)I'll apologize right now because syntax and grammar are in for a harsh time. Split infinitives and purple prose are incredibly likely.
2)In an attempt to avoid the purple prose one of two writing dialects will probably be in use, one is this sort of disconnected and detached attempt at an Academic voice, the other is slovenly flippant and will often have a hint of snark (hence they way the warriors themselves are).
3)Most names are referential, and taken from the "Ace Combat" series of games, "Chrono Trigger", and random anime (though "Shakugan no Shana" is probably gonna have the most references at first). You may see some familiar words mutated in strange ways.
4) (these little parenthetical asides will probably get annoying, but will contain a bit of context or extra information)
5) The Fluff has been written to match the Army, and this army has some pretty absurd toys, so we're pretty much starting off in mary-sue territory (speaking of, one of my Uncles nicknamed my mom Mary-Sue when they were kids, so I've always found the name as a term kinda funny) I am actively trying to walk it back from there are justify these guys.
Alright, well I guess let's get to going.
Who or what are the November IX?
The first stolen concept of the November IX is from the novel Rainbow Six. For those that don't read techno-thrillers Rainbow was the name of an international anti-terrorist organization, Six was the head of this organization. I've gone a bit more cutesy.
November Article, Section IX of the Chronos Mandate empowers an Inquisitor of the Ordo Chronos to use, requisition, or assume command of any Imperial Organization or Institution for the Temporal Protection of the Imperium. As a measure of control, certain conditions must be met to enact the mandate, and that power does stop short of assuming command of any of the major Ordos or a Highlord. As it reads it does sound a lot like what an Inquisitor can already do, but it's a means to allow an Ordo Chronos Inquisitor to actually mess with the time stream, given that it actually runs counter to the nature of the Ordo Chronos.
So the November IX then is a multi-Imperial faction organization under the command of Inquisitor Belhastar Gasch, unlike in R6, Gasch doesn't call himself IX, that is left for the Organization as a whole.
Who else makes up the IX and what are their responsibilities?
So admittedly I did get cutesy again. There are 9 imperial organizations in the IX.
1. The Inquisitional Ordo Chronos - Overall Commanders of the mission, it's their authority that allows the mission.
Their motivation is not just to protect the Imperium, but also to, in their own views, improve it ( which is a goal that they fail at, badly) Edit: Their goal is a simple one, prevent any faction or species from altering the timeline, and to alter the timeline in such a way as to strengthen the Imperium.(which ironically is just the Imperium we all know and love)
2. The Comberth Stronghold League - Very angry very short very rotund humans who are sorta the architects of the plan, while the Mandate may allow timey-wimey shenanigans, it doesn't give function to that. The CSL did. They are motivated by the goal of preventing the fall of Comberth. They are essentially combat capable research engineers. While quite battle tested, they actually spend most of their time on the ship deep in work solving some problem, planning some repair, or refining a piece of equipment. They're kinda like Jokaero, but with better manners.
3. Forge Kantaris - The Magos and Techpriests of the Forge Kantaris are outliers. They enjoy not only innovation, but the passing of that information to their allies, and that has brought them much scorn from their mainline Adeptus Mechanicus peers. They are in possession of a piece of ancient technology called the Mammon Engine which they have installed as the heart of the Spite of Glatisant. It also doesn't hurt that the Magos Prime has always had a more than passing interest in chronometric regression technology, thus when he was approached by the Ordo Chronos to lend their support he agreed immediately. They are the primary maintainers of the Imperial Knights of the House Garaipena, and have a small token force that is sometimes sent on mission. And yes, they like toasters, a lot, but not voxy-toaster pattern with their incessant machine spirit ramblings, no they prefer their toasters called number 6 or number 8.
(So these first three are sorta the administration part of things, while yes they can go out into the battlefield they mostly stay behind and do the brainy part of things).
4. The November Warriors - A Space Marine chapter in the employ of the Ordo Chronos, essentially operating as a Chamber Militant. They are said to have taken their name from a previous founding chapter, which surprise, was actually them in the past. They have the most fluff out of everybody, but the takeaway for now should be that they're a small force of about 255, but they have all the toys. Unlike most Astartes, the Warriors exude a sort of flippancy which makes them much more approachable by their Human compatriots, but usually leaves other Astartes exasperated. They are oblivious to the damage they cause to the time stream despite their Time Traveler's Immunity.
(for extra-cutesy internal references, I've been debating that they're actually of XI gene-seed, logic being Emps is doing a Just as Planned, but as with anything touched by humans, it goes ploin shaped, so his project of Chrono Legionnaires doesn't quite work out how he expected). I've decided to stop debating, the November Warriors are what is left of the XI legion. They were supposed to be the Emperor's Chrono Legionnaires, but a quirk of their specialized genetic tailoring caused an unintended side effect. When their number approaches a thousand in one local area, it causes them to spontaneously vanish. Their Primarch was lost not in space, but in time. (the joke being that Keanu Reeves is actually their primarch, or at least an Expy of him, maybe Anderson Constantine Wick.)
5.The Order of the Frozen Flame - An extremely ancient convent whose entire existence is dedicated to the protection of the artifact for which they are named. I'm still working on their fluff, but the current thought process is they are somehow associated with the Sisters of Silence, even though they ostensibly seem like they are an Ecclesiarchy order. They are not so much an order of nulls, but more they are an order that houses a small group of them (as a sorta cover for a number of sisters of silence). Still playing with the idea that they are a bootstrap paradox, essentially established by a time traveling Ordo Chronos to deliver the technology to travel time to the Ordo Chronos so that they can travel back in time. (yes, I realize that sentence probably gave at least three people migraines, I'd apologize, but I was one of the three, also more on bootstrap paradoxes later) They operate from the ship Flame Haze.
6. The Knight House Garaipena - Long long long ago a Young Lady (who would become a Grand Matriarch) rose up to lead an alliance of knight houses against the traitorous tyranny of a corrupt knight house. For freeing her planet, she decided her house would forever more give their support to those who assisted her and her home. Now many generations divided, the children of her revolution continue their walk with the IX.
7. Farbanti 156th "Lightning Riders" - An Astra Militarum company that specializes in orbital drop tactics. A mixed gender unit that utilizes advanced armor not commonly seen in the Imperium. Requisitioned by the Inquisition to act as a more "subtle" secondary force. They're the cavalry to the non-Astartes forces. Basically ODSTs.
8. Aegir Fleet -An Imperial Navy battle group that is also sometimes simply referred to as "High Ground". These folks have the least fluff. I'm still trying to decide if they were just the battle group that happened to be there when the Inquisitors started making their shopping list, or if they were specifically picked, and of course, there is the ever present bootstrap paradox option. I do feel there should be a Yang Wen-li expy somewhere here.
9. The Astra Telepathica Choirs of Enhasa/Algetty/Kajar - The last Imperial organization to be counted as part of the IX. Enhasa are essentially hand picked psykers with the ability to "navigate" time, Kajar are also hand picked and handle cross-temporal message transmission, and Algetty have less stringent standards and act as the standard choir for most day-to-day functions. They are generally sequestered in their own vessel, The BlackBird, for their own safety and as a security measure against feedback from the Order of the Frozen Flame. So rarely ever on the battlefield (since Marine Psykers and Null Sisters are more than enough to handle anything) if they are seen something major is happening, or something very very bad has happened.
What is the purpose of faffing about in time?
It depends on who you ask, the Squats of Comberth are aiming to restore their homeworld somehow. The majority of the IX are under the impression they are keeping anything bad from happening to the Emps. The Inquisitors are rather mysterious about their objectives, but they talk a good game about Humanity Ascendant. The Warriors are trying to find their Primarch and the Forge Kantaris are on a junkyard trip through time. They're not about to question their purpose, they're just gonna do the "job" and hope some cool weapons are found along the way.
So how are they actually getting around in time (and space)?
This is where the Techno-heresy starts. The Spite of Glatisant is a massive space ship, a giant chunk of rock that has been retrofitted, more a space station than a ship, and more a floating island than a space station. But a ship it is, just one that can also internally dock it's complete support fleet, has it's own manufacturing facilities and the capacity of a small hive.
It's secret is at it's heart, the Mammon Machine. A source of chronometric energy, regulated by the Frozen Flame, an Imperial artifact that can be traced back to the Emperor (he was throwing around fireballs or something, and one just froze and was recovered by the Order of the Frozen Flame eventually) it is the Choir of Enhasa that navigate the temporal translation.
(note, this is all new stuff, I probably should just handwave this away, but I've had an idea, even if the only place I can use it is in long form fiction, also apologies to the great bird of the galaxy for this)
Time incursion take a massive amount of preparation. It goes beyond simply installing the Frozen Flame into the Mammon Engine and singing nicely to it till you pop into another time period, you have to throw it all at a sun too.
First all support ships must be docked and secured inside the Spite, with careful attention made to separate the Flame Haze and the Blackbird. The Mammon Engine starts it's warm up cycle and beings to produce the energy field utilized in temporal translation. A single Null Sister then transports the Frozen Flame to the Mammon Engine where it's installation is overseen by Comberth Stronghold League engineers. The Frozen Flame has multiple functions, it can act as a temporal sextant or when sung to by a psyker at the right frequency it can amplify psychic energy, when installed inside the Mammon Engine it allows the choir to hone in on a channel of psychic energy. Once the Frozen Flame safely in its place, then the choirs of Enhasa and Kajar are relocated to "tuning plugs" built into the walls and machinery of the engine room. As the choirs begin their song, the Null Sister exits via a ceiling elevator to a fairly plush waiting room, until she is needed again to contain the Frozen Flame.
All this singing and warming up requires one more thing to give the laws of physics the Bollywood treatment. Yes, we're ripping off Star Trek IV: The Journey Home. If all the above is done while the Spite of Glatisant is hurtling towards a sufficiently large star or gravitational object it will translocate them in time assuming they've honed in on the right channel.
While the IX have the ability to regressively travel in time, this doesn't mean they have access to all of time. Due to the nature of the Frozen Flame, the earliest moment available is the Death of Horus. Certain time periods are much easier to hone in on versus others, the IX believe that this is due to active providence on the part of the Emperor, sending them to era's of most importance.
(Note: I thought this was a cool line, but I didn't know how to integrate it, and rather than just deleting it, it'll stay here. The Frozen Flame is a moment of decision sealed in an eternity, it's also an accidental artifact of significant psyker energy created by the Emperor when he slew Horus. Unseen by all, the energy of that momentous decision froze upon a lick of flame from his blade, sent flying as the Emperor laid the killing blow upon Horus.)
If they are changing time, why haven't they just did what the had to go and went "home"?
Imagine you are sailing on a ship that was attacked by a giant cetacean that happened to take your leg. Now imagine you could go back and stop that from happening, but when you do, you instead are knocked off course by a storm and lose your leg and arm. That's what's going on here. Except instead of losing limbs, they're losing planets. Every action has some unintended consequence, and they are chasing cascading failures constantly having to make snap decisions that aren't beneficial.
7/23/17 Update: One side effect of that is supremely useful when it comes to the tabletop, once a campaign is done, the IX can basically hit a giant reset button to reset and redevelop our armies different relationships. For the current campaign the IX are on the wrong side of the Imperium, we've angered the Black Templars, The Ordo Malleus and the Grey Knights. I've also head-cannoned that as part of why the Imperium has gone all Kelvin-universe since the start of 8th.
How are the IX not affected by what they are doing in time?
This could be a post of it's own, and honestly, and it could get esoteric with it, but I'm gonna steal from Chrono Trigger some more. So let's stick with the concept of Time Traveler's Immunity:
From Chrono Compendium:
Time Traveler's Immunity - The unifying principle behind Time Traveler's Immunity is that once an entity travels through time, he or she is disconnected from the original timeline by changing history (past or future), and causality and consequences are resultingly broken.
The Warriors have a natural immunity (a point for being XI Legion), the Human forces make due with a technological solution called a Gate Key. In this case the Immunity is physically capable by the absorption of chronometric energy and the dissipation of chroniton radiation. But the twist is that this immunity isn't perfect in the way that the IX thinks.
Now, What's all this bootstrapping you keep going on about?
A bootstrap paradox is when an entity causes itself to come into existence in the past by way of future event. Sometimes referred to as a causal loop, or a predestination paradox. One of the ideas I've been juggling is that the Warriors if not the whole IX are one big bootstrap paradox that's slowly winding itself out via the concept of the "time bastard" (without getting into it, why do you think all movies tell you not to meet yourself if you travel in time). It thematically works, and it does make the narrative much cleaner, but at the expense of "a space wizard did it" for pretty much everything.
What makes the Warriors flippant, and why?
One of the things I wanted these guys to be was a bit at odds with the current trend of gritdark, I wanted a bit more of that old 80's grimdark (aka, we as a species really haven't grown up) So at some point the IX get ahold of what's essentially an early 2020's half-price books storage container. It's full of old weird media in varying states of decay. With the power of handwavium they've more or less been able to come to collate, translate, and reproduce most of it. It's had a rather strange effect on them. They revere stuff like Tom Clancy political thrillers (which they've mistaken for historical documents), the early works of the Smashing Pumpkins and Filter, and of course, Movies. They are Cinephiles. It's how they've gotten to see a young Emperor and their Primarch.
Yeah what about that bit about Keanu Reeves as your Primarch, and no-one has forgotten the Emperor was a Bollywood Actor joke, what gives?
I'll admit to getting a kick out of shoehorning in really dumb references. Keanu Reeves is an awesome person, and he's got movies about traveling time, banishing demons, beating up on Men of Iron, and generally being a badass. The Warriors really whole heatedly believe in all that. The Emperor is a Bollywood actor comes from me wondering just what was the Emperor doing right about now, and the most entertaining thing I can think of is him singing, dancing, and violating the laws of physics like it was nothing. I will admit I have two actors in mind specifically, but that's much less important than the Keanu Joke
Enough with the time travel stuff, maybe you should get on with the IA!
I couldn't agree more. The IA for the November Warriors will be in the next post!
Edited by NovemberIX, 11 September 2017 - 12:32 AM.