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Without the Fallen, what are the Dark Angels?

Dark Angels unforgiven successors

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#1
ToyShip

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Howdy all. In working on a couple of DIY projects lately I have stumbled upon a conundrum I hope you Sons of the First Legion can help me with. So, without the Fallen, and all they add to the Unforgiven, what do the Dark Angels have to offer in themes and the like to a Successor chapter?

#2
Berzul

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Well, their mysterious nature, inner circle structure, shadows and secrets, as well as their monastic look and feel, are all good aditions to any successor chapter. Even if it is a Chapter that does not have the fallen as their focus, you still have a very particular feel to the whole First Legion itself that they can inherit to their successors.


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#3
N1SB

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I agree with the monastic look and feel, and while related to the Fallen in that their homeworld was destroyed, the Dark Angels are also 1 of the few First Founding Chapters that draw new recruits from different worlds, each with its own culture.  That can be represented and in fact, it is: Deathwing.

 

2iialfm.jpg

 

Deathwing paint their armour white in remembrance of a time when many of their 1st Company happened to come from a Native American-esque recruiting worlds.

 

I've considered a Successor Chapter being started by members that came from a certain sector, where each squad retains something of their homeworld's culture.  They would all share a similar paint scheme, but with little idiosyncrasies between squads to set them apart.


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#4
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If you’re doing a Successor Chapter, you have a lot of freedom.
I’ve always felt that there is a lot of room for inspiration in the Knight theme - you can go Knights Templar, Arthurian Knights (English or French), Teutonic Knights. Pretty much anything that has the word Knight in it. :)
There’s also the Unforgiven side, you could go with a penitant Chapter or go further back to the Heresy and go with the monster-hunter theme.
Or you can completely abandon any of the usual stuff and find something that works for you and then tie it to the Dark Angels. Work backwards. Whatever works for you.
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#5
Grand Master Belial

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Don't forget that the Deathwing and Ravenwing predate the Fallen and so their structure while modified in goals has not changed in how they wage war.

 

Probably of all of the Loyalist Legions, the Dark Angels is the one that had the most change and depth in its history going from a Knightly Order to the Monastic feel given later on and having links to several sections of history like the Native American one illustrated above. I know that when I paint my Dark Angels, I try to make any helmet less marines have varying skin tones to reflect that they are probably the most diverse of the Loyalist First Founding Chapters. 

 

In a "what if", the Knights of the Order by killing off all of the Chaos Beasts on Caliban were actually feeding a Greater Demon trapped in the center of the planet. By ridding the planet of the beasts, the Demon would have been born and Caliban would have been ripped asunder. Realizing they unleashed such a terror, the Dark Angels have evolved as we know today but instead of hunting the Fallen, they are after this one Demon and finding ways to weaken him and they continue their brooding and introspection so that they would not be caught in a another trap of the Dark Gods and do their dirty work unknowingly. 


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#6
Brother Ramael

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I agree with the monastic look and feel, and while related to the Fallen in that their homeworld was destroyed, the Dark Angels are also 1 of the few First Founding Chapters that draw new recruits from different worlds, each with its own culture.  That can be represented and in fact, it is: Deathwing.

 

2iialfm.jpg

 

Deathwing paint their armour white in remembrance of a time when many of their 1st Company happened to come from a Native American-esque recruiting worlds.

 

I've considered a Successor Chapter being started by members that came from a certain sector, where each squad retains something of their homeworld's culture.  They would all share a similar paint scheme, but with little idiosyncrasies between squads to set them apart.

Techincally, this has been revelead to have been a lie told to neophites ( I can't remember what book it was) in order to introduce them to the secretive nature of the 1st company step by step.

Then again, if that's true, why they go around with tribal decorations is a question mark.


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#7
Steel Company

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I can echo the usage of finding something with in the many layers of the Legion and using two or three of them.

 

For instance my successor chapter, are the inheritors of the Ironwing formation, while feeling distrustful of the rest of the legion due to perceived punishment at the hands of the Lion that was sent in-motion by a Calabanite Master. They are very prideful having their history dating back to the earliest days of the Great Crusade, serving Him on Terra, only to feel chastised by their Primarch not long after his return. Losing their Chapter Master as well as most of their command structure to reassignment on Caliban and being saddled (a mostly Terran chapter) with Calibanite officers whom all had less experience than those they were now leading.

 

Long and short of it is, I make use of these two themes:

 

Mistrust

Honour


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#8
Berzul

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If you’re doing a Successor Chapter, you have a lot of freedom.
I’ve always felt that there is a lot of room for inspiration in the Knight theme - you can go Knights Templar, Arthurian Knights (English or French), Teutonic Knights. Pretty much anything that has the word Knight in it. :)
There’s also the Unforgiven side, you could go with a penitant Chapter or go further back to the Heresy and go with the monster-hunter theme.
Or you can completely abandon any of the usual stuff and find something that works for you and then tie it to the Dark Angels. Work backwards. Whatever works for you.



This is very true. I actually used it on my successor chapter.

I made a Chapter that displays a specific knightly heraldry, that is fleet based and crusades across the universe, and plays the role of Knights that champion humanity, seeking to save lives above all other objectives, in order to inspire planets through the example of their virtuous combat.

At the same time, they have an undisclosed tie to the First Legion, follows the indirect commands of the Master of the Dark Angels, and has its own inner circle and dark agenda that aids the needs of the Inner Circle of its founder.
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#9
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Howdy all. In working on a couple of DIY projects lately I have stumbled upon a conundrum I hope you Sons of the First Legion can help me with. So, without the Fallen, and all they add to the Unforgiven, what do the Dark Angels have to offer in themes and the like to a Successor chapter?

That’s actually a solid question to ask from a background perspective, since in all likelihood the Unforgiven only run into the Fallen only so often. I mean, one of the seminal stories about the Dark Angels, Angels of Darkness, indicates that decades had passed between Astelan’s capture and the last time a Fallen had been dragged through the same catacombs of the Rock.

The thing is, an Unforgiven Chapter that cleaves closely to the Dark Angels probably doesn’t change much without the Fallen in their lives. Defining characteristics of such Chapters would include:

1. An Inner Circle and elite formations (Deathwing- and Ravenwing-equivalents) whose aesthetic combines the heraldry, arms, and armour of ancient Calibanite knights with monkish vestments.

2. A culture that promotes pride in the Chapter’s status as first among equals (or a Chapter descended from the First Legion, if a Successor), stoicism, and a fanatical refusal to give ground to the enemy, but also aloofness, brooding, taciturnity, and an unwillingness to trust outsiders. Access to the hidden mysteries of the Chapter initiates the lite in chivalric traditions, but those are increasingly weighed down by the crimes those warriors are ordered to commit by their superiors.

3. Ancient doctrines that promote tactical flexibility and maximize the effectiveness of certain forces when used in conjunction with one another.

4. Access to ancient technologies that often predate the forming of the Imperium itself.

The obvious caveat to all that, of course, is that an Unforgiven Chapter doesn’t necessarily have to cleave close to the Dark Angels. Loyalty to the Hunt for the Fallen may, in fact, be the only common link between your Chapter and other Unforgiven. I like to think that item #3, above, should still bind a culturally divergent Unforgiven Chapter because a lot of this stuff is implied to be almost like a genetic legacy, but I wouldn’t think of it as mandatory.

Edited by Phoebus, 07 November 2017 - 06:46 PM.

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#10
ToyShip

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Good stuff guys! I appreciate the enlightenment on the subject. I suppose I knew alot of this stuff, just needed to have it spelled out for me. So if one wanted to go with a "Savage Weapons" vibe, with the early monster hunter theme, and the "First among equals" attitude, I would think they would have to be an early founding (3rd most likely, since the 2nd is pretty much locked down).

 

Now, is the secretive nature and distrust for outsiders a genetic thing or a cultural thing developed from the betrayal of the Fallen? I imagine the fierce stubborn nature is a genetic thing. Really wish FW would come out with the Dark Angels HH history already, It would certainly answer a lot of questions.


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#11
Steel Company

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Good stuff guys! I appreciate the enlightenment on the subject. I suppose I knew alot of this stuff, just needed to have it spelled out for me. So if one wanted to go with a "Savage Weapons" vibe, with the early monster hunter theme, and the "First among equals" attitude, I would think they would have to be an early founding (3rd most likely, since the 2nd is pretty much locked down).

 

Now, is the secretive nature and distrust for outsiders a genetic thing or a cultural thing developed from the betrayal of the Fallen? I imagine the fierce stubborn nature is a genetic thing. Really wish FW would come out with the Dark Angels HH history already, It would certainly answer a lot of questions.

 

 

 

Well for a "savage weapons" vibe, I'd rock as many two handed weapons as possible in your squads, perhaps even model a few as spears. For First among equals, I'd try to use as much older marks of armour as possible, so that would entail things like Mk. IV patter PA as well as Cataphractii and Tartaros pattern TDA.

 

 

Instance my guys second company (they make extensive use of Comabt squads in Razorbacks) are all outfitted in Mk. IV PA, as befitting their history.


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#12
FlamingDeth

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3rd founding sounds dead on for the themes you're thinking of there, it's early enough that they could still have plausible ties to old Caliban.
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#13
Kairo

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Like the others have mentioned, there are a lot of angles you can take with the Dark Angel themes. You could play up the legacy to being the first legion, similar to what Phoebus mentioned with regards to the ancient technologies. I especially like to hook my company story on recovering artifacts that go back to the time of the Six Hosts and pre-crusade.


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#14
Phoebus

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Good stuff guys! I appreciate the enlightenment on the subject. I suppose I knew alot of this stuff, just needed to have it spelled out for me. So if one wanted to go with a "Savage Weapons" vibe, with the early monster hunter theme, and the "First among equals" attitude, I would think they would have to be an early founding (3rd most likely, since the 2nd is pretty much locked down).

Don’t arbitrarily limit yourself.

The older Codices indicated that the Dark Angels only created three Successor Chapters in the Second Founding. Those were always based on incomplete, ten thousand year-old texts. The Unforgiven, by Gav Thorpe, reveals that, in fact, ...

“The first Inner Circle consisted of twelve Grand Masters, the Chapter Master of the Dark Angels and his peers that ruled the eleven Successors of that time.”

Excerpt From
The Unforgiven
Gav Thorpe
This material may be protected by copyright.

Three of those Successors we’ve known for a while: the Angels of Absolution, Angels of Redemption, and Angels of Vengeance. Subsequently, we learned of the Lions Sable (from the Cyper Dataslate). Even if we assume that the Angels of Vigilance or the Star Phantoms, which the lore implies might be Successors of the Dark Angels are themselves part of the Second Founding, there would still be five spots open. I know it’s not considered popular to lay claim to Second Founding origins, but I’d offer to you that the quality of your story is more important than such reservations.

Where latter Foundings are concerned, just remember that about a thousand years passed between the end of the Horus Heresy and the Third Founding (per “The Aegidan Oath”, by Laurie Goulding). With that in mind, the more time passed after the formation of the Inner Circle, the more difficult it would be for customs, practices, and doctrine not conforming to the Inner Circle to survive. Where stubborn holdouts are concerned, combat attrition rates almost guarantee that very few battle-brothers with memory of Caliban or its knightly orders survived to see the Third Founding.

Now, will there be exceptions? Of course! Why shouldn’t there be one “Last True Knight of Caliban” who lived to see the next millenium dawn and earned the right to pass on the legacy of his doomed world to a Chapter of his own, for instance? The sky’s the limit!

Now, is the secretive nature and distrust for outsiders a genetic thing or a cultural thing developed from the betrayal of the Fallen? I imagine the fierce stubborn nature is a genetic thing. Really wish FW would come out with the Dark Angels HH history already, It would certainly answer a lot of questions.

It’s definitely a cultural thing, but the Sixth Edition Codex implied that certain traits - a taciturn nature, a gift for strategy - were the Lion’s genetic legacy... so it’s not a stretch to include secrecy and distrust (especially in light of the Lion’s portrayal in the Horus Heresy series).

Edited by Phoebus, 08 November 2017 - 07:18 AM.

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#15
Chmur

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I do not think the Fallen are as important as it seems on the first glance. Bear with me here - Fallen are the symptom of the schism, a shameful reminder of the past and - at the same rate - a possible leak to expose our failure to the Imperium.

 

In my opinion, if we got rid of the Fallen (all captured, made repent) we would still have the torn issue in our past, a secret to guard. We could just focus on proper Imperium agenda without having to look over our shoulder or screw over our allies everytime we hear a reported sighting. 

 

The Hunt (the fluff idea of it) is what will be downfall of Dark Angels lore if it's not being resolved. We cannot have enough knowledge that all of those who were marked as Fallen and we keep their list, were not killed/destroyed in the milenia (spelling??) since. Would you take a word of some other Fallen for it?

 

Second issue I see with the Hunt is what happens when Lion wakes. At that point, I think we are in safe enough situation for Lion to simply say what happened at Caliban, say there are traitors in robes running about and chastise the chapter for being dicks about hunting them instead of saving the Imperium without distractions.

 

My third issue is with Cypher. I am really not convinced Cypher is the ultimate villain, and not even to our chapter. I would be so happy if Cypher would be what Cawl was to Guilliman in the new lore, you cannot even imagine. But I think that is stretching the lore too far and will never ever happen.

 

 


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#16
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The thing about the Hunt for the Fallen is that it existed within the context of the state of the Imperium circa M41, prior to 13th Black Crusade of Abaddon.

 

That sounds like a really obvious thing to say. Bear with me for a second.

 

Following the Scouring and prior to the 13th Black Crusade, the Imperium was dying by millimeters, but ignorance (deliberate or otherwise), hubris, and religious blindness ensured that no one was confronting that very real truth. It probably wasn't until well into the Dark Millennium that people in power started considering what the sum of so many threats - more Orks than ever, multiple Tyranid invasions, the Necrons awaking, something really bad about to come out of the Eye of Terror - spelled for Mankind. This is shown quite well in Chris Wraight's latest novel, The Emperor's Legion.

 

That's the context within which the Hunt existed. The Unforgiven certainly hated the Fallen and would have hunted them down to the ends of time regardless, but the real reason for it was that the Imperium that emerged from the Scouring was intolerant, uncompromising, and ruthless against any sort of perceived threat - doubly so for inward threats. The Dark Angels thus believed they HAD to keep the Hunt a secret, lest they be seen as a threat and destroyed. They committed many sins to keep it thus, and every one only added to the consequences should they be discovered.

 

The events that shown in the Gathering Storm series, though, throw all that out the window. A giant rift of the Warp split the Galaxy in two. The Imperium was staring at destruction on a level not seen since the Horus Heresy. The game designers, authors, and editors need to seriously re-think what drives the Hunt and what would realistically happen to the Unforgiven if their secret was exposed. As it stands, in the aftermath of Cadia the Imperium neither could afford to annihilate the dozens (?) of Unforgiven Chapters nor could they realistically do so.

As for what the Lion would do? As stated above, M42 is probably not the right time for a decimation of the ranks. I think the Lion would recognize the quality of Azrael and Grand Masters like Belial, Sammael, etc., but might do away with ones who are too far gone to suit his strategies and tactics (I'm looking at you, Asmodai).

 

Regarding Cypher, I wouldn't blame anyone to think as you did immediately after the Gathering Storm books. One of Cypher's key themes was his slow march to Terra, after all, and the combination of him carrying the rumored Lion Sword along with the lore of the sleeping Lion was practically begging for another Primarch to be returned. Now, though? The current timeline, from my understanding, is set about 111 years after the destruction of Cadia. There's been no activity involving Cypher since, no awakening of the Lion, etc. If there ever was an opportunity for any of those things to happen, it has sailed.


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#17
Chmur

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As for what the Lion would do? As stated above, M42 is probably not the right time for a decimation of the ranks. I think the Lion would recognize the quality of Azrael and Grand Masters like Belial, Sammael, etc., but might do away with ones who are too far gone to suit his strategies and tactics (I'm looking at you, Asmodai).

 

Regarding Cypher, I wouldn't blame anyone to think as you did immediately after the Gathering Storm books. One of Cypher's key themes was his slow march to Terra, after all, and the combination of him carrying the rumored Lion Sword along with the lore of the sleeping Lion was practically begging for another Primarch to be returned. Now, though? The current timeline, from my understanding, is set about 111 years after the destruction of Cadia. There's been no activity involving Cypher since, no awakening of the Lion, etc. If there ever was an opportunity for any of those things to happen, it has sailed.

 

I think it is very hard to say what would the Lion do - I do not think he would punish anyone. If anything, Lion has ever been the pragmatic. I can see how there would be a conflict with Asmodai (ending badly for him) if the whole Hunt thingy had been cancelled and our poor little Asmodai couldn't cope with that. Even though, as I think Lion would still take the whole Caliban thing very seriously and personally, he would simply launch 2 crusades, 1 for Imperium and 1 against the Fallen.

 

I absolutely do not agree with the statement that the ship on Cypher's story arc has sailed. I am not saying it means that Lion is the next one etc either; but Cypher has never been a linear character. His stories are erratic, as are the sightings. Quite in the contrary to what you say, I believe if at end of Gathering Storm Cypher just walked up the Rock and kiss-woke-up Lion, that would be tragic lapse in storytelling with such great and mystical character. What Gathering Storm illustrated for me is, that Cypher comes and goes as he pleases, gives feth-all about anyone else and has agenda. With this main character trait, they can easily follow-up with Gathering Storm XIV set 1000 years from the events of the orignal Gathering Storm and Cypher could just waltz in and do the thing. 

 

Whether that agenda is good or bad in regards to our Legion, remains to be seen. We do not even know who the hell Cypher is.


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#18
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Don't get me wrong, at the end of the day I'm just presenting an opinion. I don't think of Cypher as a linear character, nor did I expect a "From Luna to the Rock!" jump for him. That having been said, Gathering Storm came and went and a 100+ year leap into continuity was promptly announced. Given that the advertised feel of Warhammer 40K for a very long time boiled down to "the end is nigh/it's the 11th hour," it would feel - to me - somewhat odd if that much time could pass before Cypher's next move. Time will tell, of course; it could be that the new Dark Angels will have a new timeline section, which will include a heap of information regarding Cypher's whereabouts and activities. For now, though, I can't help but feel underwhelmed by the fact that his role in the most crucial events of the Imperium in millennia ended up having nothing to do with the faction he's most tied to.


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#19
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Not to gloss over the great discussion this has generated, and the great replies, but I think I have a direction!

 

Now, will there be exceptions? Of course! Why shouldn’t there be one “Last True Knight of Caliban” who lived to see the next millenium dawn and earned the right to pass on the legacy of his doomed world to a Chapter of his own, for instance? The sky’s the limit!

 

 

I love the idea of the Last True Knight of Caliban! It would fit with in the third founding well, an ancient veteran of the Horus Heresy being granted lordship over a new successor chapter. There are two instances of something similar happening in established fluff, the first being Fafnir Rann and the Executioners chapter, and Sigisimund with the Black Templars, who was old as all hell when he met his end in the First Black Crusade. Love it. It fits with the idea of "monster hunters" in that the original chapter master would have been part of the hunts on Caliban, and he would have that "First Legion Pride" since he was there from the beginning. 

 

I am going to compile my notes for these guys and get a proper post going in the Liber. Thanks alot everyone!


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#20
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Not to gloss over the great discussion this has generated, and the great replies, but I think I have a direction!

 

Now, will there be exceptions? Of course! Why shouldn’t there be one “Last True Knight of Caliban” who lived to see the next millenium dawn and earned the right to pass on the legacy of his doomed world to a Chapter of his own, for instance? The sky’s the limit!

 

 

I love the idea of the Last True Knight of Caliban! It would fit with in the third founding well, an ancient veteran of the Horus Heresy being granted lordship over a new successor chapter. There are two instances of something similar happening in established fluff, the first being Fafnir Rann and the Executioners chapter, and Sigisimund with the Black Templars, who was old as all hell when he met his end in the First Black Crusade. Love it. It fits with the idea of "monster hunters" in that the original chapter master would have been part of the hunts on Caliban, and he would have that "First Legion Pride" since he was there from the beginning. 

 

I am going to compile my notes for these guys and get a proper post going in the Liber. Thanks alot everyone!

 

 

You are most welcome, I'm happy to have been even the smallest help in this regard.


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#21
Chmur

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Don't get me wrong, at the end of the day I'm just presenting an opinion. I don't think of Cypher as a linear character, nor did I expect a "From Luna to the Rock!" jump for him. That having been said, Gathering Storm came and went and a 100+ year leap into continuity was promptly announced. Given that the advertised feel of Warhammer 40K for a very long time boiled down to "the end is nigh/it's the 11th hour," it would feel - to me - somewhat odd if that much time could pass before Cypher's next move. Time will tell, of course; it could be that the new Dark Angels will have a new timeline section, which will include a heap of information regarding Cypher's whereabouts and activities. For now, though, I can't help but feel underwhelmed by the fact that his role in the most crucial events of the Imperium in millennia ended up having nothing to do with the faction he's most tied to.

 
Of course, and I wouldn't want to be received as pushing stuff either, merely contemplating different point of view. As to my experience, each individual tends to even absorb and interpret the written word. The whole 8th ed narrative at the moment is all over the place. Dark Imperium of course pushes it the 100 years forward, since they kinda needed the lore background for Guilliman coming to terms with the new world and as well to have Primaris experience combat etc. I have today finished Shroud of Night (8th ed Alpha Legion novel, going against Imperial Fists, then there's some Khârn and St. Celestine) which moved the story arc forward too. 
 

Spoiler

 

 

I had more written about timelines etc but forum ate it. So I will not :(

 

Not to gloss over the great discussion this has generated, and the great replies, but I think I have a direction!

 
Good, so you won't mind if we keep hijacking this thread further? msn-wink.gif


Edited by Chmur, 08 November 2017 - 07:13 PM.

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#22
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As for what the Lion would do? As stated above, M42 is probably not the right time for a decimation of the ranks. I think the Lion would recognize the quality of Azrael and Grand Masters like Belial, Sammael, etc., but might do away with ones who are too far gone to suit his strategies and tactics (I'm looking at you, Asmodai).

 

Practice makes perfect when punching obstinate chaplains ;)


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#23
Halandaar

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Somewhat related (hopefully); how does misidentification of patronage work?

Let's say that during founding XYZ, it's determined that a new chapter will be founded using DA gene seed. Servitor collects the wrong pot from the gene-fridge and the chapter is raised using Ultramarine material instead. But as far as the records are concerned, it's a DA successor and there is nothing to refute that, and so the chapter is welcomed into the fold of DA successors and over time gains knowledge of the fallen via its own inducted members of the inner circle.

Would this make the slightest bit of difference? I mean, DA and UM don't have severe geneseed flaws like the Blood Angels or Space Wolves, so would it ever be picked up on? Furthermore, would it actually matter? Think you're DA, fight like DA = You ARE DA?

We know it's possible for chapters not to know their own heritage (Blood Ravens) so surely it must be possible for other chapters to be wrong about theirs? Could you feasibly have a chapter with the genetic traits of one legion but the combat doctrine of another in this way?

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#24
FlamingDeth

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I can't think of an instance of it happening, but it seems plausible enough. I'm not sure what difference it would make or how they would find out though. I mean, when they send in geneseed tithes they're tested for purity, right? During that testing would they be able to find a difference between DA and UM geneseed? Also the training cadre would be from the DA so they'd likely end up with some DA geneseed thrown in the mix.

That could make an interesting story too, if there's any genetic preponderance in the geneseed towards typical DA traits then those with the actual DA geneseed would probably end up getting promoted faster. The chapter could develop that into a tradition of tracking the geneseed a lineage, and only those most promising recruits get blessed with the "superior" geneseed.
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#25
Azoriel

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From "Dataslate - Cypher, Lord of the Fallen":

At close ranges, Librarians from the Unforgiven Chapters can pick up the unique psychic signatures of those who bear traces of their shared Primarch.  Even the most spliced or tained gene-seed of Lion El'Jonson emits a distinct signal powerful enough to detect.  This is not a foolproof method, as such readings can vary due to Warp flux or be blocked by psychic dampeners.

 

(I'm not entirely keen on this bit of fluff, but it's there.)  While it's possible that an individual chapter may be unaware of their heritage, the Dark Angels would most certainly know if a chapter given to them wasn't actually one of their own.  If such a thing were to happen, I imagine the Dark Angels would still see fit to instruct said chapter, but keep them at arm's length, not indoctorinating them in any of the legion's deeper mysteries.  (Said chapter may even favor running their first and second companies in terminator armor and bikes, respectively, though probably not with any of the special Deathwing/Ravenwing rules.)


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