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Without the Fallen, what are the Dark Angels?

Dark Angels unforgiven successors

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#26
FlamingDeth

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Yeah I think that bit of fluff may be lame enough to ignore. If that we're the case there wouldn't be so many chapters with no idea who they descended from.
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#27
twopounder

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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?

 

Aside from a robed templar/inquisition era chapter of nomadic marines on a crusade to rebuild from the loss of their home world and operate secretly as a legion? They were also the emperor's body guards, the first legion, have tribal undertones and bikers that are hard to the core without being mary sues.

 

Plus the librarians are truly horrifying, with what I consider the most interesting branch of psychic powers in the game. 


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#28
Frater Cornelius

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Quite an interesting read. The Fallen, isn't that the tragedy of DA? Well, not the Fallen themselves. By now, how much do the Fallen really matter? Bear with me. A paranoid person will remain paranoid, even if the reason that drove him this far is removed. If one has become used to secrecy, one will remain that way, even if there are no secrets to hide. This makes DA one of the more interesting Chapters from a perspective of the human condition. How often do we tell ourselves that we do something wrong just one more time and then stop. But we can't stop, can we? We can't let go. This is the power of the demons we create ourselves. On the surface you see an admirable almost-Legion, noble warriors, loyal to the end. But deep inside, something is very dark. Guilt, hidden away and kept secret. You do not see it, but subconsciously it is making you restless.

This is really amazing. It is not an artificially enforced flaw like the Red Thirst or Canis Helix. It is not an easily quantifyable enemy like Orks, Nids or Tau. DA have to face probably the most insidious and cunning enemy of all, themselves. This is the essence of the human condition.

It reminds me of one of my favourite works, Homer's Iliad. The book starts with rage. Patroclus got killed by Hector and Achilles is restless. He seeks revenge, killing those he holds responsible for it, brings sacrifices, mourns, and yet he is restless. It is not until the end, that Achilles finds peace. But he does not find it killing his enemies, but in forgiveness. Just as the book started with rage, it ended with Achilles finding his peace.

Yet another work comes to mind, which is Goethe's Faust. While not directly related, it shows how man himself is responsible for his own hell. Mephisto did nothing to force Faust to commit those evils, he himself did. To me, this mirrors how the tragedy of the Fallen has gone way farther and deeper, but not by the hand of the Fallen themselves.

Fair enough, I am going on a bit of a tangent here. I do not know whether DA think or feel this way. However, I've been in such a situation, where I hid a very major lie within me. Although outwardly I was fine, my inside got affected by it. To me, this is the reason for this stoicism, the utterly terrifying nature of their Psykers and their restlessness in the pursuit of the Fallen. The belief that the problems will be solved by the removal of the source. But this is external projection. Denial of what has become the real reason for this restlessness. It is fuelled by the darkest emotions that ard burried deep inside. Guilt, anger, and most of all, unforgiveness. This is why I feel the Fallen are essential to the DA experience. Not directly though, but the internal struggle that resulted from it.

Sorry, I just wanted to get this out there, because I am very fascinsted by it. Now then, what are DA without it. Good question. For this, one needs to return to the times of the Legion. They were the first, the paragons on which the other's built. Selfless, but yet relentless. Unfortunately, I can only add very little here that has not been said better by others. My fascination comes mainly from the hole DA keep digging for themselves, how it related to us and what we can learn from it.


Edited by Frater Cornelius, 10 November 2017 - 08:54 AM.

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#29
Phoebus

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Yeah I think that bit of fluff may be lame enough to ignore. If that we're the case there wouldn't be so many chapters with no idea who they descended from.

How about this? While the understanding of the technology involved in creating geneseed has regressed a great deal since the Great Crusade, all Chapters are nonetheless able to retrieve zygotes, cultivate them, and implant brand-new organs into Neophytes. Is it so beyond the realm of possibility that they can use the machines available to them to run the equivalent of a DNA test?


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#30
Bryan Blaire

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Is it so beyond the realm of possibility that they can use the machines available to them to run the equivalent of a DNA test?

It's possible that the machines don't have that function built in.

Even if they do, the bigger question is "Do they know that they can?"

The gene-seed is stored and doled out by the Mechanicum - it's possible that they are the only group that actually knows how identification of the gene-seed is possible.

Take the current state of affairs with our training of surgeons - yes, they've gone through all kinds of training to perform the surgical procedures that they have become proficient in, heart, brain, etc., surgeries, implantations, etc. They are experts in using their equipment to perform these activities, familiar with its process, functions and uses.

However, take one of those surgeons and put that person in a molecular diagnostics lab without any instructions on exactly what procedures he needs to follow to extract the proper amount of material for a diagnostic test panel, which cell lysis buffer is to be used, what DNA extraction procedure is to be followed, and how to actually load the equipment and perform the sequencing procedure, thus the surgeon is very unlikely to be able to actually perform a process that gives you a DNA fingerprint.

These are folks with years, maybe decades, of medical training and expertise, but they don't necessarily know which buttons to use to run a sequence, much less interpret the results.

Even if all of the chemical processes are automated by equipment, that doesn't mean it is all integrated and run by the same piece of equipment. Even if it is just a single piece of equipment, then we have to assume that the Apothecaries know which button(s) to push - and they are willing to risk potentially messing up a piece of gene-seed, because it likely either has to have a piece of a zygote cut off or they have to put the whole thing in the equipment. That's likely a pretty big ask considering the semi-reverence they treat it with.

Even if all of that comes to pass, we would also have to assume that the Apothecaries know how to correctly interpret the results. Even DNA testing works on a % matching basis, and we know that while some of the Chapters have extremely pure gene-seed, that they have indicated that it is some of the most pure implies that to some extent, that gene-seed has degraded some from the original state. So testing it now likely requires comparison to the "true" strain for Legion ID. Let's say that the results show the material is 99.5% Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus, 99.25% Dark Angels, and 99% Imperial Fists, if the distinction is capable of being that far apart. What does that actually mean? Is that gene-seed actually a Luna Wolf zygote? Has the slight degredation of the Dark Angels gene-seed actually brought it more in line with the original Luna Wolves sample? What would it do to the thought processes of the Apothecaries if they got similar results?

There's a lot we don't know about the actual state of all of the gene-seed ID stuff, so it's impossible to say what is or isn't possible, or even likely.
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#31
Phoebus

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Ultimately, my point is that a lot of this is left up in the air. We certainly know that knowledge is corrupted in M41. We know that even very well-trained Apothecaries are quite good at very specific "how's," but not necessarily at any of the "why's." We don't necessarily know what they know or don't know, though, or what capabilities their tools have. That having been said, and without trying to sound like I'm right and you're wrong, I'm confident that at least the Dark Angels possess the capability we're discussing. In Angels of Darkness, we see that their field equipment is good enough to deduce if a kid is a genetic match for their gene-seed. That's a bit apples and oranges where our topic is concerned, but it lends me hope that their equipment can run other, comparatively simple tests.


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#32
Bryan Blaire

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it lends me hope that their equipment can run other, comparatively simple tests.

I appreciate what you are saying, and in "Magic Science Land 40K" and a lot of TV shows, the testing for a DNA fingerprint can be quite simple, but having personally run those same tests, if you perform things incorrectly or don't know how to read and interpret results, you can fingerprint a human being's DNA for certain sequences as a duckbilled platypus based on percentage similarity - and that's with several years experience in the field. I've seen it happen with my own eyes, you can get weird results and they aren't always "human." There is equipment that's set up to tell you "exactly" what bacteria you have in samples (and it's very good, useful and accurate), but again, it is very dependent on you setting everything for the assay up correctly and if you don't, the results are meaningless.

Yes, comparing equipment that can detect whether an implantation would be successful is apples-to-oranges to being able to comparatively test gene-seed and know perfectly which Legion/Primarch it descended from. We don't know whether the testing equipment referenced wouldn't have said that the person tested wasn't also a genetic match for any Chapter's gene-seed, after all, a simple blood test can tell you some things about rejection issues in a patient that genetic testing for the same organ donor/organ recepient won't, and we have drugs specifically to administer to counter issues from the former to letter matches through the latter be moreover beneficial. We know nothing at all about the equipment used and what it was actually testing for and how it tested, what we know is what the character involved knows the machine told him - and that has to be interpreted through the lens of that's character's knowledge, and minimize our assumptions of what it actually means and implies for the universe.

Also, genetic tests for matches for things like marrow transplants where you have a more narrow range of acceptable donors such that the procedure won't kill or severely harm the recepient (such as creating an artificial autoimmune disease in the patient) still won't give you a comparative DNA fingerprint for identification, what they tell you is "these two individuals are reasonably genetically similar so as not to intentionally harm the receiver and provide a reasonable chance of success by a transplant."

All that said, gene-seed and its results is already "magic disguised as science", so if they have a magic science box that can 100% reliably produce a genotype match along a full sequence, or knows exactly what allelic loci it needs to match and can find them perfectly even if the material is slightly degraded and may no longer have the full sequence loci coded any more (I.e. What you need to match may no longer genetically exist in a 100% pure/whole form), I wouldn't put it past GW to write it. It would be totally made up, ignore a lot of things in their own setting, and not be how genetic science actually works, but they could write it.
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#33
Phoebus

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Bryan, what can I say? I don't doubt the complexity of the tests you're talking about in any way... but at the end of the day we are operating with a fictional world wherein technology functions in ways that can't be reconciled with what we know of the real world. The fact of the matter is that Dark Angels can determine whether someone is a genetic match for gene-seed implantation. Yes, this is my subjective opinion, but it is precisely because each First Founding Legion was engineered with distinct gene-seed I find it difficult to accept that the equipment Apothecaries pull out when conducting such trials would complicate matters (or potentially confuse them, even) by including results for other Chapters/Legions.

 

Ultimately, I don't know for certain - no one can, based on the available information - whether or not the technology the Dark Angels possess (or their understanding of it) allows them to test for the origins of any given Space Marine's gene-seed. Instances like Iron Warriors being wise to the fact that Honsou possesses some Imperial Fist gene-seed and mocking him accordingly - despite the fact that none of them could've known about the series of events that led Fabius Bile to mix the genetic matter of the two Legions - nonetheless lead me to believe that this is, indeed, possible, though.

That's all I'm trying to say here, and - with all due respect - I don't want to drag on a side-topic to which there can't be a conclusive answer... especially given that we're talking about nothing more than a rhetorical question. :)


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#34
Bryan Blaire

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That's fine, that's why I said that in Magic 40K Land, they can write it. It doesn't make it any more plausible to me.

GW is all over the place on IDing gene-seed and exactly what tests can determine. One author writes one thing that testing can determine matches, the main setting says that entire Chapters either aren't told who their progenitors are or it can't be determined (after all, the Carmine Blades weren't able to test and see who their lineage was - if it was easy to figure out, they wouldn't have believed that were an Ultramarine lineage until the latter part of the last millennia - and they have presumably been tithing gene-seed under the belief that they were UM successors and were never told they weren't), another author says that a DA Libriarian can detect their own genetic lineage in another, and a further author indicates that there is somehow an outward visible indication that someone possesses a different genetic lineage. This is all part of the "loose canon" situation the setting exists in.

+--------------------------------+

As far as "What would the Dark Angels be without the Hunt/Fallen?"

A stoic, pragmatic, strategic and unwavering band of hunters using the teachings of the Lion and specialist formations that they have utilized for millennia.

The idea of a Second Founding Chapter that is not part of the Hunt isn't that plausible, IMO, specifically because of the Angels of Absolution text - they are an Unforgiven Chapter that believes that they are absolved of all wrong-doing of the Fallen already, and yet still participate in the Hunt out of the duty and honor of being part of the Unforgiven.

A later Successor probably wouldn't have an Inner Circle that doesn't participate, because they wouldn't be inducted into the secret (in which case, why have an Inner Circle) if they aren't participating. They would likely be actively denied as well, so that they can't get too close to the secret of the Fallen.

All my opinion.
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#35
Volt

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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?

The Dark Angels are literally the prototype Space Marine. Their organization is from the bygone age of the early Great Crusade where the Emperor made the First Legion as a testing bed. The "Wings" of the First were to be incorporated into the other Legions in their own unique way. Thus the First Legion consisted of a core of highly skilled tactical infantry, backed up by dedicated specialists purely pursuing a role in combat similar to an Eldar Aspect Warrior (Deathwing, Ravenwing, Dreadwing, etc). It's because of their nature as the literal first legion and proto-legion organization that they get a lot of fun toys compared to the other Chapters, such as rift cannons or areotech stealth technology. They're the closest thing there is to a DAOT Legion/Chapter.

 

Furthermore the Dark Angels were the ones who defined Crusading. They were the first Legion to go to war and led their cousins into the Great Crusade, not relenting until they had been so battered and bruised from non-stop campaigning that they had to replenish ranks. 


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#36
shabbadoo

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The Fallen have never defined the Dark Angels, for me at least. Much more emphasis has been put on them back story-wise than is really necessary. Here are a few reasons, other than The Fallen, as to why the Dark Angels are interesting.

 

The Dark Angels are literally the First Legion. They are not just first on a list, but were literally the first organized Legion, which all other Legions were subsequently based upon. They were the first to serve the Emperor and helped set the Great Crusade in motion. They are the beginning of true Space Marines (Thunder Warriors, while cool, don't count).

 

As the Dark Angels' home world was destroyed, they are a fleet-based Chapter that recruits from many worlds. As such, there is a great variety of backgrounds/appearances among their members. The background part shouldn't be played up much though, as Dark Angels are only Dark Angels; whoever they were before, that person no longer exists as anything but a vague memory. The appearance part however can surely be played up among all of our non-helmeted models in way of skin tone, tribal tattoos, ritual scarring, etc.

 

The Dark Angels Chapter is renowned for its special formations, those being the Deathwing and Ravenwing. Both formations have been presented with Native American themes in the past, but that has now been reduced to just a few feathers on the Deathwing for the most part. Long gone is the painting of stylized symbols on armor, but to each their own.

 

The Dark Angels have a tiered membership structure, which though it currently focuses much on knowledge of the Fallen, not everything about this tiered structure has to do with just that topic. The structure also has much to do with protection from potentially damning knowledge in general, which goes far back to the pre-Fallen days of the Lion and The Order on Caliban. Which leads us to...

 

The Dark Angels have The Watchers in the Dark. Considering the xenosphobia of the 40K Imperium (even though the Emperor was all about using xenos tech when needed), this is an interesting feature of the the Chapter's hidden background. The Dark Angels effectively work alongside powerful xenos psykers who are guardians against the powers of the Warp.

 

The Dark Angels are secretive because they *guard* secrets, and not just the secret of the Fallen (who were seduced by Chaos or led astray by those who had been), but knowledge of certain aspects of Chaos itself.

 

The Dark Angels are less concerned with glory than many other Chapters. They tend to acknowledge accomplishments rather than celebrate them. This is one reason some think of them as being taciturn, when in reality they are simply more interested in performing their function, which is to eradicate the enemies of the Imperium. One dosn't need to receive accolades for simply fulfilling one's purpose.

 

* Edited for awesome typing; those are many of the non-Fallen related reasons why the Dark Angels are interesting, but it is by no means an exhaustive list.


Edited by shabbadoo, 16 November 2017 - 12:20 PM.

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