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Khorne Power Armour

Khorne Chaos Space Marine Power Armour Black Library

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26 replies to this topic

#1
RobWrath

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Kind of a fluff related question - how much time to CSMs (or normal SMs) spend in full armour when they are not actually in battle? I've seen pictures of SMs out of armour but never seen or read a description of a CSM taking theirs off.

 

I know that Khorne marines/World Eaters have a culture of fighting pits; the impression I got from Chris Dow's BL book about Khârn (The Red Path) is that they go into the fighting pits in full power armour. This seems a bit ridiculous to me, but if that's what the lore says...

 

Also, I remember that part of the rules related to the Mark of Khorne in 2e was an improved armour save, and the fluff that went along with this rule said something like 'the armour becomes part of the marine and he can never remove it'. Is this still a thing? 



#2
sfPanzer

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Depends on how much "downtime" they get I guess. Usually it's not that much since their only purpose is to fight. In some situations like during the build-up of devastation of baal Dante didn't even get to sleep for a single minute for quite some time.


Disclaimer:

If my posts appear rude to you, I apologize. It's not meant to be rude in any way, it's just the way folks are in my country. It's really more about being direct than being rude. I know how it's perceived in the english speaking community and I already try to tone it down but I barely notice when it's too much since it's normal for me.


So yeah, I'm really not rude it's basically just cultural differences that act against me here. Again, I apologize.

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#3
Midnight Brotherhood

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I'm not sure about Khorne devotees or World Eaters but I know in particular with the Night Lords they take their armour off regularly for maintenance and wear robes while on their ships in their on decks/quarters, you see this quite alot through the Night Lords omnibus particularly post-battle when alot of repairs are needed. They tend to have sparring matches and training as well outside of their armour as well as small war councils sometimes. Sometimes meetings are held in their warplate, sometimes without. Depends on what is generally happening at the time.


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#4
RobWrath

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One thought is that in the warband type setup of your typical ex-WE, there is probably so much infighting that staying armed and armoured at all times is probably a pretty basic survival strategy. I'm certain that the Mark of Khorne used to mean that the armour became part of the marine's body.



#5
Slasher956

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well the wulfen of the 13th company were wearing bits of armour from all the legions in the 13th crusade release so the armour (at least then) could be removed.......


Dyspraxic & Dyslexic  - So I might not write/explain what I think I have as clearly as intended to.... 

 

I'm confussed... what side of the fence am I on???

 

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#6
AHorriblePerson

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Concerning the World Eaters' fighting pits, all I know is that they used to take off their armor when they stepped into the ring. That's how it was in Betrayer, which took place during the Heresy. I don't think that there's a definitive answer as to wether that's still the case in 40k, since many marines have fused with their armor over the course of the Long War. That's no longer something that the Mark of Khorne brings with it, but rather a result of prolonged warp exposure.

If you want to create lore for your own warband, there's really nothing stopping you from going either way. If you want them to enter the arena armed and armored, they will. If you think that makes less sense, they don't. What you say goes.


Edited by AHorriblePerson, 22 November 2018 - 11:37 AM.

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#7
RobWrath

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Concerning the World Eaters' fighting pits, all I know is that they used to take off their armor when they stepped into the ring. That's how it was in Betrayer, which took place during the Heresy. I don't think that there's a definitive answer as to wether that's still the case in 40k, since many marines have fused with their armor over the course of the Long War. That's no longer something that the Mark of Khorne brings with it, but rather a result of prolonged warp exposure.

If you want to create lore for your own warband, there's really nothing stopping you from going either way. If you want them to enter the arena armed and armored, they will. If you think that makes less sense, they don't. What you say goes.

 

Ah, thanks. I'm just about to read Betrayer so I'm looking forward to finding out a bit more about that. 

 

I'm just in the process of writing a bit of fluff for my warband where my Chaos lord ends up on board his to-be warband's ship (or one of them) and has to go about subduing them and installing himself as the new leader. So I was thinking how he might do that and that led me to wonder about Khornate CSMs when they are not on duty. 

 

I think a fair assumption is that the older a CSM is, the more likely parts of his body and his armour have become one. Whether they can take it off completely or not isn't really something I'm worried about so I'll probably gloss over that. 

 

An aside, I used to view the Mark of Khorne armour boost as justification for my Berzerkers not wearing full armour; it's not the material of the armour itself that is giving the protection, it is the effect of Khorne blessing that individual. So I have always tended to model my Berzerkers in half-armour (because it looks cool). However, that's not a thing in the fluff or in the rules anymore...but never mind.


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#8
Iron Father Ferrum

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Its been mentioned in every CSM codex I can remember that sometimes, the mutating power of the Warp actually melds the armor to the Space Marine.
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#9
Gederas

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Everyone above me has already summed it up pretty well.

 

So really, it depends on how long your warband spends in the Warp. For those who spend time there at a minimum, they'd probably be able to take their armour off without any problem.


Edited by Gederas, 22 November 2018 - 03:14 PM.


#10
RobWrath

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Thanks all. Food for thought.

 

Perhaps this has been explored somewhere in the BL, but if you are an old-hand CSM from the time of the Horus Heresy it's possible (likely) that you wont have taken your power armour off for thousands of years. Imagine if it was terminator armour? 

 

Must be a pretty torturous existence.



#11
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Everyone above me has already summed it up pretty well.

So really, it depends on how long your warband spends in the Warp. For those who spend time there at a minimum, they'd probably be able to take their armour off without any problem.


Also, depends on what your folks do in the Warp. In the Ahriman series, the Thousand Sons sorcerers spend a lot of time there, but they also do tons of ritual stuff in robes and just telekinetically attach their own armor when they need it. Having arming slaves is considered a sign of weakness, at least in Ahriman's crew.

Some other Marines might not leave their armor often out of paranoia about either their comrades or their slaves. Do that too long in the warp and....whoops.

On the other hand, some probably WANT it that way. Iron Warriors come to mind there.

World Eaters are probably a mix of the latter two.
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#12
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I tend to think thousands of years subjected to the Butcher's Nails is the biggest influence on Worldeaters behavior - the norms duty and downtime are probably a distant memory. From Betrayer, it's pretty clear discipline and routines are breaking down during the heresy.

That.said, the Nightlords series suggests that time passes in a radically different way in the warp, so there's wide latitude to craft a timeline that fits your force
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#13
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Just started Betrayer, so I'll enjoy learning more about that. Already enjoying the ADB's savage portrayal of Angron. 

I've enjoyed the first 2 chapters more than I enjoyed the entirity of Khârn: The Red Path by Chris Dows.

 

Fair to say that the Butcher's Nails affects different marines in different ways? Physical pain, madness, bloodlust (obviously), and some can get nearer 'normality' than others despite their affects?



#14
Sgt. Blank

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Fair to say that the Butcher's Nails affects different marines in different ways? Physical pain, madness, bloodlust (obviously), and some can get nearer 'normality' than others despite their affects?


From my recollection, the difference is more that some Worldeaters are better at resisting the Nails than others. In the second Black Legion book, a World Eaters captain resists being baited into a suicidal fight. On the other hand, the source material is full of examples of headlong charges into heavy fire followed.

Honestly, it seems likely to me that leaders would be more lucid than your average World Eater, if I my due to having survived 10,000 years

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#15
RobWrath

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Fair to say that the Butcher's Nails affects different marines in different ways? Physical pain, madness, bloodlust (obviously), and some can get nearer 'normality' than others despite their affects?


From my recollection, the difference is more that some Worldeaters are better at resisting the Nails than others. In the second Black Legion book, a World Eaters captain resists being baited into a suicidal fight. On the other hand, the source material is full of examples of headlong charges into heavy fire followed.

Honestly, it seems likely to me that leaders would be more lucid than your average World Eater, if I my due to having survived 10,000 years

 

Glad you said that last line as it's the way I'd interpreted it too.

 

The home-made fluff for my warband leader says he's a WE from the time of the Horus Heresy, and it's going to follow him as he survives the rest of his original WE warband being destroyed and as he builds his own. I was going to write the affect of the Butcher's Nails as a kind of dual personality. When there is any chance of violence they scream at him to act and he literally hears it as a voice in his head. His interpretation of that voice is that it is Khorne speaking to him; he's essentially a religious fanatic. 

 

He may be going mad, but very, very slowly. 


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#16
techsoldaten

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With regards to power armor, my understanding was that the average CSM does not remove their power armor - it's fused on. This was in the early fluff, where horns and spikes were more common, and Daemon Armor and Spiky Bits were upgrades you could take.

 

With regards to the psychology of World Eaters leaders, I think about that from time to time. It has to be similar to living as a functional alcoholic, they adapt to life with this incessant urge rattling around in their heads. I imagine the average Berzerker would spend time seeking balance between the demands of the Nails and his own self-preservation, knowing he can't fight *all* the time yet being driven to do so by the slightest stimuli. Some new normal would emerge, where his primary drive becomes channeling those urges in a satisfying manner while avoiding the situations that would set him down a path to his own destruction (i.e. killing everyone in his warband, since there's an undeniable safety in numbers.)

 

Leaders have to be constructive, they have to set a goal and get others to follow. Being in charge of a Berzerker warband would be like leading a confederacy of murderers. With the constant risk of enemies within and without, rationalizing this position would be impossible without an arrogant belief in his own superiority and the promise of some reward beyond measure. Add to that having to deal with the Butcher's Nails himself - they are always on - the day-to-day existence of a Berzerker leader becomes a little more narrow. He has to command fear to the point where his men aren't going to kill him, he has to satisfy his own urges with a constant stream of violence, and he has a powerful incentive to earn the favor of the Gods in the most efficient manner possible - otherwise he becomes just another skull on the throne. He surrounded by others with the same drives and knows he can be replaced easily.

 

When I think about it that way, I wonder if a Berzerker could go around without armor, even for a few minutes. It feels like that would be seen as weakness and result in a quick decapitation.


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#17
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I'm just remembering back in 2nd ed the zerkers and Khorne aligned characters had a 2+ save where everybody else had 3+ because of their chaos armour.


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#18
techsoldaten

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I'm just remembering back in 2nd ed the zerkers and Khorne aligned characters had a 2+ save where everybody else had 3+ because of their chaos armour.

 

Certainly made them more viable. I think it was they all had Daemonic Armor standard, no?

 

One of the things about the current incarnation that gets to me is this idea of madmen storming across the battlefield with no regard for their personal safety. The 40k universe is full of things that immediately wipe out massed infantry, this tactic wouldn't be viable.

 

There would have to be a mechanic that gives them an edge beyond extra swings of an axe. The older depictions made them a little more sinister, imbued with a certain dark majesty through upgrades.



#19
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Keep in mind though that fluff and crunch don't see eye to eye. Those Berzerkers running across an open field directly in the face of a deluge of artillery shells are not going to be stopped by shellfire in fluff.

Edited by Iron Father Ferrum, 28 November 2018 - 02:43 PM.

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#20
sfPanzer

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Keep in mind though that fluff and crunch don't see eye to eye. Those Berzerkers running across an open field directly in the face of a deluge of artillery shells are not going to be stopped by shellfire in fluff.

^this

In fluff infantry storming across the battlefield is very much a thing. Not just Orks and Daemons but also Marines who are supposed to shrug off most incoming fire thanks to their Power armour.


Disclaimer:

If my posts appear rude to you, I apologize. It's not meant to be rude in any way, it's just the way folks are in my country. It's really more about being direct than being rude. I know how it's perceived in the english speaking community and I already try to tone it down but I barely notice when it's too much since it's normal for me.


So yeah, I'm really not rude it's basically just cultural differences that act against me here. Again, I apologize.

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#21
RobWrath

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I'm just remembering back in 2nd ed the zerkers and Khorne aligned characters had a 2+ save where everybody else had 3+ because of their chaos armour.

 

Yeah, that was the result of the Mark of Khorne. All the marks gave a particular power, Mo Nurgle gave +1T, for example. #

Can't remember the Slaanesh and Tzeentch effects.

 

Meant that your berserker terminators and Khornate Chaos Lords and champions had a 2+ save on 2D6. 



#22
RobWrath

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With regards to power armor, my understanding was that the average CSM does not remove their power armor - it's fused on. This was in the early fluff, where horns and spikes were more common, and Daemon Armor and Spiky Bits were upgrades you could take.

 

With regards to the psychology of World Eaters leaders, I think about that from time to time. It has to be similar to living as a functional alcoholic, they adapt to life with this incessant urge rattling around in their heads. I imagine the average Berzerker would spend time seeking balance between the demands of the Nails and his own self-preservation, knowing he can't fight *all* the time yet being driven to do so by the slightest stimuli. Some new normal would emerge, where his primary drive becomes channeling those urges in a satisfying manner while avoiding the situations that would set him down a path to his own destruction (i.e. killing everyone in his warband, since there's an undeniable safety in numbers.)

 

Leaders have to be constructive, they have to set a goal and get others to follow. Being in charge of a Berzerker warband would be like leading a confederacy of murderers. With the constant risk of enemies within and without, rationalizing this position would be impossible without an arrogant belief in his own superiority and the promise of some reward beyond measure. Add to that having to deal with the Butcher's Nails himself - they are always on - the day-to-day existence of a Berzerker leader becomes a little more narrow. He has to command fear to the point where his men aren't going to kill him, he has to satisfy his own urges with a constant stream of violence, and he has a powerful incentive to earn the favor of the Gods in the most efficient manner possible - otherwise he becomes just another skull on the throne. He surrounded by others with the same drives and knows he can be replaced easily.

 

When I think about it that way, I wonder if a Berzerker could go around without armor, even for a few minutes. It feels like that would be seen as weakness and result in a quick decapitation.

I really like this post - gets to the heart of it, I think.

 

You could re-write that 'maybe, maybe' ADB post but from the point of view of the warlord of a berserker warband. It would become more a question of 'How can I survive until tomorrow while making the pain from the Nails go away for just a little bit.'

 

I think there's a lot more to them, especially the Lords, than mindless savages. I'd like to bring in a bit of the religious angle too; my warlord has unshakeable faith in Khorne and believes his god guides him and actually speaks to him. This informs a lot of things that he does. 


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#23
Rasclomalum

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When I think about it that way, I wonder if a Berzerker could go around without armor, even for a few minutes. It feels like that would be seen as weakness and result in a quick decapitation.

 

However, for precisely this reason, there could be Khornate warbands to whom not wearing armour outside of combat is seen as a badge of bravery and defiance in the face of internecine betrayal.

 

Psychology can be weird that way.


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#24
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"Zhufor had bided his time, but now he chose to strike. Mastery of the Khorne-worshipping warbands was the first of his two tasks. They respected only martial prowess and few could match Zhufor’s. A giant of a man, he led by example and by fear. Now he challenged the leader of the Berserkers of Skallathrax to a duel. At stake would be the leadership of both warbands. To refuse would be an affront to Khorne, and would no doubt see his opponent ousted by his own ambitious followers anyway. Such a battle between his champions would please Khorne mightily.

 

So, stripped of armour and armed with chainaxes the two Chaos lords fought to the death, Zhufor winning the mighty combat. Striking the head from his opponent, he raised it to the baying crowd and claimed, by right of conquest, lordship over the Berserkers of Skallathrax. Any who would oppose his rule must fight him now. None did. Zhufor was Khorne's chosen champion on Vraks and now he had proved it with his own blood-soaked hands. The Berserkers of Skallathrax would fight for him."

 

- Imperial Armour 7: Siege of Vraks


Edited by Lay, 02 December 2018 - 02:16 PM.

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#25
techsoldaten

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When I think about it that way, I wonder if a Berzerker could go around without armor, even for a few minutes. It feels like that would be seen as weakness and result in a quick decapitation.

 

However, for precisely this reason, there could be Khornate warbands to whom not wearing armour outside of combat is seen as a badge of bravery and defiance in the face of internecine betrayal.

 

Psychology can be weird that way.

 

 

I'm sure this would be a thing. Gladiator pits appear in the lore frequently and marshal challenges often include intentional handicapping.

 

That said, there's more to Berzerker armor than just protection. It's a proclamation of contempt for the weak along with a tribute to Khorne and dedication to his ideals.

 

Ritual combat is a big part of any warrior culture. A fight might be a challenge between 2 champions seeking dominance. It may also be a demonstration of the devotion of the combatants meant to emphasize much more than who's the boss.

 

In the later case, I would expect something more like traditional theater - the combatants would deck themselves out as much as possible, covering themselves in runes and skulls, polishing the gild on the trim to a faint glimmer, clawing off the gore to make sure everyone can see the teeth of their chainaxe. They would approach the pit less like an individual and more as an expression of the collective values of the warband, transcending the moment to become the embodiment of Khorne's glory. The combat itself becomes a validation of their grim outlook at every level.

 

So there's lots to consider about the meaning of Khornate armor. I like thinking of it as a symbol, one that's immediately recognizable and communicates utter contempt and cruelty. The situations where a Berzerker would want to go without it are rare, the sight of it is just as much a weapon as a chainsword.


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