...It's time, brothers.
I've hit SERIOUS writer's block with all my plans for the XI Legion and their potential successors, and the call of the Stonebound grows stronger and stronger, beckoning me with promises of eternal glory. Again. And I'm fairly sure I'm going to mess it up. Again.
Still... it's been ten years since my first attempt at creating the Stonebound.
I surely owe it to everyone who's ever commented on past iterations of the Stonebound to at least try and complete my boys in brown, and hopefully do the Chapter justice.
There's a real, tangible difference between this and my previous attempts at a Dwarf-themed Chapter, too.
This time, I know exactly what I want, and what I don't need. I don't need any complications, I need to keep it all simple, and I need to keep it all Dwarfy.
That said, I need to avoid going MAXIMUM DWARF if possible, because there is such a thing as over-theming. Balance, as always, is the key! I think I've gotten better at that over the last couple of years, so now it's time to put myself to the test once more.
War with Orks, lost worlds, lost treasures, and vengeance undying. Sounds Dwarfy enough to me, so; on with the outline!
-=-=-= Updates highlighted in GLORIOUS
DWARVEN IMPERIAL GOLD =-=-=-
* Inspirations: Tolkien's Dwarves, Warhammer Fantasy's Dwarfs and the proud and mighty Dwarves of Dwarf Fortress in roughly that order. Possibly some Discworld Dwarf stuff added as seasoning if required, unsure here.
* Sixth Founding, Imperial Fists geneseed
(it was inevitable), assigned to The Glastheim Rifts to take back worlds for the Imperium.
* Take a homeworld (Kharabor, or 'Keystone' in Gothic), but also over time establish Chapter keeps on dozens of other worlds, possibly even recruitment rights on a few also to help supply the Chapter in their widespread war against the Orks.
* Eventually have keeps, recruitment bases, forges, outposts etc on dozens of worlds all over the subsector, manned by serfs, with important worlds getting a squad of marines on a semi-permanent basis. Huge success, the Chapter is touted as a glorious and worthy force for good and right across the segmentum.
* Heretic uprisings start destabilizing reclaimed worlds, and the Stonebound scramble to meet this internal threat, spreading themselves thin throughout their territory.
* Everything changed when the
Fire Nation Greenskins attacked.
* Galgor Toof-robba, Prophet of Mork (or Gork) unites a vast army under a single banner through his charisma and flawless Orky rhetoric, convincing the otherwise disparate Ork clans that:
a] They're already dead, living in Gork (or Mork)'s promised paradise, where there is everything an Ork could want, even tough enemies to fight.
b] Since they're already dead, they can't die, and instead will return to the Last World, where they'd previously been better and Orkier than everyone else.
c] The Stonebound exist as a test for the Orks to see if they're still Orky and 'Ard enough for Gork or Mork's favour - to flee such a test would get them kicked out of paradise.
* The Stonebound fight hard, but underestimate both the numbers and the ruthless low cunning of their foe, and while The Chapter is spread so thinly , a massive horde launches a surprise attack on Kharabor.
* The Stonebound lose Kharabor, and half their number die in rushed attempts to retake it.
* This, along with the other misdeeds of the vile orks and insidious heretics , gets carved onto 'grudge-stones', which the Chapter treat as the physical incarnation of their dishonour, to be ritually broken when the grudge engraved on such a stone is avenged.
* There are soon a LOT of these stones, because the Orks have momentum on their side and start taking other worlds all over the subsector, including many of the Stonebound's Keeps and outposts.
* The Chapter, growing desperate, makes a new home on the icy, mountainous world of Kagara (or 'Mountainhome' in Gothic), vowing that this is the world where the Chapter will either forge their legacy or dig their graves, until the day that Kharabor is reclaimed.
* The Stonebound and the orks are locked in eternal struggle, broken only by occasional interference by the Heretics in the Glsatheim Rifts. The formation of the Silver Circle, with five othr Chapters forming a border guard around the Glastheim Rifts, gives the Stonebound more chance to focus on retaking their homeworld.
* The orks (and sometimes heretics) continue to lock the Stonebound in a grinding, difficult conflict. Eventually, on the world of [NAME PENDING], The Stonebound attempt to establish a keep, and awaken a foul being in the world's depths, dragging an ancient, half-forgotten dynasty of Necron into the battle.
* Endless stalemate, in short. Until...
*Though the Stonebound are initially highly sceptical of them, Primaris marines have finally given the Chapter the means to tip the scales against the hated Orks. The Campaign to reclaim Kharabor, and thus shatter the oldest Grudge-Stone once and for all, is no longer a mere dream, but a real possibility. So, Grudgingly (how else?), the Stonebound begin to accept the Primaris marines as their kin.
* Note to self: Must use the sidebar Octavulg graciously
created hand-forged in its' entirety, otherwise he will rise from his slumber to break my ribs in several places and cast my ruined carcass into the endless depths below the earth
* Typical Stonebound marine: Stoic, insular, honour-bound (by their own metric) and intensely loyal to their brothers. Possessed of a burning, righteous hatred for all orks.
* Stonebound as a Chapter: The Stonebound never forget a debt - for good or ill. The Stonebound are slow to trust, but are extremely reliable allies to the lucky few that can call them friend. Master artisans who make exemplary weapons and armour, though much of their best gear is either lost to orks or - more rarely - kept buried in long-forgotten Chapter keeps that the Orks haven't yet been able to loot.
* Homeworld: Gone is the old, over-complicated Kagara of my last draft; instead it's a basic world of inhospitable ice and snow, with ancient underground roads, cities and passages constructed during the lost golden age of humanity. Now inhabited by tech-worshipping primitives, who fight gribbly creatures in the dark places, or each other when the Great Cities go to war.
* Beliefs: Share in the dream of a united humanity and a galaxy with no greenskins in it. The Chapter practically views vengeance as a holy act. The breaking of a Grudge-Stone is considered a cause for celebration, and usually a feast to honour the dead and the brave. The Stonebound venerate those who came before them, with great pride in their lineage, ancestry and history. They venerate the Emperor as the "Ultimate Ancestor", the very pinnacle of humanity, and think of Dorn much the same way Tolkien's Dwarves think of Durin - being able to trace their lineage to Dorn himself is a massive point of pride to the Chapter.
* Combat Doctrine: Slow, methodical, with a whole lot of massed firepower. Fast attack units are used mostly as support for flanks, or otherwise kept behind the inexorably advancing front line. Assault units are mostly reserved for counter-charges and finishing off weakened enemies that would otherwise impede the battle-line's progress. Axes are a favoured melee weapon in the Chapter, derived from the 'half-pickaxe-half-battleaxe' common to miners and warriors of Kagara. Centurion Suits with Siege Hammers are a favoured tool of the Chapter for breaking through particularly stubborn enemy defences.
* Organisation: First Company "Redshields" have different heraldry from the rest of the Chapter. They also have individual shields engraved with notable deeds, battle honours, grudges avenged, and the marine's personal heraldry. The Fortress Monastery on Kagara is lined with the shields of dead battle-brothers. Librarians are renamed "Sages" and are responsible for a Company's Grudge-Stones. The Chapter's Dreadnoughts are nicknamed the Ironbound, and treated with the reverence due to a mighty, venerable warrior encased in a masterfully built death machine. Otherwise, Codex-standard Organisation. Weapons that were used to slay notable enemies or settle a Grudge are embellished, given a unique name, and added to the Chapter's listed reliquary, considered rightful treasures of the Chapter for evermore.
* Geneseed: 100% Dorn, no notable mutations or flaws beyond Vanilla Fists. Willing to take suggestions if this bit's too boring, but honestly don't know what to add.
* Battlecry: "I AM A DWARF AND I'M DIGGING A HOLE" - recited as a litany as the line advances * Battlecry: "Death is all around us. This does not frighten me." - recited as a litany as the line advances
* Battlecry: "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken!" - recited as a litany as the line advances
* Heraldry: Rich brown armour, cream-coloured shoulders. First company has red shoulders with cream trim instead. A pair of crossed axes for the Chapter badge, although part of me is wondering if crossed pickaxes would be better or worse...
--Standard Stonebound Battle Brother--
As with all my Chapters, I'm happy to hear any thoughts, ideas or other C&C you all might have.
Does this sound like a worthwhile Chapter, or should I take this old relic of an idea back to the drawing board again?
The Re-Forging Process Continues - I've moved the Stonebound to my Glastheim Rifts setting (with all the myriad enemies, allies, politics and general trouble that entails). No Eldar enemies, but there are dirty scheming heretics aplenty to add machinations and schemes to keep the Stonebound and the orks fighting FOREVER.
… I may have also added the stirrings of a Necron Dynasty to add to the !!FUN!! around Kharabor.
So much for "Keep it simple", eh?
I'm always happy to hear thoughts and opinions, so please make your voice heard if any of the updates strike you as good or terrible ideas!
I'm expecting mostly they fall on the side of "terrible", but then at least I'm being consistent with the Stonebound, right?
Edited by Ace Debonair, 22 February 2020 - 01:54 PM.