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The Iron Paladins Chapter - Comments and Critique Welcome

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SisterChristian

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Ladies and Gentlemen!

 

For your consideration, I've decided to post the following lore for my homebrew Chapter.  I hope that it meets with your approval.  The background influences are derived from a multitude of sources.  The most prevalent of which are, as you can see, the now defunct Warhammer Fantasy's Bretonnia, Medieval Chivalry, the Winged Hussars of Poland, Steppe History and Arthurian Myth.  

 

I hope I haven't written anything that makes them seem too perfect or that greviously violates the canon as established by Games Workshop's writers.

 

I'm more than happy to take comments, advice and criticism as I said.  I've got a thick skin and am more than happy to discuss things with you all.

 

With that said: 

 

 

 

The Iron Paladins:

 

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The Iron Paladins:

 

Descended from the White Scars, the Iron Paladins Chapter was created during the 24th Founding.  They were sent to the galactic north to guard the frontier against the many threats that stood against the Imperium’s citizens in that benighted region.  Consisting of over a thousand Astartes, they favored the highly mobile and decentralized form of warfare practiced by their progenitor Chapter.

 

As such, the Astartes of the Iron Paladins chose to deviate strongly from the Codex Astartes in their beliefs and practices.

After the fall of Cadia and the creation of the Circatrix Maledictum, the Chapter was among the many that became unaccounted for during the long years following the division of the Imperium prior to the Indomitus Crusade.

 

The Marines of this Chapter have a Fortress-Monastery known as Karak on the world of Gauntlet, located in the galactic north, west of the Malefactus, beyond the Weeping Star and far from Apollonia.  However, they favor projecting their forces as far afield as possible and it often a handful of their knights might have to decide the outcome of a battle across several planets.

 

Located on the fringe of Imperial space, along the Logres Reach, they were always confronted with a multitude of foes.  With division of mankind’s realm, they became locked in a grim crusade, a fight for their lives along the rotting edge of the Imperium.

 

Heraldry:

 

A coiled black dragon on a red field.

 

Organization and Tactics:

 

Combat Doctrine:

 

Due to their location on the edge of the Imperium and their non-Codex way of fighting, the need to expand their highly mobile way of war was further reinforced to the Chapter’s first leaders.  They needed a mobile combat platform that could carry one of their knights into battle.  Something that could be sustained on local resources and cover great distances without needing parts or fuel.  To that end, they turned to the genetically enhanced steeds ridden by the aristocracy on the feudal world that was Gauntlet.

 

Over a generation, the Chapter’s combined resources and the help of local tech-priests produced the first of the Destriers.  These mighty steeds were clad in ceramite barding and could bear the weight of their Astartes riders.  These genetically altered war-steeds were deemed a worthy fit for the Chapter’s needs and it was a way of fighting familiar to the primitive aspirants that came from Gauntlet’s feudal lands.

 

Due to the fact that the Chapter is operating on the edge of the Imperium and its holdings are strung out across several primitive worlds, its Marines have been instructed to use their melee weapons primarily and conserve their precious ammunition if possible.  A set of instructions which already suited their highly mobile and aggressive way of war.

 

Following the division of the Imperium, the Chapter began hurriedly throwing out heavily fortified outposts and later citadels called Keeps across the Logres Reach.

 

This system of offensive operations from a fortified position allowed the Iron Paladins to mitigate their numerical weaknesses and shore up their position across the Reach.  The remaining Astartes based on Gauntlet operate as a mobile reserve for any beleaguered force in the Reach.

 

Structure:

 

Every Company was over a hundred battle-brothers strong at the Chapter’s inception.  The Companies were given to the charge of Knight-Captains.  They were further broken down into two Demi-Companies, led by a Knight-Banneret.  The Demi-Companies were broken down into five-six squads of ten-plus Marines, known as Lances.

 

After the introduction of their steeds the chapters maintained their organization, as established along the following lines:

 

1st Company: Axeblade

 

2nd Company: Winged Lancers – Known for their wings that they wear attached to their armor’s powerpacks.

 

3rd Company: Reaver

 

4th Company: Manticore

 

5th Company: Questors – Often a Demi-Company in size, the Marines of this Company are often on different quests across the Logres Reach.  Whether searching for lost artifacts or recovering caches of weapons, these Marines may spend years wandering across the bounds of the Reach.  Any Astartes from one of the other companies who declares a desire to go on a quest is moved over to this Company, but a Battle-Brother who has returned must then take his place in his former unit.

 

6th Company: Ironclad

 

7th Company: Shieldwall – The only Company that fights on foot in the manner of a more conventional Astartes Chapter.

 

8th Company: Spearhead – Like the 9th Company, the Astartes of this unit are stretched thin, the bulk of the Chapter’s remaining armored vehicles, such as their tanks and land raiders, are concentrated here. 

 

9th: Company: Dragonriders – More of a demi-company after the sundering of the Imperium.  Contains the Chapter’s Jump-Pack Squadrons.  With the Imperium being divided and the Chapter so far from help and spare parts being in short supply, these Marines are generally held as a mobile reserve at the Fortress-Monastery of Karak on Gauntlet.

 

10th Company: Hammerhand – The Chapter’s Scout Marines, known as Demi-Lancers.

Champions and Dreadnoughts are not attached to any one company but are instead sent where needed.

 

The Immortals: These Space Marines are chosen from the most promising leaders and champions.  To serve in the Grandmaster’s Honor Guard is to gain insight into the inner workings of the Chapter and how to command.  For this honor is a key step in becoming a commander.  This opportunity allows an Astartes to prove his loyalty to the Chapter and not just his Company.  Following his service in the Immortals, a Marine may choose to continue along the path to Knight-Banneret and then Captain.

 

Dragon Knights:  The Dragon Knights serve as the Grandmaster’s war council and theater commanders.  Only by proving themselves in battle and slaying one of the mighty fire-breathing drakes that lurk within the mountains of Gauntlet’s northern regions, can they earn a place in this esteemed brotherhood.  These veteran warriors have often served as Captains, for the Chapter will not let a junior Space Marine embark on such a perilous quest.  The Dragon Knights serve as the Grandmaster’s inner circle and his right hand throughout the Reach.

 

Recruitment and Ranks:

 

Even with their ties to Terra severed, the Astartes knew their mission remained.  To that end, they redoubled their efforts to try and replenish their depleted ranks and then to increase their Chapter’s strength.  Whether it’s Gauntlet or any of the other primitive worlds across the Logres Reach, all aspirants follow the same general path to becoming an Iron Paladin.  Those who fail or choose to leave the path may return home or continue service as Chapter Serfs or Retainers in the Planetary Hordes.

 

Acolyte:  A hopeful entrant to the Chapter’s ranks.

 

Page – A recruit who has passed the first tests and can now begin his journey.

 

Squire – Much of the training has been completed and nearly all the implants required to make an Astartes are present.

 

Demi-Lancer:  A Marine who’s received his black carapace and can now prove himself worthy of his spurs as a scout.

 

Knight-Brother:  A fully fledged Astartes knight.

 

Knight-Sergeant:  A veteran warrior and leader.  Also chosen as Honor Guards and Champions.

 

Knight-Technicus:  The Chapter term for a Techmarine

 

Knight-Arcanos: The Chapter term for a Librarian

 

Knight-Sanctis:  These zealous warrior serve as the Chaplains, they remind their Brethren of their chivalric values and to adhere to their way of war, preserving ammunition and precious vehicles when savagery and steel will suffice.

 

Knight-Banneret:  An experienced leader and tactical expert, these Battle-Brothers lead Demi-Companies and plan operations.

 

Knight-Captain:  A Knight-Captain is entrusted with one of the Chapter’s precious Companies and must be a master of his craft in all aspects.

 

Knight-Castellan:  A proven commander who has been charged with overseeing the many keeps strung across the Logres Reach.  After the emergence of the great Rift, they also serve as the de-facto Barons for each planet in the Reach.

 

Knight-Marshal:  The Chapter’s second-in-command.

 

Grandmaster: The senior-most leader and most powerful warrior in all the Chapter, a master of warfare on both planets and the void.  Only a proven Dragon Knight may serve as the Grandmaster of the Chapter.  In recent times, the Grandmaster and his Castellans have assumed a more direct role in ruling the worlds of the Reach.

 

The Cilician Campaign:

 

Before the Fall of Cadia and the creation of the Circatrix Maledictum, the Astartes of the Iron Paladins had planned to both expand their Chapter’s size and their influence.  They’d learned of many calls for aid along the eastern fringe, near the Blazing Frontier, and they determined to send a force to help safeguard that region.  They chose the thinly defended Cilician Nebula as their position and began gathering their strength.

 

Over the following generations, a force of five overstrength companies was assembled.  They were allotted what Dreadnoughts, gunships and armored vehicles could be spared.  In addition, a handful of Dragon Knights and the Tancred, the senior Knight-Castellan was chosen to lead the force.

 

A handful of Imperial Knights and a detachment of Planetary Guard were allowed to accompany the expedition as well.  The Cilician Campaign was then allotted enough ships the supplies and human personnel needed to support the expedition. 

 

The Astartes arrived successfully in the Cilician Nebula and it was shortly after that the Imperium was split in half.  While the occasional ship will travel from the Logres Reach to Cilicia, communication has been infrequent and fragmented at the best of times.  What is known is that, like their cohorts to the galactic north, the Astartes along the eastern fringe fight on with the same grim resolve as their brethren half a galaxy away.

 

The Imperium Nihilus:

 

The great warp rift ensured that, like so many others, the Iron Paladins were cut off from the Astronomican and all hope of reinforcement.  Like their White Scar progenitors, they were a boisterous and comradely brotherhood.  Living among and fighting along the humans of the primitive worlds they protected for so long had led them to form strong ties with them.

 

For the humans of the Reach, the Astartes were their inspiration and their hope.  They represented the best of humanity and nearly every family on those far-flung worlds would send many of their sons to serve the Chapter or become Astartes.

 

The Iron Paladins had fought long and hard to defend this stretch of Imperial space and they would not abandon their charges now.  They sent four of their precious ships to try and find a way across the great rift that now bisected the Imperium.  One returned home after escorting the other three to their departure point.

 

Of those three ships and the handful of Astartes who boarded them, nothing is known.

 

Their forlorn attempt to try and call for aid done; the rest of the Iron Paladins turned back to their old mission of defending the Logres Reach.  They divided their numbers even further and turned to their human servants.  Ordinarily some of their decisions might have been out of the question, but they were on the frontier and no one was coming.

 

So it was that the Grandmaster of the Iron Paladins assumed all authority over the Logres Reach and planned for the last stand of its people.  The Grandmaster became the High King of the Reach and his most trusted Astartes were given of its planets as Barons.

 

The populations of these worlds were small, but with the combined strength of each realm, the Astartes were able to reform the Planetary Defense Forces into something they could more readily use.  Raw materials and any technology deemed useful were gathered and sent to the forges of the massive citadel known as Karak.

 

Suits of armor were forged for the men and women of the Planetary Hordes as they were renamed.  While the improvised armor and new mounts were nothing compared to the ones of their Astartes warlords, the Planetary Hordes would go on to become a lethal and mobile mounted force, one that could ride day and night to defeat a foe.

 

Time flows strangely in the Dark Imperium and the war continues, the enemy might change, but for the humans and Astartes of the Logres Reach, their fight for survival goes on as it always has.

 

The Reclaimed:

 

After the Imperium was cut in half, many Space Marine Chapters vanished into the newly emerged warp rift.  Others were scattered or, cut off and without hope of reinforcement, were massacred.  The brethren of the Iron Paladins know well that this could have easily have been their fate.

 

So it is that they welcome any remnants of other Chapters that wish to join their cause.  Whether it’s what remains of a unit or a handful of straggling survivors, they’ll find a welcome at Karak.  If they wish to fight in their traditional fashion or adopt the ways of the Iron Paladins, these Astartes survivors will find a home and comradeship once more.

 

Some of these survivors have espoused a desire to either find what remains of their own Chapters or revive them once more.  To that end the Iron Paladins will lend what aid they can, when they can.  But they have always held the stance that their own continued survival takes priority.

 

The Fleet:

 

The Logres Reach was a far-flung region of the vast Imperium.  As such, it lacked a true shipyard and merely maintained repair station in orbit over Gauntlet.  The Cilician Campaign also diverted more precious ships, which most often remain in their current location due to the great rift. 

 

Following their desperate attempt to seek help from Terra, the Space Marines commandeered the handful of warships and civilian vessels in the area. 

The losses the fleet has incurred over the years have been grievous and so every vessel is treated almost like a priceless relic and only to be used in battle if the Paladins manning them have an overwhelming advantage.

 

However, the ships are mostly crewed by humans, with only a handful of Astartes aboard the warships for command purposes.  Due to their circumstances, the Astartes have also commandeered a number of civilian vessels for the purpose of transporting supplies and personnel.

 

Together, the battered and much repaired fleet must constantly patrol the scattered worlds of the Logres Reach and carry troops to wherever needed.

 

Rituals, Traditions and Customs:

 

Due to the somber nature of their duty and the nature of their progenitors there’s a loose dichotomy within the Chapter’s ranks.  Many of the knights lean towards the boisterous nature and rough brotherhood of their White Scars ancestors.  Others favor a more contemplative and ascetic approach.  Yet, every single one of the Iron Paladins will gladly fight together.

 

Every year, the Astartes that can assemble will arrive at Karak to launch a combined expedition and beast hunt known as Tourney, this bloody festival will make its way across the worlds of the Lorges Reach and serves as way to show force and train newly fledged Marines.

 

When not in training the Iron Paladins spend the majority of their time either on campaign or hunting and carousing across the worlds they’re responsible for.

 

Because of their unique culture, they encourage their battle-brethren to maintain ties with their human families and many an Astartes has parents and siblings who’ve served the Chapter in other ways.  In fact, is not uncommon for an Astartes to later see a younger relative or descendant of a sister join the brotherhood at a later time.

 

Iron Paladins are allowed to keep their human birth name, but they must also choose a secret name from the scrolls of the Chapter’s secret histories.

 

These traditions and ties to the worlds they protect help them reinforce their sense of duty as humanity’s defenders and provide them an anchor for their beliefs.  The Chapter Masters believe that by reminding their warriors of their ties, origin and obligation to mankind that they will foster a sense of pride in their continued loyalty. 

 

To them, for an Astartes to consider himself beyond humanity leads to Astartes that consider themselves mankind’s ultimate master instead of its protector.  That way, they fear, lies heresy and the taint of chaos.

 

While the Chapter is still very insular, like most Astartes, they do allow their Serfs and Retainers and locals to partake in events like the tourney and to dine in the great hall during their feasts.  Provided they remain at the tables befitting their station.

 

The Grail:

 

A complex and highly prized collection of processors and centrifuges, this system is supposed to contain a concoction of genetic materials and chemicals that will prepare a Squire’s physiology for the Black Carapace and allow him to take the final step in becoming an Astartes.  Legend has it that the Grail also dispenses a mix of mind-altering substances that supposedly force the one who drinks from it to confront their past and deepest fears. 

 

This shared ritual is that is highly secretive and the Astartes will not speak of it to any outsiders.

 

The Chivalric Code:

 

While many Astartes chapters have the Codex or their own teachings to rely on, the Chivalric Code is a set of values, legends, precedents and oral traditions that have since become mythologized with time.  The Knights-Sanctis act as Chaplains and having been inducted into the secrets of their ancient practices, it is their duty to keep the Iron Paladins’ history, heritage and spirit alive.

 

The Lady Nimenus:

 

While the passing of the centuries has seen much of the Chapter’s history become legend is it said that long ago the Chapter was sorely pressed and in dire need of aid.

 

The first Chapter Master and his Chief Librarian Meridus visited the world of Gauntlet, seeking a cache of weapons supposedly locked in a forgotten depot from the Great Crusade.  A local noblewoman and Pysker is supposed to have guided the Chapter Master and Meridus to the depot and aided them in slaying the great sea-drake that had claimed the trove of weapons as its lair.  She was later canonized as an Imperial Saint.  As such, the Lady Nimenus is one of the few humans, besides mortal drake-slayers, who have gained a place of honor in the Chapter chronicles.

 

What became of those weapons remains unknown, it is presumed they were taken to other some other front around the Imperium.

 

However, the mighty power blade, Terminus, remains from that hold.  The blade was used to slay the sea-drake and became the symbol of every Grandmaster’s authority thereafter.  When not used in battle, the ancient sword is held by a block of ceramite within Karak and only one with the genetic marker of the Chapter Master may draw the blade.

 

The Dragon Knights and the Grandmaster:

 

Like many of the primitive worlds in the Reach, Gauntlet is rife with deadly beasts.  The most dangerous of which are the great Drakes.  Many a brave Astartes has tried to slay one of these beasts and many have never returned.  For those that can bring home the skull of such a dangerous creature, they are accorded the status of the elite honor guard and may take their place as Dragon Knights.

 

Only the senior Dragon Knight may serve as the Grandmaster.  As it felt his status in the sacred order symbolizes his ability to lead and his prowess in battle.  However, he must prove himself one final time.  Only one who has slain a drake and been covered in its toxic blood may successfully raise a stolen hatchling from an egg.

 

The records are fragmented and much has been lost, but what is known is that the ancient drakes were a product of Guantlet’s natural evolutionary cycle and then later genetically altered by humans sometime before the beginning of the Age of Strife.  There are more disquieting rumors that some part of the drakes’ genetic makeup might have been human once.  But this is the merest whisper of a legend and one that the Astartes will brook no mention of.

 

Notable Figures:

 

Knight Meridus - The most powerful and famous of all the Chapter’s Librarians, this ancient Pysker has become a figure of legend.  Although there are some who believe he still wanders the stars and will occasionally appear long enough to aid those in need before vanishing again.

 

Lady Nimenus – Later canonized as a Saint, this mythical Pysker and warrior was said to have aided the Chapter Master in finding the legendary blade Terminus, slaying a sea-drake and becoming one of the few mortals to have both slain a drake and tamed one.

 

Arthane – The first Grandmaster and Dragon Knight of the Chapter.  It was he who took up the blade Terminus and wielded it long and well against the many forces that seek mankind’s end.  His fate remains unknown.  Some claim that he was betrayed and fell in battle, with his body taken by Nimenus to a hidden base on an uncharted moon where he slumbers eternally with the knights of his inner circle, waiting to be called forth for one final battle.

 

Martel the Hammer – The second Grandmaster, known for his use of the Thunder Hammer instead of Terminus and for singlehandedly bashing a mighty daemon’s skull open with it.

 

Bayard – The mightiest of the all the questors, the great knight was said to exemplify everything an Astartes and one of the Iron Paladins was supposed to be.  Noted for his single combat against four enraged Berzerkers.  If he’s still alive, he’d be of great age even for an Astartes.  However, his location and fate remain a mystery.

 

Ancelone – Arthane’s right hand man.  While considered a proud and cold sort by his brethren.  His courage and ferocity in battle are undeniable.  It is said he was never defeated in battle or single combat.  Today his remains are interred beneath one of the ancient mounds and its said that only the inner circle know where the great knight is buried, having made his tomb into a shrine.

 

Garvrane – One of Arthane’s inner circle and the second knight to have tamed a fire-drake.  A fact which made him a rival of Ancelones.  He came to the

Chapter later than many of his peers and was a man grown by time he was able to take the Black Carapace.  He nearly died during the procedure, but was at last able to join the ranks of the Astartes.  He also began the Chapter’s chronicles and secret histories.  A record of the Paladins’ deeds which was later continued by his blood-son and fellow Astartes, Parsinus.

 

Parsinus – One of the relatively humans to be both the biological son of an Astartes and to have followed in his father’s footsteps.  Knight Parsinus would do many great deeds, but the mightiest of these was his discovery of the ancient grail.  A leftover and largely unknown technology from before the Great Crusade.  This ancient device is credited with allowing the Chapter to maintain a stable gene-seed for so long.  Whether that is true remains unknown and any Astartes that knows the fact is unlikely to say.

 

Tancred – The leader of the Cilician Campaign and a hard-bitten veteran of many brutal campaigns.  This powerful warrior is an unparalleled leader and relentless fighter.  Caught by surprise during an attack, he faced a Chaos Dreadnought unarmored, with only a chain spear to hand, and was victorious.  Some even claim he is Ancelone or Bayard reborn.

 

Henry of the 8th Company – This ancient Dreadnought is noted for his single-minded brutality in battle and for beheading seven daemons in one battle.

 

Misc:  As well being a large, mobile strike force, the Planetary Hordes also boast a handful of armored vehicles and some Titans, as well as a few Knights from the fledgling scion of a noble house in the Imperium Sanctis.

 


Edited by SisterChristian, 05 March 2020 - 08:27 PM.

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#2
Ace Debonair

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Haven't got time for a full and proper C&C, but just a quick heads-up: Most Chapters don't believe the Emperor is a God. happy.png

 

Chaplains aren't quite the same as priests, instead of professing religious devotion (for the most part) they profess the beliefs of the Chapter.

 

In this case, you could use Chaplains to ensure your battle-brothers stay on the path of chivalry and don't start wasting ammo / risking precious vehicles or other hard-to-replace equipment in battles where good old fashioned steel and fury will suffice. happy.png



#3
SisterChristian

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Haven't got time for a full and proper C&C, but just a quick heads-up: Most Chapters don't believe the Emperor is a God. happy.png

 

Chaplains aren't quite the same as priests, instead of professing religious devotion (for the most part) they profess the beliefs of the Chapter.

 

In this case, you could use Chaplains to ensure your battle-brothers stay on the path of chivalry and don't start wasting ammo / risking precious vehicles or other hard-to-replace equipment in battles where good old fashioned steel and fury will suffice. happy.png

 

Oh damn, I totally didn't think about that.  Anyhow, I'm glad you pointed that out.  Thank you for your idea, I like it and I will make changes accordingly.



#4
Messor

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Aside from what Ace already addressed, I'm definitely a fan of the way you've incorporated your themes, which are great fits for the Astartes as we know them. I hope you'll take advantage of the painter or other medium to include a depiction of their armor and heraldry.


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Bjorn Firewalker

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Good job, overall. You're pushing Arthurian legend a lot further than I expect, though.

Only a Dragonknight can become the Grandmaster and only after proving himself by embarking on the greatest quest of them all. A Grandmaster must embark into the wilds with the most common weapons available to an Astartes. He must surpass every challenge to prove himself worthy to sip from the White Chalice, the sacred grail that will provide him the wisdom and secrets of the Chapter’s history.

This raises too many questions. Space Marines with a literal "holy grail"? Makes me think of the Blood Angels and their successors, who ritually drink blood from such chalices.

Why is this chalice in the wilds, instead of in the Chapter's fortress monastery, where it can be properly defended? Why must the Grandmaster candidate risk his life in this manner, i.e., make the Chapter launch a decapitation strike against itself?

If the grail contained an engineered virus that would insert dragon DNA into the Marines, allowing them to telepathically communicate with the dragons, and thus control them? Then it's understandable all Dragonknights must undertake the ritual, and that the ritual should take place in a secluded area, so others won't see the Grandmaster candidates mutate from the additional genes. That begs the question just where the dragons come from, and why the xenophobic Imperium would tolerate their presence. Maybe the dragons are like Fenrisian wolves, humans who mutated into nonhumans due to genetic engineering gone awry (read Graham McNeill's A Thousand Sons for confirmation of this)?

Upon his return, the future Grandmaster will have the knowledge to draw the mighty blade Terminus, from its bindings within the ceramite block in Kerak’s Great Hall. The ancient blade symbolizes his authority to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and lead the Chapter on to victory.

I get the "sword in the stone" reference, but this is piling it on thick.
Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#6
SisterChristian

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Good job, overall. You're pushing Arthurian legend a lot further than I expect, though.  This raises too many questions. Space Marines with a literal "holy grail"? Makes me think of the Blood Angels and their successors, who ritually drink blood from such chalices.

 

Yeah, you raise a good point, on further reflection I was trying to make a nod to Bretonnia/Arthurian legend, but as you said I tried to make that fit rather than consider the Warhammer 40K canon.  And without meaning to I did crib rather heavily off from the Blood Angels. 

 

 

Why is this chalice in the wilds, instead of in the Chapter's fortress monastery, where it can be properly defended? Why must the Grandmaster candidate risk his life in this manner, i.e., make the Chapter launch a decapitation strike against itself?

 

 

Good point, I suppose I got carried away with rule of cool.  Thanks for the observation, I'll have to edit how a new Grandmaster is chosen and revisit that later on.

 

If the grail contained an engineered virus that would insert dragon DNA into the Marines, allowing them to telepathically communicate with the dragons, and thus control them? Then it's understandable all Dragonknights must undertake the ritual, and that the ritual should take place in a secluded area, so others won't see the Grandmaster candidates mutate from the additional genes. That begs the question just where the dragons come from, and why the xenophobic Imperium would tolerate their presence. Maybe the dragons are like Fenrisian wolves, humans who mutated into nonhumans due to genetic engineering gone awry (read Graham McNeill's A Thousand Sons for confirmation of this)?

 

 

Good point, I mostly just wanted Space Marines riding Dragons and I thought that they could get away with it seeing as said Dragons aren't actually sentient/sapient.  However, if the Imperium's policy of purging Xenos also extends to wildlife then yeah, as you said, I'll have to change that up.  I may just have it where the Fire-Drakes are rare and elusive beasts that lurk deep in the wildneress and emerge to rampage and visit terror on the locals.  Thus killing one is an impressive feat, even for an Astartes.  So more of a nod to the conventional myth of the Dragon in medieval folklore.  And it would be more in line with the Imperium's Xenos-need-not-apply outlook.

 

 

I get the "sword in the stone" reference, but this is piling it on thick.

 

 

Yeah, I should probably revisit that.  I don't know what I'll do, exactly, but we shall see.  Thank you!  And I apologize for why the font size changed throughout my reply.  Not sure what's up with  that :/



#7
RandyB

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Eh, as far as "piling it on thick" goes, I give you the Canoness of the Adepta Sororitas forces on Vigilus, Canoness Temperance Blaise.

In other words, don't sweat it. GW already has you beat in current lore.

Edited by RandyB, 04 March 2020 - 09:09 PM.

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Put the toys on the table and throw the dice. Everything else is just noise.

 

...Unless you're just in this for the modeling. In which case, show your work. Yours likely looks better than mine, anyway.


#8
Ace Debonair

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Oh damn, I totally didn't think about that.  Anyhow, I'm glad you pointed that out.  Thank you for your idea, I like it and I will make changes accordingly.


Happy to help.
What's a Bretonnia homage without somebody to put some extra zeal behind those charges, after all? biggrin.png


Regarding leadership:

I'd consider making the change that the Dragon-Knights go on to become Knight-Captains, rather than jumping from 'bodyguard' straight into leadership of the whole Chapter while you've got other, proven leaders hanging around in the form of your Captains. It just makes more sense from an organisation point of view.

I would absolutely keep the idea of having prospective Chapter Masters undertake a daring final quest as a sort of 'prove your right to rule' aspect of the Chapter, though, that's excellent. happy.png

The whole Grail thing could simply be symbolic - by completing the Final Test and returning to the Chapter, you've already proven yourself worthy to walk the same path as the Chapter Masters who came before you, and drinking from the Grail (ideally in view of as much of the Chapter as possible, to inspire awe and righteous honour in all) could simply be part of the Chapter Master's ascension ceremony.

Whether or not the grail itself bestows magical awesomeness on those who drink from it, or if that's just the result of hard experience earned through centuries of honing your craft at warfare and leadership beforehand... well, who can say? msn-wink.gif


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SisterChristian

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Oh damn, I totally didn't think about that.  Anyhow, I'm glad you pointed that out.  Thank you for your idea, I like it and I will make changes accordingly.


Happy to help.
What's a Bretonnia homage without somebody to put some extra zeal behind those charges, after all? biggrin.png


Regarding leadership:

I'd consider making the change that the Dragon-Knights go on to become Knight-Captains, rather than jumping from 'bodyguard' straight into leadership of the whole Chapter while you've got other, proven leaders hanging around in the form of your Captains. It just makes more sense from an organisation point of view.

 

 

Oh yeah, you've got a point there lol.  So what I will probably end up doing is making it where the Dragon Knights are all former Captains who've slain a dragon and are now part of the sacred order.  Just because there aren't many dragonslayers.  Those who have successfully killed the beasts are Astartes who've already proven themselves as Captains and veteran warriors prior to undertaking that quest.  Less experienced Astartes aren't even allowed to ask to go on such a hunt.  In that way the Dragon Knights would be less a glorified bodyguard and more the Chapter's greatest warriors and a sort of proto-general staff/the Grandmaster's right hand.

 

 

I would absolutely keep the idea of having prospective Chapter Masters undertake a daring final quest as a sort of 'prove your right to rule' aspect of the Chapter, though, that's excellent. happy.png

The whole Grail thing could simply be symbolic - by completing the Final Test and returning to the Chapter, you've already proven yourself worthy to walk the same path as the Chapter Masters who came before you, and drinking from the Grail (ideally in view of as much of the Chapter as possible, to inspire awe and righteous honour in all) could simply be part of the Chapter Master's ascension ceremony.

Whether or not the grail itself bestows magical awesomeness on those who drink from it, or if that's just the result of hard experience earned through centuries of honing your craft at warfare and leadership beforehand... well, who can say? msn-wink.gif

 

 

I think I will sustain the idea of having a would-be Chapter Master prove himself like you said.  As for the grail, I think I'll just leave that out entirely as it veers too closely into the lore of established canon chapters for my liking.

 

Thank you again!



#10
Bjorn Firewalker

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My idea for a Marine's progression would be the Chapter Master taking promising Marines from each Company, to be trained as his Honor Guards. While serving as an Honor Guard, the promising Marine

1) Learns tactics, strategy, diplomacy and leadership skills he'll need when he becomes an officer (membership in the Honor Guards is mandatory for promotion);

2) Is encouraged to be loyal to the Chapter Master- and thus, to the Chapter as a whole- instead of to his Captain and his original Company (this is to prevent Captains from usurping the Chapter Master's authority);

3) Serve as a reserve with which the Chapter Master may instantly exploit openings another Company tears in the enemy's defenses.

After serving the Chapter Master for a decade, the Honor Guard returns to his original Company to

1) Serve as the Captain's lieutenant, deputy, executor of the Captain's will, voice of the lower ranking Marines from which he was recruited (think a Representative in Congress), and- if necessary- bodyguard;

2) Monitor the Captain and his Company for subversive thoughts and behavior, on the Chapter Master's behalf. If the Captain plots to usurp the Chapter Master's authority, the former Honor Guard serves as a knife with which the Chapter Master may slit the usurper's throat.

Does this make sense?
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#11
SisterChristian

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Hmmm yeah, I think that could work. Thanks!

 

EDIT: I have sense revised the Chapter's lore and structure as per the advice I've gotten from you all.  Thank you again.


Edited by SisterChristian, 05 March 2020 - 12:38 AM.


#12
Brother Lunkhead

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Hail Sister Christian,

 

Your Iron Paladins look quite goodthumbsup.gif I especially like the heavy overtones of Arthurian legend and western fantasy dragon lore. Also your homage to Bretonnia, Chivalric codes, Polish Winged Hussars, and Steppe History should make for a rich culture for your Chapter. As you evolve and tweak your Chapter, you have and will receive much advice on what "we are sure' is right or wrong about your lore and ways of making it "better". This is ultimately your Chapter. Make sure it evolves as you see fit.

 

Having said that, here are my thoughts on how to make the Iron Paladins "so much better"dry.png msn-wink.gif

 

 

Heraldry:  A coiled black dragon on a red field.

 

Sounds very fine and I look forward to seeing this.

 

Your various ranks and titles are very fitting to your themes. I like them.

 

 

Rituals, Traditions and Customs:

 

Due to the somber nature of their duty and the nature of their progenitors there’s a loose dichotomy within the Chapter’s ranks.  Many of the knights lean towards the boisterous nature and rough brotherhood of their White Scars ancestors.  Others favor a more contemplative and ascetic approach.  Yet, every single one of the Iron Paladins will gladly fight together.

 

Every year, the Astartes that can assemble will arrive at Karak to launch a combined expedition and beast hunt known as Tourney, this bloody festival will make its way across the worlds of the Lorges Reach and serves as way to show force and train newly fledged Marines.

 

Good variety here but, I think you need to expand on this. Chapter rituals and other traditions should be here.

 

The Dragon Knights and the Grandmaster:

 

Much in this is quite good and you should consider carefully before changing any of it based on our observations. Some may consider lore that you've created to be too obvious or "thick". So it is, and what of it. We are creating new Chapters already occupied by Space Romans, Space Vampires, Space Vikings, Space Mongols, etc. I think there's plenty of room for dragon riding, sword from the stone pulling, grail swilling Arthurian Space Knights.

 

 

 

Quote

If the grail contained an engineered virus that would insert dragon DNA into the Marines, allowing them to telepathically communicate with the dragons, and thus control them? Then it's understandable all Dragonknights must undertake the ritual, and that the ritual should take place in a secluded area, so others won't see the Grandmaster candidates mutate from the additional genes. That begs the question just where the dragons come from, and why the xenophobic Imperium would tolerate their presence. Maybe the dragons are like Fenrisian wolves, humans who mutated into nonhumans due to genetic engineering gone awry (read Graham McNeill's A Thousand Sons for confirmation of this)?

 

 

Good point, I mostly just wanted Space Marines riding Dragons and I thought that they could get away with it seeing as said Dragons aren't actually sentient/sapient.  However, if the Imperium's policy of purging Xenos also extends to wildlife then yeah, as you said, I'll have to change that up.  I may just have it where the Fire-Drakes are rare and elusive beasts that lurk deep in the wildneress and emerge to rampage and visit terror on the locals.  Thus killing one is an impressive feat, even for an Astartes.  So more of a nod to the conventional myth of the Dragon in medieval folklore.  And it would be more in line with the Imperium's Xenos-need-not-apply outlook.

 

The Imperial governmental labyrinth will generally turn a blind eye to sentient xenos or mutants, or just about anything it can use to further the goals and fortunes of the Imperium, so you shouldn't be too concerned about sentient dragons. However, Brother Bjorn's alternate explanation is quite good.

 

 

Bjorn Firewalker, on 04 Mar 2020 - 10:48 AM, said:snapback.png

Good job, overall. You're pushing Arthurian legend a lot further than I expect, though.  This raises too many questions. Space Marines with a literal "holy grail"? Makes me think of the Blood Angels and their successors, who ritually drink blood from such chalices.

 

Yeah, you raise a good point, on further reflection I was trying to make a nod to Bretonnia/Arthurian legend, but as you said I tried to make that fit rather than consider the Warhammer 40K canon.  And without meaning to I did crib rather heavily off from the Blood Angels. 

 

The would be neophytes of each Astartes chapter begins his torturous journey to become a Astartes begin their trials with the drinking of a genetic draught distilled from their Primarch. No doubt many chapters have elaborate ceremonies involving an elaborate "grail" brimming with Primarch Beer. Now, if you turn your Iron Paladins into grail swilling Space Vampiresrolleyesclean.gif ..... that might be a bit much.

 

Upon his return, the future Grandmaster will have the knowledge to draw the mighty blade Terminus, from its bindings within the ceramite block in Kerak’s Great Hall.  The ancient blade symbolizes his authority to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and lead the Chapter on to victory.

 

I like this and hope you keep it. Drawing on Brother Bjorn's idea of the DNA draught, perhaps there is a genetic marker that is keyed to the sword, allowing the would be Chapter Master to draw the blade.

 

With just a little adjusting, I think your lore is very good. Now I come to the only real problem I see, and that is the disposition and deployment of forces.

 

The structure of your fighting companies look just fine, but your deployment methods need some work. Since your Chapter is operating in Imperium Nihilus, transportation and communications are going to be challenging at the very least. Travel time that were once days are now weeks or months. You are going to have to pre-deploy reserve and veteran forces with Battle Companies and Strike Groups as needed, otherwise they will be of no use when called upon. 

 

How are you going to deploy more than one strike group with such a tiny fleet? Every time your fleet deploys a strike group it will have to abandon it to return to the Battle Barge or homeworld to pick up more Marines and equipment for other deployments. This will leave deployed units with no fleet support for refit/resupply, space to ground protection, force support, casualty evacuation, reserve deployment, emergency extraction, etc. Remember, standard Space Marine fleet vesels can transport and Marines thusly: 

 

 

Righteous Blade – Battle Barge (standard barge - 3 companies, Gloriana class - 5 to 6 companies)

 

Redeemer’s Fury – Strike Cruiser (1 company)

 

Angelic Rage – Frigate (10 Space Marines)

 

Wrath’s Purity – Frigate (10 Space Marines)

 

Divine Judgement - Frigate (10 Space Marines)

 

Once again, this is YOUR Chapter, so proceed as you see fit. Good luck and have funbiggrin.png


Edited by Brother Lunkhead, 05 March 2020 - 03:04 AM.

gallery_26154_15777_13780.png


#13
SisterChristian

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Rituals, Traditions and Customs:

 

Good variety here but, I think you need to expand on this. Chapter rituals and other traditions should be here.

 

 

Yeah, I'd looked at that and realized I have an opportunity to expand things even further.  So I have some ideas as to what will come next.

 

 

Quote

If the grail contained an engineered virus that would insert dragon DNA into the Marines, allowing them to telepathically communicate with the dragons, and thus control them? Then it's understandable all Dragonknights must undertake the ritual, and that the ritual should take place in a secluded area, so others won't see the Grandmaster candidates mutate from the additional genes. That begs the question just where the dragons come from, and why the xenophobic Imperium would tolerate their presence. Maybe the dragons are like Fenrisian wolves, humans who mutated into nonhumans due to genetic engineering gone awry (read Graham McNeill's A Thousand Sons for confirmation of this)?

 

 

Good point, I mostly just wanted Space Marines riding Dragons and I thought that they could get away with it seeing as said Dragons aren't actually sentient/sapient.  However, if the Imperium's policy of purging Xenos also extends to wildlife then yeah, as you said, I'll have to change that up.  I may just have it where the Fire-Drakes are rare and elusive beasts that lurk deep in the wildneress and emerge to rampage and visit terror on the locals.  Thus killing one is an impressive feat, even for an Astartes.  So more of a nod to the conventional myth of the Dragon in medieval folklore.  And it would be more in line with the Imperium's Xenos-need-not-apply outlook.

 

The Imperial governmental labyrinth will generally turn a blind eye to sentient xenos or mutants, or just about anything it can use to further the goals and fortunes of the Imperium, so you shouldn't be too concerned about sentient dragons. However, Brother Bjorn's alternate explanation is quite good.

 

I think what I'm going to do is bring back the dragon-riding bit, but there will be scattered records that are dated from just before the Dark Age of Technology.  The data is fragmented, but it indicates the dragons were a product of the planet's natural evolutionary cycle and then genetically altered by human scientists. 

 

Thus skirting the whole issue of xenos/xeno-beasts.  And then, like much of Warhammer 40K's lore, I will leave a troubling, but ultimately unanswered implication about the dragons.  Namely that their some of their genetic makeup might possibly be human.  Thus tying in the good Bjorn's idea rather neatly, in my humble opinion.  I may also include something about how "legend has it" that any Astartes who wishes to tame a dragon must steal an egg and bathe in the blood of a dragon that he has slain.  This allows them to persuade the hatchling that they are its fellow dragon and master and it's also a nod to Germanic myth like the legend of Siegfried.

 

 

 

The would be neophytes of each Astartes chapter begins his torturous journey to become a Astartes begin their trials with the drinking of a genetic draught distilled from their Primarch. No doubt many chapters have elaborate ceremonies involving an elaborate "grail" brimming with Primarch Beer. Now, if you turn your Iron Paladins into grail swilling Space Vampiresrolleyesclean.gif ..... that might be a bit much.

 

Upon his return, the future Grandmaster will have the knowledge to draw the mighty blade Terminus, from its bindings within the ceramite block in Kerak’s Great Hall.  The ancient blade symbolizes his authority to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and lead the Chapter on to victory.

 

I like this and hope you keep it. Drawing on Brother Bjorn's idea of the DNA draught, perhaps there is a genetic marker that is keyed to the sword, allowing the would be Chapter Master to draw the blade.

 

So I think what I'm going to do is incorporate both ideas after a fashion.  In that the grail is something of a symbol, but also contains a concoction of different genetic materials and chemicals needed to prepare a Squire's physiology for accepting the Black Carapace/the final step in becoming a full Astartes.  It might also contain certain mind-altering substances that the Chapter believes will force the potential Astartes to confront all of his fears and other mental blocks.  As with many things in Warhammer 40K, the answer is ambiguous.

 

As for the idea of the sword in the stone … I think I'll bring that back, but in reworked fashion.  Tentatively I have something about a normal human who lived by the coast and may have been a Pysker/local aristocrat and was then made an Imperial Saint.  The legend goes that guided the first Grandmaster to the lair of a sea dragon and she also helped him a mythical power sword from the time of the Great Crusade.  The very one that was used to slay the dragon.  So a bit of a nod to Nimue/Morgana, Joan of Arc and the Lady of the Lake.

 

I'm also considering expanding the lore a little bit so that a part of their Chapter is off to the galactic east.  In this fashion I could work in some themes akin to the Baltic Crusades and the ones in the Levant with the different military orders that shared a common faith.

 

 

With just a little adjusting, I think your lore is very good. Now I come to the only real problem I see, and that is the disposition and deployment of forces.

 

The structure of your fighting companies look just fine, but your deployment methods need some work. Since your Chapter is operating in Imperium Nihilus, transportation and communications are going to be challenging at the very least. Travel time that were once days are now weeks or months. You are going to have to pre-deploy reserve and veteran forces with Battle Companies and Strike Groups as needed, otherwise they will be of no use when called upon. 

 

How are you going to deploy more than one strike group with such a tiny fleet? Every time your fleet deploys a strike group it will have to abandon it to return to the Battle Barge or homeworld to pick up more Marines and equipment for other deployments. This will leave deployed units with no fleet support for refit/resupply, space to ground protection, force support, casualty evacuation, reserve deployment, emergency extraction, etc. Remember, standard Space Marine fleet vesels can transport and Marines thusly: 

 

 

Righteous Blade – Battle Barge (standard barge - 3 companies, Gloriana class - 5 to 6 companies)

 

Redeemer’s Fury – Strike Cruiser (1 company)

 

Angelic Rage – Frigate (10 Space Marines)

 

Wrath’s Purity – Frigate (10 Space Marines)

 

Divine Judgement - Frigate (10 Space Marines)

 

 

 

Ah, yes, I really didn't think that one through in all honesty.  As you say this will need some reworking in terms of the fleet.  For now I'm planning on refining their doctrine so that their decentralized method of operating means that every unit on a different world has a large degree of autonomy and they strike from fortified citadels known as Keeps that are built on key points across a given planet.  The marines left over are operating as a constant patrol force or set at Gauntlet as a mobile reserve/fire brigade.

 

EDIT: I have since revised the lore, expanded it and incorporated the feedback everyone was kind enough to give me.  I also chose to leave the fleet numbers deliberately vague/subject to plot. 

 

Thanks to everyone for all of your help, it is greatly appreciated smile.png


Edited by SisterChristian, 05 March 2020 - 08:29 PM.

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#14
Bjorn Firewalker

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Thus skirting the whole issue of xenos/xeno-beasts. And then, like much of Warhammer 40K's lore, I will leave a troubling, but ultimately unanswered implication about the dragons. Namely that their some of their genetic makeup might possibly be human. Thus tying in the good Bjorn's idea rather neatly, in my humble opinion. I may also include something about how "legend has it" that any Astartes who wishes to tame a dragon must steal an egg and bathe in the blood of a dragon that he has slain. This allows them to persuade the hatchling that they are its fellow dragon and master and it's also a nod to Germanic myth like the legend of Siegfried.

Good idea. I wonder if the dragons absorb their prey's genes to evolve, the way the Kroot do?

So I think what I'm going to do is incorporate both ideas after a fashion. In that the grail is something of a symbol, but also contains a concoction of different genetic materials and chemicals needed to prepare a Squire's physiology for accepting the Black Carapace/the final step in becoming a full Astartes. It might also contain certain mind-altering substances that the Chapter believes will force the potential Astartes to confront all of his fears and other mental blocks. As with many things in Warhammer 40K, the answer is ambiguous.

Like Bruce Wayne's initiation into the League of Shadows, in Batman Begins? Another good idea.
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#15
SisterChristian

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Good idea. I wonder if the dragons absorb their prey's genes to evolve, the way the Kroot do?

Like Bruce Wayne's initiation into the League of Shadows, in Batman Begins? Another good idea.

 

 

Hey!  Sorry, for my late response, got bogged down in real life.  Anyhow, um, you know I hadn't really hadn't considered either of those things?  I know I'm sounding like a broken recording with that response, but there you go.

 

At this point, I'm not sure what direction I'll take with those parts of the lore, to be honest.

 

But we shall see :)

 

Thank you for all your help.







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