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FW Book 9 "Crusade": Fluff Discussion


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#1
b1soul

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I think it make sense to separate the fluff discussion from the discussion over tabletop rules and tactics. Looks like everyone is currently focusing more on the latter in the other thread.

When people feel like it, hope we can explore some of the new fluff on at least the following:

1. The origins of the Ist Legion and the different Wings and Orders within the legion as it evolved
2. FW's take on the Lion's early years on Caliban
3. Tidbits about the Rangdan Xenocides
4. Thramas Crusade lore
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#2
Jareddm

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Random thoughts on skimming some of the organizational parts.

I love the Hekatonystika. Super specialized secret orders that almost gives me a Craftworld Eldar path feel to them. Can specialize in a way of combat, a particular terrain type, a particular enemy, or even one of hundreds of non-militant orders that can include serfs and failed initiates (which makes me wonder how many of those two would be found in the militant orders). The fact that they're interweaved with the Wings and traditional legion hierarchy and that marines can have wildly different ranks in all three is great.

I have mixed feelings about the addition of Hosts as the precursor to the Wings. The two sections seem to contradict each other in terms of how much the Lion had an impact on their formation. The Hosts themselves are fine and I especially like the Host of Pentacles as a failed proto-librarium, but a few of them just feel kind of weak.

I don't like the Stormwing. It never occurred to me that every Dark Angel would be part of a Wing and the Stormwing to me comes across as the "everyone else"-wing. I get that it represents tactical marines and specialization in large set piece battles as well as command staff, but i figured this was more of a non-Wing job.

#3
b1soul

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Which Hosts in particular felt really weak?

Cracking discussion over Rangda at Reddit:



Love the idea that the information in Book 9, though already dire in tone, is still heavily but subtly revised to downplay/gloss over the true extent of the calamity inflicted by the Rangda upon the young Imperium

Edited by b1soul, 12 September 2020 - 03:56 PM.


#4
Marshal Rohr

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Which Hosts in particular felt really weak?

Cracking discussion over Rangda at Reddit:



Love the idea that the information in Book 9, though already dire in tone, is still heavily but subtly revised to downplay/gloss over the true extent of the calamity inflicted by the Rangda upon the young Imperium


That’s the exact entry verbatim from the book by the way

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#5
Jareddm

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Which Hosts in particular felt really weak?

Mostly just how identical they are to the Wings. Hosts of Crowns, Blades, Iron, Fire, Bone and Wind. I feel like if they're all going to be essentially the same, as the Wings, why not just have the Wings from the start like prior lore seemed to imply? Hell, the idea of a discontinued Wing, the forgotten Voidwing, rather than the Host of Pentacles, is something I would've been all for.

#6
SkimaskMohawk

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Which Hosts in particular felt really weak?

Mostly just how identical they are to the Wings. Hosts of Crowns, Blades, Iron, Fire, Bone and Wind. I feel like if they're all going to be essentially the same, as the Wings, why not just have the Wings from the start like prior lore seemed to imply? Hell, the idea of a discontinued Wing, the forgotten Voidwing, rather than the Host of Pentacles, is something I would've been all for.

Ya wait, wasn't the basis for the hexagrammticon the the DAs were the first legion and needed to do everything themselves and that's why they still have them. And now it's still a hold over, kind of, but theyre not 1:1 and were freshly created by the Lion?

#7
Sandlemad

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Which Hosts in particular felt really weak?

Mostly just how identical they are to the Wings. Hosts of Crowns, Blades, Iron, Fire, Bone and Wind. I feel like if they're all going to be essentially the same, as the Wings, why not just have the Wings from the start like prior lore seemed to imply? Hell, the idea of a discontinued Wing, the forgotten Voidwing, rather than the Host of Pentacles, is something I would've been all for.

 

 

 

I didn't get this impression. Functionally they sometimes fill the same roles, for a given value of roles, but the point seemed to be that they were contingent and historically situated in the late unification wars, unlike the more rational "here's the structure the legion will have going forward to cover every eventuality" reform the Lion brought when he made the Hexagrammeton.

 

Rather than just being a top down org thing, the hosts were messy, partially ad-hoc creations, they had overlap, they were created and disbanded as needed (the nine listed there weren't all of them and there was presumably a time when the only hosts were the Crowns and Blades, maybe Fire too, with others added as the wars went on), they were as much ways of streaming the recruits as something purpose-driven. Like an imperfect first draft of the whole specialisation idea but coloured by terran circumstances. Case in point, the host of Wind and the host of the Void wound up having doctrinal overlap as the crusade left Terra, so it made sense for them to be merged. Just as it made sense (I guess) for the host of the Pentacles to be disbanded when psykers looked to be a sword without a hilt, so to speak, only picked up again as a concept with the librarium initiative.

 

So the host of Bones isn't just the proto-Dreadwing, they're also bloodthirsty CC troops and where the legion masters stuffed all their recruits from Scandinavia. The host of Iron is closer to a proto-Ironwing (which was blend of the Stone and Iron hosts) but it's also where all the Thulian recruits were assigned and built around the expertise that later went to the White Scars. The host of Crowns was old veterans and duel-champions that then had a more explicit role change post-Lion to be lifeguards when they made up most of the Deathwing.

 

To be honest, the Wings also come off as more than just the purely role-focused things we'd taken them for. They're actual... 'political entities' isn't quite right but as factions with their own influences and cultures. Not scheming or competing but rubbing up against each other at least a bit. So the nature of the Ravenwing's tactics meant that they took less significant casualties throughout the heresy and wound up one of the largest and most influential post-heresy, presumably accounting in part for how they stayed as part of the codex DA chapter, that they couldn't be easily ignored in realpolitik terms.

 

Or how the Deathwing, because of their frequent proximity to the Lion and their garrisoning of legion fortresses, ended up becoming more and more politically important within the legion as a stable chain when the officer casualties mounted up. So the post-heresy codex DA chapter is one where the voice of the Deathwing was considerably more influential than e.g. the DA of the great crusade. That's the kind of cultural detail I like. More historically situated and acknowledging that these were entities and structures which changed over time, not purely "this host/wing was meant to be essentially this and never varied or deviated from that tabletop role".


Edited by Sandlemad, 12 September 2020 - 06:30 PM.

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#8
Marshal Rohr

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The ‘political’ factionalism is directly taken from real world military orders and how commanderies and such of the same order in different countries would often bumping into each other’s agendas. It’s almost too heavy handed how much they drew off of medieval knightly orders but it really does give the legion some seriously cool depth. It goes beyond just ‘Ravenwing thinks Dreadwing sucks’ and into things like one group of the Hekatonistyka(sp?) might align their goals with a group of the Hexagrammaton and both groups are vying for influence or have goals apart from the Knight-Praetor who theoretically is in command of the chapter. It’s really :cuss cool.

I can see where sandlemad is coming from though, the info is not super in depth and can read like ‘proto-Dreadwing’ etc but that’s also a function of how forge world writes their organization sections. The Imperial Fist section is a good example of this disconnect where it talks about line captains and centurions leading battalions and companies but that was a previous iteration and not the organization at the outbreak of the heresy. The Hosts section is the same way.

Edited by Marshal Rohr, 12 September 2020 - 06:06 PM.

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#9
Sandlemad

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If you like it's less

 

"the Hexagrammeton is how the first legion was designed by the Emperor, so they could meet all challenges as the only legion in existence"

 

and more

 

"the Hosts were how the first legion organically/with guidance from the Emperor developed new divisions to meet challenges as they encountered them on Terra and in the early crusade. These hosts were then formalised/frozen/rationalised by the Lion in a form which built on the expertise developed in the hosts, a form called the Hexagrammeton which gave the DA unparalleled flexibility and a broad skillbase".


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#10
Sandlemad

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It goes beyond just ‘Ravenwing thinks Dreadwing sucks’ and into things like one group of the Hekatonistyka(sp?) might align their goals with a group of the Hexagrammaton and both groups are vying for influence or have goals apart from the Knight-Praetor who theoretically is in command of the chapter. It’s really censored.gif cool.

 

Yeah there's something here in how lightly it touches on this. It doesn't fully go out and say 'wow, these DA are so twisted and byzantine and riven by factionalism', just as it takes a very light touch on the whole Luther/Lion thing. It's there, it's hinted at, you can see what's going, you know this

 

It's strange, specifically on the factions, it could just be wheel-spinning detail but I think it's actually an antidote to the "Hogwarts house" approach to players creating their own characters or background. You know, this is a World Eater/Raven Guard/Ultramarine, he can only every be this kind of character. You could spitball some ideas about your DA praetor and hey, it could go in tons of ways.

 

Is he Terran or Calibanite or from another recruitment world? What Wing is he associated with? Does he have some sort of emotional adherence to the older traditions of the Host(s) that fed into that Wing? What Order is he part of? Does that cause conflict with his other allegiances? Does his Order make for cross-Wing/planet bonhomie or rivalry? How does he get on with others inside and outside of his chapter, be they of the same or different Wings/Orders? Was he part of other factions? How does he feel about Luther? Or the Lion? Or Horus? Or Astelan? Stuff like that, it's a lot of jumping off points.


Edited by Sandlemad, 12 September 2020 - 06:42 PM.

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#11
StrangerOrders

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If you like it's less

 

"the Hexagrammeton is how the first legion was designed by the Emperor, so they could meet all challenges as the only legion in existence"

 

and more

 

"the Hosts were how the first legion organically/with guidance from the Emperor developed new divisions to meet challenges as they encountered them on Terra and in the early crusade. These hosts were then formalised/frozen/rationalised by the Lion in a form which built on the expertise developed in the hosts, a form called the Hexagrammeton which gave the DA unparalleled flexibility and a broad skillbase".

Its an odd way to put it because the book actually barely touches on the Emp.

 

If anything I need to pull the quote but it more or less says that the Emp trusted them to more or less invent the Belicosa as they went.

 

Said this elsewhere already but I do think the book ended up executing well on Hubris as a flaw. I rather like that the DAngels repeatedly shot themselves in the foot. 

 

I read both Rangda sections very different from you guys though, they actually dont come off as that damaging. Especially with how quickly it transitions to the fact that the Calibaanites readily replaced those lost and the idea AK puts forwards of the Lion covertly using the Xenocides to purge the Legion of Terrans.

 

Shoutout to the Order who specializes in Snow Fighting btw, decidedly less mystical and spooky but by the foxes of Inari does it sound like a more useful thing to have specialists for.


Edited by StrangerOrders, 12 September 2020 - 07:11 PM.

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#12
Marshal Rohr

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The Rangda are explicitly said to be a formidable foe across all of the different books, and mentions it took 300K Astartes to put them down. The only other threat we know of that reached that level of attention was the Ullanor empire.

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#13
StrangerOrders

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The Rangda are explicitly said to be a formidable foe across all of the different books, and mentions it took 300K Astartes to put them down. The only other threat we know of that reached that level of attention was the Ullanor empire.

I do mean in terms of consequences for the Legion.

 

Before it was pinned on Rangda that the DA fell beneath the UM in power, now its said to have happened far sooner. The First Rangdan war wasnt that bad now and was held as one notable battle among many while the third engagement is treated as a cleanup operation.

 

The Second Rangdan war is the only one that is described as being truly that monumental but its consequences on the DA are heavily downplayed. The book literally follows up 'we lost 90% of the Terrans' with 'No worries, the Calibaanites readily stepped in to fill the gap'. There isnt really at all this idea that it maimed the DA heavily and in fact the book almost treats it as positive that the Terrans were mostly removed.

 

Although I think it might have been overkill to imply that the Lion did it on purpose, its really at odds to say he would be okay killing off 90% of his Terran contingent in an underhanded way. 

 

And we actually do know of other battles that consumed alot of Legions, the thing the book calls out as important is that there were 300k Marines at the key battle of the Second Xenocide. 

 

Frankly it plays a real second fiddle in terms of 'maiming' to the DA's own increasingly bad choices until the Lion stepped in to pull the council's collective head out of its rear. 

 

Which I like, since the book handles Hubris as an actual flaw. 

 

Need to finish it off before I give a real opinion in general on the DA but I am somewhere between 'okay' and 'good'. Its cool that you completely loved it and I dont begrudge you your enjoyment, its fine to like something but its equally fine for others to like it with some caveats. 

 

I do think though that alot of other factions would and have been treated far more harshly for the things this Appendix is doing, but I see that as more a problem with the base than with the writing itself.

 

Can anyone tell me if this is the same team as Malevolence? I am fairly out of the loop beyond the fact that Bligh passed before the last two. 


Edited by StrangerOrders, 12 September 2020 - 07:25 PM.

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#14
Marshal Rohr

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The Team has been Anuj and Neil since Inferno

Your opinion is important, and someone posting here probably does care what you think. You should go tell them. Remember that it really hurts to come up with an idea you care about and have no one else care. Go care about something and tell them what you think. Now. Think of what it would have meant to you when you were young.

 

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#15
Beren

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How's the fluff for the Thramas Crusade itself?



#16
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I like it a lot so far. Really liking the Solar Auxilia Nightwatch and the Mechanicum interactions, they really help tie the conflict together.
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#17
Marshal Rohr

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How's the fluff for the Thramas Crusade itself?


On par with Conquest. Really well detailed worlds and events, lots of little throwaways that can be inspiration for a faction. The Red and White Solar Auxilia are pretty great too
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#18
Iron Hands Fanatic

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How's the fluff for the Thramas Crusade itself?


On par with Conquest. Really well detailed worlds and events, lots of little throwaways that can be inspiration for a faction. The Red and White Solar Auxilia are pretty great too

 

 

That's cool to hear, Conquest did a really great job of giving a sense of the broader conflict (even if only within a certain region) rather than isolated pitched battles, hopefully that means it provides enough variety that each faction can get some opportunities to shine 


Edited by Iron Hands Fanatic, 12 September 2020 - 10:42 PM.

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#19
StrangerOrders

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How's the fluff for the Thramas Crusade itself?


On par with Conquest. Really well detailed worlds and events, lots of little throwaways that can be inspiration for a faction. The Red and White Solar Auxilia are pretty great too

 

 

That's cool to hear, Conquest did a really great job of giving a sense of the broader conflict (even if only within a certain region) rather than isolated pitched battles, hopefully that means it provides enough variety that each faction can get some opportunities to shine 

 

Yeah, I saw the planet section flipping through and Im excited to get to it.

 

The minutia is always something that appeals to me and hearing about more variety within the big archetypes of Imperial Worlds is always a treat.

 

Hmm... anyone else intrigued by the fact that its mentioning that several other Legions were active in small numbers in the 600s?

 

Given that Guymer wrote the Lion novel and that heavily referenced this... I wonder if he knew when he wrote the Ferrus novel? Since Akurduana's (Fulgrim's firstborn) age seemed and impossibility at 300 in the 870s, no it seems outright highly-likely or even impossible otherwise.


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#20
b1soul

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How does the Terran Ist Legion timeline tie with the timeline in Valdor?

According to Valdor, the Ist barely overlaps at all with the last Cataegis warriors and by the time of the very first Ist, the Unification Wars are all but over...maybe some small holdout polities here and there to be mopped up.

Come to think if it, doesn't Valdor rather invalidate all the UW-era exemplary battles in the Black Books?

#21
Alpharius902

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How does the Terran Ist Legion timeline tie with the timeline in Valdor?

According to Valdor, the Ist barely overlaps at all with the last Cataegis warriors and by the time of the very first Ist, the Unification Wars are all but over...maybe some small holdout polities here and there to be mopped up.

Come to think if it, doesn't Valdor rather invalidate all the UW-era exemplary battles in the Black Books?

 

Valdor's fine. The reason and Emperor and the rest of the Custodes aren't at the Palace is because they're still on campaign. The Unification Wars are very much still in full swing during Kandawire's rebellion.



#22
StrangerOrders

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How does the Terran Ist Legion timeline tie with the timeline in Valdor?

According to Valdor, the Ist barely overlaps at all with the last Cataegis warriors and by the time of the very first Ist, the Unification Wars are all but over...maybe some small holdout polities here and there to be mopped up.

Come to think if it, doesn't Valdor rather invalidate all the UW-era exemplary battles in the Black Books?

Hmm... well it does and doesnt add up.

 

Like, as Alpharius902 says, we know its still ongoing and the sheer ambition of what the Emp is going for is really hard for people to grasp during the book. We also know for a fact that one of the early Highlords was noted to be a Nordmerican exile, which suggests it hasnt been conquered at least because otherwise you'd see words like 'former exile' and some mention of getting their stuff back would have come up. Especially since they are noted to be power hungry.

 

A running theme too is that the Exemplary battles are usually against some really tough nuts to crack and alot of empires, especially ones like the Han or the Romans which were exceedingly spread out, often did have really weird spread relating to their capitals and seats of power. Romans wandering around the other side of Anatolia but not having much north of the Balkans or the Western Protectorate being a thing while a whole lot of Korea was right there seem odd if you think in terms of raw spread. 

 

So it does make a certain amount of sense that Kandawire's 'wow we have all of Terra' moment seems extremely optimistic because from her PoV having so much land as alot of Afro-Eurasia and the surrounding wastes likely seems impossibly impressive. But the book itself alludes to the Tempest galleries. 

 

This book gives us a few Unity Dates.

  • We know that multiple Hosts acting together (120 marines is the figure given) happened during the Third Siege of Antioch in 603.M30.
  • The Legion first marched as a proper 10,000 man force along with four other Legions supporting them (names not given) in 668.M30.
  • We know the TWs were supposedly gone by 'the mid years of the Unification Wars'. (Ararat is mentioned but curiously AK doesnt seem to know that the Emp offed the TWs, although he admits it wouldnt surprise him. He also claims that legends suggest the First Legion were the ones to do it).
  • A list of known hosts is given and labeled as representing 'a median point' in their history at 753.M30.

Now... this is actually more damning of Malevolence than anything else since thats the one that seemingly conflicts with Valdor and Guymer's having Akurduana note that he was trained by a TW. Neither being possible given the shock of a Primarch upon seeing the Astartes and the issue of Valdor claiming it is their first battle (which in turn doesnt work with Ararat).

 

The thing that might work is that Valdor and Kandawire both make alot of noise about the fact that the TWs made Astartes inter-Legion relations seem positively civil by comparison and that the DA were extremely secretive, the WS were rarely seen scouts and the BA were usually off in the middle of some Rad-Waste. So the chances are good that the Thunder Warriors would rarely if ever have seen latter two and that the Cataegis were competitive enough (and knew little enough) to not really see a reason to share knowledge of the Astartes with the Lords of Iron. And they were exceedingly individualistic so the ones training the first Astartes could pretty easily vanish to do the job and then disappear without comment.

 

Its reaching but its something.

 

The bigger issue is Malc having already moved the samples to the moon and the Terran labs being destroyed. Not least because it means the Emp uncharacteristically spent over two centuries patiently trying to negotiate, which is odd for him. 

 

We can reason though that the Labs were only needed for large-scale production and to generate the first Gene-Seed to get the various balls rolling though. And it would explain why it took two centuries to get all twenty bloodlines even semi-functional. 

 

Again, I'm reaching here but if you go through three pints and squint it might work. 


Edited by StrangerOrders, 13 September 2020 - 03:15 AM.

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#23
b1soul

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Thanks for the write-up...

It felt like the Ist in Valdor were the first Astartes batch ever, but perhaps they were just a fresh batch following a handful of even earlier batches already deployed in smaller numbers? Did Valdor make any omniscient statements in this regard?

If not, I kinda like this idea actually. These earlier batches would include relatively small numbers drawn from Ist, Vth, XVIth (and some other) gene-lines. However, this would seem to undercut the theme of the Valdor novel/novella, but I suppose we have to remember that it's mostly written from Kandawire's limited, and sometimes erroneous, perspective.

If Cataegis Legions rather hated each other...then yes, I suppose some Legions likely would withhold information from other Legions regarding this separate breed of not-quite-as-hulking warriors being deployed to fight alongside them. The Imperium probably reassured those Cataegis who would be working with the new Astartes that the Astartes would remain a smaller, highly specialised scalpel-like force to supplement the much larger Cataegis Legions and the latter would always remain dominant? Most Cataegis leaders, in their arrogance, would probably buy this I think. Furthermore, the larger UW-era Astartes campaigns were Astartes-only affairs IIRC, and were probably never disclosed to the Cataegis.

On top of all that, we could treat Kandawire's claim of having conquered the world as akin to claims that the British or Mongol Empire "ruled the world". They did rule most of the important parts in their times.

So with the ideas above, I think we might be able to reconcile Valdor and the Black Books that talk about Cataegis-Astartes cooperation during the UW.

I think the wrench is more FW Inferno:

Spoiler


So it's looking like AK contradicts himself in separate volumes. But maybe AK is the signature of an order rather than a specific individual, and the Inferno entry was the garbled product of incomplete research by a less experienced acolyte?
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#24
StrangerOrders

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Thanks for the write-up...

It felt like the Ist in Valdor were the first Astartes batch ever, but perhaps they were just a fresh batch following a handful of even earlier batches already deployed in smaller numbers? Did Valdor make any omniscient statements in this regard?

If not, I kinda like this idea actually. These earlier batches would include relatively small numbers drawn from Ist, Vth, XVIth (and some other) gene-lines. However, this would seem to undercut the theme of the Valdor novel/novella, but I suppose we have to remember that it's mostly written from Kandawire's limited, and sometimes erroneous, perspective.

If Cataegis Legions rather hated each other...then yes, I suppose some Legions likely would withhold information from other Legions regarding this separate breed of not-quite-as-hulking warriors being deployed to fight alongside them. The Imperium probably reassured those Cataegis who would be working with the new Astartes that the Astartes would remain a smaller, highly specialised scalpel-like force to supplement the much larger Cataegis Legions and the latter would always remain dominant? Most Cataegis leaders, in their arrogance, would probably buy this I think. Furthermore, the larger UW-era Astartes campaigns were Astartes-only affairs IIRC, and were probably never disclosed to the Cataegis.

On top of all that, we could treat Kandawire's claim of having conquered the world as akin to claims that the British or Mongol Empire "ruled the world". They did rule most of the important parts in their times.

So with the ideas above, I think we might be able to reconcile Valdor and the Black Books that talk about Cataegis-Astartes cooperation during the UW.

I think the wrench is more FW Inferno:

Spoiler


So it's looking like AK contradicts himself in separate volumes. But maybe AK is the signature of an order rather than a specific individual, and the Inferno entry was the garbled product of incomplete research by a less experienced acolyte?

Hmm... There is something weird as well in the book.

 

Like, AK here seems to really resist the idea that the First could have something to do with the death of the Cataegis or that the Emp could have commanded their death.

 

That is really weird to say given that as far as book One AK has been really frequent in mentioning culls of TWs and being fairly blithe about it. 

 

The irksome part is that AK suggests the First did Ararat. That doesnt add up with alot. 

 

I have stuck up for AK on a number of occasions but the thing is that this really does seem weird. Since its at odds with things said in previous BBs and even Malevolence which is the same crew.

 

It would also make it weird for Guilliman to own the collection and speak as if it had one author, which is the weirdest thing since I would at least rate Guilliman as a more perceptive reader than all of us stapled together. 

 

I should mention though that to add in to your point regarding Astartes-only affairs, the DA are mentione dto have been thrown at alot of things that I could easily see the Emp wanting to sweep under the rug. The book does do a good job of injecting (even more) eldritch stuff to Terra ranging from Khrave infestations to what I think are meant to be cities partially dragged into the Warp. 

 

That's the sort of thing I can see the Imperium killing everyone that might mention it (and alot of those that wouldn't) over. 

 

To broaden the conversation a bit, I liked that its mentioned that the Lion could have spent as much as a hundred and fifty years in the forests before Luthor found him. One of my pet peeves with alot of Primarchs is their relatively 'short' human lives, not that some had it so much as it being the overwhelming norm. The Lion being around for centuries (even if in an infantile state) is a very interesting idea I would have liked to see with more Primarchs.


Have a lovely daybiggrin.png

 

Incidentally, I like to commit the cardinal sin of writing fanfiction: https://forums.space.../#post-41266642


#25
Beren

Beren

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Given that we don't know how long it took AK to put these manuscripts together, or whether or not he had the opportunity to edit them afterwards, is it not possible that he came across different pieces of evidence while writing and actually changed his mind in between pieces?

 

Real life historical works can become dated in between editions as new facts or interpretations are uncovered after all, and given the extended life-span of many high ranking humans in 40k this work could potentially have taken place over the course of a century.






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