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IA: Prædicators

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Index Astartes: Prædicators
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Origins

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Brother Norusz

 

T
he history of the Inanis Prædicators can be traced back to the terrifying times around the Year of the Ghosts. The High Lords of Terra ordered a Chapter be founded from the Gene-legacy of the Silver Skulls, the line of Guilliman. Thadru Hucno, ‘The Void Herald’, was appointed as the Chapter’s first Lord Commander. Hucno was known for his superstitions, near-ritualistically talking into the void about his Prognosticators’ divinations, and it is from this practice which the Chapter’s High Gothic name derives.

 

This nascent Chapter and those which were founded alongside them were created to replace the eleven chapters that plunged the Segmentum Pacificus into anarchy and were declared Traitoris Perdita during the War of the False Primarch. To prevent the events that led to an eight decade long war from ever occurring again, only the most stable gene-stock was selected. How many chapters were founded alongside the Praedicators is unclear as a great many records were purged during that time or have been lost within the labyrinth of the Administratum. A majority of the Chapters from this founding follow the strict organisational and tactical guidelines of the Codex Astartes. Like most of the approximately one thousand chapters in existence, the Prædicators follow the doctrines of the Codex to an extent, but are also known for occasionally deviating from some of the less stringent requirements.

 

Thadru Hucno started the Praedicators upon a path that, for over seven thousand years now, has earned them a cold reputation throughout the Imperium. Since their inception, they have become known for holding an especially grim and fatalistic view of Mankind, stemming from the strange and terrible knowledge that is their burden. The inheritors of Hucno’s visions fight to deny the inevitable, bemoaning the high price they have to pay for such meagre gains as can be won in the wars against the enemies of the Imperium - but they fight on because that is what they were created to do. 

 

It started within a few years of their founding, as brothers with no prior signs of psychic ability began experiencing vivid hallucinogenic dreams. The Apothecaries now suspect that this was due to the slow mutation of their Catalepsean Node, a dark flaw in the Chapter’s gene-seed that they were at first loath to discuss with even their fellow Astartes. These dreams were glimpses into a horrifying future, and eerily mirrored the more worrying divinations the Chapter’s psychically-attuned Prognosticators were beginning to scry.

 

As the dreams progressed in severity they eventually had no choice but to reach out; first to the Adeptus Mechanicus and their Genator-Magos, Abdul Hazred, and then to the Ultramarines, the First Founding Chapter whose Primarch Roboute Guilliman was the primogenitor of the Silver Skulls Chapter who in turn were the Praedicator’s forebears. At every step their emissaries were turned away, cursed for being too frightening to be believed. Other servants of the Imperium seemed unable to see the truth staring back at them from beyond the stars; of how pointless Mankind is in this universe, and how the Imperium is the centre of nothing. The confession of their genetic mutation only brought the Imperium’s scrutiny down onto the Prædicators, and with it Inquisitorial investigation along with the immediate presumption of guilt which that entails. Faced with such levels of paranoia and suspicion, the Praedicators have now learned to stay quiet, until one day they may perceive someone who is truly ready to heed their warnings.

 

Charged with heretical thinking and deviation from the Imperial Creed, the Chapter was sentenced to purgatory along the Imperium’s isolated southern border. Their presence might still be of some use to the Imperium, and the location of their penitent exile was carefully chosen in order to repair the power and reach of the Adeptus Astartes, until such time as they could once again call themselves true Scions of Guilliman in thought and deed. Being haunted by unimaginable visions and nightmares has profoundly altered their tale to this day. Unlike their fellow descendants of Guilliman, the Prædicators never once aspired to take the pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Primarch before his un-prophesised return. Nor have they made obeisance to him in person since, for their visions have made them pariahs and they are still shunned by the Astartes whose gene-seed they bear.

 

Recruitment

 

 

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Veiled Region

S
ettling into their duty of protecting the periphery of the Segmentum Tempestus from Xenos incursions, an expeditionary fleet led by the Prædicators was tasked with mapping some essential yet unknown areas of the Veiled Region. Without this survey, the limited levels of navigation possible in this region would have continued to make it both difficult and dangerous to travel through. The Veiled Region  is known for being unstable at best, with perennial nebulae interfering with communication, not to mention the unusual levels of psionic radiation which often leave vessels to drift for days unable to re-enter the tumultuous Immaterium. Amongst the greatest dangers is its isolation from Astropathic communication, for psychic communication is reflected and echoed with only silence being returned. It was only due to the fleet’s particularly skilled Navigators that the exploration was even allowed, and their heroic efforts certainly explain why it was successful. Without them the fleet would be unable to traverse the frequently encountered breaking points of reality, pervasive nebulae, and vast stellar clouds. It was in this seemingly unknown and forgotten area of space, that the expeditionary fleet came upon what they had been told did not exist: human settlements! Under Imperial law they were prohibited, but the populations the fleet encountered seemed to be surviving and even thriving despite their separation from the light of the Astronomicon. What was more striking was the seemingly steady flow of vessels that came and went, bringing supplies and much needed trade, despite the innumerable Imperial edicts which they were breaking to do so.

 

Darkholds

The Darkholders, the Void Born from the spacefaring vessels with the darkest of reputations, make up a greater proportion of the Chapter’s Chaplaincy than any other source. They are couched in stories of dire curses, bleak fortunes, baleful massacres, cannibalism, hauntings and worse. They are a breed apart to those with the wisdom to see it.

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All manner of vessels, it seemed, would frequently traverse through this region of space; merchants, miners, scavengers, prison ships, vessels belonging to darkholds, and even the occasional Rogue Trader’s personal flagship and attendant flotilla. Without these many visitors the far-flung human settlements would be isolated from one another and left unprotected. The Imperium functions on the premise that most core worlds do not need to be self-sufficient, instead focussing on the manufacture or production of a few key goods or resources which are then supplemented with essential goods from off-world. Without a steady stream of starships plying their way through the Veiled Region, interstellar trade could not exist, and the weapons and other supplies needed to stop each world falling into darkness would not be obtained.

 

Space travel beyond the boundaries of the Imperium is arduous and dangerous, with spacefarers relying on their ancient vessels’ powerful engines flinging them into the Immaterium - a black art poorly understood by the adepts of the Mechanicus in the forty-first millennium. Once vessels have entered warp-space they can cover thousands of light years within a relatively short time, dropping back into the Materium far beyond their starting points. The Warp ever seeks to drag helpless vessels to their doom, with its constant turbulence, and treacherous warp storms. To travel any distance at all through the warp is dangerous, impressive, and not attempted lightly. To travel between the distant worlds of the Veiled Region demanded a particular kind of dedication, madness, or disregard for the safety of those onboard. The alternative - travelling through realspace without the use of warp engines - brings its own hazards and challenges. And yet here were worlds visited by privateers and merchant princes, arriving via every means and from many directions.

 

Those aboard space-faring vessels in the forty-first millennium are not merely star travellers but the products of many generations passed in the darkness between worlds; these are the Void Born. They are relatively few among the teeming multitudes of humanity, but singular, and form a disparate and odd collection of misfits, strangers, and other ill-omened folk, birthed in the bellies of vessels that spend entire standard centuries charting a course through the stars. On the worlds the Void Born come to they are often shunned for their ethereal quality and considered to be unlucky, ill-fated, bringers of bad fortune, secretive, and untrustworthy. Most imperial citizens and no small number of fringe-dwellers believe the Void Born in some way to have been touched by the Warp where gravitational variance, radiation exposure, genetic distortion, and chaotic anomalies slowly take their toll. Ashore they carry a strange air about them, a perceptible something that makes others uneasy.

 

The plight of the Void Born was seen by the Praedicators as one mirroring their own; they too were homeless, and ostracised without just cause. Empathy overcame Hucno's soul. The Void Born, too, were somehow associated with the many and unfathomable dangers of the outer darkness. Their being inured to the Warp convinced the Lord Commander that they could serve as the source of recruitment for the aspirants who might safeguard the future of the Prædicators. Without a Homeworld of their own, the Chapter otherwise risked a slow dwindling through combat losses and the decline into old age that claims even the Astartes after many centuries. Having determined how they could sustain their Chapter, the Praedicators now settled into patrolling the periphery of the vastly unknown Veiled Region. This was ever a dangerous calling, with small groups of ships navigating amongst dense nebulae and newborn stars, suffering from waves of radiation cast off by discarded stellar matter whilst being cloaked from any hope of reinforcements or communication by swathes of stellar dust, and all the while patrolling along the galactic south of the Segmentum Tempestus, from which come the raiders and despoilers of the foul Xenos. The Void Heralds learned to deal with these conditions, or they died. The survivors became responsible for the surrounding areas of space, chief among them the Ainu System, the Nahmu Stars and the Hypnis Expanse. Apothecaries and Chaplains of the Prædicators recruit aspirants for the Chapter exclusively from the vast, city-sized spacecraft that ply the depths of the void; in this way, they follow the edicts of Lord Commander Hucno in order to ensure that the Chapter recruits only the most mentally capable and genetically suitable candidates.

 

Recruitment is slow and arduous, with no centralised pool of potential candidates to draw from and no way of knowing when the next suitable aspirant will be found within the innumerable shoals of voidfaring vessels. Chaplains must work within the labyrinthine political webs woven amongst the thousands of ships’ crew, often becoming embroiled in complex networks of feuds, alliances, and unpleasant little wars - all while taking care not to disrupt the carefully balanced system. Removing the wrong crewmember as a potential aspirant can potentially hamper the Void Born population's ability to maintain itself and properly crew a ship, depriving the Chapter of a valuable source of future recruits.

 

Ramilles Class Star-fort
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Brought to their Ramilles Class Star-fort, fortress monastery, Cetus, to be inducted into the Prædicators the Void Born aspirants will step out to breathe in its unique ecosystem. Some fall into a catatonic, worshipful state when they see its grandeur. These failed aspirants are led away to serve the Chapter in other ways. Those who can take in the sight of Cetus without being overcome gradually learn that large portions of the vessel are used to emulate different combat environments for training purposes, while entire swathes of space are given to meditation. The great chambers and vaults are often decorated with tapestries depicting the terrifying nightmares they are to expect but most numerous of all are the seemingly endless barren halls. It is here that neophytes will undergo the long process of psycho-indoctrination, submitting to grueling biological and genetic testing before being implanted with the gene-seed that will sustain them through a lifetime of nightmares, turning their meagre bodies into killing machines, recreating the Void Born as a Void Herald. A once humble and frail recruit becomes the epitome of humanity, the perfect warrior and servant of the Imperium.

 

Battlefield Doctrine

 

F
ollowing the same reading and understanding of Roboute Guilliman's Codex Astartes as their Predecessors, the Silver Skulls, the Praedicators stay close to the sacred tome’s main tenets. This has protected the Chapter from any further suspicion and scrutiny from the Inquisition. The inevitably of all that they know becoming enveloped in darkness never leaves their thoughts but War is their purpose; it is what the Heralds were created for, and it is their last source of pride and satisfaction.

 

The tactical orthodoxy is dictated to a degree by the fact that they are a Fleet Based Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes - some would say, the truest bearers of the name “Space Marines”. Their limited numbers ensure the Chapter is not used as a blunt instrument but instead to deliver precise and lethal strikes in a manner that could never be achieved by the faceless masses of the Astra Militarum. Millennia of repeated combat indoctrination has shaped them into the force they are today; efficiency in war is their only antidote for bemoaning the cost of taking something that achieves nothing, and being unable to stop the creeping darkness.

 

After successfully breaching an enemy ship's hull or making planetfall on a new world the Praedicators make the most of their precognitive psychic abilities by deploying as a predominantly defensive force. Their Techmarines and commanding officers orchestrate fire bases that use skilled marksmen and overlapping fields of fire to suppress oncoming attackers. Assault forces held in reserve wait for the opportune moment to disrupt their attackers further with well executed raids, attacking seemingly from all sides at once. These attacks have the dual goal of causing considerable damage and sowing confusion among the enemy ranks. Praedicators bemoan the cost of war and, so their reasoning goes, so too will those that try to defy them. It is said the only death the Praedicators fear is the slow death through madness which is the fate of so many Void Born; it is why they give no quarter and expect none in return. As with their predecessors it is not unknown to hear of the Prædicators displaying an unwillingness to go to another’s aid. After all, no one is willing to come to theirs, and sometimes the divinations simply show the cost to be too severe. It is perhaps this single fact which explains why they have survived for so long, and yet have so few allies even amongst their Astartes gene-kin.

 

Some opponents make the mistake of thinking the defensively-minded Praedicators are an inert force, slow to rouse and lacking in agility. Such thinking brings the enemies of mankind only woe. When the Chapter begrudgingly determines that they have to take ground, they will seek to overwhelm their foes so mightily that they may maintain offensive momentum at all costs. Nor are their assaults rash or under-prepared; preferring to engage directly after a carefully orchestrated orbital bombardment from their vast fleet assets, waves of drop-pod infantry and light equipment arrive with impeccable timing alongside Thunderhawk-deployed vehicles and other heavy assets.

 

Chapter Scouts will most often be required to gather vital intelligence - a mission which can demand they face the foe under a huge range of dangerous  circumstances. This hard-won knowledge is used to confirm or expand on the information gained from the Prognosticators divinations. Scouts are further used in the disruption of enemy supply lines through sabotage and demolition actions, as well as to eliminate key targets with crippling campaigns of assassination missions and pre-emptive strikes.

 

Their collective actions are often mistaken for bravery and courage. In truth, the Praedicators stand before the enemies of the Imperium unflinchingly as they consider themselves worthless. It is only thanks to the Chaplains that walk among them in the heat of battle, reminding them of their purpose, their sole responsibility, that they continue to fight. Without strong leadership they might otherwise lapse into dark thoughts: the want to die, the want to despair, and the want to return to nothing.

 

Organisation

 

A
n outside observer would find it difficult to spot any differences between the Prædicators and a chapter rigidly adhering to the tenets of the Codex, such as the Ultramarines. Prædicators have been considered a near Codex Astartes-adherent chapter for much of their history, although the nature of a fleet-based chapter does require some flexibility in this regard, with isolated fleet elements being forced to adapt their tactics to the resources available to them. Additionally, the Prædicators fight predominantly without direct Imperial support due to their ill-omened reputation, instilling in them a sense of self-reliance uncommon in many Codex-style chapters who are more comfortably meshed in the greater Imperial war machine.

 

It is in the organisation of the higher levels that deviations from the Codex Astartes can be seen. All Chapters include a number of officers and specialists who stand aside from the company organisation. In the Prædicators the Chapter Master is referred to as Lord Commander, as was the way of their predecessors, the Silver Skulls. The Librarians, known as Prognosticators, share the mantle of spiritual advisors (alongside their Brother-Chaplains); these psychically attuned warriors are the seers of the Chapter, scrying for divination of the future. Wherever their visions take them, they grant the squads and companies they are attached to an undeniable edge for the coming battles.

Brother Keghi
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The Chapter relies on a large support staff, and highly ranked members include the Master of the Fleet, and the senior Captains: the Keeper of the Arsenal, the Abyssal Watcher, and the Warden of the Watch. Although each Captain is a Space Marine, there are actually relatively few Brethren in the Chapter’s support staff, and most non-combatant roles are performed by the Chapter’s Human serfs. The Chapter includes a large number of support staff, many of whom are non-combatants of advanced age tasked with the day-to-day administration of the Chapter. The largest group of Prædicators Space Marines in the support staff are the Chapter’s armourers and Techmarines, who are aided in their tasks by hundreds of mono-task Servitors.

 

The ten companies follow the structure laid down within the Codex, with the first company being made up of the most experienced Veterans among the Chapter’s ranks. Their wisdom is invaluable, and so they are attached to the Battle Companies to share their knowledge, deployed in small units and essentially armed in a similar manner to a Tactical squad though admittedly with their enhanced scopes and specialised ammunition. Only the most experienced of the Veterans will be permitted to wear the few suits of Terminator armour available to the Chapter. Unless the need for their presence on the battlefield is dire, these suits can be seen watching over you as you enter the forge on Cetus. Prædicator Techmarines have gone to extensive lengths to recover fallen suits of Terminator armour so that they may once more see battle.

 

The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Companies are organised along Codex lines as Battle Companies. Each consists of six battleline squads, two close support squads, and two fire support squads. These four companies and their fleets form the main battle lines and generally bear the brunt of the fighting, whether planetside or in the void. Each has a degree of autonomy and with such a variety of squads, the Companies are highly flexible and tactically adaptable.

 

Companies 6 and 7 are reserve Companies, each consisting of ten battleline squads. These act as reserves which may be used to bolster the front line, launch diversionary attacks or stem enemy flanking manoeuvres. With such low recruitment rates these are rarely ever at full strength. The 7th company is barely seen at all, and some say it exists now in name only.

 

The 8th Company consists of ten close support squads. This highly mobile company is often equipped with jump packs, and is fielded in the assault role wherever a strong hand-to-hand fighting force is needed to storm an enemy strongpoint.

 

The Prædicators’ 9th Company follows the doctrines laid out in the Codex, unlike their progenitors the Silver Skulls, who designate their 9th Company as a siege company. In the Prædicators, this Company consists of ten Fire Support Squads. It is the most powerfully equipped in the Chapter and is used to bolster defence and provide long-range support.

 

The 10th Company consists of a number of Scout squads; youths who have been recruited and partially transformed into Space Marines. There is no formal size for the company as the rate of recruitment is not fixed. They are the only company to not maintain its own fleet, and instead operate directly from Cetus. Never fighting as one coherent force, they are instead assigned throughout the other fleets where they can gain experience alongside their elders. 

All of the companies, with the exception of the Scout Company, maintain transports and Drop pods for each of their squads and officers. The armoury hold onto rarer equipment more centrally, including heavy vehicles such as Land Raiders, with each of these relic war machines being allocated to individual squads as dictated by the needs of their mission or when requested by a Captain in the midst of a campaign.

 

Chapter Cult and Belief System

 

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Chapter Badge

H
aunted by their dreams, and seen as secretive, the ill-omened Prædicators are Void Born and know of the unfathomable dangers of the outer darkness. Just as they did before wearing the mantle of Astartes, they continue to carry a strange air about them; a perceptible yet undefinable something that makes even the bravest of the warriors from other Astartes Chapters uneasy around them.

 

The Heralds know first-hand the horrors of space and the sheer multitude of the Emperor's enemies. This knowledge forces these voidfarers - plying the dark spaces between the stars while holding a deeper darkness within - to insulate their brotherhood from that which they are duty bound to protect. Thus they live a life of renunciation, rejecting what they know is always lurking in the void beyond the hull.

 

From deep within the Librarium, the minds of the Prognosticators look far out into the cold vastness of space, seeing further than any of their less gifted brothers’ dream-visions. Their sight will pierce the encroaching black veil for only a second, there to witness a momentary eternity of endless shrieking immemorial lunacy, from realms whose existence stuns the brain. They rarely speak of the eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order that numbs them with the gulfs that it throws open before their frenzied eyes and scorched mind. They have uncovered the abyss beneath their illusory sense of connection with Mankind; it is their gift, and their burden.

 

What all Brothers see is a senseless, mechanical, and uncaring universe. Mankind dissolves into meaninglessness when impermanence is the only real thing. They have tried for so long to look away and to wake from these terrible dreams, but with no understanding their minds are pulled and stretched further. The strain is too much for some. Staring deep into the void for so long, it now only stares back, as a contradicting reflection of what they have become: Reclusive, Withdrawn, Taciturn; Denizens of the Deep.

 

No ordinary Prædicator will be remembered, for all legacies will be burned, but the stars will live on. To recount tales of mankind’s history and achievements only delays the inevitable entropic devouring of every shred of memory, every artifact, and every settled world. Given that, the most solemn of causes is that of the Apothecarion; for their paradoxical role is to prepare for a future that does not appear to exist. The millennia of screeching divinations and torturous dreams have left the Prædicators with only a cold senseless taste of hopelessness. Their actions cannot be compared to the fate that awaits us all; it will all be dust. Humanity’s time has come, no longer belonging in the only place they have ever known.

 

That tenet disturbs the Ecclesiarchy for not only does it deny the existence of their God-Emperor but also all that He opposes, and all that He supposedly defends us against. It puts the Praedicators at odds with the Adeptus Mechanicus, and particularly challenges the Techmarines within their ranks who have sworn ancient pacts with the Omnissiah. To find a follower of the Imperial Cult not openly hostile to what they consider such blasphemy seems impossible. And should the Praedicators sow their thoughts into the mind of one receptive to their message… that would be the darkest day indeed. The Praedicators reject the concept of the God-Emperor because to perpetuate such an idea - of a deity that can save us from the unsavable - only serves to deny that we are alone, and hopeless in the grandest of schemes.

 

Realisation of the inevitable fate that belongs to us all is creeping into our galaxy, like the tendriled Void Stalker of the Warp approaching their prey. Aside from perhaps He who now sits on the Golden Throne mankind could never fathom, fully understand, or explain fate; but it is nearly upon them all, and the Praedicators believe that it will become known as a blessed release once every citizen of the Imperium realises that their fate is no longer in anyone’s hands. 

The Praedicators have no particular hatred of Xenos races, though they will gladly extinguish them if given the chance. Though all Xenos are dangerous to mankind, they are considered neither good nor evil. The greatest of the other species are merely incomprehensible, cosmic forces, that notions of morality have no significance to. They exist in cosmic realms beyond our understanding, and cannot serve as a bulwark against the darkness - but may by their mere existence hasten its encroachment. By this simple logic, they must die if mankind is to cling on a little longer in this uncaring galaxy.

 

While the Deathwatch and Ordo Xenos’ mode operati is considered narrow and flawed, for individual Prædicators to be assigned to a Watch Station or Fortress is celebrated, as the destruction of the Inhuman is seen as one of the last remaining noble causes in the galaxy. In the darkest millennium it needlessly stands out with towering majesty to give hope to those that have none.

 

Prognosticators

 

Prognosticators are hybrid officers fulfilling the role of Librarian, alongside tasks more traditionally assigned to the Chaplaincy in other Chapters. While the Praedicators’ Chaplains play a larger role in the recruiting and training of new aspirants, the Prognosticators guide and shepherd the veteran Brethren, administering to the psionic and mental well-being of the Chapter's warriors. 

 

These dour warriors are the seers of the Chapter, reading their brothers’ dreams or scrying for divination of the future, granting the squads and companies they are attached to an edge for the coming battle. The Chapter takes the readings seriously, so much so that on some occasions, the Prognosticators have successfully counselled against the Chapter becoming embroiled in a particular war. This can prove problematic, as it heaps greater suspicion upon an already mistrusted Chapter. At times this balancing act has even led to companies taking part in conflicts they know will end in defeat. 

 

Upon a Prognosticator’s armour, pendants, and badges of office can be found Chthonic marks and runes engraved into the surface. These are not purely decorative, as they serve to channel and concentrate the Prognosticator’s psychic powers.

 

Given their role as wards of the psionic and spiritual health of the Prædicators, it is a rare thing indeed for a Prognosticator to take the Apocryphon Oath, and serve a Vigil of the Long Watch with the Deathwatch, the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos. In accepting a Prognosticator into his Watch Fortress, a Watch Commander gains the services of an individual of unique skill and ability. His knowledge of both the Librarian’s arts and the duties of the Chaplain are of course valuable. Yet the greatest of the Prognosticators are able to extend their ministrations to all of the Battle-Brothers they serve alongside, inspiring each and every one to epic deeds of courage, and diverting the flow of history so that these warriors can return to their chapters as heroes. It is said that it is only by the actions of those few Prognosticators who have taken the Oath that the Prædicators have gained any reputation as trustworthy allies whatsoever.

 

Apothecaries

 

The most solemn of individuals tasked with the most solemn of tasks; it is their role to mind the physical wellbeing of their battle-brothers. Not all injuries, however, can be detected with a Narthecium scan. A medic from any other chapter might be oblivious to the emotional damage that eats away at the Praedicators. The Void Born Apothecary, however, knows only too well the torment that his brothers endure, for they too are emotionally scarred from their nightmares.

 

Techmarines

 

Those amongst the Prædicators with an affinity for technology are dispatched to Mars, honouring ancient pacts formed with the Adeptus Mechanicus millennia ago upon their founding. There they are initiated into the Martian tech-cults to become Techmarines. This process divides the brothers' duality complex into a triality nightmare, but it is acknowledged as a necessary process. Without Techmarines the Prædicators would be left unable to tend to the machine spirits, to observe the rites that ensure continued operation of their wargear, to repair damage taken on the field of battle, or to attend to the needs of the Fleet.

 

After their training on Mars they return even more mysterious and capricious, aloof and distant. Their inscrutable ways are not easily understood by most of the battle-brothers. For many they do not understand themselves, lost in doubt, dwelling on the idea that if even their Machine-God may not be eternal then their new-found faith cannot be real. Prædicator Techmarines struggle for their entire lives to unravel their three competing ideologies: the Liber Mechanicus and the Omnissiah; the Chapter’s sacred duty; and its nihilistic creed. Eternity becomes their supreme desire, fearing that nothing is real that is not eternal. 

 

The Prognosticators that discern their dreams tell of only vague impressions of a sleep-addled mind but they all tell the same story. It is no ordinary nightmare. There is a prison deep below the surface, and something that stands a mile high but moves like flesh and blood. A rustle of wings, and a set of claws; how small the Techmarines stand beside those claws... They feel him beneath the sand, they see his dreams, and so they are consumed by another fear to be believed absolutely. Yet they cling to their visions for they sometimes reveal the location of priceless relics and STC files waiting to be found. In the end the fear and the doubt is all incidental, inevitable, and something to be borne stoically at all costs.

 

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House Vibro

 

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Novator Italki Vibro

 

A
once great house of the Navis Nobilite whose family estate was located within the Imperial Palace on Terra, House Vibro is now considered nothing more than a pauper house by all those in the Segmentum Solar. 


Their fall from grace was a result of petty rivalry, political subterfuge, and social maneuvering. An event known as The Tainting came about as agents of rival House Numa tricked a key heiress of House Vibro into a marriage of state with the little-known House Nostromo. A marriage of convenience intended to consolidate power and grow the fortunes of House Vibro was revealed as a fateful error, as the insanity within the bloodline of Nostromo entered their once idyllic family tree. The repercussions took generations to reveal themselves. By the time that it became clear how many of the matriarch’s great-grand-children bore the now-undeniable genetic flaw, it was too late; for the two Houses had become inseparably intertwined. 

 

House Vibro abandoned their estate, seeking to escape the socio-political fallout and begin their legacy anew in a system where their reputation might not be forever marred by the insanity of House Nostromo. Having traversed the stars to find a new home, eventually establishing their small palace in orbit around Ulthar in the Ainu System; it was there, over many centuries, that they slowly adapted to the void, growing spindly-limbed, willowy-tall, and with a bluish tinge to their skin.


They conducted business by bartering their services to the captains of any vessel or fleet in need of Navigators: merchants, miners, scavengers, prison ships, darkholds, occasionally Rogue Traders, and many years later the Prædicators. The Veiled Region was tumultuous at best, and House Vibro quickly earned the reputation that there were no better Navigators to be had if a captain’s heart was set on going through it. 


The Prædicators were in dire need of expertise in mapping some of the most unstable and unpredictable areas of space within the Veiled Region, and House Vibro in turn could utilise the political capital and prestige they would gain from working alongside the Adeptus Astartes. Their association has remained intact since the start of the Astartes’ purgatory sentence, and upon successfully mapping some of the most dangerous areas within the Veiled Region, House Vibro now holds an exclusive Charter Navigae which means that they alone provide a Navigator for every ship in the Void Heralds’ fleet. An unspoken term of the contract involves the occasional lapses into madness shown by the descendants of long-dead Nostromo: with a certain rate of attrition only to be expected among the Navigators, the House takes pains to provide several replacements to each fleet, as well as a special attache to smooth over any diplomatic incidents. Navigators seconded to oversight roles include Novator Italki Vibro, who personally oversees the Cetus despite its current lack of readiness for Warp-space jumps. 


The Astartes of the Praedicators and the Navigators of House Vibro share a grim fatalism when it comes to matters regarding the nature of reality and the likely fate of mankind. Few would understand this shared common belief, and it may well be the foundation upon which their long and successful association stands. They both consider one another a most welcome asset, and for the Prædicators at least one their bond with House Vibro is one of the few true alliances they have. 


House Vibro shares with the Chaplains of the Praedicators information gleaned from across their extended family network. With the sons and daughters of the House serving alongside merchant and miner captains, scavenger leaders, prison-ship operators, and even the few Rogue Traders they conduct business with openly, there is much to be learned and passed on.  To the Chaplains, the Navigators are a bountiful source of information from across the breadth of the stars, helping them to discern what possible threats they may face, what is occurring in the wider galaxy, and (most importantly) where they should direct their efforts in the never-ending search for possible new recruits.


In return the Lord Commander attaches a ten man squad of Prædicators to the House as bodyguards which are referred to as the Starblades.  Apart from regular guard duties, the Starblades may be called upon to train or lead the troops of House Vibro, undertake covert operations on their behalf, or be present aboard one of the many Vibro trading vessels. The Starblades are sworn to serve the Novator of the house as they would the Lord Commander. Because of this ancient alliance, the Void Stalker that is the symbol of the Praedicators  is also depicted on the Vibro family crest.


Amongst the surviving elders of the House, scant few recall an earlier time when another promising alliance - likewise built upon convenience and the lust for power - turned to ash and madness as the true extent of what they had bound themselves too became apparent. The Praedicators’ visions are silent on this matter, or perhaps being deliberately withheld from their allies. Only time will tell if the most ancient of Navigators in House Vibro can see something that the Novator does not. For now, officially at least, the binding of House and Chapter remains a rare source of pride and rekindled hope.

 

 

Gene-seed

 

T
he descendants of the line of Guilliman, through the legacy of the Silver Skulls, bore Gene-seed renowned for its stability. So it was upon the founding of the Prædicators, though some may whisper that the legacy of enduring wholeness died with the first Lord Commander’s gene-kin. Whether the Gene-seed is now considered pure or aberrant, it is true that its incorporation only exacerbates the distinguishing features of the typical Void Born recruit: drawn features, pallid skin, and a characteristically haughty air.

 

It was not long after the Chapter’s founding that the Catalepsean Node in many aspirants began to exhibit signs of a peculiar mutation. Operationally, it still controls the Marine’s circadian rhythms and responses to any kind of sleep deprivation, allowing them to stay awake at full effectiveness for days at a time. Unusually, they often prefer to do so; for when they sleep they are consumed with potent, disturbing, and dark dreams, overwhelming them with dread. Prognosticators scry these dreams to glean small hints of the future, whose own dreams travel out so much further, giving them all cold black dancing in their eyes.

 

The Apothecaries do what they can to ease the burden of such nightmares. Those who find them all too much and are slowly driven insane are led away in pentagrammically warded chains to a chamber deep in the bowls of Cetus, where they will mutter nonsensically for their eternity about what placid island of ignorance we live in among black seas of infinity. Prognosticators study their cryptic words and piece together the dissociated pieces of knowledge revealed therein - opening up terrifying vistas of reality, and learning of our frightful position therein. 

 

Primaris Marines

 

Nearly every Space Marine created since the First Founding possesses nineteen specialised organs derived from their Chapter’s unique gene-seed. The Primaris Marines, however – originally engineered by the Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl on the orders of Roboute Guilliman – are implanted with a further three. It was the Sangprimus Portum, a device containing potent genetic material harvested from the Primarchs, that allowed for this breakthrough. Entrusted to Cawl by Guilliman shortly after the Second Founding, this device resulted in a new breed of Adeptus Astartes that were deployed en masse in the Ultima Founding. Due to Cawl’s interpretation of his orders and the millennia-spanning labour of his task – during which Guilliman was injured and suspended in stasis – the secrets of these new Primaris organs were not released until late in the 41st Millennium. Despite being ostracized and cast out as pariahs, ultimately, as with most Chapters, the Prædicators received envoys of the Primarch.

 

Initially the Primaris were universally met with mistrust, although in each case the reasons were different. The first wave brought mistrust and suspicion down upon themselves, with their oft-repeated claims that the Praedicator’s own Primarch Roboute Guilliman had returned, an event that seemingly was not envisaged by the Chapter’s Prognosticators. The second wave was shunned because of the Chapter Cult itself – could these fresh symbols of resurgent hope ever truly understand that the ending is nigh? With time, those Primaris who have experienced the same nightmares in their sleep-addled brains as any Firstborn battle-brother have grown to be accepted and even well-received, though lingering doubts remain as to whether any of them could fall into madness - and what does it say of them that they cannot fully embrace what it is to know of the Void?

 

At present, the Chapter’s Cult has been reluctant to fully embrace the Primaris as equals. The Chaplains, Prognosticators and Apothecaries of the Primaris are if anything made even less welcome than their ordinary brothers, as they are seen as lacking the ability to empathise with the Firstborn when it comes to the mental torture they risk with every sleep cycle. Time will tell as to whether the Primaris become full and true Denizens of the Deep, or whether they will be left to quietly wither away and be forgotten. That said, there are those that fear the Primaris for another reason entirely; namely, that they represent the fulfilment of a long-held belief that the End of Days is nigh. Certainly, enough has happened to make some within the Chapter believe the end is coming far sooner than they had previously gleamed, and with Primarichs returning and Custodes abroad once more, perhaps in time the Primaris will be seen not as unwelcome outsiders, but the fulfilment of a prophecy scryed ten millennia ago?

 

Power Armour

Even with gene-seed implantation complete, there is one final stage that must take place before an aspirant can be called a Prædicator– he must be clad in the distinctive sea green armour. The enclosing suits worn by all Space Marines are made from thick ceramite plates that would be cumbersome but for electrically motivated fibre bundles that replicate the movements of the wearer and supplement his strength. The last gene-seed organ to be implanted in a Space Marine – the black carapace – rests beneath the skin, itself fitted with neural sensors and transfusion ports. These plug-in points mesh with Space Marine armour, linking the wearer’s nervous system to his suit’s mind-impulse controls and turning the suit into a second skin that moves with all the speed and precision of the battle-brother’s own body. Without the carapace, Space Marine armour is almost impossible to use, and it is therefore the most distinctive feature of a battle-brother and the true mark of the Adeptus Astartes. There are several marks of power armour with significantly differing appearances. 

 

Having existed as a Chapter since the 33rd Millennium the Prædicators have collected a large assortment of older marks of armour. All of which have been maintained by skilled artificers who are not Space Marines, but servants who spend their lives working for the Chapter. Comparatively you will usually find other Chapters reserve the rights to wear these ancient suits of armour that have been lavishly restored to the ceremonial guards or elite units. The Prædicators on the other hand do not, and it is common to see Prædicators wear a multitude of older types of armour as well as suits composed of many different marks of armour.

 

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Edited by Minigiant, 09 October 2021 - 12:42 AM.

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#2
Minigiant

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The Prædicators Chapter has existed, since  2017 - making them nearly 5 years old! This post is intended to serve as a repository for the Prædicators as I continue to develop them. For their Index Astartes article, please see above.

 

Prædicators Wiki

  • The Prædicators wiki is currently located here

Prædicators Google Doc

  • The Prædicators Google Doc accepting all suggestions and edits is currently located here

Prædicators Painting and Modelling Threads

  • Minigiant's Prædicators Army Thread (COMING SOON)

Prædicators Graphics

  • Algrim Whitefang has produced a majority of graphics here
  • Blazbaros in their comic style created a company standard, honour guard with guardian trident, and chaplain

Prædicators Modelling Bits

  • Mk 7 Power Armoured Prædicators Pads (COMING SOON)
  • Primaris Prædicators Pads (COMING SOON)

Prædicators Today

  • My Lovecraftian inspired Space Marine Chapter are currently undergoing extensive development.
    They are to be:
  • Made into an old fashioned Index Astartes book
  • Make an appearance in a fan made Imperial Armour Book
  • Appear on 40k Theories Homebrew of the Week

Edited by Minigiant, 24 October 2021 - 07:59 AM.


#3
AHorriblePerson

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Really, really nice. I like what you're going for with the Prædicators - nice name, by the way. Much snappier than Denizens of the Deep!
 
You mentioned that you wanna reformat this into something more IA-like - I wonder if you'd consider trimming some of the fat? You regurgitate a lot of the basics regarding power armor, Techmarines and so on - stuff that the average reader will probably be aware of. It means they have to chew through a lot of mundane info to get to what makes the Chapter different from everybody else, i. e. the parts they're really here for. That may turn 'em off continuing on. Condensing or scrapping these introductions to different topics will result in less 'downtime' (something I struggle with as well sometimes, but that's neither here nor there).
 
Next, a number of smaller points:

  • I find it difficult to reconcile the beginning of the 'Battlefield Doctrine'-Section with the rest of it - at first, you say that Space Marines form lethal strike teams (which is supported by the lore) but then you go on to call them a 'predominantly defensive force'. I think it's mostly down to those three words, though, since what you're describing sounds more like ambush tactics and shock and awe (to me, anyway).
  • Mentioning the Phalanx and the Abyss-Class vessels makes me a bit wary, personally - those are two of the most powerful (classes of) vessels the galaxy's ever seen, and comparing your Cetus to both of 'em causes questions like "why haven't we seen it before?" and "why wasn't it mentioned in this book, where the narrator lists the Imperium's greatest ships?". Why not make it a Star Fort or a relic construct comparable to one? While still immensely powerful (as proven by the Raptorus Rex hauling a goddamn stellar core fragment), they are comparatively more common than what you're currently describing.
  • You mention that the Prognosticators execute some of the Chaplains' tasks as well, namely looking after the mental well-being of their brethren. As do the Apothecaries. And the Chaplains, I presume, which partially makes them redundant. One easy solution would be to officially merge the roles of Prognosticator and Chaplain, or Apothecary and Chaplain. Or both! The Emperor's Spears do something similar with their Druids, so there's a precedent for it.
  • With all the doom and gloom concerning a nameless, shapeless terror from the void, one has to wonder what sort of reaction the Prædicators showed when the Tyranids entered the galaxy. Did they feel vindicated? Maybe they directed their attention towards combating them? Maybe the tidings for battles involving them are especially bad? I think you could do a lot with this!

Lastly, there's a myriad of grammatical mistakes and odd turns of phrase in the article, but I assume those will gradually get ironed out as you work on the next draft(s).
 
Again, I like the vibe of this Chapter. Keen to see more of 'em!


Edited by AHorriblePerson, 10 August 2021 - 02:24 PM.

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Bjorn Firewalker

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Welcome back! The revised IA is well-organized, though there is room for improvement. See the following example, with my emphasis:
Spoiler

All manner of vessels would traverse through this region of space; merchant, miner, scavenger, prison, darkholds,

What the hell are "darkholds"? When I searched for the term on Lexicanum, I found an article on the Dark Sons Chapter planet.

You mentioned that you wanna reformat this into something more IA-like - I wonder if you'd consider trimming some of the fat? You regurgitate a lot of the basics regarding power armor, Techmarines and so on - stuff that the average reader will probably be aware of. It means they have to chew through a lot of mundane info to get to what makes the Chapter different from everybody else, i. e. the parts they're really here for. That may turn 'em off continuing on. Condensing or scrapping these introductions to different topics will result in less 'downtime' (something I struggle with as well sometimes, but that's neither here nor there).

Good point, one I should bear in mind myself.

You mention that the Prognosticators execute some of the Chaplains' tasks as well, namely looking after the mental well-being of their brethren. As do the Apothecaries. And the Chaplains, I presume, which partially makes them redundant. One easy solution would be to officially merge the roles of Prognosticator and Chaplain, or Apothecary and Chaplain.

This is a good point. Say the Chapter deviates from the Codex by having no Chaplaincy; that Prognosticators and Apothecaries perform duties normally assigned to a Chaplain; and hint this is due to the original Chaplains succumbing to Lovecraftian madness early in the Chapter's history?
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#5
Minigiant

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Really, really nice. I like what you're going for with the Prædicators - nice name, by the way. Much snappier than Denizens of the Deep!

 

Thank you. 'Denizens of the Deep' are who they are, Praedicators are what they are. It took a while to come to terms with that
 

 

Really, really nice. I like what you're going for with the Prædicators - nice name, by the way. Much snappier than Denizens of the Deep!
 
You mentioned that you wanna reformat this into something more IA-like - I wonder if you'd consider trimming some of the fat? You regurgitate a lot of the basics regarding power armor, Techmarines and so on - stuff that the average reader will probably be aware of. It means they have to chew through a lot of mundane info to get to what makes the Chapter different from everybody else, i. e. the parts they're really here for. That may turn 'em off continuing on. Condensing or scrapping these introductions to different topics will result in less 'downtime' (something I struggle with as well sometimes, but that's neither here nor there).
 

That is fair criticsm especially with the segment on Power Armour but I would say the Techmarine and Dreadnought sections are distinctly different from their mainstream counterparts and are worth exploring. I do particularly enjoy the idea that the Techmarines nightmares are not of the outer void but of the Dragon below the surface of Mars, and how this really challenges their identity and sense of belonging in the chapter.

 

  • I find it difficult to reconcile the beginning of the 'Battlefield Doctrine'-Section with the rest of it - at first, you say that Space Marines form lethal strike teams (which is supported by the lore) but then you go on to call them a 'predominantly defensive force'. I think it's mostly down to those three words, though, since what you're describing sounds more like ambush tactics and shock and awe (to me, anyway).

Another fair criticism. I actually find this section particularly difficult to write. They are Space Marines they can do everything. I am very tempted to go for a more 'They shall know no fear...for they know fear itself' type of thing instead.

 

  • Mentioning the Phalanx and the Abyss-Class vessels makes me a bit wary, personally - those are two of the most powerful (classes of) vessels the galaxy's ever seen, and comparing your Cetus to both of 'em causes questions like "why haven't we seen it before?" and "why wasn't it mentioned in this book, where the narrator lists the Imperium's greatest ships?". Why not make it a Star Fort or a relic construct comparable to one? While still immensely powerful (as proven by the Raptorus Rex hauling a goddamn stellar core fragment), they are comparatively more common than what you're currently describing.

 

The Cetus is I think the only Mary-Sue aspect of the Chapter. I wanted something that they would feel small and insignificant in (And the trident shape was cool too).

 

 

  • You mention that the Prognosticators execute some of the Chaplains' tasks as well, namely looking after the mental well-being of their brethren. As do the Apothecaries. And the Chaplains, I presume, which partially makes them redundant. One easy solution would be to officially merge the roles of Prognosticator and Chaplain, or Apothecary and Chaplain. Or both! The Emperor's Spears do something similar with their Druids, so there's a precedent for it.

 

The Prognosticators are a Silver Skull thing (Actually Silver Skull lore has been expanded since the release of the Primaris and it is something I am working on). Prognosticators are partial spiritual advisors, and I see them taking care of the sub conscious where as the Chaplains take care of the conscious brothers. The Apothecary being the physical.
 

 

 

  • With all the doom and gloom concerning a nameless, shapeless terror from the void, one has to wonder what sort of reaction the Prædicators showed when the Tyranids entered the galaxy. Did they feel vindicated? Maybe they directed their attention towards combating them? Maybe the tidings for battles involving them are especially bad? I think you could do a lot with this!

 

 

I remember this question being brought up 3 years ago. It was eventually decided against the idea for the core reason that this chapters feel comes from the unknown, the faceless, the nameless. Declaring it was the Tyranids that they saw coming takes away a lot of the Lovecraftian horror that they are going for

 


Lastly, there's a myriad of grammatical mistakes and odd turns of phrase in the article, but I assume those will gradually get ironed out as you work on the next draft(s).
 

 

"Fleet" is misspelled.

Please more proof reading would be great.

 

 

 

All manner of vessels would traverse through this region of space; merchant, miner, scavenger, prison, darkholds,

What the hell are "darkholds"? When I searched for the term on Lexicanum, I found an article on the Dark Sons Chapter planet

 

 

Darkholds are awesome, they are part of the Void born lore:

 

 

Just as with some worlds, there are certain spacefaring vessels both great and small with a dark reputation. Although all starships have their own histories, not all of them pleasant, and many have dark secrets and half-abandoned depths where things best left unseen sometimes crawl, certain vessels hold an infamy all their own.


Edited by Minigiant, 11 August 2021 - 12:07 AM.


#6
Bjorn Firewalker

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Darkholds are awesome, they are part of the Void born lore:

Just as with some worlds, there are certain spacefaring vessels both great and small with a dark reputation. Although all starships have their own histories, not all of them pleasant, and many have dark secrets and half-abandoned depths where things best left unseen sometimes crawl, certain vessels hold an infamy all their own.

Are they from the Rogue Trader RPG? I think this detail should be included, for the sake of those unfamiliar with it (like myself).
Previous projects: Wolves of Catachan (the Wolfbrothers Chapter reborn), Steel Crusaders (Codex: Iron Hands), Iron-hearted Angels (Codex: Blood Angels supplement).

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#7
Minigiant

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Darkholds are awesome, they are part of the Void born lore:

Just as with some worlds, there are certain spacefaring vessels both great and small with a dark reputation. Although all starships have their own histories, not all of them pleasant, and many have dark secrets and half-abandoned depths where things best left unseen sometimes crawl, certain vessels hold an infamy all their own.

Are they from the Rogue Trader RPG? I think this detail should be included, for the sake of those unfamiliar with it (like myself).

 

Yes they are. I have literally just changed that as I agree with you, that should be spelled out more



#8
Minigiant

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Does anyone have any experience with writing Navigator Houses?

 

I want to write about the Praedicators relationship with the Navigators that pilot their ships, as it is probably the only proper relationship that they have.

 

P.S The first two sections (Origin and Recruitment) have been proof read and updated quite extensively. I will work on the Battlefield Doctrine (eventually)



#9
Bjorn Firewalker

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Does anyone have any experience with writing Navigator Houses?

Aaron Dembski-Bowden has; a Navigator is an important supporting character in his Night Lords novels. William King is another; his novel Wolfblade is set on Holy Terra, in a Navigator's literal house.

The main takeaway is Navigators are prideful, answering insults with violence that can easily start feuds that make the Montagues and Capulets look like fussy toddlers. Navigators will resort to spying, sabotage, torture of a rival and his subordinates, in addition to assassination and terror attacks, to advance their goals. They demand to live in luxury, as nobles deserve; one house notably projects this desire onto the Space Wolves who serve it as Wolfblades (bodyguards), filling their quarters with decorations the Fenrisians don't need or want, in William King's novel.

Navigators are also fatalistic, knowing they'll eventually mutate into something unrecognisable as "human beings," due to the Warp's influence; this fatalism is something shared with the Prædicators.

I want to write about the Praedicators relationship with the Navigators that pilot their ships, as it is probably the only proper relationship that they have.

Excellent idea.

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker, 13 August 2021 - 05:32 PM.

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Previous projects: Wolves of Catachan (the Wolfbrothers Chapter reborn), Steel Crusaders (Codex: Iron Hands), Iron-hearted Angels (Codex: Blood Angels supplement).

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#10
Minigiant

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Sorry if you are reading this, this was originally a reply with a draft segment of what you hopefully would have read in my IA above.


Edited by Minigiant, 13 August 2021 - 01:46 AM.

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Bjorn Firewalker

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The Navigator House's history is well-written. Is the name a reference to vibroweapons from Star Wars?

Suggested names for the Wolfblade analogues:
  • "Arkham Knights", a reference to the city integral to many of Lovecraft's works, as well as the antagonist of the video game Batman: Arkham Knight;
  • "Elder Guard", a reference to Elder Things in At the Mountains of Madness, as well as the Nazarick Elder Guarders in the Overlord light novels-turned-anime;
  • "Miskat Talons", a reference to the Miskatonic University, whose faculty fight to save Earth from Yog-Sothoth, in The Dunwich Horror;
  • "Shadow Guard", a reference to The Shadow over Innsmouth, as well as the Emperor's Shadow Guard in Star Wars.

Possible typos, with my suggested corrections:
Spoiler

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker, 13 August 2021 - 12:43 AM.

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#12
Minigiant

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The Navigator House's history is well-written. Is the name a reference to vibroweapons from Star Wars?

 

Haha no, I had not even noticed that. I used a Lovecraftian name generator and took the first decent one without an apostrophe in it

 

Suggested names for the Wolfblade analogues: Arkham Knights (a reference to the city integral to many of Lovecraft's works, as well as the antagonist of the video game Batman: Arkham Knight), Elder Guard (a reference to Elder Things in At the Mountains of Madness, as well as to the Nazarick Elder Guarders in the Overlord light novels-turned-anime), Miskat Talons (a reference to the Miskatonic University, whose faculty fight to save Earth from Yog-Sothoth, in The Dunwich Horror).

 

As someone else once pointed out using the term 'Elder' could be difficult for the reader to separate themselves from it being a misspelling of the race 'Eldar'. Three years ago I would have gone for 'Elder Guard' without much question. Last night I came up with 'Chthonic Sentrys' but I have already used the word Chthonic when describing markings on my Prognosticator/Librarian armour so still not sure

 

Possible typos, with my suggested corrections:

Thank you
 


 

 



#13
Bjorn Firewalker

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As someone else once pointed out using the term 'Elder' could be difficult for the reader to separate themselves from it being a misspelling of the race 'Eldar'. Three years ago I would have gone for 'Elder Guard' without much question.

Fair enough. How about "Shadow Guard"? It's reference to The Shadow over Innsmouth, as well as the Emperor's Shadow Guard in Star Wars.

Last night I came up with 'Chthonic Sentrys' but I have already used the word Chthonic when describing markings on my Prognosticator/Librarian armour so still not sure

The term "Chthonic" is derived from the Greek word for "ground, soil", and means "dwelling within or under the earth,"- usually to describe "deities or spirits of the underworld," if Wikipedia is correct. A word derived from it is "chthonic law", which means "a system of law centered on the sacred character of the cosmos," or "an individual law of this kind."

I'm sure it's fine to reuse the term for House Vibro's Wolfblade analogues. Just add more details to distinguish the Prognosticators from other units that may use Chthonic symbols to ward off evil.
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#14
Minigiant

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Okay I have now proof read the ENTIRE IA as well as added in a decent draft for the Navigator House that supplies my fleet.

 

Do we think 'Notable Engagements' would be able to bring anything to them?


Edited by Minigiant, 13 August 2021 - 08:43 AM.


#15
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Dreadnoughts

 

The mightiest fallen Prædicators, those whose souls blaze most fiercely in denial of the dying of the light, are preserved and held back a while longer from their final rest. The restless memories of the ancient heroes who pilot these war machines can extend back to the founding years of their Chapter and its earliest history. They are revered by other Space Marines, not just as potent warriors, but also as exemplars who have endured and continue to resist millennia of hauntings from all that they have seen, and all they have dreamt. Unlike the interred veterans of other Chapters, these courageous warriors and fallen heroes prefer not to sleep within the ancient crypts alongside their deceased brothers in arms. Instead war continuously calls them into the service of the Imperium.

 

I have been struggling with the concept of Dreadnoughts for a LONG! time.

 

Why would a Brother want to be entombed in one when instead they can be released?

 

Why would a Brother want to sleep as a Dreadnought when sleep is where they are haunted most?

 

What happens to the ones who would be led away in pentagrammically warded chains if it weren't for the body they now find themselves?

 

Would the chapter have 'Death Company' esque Dreadnoughts?

 

Would they have Dreadnoughts at all?

 

 

 

Gene-seed

 

T
he descendants of the line of Guilliman, through the legacy of the Silver Skulls, bore Gene-seed renowned for its stability. So it was upon the founding of the Prædicators, though some may whisper that the legacy of enduring wholeness died with the first Lord Commander’s gene-kin. Whether the Gene-seed is now considered pure or aberrant, it is true that its incorporation only exacerbates the distinguishing features of the typical Void Born recruit: drawn features, pallid skin, and a characteristically haughty air.

It was not long after the Chapter’s founding that the Catalepsean Node in many aspirants began to exhibit signs of a peculiar mutation. Operationally, it still controls the Marine’s circadian rhythms and responses to any kind of sleep deprivation, allowing them to stay awake at full effectiveness for days at a time. Unusually, they often prefer to do so, for when they sleep they are consumed with potent, disturbing, and dark dreams, overwhelming them with dread. Prognosticators scry these dreams to glean small hints of the future, whose own dreams travel out so much further, giving them all cold black dancing in their eyes.

"Haughty air" could it be something better? The cadence of the sentence needs 3 things, and haughty air while interesting and unique, doesn't really do them justice

 

 



#16
Minigiant

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As someone else once pointed out using the term 'Elder' could be difficult for the reader to separate themselves from it being a misspelling of the race 'Eldar'. Three years ago I would have gone for 'Elder Guard' without much question.

Fair enough. How about "Shadow Guard"? It's reference to The Shadow over Innsmouth, as well as the Emperor's Shadow Guard in Star Wars
The list of ideas:

Shadow Guard
Chthonic Sentries
Miskatonic Corps
Esoteric Division
Elder Guard
Starspawn
Starsouls
Deep Sons
Vorpalblades
Vorpalsuns

I personally am leaning towards the 'Starspawn' as a one word name it reads better

Edited by Minigiant, 14 August 2021 - 03:08 AM.


#17
gripschi

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Due your thematic i would say Deep Sons. Starspawn idk, dosent sound right for me.


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#18
Bjorn Firewalker

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I have been struggling with the concept of Dreadnoughts for a LONG! time.

Why would a Brother want to be entombed in one when instead they can be released?

Why would a Brother want to sleep as a Dreadnought when sleep is where they are haunted most?

Games Workshop magazine had a scenario featuring a White Scars Dreadnought, despite previously stating to a White Scar, entombment in a Dreadnought is considered a fate worse than death, as one cannot feel the wind in his hair as he rides; the explanation given was a cowardly blow laid loe the White Scar, who then chose to be entombed, as he sought revenge against the coward.

A similar explanation can work. Say the Prædicators who are entombed, seek revenge against the enemy that put them in such a state, such that the nightmares they suffer are nothing, compared to the obsessive desire to tear their enemies limb-from-limb? To quote Robert Baratheon from Game of Thrones, "In my dreams, I kill him every night. A thousand deaths is still less than he deserves."

Would the chapter have 'Death Company' esque Dreadnoughts?

If they have Death Company Dreadnought analogues, then they should have a Death Company analogue as well. As there are no indications the Prædicators are a Blood Angels descendant, I think they shouldn't, although you can copy-paste Death Company Dreadnought stats and special rules, if you can think up an appropriate justification for why a Dreadnought would act this way- an obsessive desire for revenge against the one who inflicted the wound that led to his entombment, being one I believe will work.

Would they have Dreadnoughts at all?

They will be issued Dreadnought frames upon their Founding, like any other Space Marine Chapter. They may leave the frames in storage, abhorred by all save the Techmarines maintaining the unused Dreadnoughts, like the White Scars- but they will have them.

I personally am leaning towards the 'Starspawn' as a one word name it reads better

The word "spawn" refers to offspring, and isn't intimidating unless you specify the progenitor is intimidating, e.g., "Hellspawn", "Chaos Spawn". "Starblade" may work better.

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker, 13 August 2021 - 02:58 PM.

Previous projects: Wolves of Catachan (the Wolfbrothers Chapter reborn), Steel Crusaders (Codex: Iron Hands), Iron-hearted Angels (Codex: Blood Angels supplement).

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#19
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Would they have Dreadnoughts at all?

 

They will be issued Dreadnought frames upon their Founding, like any other Space Marine Chapter. They may leave the frames in storage, abhorred by all save the Techmarines maintaining the unused Dreadnoughts, like the White Scars- but they will have them.

 

As I am starting to build miniatures for this Chapter I prefer to have Dreadnoughts to keep my options open but I am really starting to think they wouldn't have any. I jotted this down as a dramatization of why they don't

 

 

The Mad King V1.0

 

For Version 2 see below

 

Spoiler


Edited by Minigiant, 15 August 2021 - 12:30 AM.


#20
Bjorn Firewalker

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As I am starting to build miniatures for this Chapter I prefer to have Dreadnoughts to keep my options open but I am really starting to think they wouldn't have any.

Fair enough.

His force of will awoke the machine spirit he was within, and his pulsating aura of madness too woke his entombed Brothers by his side.

Bhaohas was a psyker? Or was his Dreadnought a "Command Dreadnought" with additional transmitters and command codes to forcibly activate other Dreadnoughts?
Previous projects: Wolves of Catachan (the Wolfbrothers Chapter reborn), Steel Crusaders (Codex: Iron Hands), Iron-hearted Angels (Codex: Blood Angels supplement).

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#21
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As I am starting to build miniatures for this Chapter I prefer to have Dreadnoughts to keep my options open but I am really starting to think they wouldn't have any.

Fair enough.

His force of will awoke the machine spirit he was within, and his pulsating aura of madness too woke his entombed Brothers by his side.

Bhaohas was a psyker? Or was his Dreadnought a "Command Dreadnought" with additional transmitters and command codes to forcibly activate other Dreadnoughts?

 

Neither, I was trying to portray his madness becoming so great that it immediately drove others to it



#22
Bjorn Firewalker

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Neither, I was trying to portray his madness becoming so great that it immediately drove others to it


People have become psykers in ways that seem spontaneous, as portrayed in the Shira Calpurnia novel Blind. Say Bhaohas was unable to rest in the Dreadnought sarcophagus, which effectively served as an isolation tank, allowing him to develop the psychic powers that drove other Dreadnoughts to share his madness?

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker, 14 August 2021 - 12:44 AM.

Previous projects: Wolves of Catachan (the Wolfbrothers Chapter reborn), Steel Crusaders (Codex: Iron Hands), Iron-hearted Angels (Codex: Blood Angels supplement).

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#23
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Neither, I was trying to portray his madness becoming so great that it immediately drove others to it


People have become psykers in ways that seem spontaneous, as portrayed in the Shira Calpurnia novel Blind. Say Bhaohas was unable to rest in the Dreadnought sarcophagus, which effectively served as an isolation tank, allowing him to develop the psychic powers that drove other Dreadnoughts to share his madness?

 

I do like the comparison of comparing the sarcophagus with that of an isolation tank, void of all sensation and left with only ones thoughts.

 

I am a little hesitant about naming the madness coming from psychic abilities though, it is that whole name it and it isn't quite as terrifying. I get where you are coming from and that could very well be the scientific reasoning behind the events. Just don't know how to balance the two just yet



#24
Bjorn Firewalker

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I am a little hesitant about naming the madness coming from psychic abilities though, it is that whole name it and it isn't quite as terrifying.


You got it backwards: I meant Bhaohas developed psychic powers as a consequence of his madness. His new psychic powers allowed him to propagate his madness, like a television station broadcasting a program, to affect nearby Dreadnoughts.

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker, 14 August 2021 - 03:55 PM.

Previous projects: Wolves of Catachan (the Wolfbrothers Chapter reborn), Steel Crusaders (Codex: Iron Hands), Iron-hearted Angels (Codex: Blood Angels supplement).

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#25
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The Mad King / Yellow Night V2.0

 

Centuries passed as the Prædicators wandered lonely through the dust clouds and nebulae, with the tendrils of their madness forever worming its way into their hearts and their minds but, a sense of security and complacency had set in, as they began to believe that if you could steel yourself from your initial haunting nightmares the madness would eventually never come. 


This fallacy would create a fateful night upon the Chapters former flagship, Vorpalsun. Captain Trali Bhaohas of the 7th Company, at nearly two centuries old was mortally wounded at the Eternity Bridge as was subsequently entombed within the ancient sarcophagi of the venerable Dreadnoughts. 


The enforced slumber drove his hellish nightmares beyond anything you can contemplate. His Sarcophagi became a prison, and he became isolated, void of all physical sensation and left with only his thoughts. No mental fortitude could endure that amount of pain and suffering and eventually the emotional turmoil, and mental fatigue became too much to bear and Bhaohas succumbed into a darkness and madness not before seen.
 

His force of will awoke the machine spirit he was within, and a pulsating aura of madness that engulfed and surrounded him woke his entombed Brothers by his side. Succumbing them to insanity in an instant. These Dreadnoughts rampaged through the bow of the ship, causing innumerous damage and slaying many Prædicators who attempted to halt the chaos, and end Bhaohas’ suffering. 


The destruction was only halted when Bhaohas and his fellow madness induced incarcerated Brothers were jettisoned out of an airlock and into the cold void of space where the ships point defense systems could put them out of their misery.
 

Their bodies and their Dreadnought armour were recovered. Those three suits now stand in the halls of Cetus unrepaired as a constant reminder that it could all become too much for all of us. A decision was made for those Brothers who did not stir on that night to be quietly allowed to drift off in their sleep and end their torment. The frames now sealed away in the bowls of Cestus to never be seen again.


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