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Creating a realm - the Vraccarian Rift


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#1
Kelborn

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INTRODUCTION

 

Greetings,

 

recently, I started to write down some notes and rough concepts I had in my mind just to get something done and start working with it. Besides that, there was that idea of creating something completely different in my head, for a long time now.

 

Some years ago, I already did something similar, the Dominion of Storms. It was a sandbox concept in which I could write and create everything I came up with. Now, older and a bit wiser now, I not only see its flaws but most importantly, its incredible size. Back then, I was already told, that my DoS was larger than the Sol Sector. Some stuff came to nothing as I didn't know how to implement it, anymore. There was just too much happening already, with 3+ Space Marine chapters, several Xenos races, two crusades of reclamation set in the Dark Imperium and so on. Furthermore, GW made it even worse when I draw a map, which included all official maps from every codex. Let's just say that it's a mess: 1 'Nid fleet, 3 Necron dynasties, 2 Ork Waaghs and several Chaos shenanigans. Simply said: I lost the motivation.

 

That's the reason why I wanted to start this somewhat smaller scaled project, the Vraccarian Rift

 

Of sub-sector size, the Rift will set limits to what I want to implement and work with. At the same time, this limit will allow me to structure my progress a bit more than the previous one.

 

I'm going to make use of several posts for worlds, factions, history and such. Maybe I'll implement my other, currently running, DIY chapter, as well, someday. Most likely will I reuse some bits of the Dominion, like Craftworld Umare.

 

This is a developing DIY project, so things might change and have to be adapted in time. For now, I'm intending to avoid the Dark Imperium setting in order to get the basement done. Because of that, I bought myself copies of the World of Westeros and the Silmarillion books, which hopefully will be of use in terms of worldbuilding.

 

But for now, to give you an overview of what this is all about and of what I've got thus far.

 

Feel free to comment and give feedback. I'm eager to mend flaws, I might have missed.

 

Cheers,

Kel

 

----------------------------------------------

 

The Vraccarian Rift

 

Location:           North of the Great Rift, on the borders of Segmentum Obscurus and Ultima, in between Fenris and Valhalla

Size:                 sub-sector, a handful of systems

Government:     the High Seat, a Council of the highest ranking leaders of the imperial factions

 

 

Sources of Inspirations/ themes:

 

- Tolkien (Lord of the Rings), Martin (Song of Ice and Fire), Markus Heitz (German author of the Dwarves series), maybe some Lovecraft stuff, as well

- Game of Thrones and Vikings series

- lore of Warcraft (Dwarves, Vrykul, Scourge, Old Gods, Northrend)

 

 

Current faction lineup and the ideas behind them:

 

- Aeldari: Craftworld Umare and Maiden worlds, as secret allies of Imperium, in time, most of them radicalize and start a purging campaign across the Rift; even their own kind

- Drukhari: The Cabal of the Reaping Moon, chasing after Craftworld Umare, allied with an ancient evil to safe themselves, their fleshformer created abominations from Drukhari and Ork genes

- Genestealer cult: heralding the end of all things, preparing the arrival of a Hive Fleet, growing influence across the Rift while main forces are distracted

- Orks: being themselves, searching for a powerful artifact/ entity, da Angry One, a C'than shard, which their Weirdboys have foretold

- Necrons: Setekh (wip name) dynasty, chasing after the C'than shard

- Chaos: Death Guard, came to scour all life in Nurgles name, serving a daemon prince

- Chaos anomaly/ storm, which is barely held in check by a local fortress of the Imperium, Ordo Malleus headquarter; demons are constantly trying to break through powerful psychic wards

- Chaos: a seemingly benelovent creature, manipulating people to protect itself and feast upon them, natural enemy of the C'than shard

- Imperium: Adeptus Mechanicum, main supplier of imperial forces, due to heavy gravity, those adepts are smaller in size and compensate through bionics (Gnome/ tinker-ish)

- Imperium: Astartes Chapter, Iron Hammers (wip name), Dwarves, House Stark and allied Houses, guardians of the Rift, either Iron Hands, Salamanders or Imperial Fists successor, master smiths, occasionally shieldwall tactics, chapter symbol's being a rams head, took Nordmar as their homeworld after its original owners were nearly erradicated (House Harkon and its allied Houses)

- Imperium: Knight Household, most likely a surviving minor House of those, who once ruled over Nordmar, House Mormont "Here I stand!"

 

 

Worlds:

 

- Nordmar: either home to a Knight Household or an Astartes chapter, ice world, Norway/ Sweden, Northrend, GoTs North, medieval, few large continents, close to Deathworld classification, mountains, feudal system, Khaz Modan, people live in cities within mountain chains

- Obsidiak II, Adeptus Mechanicum, the second world to be taken by the AdMech (first one was destroyed during the Heresy), close ties to Nordmar, secretly innovative, barren world, toxicated

- Maiden Worlds of Craftworld Umare: Exodites, flourishing, "typical" fantasy creatures like Gryphons instead of dinosaurs, hidden within the Yurai nebula

- Drukhari world: jungle moon, orbiting a gas giant, constant darkness, those Drukhari have coal eyes, a result of mutation or radiation, raiders and artists, small cities, seat of power is made of bone

- "Da Great Brokk'n": a gigantic artificial construct, made from the remains of Ork ships smashed together, half the size of a moon, extremely slow but mobile

 

 


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#2
Kelborn

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placeholder for the history section


Edited by Kelborn, 14 June 2019 - 08:30 PM.

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#3
Kelborn

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placeholder for world section


Edited by Kelborn, 14 June 2019 - 08:37 PM.

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#4
Kelborn

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#5
The Pariah

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Something to consider is the timeline of the Sub Sector and how each faction has made its impact and so things start to flow in better from one threat to another. Just as an example you have your Imperial Knights starting off then say the orks going for 'Da Angry One' come in and brutally raze them. This then draws in the Spsce Marines who deal with the orks but as the orks weaken, your benevolent chaos daemon moves in to take advantage etc. There's plenty of years to play with depending on where you want to start.
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New Blog coming soon.

 

 

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#6
Kelborn

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Agreed, Dredgen Yor.

I could either stress all those conflicts to cover x amount of centuries or use them as a staging point, leading up to the Dark Imperium arc.

 

 

THOUGHTS ON DIVERSITY

 

One thing that has always bothered me (not particulary regarding this project but overall) is the fear of overusing certain themes. I'll try to explain that with the Vraccarian Rift.

 

You might have noticed that I'm intending to use several nordic themes like House Stark, Gnomes, Dwarves, Northrend from Warcraft, etc.
Now, with Gnomes/ Ad Mech world and at least the remnants of the Knight Households of Nordmar being clearly refering to the nordic theme, I fear that creating a Dwarf themed Astartes chapter would lead to an oversaturation. By that I mean things like the Wolfy Mc'Wulfenson Space Wolves or the oh so secret Dark Angels or the fire loving Salamanders.

 

So how to continue?

From my perspective, there are two possible ways to deal with it:

 

A) Skip the Knight Household and just use the Astartes chapters. Challenge here: I'd love to use some tales and references from both, GoT and Vikings. As those series / stories are based around the flaws of men like ambition, corruption, intrigues, etc. I'm kind of struggling to see that working in a chapter. I know that Kyme did something similar with his Salamander novels but overall, Space Marines are usually had to went through several indoctrinations, which would make it more difficult. Besides, I think that a Knight Household is a must have for projects like this. :P

B) Skip the Dwarf chapter and implement another one. Furthermore, expand the Knight Household and let House Harkon + allies survive. For me it was already clear that I'll use bits from my previous Dominion of Storms project and I got some finished chapters at hand, which could be used in here to make things more diversive. Most notably my Hawaiian themed chapter, the Storm Riders, or the one, I've started before the Rift (which might become a mixture of House Dorne and some Asian influences). Though diversity is great and a logical consequence in a sub-sector sized area, I'm not sure if this would disturb the overall flow of the Rift. Making things too different from one another could lead into a themepark-ish setting, where each world has its own vibes and stuff and its neighbour is completely different.

 

The only comparable realm I can come up with would be Elara's Veil from Aarons "Spear of the Emperor". Here we have three different chapters guarding the Veil:

- the African Celestial Lions

- the Egyptian Star Scorpions

- and the Gaelic Spears

Reading SotE, the Veil and its inhabitants felt balanced and natural. No overuse of certain themes or such. My personal goal is to create something as smooth and "natural feeling" as the Veil.

 

Though I'm already leaning to a certain option, I'd love to hear your thoughts as well, before deciding. :)


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#7
Ace Debonair

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If you've got gnomes and other norse influences, I'd skip the Dwarf themed Astartes and grab something different.

...That said, I do like a good dwarfy theme in a Chapter. happy.png

 

Perhaps the best option is to take the Dwarf theme and alloy it with something else  - some of the best ideas for Chapters come from blending two fairly unlikely things.

 

That said, if there's any Chapters you want to re-use from the Dominion of Storms, then absolutely go for it. biggrin.png


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#8
Messor

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This is an exciting concept; I'm looking forward to seeing more. Personally, I don't think there's a problem with theme diversity, unless you want there to be more. That said, Ace's idea to mix in some other inspiration to incorporate something in a different vein is a great idea.


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#9
RikuEru

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Maybe take the Dwarven stuff for the Knight Household. Stubborn, noble, a bit seclusive, protective, loyal. Massive Underground Fortresses, the few gates or towers lurking out if the Mountains having the same colour as natural rocks around it. World from above looks almost "wild"/"untouched". (Think how Ironforge looks from outside - our Khaz Modan from above. IF and the Cities are basically invisible)
Make Hammer and Anvil Symbology very minor. Probably leave out beards, runes and stuff entirely.
...maybe they have some alcoholic beverage made from fungi or so, brewed underground - an additional income for their world, because elsewhere it is a luxury good.

The Ad Mech/Forgeworld in your City surely can be Gnome themed (or Mechagnomes/Mechagon ;) )
How about a little twist that eyplains them being especially good "Tinkers"? What if they aren't just hunting for STCs, like all of the Ad Mech - Instead they try to collect the largest library of STC patterns and fragments possible. And in secret, almost bordering on tech heresy, the highest echelons of this Forgeworld try to "tinker" the fragments, trying to puzzle them together to get new, 'complete' STC plans.
(Mix in some LotR - specifically Sauron: The Ad Mech Leader(s) hand out Relic Weapons/Armors/Gadgets to Imperial Officials/Chapter Officers/Knight Barons/etc. to gain their favor/loyalty)

For your Space Marine Chapter - do not go too far with thematics.
Maybe go an entirely different route (Argent Crusaders? Scarlet Lunatics? - If you catch my drift - with Stormcast Weapons/Bits maybe?)
The themes you listed are some of my favs aswell, as you know, (except GRRM's world, which I don't know much about) but I do not know how a Vrykul Chapter would end up much different than "30k Space Wolves".

I would say sit down and find an inspiration that is already different to the ones GW supplies us with, then twist it to make it barely recognizable.

Just like ADB did with the Emperor's Spears.
They are surely Celts with a Roman Background - mirrored by the Chapter having an Ultramarines Heritage (Marble Ruins on the World, helmet crests, Spears, etc.) but having their own culture (Priests, Mortals regard them as ghosts of Children, runes as letters).
But in General they are a "generic enough" Chapter, just like many others. And they can be portrayed on the tabletop with just a few, minor flavourful conversions and the right colour scheme on some Primaris.
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#10
Kelborn

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Thank you, guys.

 

@Messor: Thanks. Appreciate that you're liking it already.

 

@Ace & Riku: To be honest, I played with the thought of giving Harkon some dwarf traits. Your suggestions nearly nailed what I had in mind, Riku. Great minds think alike, eh? msn-wink.gif

 

Think I'm gonna go with this train of thought. Making House Harkon a mixture of some dwarf traits, etc. and the more Knight-ish, yet "savage" Northmen (House Stark and such) from Westeros.

 

The Forgeworld could've fell victim to an invasion, forcing them into exile. The Sacristans of Harkon could've given these survivors a refuge within the halls of the Houses mountain cities, slowly absorbing them into their own ranks. That way, the Sacristans of Harkon are more indipendent and eager for knowledge than usual. I really like your idea of them secretly chasing after STC fragments and such from their own former homeworld and the Rift in general, turning them into "tinkers", creating their own stuff and such.

The LotR reference is something, I'll keep in mind, as well. msn-wink.gif

 

Thanks for the hint towards ADBs Spears. I freaking loved that one and as his Veil is something I aspire to do with the Rift, I'm trying my best to get decent done. Most of the time, I'm more of a "non-codex chapters ftw" type but the Spears were so well made and a great example of what you can do with a codex compliant chapter. smile.png

 

Speaking about the Space Marine chapter, I got a handfull of chapters, which could all fit into the Rift. Maybe from the very beginning or because of the Ultima Founding. I'm gonna list those, I feel most comfortable with to make them work:

 

Those with a complete article:

- Storm Riders, former part of the Dominion of Storms - White Scars, Hawaiian themed (Koa warriors), specialized in boarding actions, aircrafts, mobile warfare

- Imperial Sons, former part of the Dominion of Storms - Ultramarines, basically First Order

- Phantom Blades, former part of the Dominion of Storms - unknown, basically Spartans in space, though I once wanted to revise them into a Terran RG successor, forming a triangle with the Charcharodons and the Ashen Claws or keep the Spartan theme and switch their former Alpha Legion origin into a War Hounds blackshield force

 

Those still wip/ concept done:

- Umbral Knights, canon Primaris chapter - Dark Angels / unknown, urban warfare, terror tactics, dark Knights, got their own wings (Pyre and Wraith)

- Windwalkers, founding not yet decided - White Scars, Chinese/ Pandaren themed, hit and run tactics, disciplined, balance focused

- Warbeasts, Ultima Founding - Vlka Fenryka, Warcrafts Orcs, animal companions, raiders, Guilimans vanguard and hounds

- Ebonspears, Ultima Founding - my own Legion, Warcrafts Trolls, shadowy, dark rituals, fiercely loyal, Guilimans headhunters

- Star Lords, Ultima Founding - Imperial Fists, Warcrafts Kul Tiras & British Empire, protecting trade routes, several trade posts as outposts, void warfare, boarding actions

 

Those with only a very rough concept:

- Arcane Blades, founding not yet decided - Thousand Sons (+ another source?), Starcrafts Dark Templar, stealth tactics, reclusive, on the edge of being renegades

- Night Owls, Ultima Founding - Raven Guard/ Luna Wolves, rapid strike force, stealth tactics

- There are also two rough concept for canon Lost Legions I did a while ago. One of them is already close to a crusading Knight chapter mixed with some shamanistic belief. Of those mentioned by Riku, the Argent Crusade and the Army of the Light would be the closest to compare.

 

Think that there are some, which could fit very well into the Rift but I'd like to hear your thoughts, as well. You can see this as some kind of a little poll, if you want. smile.png


Edited by Kelborn, 23 June 2019 - 07:22 AM.

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#11
Messor

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Can you share some links to threads for these chapters, where relevant, Kelborn? My initial thought/suggestion would be to take the rift project as fuel for your most incomplete concepts, but being able to read more detail may sway opinion (plus they sound awesome, and I really want to know more).


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#12
Kelborn

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Ask and you shall receive. :)

 

Dominion of Storms: http://www.bolterand...coming-of-hope/

Storm Riders: http://www.bolterand...s-storm-riders/

Phantom Blades: http://www.bolterand...hope/?p=4452766

Imperial Sons: http://www.bolterand...-imperial-sons/

Umbral Knights: http://www.bolterand...ts#entry5205526

 

Rest is hidden deep within my notebooks and word docs. ;)


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#13
Kelborn

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Sorry for boubleposting but while reading Solar War, I had an epiphany.

 

See, I had the idea of a Mandalorian themed chapter, which was founded during the Indomitus Crusade, acting as a quick response force or independently operating in uncertain areas.

The concept of the Night Owls was meant to either support this or a Halos Spartans idea of mine.

At the same time, I considered revising the Phantom Blades and turn them into a former Blackshield force of loyal World Eaters, called the Cerberan Blade. But regardless of how I looked at it, it didn't seem to work. I really wanted to make use of the Cerberan Blade but the only connection between name and history I came up with, was the battle of Cerberus, in which the War Hounds fought. This limited, from my pov, my possibilities.

 

Now, Solar War reminded me that Garviel Loken renamed himself as Cerberus on Istvan III. This gives me a great way of dealing with the above issue of deciding and revising older ideas with new ones and differentiating them:

 

- Night Owls, Ultima Founding - Raven Guard, Halos Spartan Generations II & III

- Phantom Blades, unknown Founding - War Hounds, Spartans in space / Assassin's Creed Odyssey

- Cerberan Blades, unknown/ Ultima Founding - Luna Wolves, Mandalorians, maybe House Greyjoy/ Stark

 

Furthermore, I believe that the Cerberan Blades could be a decent addition to the Rift. Mostly reclusive Nomads with a stronge honor codex, acting as a raiding/ supportive force, close to both, Gothic sector and the Eye of Terror/ the Great Rift. I'm leaning to make them a Primaris only chapter, as a modified Mark X armor with T-Visors could look pretty awesome. ;)

Still have to finish Solar War before I finally can start with the World of Westeros, but as of now, I got the feeling that giving the Cerberan Blades some House Stark or House Grejoy traits could be a nice addition.

 

Still, I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)

 

 

Tbh, this post might be a bit confusing but it's a train of thought I had while driving to work. sweat.gif


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#14
Brother Lunkhead

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Hey Brother Kelborn,

 

I think your idea behind the Cerberan Blades is excellentthumbsup.gif Raiding/quick response chapters like this would be invaluable in these highly volatile and active sectors. Flexible, small chapters, striking where needed, then pulling out to answer the call to the next fight. They are highly aggressive, but sacrifice personal glory to answer the higher call of duty.... at least that's how I see itblush.png


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#15
Messor

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Agreed, I think your modified concept for the Cerberan blades is a smart play.


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#16
Kelborn

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Thanks, guys!

 

That limits the choices in a good way.

What's left behind to choose from:

 

- White Scars/ Thousand Sons chapter, I'm working on in the Astartes section (current state: WoW Pandaren + GoT House Dorne & SC Nerazim)

- Cerberan Blades, as mentioned above, with either Luna Wolves or War Hounds origin, Mandalorian themed with House Greyjoy as their homeworld culture

 

I have to admit, that "Cerberan Blades" just screams Spartans to me. But with the latest addition (Praetorian Blades by Brother Lunkhead), I think that there's already enough of ancient Greek warriors being covered already. ;)


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#17
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My own experience with fan creations amounts to a successor chapter absently pondered about years ago and since then consigned to the mists of time (and probably hard drive failures), so take this post with a grain of salt. Preferably the size of an ork attack moon.

This is my personal preferences speaking, but from the rough draft I read here—I don't have time to read the links you've given Messor at the moment—, these factions run the risk of not being their own characters.

What I mean by this is that with so many influences, they may end up looking more like a patchwork of references rather than like creatures with their own identity. Shoving all the inspiration into a cooking pot and letting it stew might lead to (for example) forgeworld Gnomnomnom, where Obvi-House Stark rules over a mass of short tinkerers who fled from the 'Orde generations ago from atop the dreaded Binary Mountain, all the while a Freeblade only known 'the Lothbrobot' kicks around in the sticks, as opposed to an authentic culture.

 

(No, I don't know anything about Game of Thrones, World of Warcraft or Vikings.)

As I said, my opinion is colored, specifically by my bone to pick with 'a real-world culture I like IN SPACE' as a concept. A concept that's been Games Workshop's bread and butter for decades so again, keep your Medrengard-approved salt shaker in reach.

Moving on, I like the rest of the factions. Eldar purging their own kind isn't something I've seen before, and neither is orks tracking down a C'tan shard of all things. I'm curious about whether their quest is to find what they believe to be an avatar of Mork/Gork and appease it (by krumpin' everyone) or find the enemy they were created to destroy and dealing with it for good (by krumpin' it and then krumpin' everyone else).


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#18
Kelborn

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Valid points, thank you. :)

Yeah, it kinda reads like you're describing it: too many ingredients mixed into one stew.

That's the reason I'm currently focusing on one factions at a time, advancing from then onwards.
As of now, I've decided to re-use my Umbral Knights and make them a strike force sent to reestablish contact with the Rift.
The latest White Dwarf is very helpful with the new Indomitus Crusade fluff.

Current schedule - WIP
1) Umbral Knights
2) House Harkon
3) a faction I'm not used to work with (either Xenos or Chaos)
And so on.

Glad that you're liking the Xenos concepts. Those are inspired by a German fantasy authors series, I devoured as a teen.

Regarding the Orks, it's more the former or rather: Dere's da Angry One. Somewhere in dat Rift. We gonna fin' it. We gonna catch it. We gonna use it!
Probably am I going to use a Freeboota party led by "Da Bossa".

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#19
Knight of the Raven

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You're welcome.

Nice third option with the orks. I'm so used to them being the tools of the other factions—I'm looking at you Dawn of War I & II—that it never occurred to me they would be the ones using something else as a tool. It's an unexpected, delicious turn of events.

I want to note the differences between the 'melting pots' and your Xenos. The latter aren't references; instead they are themes, archetypes, storylines even. That's a lot more universal and a lot less on the nose than 'people who are already their own thing, except in Warhammer 40,000.'

It still can go into overdose, of course, as proven by the Dark Angels. They literally do not exist unless Fallen are involved. On the better end of the scale, you've got the Salamanders who're defined as defenders of mankind before all else, regardless of Nick Kyme constantly cramming their own lexical field down their throats.


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#20
Kelborn

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Then you might be interested in my take on the Umbral Knights. A Dark Angels successor without any Fallen shenanigans. I'm more looking on the Calibanite Knights and such mixed with some other inspirations and the Primaris combat doctrine, etc

Yeah, Orks are one of the biggest threats in this galaxy. Having them as pawns works a few times but they should have some capabilities, as well. :)

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#21
Kelborn

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Well then, a minor update with a big outcome....maybe.

 

The question about what Space Marine chapter might participate in the Vraccarian Rift seems to be solved.

 

I'm gonna use the chapter, which I'm currently developing in the Liber Astartes subforum, currently called the Arcane Blades.

 

Those will live there among House Harkon and the Rifts inhabitants.

 

Additionaly, as the Rift is seated within the Imperium Nihilus, a strike force of Primaris Marines will arrive to support their ABs and Harkons efforts to stabilize the Rift and the sorrounding systems. That chapter will be known as the Cerberan Blades I've mentioned previously. Instead of Luna Wolves, they will be descendants of the War Hounds (Angron: Slave of Nuceria is to blame for, but seriously, I can only recommend it if you're interested in the War Hounds!). It is the same chapter, I've mentioned in the Wardens of Hades thread.

An appropiate thread will come in the next couple of days but I want to give you a small teaser in advance. msn-wink.gif

 

Cerberan Blades

 

Cerberan Blades symbol

 

 

- War Hounds

- "historical" sources: Spartans &  Mirmidons

- "fictional" sources: Stormcast Eternals (Celestial Vindicators / Knights Excelsior) & Assassins Creed Odyssey and other classic Greek tales lke the Iliad, etc.

- Primaris with shield wall tactics and librarians making use of storm powers, etc.; naval / void warfare

- homeworld: probably Game of Thrones Iron Isles with House Greyjoy as cultural background + ancient Greece

- characters like Kratos, Achilles, etc. might be used for certain chapter characters

- color scheme:

 

Cerberan Blades   Primaris

Edited by Kelborn, 11 August 2019 - 12:29 PM.

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#22
Messor

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eek.gif That is hands down of one of the coolest Chapter icons and heraldry combos I've ever seen; gotta be top 5. Definitely can't wait to learn more about them.


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