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The Steel Ghosts v3.0 (after long silence)


flintlocklaser

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I appreciated the comments on mine, so I figured now that I had some time I'd wander over to yours.

 

WOW. Some seriously great stuff. Interesting similarities between both our Chapters also.

Thanks, I appreciate it. I really enjoyed your DIY writeup as well. Keep up the good work!

 

When the original Chapter Master (and last of the founding cadre) finally was finally lost in battle fifteen years later

 

Was he finally, finally lost...or finally, he was finally lost :P Me thinkst thou typest the word once too often.

Eep. Good catch! I finally thought I'd finally got that already, finally (heh heh). Actually I think I will pull them both, but I'd never have noticed this one myself.

 

Inquisitor-Lord Shang-huo Jasperson

 

I'd go with something other than Jasperson. Blending of cultures is good, but that's a stretch. Who want's to hang with an asian inquisitor that wear a wife beater? I mean seriously... :)

 

Other than that man, keep it up. I'm not really spun up on traitor fluff, so I can't be much help there.

That name felt better before I threw the "Shang-huo" on there. I want something nice and Olde English to go along with that folksy little "m'lud" part there, but now I like the first name enough that I think I will keep it, and humbly solicit suggestions for the surname.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, I finally got to read Legion and I am going to make a few changes (mostly one or two words) to make the motivations of Swann/Severstal a bit more ambiguous, as well as some general 'tightening up' as Commissar Molotov mentioned earlier. I'm also thinking about scrapping or massively rewriting the proposed 'sidebar' about the chapter's first Dreadnaught, as frankly it reads like every other Dreadnaught origin story I've ever seen. A lot of people seem to mention that internment in a Dread blanks or shields psychic abilites - so I am considering the following options, all of which are predicated on someone getting put into the Dread in the aftermath of the initial bombing that decapitated the Chapter.

 

The body in the dread is the 'real' Swann, who is either

-operating Severstal's body like a puppet, or

-has effectively copied his own personality over that of the dying Librarian. I like the second version of this better, but I don't want it to be too blatant a nod towards Legion.

Further elaborations on this theme are

-that Swann was dying of some hoodoo mystery disease/old age/massive trauma accidentally incurred in the bombing and is truly 'interred' in the Dread, having disguised himself as one of the dying Ghosts that wasn't[/u] Severstal before taking control of his mind, or

-alternately that Swann has usurped the place of an actual victim of the bombing who was selected by loyal Ghosts to become a Dread. In this one, Swann just disposes of the real Dread pilot and has placed his own body in the sarcophagus in some kind of sorcerous stasis, as a kind of 'escape pod' and insurance policy (why throw away a perfectly good body, after all?)

 

Both of these are pretty convoluted, and I'm in the wrong frame of mind to decide which one makes for a better storyline - after spending the weekend trying to think like an Alpha Legionnaire to work on updating this, I see plots within plots within plots, which can be fun but easy to overdo. Comments on this new Dreadnaught issue would be a big help, because people who haven't been thinkning of variations on this theme for the past 2 days will be able to tell me if any of them make any sense at all!

 

Also, I am not loving my paintscheme anymore. Assuming these guys ever see the gaming table, would a slate-gray with some nice deep blue elements work well? Something like this:

 

http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?bpe=575966&bpj=575966&bp=575966&bpc=575966&hdt=575966&hdm=575966&hdl=575966&ey=D43F67&er=575966&pi=575966&nk=575966&ch=575966&eg=A1A095&sk=A1A095&abs=575966&bt=575966&cod=575966&ull=575966&lk=575966&lll=575966&lft=575966&url=575966&rk=575966&lrl=575966&rft=575966&slt=1529AB&sli=575966&srt=1529AB&sri=575966&ula=575966&lel=575966&lla=575966&lw=575966&lh=575966&ura=575966&rel=575966&rla=575966&rw=575966&rh=575966&bg=FFFFFF&rb=030202&gr=A1A095&wg=true&blt=1529AB

 

EDIT: had to fix SM painter link

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Also, I am not loving my paintscheme anymore. Assuming these guys ever see the gaming table, would a slate-gray with some nice deep blue elements work well? Something like this:

 

Urrrrrrrrrr, something like what? You kinda need to give it a hyper-link then use the "image" icon :tu:

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Also, I am not loving my paintscheme anymore. Assuming these guys ever see the gaming table, would a slate-gray with some nice deep blue elements work well? Something like this:

 

Urrrrrrrrrr, something like what? You kinda need to give it a hyper-link then use the "image" icon :tu:

 

Heh, I think I was fixing the pic link at pretty much the same time you were making the post to tell me to fix the pic link...

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:P The odds... :P

Now that I can see the scheme (:P) i think its OK, although I think some tweaking can be done. I considered making up the list of ideas for your "improvements" box but decided to create a new scheme for you with thoughts installed :D

 

http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg17/Hubernator/SteelGhosts.jpg

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Wow... I like that new scheme a lot, Hubernator! The 'blue' I had picked out looks a lot more purple on that lighter grey - and I actually like that a lot. It's a nice little nod to the pre-Heresy AL color, and I think it might translate well to vehicles, bikes, etc, giving them a bit more color without being too bright. Using the second color in more places is a good look as well, thanks. Plus, as soon as I got done with the other, darker grey scheme I started to wonder if it was going to look too much like the SW 13th company, just with blue accents instead of black. This is different enough to be recognizable as something new, but hopefully will still be easy for me to paint up. Thanks again!
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Wow... I like that new scheme a lot, Hubernator! The 'blue' I had picked out looks a lot more purple on that lighter grey - and I actually like that a lot. It's a nice little nod to the pre-Heresy AL color, and I think it might translate well to vehicles, bikes, etc, giving them a bit more color without being too bright. Using the second color in more places is a good look as well, thanks. Plus, as soon as I got done with the other, darker grey scheme I started to wonder if it was going to look too much like the SW 13th company, just with blue accents instead of black. This is different enough to be recognizable as something new, but hopefully will still be easy for me to paint up. Thanks again!

 

Absolutely no problem at all :P Glad you like it :D

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great chapter!

 

though I would not mess to much with the Lib/sor. thing. As it is written now it is clean and makes sense. adding the drednaught angle just makes it more complex, not better.

 

though possibly you could just just a mind swap, then have him destroy his old body.

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Thanks for the kind words!

 

though I would not mess to much with the Lib/sor. thing. As it is written now it is clean and makes sense. adding the drednaught angle just makes it more complex, not better.

 

Fair enough. I still want to radically change the Dreadnaught story though. The original story was supposed to be about how Swann had corrupted the guy prior to his installation in the Dread, which was the whole reason Swann recommended him for Dreadhood when he got wounded, but I don't think that wound up coming through at all in the writeup. The problem is that Swann only turns a handful of people at a time, and having one of those few get grievously wounded is a big, BIG coincidence. Once turned, the Dread was supposed to be a seperate avenue for influencing the up-and-coming Marines, but now he's just starting to feel like a big security risk, especially if he realizes that Swann is the one who engineered his installation into the Dread...

 

Maybe the Dread was picked on the normal SM basis of valor, skill, etc., and then Swann/Severstal took direct control of the Dread's mind, sort of the reverse of the new idea?

 

Arrgh, it's all running together in my head now. I will thrash out a fully written version of both stories tonight or tomorrow, and let you guys see how they look.

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I like this IA very much! The *original* color scheme, the wheels within wheels, the corruption of a young chapter. All good. But one detail struck me: Swann teleports in, blasts the young Librarian's soul to heck, and possesses his body.... So what happens to Swann's original body? Surely the discovery of a dead Alpha Legionnaire next to their woozy young Librarian would raise questions among the brethren, at the very least on the lines of "how the heck did that get here?".
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He influenced the Dreadnought through his dreams as he slept.

 

No, seriously. As in, Dreadnought-type sleeping, rather than the alternative.

 

Perhaps the young fella was injured saving Swann's life, interred, and Swann slowly corrupted him then. Often visiting the young marine's sleeping sarcophacgus, where he would remain for hours in silent meditation...

 

No doubt the other marines were greatly impressed by the devotion.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, haven't had much time to work on this recently, but picking it back up now. I would like to run through and tighten up the main article, but I'm worried about chopping out so much stuff that some of the context gets lost. I also need to quit waffling about exactly what form of 'replacement' Swann used when he too Severstal's place, which will then tell me what I need to figure out about disposing of the spare body like RRChristensen said (whether it's Swann's or Severstal's). In any event, the most pressing thing was the rewrite of the Dread sidebar, and I think kil78 and Octavulg have pointed me back in the right direction. Plans upon plans upon plans are all well and good in a novel, but in the relatively short space of an IA article too much convolution can change a perfectly good mystery into a total, um, "Charlie Foxtrot." So here's mk.2 of the Dread origin sidebar:

 

-----

BROTHER NAKOVAL, the Anvil of Duty

 

The first of the Steel Ghosts to be interred into a sacred Dreadnought, Brother Nakoval perished when his Devestator squad was overrun in the final moments of the Battle of Astentio VI. Within the planet's now-defiled main cathedral, Chief Librarian Severstal fought a terrible psychic and physical duel against the Dark Apostle who led the Chaotic incursion. Nakoval's squad took up position in the transept, looking down the kilometer-long nave towards the main doors just as they were shattered by an enormous throng of cultists and daemonkin bursting into the cathedral to save their master. As the two leaders clashed, the Devestators stood their ground, turning the nave into a charnel house. Despite the veritable wall of corpses created by their sustained firing, one by one the Devestators fell, brought low by some lucky shot or snarling daemon that reached their lines with just enough strenght left for a deathblow. Nakoval, the most junior of the squad, picked up the first heavy bolter dropped by one of his slain comrades and opened fire. When that weapon ran dry, Nakoval took up the ammunition pack of one slain Marine, then another, and another, and continued to fire until the very barrel of his weapon had melted into slag and he was the last of his squad standing. By that point, mad with grief and rage, Nakoval took his ruined heavy bolter and laid about with it like a maul, smashing aside wave after wave of the oncoming traitors and warpspawn until he finally fell.

 

Just as Nakoval was overrrun, a White Scars patrol struck the Chaos flank and forced their way into the cathedral. Their charge finally dispersed the horde of the Lost and the Damned, just as Severstal slew the Dark Apostle. Arriving in the transept, the White Scars and the Chief Librarian waded through the blood of heretics and the foul effluvia left behind by slain daemons to find the broken form of Brother Nakoval. Unwilling to abandon his fallen comrades, Nakoval had gathered their bodies and was preparing to detonate a meltabomb rather than allow the corpses of his brethren to be defiled by capture. But when Nakoval looked up and saw his Chief Librarian approaching, he let go of the bomb's trigger and finally succumbed to his wounds. Altan Khan, leader of the White Scars force on Astentio VI and commander of the countercharge, was prepared to offer this fallen hero the Emperor's Grace, but Severstal intervened. Cradling the shattered body in his arms, Severstal immediately called for him to be created as the Chapter’s first Old One.

 

Even by Space Marine standards, Nakoval had been grievously wounded, and both the Apothecaries and Techmarines of the Steel Ghosts frankly doubted that he would survive the process of implantation and internment within a Dreadnought. But for forty days and forty nights Severstal stood a sleepless watch over his sarcophagus, bending every effort of his powerful mind towards bringing Nakoval back from the brink of death. On the forty-first day, an exhausted Severstal staggered out of the Chapter's Mausoleum, and before collapsing himself, announced that Nakoval had finally reawakened. Now Brother Nakoval teaches the newest members of the Steel Ghosts the true meaning of Duty: that to be broken on its Anvil is no shame, but neither is it an excuse to give up. Those recruits who seem most troubled in spirit often seek the counsel of "Brother Anvil", whose cold fury in battle seems only matched by his wisdom when at rest. Nakoval is also seen as the unofficial leader of the chapter's small Dreadnought corps. Although only three other Steel Ghosts have become Old Ones so far, they all defer to his judgement and spend the weary hours of repair, maintainence and downtime in close discussion with him.

 

-------

 

I like this one a lot better, it makes the influence from Swann/Sev more obvious without just spelling it out in 3rd person omniscient terms. It is a bit long though, but I guess I can go through there with the razor when I trim down the main article. I'm also going to make a very, very few edits to the main article, primarily replacing the old 'Malkin' reference to 'Nakoval.' C&C still eagerly wanted, as well as possible suggestions for one or two more possible 'sidebar' topics. I am also going to switch the paintscheme on the front page to the newer one Hubernator came up with for me as well as the header colorbars.

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Thanks guys, the feedback really helps keep me plugging away at this.

 

Though long. Maybe cut some of the color.

 

Yeah, at some point I need to try and see how the sidebars are going to look if I try and format them into the article itself. The sidebars in the IA books all seem to run from two to four paragraphs, some rather long. But I'm not sure how well it will fit in an online version. Sometime this week I will try and mock this one and the 'Inquisitorial letter' one up as real sidebars and see how the affect the flow of the main article.

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hell no, dont cut the color

 

move it to a side bar, but do not cut it

 

Hmm, I thought Octavulg was talking about some of the color in the Dread/Nakoval sidebar. The thing is, I kind of agree with him. It's not that badly done, but at the same time it's basically every other Dread story ever written. "Heroic last stand, so-and-so almost gets turned to fertilizer, for his valor he is installed in the Dreadnought Ironpants." It's not really bad, but it's also not really specific to the Steel Ghosts or the weirdness with Swann/Severstal. All I really need is something like "Nakoval was the sole survivor of his Devestator squad, which was attacked by a veritable wave of cultists and daemonkin as it provided covering fire for Chief Librarian Severstal while he fought against a Dark Apostle. Having defeated his opponent, Severstal rushed to the aid of these loyal men to find only Brother Nakoval, who was barely alive. Taking the shattered body in his arms, the Chief Librarian frantically called out for Apothecaries and Techmarines, decreeing that this fallen hero would be the first battle-brother of the Chapter to be honored with internment in the holy sarcophagus of a Dreadnought." And then go on with paragraph #3 of the revised sidebar. It would be much, much shorter, and the stuff that makes this particular Dread guy different from any other Dread in the Imperium is all happening in para #3 anyway.

 

Thoughts? Do I really gain anything by keeping the longer version? Conversely, do I lose anything vital (or even just neat) by cutting the first two paragraphs to replace with the one above?

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On the outside (without knowing whats going on in the background) this chapter sounds like one the Avenging Blades would get along with well! I really liked the fluff behind it. Sorry I can't provide much feedback to it, since it seems you're getting a lot of help with it anyway, but just wanted to stop by and say I really enjoyed reading the background.
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Thoughts? Do I really gain anything by keeping the longer version? Conversely, do I lose anything vital (or even just neat) by cutting the first two paragraphs to replace with the one above?

 

You run something of a risk of discontinuity, going from low-detail to high-detail.

 

That's about the only risk I can see. Though it's one of the better Dreadnought origin pieces I've seen.

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I'm still up in the air about the Dread piece. But while I'm thinking about that, another idea has occurred to me. The best IA articles (or any 40k articles at all, for that matter) are written from an in-universe perspective, using a narrative voice that is at best imperfectly aware of what's going on. I stuck to that pretty scrupulously in the majority of this piece, as well as in the two sidebars I've written thus far. But when I get to the biggest part of this IA, the heading entitled 'The Truth,' I throw that aside for some classic 3rd person omniscient narration that lays out the absolute yes/no black/white of what is going down. And the longer I think about it, the more I think that this is a mistake. I am now thinking of writing a new, modified version of that section that will be much smaller, probably composed of internal Alpha Legion communiques, scraps of AdMech comm chatter, etc, that only hints at what is going on without spelling it out quite so explicitly. Now granted, the hints will be pretty damn strong, and I will cover some of the same ground I'm covering in the current version. I know it will be hard to determine until I write it up, but does this sound like a better idea to you guys in general? It will cut some length out of the piece, as that is the longest heading by far, and it will hew more closely to the 'standard' IA editorial voice. I'm worried that it will come off as confusing, and I guess we'll have to wait and see what the rewrite looks like. But is this a basically good idea? Or am I just going to make it too convoluted?
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Subtler is generally better.

 

Save a copy of the old one, and throw us the new one. Tis the best way to see.

 

Yeah, I think I've figured out in-universe ways to convey all the necessary info. I will pound them into shape tomorrow or Saturday and debut them as a new post before I re-edit the main entry for version 2.0.

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