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The Steel Ghosts v3.0 (after long silence)


flintlocklaser

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That is absolutely awesome.

 

Now all you have to do is get the formatting right.

 

It might be a teensy bit too vague, but I'm no longer able to judge, since I know The Secret.

 

Either way, DAMN fine job. My hat is off to you, sir.

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Cool, thanks guys. I was out of town over the weekend, so I didn't get to reply quicker. I might do one last set of small changes, maybe making the 'rebirth' of Severstal a bigger part of the early portion of the IA, and then putting one or two more direct hints in the fragments at the bottom. Like Octavulg said, it's hard for me to tell if I've put enough out there for someone who hasn't read the 'super-secret' version to figure out what has happened with Severstal getting possessed by Swann. I will try and get that done this week and put it up for comment. Thanks again!
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one thing, with out the oimniciant point of veiw, you lose the "sting" of them really being controlled by alpha leigon. basicly with out knowing the secret, the front of them just being a dull chapter make them into, well, a dull chapter.
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one thing, with out the oimniciant point of veiw, you lose the "sting" of them really being controlled by alpha leigon. basicly with out knowing the secret, the front of them just being a dull chapter make them into, well, a dull chapter.

 

I know, I'm having a hard time balancing the two issues. On the one hand, I like trying to keep IA articles in an 'in-universe' style, but on the other hand, as you said, that makes it a lot harder to get the point across to the leader. One way I am thinking about closing this gap is to have one final bit of text in there to represent an Alpha Legion communique that 'spills the beans' so to speak, and then having it be suppressed/ignored by the Inquisition for some reason. It's a difficult balancing act, I will be thinking about this really hard this week.

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you could always do the first part in universe then, pull back to omniciant pov for the reveal.

 

like how noboddy knows that lion el jonson sleeps in the heart of the rock "in universe", but everyone who plays 40k does

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, made a few changes to the end of the "Whispers in the Dark" section, hopefully making the Alpha Legion link more direct for the reader, while muddying the in-universe waters even more. Let me know if this works better!

 

EDIT: made tiny additional changes to the new material so it would flow better and fit the tone a little more closely.

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Seems a little too blatant this time - I preferred the older version. But then, either one works. <_<

 

I guess the problem is that like you said earlier, we already know The Secret. I'm thinking about having a friend of mine look at the 2.0 version and asking him if he 'gets it.' He only plays WFB and is only sorta kinda aware of 40k fluff, so if he can get it at the old 2.0 level, I might dial it back a bit.

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I guess the problem is that like you said earlier, we already know The Secret. I'm thinking about having a friend of mine look at the 2.0 version and asking him if he 'gets it.' He only plays WFB and is only sorta kinda aware of 40k fluff, so if he can get it at the old 2.0 level, I might dial it back a bit.

 

Good plan.

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  • 7 months later...
Well, I wound up not really changing the end of this piece at all, but I'm bumping it for one last round of critcism/suggestions before I submit it to the Librarium at the end of the week. I'll probably do the same with my other two DIYs after this, but this one is the one I spent the most time on and that I'm the proudest of. Still, fire away - if there's anything to be changed I'd like to get it hammered out by the weekend! Thanks for your time.
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I haven't read this before, so this was a real treat. The only thing I would do different is the coding. First I would move the Dreadnought sider-bar down to the Combat doctrine header. Then I would divide the first block of text in the homeworld section into two or three smaller blocks. Then I would move the Inq. side-bar to the right and up to the start of the Homeworld text. This would give the article a nice clean look, with the text on left, and all the coding goodness on the right. I would also drop the fleet section and just move that text into the Organization section.
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this is still really cool.

 

I like the whispers in the dark section

 

Thanks kil78, glad it holds up! I didn't get around to messing with the formatting yet, but will try and get a trial version of that up before Friday so I can get a final round of feedback over the weekend.

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When the Adeptus Terra felt that the Imperial forces guarding this area might benefit from a certain amount of reinforcement, one of the new chapters planned for the 26th founding was assigned a demesne in the region.

 

Redundant with the previous sentence. Since length is your biggest issue...

 

Gene-seed and a small founding cadre were selected from the Ultramarines, and the Steel Ghosts were founded.

 

Doing the Ultramarines makes sense on one level - the Alpha Legion would love to steal a chapter trained directly by the Ultramarines. OTOH, there's a lot of neato Ultra successors out there who could do a perfectly adequate job - and explain the crappy attitude/relationship with the population a lot better. The Marines Malevolent would seem an obvious one.

 

The original homeworld of the Steel Ghosts was Tochilogorsk, a hive world coreward of the Maelstrom. Upon its creation, the chapter was granted fiefdom over this planet, once a highly productive industrial world that over the previous few centuries had become ridden with inefficiency and graft. By this stroke, the Administratum thought to supply the new Chapter with both the recruit pool and the industrial production it would need, while the planet’s new Astartes rulers were to whip the degenerate world back into shape.

 

I think the following might work a bit better here:

 

"Upon their creation, the chapter was given control of Tochilogorsk, a hive world coreward of the Maelstrom. Once a highly productive indistrial world, over the previous few centuries Tochilogorsk had become ridden with inefficiency, graft and corruption." You should also say "would" instead of "were to".

 

Corruption carries those dark overtones that the 40K universe loves so well, and it's that little bit shorter that your IA needs (mostly because of the extra section at the end, admittedly).

 

In fact, within the first few years the Steel Ghosts made significant progress in revitalizing the planet. The old kleptocracy was summarily liquidated by the Chapter, and a series of purges throughout the major hives stimulated production while actually leading to a slight increase in the quality of life for the average citizen. But before long, unusually well-organized and persistent groups of agitators sprang up throughout the hive cities. Minor riots and production shortfalls became widespread; but the first, and indeed only, show of outright aggression by these revolutionaries was the sabotage of the Chapter Keep’s plasma generators in 748.M41. The resulting explosion killed several marines - including the majority of the founding cadre sent from the Ultramarines, and all but one of the chapter’s Librarians. But as devastating as the attack was, the consequences of this cowardly act were even more dramatic. The surviving leaders of the Steel Ghosts pinpointed the source of the rebellion in Tochilogorsk’s largest hive city, and without consulting any other Imperial authorities, lanced the hive from orbit. Even within the Imperium, the deaths of twenty billion citizens were not to be taken lightly, and the Steel Ghosts were immediately stripped of their demesne and placed under heavy Inquisitorial scrutiny. For over a decade they operated as a fleet based chapter, and were not allowed to continue recruitment despite their sadly diminished numbers. The Chapter’s survival looked unlikely, and Inquisitor Leonore Constantijn of the Ordo Hereticus led the call for the Steel Ghosts to be declared Excommunicate Traitoris. Outwardly appearing to be a staunch Amalathian, her intent to destroy the Steel Ghosts was cloaked in the language of preserving the Imperium. But the entire persecution of the Steel Ghosts was eventually shown to be a smokescreen, set up by Inquisitor Constantijn to hide her own secret Radicalism. When evidence surfaced proving her use of Daemonhosts and other warp-tainted methods, she was herself declared Hereticus Abomini. Although Constantijn fled the sector rather than face the Inquisition’s righteous justice, this shocking revelation gave new hope for the Steel Ghosts' future.

 

Firstly, I think this should be a separate paragraph from the bit before it. Indeed, if you could compartmentalize this a bit it'd help with the whole "wall of text" thing. Good spot for a break might be after "...even more dramatic".

 

Also, the death toll should be higher. Twenty billion is nothing. One hundred and thirty, now...(for example). Hive worlds can have a population of up to 500 billion, after all.

 

Also, 'smokescreen' jars with the rest of the writing - it's too colloquial, IMO. Perhaps another term?

 

the final official report of Inquisitor von Strauss, presumed killed by the traitor Constantijn

 

TO: Inquisitor-Lord Shang-huo Cavanaugh

IN RE: Termination of Covert Inquiry into possible Acta Heretica by Adeptus Astartes Chapter “Steel Ghosts”

-The aftereffects of the conflict created by the Daemonolator Constantijn seem to have finally come to an end, and thus I file this concluding report. In 798.M41 an Adeptas Sororitas Convent that this Inquisitor has a working relationship with was instructed to approach subject Chapter for military aid, which was forthcoming. Further Sororitas contacts were made throughout the 800s with continued positive results, despite gradual inclusion of actual Ordo Hereticus operatives. Emboldened by this success, with the outbreak of the Badab War this Inquisitor took the risk of approaching the Chapter directly, seeking their aid in suppressing blood-cults arising from this conflict. Although initial response was guarded, subject Chapter agreed to assist this Inquisitor and by end of said conflict was willing to take the field alongside Inquisitorial military assets, including this Inquisitor himself. After observing subject Chapter on the field of battle numerous times, as well as repeated study of compiled surveillance and intelligence analysis, this Inquisitor considers further sub-rosa investigation of this Chapter to be a waste of Inquisitorial resources and hereby declares said investigation to be Closed, entering a Verdict of Nullum Hereticum.

To this I do set my Hand and Sigil, in this year Forty-thousand, nine hundred and seventeen, day twenty-seven.

I remain His humble servant:

Inquisitor Cyril von Strauss

-Postscriptum-

M’lord Cavanaugh, on a more informal note, these boys would make damn fine Monodominants if they didn’t use those witch-marines.

-Postpostscriptum-

Forgot to add that I have a line on some of the Anathematic Constantijn’s personal journals. I will let you know what I’m able to turn up.

 

Too long (which runs it into the coding). Some things could be easily cut from it, however (the bit about Strauss being killed and the initial postscriptum both aren't strictly necessary, and would help trim the length a little). The first sentence could also be shortened a lot.

 

With this shocking turn of events, the Chapter was quickly exonerated. In fact, a full Inquisitorial Conclave formally honored the Chapter for its ‘steadfast resolution and faith in the Emperor’s vision.’ But caution is the watchword for the Administratum, so the young chapter was granted the primitive world of Suizao Tertius as its new home. The local Bronze Age technology prevents the natives from posing any threat to the Chapter, and its feuding city-states and vicious wildlife provide a population that breeds excellent candidates for recruitment (and perhaps most important to the Lords of Terra, if the Steel Ghosts are compelled to suppress this world as well, the sector’s tithing quotas will not be impacted one iota). Now secure in their new Keep thousands of feet below the planet’s major ocean, the Steel Ghosts arise every five years to select a handful of new aspirants and work ceaselessly to build their Chapter up to Codex-specified size despite constant losses from combat.

 

More than a handful every five years, IMO. After all, they've got rebuilding to do (I'd just take out "a handful of").

 

Also, this might work a little better for the last part of the sentence "work ceaselessly to rebuild their Chapter to Codex-specified size, despite constant losses from combat". Not much of a change, but I think it flows a little better.

 

Due to the crippling attack carried out while the chapter was still virtually in its infancy, the Steel Ghosts have never attained the manpower of a full chapter.

 

Why not "Due to the crippling attack on Tochilogorsk and its consequences" or something like that - after all, the lack of recruitment for a decade hurt them as well. Also shortens it a little...

 

But despite being chronically under strength, the Chapter attempts to hew as closely as possible to the Codex Astartes. After nearly 250 years their First, Second and Third Companies are finally at full strength, but support and specialist companies are usually under half their mandated sizes. The Sixth is their only reserve company, and it is constantly being raided for manpower to keep the three battle companies at full strength. The other companies (Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth) are uncommissioned and seem likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Their empty barracks and still-furled heraldry are a constant reminder within the Keep that the Chapter’s future is still far from certain.

 

Contradictory. Support and specialist companies are usually under half their mandated sizes - while none is technically under half the mandated size, you still should rethink this paragraph a little. Also, 'But despite' is kinda redundant.

 

Perhaps:

 

"Despite being chronicannly under strength, the Chapter attempts to hew as closely as possible to the Codex Astartes. After nearly 250 years, their First, Second and Third Companies are finally at full strength. However, the Sixth is their only reserve company, and it is constantly being raided for manpower to keep the three battle companies at full strength. The other companies (Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth) are currently decommissioned and seem likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Their empty barracks and furled heraldry are a constant reminder that the Chapter's future is still far from certain."

 

Pares it down a little and still gets the same content, I think.

 

Within the planet's now-defiled main cathedral, Chief Librarian Severstal fought a terrible 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. As the two leaders clashed, the Devastators stood their ground, turning the nave into a charnel house. Despite the veritable wall of corpses created by their sustained fire, one by one the Devastators fell. 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 continued to fire until the very barrel of his weapon had melted into slag and he was the last man standing. By that point, mad with grief and rage, Nakoval wielded his ruined weapon like a maul, smashing aside wave after wave of the onrushing foe 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 Chaotic horde, just as Severstal slew the Dark Apostle. Arriving in the transept, the White Scars and the Chief Librarian waded through the carnage 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 his brethren to be defiled by capture. But when Nakoval looked up and saw his Chief Librarian approaching, he finally allowed himself to succumb 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.

 

Could pretty much wholly be replaced by "His Devastator squad had been assigned to the protection of Chief Librarian Severstal (who really should have been introduced by now) while he engaged the heretic leader. Even while the rest of his squad lay dead, Nakoval's tenacious defense of his commander gave the Librarian the time he needed to slay the heretic leader. Following this, Severstal insisted that Nakoval's shattered remains be interred as the first Chapter Old One, and stood over the marine's sarcophagus for forty days and nights, bending every effort of his power toward returning Nakoval from the brink of death. Today, Nakoval teaches the newest members of the Steel Ghosts the true meaning of duty - that the only shame lies in despair and giving 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."

 

Seems to mean the same thing, and the emphasis is now on the ominous bits, not on the battle itself.

 

Also, if he's the Anvil of Duty, doesn't that mean the cadets'd be broken on him...?

 

* * *

 

All I've done thus far, but I certainly owe you some kind of response by now. :tu:

 

Basically, the major thing to worry about is the wordiness of the IA. Shorter, IMO, is a bit better - wander through with the scissors and see if you can tighten it up a little. The IA feels longer than it actually is, partly because of the writing and partly because of the lack of paragraph breaks. You're trying to convey an idea here - don't let it get lost in the noise.

 

As always, it was a pleasure to read it. ;) Well, this far. ;)

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Thanks for the in-depth feedback and editing help Octavulg! Much appreciated. I wound up getting called out of town unexpectedly, and I don't really want to try and do major editing on my crappy laptop; but when I get back to the house at the end of the week I'm going to incorporate most of these changes, and as you said try really really hard to trim some more fat out of the whole thing. Glad you can still get a grin reading it, as you were one of the other people who helped me the most with it the first go around!

 

By the way, glad someone noticed the double-sided nature of Brother Nakoval's appellation... but does it make it too obvious that his relationship with the cadets might not be entirely to their benefit?

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Thanks for the in-depth feedback and editing help Octavulg! Much appreciated.

 

It's my job. I'll try and finish up the second section as well, at some point. :D

 

I wound up getting called out of town unexpectedly, and I don't really want to try and do major editing on my crappy laptop; but when I get back to the house at the end of the week I'm going to incorporate most of these changes, and as you said try really really hard to trim some more fat out of the whole thing.

 

Good. ;) It's good right now, but it could easily be great. Alternately, it's great, but it could easily be magnificent. :P

 

Glad you can still get a grin reading it, as you were one of the other people who helped me the most with it the first go around!

 

Honestly, it's a pleasant read still. Which is impressive, believe me. :P

 

By the way, glad someone noticed the double-sided nature of Brother Nakoval's appellation... but does it make it too obvious that his relationship with the cadets might not be entirely to their benefit?

 

I actually thought you were just going for a generic Dreadnought appellation without thinking it through properly. My apologies for underestimating you.

 

OTOH, it might be best if you made it a bit more double-edged.

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  • 2 years later...

I've added this to the top of the article, but here's the deal:

 

NB: I've been gone like forever, but I'm getting the 40k bug again and one of my summer projects is going to be bringing the Steel Ghosts to the table! So it's finally time to finalize this article and submit it to the Librarium. But I need help! While I was gone did something weird happen to the sidebar or header BBcode? The sidebar on the left is doing weird things with the headers below it that I know it wasn't doing before. Also, I think the last big issue I had to look at was whether the "Whispers in the Dark" section at the end was too heavy-handed or not. Not having looked at it myself in over 2 years it looks ok to me, but I'm still taking comments/criticism. Finally I am changing the color scheme, so I'm going to be playing with the SM painter a bit before reloading a pic. Panzer grey with royal blue accents is my current thought.

 

Thanks for any help, and good to be back!

-flintlocklaser, 4/6/11

 

EDIT: I'll throw my paintschemes in here for feedback too. I am sticking with the dark/panzer grey for their main armor. Blues, dark purples, greens are all possible for accent choices, and I'm also willing to have them be more than just on the shoulder trim and chest icons, so suggest away. Still, nothing like halved or quartered or anything like that, please!

 

http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?b62c=@hozqS_hFZ83.hbUc8@@@@@@@hGxVO@_@@..@@@@@@@@@@@.@.@@@@@@@@@@@__@@@@@@@@@@@@@_iakk7&

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Ok, going to work on this last set of suggestions from Octavulg now:

 

When the Adeptus Terra felt that the Imperial forces guarding this area might benefit from a certain amount of reinforcement, one of the new chapters planned for the 26th founding was assigned a demesne in the region.

 

Redundant with the previous sentence. Since length is your biggest issue...

 

I agree, but if I excise this will the "Origins" section be too short? As in, will it strike the eye unpleasantly to have a huge initial capital with nothing hanging off it?

 

 

Gene-seed and a small founding cadre were selected from the Ultramarines, and the Steel Ghosts were founded.

 

Doing the Ultramarines makes sense on one level - the Alpha Legion would love to steal a chapter trained directly by the Ultramarines. OTOH, there's a lot of neato Ultra successors out there who could do a perfectly adequate job - and explain the crappy attitude/relationship with the population a lot better. The Marines Malevolent would seem an obvious one.

You have a good point about the Marines Malevolent, and this might fix my length problem if I remove the first quoted sentence. Again on the other hand, do we have any canonical sources for Successor Chapters founding Successor Chapters of their own? If not, I'll probably stick with Ultras.

 

 

The original homeworld of the Steel Ghosts was Tochilogorsk, a hive world coreward of the Maelstrom. Upon its creation, the chapter was granted fiefdom over this planet, once a highly productive industrial world that over the previous few centuries had become ridden with inefficiency and graft. By this stroke, the Administratum thought to supply the new Chapter with both the recruit pool and the industrial production it would need, while the planet’s new Astartes rulers were to whip the degenerate world back into shape.

 

I think the following might work a bit better here:

 

"Upon their creation, the chapter was given control of Tochilogorsk, a hive world coreward of the Maelstrom. Once a highly productive indistrial world, over the previous few centuries Tochilogorsk had become ridden with inefficiency, graft and corruption." You should also say "would" instead of "were to".

 

Corruption carries those dark overtones that the 40K universe loves so well, and it's that little bit shorter that your IA needs (mostly because of the extra section at the end, admittedly).

 

Agreed. Done, with a few changes.

 

In fact, <chop>

 

Firstly, I think this should be a separate paragraph from the bit before it. Indeed, if you could compartmentalize this a bit it'd help with the whole "wall of text" thing. Good spot for a break might be after "...even more dramatic".

 

Also, the death toll should be higher. Twenty billion is nothing. One hundred and thirty, now...(for example). Hive worlds can have a population of up to 500 billion, after all.

 

Also, 'smokescreen' jars with the rest of the writing - it's too colloquial, IMO. Perhaps another term?

 

Done, although I've spread it to the lancing of several hive cities, to get the death toll up while still fitting with what I think would be 'reasonable' hive city populations.

 

the final official report of Inquisitor von Strauss, presumed killed by the traitor Constantijn<chop>

 

Too long (which runs it into the coding). Some things could be easily cut from it, however (the bit about Strauss being killed and the initial postscriptum both aren't strictly necessary, and would help trim the length a little). The first sentence could also be shortened a lot.

 

Done.

 

With this shocking turn of events, <chop>

 

More than a handful every five years, IMO. After all, they've got rebuilding to do (I'd just take out "a handful of").

 

Also, this might work a little better for the last part of the sentence "work ceaselessly to rebuild their Chapter to Codex-specified size, despite constant losses from combat". Not much of a change, but I think it flows a little better.

 

Done, with some other trims/changes as well.

 

Due to the crippling attack carried out while the chapter was still virtually in its infancy, the Steel Ghosts have never attained the manpower of a full chapter.

 

Why not "Due to the crippling attack on Tochilogorsk and its consequences" or something like that - after all, the lack of recruitment for a decade hurt them as well. Also shortens it a little...

Done.

 

But despite being chronically under strength, <chop>

 

Contradictory. Support and specialist companies are usually under half their mandated sizes - while none is technically under half the mandated size, you still should rethink this paragraph a little. Also, 'But despite' is kinda redundant.

 

Perhaps:

 

"Despite being chronicannly under strength, the Chapter attempts to hew as closely as possible to the Codex Astartes. After nearly 250 years, their First, Second and Third Companies are finally at full strength. However, the Sixth is their only reserve company, and it is constantly being raided for manpower to keep the three battle companies at full strength. The other companies (Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth) are currently decommissioned and seem likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Their empty barracks and furled heraldry are a constant reminder that the Chapter's future is still far from certain."

 

Pares it down a little and still gets the same content, I think.

Done.

 

Within the planet's now-defiled main cathedral, <chop>.

 

Could pretty much wholly be replaced by "His Devastator squad had been assigned to the protection of Chief Librarian Severstal (who really should have been introduced by now) while he engaged the heretic leader. Even while the rest of his squad lay dead, Nakoval's tenacious defense of his commander gave the Librarian the time he needed to slay the heretic leader. Following this, Severstal insisted that Nakoval's shattered remains be interred as the first Chapter Old One, and stood over the marine's sarcophagus for forty days and nights, bending every effort of his power toward returning Nakoval from the brink of death. Today, Nakoval teaches the newest members of the Steel Ghosts the true meaning of duty - that the only shame lies in despair and giving 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."

 

Seems to mean the same thing, and the emphasis is now on the ominous bits, not on the battle itself.

 

Also, if he's the Anvil of Duty, doesn't that mean the cadets'd be broken on him...?,

 

This one will take a bit more thought, but I agree that as it stands it's long & overwrought. Brother Emo, the only dreadnought with his hair down over his faceplate.... Will work on this tonight.

 

 

* * *

 

All I've done thus far, but I certainly owe you some kind of response by now. :D

 

Basically, the major thing to worry about is the wordiness of the IA. Shorter, IMO, is a bit better - wander through with the scissors and see if you can tighten it up a little. The IA feels longer than it actually is, partly because of the writing and partly because of the lack of paragraph breaks. You're trying to convey an idea here - don't let it get lost in the noise.

 

As always, it was a pleasure to read it. ;) Well, this far. ;)

 

I thanked you for this before, but allow me to do so again, as well as the rest of the people who helped me work on this thing. It's appreciated, and I apologize again for taking this long to see it through to completion.

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Quick question: is there a way to keep the sidebars from text-centering like that? I think I can get the problem child a few lines shorter if I could do that, plus I think it will look better.

 

EDIT: never mind, ruthless cutting has apparently made sidebar #1 short enough so as not to interfere with the other header bars.

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EDIT: I'll throw my paintschemes in here for feedback too. I am sticking with the dark/panzer grey for their main armor. Blues, dark purples, greens are all possible for accent choices, and I'm also willing to have them be more than just on the shoulder trim and chest icons, so suggest away. Still, nothing like halved or quartered or anything like that, please!

 

Colours seem alright to me. :P

Were you looking for alternatives, or just to check if the present one is OK?

 

Also, welcome back to the Liber. :)

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OK, my last real question I guess: the "Whispers in the Dark" section. Frankly it's long, and while I did want to touch on each little story idea/note in one of the excerpts, I am now taking suggestions on which ones to give the axe. I've quoted the whole section below, giving numbers to each snippet. Which ones are needed to tell the story, and which ones can hit the editing bay floor? #10 and #11 probably need to stay, although I'd take suggestions on how to tighten them up or make them more or less explicit.

 

Whispers in the Dark

N
ote well: the following are fragments of text recovered from a badly damaged folio, found with what has tentatively been identified as the remains of Inquisitor Cyril von Strauss. Their inclusion here is for completness's sake only, as second-guessing the verdict of a sectorwide Inquisitorial Conclave is at best a poor idea, and one that this chronicler most assuredly does not espouse. Blessed be the mind too small for doubt!

 

1...lies of the Anathematic traitor, Constantijn. Yet, examining this web of betrayal and conspiracy I feel that there is some underlying thread trying these falsehoods together. Sacrilege? Heresy? Perhaps. But is there a deeper truth to be had here? Ignorance is the strength of the Emperor's servants; but ignorance is a luxury I cannot afford. My search for our traitorous colleague must continue - I will find the truth of this if I must dig it out of her living brain.


2...my lexmechanic assures me that the number of cults exterminated by Steel Ghost military actions while in the terminal phases of Arbites or even Inquisitorial investigation is statistically significant, even for a Chapter that seems to thrive on such conflicts. While the Ghosts usually extirpate these groups to the last misguided soul, there is some concern that the very vehemence of their destruction leaves little, if any, chance of penetrating the higher organizational ties that we are beginning to glimpse behind these...


3...maddeningly unsure where Constantijn would have learned the rites for summoning and binding such a creature. Pre- and post-mortem interrogation of her closest associates have thus far been unsuccessful in shedding any light on this situation. I undertook the distasteful task of speaking with the Xanthite Petros Houghton, and he averred that the style of bindings used were 'unusual,' assuming such a word has any application to such thaumaturgy, and further assuming that a Xanthite can ever be trusted. Houghton offered to consult more closely on this case, but as I suspect him of desiring to learn this fell working himself, I refused. At the next Conclave, I will bring up his unseemly display of curiosity as reason for...


4...losses of materiel are also above sector baseline, once corrected for the admittedly large amount of commerce rading and warp disturbances in the Badab subsector. The gene-seed courier vessel that went missing in year 847 is just one example of many; an entire Dreadnought chassis, hand-tooled on Mars itself, was lost when...


5Battlefield casualties in this conflict seem light, especially given the well-known ferocity of the Alpha Legion. Those few losses that the Ghosts did suffer were atypical as well, as less than half of those Marines slain were recovered. While Chief Librarian Severstal was unavailable (or unwilling?) to speak with me, the Chapter's eldest Dreadnought informed me that the nature of the chlorine swamps in the Merzhou Delta made casualty recovery especially problematic. On a personal level, let me add that while speaking to an Astartes so entombed was initially quite offputting even for one as jaded as myself, Astarte Navokal went out of his way to accomodate my questions. Frankly I found him much easier to talk to than Severstal; further interviews informed me that he has become something of a paterfamilias for many of the Steel Ghosts. The new recruits of the Scout company seem to hold him in particularly high esteem, and I honestly feel I understand their fondness for him...


6...cult in particular seemed to be almost tailor-made for the Steel Ghosts to ferret out. The Imperium is large enough for coincidence to become commonplace, yet the fortuitous nature of Severstal's capture of the cult's main demagogue...


7Rather, they showed a degree of hatred for the Red Corsairs that took even me aback. It was as if the Ghosts felt personally affronted by this act of betrayal, even moreso than other loyal Chapters deployed in this conflict. While constrained by their own Chapter Master to act mostly in a supporting role in the Badab War, their ferocity was unnerving. Once again, their Chief Librarian distinguished himself in the conflict, killing...


8...successes against the Word Bearers in the Astentio Campaign. Severstal made representations to Canoness T. (who reports to me on condition of anonymity) that his masterful deployments were a joint consequence of his precognitive abilities and the native tactical brilliance of his White Scars counterpart. Canoness T. however admitted to certain doubts based on...


9...Guard regiments were virtually annihilated. The Alpha Legion seemed to have advanced knowledge of their intended landing zones, and the resulting carnage was sufficient to break the back of this rear-guard action. All personnel with access to this information were of general/flag officer rank or higher. While Brigadier General Cowley and Commodore Stacio both perished in this campaign (Stacio when his flag bridge decompressed due to an apparent mechanical fault), Chief Librarian Severstal informed me that both of these officers, as well the then-current Steel Ghosts Chapter Master (since deceased) were scrupulous in following operational security. He feels the only explanation is some perfidious Chaotic sorcery, a theory which I am beginning to subscribe to as well.


10...cost the lives of a battalion of Inquisitorial troops to capture him, but I finally managed to wring a confession from the wretch. He claimed to be a servant of a sorcerer of great power, one who could leap from mind to mind. This archfiend spent a century as puppet-master on Tochilogorsk, stepping from one planetary official to another, driving the planet to the brink of ruin. When the insurgency began, he was its orchestrating force, disappearing just before the climactic sabotage of the Steel Ghosts' Chapter Keep. In the process of excruciating his lackey, I uncovered a series of runes scrimshawed onto the left femur, which my lexmechanic believes to be of Alpha Legion origin. This seems like the appropriate moment to mention that normal methods of excruciation were ultimately fruitless; Emperor forgive me, I was forced to use some of the techniques recovered from Constantijn's casebook, including a variety of deaths and multiple re-summonings of the informant's spirit from the Warp. I fear that in my pursuit of this goal I am becoming that which I once hunted. But this sacrifice might yet be worth it. There is a cancer lurking in the heart of this Chapter, possibly more dangerous than simple treason could ever be. And behind it all I see the shadow of the Hydra.


11Finally, the most worrying bit of information to come my way: Astropath-Primus Lyra Kovalvy provided me with the following fragment, reported as a waking nightmare by one of her most powerful (but also most easily-disturbed) choristers: There is a young Librarian, and he is screaming. His body was trapped in fallen stones, but now his mind is trapped in his fallen body. His voice is calm and wise, but it is not his voice. His counsel is true, save that one time in one hundred it is rank blasphemy. And he is screaming. I am about to board a vessel incognito, bound for the beacon where this chorister is stationed; I feel that this, finally, is the lead that will cause this haze of lies and half-truths to resolve into something useful. Perhaps this will be the very thing that Constantijn (sweet Emperor, why did we drive her away?) was trying to unearth. What is Severstal? What has he become - or what has become him? How can we have been so blind?


 

No further information was salvagable from the folio. A small section of data-crystal was retrieved, but was too deeply encoded to admit of much study. However, the techpriest who first attempted to interface with it is quite adamant that presenting it to the Grand Logic Engines on forgeworld Maxentius will certainly provide a solution; presumably he will deliver it there himself once he is fully recovered from the bizarre and debilitating series of psychomechanical malfunctions he suffered when first analyzing the crystal. In summation, it seems quite probable that von Strauss fell into the same daemon-tainted ways as his quarry did before him, and as such Lord Inquisitor Cavanaugh has ordered this addendum be security-graded Obiter Damnatuum as it is likely to be Alpha Legion counterpropaganda, intended to sow strife and discord throughout the subsector. If you have read this addendum and are not of sufficient clearance, please report for penitential mindscrubbing posthaste. For the Emperor!

 

 

Thanks for any help.

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Colours seem alright to me. ^_^

Were you looking for alternatives, or just to check if the present one is OK?

 

Also, welcome back to the Liber. :(

 

 

Thanks for the kind welcome-back, Ace! And yeah, I'm fairly happy with the current colors (which are honestly quite close to the old colors, just more somber), but I also will admit I don't have the best eye for color, so I was looking for either reassurance about the current scheme, or valid options if people hated it.

 

Thanks again!

 

EDIT: and sorry for a few double-posts in here; I had a lot of quotes/old info to reference and I didn't want the posts any more cluttered than they had to be. Apologies.

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NB: I've been gone like forever, but I'm getting the 40k bug again and one of my summer projects is going to be bringing the Steel Ghosts to the table! So it's finally time to finalize this article and submit it to the Librarium.

 

The Librarium's currently closed for revamping, so that ambition may have some hiccups. :)

 

Now, on to your response to my response-that-I-no-longer-remember-making. :)

 

I agree, but if I excise this will the "Origins" section be too short? As in, will it strike the eye unpleasantly to have a huge initial capital with nothing hanging off it?

 

You could get rid of the dropcaps. The IA's pretty busy visually as it is.

 

You have a good point about the Marines Malevolent, and this might fix my length problem if I remove the first quoted sentence. Again on the other hand, do we have any canonical sources for Successor Chapters founding Successor Chapters of their own? If not, I'll probably stick with Ultras.

 

It's mentioned in Forge World's Badab War book.

 

This one will take a bit more thought, but I agree that as it stands it's long & overwrought. Brother Emo, the only dreadnought with his hair down over his faceplate.... Will work on this tonight.

 

Good enough. I'll try to have a read through this over the next few days.

 

I thanked you for this before, but allow me to do so again, as well as the rest of the people who helped me work on this thing. It's appreciated, and I apologize again for taking this long to see it through to completion.

 

No worries. :) Happy to do it.

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