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Index Traitoris: The Bloodborn


NecroShadow
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(Still bits to be added, and sketchy warband icon)

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Origin/history

The World Eaters were once the War Hounds, a legion of honourable yet vicious warriors. It was when they found their Primarch Angron however that they began the path down the road to butchery that they would eventually be damned to follow. With Angron came the butchers nails, an affliction as much as it was a boon to the legion, turning them into mindless raging berserkers over the course of the Heresy. The Bloodborn however fight against this fate, for they seek to slay the most worthy foes to ensure the blessings of khorne to delay their descent into butchery and mindless savagery, appealing to the blood Gods aspect as the supreme warrior. They stalk the stars on blood hunts, one such hunt ensuring their absence from Skalathrax when the Betrayer shattered the legion’s last bonds of unity, resulting in the Bloodborn maintaining most of their numbers and organisation from the Heresy era. Their commander, Centurion Captain Odol, keeps careful watch of his men to ensure the fury they display upon the battlefield does not seep into their souls outside of battle, and that they are suitably controlled if they were to descend into that state.

Combat doctrine

The Bloodborn have changed little from the days of the great crusade in their ways of war. Still they utilise immense brutality in order to eliminate their foes, the Butcher’s Nails enhancing their already prodigious combat abilities to new levels. However for those amongst the Echelon who still retain their senses during the battle there are some variations that make themselves apparent. The warriors of the Bloodborn will focus on taking down worthy foes more often than just senseless slaughter, with the force’s champions endeavouring to take on enemy heroes and command elements first hand. If there are no worthy foes to be found then they will still slaughter their enemies, just not with the same warrior’s respect that they otherwise demonstrate, for they know that the death of nameless souls will bring no respite from the blood god.

Recruitment

Much as the legion of old, the Bloodborn do not claim any specific planet as a recruitment source. Instead they find planets, usually those with feudal warrior societies, to test and accept into their aspirant ranks if they prove to be worthy of the Blood God’s attention. They are also known to accept new aspirants from the ranks of the four Bustarius tribes, though a significantly lower number are inducted from the Slaughter Marked due to the tribe’s inherent levels of mutation.

Organisation

The Bloodborn are comprised of 8 Gorebands. Each Goreband has a home on one of the Bloodborn’s 8 strike cruiser vessels, however they will also be present upon the 3 battle barges that form the core of their void fleet. The first and second Goreband are referred to as the Butcher Gorebands, containing the highest collection of level headed warriors out of the 4 types of Gorebands. Every warrior bears a black shoulder pad at minimum, showing that they can control the Butcher’s Nails even within a battle. Their numbers include the 31st echelon’s Terminators, Havocs and Chosen while still maintaining the Berserkers that define the legion. The third and fourth Gorebands are the Executioner Gorebands, whose purpose is to seek out and slay the champions of the enemy forces in any given battlefield. They use Raptor units to drop in and disable key elements of the enemy battle plan while the Berserker foot soldiers charge forward into the midst of battle. Each is led by a Master of Execution, whose Khorne-blessed sight allows him to see the blood of the strong like a beacon on the battlefield, then making a beeline to slay the source of that strength. The fifth and sixth Gorebands are the Rampager Gorebands, the most all rounded of the Gorebands. These collectives contain Raptors, Havocs, Chosen and Berserkers, allowing for the force to respond to whatever change occurs in the battle field with murderous efficiency. The seventh and eighth Gorebands are the Daemonkin Gorebands, the homes of the Echelon’s most bloodcrazed and warped warriors. Amongst their numbers are the daemon warped Possessed and Warp Talons who strike into the foe with savage fury and tear them asunder, meanwhile the Berserkers of the goreband are the most bloodcrazed of their kind. Unlike most of the Bloodborn, the Berserkers of these Gorebands still find their bloodlust taking over their non combat hours as the Butchers Nails scream into their minds.

Beliefs

The Bloodborn hold Khorne as their patron deity much like all the rest of their legion, however their worship of him is one of two sides. On one side, they give tribute to him with every enemy they slay and battle they face, feeding the aspect of the berserker and slaughterer that he embodies. However when the champions and leaders of the Echelon invoke his name before and after the success of an honour duel or the slaying of a worthy foe, it is in those cases they give tribute to his aspect as the apex warrior, a being of military honour and strength. As such they believe and act to appease the apex warrior, but they know full well that they feed the primordial berserker in turn.

The bustarius tribes

The Bloodborn are accompanied by 4 tribes of human militia, each finding home among the vessels of one of the four types of Goreband. The Blood Gladius tribe have the favour of the first and second Gorebands, for they are the four tribes most prominent gladiators and pit fighters, with most members having fought amongst the red sand battle pits from the time they could successfully pick up a blade. The Crimson Claw tribe is favoured by the Executioner Gorebands for their skill at the hunt, for they are masters of tracking and beast keeping, sending out strange hunting beasts to soften and bleed their foe before they deliver the final blow. The Gore Iron tribe are hulking brutes of men who find favour amongst the Rampager Gorebands, for they are skilled at the forge and ensure the weaponry of their bloodborn masters are kept in working order. Lastly the Slaughter Marked tribe are found amongst the vessels of the Daemonkin Gorebands, for their forms are grossly mutated in ways that please the blood god, their proximity to the warp touched warriors having in turn affected them.

Appearance

Blood red armour with brass trim as standard of most world eater factions, however they use a set of different coloured right pauldrons to identify the mental state and hierarchy of the individual in question. Red is kept for standard soldiers and those who are the least capable of controlling their blood rage and black is then used for the more under control members which act as the champions of units and comprise the squads of Havocs, Chosen and Terminators. Those who have little to no control over their rage and blood thirst are given the brass shoulders and black trim of the “Brass Marked”. White is then used to identify the command echelons of the Bloodborn.

Notable characters

-Centurion Captain Odol

Raised amongst war, Odol had been born with a warrior’s destiny declared for him. The feudal world he had been born to had taught him much of war and conquest, his position as the chieftain’s son within one of the planet’s largest tribes had ensured this. Even his name had been dedicated to war, meaning “war prince” in his people’s tongue. Yet he would only find his true calling when the world eaters discovered his planet, drawing a tithe from the population to bolster the strength of the legion. It was so that he would find himself an Astartes in the short time before the legion reunited with their primarch, his warrior upbringing helping him to swiftly grow accustomed to the ways of war favoured by the world eaters and the war hound they had once been. Odol showed great promise, rising rapidly through the ranks to hold the position of lieutenant during the Istvaan V Atrocity, following his father faithfully throughout despite his concerns over the growing effects of the butcher’s nails. He would survive the shadow war, seeing his primarch’s metamorphosis and enduring the Siege of Terra, escaping with his brethren. It was in this time that he began to experience his blood visions, as if khorne desired and demanded him to seek out worthy foes for his blade. He saw it as a sign of the blood God’s favour, for it was only through one of these visions that the Bloodborn were absent from the Battle of Skalathrax. In the long war that has gone since, Odol has continued to battle with power sword and chainaxe, the pair of weapons winning him more duels than he can recall. Yet he stills carries with him an archaic sword he had with him since before induction to the legion, kept sharpened and keen despite its age, for he follows the tradition of his people in ensuring he deals the final blow to worthy foes with it’s cutting edge.

Notable events

-The Siege of Terra (014.M31)

-The Folly of Assumption (888.M40)

The Bloodborn encountered a world being claimed by a Tau Cadre of Sept Bork’an in the name of the Greater Good, Odol directing the forces fury towards the xenos in order to sate the restlessness that had grown among the less controlled members of the Echelon. Once the Bloodborn made planetfall, the Tau assumed they would be victorious, having prepared significant gunlines and expecting the massed melee assaults that had been typical for them in previous world eater engagements recorded by the Sept. They soon realised their mistake however as their gunline was suddenly caught under the onslaught of the havoc squads and battle tanks of the Bloodborn’s two Butcher Gorebands, the mass of fire power catching the Bork’an Tau unexpected. This left them unprepared as waves of possessed and berserkers from the two Daemonkin Gorebands rushed their lines and tore into their forces with wild abandon. While the Daemonkin Gorebands had suffered severe casualties in the assault, the sheer scale of tau death more than made up for the losses.

-The Devastation of Caldaris (116.M42)

During this conflict the Bloodborn first encountered primaris marines of the Silver Templars chapter, facing their fourth company as the 5th Rampager Goreband fought in concert with an Alpha Legion assault by the Harrow Dragonis upon an inquisitorial complex located within the planet’s moon. The Bloodborn had been warned of the primaris by the Harrow Dragonis, yet they were still caught unprepared as the fourth companies Inceptor squads burst from the ash choked skies and into the midst of their numbers. Many of the 5th Rampager Goreband were cut down as the Primaris attack struck home, only the most veteran of their numbers surviving the encounter intact along with forces of the Scions of Odol, many of whom proved their worth to be inducted as new members of the depleted company after the conflict. The climax of the battle came when Odol faced the Silver Templar’s Captain in single combat, finding great satisfaction from the duel they had before he severed the foe’s head from his body. He claimed the Captain’s weapons as his trophies, one a relic granted to him by Chapter Master Akilos Zanaris, and so birthed a great hatred for the Bloodborn amongst the Silver Templars. For his own part, Odol had great respect for the primaris chapter, for he shared the view with many of his warriors that their way of battle was to be respected for it favoured greatly single combat and honour duels.

-The Slaying of Forge Ignis (130.M42)

Having been led there by one of the blood visions that guide the force to it’s targets, the Bloodborn found themselves upon the abandoned forge world of Damaris. The planet had found itself as the staging world for a horde of Orks, their vessels broken and the groups forming rival speed freak bands. To this effect, the third Goreband deployed to eliminate the ruling elements of the largest group, slaying the warboss in the process before uncovering a buried forge complex. This complex, known during its time as forge Ignis, turned out to have been the site for a Carcharodons Grey Tithe. The third Goreband unleashed their wrath upon the half buried complex, seeking to slay the Carcharodons and dedicate the skulls of their greatest warriors to the Blood God. The force of Vanguard Primaris managed to escape with the recovered archaeotech, but not without a significant death toll being enacted upon them including one of their Lieutenants.

Edited by NecroShadow
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You demonstrate good imagination in this IT, whose great potential is worthy of development via some editing.

 

Some concerns:

The Folly of Assumption (Unknown Date.M41)

It seems lazy to claim this battle occurred on an "unknown date," as it was obviously fought OUTSIDE THE WARP. The Tau, at least, will record the date.

 

You should look up Tau history on Lexicanum- which has links to articles placing significant events in the Imperial dating format, e.g., "In 053.M39, the Vespid were successfully integrated into the empire while in 393.M39 N'dras was colonized," in the Second Sphere of Expansion article- and then make up a date. Maybe "888.M40," the date chosen for the proliferance of Khorne's holy number?

The Devastation of Caldaris (Unknown Date.M41)

 

<Snip.>

 

For his own part, Odol had great respect for the primaris chapter,

The Slaying of Forge Ignis (Unknown Date.M41)

 

<Snip.>

 

The force of Vanguard Primaris managed to escape with the recovered archaeotech,

As you described the Bloodborn facing Primaris Marines, shouldn't these battles occur in M42? And again, you shouldn't have these battles occur on "unknown dates" unless you specify they were fought in a realm where time is meaningless, i.e., the Warp and Warp-influenced worlds (Daemon worlds).

 

Nitpicking, with my emphasis:

They are also known to accept new aspirants from the ranks of the four Bustarius tribes,

I replaced "know" with "known" to correct the grammar.

Each is led by a Master of Execution, whose Khorne-blessed sight allows him to see the blood of the strong like a beacon on the battlefield,

I put a dash between "Khorne" and "blessed" to make the sentence easily comprehensible.
Edited by Bjorn Firewalker
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Thanks for the feedback and for pointing out the issues. I have taken your suggestions on the Tau battle date and I’ve worked some dates for the other two. I’d had a complete blank when writing it in terms of the Primaris being m42, but hopefully that’s more suitable now. Also thank you on the grammar check front, I had checked before posting but obviously some bits escaped the net.
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It's always fun seeing how a traitor legion can cling on to their pre-fall ways - for World Eaters this is especially so given the differences. There's a similarity in the Blood Angels in that they must learn and practice control at all times or be damned so perhaps you could take a few bits of inspiration there?

 

How do the Bloodborn help facilitate this control, especially in younger members? They could have some trials to strengthen their will - could be a lot of ways to do this to play with. It also gives the veteran elements a lot of value, as aside from their greater skill and experience their ability to control the nails makes them even more valuable. It might be something to explore as a potential change to how the warband works compared to the Great Crusade days.

 

It's good to see the more martial aspect of Khorne explored (even if he still does love his blood and skulls!), this could be the basis for a lot of things if you want too. For example maybe they don't get along too well with more "traditional" types like the Berserkers, whether mutual or not? It might be worth adjusting their colour scheme a bit so they're less like Berserkers, perhaps they take some of the old colours so they stand out from their peers? It'd also help them feel a bit more like your own :smile.:

 

Looking forward to seeing what you do with the Bloodborn :thumbsup:

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Thanks for the feedback. I’ll definitely need to consider how they get the new inductees prepared for the Nails, though they do have the Scions of Odol as a sort of training force/renegade ally to draw new members from. I liked the idea of them having a company of renegade marines who follow them, especially since it then allows me to use any units that don’t make it over to a world eater codex (if it’s made) as allied renegade squads and have it work with the lore.

 

The scions also kind of lead into one of my uncertain areas with their lore, which relates to the fact that Odol has a renegade librarian as an equerry of sorts, mainly to advise him in matters of the warp if needed. I have read some examples of khorne being ok with psykers so long as they don’t use their powers for trickery in battle, but I didn’t want to make it set in stone until I was sure it felt right for the force. Due to this, some of the other world eaters probably do look at the Bloodborn funny, though the Bloodborn return the favour in most cases. They do respect some of their shattered legion, be it due to their ability to kill as in Khârn or their similar ideals as is the case with a certain captain who also goes on long hunts. Odol himself also respects an old oath of brotherhood from the time of the great crusade, having fought alongside the Hound of Prospero in the fighting pits.

 

In terms of their colour scheme, I covered it briefly in the appearance section, but they distinguish rank by the colour of their right shoulder pad in most cases. The line infantry wear red, usually showing that they have only just been inducted or find it hard to control the Butcher’s Nails in battle. The Champions, Havocs and elites wear black shoulder pads, showing their experience and the fact they can control the Butcher’s Nails but still loose themselves at times. The command elements then wear white shoulder pads in memory of the old legion and to show their ability to control the Butcher’s Nails almost completely, only being overtaken by the Nails if they choose to be. There is also then the ones who are hardly able to control themselves, even outside of battle. To these are given the brass right shoulder and black trim, usually a sign that goes hand in hand with being part of the 7th and 8th Gorebands. I may alter the line infantry colour scheme a bit to make the line infantry differ from other Berserkers but that’s the rough idea.

Edited by NecroShadow
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The Champions, Havocs and elites wear black shoulder pads, showing their experience and the fact they can control the Butcher’s Nails but still loose themselves at times.

There is also then the ones who are hardly able to control themselves, even outside of battle. To these are given the brass right shoulder and black trim, usually a sign that goes hand in hand with being part of the 7th and 8th Gorebands.

This will cause confusion, for better or worse; it will be difficult for an enemy to target the Bloodborn leaders in decapitation strikes, but just as difficult for the Bloodborn rank-and-file to know whose orders they're supposed to obey.

 

To prevent this, how about giving gray pauldrons (shoulder armor) to the Champions, Havocs, and elites? I also considered blue, but as it's both a reminder of the World Eaters' pre-Heresy colors, AND Tzeentch's color (see the Thousand Sons), it may be inappropriate for a Khorne worshiper.

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Well, I’d like to think the line infantry would think twice before following the orders of the obviously possessed warriors, but you have a point. I don’t think I’d go gray for the elites, but I could always have the afflicted bear the standard red shoulders and a brass helmet instead of the brass shoulder. That might help to distinguish them without causing internal confusion among the ranks.
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Thanks Aothaine, nice that people think it’s good. Hopefully I can keep it up for the other 6 legion warbands I have planned.

 

In terms of the Blood Angels, I actually completely failed to register that parallel. I can’t even remember the exact reason I picked black, may have just been I liked the look. I did however contemplate the Bloodborn fighting a Blood Angels or Blood Angel successor force as their first Primaris marine encounter. In the end I decided not to since red marines having red marine helm trophies may not look the best, since I’m having my chaos armies carry trophies painted to match the first Primaris forces they each battled against. Instead I’m going to save the Sons of Sanguinius to face against the Angeli Luxuriae when I get to working their Index Traitoris entry.

Edited by NecroShadow
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