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The Scythes of Dorn


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The Scythes of Dorn

 

 

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Ueli’s Harbour is a feudal world largely of a sub-arctic climate (tundra, arboreal), the southernmost continent the only area to enjoy more temperate weather. The population of Ueli’s Harbour is comprised of rival city states constantly vying for territory that can be farmed or fished, a rare commodity on a world that suffers an almost year round winter. To this end wars between states are not un-common, the soldiery is quick to raise flintlock rifles and muskets against their neighbours. When a city state marches to war it brings its cannons, and past experience has taught the people of Ueli’s Harbour to build their walls high and thick. Those who do not live

Sevestaan and the Scythe
Giacomo Sevestaan was born amongst the feral people of a jungle deathworld on the borders of the Void Stars. On a world where a sudden and violent end lay in wait in dozens of different ways, the communities, such as they were, were ruled by a religious Cult. These priests believed in a skeletal, scythe wielding Soul Reaper who stalked the shadows of their world, cutting down the weak and the faithless. High handed and power hungry, these priests collected a team of bodyguards around them with which to back up their commands. Sevestaan, a large specimen, even by the death world’s standards, was selected by his tribe’s high priest to be raised as one of his bodyguard on his twelfth birthday and presented with a war scythe as a symbol of his position within the cult. As he grew towards adulthood comparatively comfortable life and the pick of any women he desired beckoned for the young Sevestaan. Then the Iron Warriors arrived.

 

Pursued, and with their ship damaged by a strike cruiser of the Imperial Fists, the traitor Marines crash landed on the jungle world. Knowing they numbered too few to resist the force close behind them their Champion, Kar-Lorek, approached Sevestaan’s tribe and demanded that the High Priest swear fealty to the Iron Warriors. However, he didn’t count on the jealous, self-aggrandizing nature of the cult leader. The old man sneeringly dismissed the demand and countered that the newcomers should kneel before a high priest of the Soul Reaper. As Imperial Fist scouts finally came upon their prey, an enraged Kar-Lorek reached out and crushed the priest’s head with his armoured fist. The eight members of the bodyguard rushed forward to avenge their fallen master. Sevestaan covered the distance quickest, but by then the Champion had un-slung his war axe and with a casual swing took the young mans left arm off at the elbow. And whilst Kar-Lorek butchered his way through the other frothing warriors, his men turned their weapons on the crowd.

 

It was then that the heavens opened and the drop pods of the Imperial Fists Second Company fell out of the sky. Dropping his last opponent, Kar-Lorek turned and looked up into the atmosphere at his impending doom. But his look of dismay turned suddenly to a look of agonised shock. Having turned away from the fallen bodyguards, the traitor Marine had not seen the young brute that had first fallen still somehow conscious despite the grievous wound which still pumped blood. Sevestaan’s rage spurred him to one last act and with a final burst of strength he drove himself forward, swinging the scythe one-handed. And although he finally passed out from the effort, the tip of his scythe had struck the only unarmoured part of Kar-Lorek and sunk into the back of giant’s pale skull.

Having mopped up the rest of the Iron Warriors, the Fists returned to their strike cruiser, taking the dying teen and his severed forearm with them.

 

Sevestaan went on to recover and, with a bionic replacement limb, was inducted into the Chapter. On the day he made sergeant of an Assault Squad, he was gifted a Power Scythe to commemorate his killing of an arch enemy of the Imperial Fists. The original scythe had been melted down and was used in the forging of the new blade whilst the severed forearm and fist had been chemically strengthened and formed the haft of the weapon .

behind the cities’ walls are usually found in boyar-run villages. These are the hardiest of a hardy race for they have rejected the comparative safety of the cities and fend for themselves against the natural dangers of the planet, not just the sometime treacherous weather but the other inhabitants , wolves, tundra lions and white-ogryn packs to name a few. On top of that there is the threat of raider parties, criminals that have been expelled from the cities now banded together to prey on whoever they can find for survival. The southern continent is populated by the fiercely tribal and superstitious horsemen who have been quick to slaughter any parties that have traveled down from the north in search of finding new, more farmable, land to settle.

 

The Scythes raised their fortress monastery, Navgorod, in the inhospitable mountains that cap the northern tip of Ueli’s Harbour. As such they rarely have direct contact with the population, whose lifestyle makes them inherently distrustful of outsiders. The Scythes find this somewhat amusing, considering their role as guardians of the system, but are happy to maintain their distance at times other than when recruiting, respecting the aggressive nature that leads the population to produce prime candidates for initiation.

 

The people of Ueli’s Harbour revere the Emperor as the God of Thunder and Lightning and the Marines as His Angels. Many icons decorate their homes and cities, depicting Him as a chainmail armoured, sword wielding warrior who fires bolts of lighting from his hands and can topple walls with a cry. When the Scythes first settled on the planet they discovered a custom of sacrificing young men on a feast day once a year. The people believed that they were sending these boys to serve as warriors for the Thunder and Lightning God. A great tournament was held throughout the cities on the feast day where the boys would actually compete in tests of strength and skill to prove themselves worthy of their God. To great fanfare the winners were then sacrificed before the cheering public.

 

The Scythes, rather than being perturbed by this barbaric practice, turned it to their advantage and convinced the city rulers that instead of killing the winners there and then, they would take them to be sacrificed up in the impassable mountains where the God resides. The people of Ueli’s Harbour still believe these young men die and the Scythes get a ready picked selection of prime candidates.

 

The Chapter does not restrict itself to recruitment only from its home world. There are garrisons of varying sizes on all ten planets of the system excluding Zovanric I, which is designated a dead world, and part of the duties of these garrisons are to spot potential neophytes.

 

 

Later History

 

Over the centuries, the Scythes of Dorn have faced the Chaos cultists and the Dark Eldar many times. It is perhaps surprising then to discover that despite repeatedly crushing a multitude of incursions, the Scythes know very little about their enemy. Sevestaan and his Captains believed that a warlord devoted to Chaos had risen within an undiscovered warp hole and was sending his followers on raiding parties towards the nearest Imperial system. For the duration of the Chapter Master’s lifetime this seemed to be the case. The Scythes faced a few small scale incursions that were easily dealt with and set against their campaigns fought in other systems within the Segmentum Pacificus, they were deemed as a minimal threat. It was a century after Sevestaan’s death that the Dark Eldar appeared again, seemingly as cohorts of the Cultists. Since then it has become clear that they are actually working against each other. Initial thoughts were that they were once again seeking to destabilise the System, perhaps in the hope of claiming it for the supposed warlord, but

the Scythes have slowly come to the conclusion that that both parties are searching for something, although the Chapter has been unable to ascertain what this prize could be. Things have been made worse by more recent sightings of mysterious grey armoured Space Marines leading the Chaos cultists.

 

Despite capturing many cultists for interrogation it appears that the enemy’s chain of command is such that these individuals have no idea as to what they are looking for. Indeed, most are simply acting on the commands of their direct leaders to attack Imperial holdings. It is unthinkable that these captives are misleading the Astartes for the interrogatory methods of the Librarians and Chaplains is rigorous, to say the least. The Dark Eldar are likewise resistant to interrogation, their weak xenos bodies failing before they are willing to release their secrets.

 

The Scythes have never captured one of the Traitor Marines.

 

The Chapter initially informed the local Ordo Malleus and Ordo Xenos of their findings and pressed them for any information they may have. To this day the Inquisition have professed their ignorance but the Scythes suspect that in this, as in all things, the Emperor's most secretive agents know more than they are prepared to share.

 

Whilst dealing with their failure to locate the source of the continuing attacks on the -------------System, The Scythes of Dorn hold true to their original remit from Terra to this day. At any one time, the two original strike cruisers of the Chapter, Soul Reaper and ------------, circumnavigate the Segmentum Pacificus in opposite directions, honouring the Chapter’s duty of guarding against the Imperium’s enemies. Since their founding the Chapter has acquired a further strike cruiser, Wrath of Ueli and, the pride of the fleet, a battle barge, the Katerina.

 

 

Organisation

 

The Scythes generally follow the word of Guilliman on company structure. Their emphasis on siege war and city fighting is reflected in some minor differences. The Scythes employ a disproportionate number of Vindicators which they revere above all other tanks. This results in a low amount of other tanks, such as Predators and Land Raiders. Aside from Vindicators, the Scythes covet Ironclad-class Dreadnoughts, who will usually lead assaults.

 

Landspeeders are a rarity as the Chapter sees little use for them in the campaigns they usually engage in. They do however maintain bike squads as initiates recruited from the southern continent of Ueli’s Harbour tend to show as natural an aptitude for two wheeled mounts as they do the four legged kind.

 

As a Chapter from a comparatively recent founding, the Scythes can only field a limited number of their First Company in terminator armour. The veterans who are selected to wear the armour are often used to deep strike, usually into the more heavily fortified defences whilst the enemy is distracted by the incoming wave of vindicator-backed infantry, or in situations where the Chapter wish to capture a location with a minimum of structural damage.

 

The Chapter or Company Standard is carried by the active squad with the most battle honours. This breeds inter-squad rivalry which is seen by the officers as good for morale. Company Captains do not have command squads and are expected to lead from the front, deploying wherever their presence is of the greatest benefit and joining squads when necessary.

 

There is one exception to this rule. Chapter Master Dyatnikev goes to war with an Honour Guard, five much lauded veterans who form the Scytheguard. There is a slightly dubious undertone to the honour of being elected as a member of the Scytheguard for rather than forming a bodyguard to the Chapter Master, their duty is to the sacred weapon itself and they are charged with its protection above and beyond the life of the Bearer. It is not unknown in their history for the Guard to abandon a Chapter Master to his wounds should the Scythe be at risk of capture by an enemy. To this end, one of the Scytheguard are equipped with a narthecium to remove the Master’s geneseed should the need occur.

 

 

Combat Doctrine

 

The Scythes of Dorn, whilst proficient in all aspects of war as found within the Codex, favour city fighting and siege warfare. The Chapter will often seek to force their enemies into such conditions, and once achieved will go about their task with a confidence that some would call arrogance. Once engaged, a Scythes battle force will look to maintain momentum and could be perceived as a blunt and artless weapon, and indeed such directness has at times led to accusations of unnecessary casualties. However, in the tradition of their noble Primarch, the Scythes are always aware of the need to consolidate their gains and if these cannot be made secure by elements of their own force, or those directly following up, they will halt until such time as their position is deemed defensible.

 

Whilst flamers are usually the favoured choice of city fighters, The Scythes prefer melta and plasma weaponry. As Captain Sokolov of the Tenth Company often espouses to eager initiates, “Better to bring a fortification down on the enemy’s head than hope to catch them all with flames.” Devastator squads are often brought in to support advances, and whilst no self respecting member of the Chapter would balk at going toe to toe with the enemy in building to building combat, the Scythes have no qualms about blasting their targets to bits in a hail of heavy weapons, especially if it speeds up their attacks. Where possible, the infantry will be supported by the Chapter’s many Vindicators, who clear a path through the destruction with their dozer blades.

 

Further support is offered by sniper-wielding scout units. The Chapter holds particularly gifted snipers in high esteem and they are occasionally invited to delay their progress to full Astartes status to continue on within the tenth company. There is great rivalry amongst these individuals regarding their number of kills, and amongst the rest of the Chapter who often bet on how many a sniper will add to their tally in the current theatre of war.

 

Unlike some other Chapters, the Scythes show no disdain at fighting alongside the ranks of the Imperial Guard. Over the centuries of war the Astartes have witnessed many impressive acts of heroism and fortitude from mere humans in the heat of battle, and their view is strengthened by the knowledge of Sevestaan’s own human victory. The Chapter is especially amenable to allying with Armoured Regiments, whose heavy tanks pander to their appetite for overly destructive weaponry.

 

 

Beliefs

 

Over the millennia, the Scythes have somewhat integrated their beliefs with the population of Ueli’s Harbour, viewing the Emperor as a supreme being with the power of destruction in his hands. They do not believe that he is a god however, subscribing to the general Astartes’ view that he is the greatest human warrior ever known. They honour the memory of Rogal Dorn above all other primarchs, reasoning that he was the Emperor’s most trusted Son. Whilst Horus was chosen to lead the Great Crusade on, the Scythes believe the Emperor foresaw all that was to come and took his most trusted Son back to Terra to be His shield against the heretics and to ensure Dorn’s geneseed would endure once the War was won. A popular theme to the Iconography found within the walls of Navgorod is the image of the lightning-hurling Emperor wading into his foes with Dorn at His side, protecting Him with a shield. Second only to this image is that of their original Chapter Master’s famous slaying of the Iron Warrior, Kar-Lorek. Scholarly visitors to the Fortress Monastery would note that more often than not these images portray the Iron Warrior and feral barbarian face to face at the point of victory, but we can forgive some artistic license considering the nevertheless awe-inspiring act they depict.

 

The Scythes of Dorn view Lightning as lucky and perceive storms on the eve of battle as an omen of great victory. Many wear lightning bolt shaped amulets whilst others have such symbols tattooed on their bodies. This practice is especially prevalent amongst the members of the Second Company, which is at best viewed as unlucky, at worst, cursed. Three times in the Chapter’s history the Second has been all but decimated. The marines of the Company generally view this with stoicism and would argue that this proves that they are ever to be found where the fighting is thickest.

 

Though they are true Sons of Dorn, and their formative years were spent alongside the Imperial Fists, the Scythes have not maintained all the practises of their parent Chapter. Whilst the Scythes agree with the usefulness of the sword, not every Marine sees it as their weapon of choice and close combat armaments are a question of personal choice. The use of a scythe is outlawed, however, for only a Chapter Master or one that has been elected to follow in his footsteps is initiated into the secret arts of the hallowed Scythe of Sevestaan. The Pain Glove has also been removed as a compulsory tool when it comes to the training of neophytes, although one can be found both in the Fortress Monastery and on all three of the Chapter’s current strike cruisers. A high percentage of the users of the Pain Glove are those who are tormented by the Chapter’s lack of success unravelling the mystery of the Traitor Marines and the Cabal.

 

The inability to uncover the reasons behind these attacks or the nature of the Traitor Marines is a source of shame for the Scythes. As such, this creates a burning desire within each Marine to atone for this by excelling in all other aspects of their lives. When a Scythe sets about a task they are determined to succeed, no matter the cost, as failure would bring more derision down on their Chapter. The quickest way to anger the Scythes is to mention the incursions, as doing so is to risk provoking them to alarming levels of rage.

 

The Chapter enjoys a tolerable relationship with the Adeptus Mechanicus, very much seeing it to their benefit to keep the followers of the Machine-God on side. In turn, the Adeptus is sometimes exasperated by the regular requests from the Scythes’ Techmarines for the provision of their favoured Vindicators and Dreadnoughts, but reason that shrewd bargaining will allow them to call in favours as and when the need arises.

 

 

GeneSeed

 

The Scythes of Dorn are proud to descend from the favoured son of the Emperor. For what Astartes would be weak enough to shut themselves away from pain? And what need does a son of Rogal Dorn have with the cheap tricks of the Betchers’s Gland, when through his veins thunders the blood of the noblest of Primarchs?

 

 

Battle cry

 

“URRAH!” Screamed when on the charge.

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C & C would me much appreciated on this first attempt at an IA.

 

Obviously it needs a lot of work and is disjointed at the moment. I just wanted to get some ideas down quickly then go back and polish em up when i have more time to lavish on it

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Sevestaan bore a mighty two handed power scythe in battle and the Chapter were named in honour of their founder’s chosen weapon.

Why would he carry this weapon? Hammers are typically synonymous with the Fists. I'm not saying don't go this route, but this strikes me as an unusual weapon. So how'd he get it?

 

The Scythes, although still low on numbers, were dispatched to break the stalemate and they quickly distinguished themselves, rallying the Guard regiments around them and hastily wiping the rebels and their allies from all but the two hive worlds, Pletko and Zovanric II.

This is unlikely. Now, you could have them deploy alongside another chapter in a supporting role...sort of earning their spurs. Then they get left to continue cleaning up what's left while the other chapter moves on. This, conveniently, sets you up to claim a homeworld like you do later.

 

I like the russian-theme you're going for. My only piece of advice is try not to over do it. The key is to keep the theme without it becoming transparent.

 

Over the centuries, the Scythes of Dorn have faced the Chaos cultists and their Dark Eldar allies many times.

I cannot conceive of a situation where Chaos cultists would cooperate with Dark Eldar, or vice versa. More than likely in fact the Dark Eldar would raid and enslave the cultists, and your chapter would find itself ensnared in two wars without realizing it.

 

Out of time...I'll try and read through some more later.

 

--- Yay for cancelled conference calls, and we're back ---

 

I'd try and cut down "The Alliance" section. It's almost too much detail, and the current way it's written sort of rambles. I think it is important to who your chapter is, but the way it is written tends to make your chapter sound clueless or less than heroic. Also, remeber they are 22nd Founding...there are millenia of history they took part in and shaped. Don't get too focused on just a few years.

 

Company Captains do not go have command squads and are expected to lead from the front

Omit the "go." Also...if they don't have command squads, where do the Apothecaries hang out during a battle? Who handles the chapter banner? Things to think about.

 

The veterans who have received the armour are often used to deep strike, often into the more heavily fortified defences of the enemy, or in situations where the Chapter want to capture a location with a minimum of structural damage.

It is common practice for all members of the First Company to train in the use of TDA. Whether they deploy in it or not is totally different.

 

It is not unknown in their history for the Guard to abandon a Chapter Master to his wounds should the Scythe be at risk of capture by an enemy

Great googly moogly!! This is a bit extreme, lol. The armor of Antilochus is sacred to the Ultramarines, but I don't think they'd ditch Roboute or Marneus to save it. They may launch an all out assault afterwords to get it back, but they'd never sacrifice the geneseed of their greatest warrior to save a piece of metal.

 

Entirely too much focus on the 4th Company IMO. This is a whole chapter full of heroes, why narrow the scope? Also, you've neglected some of the other sections that are needed in an IA. I'd recommend the Guide for DIYing at the top of the Liber for a more detailed explanation of what needs to go into it.

 

Hope it helps. Looking forwar to seeing more.

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If I could give you some preliminary advice about the formatting, it would be to change either the header colour or font because it's hard to read. Additionally, cleaning up the blocks text into paragraphs with proper line breaks would make it easier to read. This tip will improve the amount of feedback you receive. People tend to not bother reading things that are hard to process, especially on the net where you can just hit back and find something more legible.

 

I think your syntax could do with some streamlining too. I think I saw Eldar spelled 'elder', lower case, so that needs changing.

 

As for the rest -

 

I like that your Chapter is a relatively new one. But it seems like their role as a Space Marine Chapter is really limited in scope as you describe it right now. Defense of the planet against cultists and Covens of Dark Eldar is the main impression I get. I'm sure they get up to a lot more. And if they don't, they should!

 

I'm not sure why you choose to focus on the 4th Company in particular in your IA. If this was an article on the Scythes of Dorn 4th Company, then fine, but as it stands it goes into a level of detail that does nothing to add to the strength of the piece.

 

I'm assuming you play the 4th Company and wanted to flesh out their background, which makes sense, but it isn't needed in your IA. Keep it nice and safe for another project.

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The idea of the Scytheguard is one of the coolest on the Liber. The name alone sounds epic.

Although I think you might need better justification for the "Scythe over Chapter Master" e.g. The First Company Captain of the Imperial Fists during the Horus Heresy bore the Scythe or the Scythe was used in combat against the greater daemon XXX or Rogal Dorn was rumored to have blessed it or all of the above.

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Quick edit to hopefully make everything a little clearer to read - cheers StratoKhan. Appreciate you guys' comments. Stuck at work at the mo so will address them when i am home and have some time to contemplate upon your comments.
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Time to address some of the points you good people have raised.

 

I will hold my hands up straight away and acknowledge the over-emphasis on the “ Alliance ”. This stems from an impatience to get some information posted. Although integral to the background of the Scythes of Dorn, it is exactly that – background. These events are ongoing since before the Chapter was even formed and there can be long decades between sightings/attacks. The information I have posted so far certainly makes it sound like its one long war against these guys to the exclusion of all else but this is not the case. I wanted to introduce the idea that the Scythes, whilst not being self-masochist chest-beaters, carry around the knowledge that there is one thing they have been unable to triumph over so far. Because of this they are more zealous in achieving their other goals. Hopefully as I flesh out the IA, this will become more apparent. I’ll have a stab at trimming down the Alliance section too.

 

I’ll try not to overdo it with the Russian/Slavic theme tho I can see this being a tricky tightrope as I am keen that the whole System ties this in, at least in respect to people and place names. You’ll doubtless be relieved to hear that Vodka swilling Marines were discounted early on!

 

I've dropped the section on the 4th Company for now. I'd meant to just write a brief introduction to them but it grew into a monster. Reckon it may make a reappearance in a much more streamlined form at a later date.

 

 

Quote

The Scythes, although still low on numbers, were dispatched to break the stalemate and they quickly distinguished themselves, rallying the Guard regiments around them and hastily wiping the rebels and their allies from all but the two hive worlds, Pletko and Zovanric II.

 

This is unlikely. Now, you could have them deploy alongside another chapter in a supporting role...sort of earning their spurs. Then they get left to continue cleaning up what's left while the other chapter moves on. This, conveniently, sets you up to claim a homeworld like you do later.

 

I can see your point with this one. I’ve only returned to Warhammer 40k recently and my knowledge of Marines in particular is pretty poor so I wasn’t sure how quickly a Chapter rose to be an established force in its own right. I’m quite keen for them to duke this one out for themselves so would it be acceptable to say they assisted another Chapter in other campaigns for a decade or so before being given this as their first stand alone mission? I will give them a supporting role if such a thing is unreasonable

 

 

QUOTE

It is not unknown in their history for the Guard to abandon a Chapter Master to his wounds should the Scythe be at risk of capture by an enemy

 

Great googly moogly!! This is a bit extreme, lol. The armor of Antilochus is sacred to the Ultramarines, but I don't think they'd ditch Roboute or Marneus to save it. They may launch an all out assault afterwords to get it back, but they'd never sacrifice the geneseed of their greatest warrior to save a piece of metal.

 

Who said anything about leaving the geneseed behind…………….?

 

In all seriousness, the Scythe is symbolic of the Chapter, to lose it would be to lose their identity. This is a Chapter that already feels its honour is tarnished by its inability to eradicate the Cultist and Dark Eldar activities. I can’t help but imagine that a Chapter Master honoured with the most sacred of the Chapters relics would, without a doubt, give his last breathe to ensure that it didn’t fall into enemy hands.

I don’t think that the Chapter would trust to the chances of recovering it afterward with an all out assault – tho its more likely they’d launch one to recover the body or armour of the Chapter Master afterwards.

I will introduce an apothecary as a member of the Scytheguard or possibly just another double hard member of the Squad armed with a narthecium to remove the geneseed from the willing Master should the need occur. Morbid and grisly perhaps, but I’ve grown quite attached to the idea. Feel free to shoot it down in flames if it still sounds a step too far.

 

 

QUOTE

Over the centuries, the Scythes of Dorn have faced the Chaos cultists and their Dark Eldar allies many times.

 

I cannot conceive of a situation where Chaos cultists would cooperate with Dark Eldar, or vice versa. More than likely in fact the Dark Eldar would raid and enslave the cultists, and your chapter would find itself ensnared in two wars without realizing it.

 

Gonna take your advice on this one and split up the Alliance . The general idea is that the Scythes have slowly come to the realisation that the Cultists and Eldar are searching for something so its perhaps even more pleasing to go with Chaplain Renatus’ recommendation of two separate factions who are both vying to find the (as yet I have no clue what) prize. As a small concession to my first draft I may leave in a couple of times the two sides have banded together but obviously these brief alliances do not last long and only served to muddy the waters for the Scythes in the past.

 

 

QUOTE

Company Captains do not go have command squads and are expected to lead from the front

 

Omit the "go." Also...if they don't have command squads, where do the Apothecaries hang out during a battle? Who handles the chapter banner? Things to think about.

 

I’ll admit I’m a bit stuck on this one. I really believe that command squads belong in the Imperial Guard and were only introduced in Marine armies by GW as a money spinner. I fondly remember the old days where Captains, Librarians etc were individual characters and I’m keen to carry this over in my Chapter – not for games purposes, just as a style preference. After all, a Space Marine Captain doesn’t need a vox caster or meat shield that an Imperial Guard Commander enjoys as part of a squad. Captains have a built in vox so they can discuss tactics at any time. Will work on this section a bit and hopefully come up with something acceptable. Perhaps the Chapter Banner is held by the active squad who have gained the most honours, creating some inter-squad rivalry? Apothecaries would naturally move in support of the tactical squads – if they aren’t hanging around the Chapter Master with their narthecium raised toward his neck and an expectant look on their face, of course :lol:

 

 

QUOTE

Sevestaan bore a mighty two handed power scythe in battle and the Chapter were named in honour of their founder’s chosen weapon.

 

Why would he carry this weapon? Hammers are typically synonymous with the Fists. I'm not saying don't go this route, but this strikes me as an unusual weapon. So how'd he get it?

 

Was hoping I’d get away with this one but I’ve had a think and come up with a brief concept – let me know what you guys think

 

-Sevestaan was born on a feral world on the outskirts of the Ghoul Stars

 

-The population revolves around a Cult of death, believing in an ancient Soul Reaper (grim reaper)

 

-Priests hold all the power on the planet and use violence to control their flock when necessary

 

-Sevestaan grows up and becomes a bodyguard to one of these priests. The symbol of the Soul Reaper is the Scythe and all warriors attached to the Priests carry scythes as weapons and badges of office

 

-A band of Iron Warriors land on the planet whilst fleeing a chasing Imperial Fist cruiser. Their Champion locates the nearest priest, who has Sevestaan as one of his bodyguards, in the hope of gaining aid against the Fists

 

-The meeting takes place upon a ziggarut and before the local tribes who are gathered to witness the event. By this time Imperial Fist Scouts have made landfall and observe the meeting.

 

-The Champion proposed the people join with them. The priest, ever jealous of having his power usurped, flatly refused and the enraged Iron Warrior strikes him down.

 

-The bodyguard rush to avenge him as the chaos marines turn on the populace. The bodyguard are all killed by the Champion until only Sevestaan remains. The Champion stabs him once in the gut, then lops off his right arm at the elbow. Unexpectedly, the young man manages to swing his scythe with his left hand and buries it thru the champion’s eye

 

-The Fists teleport in, homing in on their scouts and deal with the remaining Iron Warriors.

 

-Told the tale by the scouts, the Captain of the Second Company orders the grievously wounded boy to be taken back to their ship. The Captain also takes the severed arm and scythe.

 

-Recovers, becomes a marine

 

-On day he is made a sergeant of Assault Squad, he is gifted a PowerScythe to commemorate his killing of an arch enemy of the Imperial Fists. The original scythe has been melted down and used in the forging of the new blade, whilst the severed forearm and fist forms the haft(?) of the weapon, where the handle meets the blade. Obviously the bone has been treated strength-wise.

 

Hopefully this is acceptable and also lends some weight to the lengths the Chapter will go to protect the weapon.

 

 

 

Thanks in advance for any comments or recommedations you have. This is my first attempt at an IA and I'm loving the organicness of it all. If i've failed to address your comments rest assured that they are now in the back of my head and are being weighted up as this Chapter grows!

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Imperal Fist scouts arrived in time to witness the young Sevestaan lose an arm and take a severe gut wound, yet manage to kill the Iron Warrior champion with his scythe

 

Nigh on impossible. First, the odds that a millenia old Iron Warrior would be taken by a young boy, in single combat, is unlikely. Second, the odds he'd survive a severed arm and a gut wound from an Iron Warrior are pretty astronomical. I'd have him lead a group of youth in the assault, you gain credibility in the killing of an Iron Warrior, and you establish him as a leader.

 

Codex chapter with an emphasis on siege and urban warfare. The Scythes covet Vindicators above all over tanks and so have a large number of them and relatively little numbers of other tanks. Ironclad Dreadnoughts are also a Chapter favourite.

Why? What made them adopt these tactics? How'd they get so many Vindicators and Ironclad Dreadnoughts? What is the result of their not having as many types and quantity of other tanks and dreadnoughts?

 

The Chapter have built themselves a reputation as accomplished urban fighters and their expertise are often called upon throughout the Segmentum. The Scythes are proud of their abilities, verging on arrogant. They feel that they are above other forms of combat and will enter into them somewhat begrudgingly, feeling their talents are being wasted.

Why? Standard chapters are perfectly accomplished in urban combat. Also, what are the consequences of them training so much in urban warfare versus other forms? Has anything happened as a result?

 

The Chapter initially informed the local Ordo Malleus and Ordo Xenos of their finding and pressed them for any information they may have. To this day the Inquisition has professed their ignorance but the Scythes suspect that in this, as in all things, the Emperor's most secretive agents know more than they are prepared to share.

Oooo. Me likey. This has all sorts of good possibilities. A chapter engaged in a system wide brawl with traitors and xenos, and hampered by "allies" with a different agenda. Good stuff.

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You've got some good initial thoughts. You need to start knocking these into the shape of an IA. The color scheme is ok...but it seems to lack a little "oomph." I like the bone/gold color you've got, there's just to much of it. I'd also look for something other than black for a contrast color. That's all opinion, but I hope it helps.

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Good work! Homeworld bit is particulary cool.

 

Homeworld is Ueli’s Harbour. A sub-arctic feudal world populated by city states that are constantly fighting each other with flintlock rifles and cannon for territory. The southernmost, more, temperate, continent belongs to superstitious tribal horsemen who are quick to butcher all outsiders. The Scythes raised their Fortress-Monastery, Navgorod, in the impassible mountains in the north. The Chapter keeps their distance from the population aside from when they are recruiting

 

That first bit shoud be, The Scythes of Dorn's homeworld is Ueli's Harbour. As far as I know.

 

The paint scheme seems a bit odd too. Maybe you could make the feet and calves black to cut down on the bone colour.

 

Grab some proper headers and then we'll be cookin'!

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Captain Giacomo Sevestaan of the Imperial Fists 5th Company was elected to become Chapter Master and train them. Sevestaan was recruited by the Fists on a jungle feral world where they had pursued a band a band of Iron Warriors. The world was run by priests of a death cult who believed in a scythe wielding Soul Reaper. Young Sevestaan was a bodyguard to one of these priests. When the Iron Warriors tried to coerce the death priests into helping them destroy the Fists, the priests refused and a fight started. Imperal Fist scouts arrived in time to witness the young Sevestaan lose an arm and take a severe gut wound, yet manage to kill the Iron Warrior champion with his scythe. The rest of the Fists arrived and wiped out the Iron Warriors. The grieveously wounded Severaan was taken back to their battle barge and recruited. In honour of his killing a hated enemy of the Chapter he was presented with a power scythe when he was promoted to sergeant of an assault squad. The haft of the Scythe, where the shaft meets the blade, is formed of his chemically strengthened severed forearm and fist. This weapon had been wielded by the Chapter Masters ever since and is the Chapter symbol.

 

It's a cool summary of your Founding Chapter Master. However, is it adding any value to your IA? I find it a bit distracting as you spend so much time on Sevestaan but never mention him later in the article. Try something in the lines of "the Scythes of Dorn are named after the preferred weapon of Founding Chapter Master Giacomo Sevestaan, who was presented it when promoted sergent of the Imperial Fist <insert squad number> squad of the 5th Company".

 

The Scythes first major campaign was to put down a rebellion in the -----?------ system. [...] After their success the Librarians of the Chapter realize that the System has come under repeated attacks from Chaos and Dark Eldar in its recorded history and decide to make the System their home so they can monitor the situation.

 

How did the Chapter recruit its members before this campaign? One can assuem they were already operating at a significant degree of forces at that tiem, where did those battle brothers come from? I am not sure a chapter can grant itself a home world, I was under the impression this benefit was granted by the High Lords of Terra. After all, this planet is already in the Imperium, and thus subject to tithes.

 

The Chaos cultists and Dark Eldar attacks have continued over the centuries.

 

This kind of contradicts the system being the home of the Scythes of Dorn, doesn't it? One would assume the marines would first and foremost clean their backyard before declaring it their home.

 

The Chapter initially informed the local Ordo Malleus and Ordo Xenos of their finding and pressed them for any information they may have. To this day the Inquisition has professed their ignorance but the Scythes suspect that in this, as in all things, the Emperor's most secretive agents know more than they are prepared to share.

 

What additional steps took the Chapter Master after informing the Ordos? I would have assumed the SCythes would have called their parent chapter for assistance in this matter first, especially considering they are a new one.

 

As a comparatively young Chapter they do not have many Terminator suits.

 

Now that's cool! A great way to differentiate your chapter and your army on the tabletop!

 

Lots of good ideas in here, now you need to tie things together and improve your formatting, your IA is difficult to read as is.

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I found it very interesting, though the helmet color scheme bothers me a bit.

Anyway, the Scytheguard seems like a very unique concept. You might have to elaborate on that. I'd like to hear about more of their famous battles, though.

 

Good luck with the continuation of your IA.

 

The Normish

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Thanks, Marshal Renatus

 

Imperal Fist scouts arrived in time to witness the young Sevestaan lose an arm and take a severe gut wound, yet manage to kill the Iron Warrior champion with his scythe

 

Nigh on impossible. First, the odds that a millenia old Iron Warrior would be taken by a young boy, in single combat, is unlikely.

 

I hear what you're saying, I've just tried to give a brief account there. I'll get rid of the gut wound but I like to think that its just possible for the injured young warrior to get in a lucky blow to an arrogant opponents helmetless head, especially when the Iron Warrior is distracted by dropships suddenly falling out of the sky.

 

Codex chapter with an emphasis on siege and urban warfare. The Scythes covet Vindicators above all over tanks and so have a large number of them and relatively little numbers of other tanks. Ironclad Dreadnoughts are also a Chapter favourite.

 

Why? What made them adopt these tactics? How'd they get so many Vindicators and Ironclad Dreadnoughts? What is the result of their not having as many types and quantity of other tanks and dreadnoughts?

 

I'm still thinking of what effects their preference for Vindicators and urban warfare have. Is it not possible that the Chapter's techmarines concentrate on building Vindicators? I thought that the Chapter has the ability to build tanks within their own forges? I'd guess the building of dreadnoughts may be beyond them but couldn't they appeal to the AdeptMech for Ironclads over other goodies. Could be suggested that this partly explains the Scythes low numbers of TDA???

Am also still feeling my way around he preference for urban fighting and its effects. Obviously they dont refuse to engage in other forms of war but their attitude may be drawing unwanted attention from Terra. Any suggestions are very welcome.

 

 

The Chapter initially informed the local Ordo Malleus and Ordo Xenos of their finding and pressed them for any information they may have. To this day the Inquisition has professed their ignorance but the Scythes suspect that in this, as in all things, the Emperor's most secretive agents know more than they are prepared to share.

Oooo. Me likey. This has all sorts of good possibilities. A chapter engaged in a system wide brawl with traitors and xenos, and hampered by "allies" with a different agenda. Good stuff.

 

Cheers. To be honest I'm not sure i want to go into this factor in too much detail. Just the suggestion adds a certain something to the Chapter that I'm liking. Would you take it further? I already have an Inquisitor character in my head whose started sniffing around but I'm not sure i want to go stomping around on this delicate plotline.

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Hasdrubal.....

 

Captain Giacomo Sevestaan of the Imperial Fists 5th Company was elected to become Chapter Master and train them.

 

It's a cool summary of your Founding Chapter Master. However, is it adding any value to your IA? I find it a bit distracting as you spend so much time on Sevestaan but never mention him later in the article. Try something in the lines of "the Scythes of Dorn are named after the preferred weapon of Founding Chapter Master Giacomo Sevestaan, who was presented it when promoted sergent of the Imperial Fist <insert squad number> squad of the 5th Company".

 

Yeah, i get how this appears in greater length than the other points raised. This is because a previous comment raised the query of how an Imperial Fist, so synonymous with Thunder Hammers, ended up with a scythe. Was hard to cut down into a couple of lines.

 

The Scythes first major campaign was to put down a rebellion in the -----?------ system.

 

How did the Chapter recruit its members before this campaign? One can assuem they were already operating at a significant degree of forces at that tiem, where did those battle brothers come from? I am not sure a chapter can grant itself a home world, I was under the impression this benefit was granted by the High Lords of Terra. After all, this planet is already in the Imperium, and thus subject to tithes.

 

As i want this to be a standalone campaign purely for the Scythes I will have them fleetbased and shadowing the Fists for a number of decades first. As they were originally founded to deal with increased chaos activity in that Segmentum I think its fair that once they are up to almost full strength Terra would grant them permission to select a Home World, especially a feudal one that isnt of any particular importance to the Administratum

 

The Chaos cultists and Dark Eldar attacks have continued over the centuries.

 

This kind of contradicts the system being the home of the Scythes of Dorn, doesn't it? One would assume the marines would first and foremost clean their backyard before declaring it their home.

 

This is one of the main issues with the Scythes. Their first solo mission was to clear the System of the chaos uprising. They thought they had accomplished their mission swiftly but they must now live with the fact that their very first mission is still incomplete. They have made it their home for exactly the reason that the chaos and dark eldar appearances continue to occur. It is a source of shame to the Scythes that millenia later they have not got to the root of the problem. Pride will not allow them to ask the Fists for aid, besides, they are fully able to repulse the attacks themselves. The Chapter will not push the Inquisition as they believe the Ordos to have their own agenda.

 

Thanks for your encouragement, am working on a fuller IA

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One thing I wanted to ask was, why a scythe?

 

A scythe is a fairly awful weapon for actual toe-to-toe combat. It neither has the reach nor versatility of a proper polearm (like a Halberd), the shape of the blade making it extremely limited in it's application.

 

The scythe is more of a psychological tool rather than an actual weapon for a real melee, it's far too unwieldy. Yes the agents of Nurgle use it but that is again because of the associations the weapon carries with it rather than it's actual usefulness. Also, a neigh unkillable plague-marine officer is far more likely to be able to withstand the punishment you are sure to recieve when using the weapon against a competant opponent.

 

Also, do you really want to draw the same associations with Nurgle by actually using the weapon itself?

 

The Scythes of the Emperor (official chapter) don't use Scythes as an actual weapon, they use the word for the weapon in a different fashion, implying that each individual marine is to the Emperors enemies as a scythe is to the grain it is used on. You are also going to be drawing immediate name-comparissons to the Scythes as well.

 

I'm just a mite curious is all.

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Imperal Fist scouts arrived in time to witness the young Sevestaan lose an arm, yet manage to kill the Iron Warrior champion with his scythe when the marine was distracted by the sudden appearance of Imperial Fist dropships in the sky.

 

First off, let me point out that a scythe isn't a great choice of weapon. However, Poland found a way to make it work.

 

Second, have you read Brothers of the Snake? If yes, then you'll know what I'm talking about when I say that this kinda reminds me of that scene where they're fighting the Children of Khorne. Farming tools are oddly effective against Astartes ;) .

 

 

The grievously wounded Severaan was taken back to their battle barge and recruited.

 

Typo fixed.

 

He had his arm taken off. I'd think shock and blood loss would have killed him pretty quickly. Granted, that might have been part of why they recruited him apart from taking down a Iron Warrior.

 

 

The haft of the Scythe, where the shaft meets the blade, is formed of his chemically strengthened severed forearm and fist.

 

They made his arm into part of a weapon? That's....different.

 

 

The Scythes first major campaign was to put down a rebellion in the -----?------ system. The planetary governors of Pletko and Zovanric II revealed their alliance to the ruinous powers. The Scythes, quickly distinguished themselves, rallying the Guard regiments around them and hastily wiping out the rebels and their Chaos allies, although they almost lost the 2nd Company when some Dark Eldar joined the fray.

 

Another typo fixed. Yes, I am indeed a grammar Nazi.

 

I think the "Zovanric" system would work here, given we've got 2 planets in the system by that name.

 

 

After their success the Librarians of the Chapter realize that the System has come under repeated attacks from Chaos and Dark Eldar in its recorded history and decide to make the System their home so they can monitor the situation.

 

Why didn't the Munitorum notice that the system kept coming under attack?

 

Homeworld is Ueli’s Harbour. A sub-arctic feudal world populated by city states that are constantly fighting each other with flintlock rifles and cannon for territory. The southernmost, more, temperate, continent belongs to superstitious tribal horsemen who are quick to butcher all outsiders. The Scythes raised their Fortress-Monastery, Navgorod, in the impassible mountains in the north. The Chapter keeps their distance from the population aside from when they are recruiting

 

This is almost exactly like my idea for my Chapter's home world. Feudal world populated by city states at constant war....other half is more like a feral world....Monastery in impassible mountains....Yep, very much like my idea. Great minds think alike :P ?

 

 

Codex chapter with an emphasis on siege and urban warfare. The Scythes covet Vindicators above all over tanks and so have a large number of them and relatively little numbers of other tanks. Ironclad Dreadnoughts are also a Chapter favourite.

 

A Fists successor that prefers the same tactics and weapons as their hated enemies? The irony is so great it's almost pleasurable.

 

Whist flamers are usually preferred by city fighters, the Scythes prefer meltaguns. Better to bring a fortification down on the enemy’s head than hope to catch them all with flames.

 

Wouldn't a missile launcher or well placed krak grenade do the same thing just as well?

 

To this end one of the Scytheguard is equipped with a narthecium

 

Typo fixed

 

The Chapter of Company Standard

 

Not sure what you were going for here. I think it should be "The Chapter or Company Standard".

 

IRON GAUNTLET CHALLENGE: 8/20

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  • 1 month later...
Ok, we're back in business. Moved house and been offline for a while but second draft of the Scythes is ready to go. Tried to address all issues raised so far but some I've stubbornly stuck to. Let me now what you think.
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Nice chapter. Some niggling points however.

 

 

 

Further support is offered by sniper-wielding scout units. The Chapter holds particularly gifted snipers in high esteem and they are occasionally invited to delay their progress to full Astartes status to continue on within the tenth company. There is great rivalry amongst these individuals regarding their number of kills, and amongst the rest of the Chapter who often bet on how many a sniper will add to their tally in the current theatre of war.

 

Delaying the process to full Astartes? Wouldn't it be better to say that they could choose to remain with the tenth company? A Space Marine is not welded into his armor.

 

 

The Chapter enjoys a tolerable relationship with the Adeptus Mechanicus, very much seeing it to their benefit to keep the followers of the Machine-God on side. In turn, the Adeptus is sometimes exasperated by the regular requests from the Scythes’ Techmarines for the provision of their favoured Vindicators and Dreadnoughts, but reason that shrewd bargaining will allow them to call in favours as and when the need arises.

 

This doesn't add much to the Chapter. I would suggest cutting it and focusing on the interesting aspect of the Chapter: the failure to protect their own system.

 

Keep at it, I would like to see more stories from their attempts at securing their own system.

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Further support is offered by sniper-wielding scout units. The Chapter holds particularly gifted snipers in high esteem and they are occasionally invited to delay their progress to full Astartes status to continue on within the tenth company. There is great rivalry amongst these individuals regarding their number of kills, and amongst the rest of the Chapter who often bet on how many a sniper will add to their tally in the current theatre of war.

 

Delaying the process to full Astartes? Wouldn't it be better to say that they could choose to remain with the tenth company? A Space Marine is not welded into his armor.

 

Cheers for the comment. I thought a once a scout received the black carapace he had no choice and would be automatically drafted into another Company? I can't imagine a Marine deigning to forgoe his power armour to return to a scout squad, unless he was the 10th Company Captain. I was definately keen on these guys still being light armoured infiltrators, although if people agree that its acceptable for full Astartes to fulfil these roles I'm happy to change this. Any further opinions on this would be helpful.

 

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm hoping the Scythes don't come across as losers.

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Any C & C? I'm fairly happy with it as it stands, aside from a couple of names I have to fill in. Also working on a sidebar which briefly relates some key battles and occurances but either than that has anyone got any suggestions on what needs adding/working on?
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Guest Mordray

Regarding scouts and the black carapace...

 

Every one of the scout sergeants and the command staff are full battle brothers with the Black Carapace and they wear same carapace armor of their trainees. The Space Wolf Scouts are a perfect example of scouts composed of 'fully developed' Astartes.

 

 

In the case of Dark Eldar, they could well be serving as mercs. Just because they love to raid doesn't mean they don't enjoy effortless slaves. Besides they'd likely been planning on betraying the Rebels from the beginning but then so would the rebels likely also be planning on turning agianst the xeno's...

 

White-ogryn packs? huh? Ogryn develop on high gravity death worlds where they developed physically to survive without technology enabling them to physically kill prey/predators while their enhanced digestive systems allow them to survive on foods that would kill normal humans.

 

A system is a collection of planet(oid)s that orbit a star. If your marines never leave their system then they ain't doing their job very well...

 

My Void Reaver's watch over a block of nine subsectors (possibly more but I haven't done that much research into the Imperial methods of dividing up sectors). Each subsector could have any number of stars and thus systems within it... Still though they do occasionally send out long distant aid to others well outside their normal stomping grounds.

 

The fleet strength seems rather weak to me... 3 strike cruisers and 1 battle barge... sure they have rapid strike craft but that would require a lot and you'd still have a rather limited capacity to provide direct support for your marines on the ground... perhaps it's just me but marine fleets in general seem weak especially for what they are expected to do...

 

I know the Imperial Fists are known for their duels however those duels are not the high energy swordsmanship many seem to think they are... know the feast of blades could be, but the honor duels are not... both fighters have their feet locked in place and first to draw blood on the face wins... that the Imperial Fists are believed to be skilled swordsmen is I believe the product of IF fanboys and miss information. I have seen no GW/BL product that says otherwise...

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Regarding scouts and the black carapace...

 

Every one of the scout sergeants and the command staff are full battle brothers with the Black Carapace and they wear same carapace armor of their trainees. The Space Wolf Scouts are a perfect example of scouts composed of 'fully developed' Astartes.

 

You can blame my ignorance of this on my hatred of Space Wolves. Thats pretty much settled that then, i will change the details in my next rewrite to say that these snipers are full on marines who have elected to remain in the 10th Company. They'll be excellent examples for the other scouts to aspire to.

 

In the case of Dark Eldar, they could well be serving as mercs. Just because they love to raid doesn't mean they don't enjoy effortless slaves. Besides they'd likely been planning on betraying the Rebels from the beginning but then so would the rebels likely also be planning on turning agianst the xeno's...

 

This may well be the case. I am very keen for there to be at least a few occasions where the two enemies combine. I'm glad that people are offering their own opinion on the matter. To be honest I feel no pressing need to reveal the truth within the IA. Since the Scythes dont have the full story then theres no reason to provide a neat solution. I'm sure i could come up with some old "doomsday device" or cliched answer for why they continue to appear in the system but I think the IA is improved by leaving it open ended. In saying that, its still very useful to get feedback on the subject as i may decide to change this further down the line.

 

White-ogryn packs? huh? Ogryn develop on high gravity death worlds where they developed physically to survive without technology enabling them to physically kill prey/predators while their enhanced digestive systems allow them to survive on foods that would kill normal humans.

 

 

Hey, what can i say? I was aiming for some kind of rare yeti type creatures that lived in the sub arctic climate of Ueli's Harbour. Imagine that some lazy administrator (not me!) could record a big white haired biped as a snow ogryn or some such when cataloguing the flora and fauna. If its really offensive, i'll cut it out

 

A system is a collection of planet(oid)s that orbit a star. If your marines never leave their system then they ain't doing their job very well...

 

The system is where the Scythes have their homeworld and where the main attacks from the dark elder and chaos forces occur. There is more of a tight focus on this small area because the events that take place there shape much of the Chapter’s psyche. The Chapter’s duty to the protection of the Segmentum Pacificus means that they do patrol a wide area whereas like most other planet based Chapters they respond to dangers in the more immediate sub-sectors. Thanks a lot for the info tho. I should probably go back and add more detail re my “catchment” area. Likewise I may buff my fleet up a bit, but I am conscious of not making the Scythes too powerful and more than one battlebarge seems to be slightly ostentatious for a Chapter with a homeworld. I may be wrong and invite any advice on the matter.

 

 

 

I know the Imperial Fists are known for their duels however those duels are not the high energy swordsmanship many seem to think they are... know the feast of blades could be, but the honor duels are not... both fighters have their feet locked in place and first to draw blood on the face wins... that the Imperial Fists are believed to be skilled swordsmen is I believe the product of IF fanboys and miss information. I have seen no GW/BL product that says otherwise...

 

Whilst I was preparing my second draft of the Scythes, BL released that “Sons of Dorn” book. It was pretty poor on the whole although there was a huge emphasis on the carrying and using of swords within the IFs. I felt compelled to address the fact in my IA, tho my main aim was to distance my own chapter from the supposed fanaticism of the sword as I obviously have a different weapon at the centre of the Chapter.

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my IA, Mordray, and even more so for the helpful comments.

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Ogryn develop on high gravity death worlds where they developed physically to survive without technology enabling them to physically kill prey/predators while their enhanced digestive systems allow them to survive on foods that would kill normal humans.

 

Actually Ogryns are simply abhumans that have developed through natural genetic mutation but are still close enough - and useful enough - to humans that they are no purged.

 

Ogryns exist on certain worlds, none of which have been referred to as Deathworlds of the ilk of Catachan.

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