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Here is the Crimson Spectres, my Raven Guard successor Chapter. If anyone here goes to /tg/, you might find them familiar. They are the same Chapter created in one of their game threads, Chapter Master Quest. Since I was instrumental in its creation in that thread, I don't feel like I'm "stealing" it. Just sort of claiming it, though I have absolutely no problem of anyone else who was a part of that making their own variation, of claiming it for themselves. Or aiding me in further developing this one. To everyone else, yes, yes. I know. Yet another Chapter with black and red.

The Crimson Spectres are among the youngest of Chapters, founded in the most recent Founding mere centuries past. Their veteran officers that formed their training cadre and remain with them still have kept them close to their Raven Guard roots. They operate unseen and with few numbers. Much of their identity they keep hidden, with even the true location of their homeworld and recruitment center kept secret. Despite their young nature and low numbers, the Crimson Spectres have created a well-deserved reputation for efficiency and effectiveness in their region of space. Decades after their original formation, they participated in a crusade against worlds heavily occupied by the primitive cousins of the hated Eldar. Many times regiments of the Imperial Guard would approach a known enemy position to find it destroyed, bodies of xenos scattered and signs of battle scarring every surface, but with no sign of its destroyers. Rarely did the Imperial Guard witness the Crimson Spectres in combat and even then the combat was too swift and disorienting to be properly followed. With the Crimson Spectres striking hard and fast for the heaviest points of resistance, the Crusade accomplished its tasks with great alacrity. Nearly half a dozen of claimed Maiden Worlds have since been colonized by the Imperium. One of these, called Pyrax, was given to the Mechanicum due to its high mineral content. The young Forge-World is tasked with the care and upkeep of the young Chapter's technological needs. Following this victory, the Crimson Spectres waged all-out war with an immense Ork incursion. With the surprise assaults the Chapter had become known for, the Ork leader was slain, his grotesque and bloated giant machine flattening the Ork army with its detonation. The Orks have since fallen into a series of internecine wars that the Chapter silently watches over, acting only when necessary to perpetuate their self-destruction.

However, their reputation received a blow in recent years. Accompanied by the Honoured Brethren Chapter, a Chapter the Crimson Spectres can find no information on, the Crimson Spectres have been engaged with putting down a series of uprisings that have thus far thwarted the mortal forces stationed there. Initially, when acting alone the Chapter was proving exceptionally successful. The Crimson Spectres had nearly eradicated all of the secessionist cells when the Honoured Brethren despatched a taskforce to aid in the cracking of a particularly difficult world. Despite the additional forces and support of a brother Chapter, the rebellious world repeled the invaders. In rapid succession, cells thought entirely destroyed revived themselves and renewed their efforts with greater alacrity than before. Though the war to put down the foolish thoughts of secession had nearly been won and the rebellious forces were unable to stand against the efforts of the Crimson Spectres, suddenly the forces of two Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes was too small to stem the tide. With signs of Chaos worship growing across the embattled worlds, the Crimson Spectres immediately petitioned for a Crusade, knowing that the rebellious forces had acquired for themselves some unholy patron. Immediate and total destruction was required, to prevent the corruption from spreading. They received resistance from an unexpected quarter however, as the Honoured Brethren spoke against the claims of the Crimson Spectres. They felt that their pride and honor was at stake and to request additional aid was both unnecessary and cowardly. With the older Chapter having greater weight and authority, no Crusade was forthcoming. By the close of the 41st Millennium, the two Chapters are locked in combat still among the revolting worlds. Though still allied together in name, many times the two Chapters have nearly come to blows and the Crimson Spectres have begun to question their true intent. However, they fear bringing their suspicions to the Inquisition, knowing that the pervasive Inquisitors would find their own secrecy far more diverting. Any attempts to take matters into their own hands would be equally foolhardy. Both Chapters are present with their full numbers, making the Crimson Spectres outnumbered two to one.

Deep in Sub-Sector Archein, what the Imperium believes is uninhabited space, the Crimson Spectres discovered a unique world. It did not appear on their onboard sensors, but it could be sensed by those of psychic capabilities once nearby. Its entire surface was enveloped with cloud cover so dark as to be seen from space as nothing more than an empty hole on the field of stars. Close inspection found that the cloud cover were made up of rare metallic dusts, explaining why the world never showed on long-range sensors. Knowing there was human life deep in the blackness that the psykers could sense, the Crimson Spectres sent forces down upon the world. They found an Imperial hiveworld that the Imperium had forgotten. Due to its unique nature and clerical errors, the world of R'hanada had been erased from Imperial records only a century past. With the behemoth and labyrinthine Imperial bureaucracy being true to its nature, the error was lost in the immense, ever-changing flood of information the Administratum eternally processes.

The Crimson Spectres, up to then fleet-based, were intrigued by R'hanada. Its human population had been hardened by its isolation. Though it had been severely reduced without the constant shipments bringing sustenance from nearby agri-worlds, what remained were deemed suitable as recruitment stock. The Crimson Spectres settled upon R'hanada and took it for their own. Officially, they remained fleet-based, operating outside of their Fortress-Ship the Clandestinus, and declared the feral world of Tarren as their source of recruitment. To keep appearances, it is from Tarren that the Crimson Spectres receive the majority of their Chapter serfs, though they are not opposed to truly inducting a particularly promising Tarren to the Chapter.

Combat Doctrine
The Crimson Spectres are adherents to the Codex, operating outside its scope only in ways that their small numbers necessitate. Though the Crimson Spectres often commit to battle openly, they do so only after an initial stealth assault. Using sabotage, subterfuge and ambushes to critical effect, the Crimson Spectres ensure that they inflict the maximum amount of damage possible while exposing themselves to as little danger as necessary. An assault by the Crimson Spectres rarely comes from an expected direction and are usually accompanied by loud and deliberately distracting explosions within the enemy camp, where explosives had been set by experts at stealth and sabotage at key points to demoralize and cripple the enemy. Often when the Crimson Spectres meet the enemy in open battle, the enemy is bereft of leadership and without any hope of support, reeling in confusion as the hammerblow finally arrives. In this way the Crimson Spectres are able to use their small numbers to maximum effect.

The Crimson Spectres do not deliberately deviate from the Codex Astartes. Due to genetic instability, the Chapter has been slow in building up its forces. Currently the Chapter has only three battle-ready companies outside of the scout and veteran companies, with the First Company led personally by the Chapter Master. With such low numbers, the Crimson Spectres prefer not to split their forces among multiple warzones. Instead, the Chapter arrives in full force, with a single company remaining behind to guard their homeworld and oversee recruitment. Though the Chapter can account for five companies, none are at full strength. In truth, the Crimson Spectres have only just over three hundred fully-fledged Marines.

In keeping with the character he had infused within the newborn Chapter, the founding Chapter Master, though a great and renowned hero from his previous days as a Raven Guard, has forsaken his own identity and is referred officially only as the Spectre. Though the few powerful individuals with enough clearance could perhaps explore his past and discover his true identity, none can know if the current Spectre is the same as the original.

The Crimson Spectres care little for honor or glory and focus only on that which they deem practical, traits they feel that their Primarch Corax epitomized. The Chapter does have its limits on what it deems practical, refusing xeno or warp technology no matter the aid it may bring. They know that their potential uses are far outweighed by their corrupting nature. Following the traditions set by their primogenitors, the Raven Guard, the Crimson Spectres record their battles. Each Marine is expected to devote themselves to understanding their strengths and faults by studying their actions and those of others, so as to better themselves and to properly teach them their place in the Chapter. Often this is done in large gatherings so that the insights gleaned from such study can be openly and fairly shared. Theories and concepts related to war are deliberated and evaluated solely on their pragmatic applications. The Crimson Spectres require only the destruction of the enemy in ways that will have the least impact on the Chapter's ability to wage further war. Despite their lack of concern for matters of glory and honor, the effectiveness of their attitudes has nonetheless gained them such in the eyes of others.

The Adeptus Mechanicum utilized the purest strains of gene-seed derived from Corax that they had in stock. As such, the Crimson Spectres have little to fear of the mutations that can be common among Raven Guard successors, though they do keep the common physical appearance. Though the Chapter's stock of gene-seed is not mutative, it has proven especially difficult to properly implant. Though rejection of gene-seed is a problem all Chapters must face, the rejection rate of gene-seed for the Crimson Spectres is extremely high. Though their recruitment programs have stepped up exponentially to offset this issue, the growth rate of the Chapter has been abysmally slow, having been able to create only a single company's worth of stable Marines after three centuries.

An assault by the Crimson Spectres is not heralded by stirring chants or terrifying battle-cries. Explosions and gunfire upon an unsuspecting foe speak loudly enough.


Edited by Conn Eremon
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As a note: if you edit tags in, they don't work. I know, real useful. But there it is.


The Crimson Spectres are among the youngest of Chapters, founded in the most recent Founding mere centuries past. Their veteran officers that formed their training cadre and remain with them still have kept them close to their Raven Guard roots.

...I really am the only person here who thinks the Raven Guard suck so much that the Black Legion should be embarrassed to be sharing a color scheme with them, aren't I (see also: Iron Hands)?


Officially, they remained fleet-based, operating outside of their Fortress-Ship the Clandestinus,

The Clandestinus? Really?


* * *


The writing's got a lot of odd bits that reading the thing out loud would probably have caught.


The Origins section is long and currently uninteresting. You need to stop being wordy. It makes your stuff harder to read. Homeworld lays the secret theme on with a trowel: R'hanada has no traits other than being secret, when you should be using it to give the chapter some color and depth. Combat Doctrine does much the same, though it's more understandable. Beliefs makes them aggravating - oh, they don't want glory, but everyone gives it to them. And gene-seed makes me wonder why this wasn't mentioned earlier in the IA.


Honestly, you could replace this entire thing with the word "stealthy Raven Guard successor" and achieve much the same effect right now. The most interesting bit is the way they may die out soon. That's...not a good sign. What are you trying for, Cormac?

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Quoting in chunks via phone is hard to do. So I'm not going to try!


Tags: *sigh* Wait. But I didn't edit them in. I didn't edit that post at all.


Raven Guard: Doubt you're the only one, though it falls on deaf ears with me. I honestly don't have a favourite Legion because I love them all equally. Hence this ridiculous 20 Articles by June thing. Just kidding about the June thing.


Clandestinus: I . . . thought it sounded cool at the time?


Wordiness: I know, I know. I've come to accept that I just suck at writing. Oh, you mean I should correct that? But lazyyyyy.


Secrets for the Secret God: Dial it down, gotcha.


Force-fed glory: Hm. I don't mean for them to sound like that. Meant for it to be more . . . Well, they don't give a damn about it. Its not a goal of theirs or anything. But they are Space Marines. They do fight things others can't and yet win. So whether they seek it or not, they will get it. But I wouldn't say more than those who do seek it, certainly not. Any ideas how to better portray that?

Edited by Cormac Airt
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In order:


Tags: Ugh. No idea then.


No reason you need to. I'm just always amazed by the disproportionate popularity of the RG and IH.


It's HARDER to write more, dammit. :tongue.:


Secrecy's dandy, as a component. They need some other stuff right now, is most of it. I wouldn't bother mentioning how dedicated they are to efficiency etc. Pie-flavoured pie, and all that.

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Did a test, thread came up fine for me when I did searches for the unique identifier tags.


I have to admit, the Iron Hands took a bit of effort to make me love them and I'm still not all the way behind their 'flesh is weak' mental imbalance, but I take it as their 'setback' trait. But the Raven Guard tie with the Space Wolves as my first Marine loves, that has since encompassed all of them.


Cormac's Writing Style for Dummies: Write. Keep writing. Author's block? Keep writing until you're through it. Continue writing. Done? No! You write! MUST WRITE DOWN ALL OF THE THINGS. Can't continue? Try again. Still can't? Keep trying. But there's nothing left! TRYHARDER. Okay, okay. Jeeze. There. Happy? SLIGHTLY MOLLIFIED. Y'know, I bet this could stand some editing dow-VIDEOGAMES.


But some canon Chapters do seem more pie-flavored than others. Raven Guard among them, with the whole using less to do more thing. Not exceptionally different, but still so.

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Huh. Clicking on the tags certainly isn't working for me. Nor is searching them.


I dunno. It's partly the way everyone seems to overlook the gaping flaws and failures that come with both chapters.


I recommend outlining, then filling the outline out until it doesn't sound like point form notes any more. It's simpler, and you tend to end up with smaller reams of text.


Less is more is basically the modus operandi (the gimmick) of the Space Marines. The Raven Guard may do it a bit more than most, but it's still not worthy of great length discussing it.

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Clicking tags has never worked for me, regardless if they were mine or nit. I just search for a single tag through the forum's search engine. The 'Cormac Airt' and 'Twenty Articlea Project' worked fine there. They even included the Emerald Tigers, which did have the tags edited in.


So mention the additional interest in efficiency, but don't make it their schtick. Neither should secrecy, because it's boring when it's nothing bit. I'm running out of shticks.


And Octavulg, the reason why none of my IAs since my first attempt at the Emerald Tigers is as long as said first attempt is because I've been starting with outlines.

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Well, I for one like the Raven Guard and their schtick. I don't have a problem with anything that's in there, but agree a little more on the homeworld beside it being really secret would be good.


A hiveworld cut off from external supply would be a pretty horrific place as famine took hold and order broke down. That kind of thing could create an interesting background - a dystopian Deliverance style thing - while keeping the planet's stealth character.


Also think there's nothing wrong with a chapter that only a couple of centuries old not yet having much in the way of distinguishing features compared to their parent chapter.

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And Octavulg, the reason why none of my IAs since my first attempt at the Emerald Tigers is as long as said first attempt is because I've been starting with outlines.

Then I fear you're outlining in too much detail. Take a look at the Marines Tenebric for an example of the level of detail I try for in an outline.


A few centuries should be enough time for distinguishing characteristics. It's enough time for nations to rise and fall, it's enough time for Space Marines to develop a little individuality compared to their progenitors. If only a little. Just play it up more.

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