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IA: The Champions of Athlum (LASC 2021) First Draft


Ace Debonair
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*Picture of Space Marines here, still WIP*

"A poor hunter chases prey. A good hunter waits for it." - Chapter Master Koganeth, Champions of Athlum, M38.224


Early History:

"Some battles are decided before swords are drawn" - Athlumi proverb

Amongst the first Chapters created in the 18th Founding, the Champions were given clear objectives from their very inception. Sent to the south-east of the Glastheim Rifts, the Chapter was to establish a base of operations and destroy a festering empire of brutal, lizard-like xeno raiders called the Khovata.

Arriving at their designated area of operations, the Champions immediately began a war of calculated aggression, striking the xenos occupiers wherever their defences were weakest and clearing the path for larger Imperial Guard and Navy forces to push the xenos back.

On the border of the Kohvate empire lay the Death World of Athlum, a stunningly beautiful but barely hospitable planet filled with hyper-lethal plant and animal life. The Chapter found the planet's climate produced hardy, viable recruits, and quickly adopted Athlum as a homeworld, allowing them to replace the losses incurred during the Khovata wars.

The final assault against the Khovata empire saw their homeworld of Lor conquered, the aliens massacred and the scant handfuls of survivors fleeing into distant space. Lor fell into Imperial hands, and was quickly turned into a mining colony to supply the Adeptus Mechanicus with ores and oils.

The Champions, having succeeded in breaking the strength of the Khovata, found themselves suddenly beset by Dark Eldar - the Kabal of the Shattered World began launching raids on nearby Imperial worlds, forcing the Champions to chase after this elusive foe. At the same time, Chaos cults began to surface across multiple systems, sometimes in great numbers or with hordes of mutants or daemons in thrall. Beyond this, remnants of the Khovata sometimes launched their own bloody raids from the distant, disparate worlds they had fled to, cutting into the Champions' territory like a scythe, intent on causing as much damage as possible.

The Champions were unable to easily pursue foes across so many fronts, and so changed their tactics, drawing inspiration from the hunters on their Homeworld of Athlum. Studying the habits and attack patterns of their enemies, the Champions were able to use smaller forces to lie in ambush, using guile and forward planning to intercept enemy attacks. Chapter serfs were employed as agents, gathering intelligence and acting as watchful eyes for the Chapter on many worlds.

When enemies massed in large numbers, the Champions would seldom attack them head-on, instead sending strike teams of a few squads to destroy enemy supplies and materiel, sabotage enemy defences or ships, or assassinate key enemy figures. The Chapter quickly became famous for their "Death of a Thousand cuts" approach to warfare, weakening an enemy to the point the battle was all but decided before the Champions deployed their companies in open war to finish a foe.

The Champions of Athlum would, in M37, become part of the "Silver Circle", a band of Chapters around the Glastheim Rifts sworn to defend the Imperium's holdings in that area. Heretics lurking in the Warpstorm-addled Rifts themselves and xeno predators attacking from all angles made the Rifts a dangerous place, but the alliance of Space Marine Chapters worked together - albeit grudgingly - to grant the Imperium some additional purchase in the region.

In late M40, the Champions discovered the lost world of Kynasa, that was in many ways a mirror of proud Athlum. Home to a hardy, primitive population dwelling in the forested ruins of ancient Imperial cities, rich in danger for the unwary, and isolated enough to have largely avoided the predations of enemies.

Claiming recruitment rights from the world at the same time as claiming Kynasa for the Imperium, the Champions even transported a small but significant portion of Athlum's population to Kynasa to help ensure the world's viability for future generations of recruits. The occupation of Kynasa went smoothly, and the Chapter successfully took it's first batch of recruits from the world before disaster struck, a scant few years later.

After feinting an attack at the Maladar system, the Kabal of the Shattered World were able to deploy a large-scale raid on Kynasa, killing or abducting every man, woman and child from the young colony, and retreating back into the webway at blinding speed.

The Champions, overcome with grief and rage, raced to get vengeance. In their haste, the Chapter made several errors of judgement that led to an extended series of defeats. Their supply lines were repeatedly targeted by the Drukhari, several Chapter serfs killed or kidnapped while attempting reconnaissance, and on two occasions Company Apothecaries were assassinated in the midst of otherwise unimportant skirmishes with unaffiliated foes.

The Champions came to their senses and saw that the Dark Eldar were trying to play them at their own game. The Chapter refocused their anger, turning it from a burning rage into an ice-cold, murderous focus. To this day, both the Kabal and the Chapter remain locked in an endless series of raids, ambushes and gruelling small-scale warfare all across the south-east of the Glastheim Rifts.


Recent History:

"Our success depends upon our strength. Our strength depends upon our success." - Brother Maliad, Champions of Athlum 7th Company, 516.M41

Amongst the many disasters that befell the Imperium with the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum, Athlum came under direct attack, thanks to the machinations of the heretical Blades of Atracia.

Cults sprang up, seemingly in synchronicity with the appearance of the Cicatrix, no doubt seeded and sheltered by the traitors in the Glastheim Rifts for this very purpose. The Champions were, as always, quick to react, dispersing their forces to be the rock against which this wave of heresy would break.

While the Champions were thus occupied, the Blades of Atracia struck at Athlum itself.
With half the Chapter still entangled with enemy forces off-world, and less than eighty marines left standing in Athlum's defence, the Champions mounted a desperate last-ditch defence at their Fortress Monastery, gathering as many of the civilians as they could and bunkering down. Before the Blades of Atracia could do much more than breach the second layer of walls, however, reinforcements arrived from an unexpected direction.

Companies of Primaris Space Marines, bearing the livery of the Silver Circle's Chapters at the head of innumerable hosts of Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii and Imperial Guard. The Indomitus Crusade had arrived, and with it came thunderous, inevitable victory for the Champions and the Imperium. The Riftmark leading the Chaos forces was slain, trampled to death by the unyielding Kastelan Robots of Forgeworld Valstrax, causing a mass breakdown of the heretic's command structure.

The Champions were much less active in the century following the Battle of Athlum, their efforts focused largely inwards as the Chapter adapted to the changes wrought by both the attack on their own world and the Indomitus Crusade. Eventually, however, the Champions re-emerged from the Battle of Athlum with renewed purpose, striking remorselessly at heretics and aliens wherever they may be found with the Chapter's traditional precision and focus. Recruiting more serfs from other worlds allowed the Champions to spread their intelligence network further while tightening their control on the systems and subsectors around Athlum. Taking steps to ensure Athlum would never be so exposed to enemy action again, a hundred Primaris marines were assigned to what was informally called "The Sentinel Company"; a group dedicated directly to the protection of Athlum itself.



Homeworld:

"To be entranced by the flower is to forget the presence of the poison." - Athlumi proverb
http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?b62c=@hXbsb_hOPYE.hmmn0@@@@@@@_@.@@i8khii8khi@@@@@@@@@@@_iakk7_iakk7@@@@@@@@@@hCmX3.@@@@@@@@@@@@@.iakk7&grid=TRUE
A Battle Brother of the Champions of Athlum



Athlum, the chosen homeworld of the Champions, is a beautiful, verdant paradise, crawling with life. But behind the beautiful visage is a world of extreme danger. Almost every life form on Athlum is dangerous, from the incredibly poisonous blossom trees that turn the forest canopies lilac and pink once a year, to the myriad of insects whose bites can cause permanent damage to unlucky victims. Amongst the deadliest things on Athlum are the carnivorous Wyverns, house-sized flying carnivores that roam the skies looking for exposed targets to feast upon, and the Dirgewolves, giant wolves whose front half is largely covered in scales and bone protrusions, making them very hard to hurt with conventional weapons.

The humans of Athlum live in scattered clans, and mostly survive as hunter-gatherers, armed with the finest bows, spears and traps that their craftsmen can make. Only the patient and the skilled can survive on Athlum, and it is from the youth of this hardy caste of hunters that the Champions draw most of their recruits.

Known as the Great Spire, the Fortress Monastery of the Champions of Athlum was constructed in the centre of the planet's highest mountain range. The mountains themselves are called "The land of Angels" by the natives, and none dare tread on such sacred ground, leaving the Champions to keep a distant vigil on the people below. The outside of the Spire is faced in gleaming white marble, and it can be seen from almost a week's journey away on the plains below, reaching above even the high peaks. For recruitment trials, the Champions drop would-be aspirants in one of several pre-selected starting points, roughly a day's travel from the base of the mountains, and simply instruct them to reach the Spire. The trial routes bring aspirants face-to-face with some of Athlum's most dangerous wildlife, and then pits survivors against the treacherous, unfamiliar terrain of the mountains as they seek to reach their goal.

The Chapter's outlook and methods of war are shaped to a certain degree by the native hunters of Athlum. Patience, planning and decisive action are the keywords by which both hunter and Space Marine live and die.


Beliefs:

"War is not the only duty of a Champion." - Chaplain Durran, Champions of Athlum 1st Company, 113.M42

Parhaps the most unusual aspect of the Champions of Athlum's outlook on the Imperium is their view on The Emperor. The Champions feel that He looks upon His Imperium with great sorrow, a soul-deep melancholy that what should have been His greatest work was laid to ruin. Additionally, the Champions believe that His Space Marines are the only surviving means of truly uniting and protecting the Imperium, and that The Emperor intended for Space Marines to not only safeguard ordinary humans, but to embody the best aspects of humanity.

Thusly, the Champions of Athlum believe the Chapter must excel in all disciplines to be as The Emperor intended them to be. To this end, the Chapter can boast well-practiced craftsmen, diplomats, artists, musicians, and architects as well as great fighters and insightful strategists. The Champions point to their Primarch, Guilliman, and his own multi-faceted talents as further proof that Space Marines should be more than simple fighters.

Though this diversity of disciplines obviously serves the Chapter well in many respects, it does come with its own drawbacks. Those who study non-combat disciplines are, inevitably, somewhat less-practiced in war. While the difference is almost imperceptible to outsiders, even fractional hesitations or marginal errors in a combat situation against the enemies of mankind can mean the difference between victory and death. This has led, over the centuries, to something of a culture of preservation in the Chapter, where battle-brothers skilled in one or more non-combat arts are considered to be, informally, of somewhat higher value than their purely war-trained kinsmen. This is done simply to prevent the Chapter's expertise in esoteric disciplines from diminishing, and preserve the reputation of the Chapter as a whole.

Furthermore, such is the Champions' conviction that they are closer to The Emperor's ideals for the Space Marine, that many amongst the Chapter tend to treat other Chapters as either short-sighted fools or wilfully ignorant of their true purpose.

Thus, the pride of the Champions remains a stumbling block in their relations with other Chapters. The Chapter's diplomatic corps exists, in part, to manage this issue - keeping the more self-assured Champions firmly in line as well as minimizing the risks of conflict between brothers.


Battle Doctrines:

"Squad Amanir, close with the objective. Squad Uthag, fire on my mark..." - Sergeant Galborn, Champions of Athlum 3rd Company, during the battle of Kryndaia, 233.M41

The Champions of Athlum are somewhat atypical for Space Marine Chapters in that most of their defining victories ultimately come from small-scale actions. Kill Teams sent to eliminate key or isolated enemy figures, or sabotage enemy materiel, or disrupt a foe's supply lines. Combat Patrols using carefully gathered intelligence to cripple an enemy force before it ever truly musters its' strength. Small-scale strikes used to cause large-scale effects, so that when the time comes for the Champions to muster at Company strength and take to the battlefield, often the result of the battle is decided before the Company even deploys for battle.

On the battlefield proper, the Champions of Athlum fight as befitting an Ultramarine successor, with fluid battle plans that take advantage of an enemy's weaknesses as they are presented. There is a noted predilection to the use of ambush attacks, outflanking strikes and the use of carefully laid traps, mirroring the methods of hunters on Athlum. The use of camouflage is not only considered acceptable, but encouraged by the Chapter, though their innate pride ensures they seldom completely cover their Chapter's heraldic colours.

Organisation:

"A leader must set an example. We must set an example." - Codicier Kyrloth, Champions of Athlum 1st Company, 167.M42

Taking pride in the heritage of their Primarch, Roboute Guilliman, the Champions of Athlum proudly adhere to codex-mandated Organisation. Such structure has served the Chapter well in their time in the Glastheim Rifts, being able to disperse or gather to deal with encroaching threats as they rise. For a long time, the only notable deviation was the renaming of the traditional rank of Company or Chapter Champion as "Headtakers", given that each Battle-Brother is already a Champion in name.

The arrival of Primaris marines placed the Champions of Athlum in a difficult situation with regards to their Codex-Adherence. Considering themselves exemplars amongst marines, how they handled the issue of the Codex Astartes not making provision for the Primaris Marines was seen in the Chapter as a decision of the utmost importance, and arguments amongst the Champions' leadership for how to handle the issue were commonplace.

Eventually, the Primaris marines were all provisionally placed into an Eleventh Company, until such time as a satisfactory decision can be agreed upon by the Champions' leadership. Despite being technically limited to one company, the Primaris marines were scattered to reinforce the existing ten Companies around the Rifts, mirroring the way the First Company veterans are seldom gathered together.

A hundred Primaris marines of varying experience and role are kept at Athlum, known within the Chapter as the "Sentinel Company" or "Vigilants" to better ward against another attack at Athlum itself. Marines in the Sentinel Company are rotated back into the regular companies on a yearly basis.

Those amongst the Chapter assigned to keep a vigil on specific systems or areas of space where enemy activity is expected are given the honorary title of "Marchwarden", taken from an old Athlumi title. The Title of "High Marchwarden" is bestowed to the marine assigned as the leader of the Sentinel Company.


Geneseed:

"To excel in all matters is the goal of all right-thinking sons of Guilliman" - Brother Nabirad, Champions of Athlum 2nd Company, 783.M39

The Champions of Athlum bear the genetic lineage of the Ultramarines. Proximity to the radiation of the Glastheim Rifts has caused minor mutations in the Melanchrome, causing the hair of most Champions to transition to bright white from an early age. The Chapter has been known to suffer a lower successful implantation rate for geneseed in new recruits than most Ultramarine successors, but such is the pride of the Champions that they would never deign to simply request more geneseed from any stock but their own.

Battlecry:


Outside of company-level engagements, the Champions seldom make use of traditional battlecries, however the commonly-used motto "For Athlum and Emperor" seems to double as their most typically-used war call.



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Updated: 13/7/2021

Quotes!

Also added and refined some more stuff, addressing more points raised by my erstwhile and vigilant Brothers.:thumbsup: Specific relations with the rest of the Silver Circle will have to wait until I've actually defined the rest of the Silver Circle. :biggrin.:

Updated further, trimmed a few words. It hasn't made much difference to the size of the article but I suppose every little helps! Edited by Ace Debonair
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How do they show company, squad and/or rank?

 

 

 

* Company / Chapter Champions need a rename for clarity, since the whole Chapter is called "Champions" :ermm:

Maybe: "First blade"; "Headtaker";  or "Slayer"?

 

Any thoughts on their nomenclature? Could base something around that if they have a notably, e.g., High Gothic one, or use French-ish terms, or Korean-ish ones.

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* Company / Chapter Champions need a rename for clarity, since the whole Chapter is called "Champions" :ermm:

Maybe: "First blade"; "Headtaker"; or "Slayer"?
Good choices. May I propose "Executioner," "Headsman," and "Justice" (a term used to refer to executioners in the king's service, in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels)?
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Well that was quick :happy.:

 

Looks like an interesting skeleton, Ace! I like the concept of a planet that is basically a femme fatale--looks pretty, but will kill you given half the chance.

I've got this week, and then I don't have a day off for the rest of the month. I pretty much have to move fast! :laugh.:

 

I like that metaphor, actually. Athlum is no paradise for the unwary! 

 

How do they show company, squad and/or rank?

Well, squad and rank will probably work the same way as regular codex marines, but the company is a bit trickier, since the pauldrons are always white and ice blue.

 

So for now I'm going to say knee or wrist colours denote company, although I might change it if needed.

 

 

Maybe: "First blade"; "Headtaker";  or "Slayer"?

 

Any thoughts on their nomenclature? Could base something around that if they have a notably, e.g., High Gothic one, or use French-ish terms, or Korean-ish ones.

 

I really like Firstblade, but I'm already planning to use that for one of my traitor warbands and don't want to repeat it. :sweat:

 

 Slayer could work, though...

 

Linguistically, Athlum (and therefore the Champions) use an odd blend of Norse/Scandinavian and Sindarin (or at least Sindarin-sounding, since we're hardly experts at the language) stuff for names.

 

I was also contemplating the use of "Marchwarden", simply because it's a really cool title.:laugh.: I suppose it could be used to infer the Company Champion has a duty to protect those he fights beside? As in, to ward those he marches with? :ermm:

 

The Champions also take some influence from ancient Samurai, but I don't want to draw any of the language or ranks from Japanese - every samurai-themed Chapter out there seems to do exactly that, and I'd rather not tread the same ground, since Samurai are only really a small part of the Chapter's inspiration.

 

 

Good choices. May I propose "Executioner," "Headsman," and "Justice" (a term used to refer to executioners in the king's service, in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels)?

Oh, I like executioner and headsman, actually.

 

"Company Headsman" and "Chapter Headsman" just roll off the tongue very, very nicely. :biggrin.:

 

I might use that and find another place to use "Marchwarden"!:laugh.:

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

 

Thanks for the feedback so far, brothers - I'll have a go at expanding this article later today, Emperor willing.

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How do they show company, squad and/or rank?

Well, squad and rank will probably work the same way as regular codex marines, but the company is a bit trickier, since the pauldrons are always white and ice blue.

 

So for now I'm going to say knee or wrist colours denote company, although I might change it if needed.

You could have that the company is shown by different colours on the chest eagle, or right knee pad, or their bolters; numbers* on their right shoulders (inside or beside the battle field role symbol), or on some other part of the armour; the same thing as the number but with a symbol instead of a number; different colour fur** or hair*** hanging from their armour; only the officers show their company colours and do so by different coloured crests or top knots on their helmets; all the marines have helmet crests/similar that show their company by different colours; different hand weapons for each company (e.g. 1th Company members are the only ones with swords; 2th Company members are the only ones with spears; 3d Company members are the only ones with morningstars; etc.)

 

* you could use runic or Sindarin numbers instead of Roman or Arabic ones. 

** Space Wolves accessoarers parts

*** White Scars accessoarers parts 

Edited by Gamiel
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Well that was quick :happy.:

 

Looks like an interesting skeleton, Ace! I like the concept of a planet that is basically a femme fatale--looks pretty, but will kill you given half the chance.

I've got this week, and then I don't have a day off for the rest of the month. I pretty much have to move fast! :laugh.:

 

I like that metaphor, actually. Athlum is no paradise for the unwary! 

You're welcome to the metaphor if you like.

 

Sounds like you have work ahead of you! Best of luck! (Also, btw, I have word of god from Dos that the model is due in May, not March.)

 

 

The Champions also take some influence from ancient Samurai, but I don't want to draw any of the language or ranks from Japanese - every samurai-themed Chapter out there seems to do exactly that, and I'd rather not tread the same ground, since Samurai are only really a small part of the Chapter's inspiration.

 

 

I'm feeling personally attacked here. (quietly shoves the Shinsengumi behind a paper screen).

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I'm feeling personally attacked here. (quietly shoves the Shinsengumi behind a paper screen).

 

Please don't feel attacked - in my time in the Liber I've seen quite a few (more than twenty, at the very least) Japan-inspired Chapters that straight-up lifted ranks from Shogun: Total War, made a point of calling their swords katanas, always in it and liberally sprinkled other Japanese words (also usually from Total War) into the article, such as serfs being referred to as Ashigaru.

 

A lot of these Chapters weren't very interesting, because that was all they did for characterisation. Quite a few of them also over-themed the heck out of it, using Japanese for literally everything that had a name - I remember one from about fifteen years back that used the Japanese words for "Bolt Gun" instead of "Bolter", and, of course, had Chain-Katana.

 

Others were much better, because they didn't just stop there and added plenty of actual character beyond "feudal Japan, but with Power Armour".

 

In short, I consider Samurai-theming to be like seasoning - it can be used to enhance the flavour of a Chapter, but just copy-pasting it over some Space Marines and calling it a day is like deciding to drink a bottle of vinegar for lunch. :laugh.:

 

EDIT:

For clarity, I consider the Dawn Blades one of the better examples, and not a bottle of vinegar. :happy.:

 

 

 

How do they show company, squad and/or rank?

Well, squad and rank will probably work the same way as regular codex marines, but the company is a bit trickier, since the pauldrons are always white and ice blue.

 

So for now I'm going to say knee or wrist colours denote company, although I might change it if needed.

 

You could have that the company is shown by different colours on the chest eagle, or right knee pad, or their bolters; numbers* on their right shoulders (inside or beside the battle field role symbol), or on some other part of the armour; the same thing as the number but with a symbol instead of a number; different colour fur** or hair*** hanging from their armour; only the officers show their company colours and do so by different coloured crests or top knots on their helmets; all the marines have helmet crests/similar that show their company by different colours; different hand weapons for each company (e.g. 1th Company members are the only ones with swords; 2th Company members are the only ones with spears; 3d Company members are the only ones with morningstars; etc.)

 

* you could use runic or Sindarin numbers instead of Roman or Arabic ones. 

** Space Wolves accessoarers parts

*** White Scars accessoarers parts

 

You've clearly put a lot of thought into this. Most impressive, and I like a lot of your suggestions! :biggrin.:

 

But I think I'll stick with knee and wrist markings all the same - remember this is an article for an already existing faction, so their appearance is already basically set in stone. :sweat:

(Although some of the high ranking characters do have some Space Wolf bits, I think :thumbsup:)

 

I'm sure the Codex Astartes recommends shoulder-trim colours to denote company - relocating those to the wrist (and colouring one/both of the kneepads to match) should be enough to denote company. Numbers for squads is fine, and generally for rank my nephews and I follow the rule that the high-ranking characters have fancier gear.:happy.:

 

Edited by Ace Debonair
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Looking forward to seeing these guys fleshed out Ace! I'm sure you wont disppoint. 

 

I don't really have anything to add at this stage, however this did draw my eye:

 

 

 

The CoA believe Space Marines must excel in all disciplines in order to be as The Emperor intended them to be; to this end the Champions as a Chapter can boast well-practiced craftsmen, diplomats, artists, musicians and architects as well as great fighters and strategists

 

Have you read the first Dawn of Fire book? There is a really interesting section where the main protagonist, a White Consul, discusses what his Chapter sees as their failing (due to the loss of their homeworld as part of the latest storyline) because they spent too much time governing and pursuing other interest rather than focusing on being warriors. Just some food for thought, obviously the White Consuls have more reason than most to be doubting themselves. 

 

Does this belief stem from, not just the Emperor, but an attempt to emulate their genesire's famed abilities as a Stateman?

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* 18th Founding, Ultramarine Successors assigned to the Glastheim Rifts to [iNSERT REASON HERE]

 

Any interaction with the UM and/or their fellow UM successors?

 

[iNSERT REASON HERE] could be: the Emperor’s Tarot declared that the Chapter should be placed there; one of the High Lords looked on the galactic map and decided that there was an area that lacked a near Chapter; there is nothing of value there but by being there they function as a watch fortress and first line of defence from roaming threats; a mistake in the paperwork placed them there and they don’t know it, or they know it but the administrator will not admit mistakes and will not move them to where they were supposed to be (meaning that all equipment/similar that get shipped to them only go to their assigned world); that the area was a hotbead for trouble when the Chapter was placed there to clean up and watch over it; there was a Chapter there before but it was destroyed by [threat] and now the Champions was asigned to their old territory; to protect travel rut; the reason is lost to time and data rot; to function as first line of defence against the threat that is hidden beneath their homeworld's soil; to function as list line of defence for the artefact that is hidden beneath their homeworld's soil; 

 

 * The CoA believe Space Marines must excel in all disciplines in order to be as The Emperor intended them to be; to this end the Champions as a Chapter can boast well-practiced craftsmen, diplomats, artists, musicians and architects as well as great fighters and strategists

Any special kind of craft, artistery, music and/or architecture they focus on? 

 

How often do they get to use their diplomatic training?

 

 

* The obvious flaw to go with this is pride, like the rest of my chapters :sweat:

 

How do their pride manifest?

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Looking forward to seeing these guys fleshed out Ace! I'm sure you wont disppoint.

Well by the Throne, it's Ferrus himself! It's been a minute, old friend - good to see you back in the Liber.

 

I do my best to never disappoint, but it's always an uphill battle - you know by now I only ever have half a concept at best before putting it through the wringer in the Liber! :laugh.:

 

Have you read the first Dawn of Fire book? There is a really interesting section where the main protagonist, a White Consul, discusses what his Chapter sees as their failing (due to the loss of their homeworld as part of the latest storyline) because they spent too much time governing and pursuing other interest rather than focusing on being warriors. Just some food for thought, obviously the White Consuls have more reason than most to be doubting themselves. 

 

Does this belief stem from, not just the Emperor, but an attempt to emulate their genesire's famed abilities as a Stateman?

I haven't read that book, to be fair. And it's a good point, well-raised.

 

I typically write my stuff from the "might be propaganda playing up the faction in question" point of view, so I'm not likely to dwell overly on if their diverse array of learned talents diminishes the CoA's actual fighting ability much.

 

That said, it works out. The general intention is that the Champions of Athlum wouldn't be as dangerous as, for example, the Stonebound or the White Hawks in a straight-up fight. But, the Champions of Athlum wouldn't willingly go into a straight-up fight without tipping the odds in their favour somehow. Either through sabotaging the enemy beforehand (breaking their equipment or destroying their supplies, for example), or having allies to call on, or a terrain advantage - generally something to give them an edge.

 

 

Having the belief in needing to have multi-faceted non-combat abilities stem in part from Guilliman's own multiple talents (warrior, statesman, author, etc) makes a lot of sense, I'll go back and add that in a moment. :happy.:

 

EDIT: Gamiel Ninja'd me with another well-thought out response!

 

Any interaction with the UM and/or their fellow UM successors?

A little bit! :happy.:

 

The Champions of Athlum are part of the 'Silver Circle', a group of Chapters that my Nephews and I (and possibly my brother at some point) play as. There's six in total. The White Hawks, the Champions of Athlum, the Brotherhood of Crows, the Warminds, the Stonebound and the Silver Suns.

 

The purpose of the 'Silver Circle' is to safeguard against the heretics that live in the Glastheim Rifts, but there's also a lot of xenos and other heretics nearby to fight with too.

 

I'm yet to write up the articles for the Silver Suns and the Brotherhood of Crows. (And the Champions of Athlum, technically, but I'm working on that!) :biggrin.:

 

The White Hawks are also Ultramarine successors, but they're very, very atypical UM successors.

 

I'm trying not to focus too much on the interactions between the Chapters yet - I need all the articles to focus on the individual Chapters rather than the coalition. Plus, some Chapters have changed a lot over time and even I'm not sure how they'd feel about each other yet. :wacko.:

 

 

Any special kind of craft, artistery, music and/or architecture they focus on?

Crafts would mostly be the manufacture of weapons and armour, to my mind.

 

Artistry would include the embellishment of the same, but also more traditional art, such as sculpture, painting, or the creation of tapestries.

 

Music? EPIC METAL I imagine a great variety of music, generally scored for woodwind, strings, and vocal. Typically it'd be low-tempo and thought-provoking, good for meditation or to help empty the mind when focusing on a task.

 

Architecture would most likely be the most interesting one. Picture Imperial outposts or bunkers, built for war but decorated in opulent style, drawing cues from elaborate pagodas and the fancy, gilded structures common to fantasy elves.

 

Their buildings would appear - by Imperial standards - delicate and finely-wrought, drawing the eye with their detail... but underneath that careful façade is still something built to face war.

 

...Which is a lot like Athlum, their homeworld, now that I think about it. "Appearances can be deceiving" and all that.

 

How often do they get to use their diplomatic training?

As a Chapter? Fairly often, I'd think. Negotiating with the other Chapters of the Silver Circle, or other Imperial forces to better co-ordinate war efforts, speaking with the Adeptus Mechanicus, Inquisitors or members of the Ecclesiarchy as needed.

 

I don't know if it'd be a skill in daily use, but it'd be a useful attribute for them to have.

 

 

How do their pride manifest?

The Champions are almost certainly going to be smug (unless they're being diplomatic) about being so much closer, in their minds, to being Space Marines as The Emperor envisioned them.

 

Champions outside of the diplomatic corps might be pretty insufferable, actually. :laugh.:

I'll work on this more!

Edited by Ace Debonair
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Right then, let;s get back onto some activity as per my duties amidst the contagion!

First off, great to see you once again for the LASC, Ace and big props on writing history and lore on nephew's chapter!

The multi-faceted talents thing is certainly an interesting spin of flavour upon these guys. When it comes to selection, are the abilities of recruits assessed beyond their ability to kill the myriad enemies of the Imperium? Are those to excel only truly in battle-craft looked upon with pity or disdain from their brethren? Lots of potential on writing about their personality and bonds within the Chapter.

 

Seeing how they react with their allies and such'll be a good exploration too, do they act aloof and condescending to all others who don't attempt to pursue other skills? Do they seek tutelage from other Chapters and/or authorities in learning specific crafts unique to that group (such as the Hawk Lords' flying prowess or the Patriarchs of Ulixis' blade skills).

On the Champion front, a bit belated but certainly one name that could be applied is "Paragon".

 

 

Crafts would mostly be the manufacture of weapons and armour, to my mind.

Artistry would include the embellishment of the same, but also more traditional art, such as sculpture, painting, or the creation of tapestries.

Music? EPIC METAL I imagine a great variety of music, generally scored for woodwind, strings, and vocal. Typically it'd be low-tempo and thought-provoking, good for meditation or to help empty the mind when focusing on a task.

 

Some interesting things that could be discussed here is that they use these skills in meditation and to re-focus their ire and contempt for the xenos, mutant and heretic and how they have performed within these duties in recent combative actions or campaigns. Perhaps the weaving of a Campaign or Company Standard (or even their own if given the honour to do so). The use of their own sigil or symbol might be a fun spin to add like the Grey Knights do upon their tilt-shields on the left shoulder-pad, possibly showcasing their pride in their skills and crafts (not quite Scout Badges, but similar :lol: ).

In terms of building these Astartes, your nephew could benefit from using Blood Angel bitz for the craftsmanship look or finely wrought armour and weapons befitting champions.

 

 

 

Architecture would most likely be the most interesting one. Picture Imperial outposts or bunkers, built for war but decorated in opulent style, drawing cues from elaborate pagodas and the fancy, gilded structures common to fantasy elves.

Their buildings would appear - by Imperial standards - delicate and finely-wrought, drawing the eye with their detail... but underneath that careful façade is still something built to face war.

 

The Imperial Fists and their descendants would like a word. :P Mostly to compare notes and share skill.

 

All in all, good starting baselines for these Astartes. Is there a symbol for them at all? I might've missed it. (my eyes are getting old and further myopic...)

Cambrius

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The multi-faceted talents thing is certainly an interesting spin of flavour upon these guys. When it comes to selection, are the abilities of recruits assessed beyond their ability to kill the myriad enemies of the Imperium? Are those to excel only truly in battle-craft looked upon with pity or disdain from their brethren? Lots of potential on writing about their personality and bonds within the Chapter.

Honestly? I hadn't thought about that. But Space Marine-viable recruits are supposed to be rare, so I can't see the Champions turning aside worthy candidates because (for example) they can't play the violin. :tongue.:

 

I see them as taking warriors and teaching them culture, rather than taking musicians/artists and teaching them war. :thumbsup:

 

Excellent warriors are those who have elevated war into an art, and should be as celebrated as the finest musician or most adept sculptor. Possibly even more so, given the ever-present need for great warriors in the Imperium.

 

Seeing how they react with their allies and such'll be a good exploration too, do they act aloof and condescending to all others who don't attempt to pursue other skills? Do they seek tutelage from other Chapters and/or authorities in learning specific crafts unique to that group (such as the Hawk Lords' flying prowess or the Patriarchs of Ulixis' blade skills).

Oh yeah, they're smug as anything (outside of the diplomatic corps). :laugh.: They're proud of their skills to the point it can be a little grating.

 

This is why it's a good thing that the Champions train a few marines per company in diplomacy and negotiation - nowhere does it say they can't play diplomat with their own side to keep them from making arrogant statements or otherwise antagonising people.

 

 

On the Champion front, a bit belated but certainly one name that could be applied is "Paragon".

I do like that word, but I'm running with "Headsman" for now. It's got a suitably grim purpose and a certain weight to it. :happy.:

 

Some interesting things that could be discussed here is that they use these skills in meditation and to re-focus their ire and contempt for the xenos, mutant and heretic and how they have performed within these duties in recent combative actions or campaigns. Perhaps the weaving of a Campaign or Company Standard (or even their own if given the honour to do so). The use of their own sigil or symbol might be a fun spin to add like the Grey Knights do upon their tilt-shields on the left shoulder-pad, possibly showcasing their pride in their skills and crafts (not quite Scout Badges, but similar :laugh.: ).

 

In terms of building these Astartes, your nephew could benefit from using Blood Angel bitz for the craftsmanship look or finely wrought armour and weapons befitting champions.

Funny you should bring up Blood Angels bits for modelling, because he's done exactly that for some of his guys.

 

Tying non-combat activities into meditation seems like the best way to do it - that way it's not interfering as much with the Chapter's actual combat training. :happy.:

 

The Imperial Fists and their descendants would like a word. :tongue.: Mostly to compare notes and share skill.

Oh, the CoA couldn't beat siege specialists at fortifications.

But anyone who doesn't see past the decoration would be in for a surprise.

 

 

All in all, good starting baselines for these Astartes. Is there a symbol for them at all? I might've missed it. (my eyes are getting old and further myopic...)

 

Cambrius

Actually... we don't have a symbol for the Champions yet.

I'm open to suggestions on this one, but It'll take a while to reach a decision on this since I'll have to run all the ideas past my nephew too.

 

It's got to be something very simple, though, so I have even a faint chance of painting it.:sweat:

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Forgive the double post, honoured kin, but I've updated the first post again. :sweat:

There's now an actual outline with some actual history, including connecting the Champions to their hated enemy, the Dark Eldar.

 

I still need to make up some xenos for the xenos empire the Champions dismantle, but I'll get to that later.

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Huzzah! Ace the Debonair returns to the Glastheim Rifts once more! Long have I waited to see this setting and it's brother Chapters revived and their stories continued! I shall watch this thread with great interest...
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  • 3 weeks later...

 

 

* Pre-gunpowder civilisations, mostly hunter-gatherers (farmland tends to bring in wyverns/other deadly animals), only the patient and skilled survive on Athlum

If the wyverns hunt in open terrain can I see farming of fruit trees, in small glades (to small for they wyvern to easly get back in the air from), and/or just beside forest with a lookout making it possible to run back under the trees if a wyvern is sighted.

 

 

 

* The Chapter's outlook is partly shaped by Athlumi hunters - patience, planning and decisive action are the keywords by which both hunter and Space Marine live and die

Can see lots of traps, and hit-and-run tactics used. 

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Phew! This is the first day off I've had since my last post here. :sweat:

I'm exhausted, but the LASC waits for no man. That said, I've updated the first post with all the section headers and the like, plus a little more recent history.

 

Huzzah! Ace the Debonair returns to the Glastheim Rifts once more! Long have I waited to see this setting and it's brother Chapters revived and their stories continued! I shall watch this thread with great interest...


Revived?
I've been working on it the whole time, brother. :happy.:

The White Hawks, the Stonebound, the Warminds - it's all happening in the  Glastheim Rifts. 
 

If the wyverns hunt in open terrain can I see farming of fruit trees, in small glades (to small for they wyvern to easly get back in the air from), and/or just beside forest with a lookout making it possible to run back under the trees if a wyvern is sighted.


Agreed, small orchards would probably do reasonably well.:happy.:
I did also imagine Athlum having a thriving wines and cordials industry, so orchards and small vineyards would fit thematically too.
 

Can see lots of traps, and hit-and-run tactics used.

Oh, definitely. Ambushes, too. :biggrin.:
 

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

*Picture of Space Marines here, still WIP*

 

 

Well, this is unusual for you!

 

 

Arriving at their designated area of operations, the as-yet-nameless Chapter immediately began a war of calculated aggression, striking the xenos occupiers wherever their defences were weakest and clearing the path for larger Imperial Guard and Navy forces to push the xenos back.

 

 

Doesn't a Chapter get named and coloured before they're formally deployed? Or have I fallen behind or missed something? If they're still 18th founding, they're definitely not any of Girlyman's greyshields.

 

 

Dark Eldar - the Kabal of the Shettered World

 

 

Forgive me but do you mean Shattered?

 

 

The Champions were unable to easily pursue foes across so many fronts, and so changed their tactics, drawing inspiration from the hunters on their Homeworld of Athlum. Studying the habits and attack patterns of their enemies, the Champions were able to use smaller forces to lie in ambush, using guile and forward planning to intercept enemy attacks. Chapter serfs were employed as agents, gathering intelligence and acting as watchful eyes for the Chapter on many worlds.

 

 

This is great. However, does it bring them into conflict with anyone? That's always the thing I'm interested in.

 

 

The Champions came to their senses and saw that the Dark Eldar were trying to play them at their own game. The Chapter refocused their anger, turning it from a burning rage into an ice-cold, murderous focus. To this day, both the Kabal and the Chapter remain locked in an endless series of raids, ambushes and gruelling small-scale warfare all across the south-east of the Glastheim Rifts.

 

 

While this is awesome, the Dark Eldar prefer not to engage a hard target if they can avoid it and the Astartes are one of the few forces in the galaxy that can give back what they get when fighting the dark kin.

 

Would the Kabal seek easier territory? Would it make more sense for the Champions to be tracking them as they keep moving their preying grounds? Thematically I prefer your story but I thought I'd offer a logical alternative. The only other thing I'd say would be to point out how the Kabal now has a bit of a b***r for the champions. Would the Kabal leave them 'messages'?

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Doesn't a Chapter get named and coloured before they're formally deployed? Or have I fallen behind or missed something? If they're still 18th founding, they're definitely not any of Girlyman's greyshields.

It seems do depend on the founding and/or the Chapter. Some seems to be created with a name, colour and homeworld already decided, while others are just a number and are told to go out crusading, or to find a planet that would be fitting as their recruitment and homeworld, and along the line they decide on a name and a colour based on what they experience

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Doesn't a Chapter get named and coloured before they're formally deployed? Or have I fallen behind or missed something? If they're still 18th founding, they're definitely not any of Girlyman's greyshields.

It seems do depend on the founding and/or the Chapter. Some seems to be created with a name, colour and homeworld already decided, while others are just a number and are told to go out crusading, or to find a planet that would be fitting as their recruitment and homeworld, and along the line they decide on a name and a colour based on what they experience

 

 

Fair enough. It just seems strange to not even have so much as a colour, symbol and/or callsign to go with. Otherwise they'd be relatively hard to identify and track, as well as attribute victories and credit to for their actions taken.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

 

In late M40, the Champions discovered an uninhabited world, Kynasa, that was in many ways a mirror of proud Athlum. Claiming recruitment rights from the world at the same time as claiming Kynasa for the Imperium,

 

Have I missed something? But what is there to recruit on an uninhabited world? I appreciate this is setting up the grudge with the Dark Eldar, but it seems a bit expansive. Can the grudge not develop from an assault on their homeworld, killing a significant amount of potential recruits? Perhaps whilst the majority of the Chapter's strength was off combating other DE raids, just to add insult to injury?

 

 

 

Recruiting more serfs from other worlds allowed the Champions to spread their intelligence network further while tightening their control on the systems and subsectors around Athlum.

 

I quite like this idea, assumably this means that Serfs hold a higher position of respect than they otherwise would with another Chapter? How does this almost Alpha Legion style doctrine affect their relationship with more traditionally Codex Chapters?

 

 

 

Only the patient and the skilled can survive on Athlum, and it is from the youth of this hardy caste of hunters that the Champions draw most of their recruits.

 

Does the Chapter have much 'day to day' interaction with the natives? Or are they more recluse, with the Monastery being seen by the Athlumians(?) as the Land of the Angels type of thing, i.e out of bounds.  

 

 

 

Combat Patrols using carefully gathered intelligence to cripple an enemy force before it ever truly musters its' strength. Small-scale strikes used to cause large-scale effects, so that when the time comes for the Champions to muster at Company strength and take to the battlefield, often the result of the battle is decided before the Company even deploys for battle.

 

Has this lead to a more adhoc approach to company structure, akin to the Iron Snakes?

 

++++ 

 

A nice start Ace. Looking forward to seeing them fleshed out a bit more!

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* The obvious flaw to go with this is pride, like the rest of my chapters :sweat:

the Deathwatch RPG description of the Ultramarines' Chapter weakness was "Ultramarines are natural leaders and make excellent battlefield commanders at all levels of command. This pride and training, however, can lead to them scorning or disregarding the leadership of those from other Chapter or Imperial forces", maybe of inspiration.

Edited by Gamiel
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  • 2 months later...

Updates!:biggrin.:

Mostly just some tweaks and a few fancy quotes under the section headers.
I think I've addressed most of the above-raised points, and I'll tackle a few more below.
 

Well, this is unusual for you!

What, updating stuff? I agree, I generally just start a new Chapter instead. :ermm:

Don't worry, though, there'll be some Reivers along to adorn the top of the page sooner or later.
It is inevitable. :laugh.:
 

Doesn't a Chapter get named and coloured before they're formally deployed? Or have I fallen behind or missed something? If they're still 18th founding, they're definitely not any of Girlyman's greyshields.

I've attempted to bypass the possible error here by simply referring to the Chapter as "The Champions" until after they've settled on Athlum.
 

Forgive me but do you mean Shattered?

I do indeed! Well spotted, brother.
 

This is great. However, does it bring them into conflict with anyone? That's always the thing I'm interested in.

Oh, probably. Almost certainly, in fact.

But I need to finish the rest of the Silver Circle before I can really make the Chapters relate to or dislike each other for X or Y, it'll be so much easier once they're all basically finished.
 

While this is awesome, the Dark Eldar prefer not to engage a hard target if they can avoid it and the Astartes are one of the few forces in the galaxy that can give back what they get when fighting the dark kin.
 
Would the Kabal seek easier territory? Would it make more sense for the Champions to be tracking them as they keep moving their preying grounds? Thematically I prefer your story but I thought I'd offer a logical alternative. The only other thing I'd say would be to point out how the Kabal now has a bit of a b***r for the champions. Would the Kabal leave them 'messages'?

I mean, you're right, but the whole idea is to set up the Champions Vs. Kabal fights that I'm going to be seeing a lot of on my tabletop.

I'd also suggest that what the Kabal has is a "vendetta", since you have to replace less of it with asterisks. :wink: 
 

Have I missed something? But what is there to recruit on an uninhabited world?

You missed nothing, I just made a rookie error. It's fixed now, I hope.
 

Can the grudge not develop from an assault on their homeworld, killing a significant amount of potential recruits? Perhaps whilst the majority of the Chapter's strength was off combating other DE raids, just to add insult to injury?


It could.... but I had that exact thing happen to the White Hawks, who are the other Chapter who will be largely throwing down with the Kabal on my tabletop. :sweat: 
 

I quite like this idea, assumably this means that Serfs hold a higher position of respect than they otherwise would with another Chapter? How does this almost Alpha Legion style doctrine affect their relationship with more traditionally Codex Chapters?


I think you're probably right about the respect part. As for interactions with other Chapters - I'm holding off on adding that to the article until I've fleshed out the rest of the Silver Circle (so about 2030 at the rate I write :sweat:). As a rough guide to how the others look at the Champions' methods, though:

Warminds: Approve (smart)
Brotherhood of Crows: Approve (pragmatic)
Stonebound: Disapprove (Not The Way We Do Things)
Silver Suns: Disapprove (Underhanded, lacking honour)
White Hawks: Confused Disapprove (Avoiding glorious battles? Why?)
 

Does the Chapter have much 'day to day' interaction with the natives? Or are they more recluse, with the Monastery being seen by the Athlumians(?) as the Land of the Angels type of thing, i.e out of bounds.


I've outright used the term "Land of the Angels" in the article now (very evocative, me likey :thumbsup:), and the Champions are distant guardians treated with some reverence by the Athlumi people.
 

Has this lead to a more adhoc approach to company structure, akin to the Iron Snakes?


Hmm. I actually don't know.
I wanted the Champions to think of themselves as exemplars for other Chapters to look up to; I don't think they'd really stray from the Codex-approved Organisation much.

At the same time, I think they absolutely would be more fluid and adaptable in their structure on a per-battle basis. I don't think it'd be something they'd really draw attention to.

 

Something for me to think about, definitely.
 

the Deathwatch RPG description of the Ultramarines' Chapter weakness was "Ultramarines are natural leaders and make excellent battlefield commanders at all levels of command. This pride and training, however, can lead to them scorning or disregarding the leadership of those from other Chapter or Imperial forces", maybe of inspiration.


It certainly was, it's helped me get a different grip on how the Champions' pride can manifest when compared to, say, the White Hawks or the Stonebound. :happy.:

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