Jump to content

Help Developing background for a Chaos Faction

Recommended Posts

So as the Title states I am looking for help developing background. I am building a story around several battles against Chaos I have now. But part of my issue, I need to build a better picture of the enemy of my main guys to properly build out the story. 

Here is what the Chaos Faction would consist of so far:
Chaos Undivided Knights - Khorne Ravenger with Tzeetch and Slannesh Armigers (no Nurgle yet.)
Iron Warriors Outpost with several Warmachines
Word Bearers Possessed and Raptors.

I don't know enough about the Chaos factions and interactions to understand how they would work or not work together or what is needed for these different things to make sense. So I am looking to spitball lore background and then come up with a faction name and some characters to be the villains of my story. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So off hand (and by no means an expert on newer lore), I assume you have a system/planet your forces are attacking? or defending? eh either way:

I would start with a warsmith character (or daemon prince if you prefer) to be the warband leader. They can be the Praetor/impressive title top bod for the iron warriors garrison. Personally I would then have a 2IC who is a warpsmith, trusted right hand man esk, who is in charge of the warmachines of the iron warriors faction. Leaves the main organisation to the top dog, but will be trusted to lead his own forays etc and have troops put under his command for missions.

The word bearers, I'd play them as a smaller player, they are sworn to your warsmith and are the envoy that was sent to ensure the iron warriors turned traitor alongside the rest of the legion during the heresy. They are extra strength in the warsmiths eyes, so while he doesnt align to their worshiping ways, he tolerates it as it increases the troops at his dispersal. They have over the decades fallen into full on poessesd marines and the raptor cult but otherwise work alongside the main iron warriors (you could have them as a seperate base or ships if they are the aggressor in your story, or have them sharing quarters and ops with the iron warriors, as a more closely interlinked force).

The knights, undivided as a whole is good, allows them to align closely with the beliefs and ethos of the iron warriors, with whom they will also owe fealty to. The warpsmith tends to their technical wants, seeing that they gain loot as befits their requirements and merits, the warsmith allows him to handle the day to day liasons with this faction of his warband so long as they obey his directives when required. (can have a plot point of some falling out here if you need, or an upsurper play if you want to split the iron warrios in 2 with the warpsmith leading a breakaway faction). The knights having their own dedications would be a mild one, down to the pilots/crews of each knight giving fealty and offerings to their own gods. Not full swing fanatics, but a prayer here, and offering there, small favours and benefits on their gradual descent.

Overall those groups will work find together, it's just about knitting a bit of a story for why each group works together or owes another fealty. The 40k chaos warbands are fuedal in nature, owing fealty and tribute to their leader on the basis that the leader provides spoils and good times, or through honour bound words of oath that have been given. The word bearers could have stayed with the iron warriors as they view it as their mission to enlighten the godless, while the iron warriors appreciate the extra troops they bring.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think space has some good suggestions, but to give some alternate thoughts:

-I actually would reverse the roles of the Iron Warriors and Word Bearers. I would make the Word Bearers the patrons of the undivided knights, teaching them the lessons of the Four. The Iron Warriors could essentially be there for Dark Mechanicus support to keep the Knights running

-An alternate path would be to have the Iron Warriors and Word Bearers be a combined warband. It isn't uncommon for the Legion warriors to break off and form their own warbands, and combination warbands aren't unheard of. It could be a cabal of Word Bearers zealots who have inducted the Iron Warriors into the religion, combining WB demonology with Iron Warriors daemon engines production. This also gives you the chance to make a unique paint scheme for the group.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, sitnam said:

...combining WB demonology with Iron Warriors daemon engines production. This also gives you the chance to make a unique paint scheme for the group.

I think these are great ideas, and along those same lines, the lines between Chaos worship and Dark Mechanicum dogma blurring.

The lore has previously explored the idea of the Cult of the God-Emperor and the Cult Mechanicus blending in the Moirae Schism, with some fallout (lead to the formation of the Sons of Medusa to defuse the situation).  What would be interesting if the reverse happened with Chaos, with the worship of the Four Powers and the Mechanicum beliefs kinda blurring over 10,000 years of warp exposure.  Daemon engines are probably the most obvious evidence that the two are not as incompatible as one may intuit.

We think of each faction, Chaos Knights, Iron Warriors, Word Bearers, as these distinct factions because their Codices and novels are sold separately, but things blend.

What I noticed in the later Horus Heresy novels in particular was that, for example, Word Bearers were way more fractured among themselves than I thought.  One would assume religion unites them; ironically, it's actually what divides them.  In Slaves to Darkness in particular, their Primarch Lorgar was planning to usurp Horus himself not so much to be Warmaster, but to be the Chosen of Chaos; Lorgar's the worshiper of the lot, he couldn't take the humiliation of being passed over by the Four Powers.  Lorgar was then further humiliated when his most trusted lieutenant, Zardu Layak, betrayed him and aligned himself under Horus instead.  Layak was a true believer, and accepted the Four Powers chose Horus for a reason over his own Primarch, and his faithfulness to the Chaos Gods was greater than his loyalty to his own geneseed.  The point being, this famous Word Bearer found more common cause with the Sons of Horus in following the Warmaster than his own Legion or Primarch, because Chaos Undivided is greater than the divisions between Legions.

I'm imagining a great gathering place for all the factions in Brother TechCaptain's list up there that serves as grand temple for all sorts of functions.  Imagine great big statues of the Four Powers, then the Machine God as an equal to them.  To these particular Chaos Knights, Iron Warriors, Word Bearers and all their mortal followers, there's no longer a distinction between them, like how real world religions kinda assimilate elements and often-times whole gods from each other.  Not so unreasonable after 10,000 years in the warp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of paint scheme at the moment the Knights Red scheme is dominating because I am commissioning a scene of the knight fighting my knight house and the Skitarii. Story so far is Mjorn landed thinking the planet had no advance life reading no signatures. Then Choas Knight push off a small portion of the expedition from some ruins that was one of the likely sites for a STC. While running ran into the Iron Warriors and now Word Bearers are chasing the survivors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay Chosen of the Forsworn Silver, Owners of a thought to be uninhabited planet that is somewhat corrupted by their presence at the edge of the Rift in the Eastern Fringes, specifically the Ishtar Wild Spaces. These are worshippers of Chaos Undivided with a blended religion of Machine God and the big Four. 

Wondering if it would be too much to Worship the Dragon form of the Machine God (a nod to the Necrons.) I think this might fit my subsector well with the heavily Tech influences, Necron cropped Chaos bands, and warp instability thanks to the Hadex Anomaly. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, N1SB said:

Disciples of Jagged Iron sounds really awesome and I love the idea of them even worshiping the Dragon form, that's brilliant.

Thanks Man. I think it works with the two other Chaos Warbands I have in my Subsector. 

Unchained Confederacy - an Dark Admech and ex Bloodmoon Hunter leaning Confederacy of warbands that provides intel and spy network information to the highest bidder. 

The Flayed Legion Cult - (Original idea was not mine.) A Heretical cult that worships Flayed Ones of the Necrons and mutilates themselves in appeasement of the Flayed Ones. has risen to Worship Chaos Undivided and allied with other warbands. Basically a whole Hive City plus smaller cults across a Hive World follow this. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly I would have to see how the Dragon worship is done. Part of me thinks it would be too much to mix undivided, machine god, and the Dragon but it could definitely work..

 I'd just try to avoid to many themes in one pot

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

The Dragon is the Machine God of Mars or was thought to be. The Emperor supposedly defeated it or something and it’s been hidden in the Depths since. Other bits say it’s one of the Necron Star Gods. At least that is what I kind of remember from old lore. But besides the Six sided star of Chaos, I was thinking the Four Gods would be considered components of the True Machine God in his embodiment as a Dragon. Or something like that.with five points being those five statues and the sixth point being ascension. Just a rough idea and I have no clue how well that works. My Chaos knowledge is limited.


Khorne is the Strength and Bloodlust of Dragons. Nurgle the putrid breath and life, Tzeetch the embodiment of the superior logic and mind, and Slaneesh the Body and the hoard or something like that.


Random spitballing.

Edited by TechCaptain
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.