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It is done... well, for now. The back story, traits and organization of my SM chapter, based largely upon Celtic (particularly gaelic) warrior societies.
You may recognize Albion from FB... in actuality, it's an ancient name for the British Isles. A Lion is the quintessential great British and Scottish symbol, though I might change the name to 'Stags' for more Scottish authenticity, if it doesn't sound too corny.
Also, 'Vortigern' is a Celtic name meaning 'mighty king'.
Let us begin!The Lions of AlbionFew know how it was that, in the thirty-fifth millennium, a superior genus of humanity began to prosper on Albion*; most speculate upon the loss or theft of a chapter, or number of chapters’, gene-seed. Regardless, when exploratory Imperial ships began noting life on the planet, recruitment became a strong motive for approaching the world. However, two matters stopped the small tribe from becoming simple muscle for scant few Imperial Guard regiments.Founding
One was their sentience. For humans whose presence on a planet could only have been for a few hundred years, at the very most, they demonstrated remarkable intelligence; language, creation and operation of tools, sense of social hierarchy and so on. The second reason was the fact that the race was almost certainly cloned Astartes; their superiority in almost every physical aspect was testament to this, as was the disparate but present evidence of other ships having been present on the planet over the past centuries.
The tribe on Albion was small but strong, and had established local dominance. Their leader, Vortigern, was the first man to speak to Imperial emissaries, whose questions to him were translated by a psyker. (Vortigern had immediate distrust for the psyker, unnerved by a creature who could manipulate the thoughts in his head, and this distrust amongst the Lions of Albion continues to this day.) The conversation was long and tense, but at some point Vortigern was asked to whom he swore fealty. He replied, simply, “the gods.” He was asked if he would swear loyalty to the Emperor. After asking why he should, the psyker was instructed to barrage Vortigern with the past several millennia of history; the rising supremacy of the Imperium of man, the creation of the primarchs and the marines who followed in their wake, the great insurrection of Horus against the Emperor and the crusade on Holy Terra, and the Emperor’s heroic last stand against Horus and the grievous wound that led him to be entombed in the golden throne. Vortigern reeled, a man changed forever, for he was certain of two things; firstly, that the man he had just seen was the flesh incarnation of Eochaid Ollathair, the father and mighty warrior king; and secondly, that the images he had just seen were part of an unfinished story, and that he and his people had a part to play in it.
The emissary wished Albion to be colonised and industrialised for the creation of a new chapter, but Vortigern’s rule over the society was absolute and his independence unquestionable. Instead, appropriate modification and training facilities were set up on Albion for the induction and creation of new Astartes. It is in this sense that Vortigern is the closest modern equivalent there is to a primarch, though his marines were not cloned directly from him.
Over the millennia, the chapter would come to prosper. Vortigern became the first High Lord of the Lions of Albion, and the people under his leadership thrived, quickly (through massive population increase and segregation into smaller kinships and clans) came to populate the entire planet, and, eventually, nearby planets as well. The population of Albion is now close to a billion, with more than half of the chapter concentrated there, and the fortress of the current High Lord in the heart of the world’s largest metropolis.
* A world located towards the centre of Segmentum Pacificus; climate ranging from temperate (at the equatorial regions) to polar (with northern and southern ice caps accounting for approximately 38 per cent of the world’s surface mass); eleven continents; 1.6 Terra standard gravity.
(It is worth pointing out that more recent study into the genome of the chapter has revealed the most likely candidate for their patron chapter to be the Salamanders, though how the seed came to Albion is an utter mystery.)The Lions of Albion are an almost tribal marine chapter; split into various clans and kinships, they charge into battle daubed in blue war paint, singing praise to their gods and howling vicious war cries. Few lesser-ranking kinsmen are literate or fluent in Imperial Gothic, and so the reliance is upon their clan chieftains, generals and lords to liaise with the Imperium. Their chapter fortresses are great festhalls and are often, particularly on the eve before a march to war, alive with merriment; laughter, drinking, and eating, as well as tales and songs of gods, warriors and kings of old.Chapter traits and politics
The worlds under the command of the Lions of Albion mark a fiercely independent area of space, and recruits are only ever drawn into clans from the population of those planets. Each successor High Lord is a headstrong and stubborn leader, who will tolerate no interference from any of the Imperium’s other institutions.Lord Kail Cahal is the High Lord of the chapter. From his fortress on Albion he govern the clan lords and generals of his armies; sometimes letting them independently pursue their agenda with little more than guidance from him, and sometimes issuing absolute commands to some or all of the chapter. At times when the entire chapter is called into battle, he will lead at the forefront of their assault.Organisation
The clan lords and generals rank neither higher nor lower than the other; rather, both serve different but equally important functions. The first clan lords rose as the chapter began to spread their numbers across various worlds, and the total number of clans there are has since varied as certain bands dissolve or merge into others. The number is currently thought to be between sixty and seventy, and the nature of each clan is very different: some warrior clans may be furious assault fighters, some wild hit-and-run riders, some very tank and vehicle heavy, some stealth and reconnaissance experts, some well-versed in heavy weapons, and so on; whereas many other clans serve functions such as technicians, smiths, even bards and storytellers. Beneath the clan lords are clan chieftains, each of whom relay the lore and ruling of his lord to the kinsmen beneath him; sometimes to as many as a hundred or so, or sometimes to as few as ten or twenty men.
Generals, however, exist only where they are needed. Where there is the need for an army, a general will arise. Some have served for years, some are veterans fresh to command, and some are appointed by the high lord himself. They are individuals with the command prowess and tactical ability to lead the disparate clansmen that make up any army of the Lions of Albion, and once they have advanced to this prestigious role, it is usually until they are killed in battle.
The battle-priests are the religious ministers, or druids, of the chapter, and often the most literate and well-versed in the languages of the Imperium. It is for this reason that they act as emissaries and diplomats to other Imperial chapters and institutions. They venerate the gods of their old worship, as well as Eochaid Ollathair, the father (or the Emperor); performing rituals and sacrifices in their names when outside of battle, and howling their names with holy fury when in it.
So... feel free to offer suggestions for tweaks, opinions as to holes in the backstory, etc. Also, I'm utterly stuck on colour schemes (red, white and blue is all I can think, but compositionally I haven't a clue), so suggestions as to that would be appreciated too.
Pending approval, I'll post a time line of events, special characters, and prominent clans operating in the Albion system.
rather cool, im assuming you would use the space wolf list? Or shall you make your own.
As of Sep 25th 20082k+ Blood Wolves (SM) 0|1|01k- Black Frost 1st (IG) 1|0|0
ahem! *crosses arms indignantly*. did you get this idea from me? (i not too long ago posted a celtic themed chapter, feel free to take any ideas you want)
but yeah, i really like the idea you got going here, very well thought out!!
armour colour scheme: the main colour is a dull green, which is offset by all the right-arm colours and the dark blue and gold decoration. mine goes like this:
1. Honoured Company of the Druids (librarians, techmarines and chaplains) - libbys wear blue robes, but armour stays green, chappys wear black robes, techys wear grey robes
2. Great Company of the Hawk (Seabhag Warriors) - dark red right arm (assault marines, vanguard marines)
3. Great Company of the Bear (Arth Warriors) - dark brown/black (terminators, dreadnoughts)
4. Great Company of the Boar (Bacrie Warriors) - brown right arm (tactical marines, sternguard marines)
5. Great Company of the Owl (Cailleach Warriors) - grey right arm (devastator marines, tactical marines, scout snipers)
6. Great Company of the Fox (Sionnach Warriors) - red/bronze right arm (scouts, scout bikers, marine bikers, marine attack bikers)
7. Great Company of the Eagle (Fireun Warriors) - cream/white right arm (land speeders, thunder hawks)
8. Company of the Honour Bound (Enech Warriors) - dark blue woad patterns adorn most of their armour (commanders, command squads, veterans, masters of the chapters and their honour guards)
the different Great Companies are professionals at the different theatres of war. one main thing is; they despise tanks (besides transports), the tanks which they use are: rhinos, razorbacks, land raiders (they use all variants), land speeders, dreadnoughts, terminator suits, bikes and attack bikes
oh, yeah. and you could field them using the BA codex because of several reasons: the BA codex is free, they can field assault marines as troops and they can have DC (which can be represented as berserks, and whilst they are more norse, it was not unheard of in irish mythology for warriors to go seething mad before a battle and not calm down till afterwards)
hope it helps
IIRC, then 'Albion' is the Anglicised version of the word, and the original was 'Albia'. but if you want to go specifically scottish/pictish, then the name would be 'Alba', as thats what the scots/picts called it.
but i'm not too sure on those names, thats just what i remembered from when i designed my own celtic-themed chapter
Last edited by luke.noorda; September 25th, 2008 at 15:54.
Good thinking man, I like However, I was thinking of using standard 4th edition SM rules (I don't like the fact that in 5th edition you have to have a 10-strong squad to field special weapons, it totally takes the diversity out of it. The Lions don't even have tactical squads!) The reason for this is the diversity of clans that generals can command, which I'm about to post after this: I was thinking of having each clan with different trait advantages (the universal disadvantages for all clans are Flesh Over Steel and Have Faith in Suspicion). That way, I can change the army traits depending on which clan is prominent, so the individual clan personalities influence the overall army dynamic; and I get to add abilities to certain sqauds pre-battle at the regular points cost. You'll see why I'm going to do it this way, I hope, after this post:
As promised, prominent clans from the last five millennia of Lions of Albion (or Alba :p). Here goes.Prominant clans
Clan Caith: Hailing from the Northern forests of Albion Prime, the largest central continent of Albion and home of the chapter, this small clan relied on one chief weapon to counter the larger number of ferocious wild animals and native bipedal enemies which assailed them; fire. They would burn large swathes of forest to halt and trap their foe, before surrounding them and using flaming arrows or primitive projectiles of heavily flammable oils to annihilate them. The clan favour such tactics to this day, renowned for use of flamer and melta weapons; their armour resplendent with slogans and war paint depicting fire.
Clan Cogadh: One of the largest and oldest Lion clans, Clan Cogadh was largely responsible for the conquest of the continents of Albion under Vortigern’s command. Their great steel war-wagons are creations of ancient renown, and today the clan favour large numbers of flexible infantry and tanks to overcome the enemy by sheer firepower.
Clan Fčaiteach: One of the first clans to form outside Albion, Clan Fčaiteach landed on the world that was to become known as Uchd Bŕis, or ‘Death’s Door’. Unlike Albion, the world was in near-perpetual cold and darkness, with nights that would last often for months at a time. The landscape was dead, and heavily industrialised; for, like Albion, Uchd Bŕis was also teeming with natural predators and beasts, including orc tribes. Clan Fčaiteach quickly learned to use the climate and landscape to their advantage, however; setting up camp in clustered and hidden rock outcroppings, and launching stealth attacks on small enemy forces and strategic positions, crippling them from the feet upwards. By the time reinforcement clans arrived, the orcs had been weakened to such an extent that what would have been a small-scale campaign was a routine massacre. Fčaiteach clanships are now almost exclusively on Uchd Bŕis, where they initiate and train the majority of their number.
Clan Gathan-Dubha: Feirce warriors trained in the rocky crags and peaks of the Albion mountains, beneath perpetually raging storms, this clan quickly learned the art of sprinting and leaping on foot through the treacherous terrain to out-manoeuvre their foes despite the lack of numbers or superior weaponry. The modern kinsmen of Gathan-Dubha, the storm-riders, utilise jump packs and close-range assault weaponry to overcome their enemies. They revere Taranis, the god of thunder, and his wheel emblem adorns their armour and banners.
Clan Roigh’da: The wild riders of the Albion plains were a force to be reckoned with; utilised by Vertigorn during the first great expansions to outflank their foes and bring them down from the side or rear with thrown spears, the clan is now almost exclusively mounted on bikes. Indeed, the feral glint in the eye of a Roigh’da kinsman as he opens his throttle, ready to plunge into the maw of the enemy ranks, is legendary. Each kinsman is charged with the maintenance of his bike, and not only are personalised markings and trophies commonplace, they are encouraged.
Clan Seasaimh: Steadfast and belligerent, clan Seasaimh have fought on the front lines of innumerable campaigns since the first expansions. Able to stand against even the most overwhelming odds with tenacity, wise generals will use them to hold ground or obstacles. Terminator armour was a godsend to many Clan Seasaimh kinsmen, whose legendary stubbornness and eagerness to prove themselves to their fellow warriors frequently results in unnecessary casualties where tactical withdrawal would have been a more appropriate option.
Clan Thoir Deann: Under their first clan lord, Conall, Clan Thoir Deann was a fierce and wayward group of battle-hungry warriors who were difficult, if not wholly impossible, to fully command in battle; indeed, it was more than frequent that they would be told to hold ground, or wait for the enemy to expose a flank or vulnerable spot, but become restless, and be led by the clan lord in a furious charge which compromised the battle as a whole. This led to Vortigern issuing a necessary rebuke to Conall, which the clan lord challenged; the two fought, and Vortigern struck him down. Since then the clan has been loyal to the might of the High Lord; but any general worth his salt will pit them in the maelstrom of close-quarters fighting, where they can exercise their legendary bloodlust.
i love armies that actually have this much of a story!
As of Sep 25th 20082k+ Blood Wolves (SM) 0|1|01k- Black Frost 1st (IG) 1|0|0
Thoughts, o venerable internet strangers?
"A transcendant terrestris, a timeless behemoth, trapped like Sisyphus in the cyclical burden of his own genius."
nah, i quite like the foundation of your chapter, one thing i'd change, though, is the bit about the "a superior genus of humanity began to prosper on Albion".
because if you're suggesting that the last remnants of a wrecked chapter sired many of the current peoples of Albion (or something), then it doesn't work as marines are incapable of siring children.
although, you could make up some fluff about failed generation of space marines, which where superior to normal humans and inferior to the adeptus astartes. and for some reason they were stranded on Albion, where the imperium thought they would just die. however, these space marines were able to interbreed into a group of clans on Albion, the sons of which consequently rampaged across the planet, and founded several clans.
sorry 'bout my rambling!
I love the idea of a Celtic themed chapter but you have some ideas about how chapters are fundamentally wrong. I could go into detail but I suggest that you take a look at the following thread instead:
The Ultimate DIY Chapter Creation Thread
As far as developing fluff for your chapter, this is the best resource that I've found anywhere on the net*. It's a thread that tries to steer people away from some potential pitfalls in chapter development as well as giving the process some structure. While I don't agree with a couple of items (and I mean really disagree, just look at my sig :yes: ), on the whole they have the process bang on. You can't go wrong by following their lead.
* being the DIY addict that I am, I've done an obscene amount of looking for material on DIY chapters.
Yes, there are female marines and my Sunhawks will let you know in a major way.
Not all the Emperors Children turned coat. We will redeem our name.