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Just been asked for my Chapter fluff. Nothing written down and no sloid thoughts but this is what is knocking around my head. Please feel free to comment constructively but please be aware that I may not have the time to ammend or update with something more solid any time soon.
Thanks and I hope you like the ideas and random dribblings I've scribbed below.
Very basically, the Chapter is based on an old Hive world (Grimshader) that was totally destroyed some millenia before in a war of global proportions. The planet never recovered and became unusable by the Imperium so was struck of the official record and marked as a dead planet.
The Harvesters took up residents beneath the planet surface in secret. Very few know they are there. The local populous on the surrounding planets have believed there to be a ghost army on the planet said to be the dead loyalists from th eorigional war. This is a belief that surfaced long before the Harvesters made their base of ops. However, they have quitly fostered this belief and faned the flames of it to such a point that none dare go to the planet for fear of what evil may befall them. A belief the Harvesters are very happy with.
In no way do the marines ever mingle with the local planetery populous bar 'The Wardens'.
The Wardens are tasked with recruiting new marines and sifting the wheat from the chaff. Four ranking marines are tasked with the duty of Wardenship. A Chaplain, The Chief Librarian, Capt of the 10th and One of the Captains of the 1st.
On random nights the peoples of the surrounding system will see strange lights in the sky and know they have been called to give up their young. This they do with a sense of fear. Although none will ever speak it they know that the four huge armoured giants in their black and grey are from the planet Grimsahder, the haunted planet. The Wardens sift through the young and take only those they believe will make marines. As they are led off there is much anguish and weeping for what will happen to them.
Once the children have been taken to the awaiting Thunderhawk they are whisked off to Grimshader. In transit they are striped and given a set of instructions. They are told to find a route to an old Hive spire that they will see when landed on the planet. They must make their way to the top where all will be made clear. What they aren't told is that young marine aspirants will be tracking them, tasked with the job of scaring the crap out of the children and breaking their mind.
Such is the 'sport' to be had that many of the aspirants compete to find the most imaginative way of achieving their task. From clever uses of vox casters to hololithic projectors the aspirants harry the children all the way to the spire top. Many children die in the wastes or in the dry, dusty ruins of the spire clutching their heads as they lost their minds. Those who succeed in gaining the top room will have passed many small skeletons on their journey.
Once their the children are met by one of the Wardens who tells them the path set before them and takes them to the fortress beneath the wastes.
That all sounds pretty spiffy, and as far as I know it works for a Space Marine chapter. Kind of cool how you emphasized their recruitment process more than anything else.
There are two things I want to point out/ask:
1. I noticed your army is 13k points strong and counting. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to come up with something in your backstory that explains its massive size. Maybe something to the effect of randomly kidnapping entire shipfuls of children for their tests?
2. It might also be a good idea to work up some neat-looking cosmetics for whatever you can. I could easily imagine this chapter using the same scare tactics from its initiation process in battle. Nothing that affects the rules or mechanics, I'm just thinking some way to make them look scary. That, or maybe reflect it in a guerilla-style combat doctrine with lots of deep-striking and infiltrating.
What's with the secrecy? Marine Chapters have no reason to hide from everybody; in fact, such isolation and secrecy would interfere with their defense of the Imperium. Also, what do they do besides kidnap children? To be honest, scaring kids isn't exactly heroic. Most Chapters that do such things only accept volunteers. The idea is that volunteering for something terrifying and dangerous is itself a good test of character.
For that matter, no Chapter makes a point of deliberately terrifying ordinary people. Are you describing a renegade Chapter? If so, then how do they resupply and maintain their fleet?
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
2. The chapter has perfected the art of deepstriking. I am quite aware it's what marines do but the Harvesters have developed it to a point where they have specialist tactics and so on. Scouts infiltrate into the the ares to be attacked and cover the place with locbeacons and gather relevant intel etc. Once this is done the precision with which the attack commences is breathtaking. As the Britsh army say. Perfect Prior Preperation Prevents P**s Poor Performance.
True, marine chapters have no reason to hide, but some do. Do marines have to be overt? I see what you mean re: defence of the Imperium but I have to disagree. It would be in the interest of the Imperium to have certain armed forces operating more quietly. The Harvesters maintain the idea that Knowledge is power. By operating so secretly they are able to get a distict advantage over any oponent that they face. The hardest enemy to kill is the one you can't find. It keeps the strategical advantage in favour of the Chapter.
The Harvesters are not Heroic in the 'knights in shining armour' sense. In combat they are supremely heroic. However, at all times they are aware that the Imperium is a failing Empire and they are trying to stop the inevitable fall of mankind. To this end they see everything in the Imperium as a fighting resource. Children are nothing more, nothing less. Mere objects. They have value once they become noviates. Only Battle Brothers and the Emperor get more than this indifference.
I'm sure a great many chapters do scare people something chronic. Blood Angels, Space Wolves etc would be marines that the general populace would not want to meet, period.
The Harvesters could be accused of heartlessness. So be it. In their eyes they haven't been charged with anything other than the defence of the realm. All else is a waste of time.
If I get round to it I will explain more about what the exact Wardens functions are and why those individuals are choosen to execute that role.
I will also try and expand on the general background, operational strength and Chapter organisation.
Thanks for your thoughts. It's great to have rigorous critique. ;-)
Scarring of children isnt what other chapters do?Well,novel angels of darkness:The new aspirants pass the trials and they are brought before the apothecary.The first goes to table for examination.The apothecary sticks the narthecium in his stomach and he screams in pain while he checks his tissues and collects fluid samples,meanwhile one of the others screams in panic that he doesnt want to continue with the ordeal.When hes carried away by the chaplain and calms down,the chaplain breaks his neck.I dont think this isnt terror tactics and we dont speak for one the subsequent founding chapters that can be more debased but for the very first the DA.
My point:Terror is a very marine like way to weed out the aspirants.
As for secrecy:Another one for the DA.Each chapter has its own secrets brinking some times on heresy:Imperial armor the siege of Vraks:The DA deploy in full force to capture the fallen currently situated in Vraks spaceport.No contact is made with the imperial forces besieging the planet save one message send by Azrael after finishing their objective.Message contents:Mission accomplished.The DA depart...The siege continued for several years...
My pointach chapter has its own methods of acting and operating.Hiding or striking in the open,each methodology is derived from the chapters own agenda.
I liked the fluff very much its very creative and its obvius you understand the spirit of marines very good.Id like to read further about the doctrine and organization of the chapter.
Last edited by pilot00; October 30th, 2009 at 16:34.
Praise be to the Emperor!!