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Ok, so coming in for my first post in Army Fluff forum... there will be more, shortly.
There is a lot (I mean a real LOT) of ideas I've got, and I feel that some C&C is needed at last. The part here is the bare bones of an important part of the Chapter's belief system.
For starters, Raven Knights believe that some day the Emperor will be reborn to lead the humanity into a final battle against the forces of Chaos. Thay also believe that on that day, the mightiest warriors that died serving the Emperor shall be raised from the dead to fight alongside him. Of course, all of the Chapter-Brothers strive constantly so that the Emperor may judge them worthy of that honor.
Then, the Chapter has somewhat radically different ideas about technology then most. While they honor it, it is not in their custom to pass armor down the generations. While majority of weapons and equipment are provided by Chapter's armories, it is a duty of each Battle-Brother upon his initiation into that status to construct his own equipment (with a degree of aid from the Techmarines, naturally). Also, it is a custom that their former weapons and armor (recruits are typically recruited from medieval worlds, specifically the local equivalents of chivalry) are melted down and used to cast the components of armor and the sword (a belief that weapon and armor both posess spirits of their own, and thus these spirits should pass onto the marines' new gear).
NOTE: This does not mean that the Marines' armor is completely made from iron, steel and whatnot. The molten metal of their former armor is mixed with the more typical materials and alloys. The decorations (as the chest eagle) may be made completely from that metal, though.
NOTE: All the high-tech gizmos, actuators, control systems and such are installed by the Techmarines. The initiate only makes the armored components.
Another piece of Chapter's custom is that every warrior should posess a sword. The definition though is quite broad, so rapiers, sabers and katanas also qualify. That blade has to be forged by the imnitiate himself as to serve him better in battle, and is tempered in his own blood (well, not in that much of it, obviously) as well as that of his enemies.
If a Marine's sword is somehow broken yet he survives the battle, it is considered a very ill omen and proof that he was considered unworthy by his weapon's spirit. Battle-brothers such afflicted are sent on various missions to regain their "worthiness" and regain the favor of the waepon's spirit. Typical example is finding a mighty warrior of great evil and defeat him, claiming his weapon and destroying it as an offering to the spirit of their old blade. A fistful of metal from that weapon is taken to be used in reforging the warrior's blade anew.
NOTE: The metal obviously has to undergo examination by Chaplains and Librarians to judge whether it's "proper" for the purpose.
As a final test, each neophyte has to slay a ferocious beast of some type. His old armor and weapons are donned for the last time, and save them he has only his own cunning to serve him. The blood of the defeated beast is used in the tempering process. Orks are a particularly frequent choice for that rite, though other alien species (Tyranid, Kroot and Dark Eldar in particular) have been witnessed, as well as dangerous creatures taken from various deathworlds encountered by Chapter's fleet.
Finally, while other equipment is the property of the Chapter, the Battle-Brothers are considered rightful owners of their armor and the blade. This extends as far as to that they are buried with them, so that if they should be the ones resurrected by the Emperor for the final battle, their weapons and armor will continue to serve them even then.
Yes, I know it's freakish. That's still not the half of it... and the other half includes heavy metal. :w00t:
Comments? Questions? Critique?
I like it. Excellent warrior-craftsman mythos, not unlike the Salamanders Chapter but with more adventure.
What traits are they? Which original Chapter are they descended from? Have you made any characters or enemies for them yet? Any noteworthy wins, losses or relics? What relations do they have with the medieval planet(s) they recruit from? What are their colors? Do you plan to convert a unique sword for each of them? (Cool but time-consuming.)
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
Well I can't really beat Intrepid with the number of questions he asked, let alone their importance to fleshing out the fluff.
However, heres one:
How does the Chapter acquire the materials to make new armour for every initiate? Generally Chapters pass them down because it is hard to make a suit of Power Armour, and even more hard to get the stuff needed to do so. I know your Chapter doesn't pass them down, so where and how do they get the materials required?
* What traits are they?
Right now I'm dead set on Be Swift As The Wind, not sure about the rest.
* Which original Chapter are they descended from?
According to Imperial records, from Raven Guard. However, it was recently discovered that their geneseed does not match RG - or in fact any first founding Legion recognized by Imperial records (including the Traitor Legions).
* Have you made any characters or enemies for them yet? Any noteworthy wins, losses or relics?
Not quite. I've got an idea for creating some major enemies for them, along with a major event that has decimated the Chapter to barely a company worth of Marines (from where they are still recovering).
Also, I'm trying to put them in a position where almost any Imperial organisation may have a reason to go against them.
* What relations do they have with the medieval planet(s) they recruit from?
The Chapter is not permamently based anywhere. Like Black Templars, they recruit from the worlds they encounter, altough obviously their recruitment policies are narrower.
* What are their colors?
Very similar to Raven Guard - black armor, white shoulderpads with black trim. The Chapter insignia is a black raven clutching a sword in its talons.
* Do you plan to convert a unique sword for each of them?
More or less so.
* How does the Chapter acquire the materials to make new armour for every initiate? Generally Chapters pass them down because it is hard to make a suit of Power Armour, and even more hard to get the stuff needed to do so. I know your Chapter doesn't pass them down, so where and how do they get the materials required?
Right now I'm not really sure myself.
However, the Chapter's numbers are not really high, and their recruitment policies bottleneck the number of recruits (and thus the quantity of suits of armor needed) greatly.
Also, they have a somewhat better grasp on technology then most Chapters.