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Dusk Phantom
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dusk Phantoms - Saga


Lots of text! I know - but bear with it and read on if you love fluff!


I've decided to Edit the First Page Post so that all those new to reading this fluff would get a fresh start. All comments and the like are extremely important and shouldn't be taken away - since they helped shape the story as it went along... Anyway -

This Fluff started originally as a simple little story about a Space Marine Chapter named the Dusk Phantoms led by Chapter Master Desmond Felmoor. It's grown and grown and it's sort of become a little series now. It has a small following (mostly of myself, 10th Lyran and Blood_Blade) but we hope it'll pick up as we write more and more ^_^

- - - - - - - -

All of the Dusk Phantom chapters are now off-site on my Livejournal Community - Carnival of Sin - but I've taken the liberty of putting them up individually for you, as opposed to the scroll-down method I had before...

I've taken the liberty of re-writing the first, second and third chapters. So be sure to read them. You'll find all of them here:


Also I've been working closely with 10th Lyran who's an awesome Fluffmaster, he's really been supportive and who's become a good friend. His story is really good, it's on the Word Bearer Legion and his Chaos Lord character Lord Carcerus - it's a really - REALLY good read and I'd recommend it even to people who don't like reading fluff.




If you want to understand the happenings in my Chapter 8 - and Lyran's Part 6 I seriously recommend that you read both pieces of fluff (it might take time but they're good!) and you'll be able to get a much nicer feel the them I'm sure. Just ask Blood_Blade who's been following the story closely!

- - - - - - - -

Oh now for a bit of trivia - all of Carcerus' dialoges since chapter 8 are ALL written by Lyran. His character is his and is completely untouched. I didn't want to encroach on his territory. Other than that, he gave me creative control to do his description, and yes Lyran read over the whole thing and decided it was great as is. So there it is for your reading pleasure ^___^

As you can see Desmond is also mentioned in Lyran's stories, so you really will get a lot more out of it if you read both in conjunction ^_^

Edit: Also - most of Desmond's lines in Lyran's own story are written by myself. We both cooperate on things to make them more cohesive.
 

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Hmmm... They seem like a mixture of the Dark Angels and the Space Wolves. Interesting, however I beleive that they would've already raised a few Inquisitorial warning flags long before that point. Openly accepting praise for his actions, that's not too bad. However, a space marine calling an Imperial Guardsman 'brother'? And the Chapter Master no less? If that doesn't weird out the Veteran Seargants, Commissars, and everyone else in the IG... You report stuff like that. The Imperial Guard and Space Marines don't associate unless forced to anyway; The Angels of Death are above the Emperor's Hammer. All fifty trillion parts of it. The Space Marines don't care about the Imperial Guard; exceptions are few and far between. Commissar Yarrick comes to mind, but not even he was ever called 'brother'.

And chaplains... I don't really know, I feel as though he would've reacted a bit harsher than that. Lets look back. The Black Templars have Chaplain Grimaldus. He was nearly killed when a collosal temple collapsed during an Ork (?) invasion. He crawled out of the rubble three days later, carring a part of a pillar from the original temple of the Emperor, a sphere of holy water, and a tattered banner of the Emperor's first campaigns. He didn't just crawl out, he did it carrying the holy relics of the Emperor. That's how dedicated these guys are. Faith to the point of death. A chaplain would probably attack a Chapter Master for dismissing the Emperor off-hand like that. Or anyone for that matter.
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My critiques/suggestions

-Take out the whole bit about the Imperial Guard. I'm all for your whole 'Space Marine compassion thing', but don't stretch it. Not at that point. Maybe he would be frustrated for the foolish actions of Imperial commanders, sending in excess amounts of troops to die needlessly. Not compassion or respect for the people themselves. It takes a lot to even register as existing to a Space Marine.

-I felt the 'daemon whisper' at the end was out of place. Why should the forces of Chaos suddenly speak to this particular chapter master all of the sudden? Why don't you try putting it to where instead of orks they were purging a heretical cult. You could have him reading the chaos texts in search of information (because that's all it is to him, information) afterwards, and then have the voices start. "An open mind is like a fortress with it's gates unbarred and unguarded". I feel that would make more sense.

-The Chaplain bit, maybe have the Chaplain -attack- the chapter master for whatever. Then the whispers in the back of his mind start going "kill, kill, kill..." and then bam. One dead chaplain and one huge mess.

I hope that helped/gave you food for thought. I thought it was good otherwise. Just ease up on the friendliness a bit; Space Marines are not friendly. That, and a chaos cult would really make more sense than an Ork infestation for the whole "don't you feel constrained and unappreciated" whispers.

On another note, I'm not sure if the Inquisition has that much direct control over a chapter... Such as saying, "Ok, you Chaplain. Go be a Chaplain for this chapter and keep us informed". I don't know if they have that power or not... Ask someone else for confirmation.

Can't wait for more (and don't take any of this the wrong way, it was good I just felt there were inconsistancies with the way I understood the fluff)

P.S.- While imagining a Space Marine playing Space Marines in 40k is ammusing, the miniatures thing could be left out. And the games... It'd be more like logic exercises, physical training excersises, combat simulations...
 

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Son of LO
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ProfessorCurly said:
-Take out the whole bit about the Imperial Guard. I'm all for your whole 'Space Marine compassion thing', but don't stretch it. Not at that point. Maybe he would be frustrated for the foolish actions of Imperial commanders, sending in excess amounts of troops to die needlessly. Not compassion or respect for the people themselves. It takes a lot to even register as existing to a Space Marine.
I agree with this..

There was a beautiful inquisitor article which I'm not going to link to because it's mostly rules and won't make a lot of sense. But there was a great section on how marines think, which has really informed how I treat marine fluff.

When considering how marines consider their lessers, you have to imagine what it would be like to never feel real pain, or tiredness, or fear, and then to live your entire life surrounded by people who are similarly devoid of these failings. Space marines have literally saccrificed their humanity to preserve the humanity of others, and while they may love humans on a theoretical level, in reality, probably have great trouble coming to terms with the fact that things which come naturally to them, like calmly reloading a bolter while staring down the maw of a carnifex, are beyond the physical or psychological endurance of most humans.

While he might consider Imperial commanders foolish to saccrifice men needlessly, once orders are commited he likely expects guardsmen to saccrifice their lives if needs be, because that's what marines would do.

ProfessorCurly said:
On another note, I'm not sure if the Inquisition has that much direct control over a chapter... Such as saying, "Ok, you Chaplain. Go be a Chaplain for this chapter and keep us informed". I don't know if they have that power or not... Ask someone else for confirmation.
They don't.. In fact, the Adeptus Astrates are the one Imperial institution which the Inquisition has abseloutely no right to demand the allegience of. This is a consequence of the separation of the space marines and other imperial institutions which accompanied the Horus Heresy, and is supposed to ensure no Imperial commander ever wields power over both the space marines and other Imperial forces.

Adhan said:
Chapter Master Desmond sent mission statements to the Adeptus Astartes’ other Chapter Masters on how a larger period of recreation helped promote better emotional and physical health and reduced the possibility of psychosis within the mind of a Space Marine.
This bit struck me.. as I think you've got it totally wrong.

Space marines are emotionally healthy and almost never suffer from battlefield psychoses, with the exception of those whose implants have malfunctioned. Combat psychoses are triggered by fear, which space marines don't feel because they do not generally have any reason to fear dying.

It should be blatantly obvious to any chapter master that the lifestyle they lead and the saccrifices they make are neccesary ones. I think you've put far too much personal inflection into Desmond's mindset.. He likely wouldn't understand what words like 'freedom of thought' mean.

I hate to say it, but I'm not left liking the character. I actually think he comes across as self-indulgent.. The investment the Imperium has put into allowing Desmond to become a space marine is massive, he's literally carrying a piece of the Emperor's genetic legacy, one of the most precious gifts the Imperium can give, and a very literal symbol of the Emperor's desire for humanity to prosper, and yet he's turning around and saying 'bah.. screw duty and service, I want freedom.' He already accepted the offer to become a space marine, that was his freedom.. Now he is a space marine, I feel he has a debt to humanity, and to the Emperor, which he just seems to be copping out of when he feels like it.

Now normally, this wouldn't be a problem, but you clearly want the reader to like the character and to emphasise with his moral position in this case, and I find I'm not.

EDIT: Actually, now I reread the ending, it becomes a lot more convincing. While I still think his ideas are a little random to come out of someone who lives that kind of lifestyle, it makes a lot of sense. Yes, do think he comes across as selfish, but as I read the ending, it seems more like that's the human flaw which pushes him towards moral failure and allows chaos to take root in his mind.

I think in a way I'm reading too much from our previous discussions, but I think you've actually been very clever in disentangling personal feelings from character feelings and recognised that ideals which may be very noble in theory can become weaknesses, at least in the harsh universe that is 40k.
 

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Dusk Phantom
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I think in a way I'm reading too much from our previous discussions, but I think you've actually been very clever in disentangling personal feelings from character feelings and recognised that ideals which may be very noble in theory can become weaknesses, at least in the harsh universe that is 40k.

Thanks Mantis, that's -exactly- what I'm going for. See I'm trying to put in all of the character flaws, small tid-bits of past, and anything which can later be understood as to 'Why he went down that road' and 'why he is the way he is'.

As for the compassion thing, It's excessive I know, and that's the point a bit. - I think that while they may be various flags they would have raised along the lines, the fact that he keeps turning out victory after victory would want them to say 'Hmm well his methods are unorthodox, but he's fighting for the Imperium, and isn't questioning 'that' ' but obviously the point will come across as moot later on.

As for the Chaplain I'm well aware that he was placated rather *easily* this is half due to Desmond's own charisma, but it's also due to the fact that the Chaplain himself has a plan. Anyone who knows Desmond will also know that the best thing to do is to go along with whatever he says for the time being.

For the demon whispers and the like, I meant that as to say 'this isn't the first time he's been contacted by the Ruinous powers' Mostly because I didn't feel like going into when it happened in the first place, but since there's some confusion over that I might add that bit in the second chapter. -

As for the Imperial Guard stuff, noted ^^ I'll weed it out once I finish the whole story to make it more believable in that case. I'll leave it as it is now, so others can read it and tell me what they think as well.

Also, I realize that he's comming off as indulgent at this point, but he really isn't most of the time. I'll put some of this in the second chapter to emphasise the point. He cares for his men, he isn't an automaton, and the way that's shrewedly justified this is because of his mental condition and later on in the second chapter I'll delve just a bit deeper into his past when he was a todler. I'll be able to justify his care at the very least for his own Chapter much more thoroughly.

Going back to his mental condition, the fact that he has low latent inhibition makes it so that it basically goes past any mental conditioning or indoctrination and feeds him the details and surroundings of what's happening all over more clearly and with added detail. He can't stop it from happening, but he can organize it, prune it and analyse it as it comes. This means in general that he's much more suseptible to *anything* that happens around him. And this can be a good or bad thing due to the fact that if he sees someone in pain, he'll immediately dispatch an Apothecary to cure them, or if it's too late, Grant the Emperor's Peace. If he sees an enemy reaching for a grenade, he'll pick up on it before he launches it, and blast their arm off with plasma. It also relates to conversations, scenes, litterature, all of it enters his mind very easily. So I think it would be natural in a way for him to notice things such a corruption, needless death and such. And as I said earlier there'll be a bit more about his past in the second chapter which will further explain.

As for the Cultists instead of Orks... I think I'll keep the Orks, the demon whispers is acctually Tzeentch (Master of Change - Something Desmond wants and speaks of constantly) and I said somewhere above that this isn't the first time he's been contacted. But possibly sometime before. I just didn't feel like going into when it happened ^^;

Hang tight ^^ And also, thank you for the comments. They DO help a lot and I'll be sure to integrate them as I go along.

PS. I didn't mean Space Marines playing Space Marines acctually haha I meant them as playing Chess or other strategy board games. Since hey, pieces are kinda miniatures too right? ^^; Sorry if there was some confusion over that.
 

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LO's unofficial Jester
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I think you should leave in the Imperial Guard stuff. Not because thats what space marines normally think but precisly because that attitude would be looked on with suspicion. Remember that this story is focusing on a Space Marine Chapter that is going to go rouge, there have to be some oddities in its belief systems. Also bare in mind that the WH40K universe is a big place. A space marine chapter could probably openly declare themselves as worshipping the chaos gods and it might be years even decades before the Imperium got round to dealing with them, let alone if it involves minor discrepencies like what the Chapter Master thinks of Imperial Guardsmen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adhan
Chapter Master Desmond sent mission statements to the Adeptus Astartes’ other Chapter Masters on how a larger period of recreation helped promote better emotional and physical health and reduced the possibility of psychosis within the mind of a Space Marine.


Again I think this should be kept in. Not because it is in any way correct but it demonstrates that the Chapter Master is going over the edge. No wonder the Chaplin doesn't like him. Not all Chapters need to go rouge by summoning deamons and growing tentacles, sometimes it can be more subtle.



I think the Chaplin bit was kind of rushed. Also I am fairly sure the Inquisition wouldn't be able to plant a Chaplin in a Space Marine Chapter (though a Chaplin would report a Chapter to the Inquisition).

The bit at the end where some dark voice tells him to lkill the chaplin is a bit cliched, I would just have the Chapter Master thinking that independantly.

Structurally some of the sentances are a little hard to read, especially early on. If you wanted to make it fluid I would re-read it out loud it might help identify the bits which are little 'clunky'.

Overall I quite enjoyed it.
 

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Dusk Phantom
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for the Imperial Guard and Mission Statement support there ^^ I want to keep them if I *can*. - Also for the Chaplain bit, yes I know it was a bit rushed. But there'll be a bigger chance for the two to speak lengthly and for there to even be a nice battle scene.

I'll make sure to leave as few people disapointed as possible. - Again thanks for the support. I'm going to post the second chapter in this same topic as to not clutter the forum. So stay tuned for when the Title changes! ^^

As for the chunky bits, I re-read it thrice out loud and believe me maybe it's the fact that I'm not a native english speaker, or that I haven't formally studied english in school that makes it so that it doesn't flow as much as it should. Still - hopefully everyone understands it well.


---Edit---

Second Chapter is up!

----Edit----

This is what a Dusk Phantom looks like btw. I couldn't quite get the bronze color to work so it looks a bit orangish, but you gotta imagine it all being 'shiny'!

 

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Dusk Phantom
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Guess not ^_^ You were right Triumph. I'm glad you liked it, I had the feeling people would appreciate the battle scene, since the firt part was more internal and more bla bla yadda yadda.

The Third part will hopefully contain some Inter-stellar fighting with the fleet itself. Should be fun ^.^


--Edit--

Yep I changed it ^^ choppas does sound more menacing than a pointy stick haha ^.^
 

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Son of LO
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I can review this in one of two ways; as a work of short fiction, or as a vehicle by which you intend to convey your army's background.

As a work of short fiction, it's rather bland, predictable, and shudderingly structured, with excessive attention given to your protagonist's description. As an army background, it achieves its intent perfectly in that it tells us about your army. The only main criticism I can give is that it focusses an excessive amount on the personality of your commander as opposed to the personality of his army, and that you seem to have lifted entire segments of dialogue from the Marine soundbites in Dawn of War. Which is not entirely a bad thing, but it does mean I'm getting severe deja-vu reading the second chapter.

The Chaplain's betrayal seems forced, and more importantly, expected. I saw it coming, I really did, and that meant it had no effect on me. It was just "Eh, Chaplain's betrayed him. Saw that coming."

The low-level latent inhibition thing seems suspect. From my understanding of the condition, the effects vary depending on the stimuli received during formation. Marines really don't get positive stimuli very often, so it's unlikely it would manifest as creative genius. A Space Marine is likely to view excessive sensitivity as a weakness. I know Prison Break is a wonderful television show, but that doesn't make it fact.

Support for Mantis' points on Marine psychological health.

A number of small details, many of which have already been mentioned and presumably acted upon;

- Chaplains aren't associated with the Inquisition, and in fact their beliefs differ greatly. This also means an Inquisitor won't "plant" a Chaplain into a Chapter to keep an eye on the Commander. The Chaplain is elected into his position by other Chaplains, and is not affiliated, as you state once, with the Ordo Malleus.
- 500 years is a real long time for a Chapter Master to live, much less as Master. Cassius is one of the oldest, and he's 400. (Dante is an exception, as Blood Angels geneseed has the side-effect of eternal youth). This doesn't break any guidelines, even if there were any on the subject. It's just implausible.
- Letting another Chapter set up a base on your homeworld is real generous, especially if their leadership is suspicious and if they're not born of your geneseed. Maybe just change that to "they were in orbit around Baal."
- It's real, real, real unlikely that a Space Marine gets to Chapter Master without one facial scar. Look at most Marine illustrations. One is missing half a lip. Some have had their skull cut open and sewn back. At least give him some nicks where a shuriken's clipped him, rather than "clear and soft and without imperfections."

Also, nice colour scheme.
 

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Dawn Under Heaven
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- 500 years is a real long time for a Chapter Master to live, much less as Master. Cassius is one of the oldest, and he's 400. (Dante is an exception, as Blood Angels geneseed has the side-effect of eternal youth). This doesn't break any guidelines, even if there were any on the subject. It's just implausible.
I don't think the Chapter Master is 500 years old at the point, it's just back 500 years from the current point in time. Who knows, the chapter master may be like 80 years old when he turns to Chaos (which will keep him alive for much longer). So once he's with Chaos the age factor isn't a problem.
 

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Son of LO
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Touché.
 

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Dusk Phantom
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Well in my defense, I acctually meant for it to be predictable that the Chaplain would betray him. It's clear in fact that there's been animosity between the two for a very long period of time. And I really don't mind it being called bland, it is my first 40K story after all ^_^

I focus on the Chapter Master more than the whole Chapter mainly due to the fact that he's the protagonist, I have trouble writing stories about entire groups of people all of which have some small and different stories but ultimately are conjoined together due to the fact that their army or regiment or whatnot forms the cohesion between them all. Band of Brothers illustrates this, and I really don't want to get into that.

I don't think you're supposed to feel love for Desmond in any way, nor identify with him either. This is, in many ways 'his' story and since he's the leader - the story of how his leadership affects his men. A lot of things will happen to him, many of which I've already planned but haven't written up just yet.

As for the latent inhibition, yes I do watch Prison Break and I did get my idea from there. But it's a real-life mental condition that I chose because it allows to justify my character being more humane in more ways than one - something I'm afraid I'm going to kick and scream to maintain otherwise my story simply won't work. Since it's those very passions that he has which cause his downfall and to side with the Ruinous Powers. - Not to mention, that this is fiction, and I'm allowed to stretch the bonds of reality. You're going to tell me GW didn't stretch it when they said Space Marines don't have individual ribs but rather a whole plaque of bone under their chest? How the hell is that supposed to let them bend over or make proper movements? Doesn't make sense does it? Yet we ignore it and say 'meh it's fiction'.

While the Chaplain's betrayal seems forced - Hey! It's supposed to ^_^; I mean hell I didn't want to drag on the damn Chaplain story for five chapters when, as you said, it's predictable that he'd betray him. This is the introduction if you will. This is all 500 Years before and it's simply meant to illustrate HOW the Chapter turns Rogue and eventually to Chaos. So it's going to be quick, it's going to be predictable, it's going to move forward so that it can get to the 'NOW' and no longer '500 Years Before' so that I can get to the 'good stuff' which is what happens once they're acctually Chaos Space Marines.

As for his lack of facial scarring, I've stated and re-stated that he likes to stand back and watch his enemy. Study every single aspect possible until he knows them and then strike with the highest number of advantages on his side. He hasn't lost a single Space Marine (though granted many have been wounded, and badly) it's because he's that careful, nauseatingly so you could say, that he doesn't have any 'visible facial scars' I never mentioned however that he didn't have scars in other areas. Plus this is, again, 500 Years 'Before' possibly once he turns to Chaos and moves to 500 Years After, he'll surely have a few scars to main his pretty face.

And last but not least - keep in mind that this is a Chapter who will eventually turn to Chaos, so as for him now able to live 500 Years, he damn well will. Because he'll turn to Chaos, sooner than you think.

--- EDIT ---

PS. I'll be posting my stories off-site now. So yeah for those who -really- wanna read it. (I know Ota enjoys them) I'll be feeding you the link soon.
 

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Has a monkey!
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I agree with a lot of the points raised above, for and against your story. You are a gifted writer, so feed us that link! Feed, feed!... sorry. Too much Invader Zim.

Anyway, the whole Inquisition-Chaplain thing has been done to death, but it might be worth noting that a lot of Chapters do not worship the Emperor as a god like the rest of the Imperium. They revere him certainly, but are as likely to worship their Primarchs or the Primarchs of the Chapters they came from. For all I know, some Chapters might just worship the heroes of their Chapter, have their own pantheon, or be atheistic. Some might worship cheese or bacon or sheep. Really, the Inquisition leaves a lot of them alone, from what I've heard in the fluff, unless they fall to Chaos.

Then again, the Steel Cobras worshipped the Emperor in the form of an animal totem, and then they were persecuted, then they turned to Chaos.

Good stuff, keep it up.
 

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Dark Apostle
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i agree with the suggestions mentioned by the other people, but overall this is really class A stuff. the only suggestion i can make without being nitpicky is to break up your dialogue into separate paragraphs.

example:

"He said hi," said Joe. "Yeah? Tell him I say hi too," answered Bob.

in big paragraphs like the ones you have it can get really hard to figure out who's saying what. in literature it's generally done this way:

"He said hi," said Joe.
"Yeah? Tell him I say hi too," answered Bob.

I wasn't too fond of the chaplain thing, but towards the end I really got into the story. Keep up the good work and I hope to read more.
 

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Dusk Phantom
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Well.... Oh alright ^.^ You've convinced me.

10th Lyran I will take your advice on the breaking of paragraphs for the dialogues. The Third Chapter of the installment is still in the old form, so I hope you'll be able to overlook it for the time being.

LINK: carnival_of_sin's Journal


This is a community my girlfriend and I write in, (it's just us too haha) there's some other stories I've written on there as well, but they aren't as good. One of them is written in diary form and is mainly a fictional wishful-thinking type of rp.

Anyway, please read it and leave some comments here, or there. Whichever you see fit. I'm afraid the 4th Chapter will have to wait until the end of the week, since I have a 3,500 word coursework to write up for my Law 103 Course, hopefully I can make this one even better.

- Again thanks for the criticism, I appreciate it, and I also appreciate the praise ^^
 

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Dusk Phantom
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks there Lyran - I'm trying to plug any holes and sort of improving it as it goes along. As you said ^^ Fluff the rough corners and cover them with nice fuzzy fluff. - But anyway in all seriousness, you'll have to wait for the ultimate hawtness of chapter 4 ^.^

I'm yankin' your chain. I'll have it up during the weekend, and if I finish the work I have to do, 5 will be up before Monday as well if all things go well.
 

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Wow, you do work fast.
Part three was easliy the best.
Is part 4 going to be where you link the evil and love thread stuff in, if at all?
Looking foward to part 4!
 

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Dusk Phantom
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Part 4 will be on soon! Hopefully on Monday ^.^ - Sorry for the long wait (at least in comparison to the other stuff I've made) but yeah the Law Department has kept me pretty busy on coursework so I'll thank you kindly for the patience ^^

Yep so like I said - Chapter 4 on Monday, don't miss it ^^ I'll even double post to bump it if no one replies haha. J/K - Once I'm done with Chapter 4 - 5 will definetly be on it's way a couple of days after, if not the next day! Bwahahaha.
 
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