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View Full Version : What do you all think bout my Marine chapter's background?



Elroth Anar
27-04-2005, 07:11
Posted this on the GW site but thought i'd put it here as well. Just want comments on whether i've contradicted myself, or stuffed up existing storylines etc. thanks . . .

Sons of Dawn Background

The Sons of Dawn are a proud, noble chapter based to the galactic southwest of Terra. Their exact founding lost in the passage of time, they have become one of the most powerful and feted chapters within the Imperium, controlling the Dalynth system on behalf of the Imperium of Manís Immortal Emperor, and proving an immovable bulwark against the His many enemies.

The origins of the Sons of Dawn have been lost in time. They themselves claim to outsiders to have been founded during the 3rd Founding, having a mixed geneseed from Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists, Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines and Vulkan of the Salamanders. This whilst partly true covers a sinister, traitorous secret from the dark days of the Horus Heresy so evil that if even rumour of it reached the ears of the Inquisition the Chapter would be utterly destroyed and expunged from Imperial records. This secret is that the true sire and Primarch of the Sons of Dawn is in fact the arch-Traitor, Warmaster Horus.

During the Emperorís great Crusade Horus was the most favoured and successful Primarch. His Luna Wolves Legion was renamed the Sons of Horus in his honour as he heaped victory upon victory for his leader the Emperor. Horusí victories meant that as the Crusade spread sections of his Legion were spread out, many liasing with and in permanent contact and proximity of the Emperor on Terra. Thus when the massacre of Istvann V occurred many of these marines were trapped and imprisoned on Terra by the Emperor, where they remained until Horus assault on Terra. Most of these Marines had been turned to Chaos, yet there remained a few who for some reason remained loyal to the Emperor of Mankind. Whether this was because their geneseed had somehow escaped taint, or that their contact with the Emperor had kept them pure of heart is impossible to say.

When the Heresy reached Terra and Horus attempted to bring the Imperium to its knees those imprisoned on Terra escaped. The loyal marines tried to help their captors by slaying as many of the corrupted marines they could before they could wreak havoc on the defenders, but most escaped onto the surface and many onto Horus battle barge. The leader of the few remaining faithful marines, numbering 219, was named Omrant and immediately submitted themselves to the Emperor. The Immortal Emperor divining their pure hearts immediately gave them a choice, to join Him on the assault on Horus capital ship or die.

The Faithful 228 as they became known performed many acts of courage on Horus battle barge. They fought with absolute hatred and fury in their hearts. They fought to redeem themselves against their evil brotherís. Many deeds of daring and courage were performed, the most glorious of which was Omrantís death at the hands of Abbaddon and his chosen bodyguard, spitting defiance in the face of the Warmasterís protťgť.

With the death of Horus at the Emperorís hand the Traitors fled. Barely half the Faithful 228 survived, returning with Dorn and the Emperorís shattered body to Terra. The Emperor gave firm instructions to Dorn; the survivors had demonstrated their purity and loyalty, they were to be protected from the vengeful wrath of the returning Marine Legions and were to form a new chapter. They had survived the Great Crusade and the dark days of the Horus Heresy and had been reborn at its epic culmination, they were the Sons of the Dawn of the Imperium of Man.

Dorn gave firm instructions to the Sons of Dawn, and their new leader Aphonse díHan. They were to disappear from Terra and find a system that had somehow remained separate from the horrors of the Heresy. Here they were to continue to serve the Emperor (for the treacherous stain of the Warmaster would never be fully clean), yet at the same time keep their terrible secret to themselves to avoid Imperial retribution. Dorn however, fearing that Horusí taint would one day manifest itself, went further than the Emperorís orders and implanted Imperial Fist, Ultramarine and Salamander geneseed into the Sons of Dawn to help ensure their continued purity.

Over the 40millenia since the dark days of the Heresy the Sons of Dawn did this. Basing themselves on the verdant planet Terra-Novelle IV in the Dalynth System, they repainted their armour pure white to indicate their pure hearts, taking up the symbol of the blazing golden sun to indicate their birth on the new day that marked the formation of the Imperium of Man. They have so far managed to keep their secret, zealously guarding themselves from the Inquisition and waging constant war against the forces of Chaos and any other force that threatens the Imperium.



Force Organization

The Sons of Dawn roughly follow the codex astartes. However there are some key diversions from this tome. When they were founded the Chapter numbered 115 marines, the survivors of the attack on Horusí capital ship. Due to their need to grow they have a history of proactively seeking out a larger number of potential initiates than most other chapters. This tradition means that 40,000 years later the Chapter has become much larger than the standard chapter, currently numbering nearly 2,500 marines, and having spawned a number of highly loyal successor chapters. Whilst the Inquisition heavily warns against this practice, the Sons of Dawn have such good skills at secrecy and dissimilation that nobody else ever knows exactly how many Marines they and their successors truly number.

The Sons of Dawn and their successor chapterís have another different trait, namely an over bloated First Company numbering 228, known in each chapter as Ďthe Faithfulí. When a Marine is inducted into the Faithful they learn that their history is more storied than it would appear, and that members of their chapter fought alongside the Emperor against Horus. However, it is not until a Marine reaches the Inner Circle of the Chapter, known as the Redeemerís Council, that they learn more of the horror of their past, that members of their chapter were indeed traitors. It is only the three most powerful members of the chapter; the Master known as the Lord of the Rising Sun; the Chaplain Master known as the Leader of Rebirth; and the Librarium Master known as the Herald of Dawn that know the true Horror of the Chapter. These three men also have significant sway over the successor chapters, often undertaking joint strategies and war.

The Sons of Dawn differ in another way to most chapters. They take after the Salamanders in being close to their civilian population. It is rumoured that many of the Chapter secretly have civilian wives, explaining the generally healthy and fair populace and also why they have such a dearth of potential recruits. The Sons of Dawn have some major traits, being generally handsome, flamboyant, proud, courageous and noble.
The Sons have a deep hatred (bordering on obsession) with Chaos, particularly the Black Legion (though they have been able to keep their origins secret from Abaddon). Fully twelve Chapter Masterís have died at the hands of Abaddon, screameing defiance in the face of death. The Sons of Dawn are thus a highly praised and proud Chapter, much feted in the annals of Imperial history.

Their pride is unmatched, and their disdain for orders from the Imperium is legendary. Though they fight for the Imperium they fear discovery of their origins and will go to almost any lengths to hide this dark secret. Every year their numbers and power grow, increasing their fame and influence within the Imperium. The Chapterís leaders see this as the best way they can concertedly battle the forces of Chaos, yet who is to say that their geneseed is truly pure. The forces of Chaos work in insidious ways and in their ferociousness and pride who can say how close the Sons of Dawn have come to damnation in the past, and what it would take in the future to turn them from the Emperorís light.



Sons of Dawn Chapter Traits

The Sons of Dawn follow general codex outlines in gameplay terms. However, they suffer from the Stand Alone rule and may never contain any Imperial agents in their force (whether Imperial Guard, Inquisitors, Assassins etc.).
If for whatever reason a Sons of Dawn Army is facing an army with Inquisitorial or Chaos elements then the members of the Faithful (veterans and terminators) will always have the furious assault skill.

Khaine's Messenger
27-04-2005, 07:34
they have become one of the most powerful and feted chapters within the Imperium

Goes without saying, really.


Horusí victories meant that as the Crusade spread sections of his Legion were spread out, many liasing with and in permanent contact and proximity of the Emperor on Terra.

That's a possibility, although according to the recently published Horus Heresy art books, the viral bombing and subsequent Battle Royale on Istvaan III was supposed to purge most of the traitor chapters of their loyalist elements (it failed, due to the Eisenstein incident and the escape of Capt. Garro, but there you go). But then, GW and BL like to say that pretty much everything we know/hear is folklore or could be construed to be distorted in some way, so feel free....


but most escaped onto the surface and many onto Horus battle barge.

Yeah, as the Sons of Horus were supposedly kept in reserve, I can see this....


symbol of the blazing golden sun to indicate their birth on the new day that marked the formation of the Imperium of Man.

There has to be more to it than that. I find it ironic that they saw the dawn of the Imperium as a good thing, as the Emperor was now partially dead and the whole shebang was starting to crumble even further. Most Crusade-era Space Marines would probably have feared it as the beginning of a new dark age....


They have so far managed to keep their secret, zealously guarding themselves from the Inquisition and waging constant war against the forces of Chaos and any other force that threatens the Imperium.

So the Adeptus Mechanicus never noticed any of this in the chapter's geneseed tithes?


Whilst the Inquisition heavily warns against this practice, the Sons of Dawn have such good skills at secrecy and dissimilation that nobody else ever knows exactly how many Marines they and their successors truly number.

While administrative problems usually make enumeration for chapters such as the Space Wolves and Black Templars a problem, actively keeping such things secret is just a bad practice. It just makes it look like they have something to hide. Even the extremely secretive Dark Angels don't really bother with keeping their numbers secret. And on that note, this chapter you have here sounds quite a lot like the Dark Angels...which is not a bad thing, per se, it's just an observation.


often undertaking joint strategies and war.

...because it's quite common for whole marine chapters to deploy in the same place at the same time. Right?


(though they have been able to keep their origins secret from Abaddon)

For someone who possesses the resources to scry into the very heart of such places as Mars, I really don't see how this is possible, especially given that Abaddon went toe to toe with loyalist Sons of Horus as per your own mention, above.


The Sons of Dawn are thus a highly praised and proud Chapter, much feted in the annals of Imperial history.

Which, to be honest, means that they can take a number, because that sentence can describe a ton of chapters both official and DIY.


Every year their numbers and power grow

Eh? If their numbers and power grow, then even other chapters would come to question their obvious methods.

DantesInferno
27-04-2005, 07:45
Just a small point - does the chapter really HAVE to be well above the size for the standard chapter? It just seems rather unnecessary - why would they expose themselves to more Inquisitorial scrutiny than the absolute minimum? I'd also imagine that they wouldn't openly display distain to the orders of the Imperium, for the same reason.

Also the fact that the Marines take civilian wives - without getting into Marine genetics, it seems like a completely unnecessary addition which doesn't really give you anything new anyway, other than bringing the wrath of the people who argue Marines can't possibly function as a normal man in this regard, either as a result of their indoctrination or genetic manipulation.

Besides that, maybe a link to the fact that Horus is their Primarch? Usually the modus operandi of the Chapter/Legion is affected by their Primarch, so make them perhaps reflect how Horus used to operate. I mean, as it is, there is little other than their hatred of the Black Legion which reflects this, so maybe mention something about their extremely good strategic skills, and precise application of force.

Oh and don't give them the Furious Charge bonus, pay for it instead! Or pay for it then only use it against Chaos, if you prefer. Inventing a bonus to compensate for taking a disadvantage isn't a good idea.

Other than that, I was going to say it was a rather extreme way of making your Chapter unique, and that you'd be better off picking a less controversial way of making your chapter individual - but I suppose stranger things have happened in the 40k universe.

Elroth Anar
27-04-2005, 07:48
Originally I was thinking Sons of Dawn because it reflected their background. Thus Luna with its opposite the Sun, and after known as the SOns of Horus.

Dark Angels were my favourite Marine Army for a long time.

Thing about Abbaddon is he doesn't know that some of the Sons of Horus survived. He doesn't give a toss bout my chapter, he's got bigger fish to fry. They on the other hand tend to hate him.

On the question of enumeration I envision the SOns of Dawn to be like a smaller scale Ultramarines. They control their system like the Ultramarines control Ultramar, thus not paying tithes to the administratum.

The thing about growing numbers etc. was more just to hint that they may actually be an insidious threat to the Imperium with Chaos slowly gaining hold (or not as the case may be). 40,000 years to have grown by a couple of thousand marines (thats including say 2/3 successor chapters) is not that quick of a rise to warrant too much attention.

Geneseed tithes. That throws a spanner in the works. Maybe just explain it away through mixed geneseed from Dorn, Guilliman & Vulkan.

Furious Assault would definitely be paid for. I was just stating that you would have to take it, instead of having the option.

I've always been interested in how the 'entirety of the traitor legions' turned, and also some of the loyal legions. Surely there'd have to be cases of vice-versa etc.

Following Horus traits - well i didn't want them to be a specialised army. Instead they follow normal tactical astartes etc. which allow them to be kitted out for nearly any opponent/situation similar to the way the Black Legion works.

DantesInferno
27-04-2005, 07:59
Hmmmm also the mixed gene-seed thing - is it really necessary? The problem is, it seems to often bring along problems of its own (cf. Cursed Founding), and it doesn't really add that much.

Just say it is said to be exclusively Guilliman gene-seed, maybe?

Although a chapter could not possibly dodge the gene-seed tithe completely without incurring the wrath of the Inquisition, the Adeptus Mechanicus and a whole truckload of fellow marine chapters, there are ways to manipulate the system (either give them captured gene-seed from some other chapter or make sure the samples are taken from the Guilliman gene-seed suppy).

Oh and yes, there were indeed cases of traitor marines turning loyalist (and possibly vice versa). Other than the most obvious example, Garro and the crew of the Eisenstein, there were certainly others who changed team. Although most of the Loyalist factions of the traitor legions were apparently wiped out on Istvaan III, the Heresy period was extremely confused, and your suggestion is quite possible.

EDIT: If you really want your chapter to be effectively bigger than normal, the only real way to go is the Dark Angel route: the chapter is codex size, but has extremely close links with its successor chapters, effectively making it bigger than normal without attracting all that nasty Inquisitorial scrutiny.

Elroth Anar
27-04-2005, 08:03
On the topic of civilian wives - yeah went to far with that. It was more that I wanted there to be something that gave them a better grasp on their humanity (which they'd need with Horus geneseed in them), and I really like the way the Salamanders are meant to do this by interacting with their populace.

The Chapter size - its more down to a tradition of having to have as many recruits as possible to get back up to fighting strenght. This became tradition for them and as we all know Space Marines hat fudging around with their Chapter tradition. Remember the Space Wolves are potentially huge, with all those 13th companies running around. I didn't however want the almost absent-minded, sprawled out size of the Space Wolves. Instead these guys know every detail, and plan highly well. They like larger numbers because it allows them to be more successful in their own ventures (including at times launching attacks on the EoT or full blown Chaos incursions by themselves. This Chapter doesn't like working with the Administratum and its agencies - maybe other marines but not Inquisitors etc.

Incognito
27-04-2005, 08:09
Eh. Pretty much what one would expect from a DIY chapter fluff posted on the internet. And I don't mean that in a bad way. It was better then most and quite readable. Chances are, someone is always going to call it lame, but if Grahmn MacNeil put his name to it there wouldn't be a noticable difference to what actually appears in WD.

Still. "Sons of Dawn" is a catchy name, and one of the reasons why I liked the Salamander Chapter was that they lived relatively normal lives in villages when they weren't at war. One of the most genuinely neat aspects of a chapter that gave them alot of character.

I didn't comb over every sentence, but as long as there wasn't some fluff about being friendly with Eldar or Tau, its not that outrageous. Though, I'll be fair and admit that being a loyal chapter of a traitor geneseed with a larger then average amount of marines are two strikes against it. ;)

Elroth Anar
27-04-2005, 09:15
Just out of curiosity what sort of background do other people make for their marine chapters?

Typheron
27-04-2005, 10:54
Just out of curiosity what sort of background do other people make for their marine chapters?
try a google search on that one, you will get the worst and the best of the bunch in one go.

As for the fluff i share the views already expressed by the other poeple on this thread, stuff like having a bigger chapter than normal and Horus gene-seed tend to get you noticed by the "purge burn kill" elements of the imperium.

Persoanally i would go with the origional marines that were used to found the chapter being from horus's legion but the use of another gene-seed in the majority of the chapter would cover you on the whole tithe thing. 98% of the chapter now has (insert chapter of choise here) and a small few still have the origional gene-seed, perhaps there chosen through some ritual or test to ensure the recipricants sutability or something.

I think abbaddon would also probably go after you, hes a bit of a twisted and bitter chap and chasing down trators to horus would probably be a bit of sport for him.

I see a lot of poeple claiming mixed chapter gene-seed in there forces, its normally just a way of trying to get the best bits of all the chapters into one force, although im not saying thats what your doing because your not. It just looks that way at first glance and you want to avoid the "uber l33t marinez" syndrone that can sometimes occur.

DantesInferno
27-04-2005, 11:21
As a general guideline, I like to keep my chapter's background reasonable. There seems like there is a big desire to make your chapter as unique and powerful and heroic as possible. Fight it!

The guys over at the Bolter and Chainsword forum have a DIY Chapter FAQ which you might find useful:
http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=65520

St.Germaine
27-04-2005, 12:48
Some people are really touchy about loyalist survivors of the traitor legions. I'm not one of them. I have 2500+ points of Emperors Children (fully painted) doing their damnedest to redeem their name. I don't really have a problem with the wives bit. It's an extension of the Salamanders touchy-feely attitude that GW has already documented. The mixed geneseed and oversized chapter bit are a somewhat troublesome. But the number one problem really needs to be changed is the message to Dorn from the Emperor after the death of Horus. Couldn't have happened. The Emperor was in a coma after the death of Horus and had to be placed in the Golden Throne to preserve his life.

On another note, regarding their iconography, this golden "blazing sun" - is it a golden disk, a disk with solar flames around it, or the Japanese rising sun emblem?

Justice And Rule
27-04-2005, 20:00
As a general guideline, I like to keep my chapter's background reasonable. There seems like there is a big desire to make your chapter as unique and powerful and heroic as possible. Fight it!

The guys over at the Bolter and Chainsword forum have a DIY Chapter FAQ which you might find useful:
http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=65520

This should honestly be posted at the top of the Background forum. I myself am book-marking it to make sure I don't go crazy in the heat of a background writing session.

angelspast
28-04-2005, 06:56
I also suggest you read B&C's DIY do and don'ts. :p . Read some of the other DIY chapters written by other people also.

Elroth Anar
29-04-2005, 13:36
The Emperor wasn't completely in a coma after the fight with Horus. Remember that it was he that instructed the survivors how to build the Golden Throne etc.

the sun will be a disk with solar flares around it.

Thanks for the bolter and chainsword link as well.

AngelofSorrow
02-05-2005, 04:18
I liked the fluff. Making your Chapter way different isnt a bad thing every chapter has a legend to it. and its not a huge chapter the 1st company's size is ceremonial and can easily be hidden from outsiders mostly due to constant fighting.

My Chapter has an extremely extensive history and is much larger than normal but there are reasons for that and if the Space Wolves can do it y cant other Chapters as long as they have a good track record.