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Snakebite
23-12-2008, 23:43
I was in my local GW Store this afternoon, having a conversation with one of the Staff. I told him I collected Imperial Fists, led by a Kantor conversion. He told me I'd made an excellent choice, the Fists were the "Psycho" player's army of choice as they carved the names of their enemies into their bones?!

Does anybody know of any confirmation on this - and where I can find more background info on the Fists?

Thanks in advance.

Phoenix Blaze
23-12-2008, 23:46
Not sure about the carving of names in bones, but the Imperial Fists are a bit mental. They put too much time into ways of punishing themselves for failure.

Look up Imperial Fists and the Pain Glove. It's a full body mesh they enter. Said mesh then has an electrical current passed through it, effectively torturing the marine. From it, they'll learn not to make the same mistake again.

Brother_Chaplian Raimo
23-12-2008, 23:50
Oh, aye- the carving of bones (their own and those of others) is a long-established facet of Imperial Fist background. Scrimshawing is the word, and it's a bit of a tie-in with one of the major IF recruiting worlds- Inwit. For those who haven't made the connection, Inwit is a play on Inuit, and scrimshawing an Inuit tradition.
As for surplus background, Lexicanium is your friend. Certain unsavory types will suggeust Space Marine, by Ian Watson, but I won't, for personal reasons.



Look up Imperial Fists and the Pain Glove. It's a full body mesh they enter. Said mesh then has an electrical current passed through it, effectively torturing the marine. From it, they'll learn not to make the same mistake again.

That's not all they use it for- it has a sort of meditation role, too.

Maidel
23-12-2008, 23:50
I always thought that the pain glove itself was infact failure... surely the first thing they should learn from it is to NOT PUT IT ON AGAIN!

As for the carving into bones bit - hes having you on.


Oh, aye- the carving of bones (their own and those of others) is a long-established facet of Imperial Fist background.

From where???

IVe played the game since rogue trader and i have every codex/rulebook since 1987 - is not in any of them and its not on the lexicanum page either.

Lord Malorne
24-12-2008, 00:18
They scrimshaw the bones...

Inquisitor Engel
24-12-2008, 00:21
From where???

IVe played the game since rogue trader and i have every codex/rulebook since 1987 - is not in any of them and its not on the lexicanum page either.

'Space Marine,' by Ian Waton, 'The Inquisition War Trilogy,' by Ian Watson and a few WD articles. Scrimshawing is established and never contradicted.

Maidel
24-12-2008, 00:26
'Space Marine,' by Ian Waton, 'The Inquisition War Trilogy,' by Ian Watson and a few WD articles. Scrimshawing is established and never contradicted.

Appart from by the black library who say the books are out of date and not in anyway in the direction that 40K is now going:

Will you reprint Space Marine?
Lots of our fans want to see the original Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 novels reprinted, and we have brought many of them back. However Ian Watson's novel Space Marine will not be coming back, it is out dated and doesn't fit with the background of Warhammer 40,000 as it now stands compared to the young and undeveloped world it was back then.

Inquisitor Engel
24-12-2008, 00:30
Appart from by the black library who say the books are out of date and not in anyway in the direction that 40K is now going:


That's funny, the 2004 reprint of the Inquisition War on my shelf, as well as the upcoming reprint of it says they do put SOME stock in it.

The real reason they refuse to reprint 'Space Marine' is because it features entire homeworlds of squats and zoats, neither of which GW wants to explain to new players.

Grimm is a lot easier to explain away, the homeworlds are not.

Maidel
24-12-2008, 00:33
That's funny, the 2004 reprint of the Inquisition War on my shelf, as well as the upcoming reprint of it says they do put SOME stock in it.

The real reason they refuse to reprint 'Space Marine' is because it features entire homeworlds of squats and zoats, neither of which GW wants to explain to new players.

Grimm is a lot easier to explain away, the homeworlds are not.

Fair enough.

Im sure its in those books - but you have to admit that there isnt a trace of this stuff in the codex or the more recent fluff.

YES YES i know that nothing is ever 'not true' and nothing new doesnt out date old stuff - but it really isnt the way the imperial fists chapter is being portrait now at all.

EDIT - that quote was lifted directly from the FAQ at the black library forums.

CaptainSenioris
24-12-2008, 00:33
It's in Index astartes and Ian watsons, Draco, Harlequin and Chaos Child.

The book may not be called Space marine anymore but the scrimshawing is still in there. Though I'm not reading it again to tell you specifically which.

I'd hope the Index astates books are still available at least from a background perspective, some of it at least was an interesting read.

Gah Ninja'd twice!

Maidel
24-12-2008, 00:36
Index astartes hasnt been available to buy for years, im looking for my copy, but i cant find it at all.

CaptainSenioris
24-12-2008, 00:41
When you find it, there's about a sentence covering it in the traditions section.

I'm sure I kept the White Dwarf but it's probably back home in a box somewhere.

Maidel
24-12-2008, 00:44
When you find it, there's about a sentence covering it in the traditions section.

I'm sure I kept the White Dwarf but it's probably back home in a box somewhere.


I moved 2 months ago. 400 white dwarfs + 20 years of rulebooks are currently in 4 moving boxes in the spare room.


however im prepared to accept defeat on this one, but its a very very minor thing and the staff member describing them as pysco army really isnt very fitting for the seige masters.

CaptainSenioris
24-12-2008, 00:51
I was given the choice of what ones to keep. The rest went in the skip. Unsurprisingly the ones in the worst state were kept.

I disagree with the Psycho comment personally, but I suppose that is up to individual interpretation. Taking a penance is something straight out of history, but obviously with the advent of technology humanity got a bit more creative than a cold shower or the strap.

Maidel
24-12-2008, 00:54
I was given the choice of what ones to keep. The rest went in the skip. Unsurprisingly the ones in the worst state were kept.

Its my house, i get to decide what to keep and what to throw! Its taken 20 years to amass that much, there was more chance of the cats staying behind! :D



I disagree with the Psycho comment personally, but I suppose that is up to individual interpretation. Taking a penance is something straight out of history, but obviously with the advent of technology humanity got a bit more creative than a cold shower or the strap.

Aye - the historical 'self flagelliants' are always very controlled and restrained - very similar to the current description of the imperial fists.

Inquisitor Engel
24-12-2008, 01:34
but it really isnt the way the imperial fists chapter is being portrait now at all.

Unfortunately, if the 5th Edition Codex is anything to go buy, they're not being portrayed at all. :rolleyes: One picture of MAYBE Vladimir Pugh and a couple of sample Marines and some flavour text.

Bah.

Rabid Bunny 666
24-12-2008, 01:58
No sample marines, just Lysander and Pugh.

Ravening Wh0re
24-12-2008, 02:34
It was certainly in the IF IA article. I believe they referred to it as bone scrivening, where they carve into the bones of dead battle-brothers.
This and the Pain Glove highlighted to me how the IF were just a little bit odd (but more interesting than previously perceived)

TheBigBadWolf
24-12-2008, 09:16
I think the guy is getting mixed up with the fact that Imperial Fist chapter masters carve their names in the bones of Rogal Dorns hands (the only bits they have)

NashTrickster
24-12-2008, 12:53
Lexandro d'Arquebus, the main character of Space Marine, has stripped one of his own hand of its flesh to carve the name of some fallen battle brothers on them...


Unfortunately, if the 5th Edition Codex is anything to go buy, they're not being portrayed at all. :rolleyes:Erm... Anyone noticed, on the BL "coming soon" page, the book titled Sons of Dorn? I'd "guess" the guys in yellow will get a little time in the light in 2009...

Maidel
24-12-2008, 13:01
Alexandro d'Arquebus, the main character of Space Marine, has stripped his own hands of their flesh to carve the name of some fallen battle brothers on them...

Not having read these fantastic (Ahem) books - i have to ask - HOW THE HELL DOES THAT WORK!!!

Leftenant Gashrog
24-12-2008, 13:09
Not having read these fantastic (Ahem) books - i have to ask - HOW THE HELL DOES THAT WORK!!!

He knew they could rebuild the hand: synthetic muscles, nerves and skin.. so he stuck his hand into a basin of acid to burn it all off so he could etch their names onto the bones - it was the two brothers to whom he was closest, not just any old brothers in arms.

Maidel
24-12-2008, 13:30
well bugger me. i thought marines were stupid, and now i have proof!

CaptainSenioris
24-12-2008, 13:33
Erm... Anyone noticed, on the BL "coming soon" page, the book titled Sons of Dorn? I'd "guess" the guys in yellow will get a little time in the light in 2009...

Knowing our luck it'll be another Souldrinkers Novel

If it's a HH book I'll be happy as Larry.

pookie
24-12-2008, 14:30
He knew they could rebuild the hand: synthetic muscles, nerves and skin.. so he stuck his hand into a basin of acid to burn it all off so he could etch their names onto the bones - it was the two brothers to whom he was closest, not just any old brothers in arms.

and wasnt he then repremanded by being placed in the Pain glove for doing this?


Knowing our luck it'll be another Souldrinkers Novel

If it's a HH book I'll be happy as Larry.

if its another SD book, im goner go find that Ben Counter and make sure he can never write again! :evilgrin:

tho agreed i'l be one happy chappy if its a HH one :D

Iracundus
24-12-2008, 14:48
Ugh, the majority of this thread so far has been misinformation or distorted half remembered bits of fact.

I do have the book Space Marine so I can shed some light.

All the information about Vladimir Pugh, pain gloves and scrimshawing on bones in the Index Astartes article all derive from the novel Space Marine.

In that book, the flaw of the Imperial Fists is a variant masochism where they deliberately endure or invite pain in order to then overcome it by sheer force of will as a means of showing their strength. They were obsessed over the overcoming bit rather than deriving any direct pleasure from the pain, though like some fanatics they seem to derive some sort of religious rapture from the experience. The main character Lexandro has several religious epiphanies or visions while in the depths of pain (either self inflicted or enemy inflicted). Their Chapter Master Vladimir Pugh had deliberate removal of his taste buds as self-imposed penance after losing a company's worth of marines on one particular campaign, rendering all his food and drink ashen or tasteless.

The "pain glove" was used as a means of disciplinary punishment but enduring high levels of pain in it was seen as commendable. It took the form of an indentation in the floor with a strong body sized netting that the penitent dropped into, and it then stimulated the nerve endings in order to inflict excruciating pain without inflicting actual physical damage (since it would be wasting the Emperor's resources otherwise).

The Imperial Fist Chapter Master was given the right to carve their personal heraldry into the skeletal hands of Rogal Dorn alongside those of past Chapter Masters (though in the book they had his whole skeleton whereas the IA says they just have his hands). The recovered bodies of dead Marines also had their hands amputated and the bones given as a form of commendation to Marines who would then carve devotional artwork into the bones as a form of worship to the Emperor and reverence for the dead. If judged of sufficient quality some of these would even be displayed as devotional pieces in the fortress monastery's corridors.

In the book, there was also themes of brotherly love that some might say borders on obsessional or homo-erotic. Lexandro, of hive spire origins originally, looked down upon Yuri, who was of middle class hive city technician origin. In a warped sense of loyalty/love/hate/obsession, Yuri decided to protect Lexandro in order to spite him and to deny Lexandro the opportunity to look good by enduring pain or injury. Lastly, there was Biff Tundrish, formerly underhive ganger, who after becoming a Marine ironically becomes the more introspective thinker of the group in contrast to Lexandro's religious fanaticism and scorn of thinking in favor of faith. Lexandro even briefly reflects that the many years and decades of existence within the Chapter had made the memories of his sisters vague, and even the idea of women in general strange and alien.

The final thing about Lexandro carving the names of his "brothers in arms" onto his own hand (one hand not 2) was a form of self imposed penance. Both his brothers/squadmates had died during an assault on a Tyranid hiveship (with Zoats in it), arguably saving Lexandro's life through their actions, and the emotional shock of their death was amplified by the psychic death knell of the ship, leading him to become emotionally traumatized. Instead of the fire of his old faith, he found only cold ashes when he tried to pray. He chose the particular form of penance because it would inflict no permanent lasting damage since bionic and synth-flesh replacements were available so he wasn't depriving the Chapter of his ability. He also chose it because when he was first recruited into the Fists on Necromunda, it was shown to him as an example of "research" conducted by the Imperium: they were trying to see if pure will and faith could make a person flex his hand even when all the flesh and tendons had been destroyed by acid. Lexandro chose this form of penance as a symbolic link to his brothers' shared origins on Necromunda, and as he finishes and lifts his arm up, the bones close into a fist from gravity, and in the process Lexandro feels his faith reawaken. I don't think he was ever reprimanded for it. If anything, in the novel Harlequin where Lexandro also appears, his act seems to be highly regarded as a laudable act of religious penance.

Overall the book was quite good at portraying the strange and alien nature of Marines as well as their lack of moral compass as understood by modern 20th century people. That sort of alien sensation is noticeably absent from nearly all subsequent Marine novels, which have tended to show them as either "big humans" or as stereotypical superheroes (but with still recognizably normal thoughts and urges).

CaptainSenioris
24-12-2008, 14:56
Thanks Iracundas, couldn't remember it in that much detail.

NashTrickster
24-12-2008, 15:33
Knowing our luck it'll be another Souldrinkers NovelDon't think so, unless Chris Roberson is to take over the Soul Drinkers from Counter... :p
I'd bet it won't be a SD book.

If it's a HH book I'll be happy as Larry.It's very likely not an HH book either... On the BL site it says "Sons of Dorn, a Warhammer 40,000 book by Chris Roberson" while for all the HH book it says "a Horus Heresy book by..."
Still could mean it's a Crimson Fists or Black Templars book, but somehow I doubt it... My money's on the Imperial Fists ;)

Maidel
24-12-2008, 15:38
Ugh, the majority of this thread so far has been misinformation or distorted half remembered bits of fact..

Thank you very much - that sorted all the discussion.

Good man :D

Inquisitor Engel
24-12-2008, 18:00
I think the guy is getting mixed up with the fact that Imperial Fist chapter masters carve their names in the bones of Rogal Dorns hands (the only bits they have)

Ummm that bit's new to me, since Lexandro d'Arquebus carves the names of his fallen squadmates into his own hand bones in the 'Inquisition War' trilogy.

For anyone to touch Dorn's hand would be heresy, it's a holy relic, held in a stasis field. And there's been many, many Chapter Masters since Dorn, I don't imagine Dorn's hand is THAT big.

Source?

Maidel
24-12-2008, 18:26
I think they add little golden plates to the hand with their heraldry on it - you are right - they wouldnt touch the hands!

Leftenant Gashrog
24-12-2008, 19:36
I do have the book Space Marine so I can shed some light.

Not to mention spoil the climax of the book for those few people who might like to track down a second hand copy.. spoiler tags exist for a reason.

Inquisitor Engel
24-12-2008, 22:48
Not to mention spoil the climax of the book for those few people who might like to track down a second hand copy.. spoiler tags exist for a reason.

Not gonna happen man. ;) Not for a reasonable price anyway...

Iracundus
24-12-2008, 22:57
For anyone to touch Dorn's hand would be heresy, it's a holy relic, held in a stasis field. And there's been many, many Chapter Masters since Dorn, I don't imagine Dorn's hand is THAT big.

Source?

If you had taken the time to actually read my post you would have seen that Space Marine is the original source. The Chapter Masters are given the privilege of carving their personal heraldry as minutely as possible onto Dorn's skeletal hands. It isn't up to you to declare what is or is not heresy. For the Fists it is no doubt an act of communion with their deceased Primarch. As of the time of the novel, there was still a lot of unused space.

Inquisitor Engel
24-12-2008, 23:36
If you had taken the time to actually read my post you would have seen that Space Marine is the original source. The Chapter Masters are given the privilege of carving their personal heraldry as minutely as possible onto Dorn's skeletal hands.

I unfortunately started making that post, went to work, came home, completed it and noticed there were several posts between when I started and when I actually posted. ;)

I read your post with vigour, given that 'Space Marine' is one of the few books released before I started playing that I haven't been able to get ahold of or otherwise read. :(


For the Fists it is no doubt an act of communion with their deceased Primarch. As of the time of the novel, there was still a lot of unused space.

The act of communion is probably a really good point, one I hadn't thought of. Generally things in the Imperium are either important enough to be left alone and any contact verbotten in a "You're not worthy!" sort of way, or flung around by Soritas, so the communion bit didn't occur to me.

I will say though, in Space Marine, don't they have the entire skeleton (thus there being an obviously large amount of room) and so the new "hand only" redux (possibly to facilitate the theory that Dorn is heading up the Custodes) would result in a lot less space...

By hand would be very small indeed...

Iracundus
25-12-2008, 00:03
The act of communion is probably a really good point, one I hadn't thought of. Generally things in the Imperium are either important enough to be left alone and any contact verbotten in a "You're not worthy!" sort of way, or flung around by Soritas, so the communion bit didn't occur to me.

I will say though, in Space Marine, don't they have the entire skeleton (thus there being an obviously large amount of room) and so the new "hand only" redux (possibly to facilitate the theory that Dorn is heading up the Custodes) would result in a lot less space...

By hand would be very small indeed...

Dorn's hands were described in the book as being quite large. Any heraldry inscribed is probably extremely small, likely unrecognizable unless under a lens. In the book they do have the entire skeleton though it is still only the hands that are carved upon.

In the book, the rest of the skeleton is encased in a block of golden amber-like material. During one of the religious ceremonies in the novel, a chaplain carves off a chunk and puts it into a chalice with some wine, where the chunk then dissolves and the wine effervesces. The marines present hold out a finger and the chaplain quickly lets out a few drops of blood from each finger into the chalice. Each marine sips from the chalice while the chaplain eventually finishes the rest. The main characters speculate that perhaps the amber substance is replaced after each ceremony, or perhaps it regrows miraculously. The chaplain eventually excretes a hardened nugget of this amber, intermixed with solidified Marine blood, which is stored. Lexandro later encounters really old nuggets while confessing to the chaplain, and speculates those nuggets may be used in religious divination.

Sounds disgusting but remember the Imperium is a mystical society and even bodily functions with any degree of closeness to a religious figure, such as a Primarch, may be viewed with a degree of religious awe or reverence. In one form, the Fists have ingested a substance closely associated by proximity with the body of their Primarch. One of the quotes in the ceremony was "Breathe in the memory of my body", as the Fists drank from the chalice.

Maidel
25-12-2008, 00:29
Problem is - all of this is now out of cannon as its specifically stated that the fists only have the hand of dorn, not his whole body.

Retconning creates so many issues.

Inquisitor Engel
25-12-2008, 01:14
Dorn's hands were described in the book as being quite large. Any heraldry inscribed is probably extremely small, likely unrecognizable unless under a lens. In the book they do have the entire skeleton though it is still only the hands that are carved upon.

Fair enough, I'll go out on a limb and go with the idea that they're not carved by hand (at least by conventional means) being that small. It gives a good basis for the other scrimshawing the Fists are down with.


In the book, the rest of the skeleton is encased in a block of golden amber-like material. During one of the religious ceremonies in the novel, a chaplain carves off a chunk and puts it into a chalice with some wine, where the chunk then dissolves and the wine effervesces. The marines present hold out a finger and the chaplain quickly lets out a few drops of blood from each finger into the chalice. Each marine sips from the chalice while the chaplain eventually finishes the rest. The main characters speculate that perhaps the amber substance is replaced after each ceremony, or perhaps it regrows miraculously. The chaplain eventually excretes a hardened nugget of this amber, intermixed with solidified Marine blood, which is stored. Lexandro later encounters really old nuggets while confessing to the chaplain, and speculates those nuggets may be used in religious divination.




Now that's weird. Is the hand separate or does the amber encasement stop at the wrist? (Which would be equally weird, to be honest)

I'm going to go out on a limb and say they won't be reprinting that in the next Index Astartes. ;)

Harlequin'sDance
25-12-2008, 03:01
Wow, I was familiar with Imperial Fist background from their IA article and the Inquisition War trilogy, but their old fluff is definitely way cool. I kind of imagine most marine chapters have bizarre religious rituals like this, but unfortunately it seems like only the Blood Angels and the Imperial Fists really have theirs fleshed out. Hopefully GW can do alot more like this in the future.

Iracundus
25-12-2008, 03:34
Now that's weird. Is the hand separate or does the amber encasement stop at the wrist? (Which would be equally weird, to be honest)

I'm going to go out on a limb and say they won't be reprinting that in the next Index Astartes. ;)

The body was lying prone, encased in amber. Lexandro then notices the hands are missing. A few moments later, the chaplain opens up two smaller relic cases and in them are Dorn's skeletal hands.

Inquisitor Engel
25-12-2008, 03:43
The body was lying prone, encased in amber. Lexandro then notices the hands are missing. A few moments later, the chaplain opens up two smaller relic cases and in them are Dorn's skeletal hands.

That's a VERY literal interpretation of the whole Fists thing. ;) Perhaps that's why GW thought to remove it, either way, the body's removal from the canon isn't that problematic for the carving of heraldry and whatnot.

Oh, and according to a little bird at GW, one of the reasons the BL won't republish 'Space Marine' is that it would make Pugh and Chang SIGNIFICANTLY older than Dante! :eek:

Iracundus
25-12-2008, 03:51
Don't see why that should be any obstacle. It's not like they haven't had books dealing with people in the past. All the books about the Gothic War for example are about people now dead. Pugh and Chang don't have to still be alive, now that the Inquisition War books and by implication Space Marine have been relegated to M37 or so.

Yes it was quite a literal interpretation around hands and fists. Among one of the things one old veteran mused about was how the same fist capable of crushing an alien's skull was also capable of crafting fine detail and devotional art onto the bones of a battle brother. However this "hand" fetish was nowhere as pronounced as their focus on pain and enduring it.

One quote for example which is reprinted in the IA article is


Pain is the wine of communion with heroes

Inquisitor Engel
25-12-2008, 04:18
Don't see why that should be any obstacle. It's not like they haven't had books dealing with people in the past. All the books about the Gothic War for example are about people now dead.

Yeah, the only problem is that the IA states pretty explicitly that Chang and Pugh are current and the same birdy from GW told me that studio cannon is that they are.


Pugh and Chang don't have to still be alive, now that the Inquisition War books and by implication Space Marine have been relegated to M37 or so.


Which was my counterpoint to his argument that 'Space Marine' is just too damned hard to justify within the current 40k-verse in terms of timeline and content (no one wants zoats and squats in the same novel!). The stance basically boils down to 'Space Marine' being an apocryphal text at best and other than the names and a couple of traditions, completely ignored by GW at-large.

I also suggested Marius Teague to be the current CM of the Fists, or even Lexando D'Arquebus, dragging his way out of the Webway nearly 3,500 years later, but only having aged a day!