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Wyrmwood
07-05-2011, 13:04
Hey all, I've been writing prose and the like for a long time now, but I rarely stick to one idea and so I figured that starting a thread here will give me the impetus, hopefully encouragement/advice, to really stick to it. Right now, I've taken to the comfy escape of sci-fi - specifically, Warhammer 40,000 and this particular story involves the Raven Guard (or a successor, I guess. As my own ideas for the Chapter don't all fit what established info we have). So I guess, this is more like a project log.

So far, I've only got some notes. And as a framework (copied/pasted from the notepad file, haha):

The Raven Guard story, it features a 'Shadow Company' active on an Imperial world under attack from secessionist forces of a bordering system. The Raven Guard are doing the whole guerilla warfare/infiltration thing across the planet, occasionally participating in engagements that they've engineered etc. Eventually, the Alpha Legion makes it's move openly - largely out-skilling the Raven Guard at their own game and the planet is eventually lost, but not without a fight. That's the general framework. It'll take place a few years into the conflict, while the Raven Guard have been active there for two years.

Hopefully, it'll be about how, for all the Raven Guard's alterations and safeguards after Istvaan, they still can't prepare, account and control everything. To sum it up. I suppose the idea began with this quote from Sun Tzu:

'It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.'

Yes, yes - it's one of the more famous quotes, so that's the 'core' of the story and the Raven Guard as I see them. Another big influence was, of course, my display picture. A man hiding in a letter box has Raven Guard written all over it. Jokes aside, some rough notes:

*Ten Companies:
1st = Veteran,
2nd - 5th = Battle Companies,
6th - 9th = Shadow Companies,
10th - Neophyte Company.

*The Shadow Companies highlight the Raven Guard's lessons from the Horus Heresy, acting more like infiltration cells than the more Codex standard Battle Companies. An increased focus on Stealth Squads and reconnaissance, and the orchestration of information, these companies purposefully operate outside of the Imperial chain of command, notifying Officers only when their operations would otherwise bring them into conflict with Imperial forces.
*Though they usually function in tandem with the Battle Companies, some campaigns are better suited to a more taciturn approach and so a Shadow Company will operate alone.
*Operating on their own for so long a period of time essentially means that the Companies are autonomous, unlike the centered and more rigid Ultramarines and Blood Angels.
*Ad-hoc formations, battle-field promotions and even recruitment - each Company is responsible for this.
*Neophytes will join the 10th Company, on the return of their parent Companys return to the Ravenspire for further training, re-equipment until they are re-assigned to a Battle/Shadow Company before becoming full Initiates.
*In this way, the 10th Company is spread amongst the rest of the Chapter, as in other Chapters, and so the Raven Guard's future is seldom in direct threat.
*The 1st Company is likewise often dispersed throughout the other Companies, moving between Engagement Zones as the Chapter Master decrees. They also act as his eyes and ears. In this way, the past of the Chapter is likewise kept from total annihilation in a single attack.
*The Raven Guard for-go Codex markings, with their armour a midnight black. Though the Chapter does use camoflauge patterns and non-standard call signs.
*Betrayed once, the Chapter instead views close adherance to the Codex Astartes as a weakness for potential traitors to exploit.
*Therefore, Librarians are not blue, but black - though their armour appears to absorb the light around them altogether. Apothecaries are not white, etc.
*Command Staff are not marked out in any way, making Chapter Command difficult to target. Sergeants etc are encouraged to innovate and think independantly.
*The Chapter does not revere the Emperor, but holds true to the ideals of Corax. The Ravenspire serves as a reminder of the tyranny of men and the Chapter opposes this whenever they can. Holding a close bond to the Salamanders, and humanitarian Space Wolves and Celestial Lions.

Company Organisations:
The Beak - Veteran/Command Squad
The Talons - Tactical Squads (6) + Two Stealth Squads
The Wings - Assault Squads (2)
The Song - Devestator Teams (2)
The Eyes - Scout/Infiltrator/Stealth Squads (4 Combat Squads)
*Though the squads use such Codex designations, the Astartes do not operate such in any obvious way. Devestator Teams also function as Sniper Squads, as can even the Tactical Squads if a situation requires the forming of a Combat Squad - For example, one to cover with Sniper Rifles, one team to advance under cover etc.
*Each Company is lead by a 'Shadow-Captain' with the standard Apothecary, Standard Bearer, Company Champion etc.
*The Standard Bearer will only carry the Company/Chapter standard in open engagements.

These aren't all fixed, but were just my basic ideas when I first decided on what I wanted to write about. I mean, I can see the idea of a 'Shadow Company' replacing the Battle-Companies altogether, with the Reserve Companies still intact. Actually, that makes more sense...

Anyway, I'm working on the story itself now and I've got my notes on the characters/locations/basic plot down, so here's hoping. I know what's here isn't much to go on, but hopefully it'll be a little taste of... Well, something.

Edit: I'm definitely including Viskeons.
Edit 2: I really like the idea of a story involving the Umbra and the Hrud at some point. Perhaps with the Iron Warriors...Or Night Lords. Hmm.

Thank you!

Lord_Crull
07-05-2011, 15:09
*Betrayed once, the Chapter instead views close adherance to the Codex Astartes as a weakness for potential traitors to exploit.


Index Astartes Raven Guard


The Raven Guard follows the dictates of the Codex Astartes closely, though they do differ in the tactical application of their troops.

I admire your efforts in the detail you have planned, but it's one thing to flesh out a chapter with practically no fluff attatched to it (Like the Eagle Warriors or Genesis Chapter) then flesh out a chapter already covered fairly well by various sources.

My advice? Go with a sucessor. Flesh out one of the Raven Guard sucessors that practically have no fluff, like the Black Guard or the Revilers. It works better that way and you don't runt he risk of contridcting alot of the prievously published material.

Wyrmwood
07-05-2011, 15:57
I admire your efforts in the detail you have planned, but it's one thing to flesh out a chapter with practically no fluff attatched to it (Like the Eagle Warriors or Genesis Chapter) then flesh out a chapter already covered fairly well by various sources.

My advice? Go with a sucessor. Flesh out one of the Raven Guard sucessors that practically have no fluff, like the Black Guard or the Revilers. It works better that way and you don't runt he risk of contridcting alot of the prievously published material.

Thanks for the feedback, Lord Crull.

To be honest, I'm too fussed about that quote. It doesn't really ring true with me, I could find ways around it I guess. I mean, I'd much rather work within the parametres of the established information, and as such I wouldn't alter personel, history etc. But really, it's more interesting and believable to me that while they are still essentially Codex, they do diverge in anything that the Chapter perceives can threaten them - paranoia. It's not that I want to make them the bestest or different for the sake of it, but that it just makes more sense to me.

The stance of Corax and that of the Chapter on the Codex Astartes goes unchanged in principle, but not always in execution, if that makes sense? The Codex Astartes was/is needed and it is a good thing, but 10,000 years is a long time and some things are just, well, silly. The Raven Guard are covert, guerilla fighters... But do things that counter that preferred way of war? I can imagine that, given no workable alternative and fighting with other Astartes on a battlefront, the Raven Guard would then use identification markers or something. But sneaking around, or operating alone and having white on their armour, or identification markers is... silly, unless it benefits somehow.

I am going through the Index Astartes article again to make sure I haven't dropped the ball and if I have, I'll definitely be sure to change whatever it may be.

What do you think?

Lord_Crull
07-05-2011, 21:08
The stance of Corax and that of the Chapter on the Codex Astartes goes unchanged in principle, but not always in execution, if that makes sense? The Codex Astartes was/is needed and it is a good thing, but 10,000 years is a long time and some things are just, well, silly.

The myth of the codex being this static unchanging document is just that, a myth. The codex has changed and grown over the centuries, we have statements from the Marine Codex, Index Astartes an dother sources stating this.

Wyrmwood
07-05-2011, 22:45
The myth of the codex being this static unchanging document is just that, a myth. The codex has changed and grown over the centuries, we have statements from the Marine Codex, Index Astartes an dother sources stating this.

I didn't say that wasn't the case. But, it's still highly likely that an Astartes chapter with an in depth knowledge of the Codex could use said knowledge against another Codex adherant, in some way. Though you're correct that has evolved, being added to by not only Astartes, but Imperial Commanders based on observations and innovative tactics, it is still a tome of knowledge that is, in the present, fixed. Knowing the Codex and following it closely are two different things, you know. What I really meant was not that the Raven Guard/successor would never use anything from it - it would be impossible not too - but just that they themselves do not practice the easily recognisable features, written by the original author etc.

That said, while the Space Wolves are not Codex adherants, they must and would follow some of the procedures in the Codex, without knowing thus, as it's just too old and too massive and too well thought out for them not to.

Okuto
08-05-2011, 00:17
hmmm.....this is a very welcomed read, I happen to be writing about a raven guard marine and this is very helpful. But yes I admit, going with a established chapter does handicap you in terms of writing for them, I'm currently having that prob in my own novel.....I'm still trying to get a hang over how dark angels perceive things

Much thanks for sharing this

Wyrmwood
08-05-2011, 00:36
hmmm.....this is a very welcomed read, I happen to be writing about a raven guard marine and this is very helpful. But yes I admit, going with a established chapter does handicap you in terms of writing for them, I'm currently having that prob in my own novel.....I'm still trying to get a hang over how dark angels perceive things

Much thanks for sharing this

No problem, dude - happy to be of help. If you'd like a hand with your Dark Angels, give me a shout.

Edit: Thanks for the heads up in your sig, by the way. I feel entropy sapping the strength from my fingers already... :p

Lord_Crull
08-05-2011, 03:56
I didn't say that wasn't the case. But, it's still highly likely that an Astartes chapter with an in depth knowledge of the Codex could use said knowledge against another Codex adherant, in some way.

In some way maybe, but would't those kind of chapter logically prepare for such a situation?


but Imperial Commanders based on observations and innovative tactics, it is still a tome of knowledge that is, in the present, fixed.

I don't think that it is nessecarily fixed as in the present. Going off of Index Malleus we have Astartes chapters that still add to the Codex.


What I really meant was not that the Raven Guard/successor would never use anything from it - it would be impossible not too - but just that they themselves do not practice the easily recognisable features, written by the original author etc.


I assume your talking about the indetification markings? I mean we have alot of examples in the fluff of the Raven Guard using those markings, as much as it doesn't make sense, they have a pretty good history of doing so.

But then again the entire concept of Astartes using stealth tactics has always had it's problems. You read one description of Raven Guard acting like ninjas and then some Night Lords descrinbing how loud and bulky active power is.

Wyrmwood
15-05-2011, 11:45
In some way maybe, but would't those kind of chapter logically prepare for such a situation?

That's true, though I'd hope what I'm describing is (to an extent) logical. :p However, what I'm really trying to get across is a profound sense of paranoia and, dare I say it, fear - albeit not a messy or unfocussed fear, but a form of it nevertheless.


I don't think that it is nessecarily fixed as in the present. Going off of Index Malleus we have Astartes chapters that still add to the Codex.

That does beg the question, does each Astartes Chapter have their own eveolved version of the Codex? Obviously each and every would have the core writings, but with the galaxy being so large and intermittent contact with other Imperial forces, especially those bearing the Codex, ultimately I think that the Codex kept by each Chapter would be different in some ways, though not necessarily fundamentally.


I assume your talking about the indetification markings? I mean we have alot of examples in the fluff of the Raven Guard using those markings, as much as it doesn't make sense, they have a pretty good history of doing so.

True, via painted miniatures, artwork and (I assume) how they're portrayed in novels? It just makes less sense to me. 'Retconning' for its own sake is pretty lame, but - honestly - despite prior evidence and what-not, would you prefer it the way I'd described?


But then again the entire concept of Astartes using stealth tactics has always had it's problems. You read one description of Raven Guard acting like ninjas and then some Night Lords descrinbing how loud and bulky active power is.

I agree. Although, I'd read that the Raven Guard use some form of specialised equipment in their armour to dull the thrum of the generator, I think it was in The Hunt for Valdorius.

Lord_Crull
15-05-2011, 17:00
That does beg the question, does each Astartes Chapter have their own eveolved version of the Codex? Obviously each and every would have the core writings, but with the galaxy being so large and intermittent contact with other Imperial forces, especially those bearing the Codex, ultimately I think that the Codex kept by each Chapter would be different in some ways, though not necessarily fundamentally.


Yes, Insignium Astartes Astartes pretty much spells it out.



True, via painted miniatures, artwork and (I assume) how they're portrayed in novels? It just makes less sense to me. 'Retconning' for its own sake is pretty lame, but - honestly - despite prior evidence and what-not, would you prefer it the way I'd described?


Well I prefer to stick to canon as much as possible,. It is your descision. It doesn't really bother me since this is essentially fanfiction.

I mean, I like the colors on the tabletop, since they can break up an otherwise monotone color scheme.

Wyrmwood
15-05-2011, 18:20
Yes, Insignium Astartes Astartes pretty much spells it out.

Ah, I've not read Insignium Astartes.


I mean, I like the colors on the tabletop, since they can break up an otherwise monotone color scheme.

Hmm, fair enough. Hey, thanks for your input Lord Crull.