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View Full Version : Silver Skulls Geneseed, Ultramarines? or Traitor Stock...?



Rufiodies
02-03-2013, 21:12
After reading the Silver Skulls novel the Gildar Rift, I got to thinking, the Silver Skulls are most probably ultramarine stock, but either due to their upbringing on varsavia, they are noticeably different in many ways, rather than cold calculating strategists, they are hot blooded warriors who's moto is some latin that comes out to "we will prevail" or something along those lines. More akin to ... Iron Warriors maybe? or even World Eaters before the nails...
Thoughts? Idea's? Corrections?

jareddm3
02-03-2013, 21:22
I feel people underestimate the effect of homeworld on the tactics and traditions of a chapter and WAY overestimate the effects of geneseed. The ultramarine geneseed does not make someone a great strategist. The teachings of the previous generation of space marines, who in turn were taught by the previous generation, all the way back to Guilliman is what makes them great strategists. Ultramarine successor chapters are the way they are because they were initially trained by another Ultramarine successor. Those teachings are adjusted and augmented with their homeworld's traditions and lifestyle. Just because a chapter shows a trait that happens to somewhat resemble a traitor legion's is no evidence that they use traitor geneseed.

TheDungen
02-03-2013, 21:42
Yeah the passed down traditions are the main reasons for chapters that are related being similar. Geneseed affect appereance organs and some traits like psychic ability but has little to do with mentality.
An imperial fists sucessor who are unaware that they are sons of dorn would be no more stoic than anyone else.
A dark angels sucessor does not have to be paranoid.

Rufiodies
02-03-2013, 23:10
I don't know if this is true for all chapters, but I remember reading, maybe in the same novel gildar rift, that the geneseed carried with it the collective memories of all who had carried it throughout its history, and that during moments of great stress, death or near death, that the current carrier of the geneseed would be able to feel a vague sense of these prior owners memories. The gene seed is called the "quintessence sacred" and although I'm gonna say your right that not every imperial fist successor is going to be a stoic tightwad, what your saying is the exception, not the rule.

baphomael
02-03-2013, 23:50
Geneseed can have an effect of the temperemant of a marine. Betrayel notes that even terran veterans were effected by it, even more so when finding their primarch.

Having said that, some geneseed has more of an effect than others. Ultra geneseed is pretty stable... it probably has less of an effect on behaviour because of this, unlike perhaps some of the more flawed strains. This would then give more room for the influence of*tradition and culture. Having ultramarines geneseed is no guarantee your chapter will be exactly ultramarines in a different paintscheme.

Azazyll
03-03-2013, 03:32
Also, Ultras are in the presence of their primarch. Which begs the question: where are Sanguinius and Ferrus Manus buried? Dorn's hands are with his chapter, and so presumably is the rest of his corpse, and El'Johnson is hidden deep in the rock, but the other four loyalist primarchs are missing. Perhaps the dead (or in Guilliman's case, perhaps hibernating?) body continue to exacerbate the mental effects of the geneseed?

jareddm3
03-03-2013, 03:43
Ultramarine, Dark Angel, and maybe Iron Hands geneseed feel they'd have the least impact on a chapter's demeanor. Blood Angels obviously deal with the Red Thirst but the others don't necessarily have to be based on the geneseed either. It's possible that certain worlds are picked out based on their similarity to the existing holders of that geneseed. A new white scars successor may come from a world of nomadic hunters or violent gypsy bands who easily switch their pack animals for bikes under the tutelage of a White Scars successor.

That said, on the topic of sensing the prior geneseed owner's memories, I feel this is the reason that marines don't have their second progenoid removed after ten years. That there's a belief (whether it's true or not doesn't matter) that the longer you hold on to your geneseed, the stronger the imprint your skills and personality might have on it and be more likely to be passed on to the new recipient.

Rufiodies
03-03-2013, 07:35
That also brings up another point, If you notice that homeworlds of some chapters, like the White Scars on Chogoris, or the Wolves on Fenris, rather than conquering their planets, ala The Lion on caliban, they purposely left the cultures in the same wild/un civilized state as when they first arrived on the planet, in order to keep their aspirants strong and connected to their culture. Imagine the strength of the Knights of Caliban if all their aspirants had to kill one of those warp beasts in order to join the Dark Angels?

I just remembered, the Silver Skulls while not "worshiping" the Emperor in a sense, venerate him in the way another chapter would their Gene Sire. This makes me wonder, maybe they are Word Bearers stock?
They also mention how Silver Skulls would keep much of their quirks and culture from wherever they grew up prior to joining the chapter. One Marine who grew up in the inner city of Varsavia would show this by the curses he used and his hair color and such. They also seemed to be able to recall specific events and people from their pasts.

In the Night Lords novels, The main character in fact was able to recall his own childhood, mother, and specific events in great detail. Whether or not this was because prior to the heresy different methods of indoctrination were used, or just a fluke, I cannot say. Maybe if the Night Lords used better hypno-conditioning techniques, Kurze's legion wouldn't have become a pack of thieves and murderers who hated their "father" more than Horus hated his...

I was under the impression that Marines remembered very little of their lives before, hypno-conditioning, and psycho-indoctrination, coupled with the stress and pain that came with the many surgeries and changes that an aspirant would undergo, these things would completely wipe out any previous memories.
Some chapters seem to take more of their previous cultures with them, and with that their memories, and some seem to have at best, vague feelings and passing thoughts of their previous lives.
I feel like the chapters that are forced to recruit from a variety of worlds tend to have this be the norm, giving the chapter's culture more solidarity, without diluting it with the numerous cultures of their recruits.

TheDungen
03-03-2013, 08:11
Well i've very rarely heard about space marines having genetic memory and yes your genetics affects your behaviour but i dnt see that space marines are more affected than you are by your genetic heritage.

As for imperial fists being uptight yes, because they will at some point have been aware that they are IF successors, and some of their founding mariens will have come from either the IF or one of its successors, these will have brought IF values with them.

Rogue Star
03-03-2013, 08:59
Unless something has been drastically changed, then my answer is "Yes", they are Ultramarine related, for the reasons conveyed in the old 2nd Edition info on them.

Rufiodies
03-03-2013, 09:17
They keep their gene seed protected to what one inquisitor stated was "bordering on the paranoid" which is common with space marines chapters but anyways

They have this never say die, goonies never quit attitude that is reflected in their moto, which is something in latin amounting to "we will persevere" almost iron warriors style.

They have a fire and stubborness, along with the blind faith in the Prognosticators (Librarian/Chaplains), they worship the Emperor in the way most chapters worship their primarch as well.. Not as a god but as the best of men or whatever, but sounds kinda like Word Bearers to me.

We know that the Imperium has used traitor gene seed before, ok so its rumors but wide spread rumors (grey knights, blood ravens)

Lord Damocles
03-03-2013, 09:44
Also, Ultras are in the presence of their primarch. Which begs the question: where are Sanguinius and Ferrus Manus buried? Dorn's hands are with his chapter, and so presumably is the rest of his corpse, and El'Johnson is hidden deep in the rock, but the other four loyalist primarchs are missing. Perhaps the dead (or in Guilliman's case, perhaps hibernating?) body continue to exacerbate the mental effects of the geneseed?
Sanguinius is in the fortress monastary on Baal Secondus. (Red Fury).

Ferrus Manus wasn't recovered. There was a rumour that his body was taken to Mars, but the Iron hands dispute it (Iron Hands' Index Astartes).

TheDungen
03-03-2013, 12:38
i always wondered if he may be the primarch held by the necrons. they might see him as a kindred spirit and attempt to rebuild him.

MajorWesJanson
03-03-2013, 13:25
i always wondered if he may be the primarch held by the necrons. they might see him as a kindred spirit and attempt to rebuild him.

Maybe. but on that front my guess would be either Vulkan, or Khan, more likely the latter.

Pyroriffic
03-03-2013, 14:39
They are a second founding chapter of the Ultramarines. Categorically.

Lord Damocles
03-03-2013, 14:40
i always wondered if he may be the primarch held by the necrons. they might see him as a kindred spirit and attempt to rebuild him.
1) The 'Primarch' Trazyn has in his collection isn't stated to be a Primarch at all.
2) Trazyn's 'Primarch' has a head.

shandy
03-03-2013, 14:51
Cross bred with Squats?

Leftenant Gashrog
03-03-2013, 15:06
They are a second founding chapter of the Ultramarines. Categorically.

Except for that bit in Codex: Ultramarines which states the date of their founding is unknown - if they were 2nd Founding it would be known. This is one of the things that got screwed up by GW's woeful picture labelling in the Index Astartes series, the notoriously bad 3rd Armageddon War article erroneously put the Silver Skulls 'unknown' under the Iron Champions instead, with the Silver Skulls being given another chapter's M32.

TheDungen
03-03-2013, 16:43
1) The 'Primarch' Trazyn has in his collection isn't stated to be a Primarch at all.
2) Trazyn's 'Primarch' has a head.

yeah but does it have anything but the head? if they had a head they might try to replace anything else with bionics.

totgeboren
03-03-2013, 18:00
Just have to chime in and say that geneseed does have an effect on the temperament and behaviour of the marine who carries it. I mean, The First Heretic makes a big deal of the Word Bearers fanatical devotion to their cause, where the main character ponders if he would be so sure of the rightness of their action if it was not for his particular geneseed.
In Angel Exterminatus Fabius Bile has a project where he turns marines into what is essential chaos spawn, and he discovers that all linages except the Imperial Fists lose their minds. The only ones stubborn and stoic enough to retain their sanity through the pain and horror of his 'treatment' are the Fists. They are good at enduring psychological hardship it seems, more than what any specific training doctrine would suggest.

On the other hand, the world of origin also has an effect, which is highlighted by the Mortifactors, UM descendants who are more or less voodoo-whichdoctor-marines, obsessed with death and skulls. They and the Ultras have a hard time getting along, though they both share the same Primarch. The UM are also interesting in that the geneseed does not seem to carry any flaws which affects the psychology of the marine, like the WB or IF does.

Rufiodies
03-03-2013, 21:58
If you look at the Primarchs with the most obvious "blessings/curses" aka Russ, Sanguinus, Angron, Magnus, you see that the marines that share their gene seed seem to have some sort of psychological or physical issues handling the gene seed. When you look at the more stable "normal" primarchs, those lacking obvious warp gifts or psyker powers, their marines are much more stable. (not counting traitor marines, their gene seed is corrupted from the warp)
Some things were not meant for mortal flesh.
Also worth noting, mangus is said to have had an ever changing visage, just like the emperor, and I feel like this corresponds to the thousand son's "flesh change", mortal flesh simply wasn't meant to deal with powers such as that.

Xisor
03-03-2013, 21:59
I feel people underestimate the effect of

TEN THOUSAND YEARS.

;)

It's a long time. With multiple foundings, schisms, divergence, distance, isolation etc, there's plenty of room for two initially very similar groups to diverge such that they're near unrecognisable. Or for two fundamentally opposing & massively distinct groups to end up in the same boat.

jareddm3
03-03-2013, 23:27
okay...did you stop reading there? I was saying that I'm tired of everyone immediately jumping to the conclusion of "It must be the geneseed!" without considering that there might be other, if not stronger, factors in play that determine how a chapter presents itself.

baphomael
04-03-2013, 00:35
Quite. Ten thousand years is a hell of a long time. Just look at how much mankind has diverged in thr real world during that span of time.

Rufiodies
04-03-2013, 02:41
This is true, Just because the gene seed was from Rowboat, thousands of years of reproduction (sad space marine reproduction) could have profound effects on the genetics. Also, I think that once you begin combining gene seed genetics with the genes of the recruits, you end up getting a whole new product. I would like to see some 'offical' gw stats on genetic deviancy between successor chapters and the original chapters/legions. Then we could really see how much has changed over the last 10,000 years.
We know that the base genetics do play an important role, at least when dealing with more mutable gene seed, like the Wolf Brothers for example, who ended up going wulfen when they struck out on their own. Maybe their recruits genetics were unable to handle Russ's legacy in the same way the natives of Fenris had.

What I wanna know is what happened to all the specialists and HQ guys that went along with them. The Space Wolves gave the wolf brothers half of their equiptment, priests, specialists, fleet, and so on, so some of the wolf brothers had to be former space wolves, and at least some of them had to have been able to keep from going all beast crazy. Maybe they were all killed trying to keep the peace, or maybe when all their brothers lost it, they were swept up in the chaos. (or maybe Chaos had a hand in sabotaging the chapter)

I don't see the issue with using traitor stock, besides the politics behind it, and maybe the superstition, The Imperium is nothing if not superstitious and paranoid...
But as we've learned from so many "new" traitor chapters, that loyalist chapters can be prone to going rogue and turning to chaos. Hell, even the anti-corruption poster boys, the Space Wolves, have examples in the fluff of turning to chaos, or at least going renegade (red corsairs)