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Firidan
09-11-2015, 14:14
I have always wondered why so many space marine chapters don't know their origins(legion/primarch). After all in 40k society, which is incredibly conservative and tradition oriented, what could be more important than knowing your father and bloodline?

Theory 1:
After seeing how close dark angels/ultra marines/blood angels are with their successors the ever distrustful inquisition and lords of terra decided to purposefully "weaken" new chapters by denying them knowledge of their bloodline. Without knowing their origins new space marine chapters would be easier to control. They would also have much less political power because they would have no one to back them up.

Theory 2:
Geneseed derived from several legions. We already know that Mechanicus has extensively tinkered with the geneseed to make space marines supposedly even better. Maybe the original legions would consider that a desecration of their geneseed and an affront to the Emperor. Also in several black library novels it is stated that heresy-era marines (which are now chaos marines) consider most 40k marines to be "weaker and thin blooded". That might be a sign of Mechanicus tinkering having adverse effects.

Theory 3:
Chapters who don't know their primarch/legion are loyalist members of traitor legions. There are plenty of chapters rumoured to be of traitor origin: Blood ravens - thousand sons, sons of anteus - deathguard, minotaurs - world eaters/iron warrios, space sharks - nightlords, marines malevolent - iron warriors/nightlords. Heresy era legions were very big of spread out across the galaxy. It is possible that some elements outright refused to follow their primarch into treachery like Garro, Varren, Arvida, etc or weren't even aware of the Heresy until after it ended.

Any thoughts?

Fangschrecken
09-11-2015, 15:28
I think theory 1 is the main reason, but that there are a handful of chapters that fall under theories 2 and 3. Though as I recall, after the cursed founding, where the mechanicum tinkered with geneseed, they've generally stuck with the standard formula.

Lord Damocles
09-11-2015, 15:54
Most Chapters rumoured to use traitor gene stock either have no significant support for this being the case (the Sons of Anteus being a prime example, since we know that the Sons and the Deathguard are both extra tough for entirely different reasons), or have only circumstantial support at best (Minotaurs and World Eaters are both quite angry...)


It could be possible for Chapters simply to lose the knowledge, either through attrition, destruction of archives, mind wiping, evolution of Chapter rites/traditions etc., without it being a conspiracy.

Firidan
09-11-2015, 16:06
Every eventual scout marine would be required to learn hos chapter's history also the chapter's relics and records would most definetly show their liniage. So I think it's impossible for a chapter to just forget their primarch. Primarchs are basically Jesuses of 40k. Why would a chapter even want to forget their history?

ChaosTicket
09-11-2015, 20:06
Two of the largest reasons why chapters dont know about the origins are A thousands of years of faulty record keeping, and B that many chapters arent actually created using the original 9 loyalist legions as a base.

Chapters have many thousands of years of history and even when a chapter is created its not open information what was their base geneseed. The 2nd founding do know because they were all originally different companies of the loyalist legion. The 3rd and later foundlings on the other other hand are basically artificial insemination as they dont know where they came from and it is not necessary for anyone to tell them. They were created by any other any founding from 1st to 21st(dont know if there are any after that).

bittick
09-11-2015, 20:14
I don't know that there are that many chapters who don't know who their Primarch is. I know it happened in Dawn of War, but that's a single case. If there are more than that, I'd give these explanations:

1) The Chapter knows who the Primarch is. That knowledge, however, is lost to the Imperium at large.
2) Back in one of the early foundings, when lineage wasn't nearly so important, some chapters didn't bother to keep track. Or they purposefully didn't keep track because they were wanted to ensure the breakup of the legions. Then those Chapters would go on to sire a bunch of others.
3) Somebody was sneaky and founded a bunch of chapters "the wrong way". They didn't want people to find out what they did. Either this was a chapter doing it (the Dark Angels decide they need some backup and so quietly spin off a few successors), or it's the Adeptus Terra deciding to quietly up the number of chapters.

I was thinking about #3 a while back. The Blood Angels have these coffin things, where you throw a little radiation mutant kid into one of them, and a month later a space marine pops out. So what if somebody had a bunch of those things running all the time? So you shove a bunch of people into them, a month later they get out, and then you slap them into the hypno-indoctrination chairs and Matrix them full of some Him Fight Good. Every couple of months you ship out a full blown "Space Marine Chapter", complete with some hypno-injected chapter history, a few "chapter relics", and you send them out into space. They don't remember a Primarch because you don't want them tracking down the Raven Guard or anything and asking questions about their past. Cuz the Raven Guard know that nobody asked them to make another successor. Some of these brand new chapters might get eaten by Tyranids, or wiped out in a Chaos incursion, or something like that. But some of them will stick around. And if they stick around for a couple of centuries, nobody is gonna be able to tell the difference between Vat Marines and Vet Marines.

ChaosTicket
09-11-2015, 20:38
Only the 2nd founding chapters have an actual connection to the predecessors. The rest are created from scratch as needed when more chapters are desired by the High Lords of Terra.

Razios
09-11-2015, 20:55
Also we have the remenber the imperium adopt a very nasty habit of having big civil war: nova terra interrgum, age of aposthosy, etc,etc so many record where lost or they didnt even bother

Fangschrecken
10-11-2015, 22:22
I was thinking about #3 a while back. The Blood Angels have these coffin things, where you throw a little radiation mutant kid into one of them, and a month later a space marine pops out. So what if somebody had a bunch of those things running all the time? So you shove a bunch of people into them, a month later they get out, and then you slap them into the hypno-indoctrination chairs and Matrix them full of some Him Fight Good. Every couple of months you ship out a full blown "Space Marine Chapter", complete with some hypno-injected chapter history, a few "chapter relics", and you send them out into space. They don't remember a Primarch because you don't want them tracking down the Raven Guard or anything and asking questions about their past. Cuz the Raven Guard know that nobody asked them to make another successor. Some of these brand new chapters might get eaten by Tyranids, or wiped out in a Chaos incursion, or something like that. But some of them will stick around. And if they stick around for a couple of centuries, nobody is gonna be able to tell the difference between Vat Marines and Vet Marines.

The problem with that is, all chapters are approved by the high lords of terra. They know when and if a chapter is created and it has to be done with their say so. The only exception was when the Sons of Medusa were formed from Iron Hands and Iron Hands successors who broke off during the Moirae Schism.

ChaosTicket
10-11-2015, 22:42
Hypno indoctrination is something of a recent trend on warseer as people keep mentioning it like its the only thing keeping space marines loyal to the Imperium. If that was true that why would they be warrior-cults and have Chaplains as disciplinary officers when they can just be shoved into a brainwashing pod? Why have any Astartes ever turned if they can readily use them?

Blood Angels are a chapter that has the most profound transformation. They turn sickly radiation poisoned youths into physically perfect Astartes, because Sanguinius himself was perfect.

The High Lords of Terra function as representatives of a dozen different organizations within the Imperium. Only with their approval can new chapters be created, but each founding creates a large number of different chapters and its rare to have full information. Sometimes a founding may have a specific purpose, such as making chapters to guard the Eye of Terror, other times the Adeptus Mechanicus tries to experiment liked the 21st "cursed" founding.

Information will be lost after thousands of years, and even then a chapter isnt given full information about their donor as that isnt relevant to their duties. Only the 2nd founding chapters have clear information as they are 10,000years old and were once part of the Loyal 9 legions. Other foundings have no direct connection to predecessors though some have unverified belief of who they are descended from.

m1acca1551
10-11-2015, 22:42
My theory is that just after the siege for terra was over and traitor forces were on the run loyalist forces were shattered and in no shape to chase after and needed to first shore up what was left of the imperium of man. In steps Guilliman, primarch of the largest legion and the only legion that has an affective supply chain that can recruit and supply the next wave of space marines. What he needs though is geneseed...

Most traitor legions turned traitor following their primarchs, not all turned traitor though so that shows the geneseed is not flawed just the indoctrination has to be changed. I believe that Guilliman took wether by force or negotiation the stored geneseed of those traito Legions. In the aftermath of the Hersey there are few forces left that could have resisted the Ultramarines by force and even then it makes practical sense.

Here is a primarch who has built an empire, saved it from the ashes and who can keep a level head when all other primarchs are baying for blood.. Would the new lords of Terra deny such a being? Would they risk open war again?

The geneseed once taken is then used by Ultramarines codex astartes chapter program, all knowledge of original primarch is erased and new chapter are for the most part of the "belief" they hail from Ultramarine stock.

I think this theory allows for the doctrinal deviation by some chapters that goes farther than homeworld traditions. Whilst other chapters who have been created over the years will have lost or had there records destroyed for the traitor legion stock the above to me is a plausible theory.

ChaosTicket
10-11-2015, 23:05
Well the problem with that is that part of the process of becoming an Astartes is gene-therapy and organ implantation to become more like the original Primarch. The original legions had several notable people that were almost complete clones of the Primarchs like "little Horus" of the Luna Wolves. This is especially evident in how different the original stable soldiers of each legion were physically and mentally different from the soldiers and the Primarch after he was rediscovered. The loyalists of each legion were largely made of pre-Primarch veterans.

You really dont want to start using Angron's DNA to make the geneseed for a new chapter and then find out you made Psedo-World Eaters...again. The Minotaurs are just that.

Some of the loyalist primarchs are used more because they have a low rate of mutation or rejection. The Space Wolves only had a single second founding chapter and its rumored they were even more mutated than their forefathers so were destroyed.

bittick
12-11-2015, 04:51
The problem with that is, all chapters are approved by the high lords of terra. They know when and if a chapter is created and it has to be done with their say so. The only exception was when the Sons of Medusa were formed from Iron Hands and Iron Hands successors who broke off during the Moirae Schism.

Yeah, keep believing that. ;)

baphomael
13-11-2015, 16:00
Its also worth baring in mind that the Imperium has endured for 10,000 years since the Primarchs where still around. 10,000 years. That's a staggering amount of time. That's a period of time longer than recorded human civilisation has existed on this planet. The first Cradles of Civilisation arnt as old as the Imperium is. Considering this, imagine how much knowledge mankind has lost since the earliest civilisations emerged? Think how little we know about our history from a few thousand years ago, let alone 10,000 years ago.

With that in mind, its small wonder the Imperium has lost knowledge and technology. Its a miracle they know about as much as they do!

ChaosTicket
13-11-2015, 20:35
Yeah. buts its boring to think that reasonably people wouldnt have completely accurate records for thousands of years. Just ignore that the Ecclessiarchy ignores that the Emperor isnt a God, or that the Emperor was an Atheist.

jareddm3
13-11-2015, 22:38
Yeah. buts its boring to think that reasonably people wouldnt have completely accurate records for thousands of years. Just ignore that the Ecclessiarchy ignores that the Emperor isnt a God, or that the Emperor was an Atheist.

You'd be impressed by what you can get people to believe when you destroy all the contradicting evidence.

The Black Shield
14-11-2015, 01:11
One reason that had been stated in the fluff is during the Age of Apostasy huge amounts of records were destroyed. We also know that the Inquisition likes to destroy any records they think might be heretical (Soul Drinkers).

ChaosTicket
14-11-2015, 03:17
I thought about the Soul Drinkers too, but I also remembered the reason why their files were destroyed by the Inquisition. They turned against the Imperium. Its a whole other issue that they thought they were a 2nd founding chapter.

bittick
14-11-2015, 22:32
Yeah. buts its boring to think that reasonably people wouldnt have completely accurate records for thousands of years. Just ignore that the Ecclessiarchy ignores that the Emperor isnt a God, or that the Emperor was an Atheist.

The Emperor wasn't an atheist. The Emperor wanted a secular empire, though. He knew the Chaos gods were out there, but he didn't want his people to believe in them.

ChaosTicket
15-11-2015, 00:13
The Chaos "gods" are not Gods as faith defines. They are dimensional parasites that exist in a different dimension feeding off ours.

But that wasnt the point. the point was that records are lost, ignored, destroyed in the Orwellian Retcons 1984-style in the Imperium.

Matthueycamo
15-11-2015, 17:56
The problem I have with Theory one that a number of the well known chapters who don't know spend a lot of time and effort trying to find out. That surely makes them less effective if they spend time doing that instead of what they were founded to do.

However it's probably the most likely since a chapter is not going to forget it's primarch if known. It's just not plausible, we know how revered they are by the chapters that know. We know they have daily prayers which would likely include something to do with their Primarch. Yes data can be destroyed but a brother still has his mind so unless the chapter is pretty much destroyed (In which case not knowing the primarch is the least of one's worries) such knowledge can't plausibly be lost. Before people scream BLOOD RAVENS, just think about it. Which is more plausible, a chapter suddenly one day forgetting to pass on that information to it's new brothers. Or a chapter passing it down from marine to marine? They spend hundreds of years serving together, you would think it might come up once or twice during that time if they were told upon founding. Yes they might forget a lot of history of what they did as a chapter but not the single most important thing about a chapter and it's lineage. The Blood Ravens are an example of the people responsible making something that fits the story not what's plausible.

Theory two is the least plausible to me for all but the cursed founding.

Three is also plausible in theory if they had stocks of stable uncorrupted seed on Terra, there is no reason why such seed would make marines more likely to turn to chaos. After all chapters from loyal seed have turned traitor whilst not all marines in traitor legions turned traitor. Being exposed to chaos energies is what does it, no exposure no problem in theory. Not telling them might prevent them from being tempted to join their "Brothers" but equally it might make them more fanatical to combat chaos. Though it's probably safer not to say anything. However I don't know of any chapters who have been proved beyond reasonable doubt to be founded from such seed stocks.

A fourth theory that takes the first to a different place is perhaps the chapter knows but does not want it known. We know that some don't know but what if we don't know if it's because we don't know for some chapters, ones where there is not much fluff on them? After all if we don't know why a chapter does not know it's possible for some chapters it's just a case of us not knowing. When you consider there are chapters like the Fire Angels who are 25th founding yet we know they are from Ultramarine's stock. Most importantly we know they know they are so that throws out the theory that past the second founding they aren't told as routine policy during foundlings to keep them away from their parent chapters. Finally perhaps we just don't know for some because GW have never had a reason to mention it. Us not knowing is not the same as the chapters not knowing if GW ever get around to fluffing out any of those chapters where we only know minimal details.

bittick
17-11-2015, 19:16
The Chaos "gods" are not Gods as faith defines. They are dimensional parasites that exist in a different dimension feeding off ours.

But that wasnt the point. the point was that records are lost, ignored, destroyed in the Orwellian Retcons 1984-style in the Imperium.

Depends on how you define a god, I guess.

baphomael
17-11-2015, 20:44
Depends on how you define a god, I guess.

Quite. Further, are "god" and "dimensional parasites" mutually excusive concepts?

ChaosTicket
17-11-2015, 23:18
If you want to talk religion, I think youre in the wrong place.

JeffJedi
18-11-2015, 04:06
10,000 years is a long time.

10,000 years ago man began taming dogs for the first time. What was his name?

Brother Galfridus
20-11-2015, 08:58
10,000 years is a long time.

10,000 years ago man began taming dogs for the first time. What was his name?

Fido.

On a serious note totally agree. ADB explained it really well in emphasising not only 10000 years but across a million worlds as well. That level of convoluted mass is so impossible for us to even begin to pick apart. The possibilities are so endless that any result of a dice roll will have happened.

Chapters don't have to spun off a known ancestor but created from scratch. Raise a couple of companies from mind wiped survivors of space marine defeats. Give them a feral world to recruit from and the mission to guard the frontier with an ork empire. Couple of thousand years later and it will seem to all but an archivist on Terra that they were always there.

Or maybe some traitor geneseed was mislabelled and has entered into the ranks of chapters. Other chapters have gone traitor and renegade since the heresy so it's not a genetic fault. These events are not as shattering to the imperium because they are not legions and they are not the first to do so. Or maybe it was genetic and all of them that thought they were descended from Ultramarines that went to chaos were really luna wolves?

This is why 40k is awesome.