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Lord Damocles
04-04-2018, 21:13
- Blackstone AKA Noctilith AKA Pariah Stone is mined from smooth, dark, obsidian or onyx -like rock. Worlds which feature blackstone (amongst other 'supernaturally valuable resource[s]') are known as Quarry Worlds. Note that the blackstone on such worlds needn't be in 'raw' form - worked blackstone in the form of obelisks/pylons/tomb complexes etc. counts. Indeed it is not clear from Forgebane whether raw blackstone is even a thing - rather it reads as though Cawl's efforts are focussed upon cannibalising existing structures.

- Cawl recognises that blackstone repels the warp. Forgebane presents this as a great new discovery; which is obviously untrue since the Cadian pylons have long been recognised by in-universe sources as holding back the Eye (plus there are artefacts such as null rods in the service of Imperial institutions, which match the description of blackstone).

- Cawl sends out agents to recover and/or protect blackstone wherever they can find it. The first of these is Magos Dominus Dentrex Ologostion (the Magos in the Forgebane campaign).

- The Necrons are also looking for blackstone (quite why they need to if their tomb complexes are made of it isn't clear. Possibly they're trying to reclaim structures which they're misplaced since sixty million years ago?)

- The Technomandrite Crypteks (hey, remember them from the 5th ed. Codex?) understood how to manipulate blackstone in order to make it repel the warp. (It isn't clear if other Crypteks understand the process as well. Presumably the various lord-level 'Architects of the Great Work' would understand the basics at least). After the Silent King defeated the Technomandrites and Magistrakh at the outbreak of the Triarch's war against the Old Ones, the survivors apparently went off and joined other Dynasties. Presumably this explains why the Forgebane Cryptek - Agdahax the Technomandrite - is part of Sautekh forces. Post-biotransference the Crypteks were apparently 'exiled' and locked in stasis by 'anti-Chaos protocols put in place against an empiric breach of cosmic scale'. (It certainly was good of the other Dynasties to take in members of the conclave which they had agreed with the Triarch to attack in the first place, harbour them until biotransference, give them powerful Cryptek bodies, and then have the foresight to seal them up just in case something like the Cicatrix Maledictum should happen...)
The Technomandrites are only now beginning to come out of stasis.

- The Technomandrites lack the numbers and influence to build a galactic blackstone network. The Adeptus Mechanicus have the resources but not the knowledge of how to harness the blackstone. If the Necrons and Mechanicus were to work together, they could possibly achieve the goal.

- Magos Dominus Dentrex Ologostion goes to Amontep II in the Ultima Segmentum (at the southern-most tip of Sautekh's territory). There seems to be some confusion in the narrative as to exactly what Ologostion's role actually is. Page 3 and the fact that the Skitarii are Martian imply that he has been dispatched from Mars, or is at least Martian himself, but page 18 implies that he is 'The Magos Dominus of Amontep II's Vrackian Megacomplex' - ie. presumably from the Amontepian priesthood.

- Ologostion and his Skitarii Rangers travel to an area called the Vrackian Ridge which is a large shallow, dusty, caldera. They detect the presence of blackstone, and Ologostion calls in his drop-lander, Bellerophobos, to use it's thrusters to clear away sand from the area. A group of obelisks and dolmen henges are revealed. They are then ambushed by Immortals and Wraiths. The Skitarii win scenario 1 and defend the Magos.

- One of the dolmens forms a gateway, out of which emerges Agdahax and his Lychguard. The Skitarii are surrounded, but then the Armigers arrive and rescue them. The Skitarii win scenario 2.
It is not clear if the 'dolmen gates' mentioned are actual dolmen gates (ie. entrances to the webway) or gates which happen to be in the form of dolmen stones (which some dolmen gates are, and some aren't) (ie. hyperspace portals). If they are proper webway- dolmen gates, why are there a bunch of them just out in the open on the surface of the tombworld? Given their significance to the Necrons, shouldn't they be defending them better? At least by putting them indoors?

- The ground shakes and sinkholes open up. Towers and ziggurats rise from the sand, and the Vrackian Ridge is revealed to be a vast Necron fortress. One of the Armigers chops the top off a 'towering obelisk' with it's chain-cleaver (can't have been all that towering then...). The detached capstone is sufficiently small that Ologostion can pick it up and tuck it under his robes. The Mechanicus forces run away and escape aboard Bellerophobos, the Necrons apparently powerless to stop them for some reason. The Skitarii win scenario 3 and recover the blackstone fragment.

- Ologostion is apparently going to send the lump of blackstone to Cawl (who's half the galaxy away, so that might take a while). However apparently the loss of the top of just this one [short] blackstone obelisk 'would bear a terrible cost - with its noctiliths compromised, Amontep II had been left vulnerable indeed'. Its then implied that a warp breach occurs.
But what about all the other blackstone? They lose one little chunk and the whole lot stops working? Why bother with huge pylon networks if just one little chunk is what's doing the work? The Cadian pylon network was badly damaged, and while slowly failing, was still functional, but removing this little lump causes Amontep II's defences to fail immediately?
It all gets a bit too silly at the end.


The background of the box art for Forgebane bears no relation to the description of the area of the battle(s) described in the narrative.


The Martian raid by five Shroud class cruisers is referenced directly (although not really in relation to any other events, which is a bit odd - are we supposed to assume that the Necron ships were in search of blackstone on Mars?) which proves that that wasn't retconned by the 5th edition Codex: Necrons either (which should hardly be a surprise by now, but it's nice to be proven right so often!)

Xisor
04-04-2018, 21:52
For my own benefit, I'll try some didactic reasoning...


----


Regarding the Ologostion Martian/Amontep discrepancy
I contend this is a peculiarity of current Ad Mech rules versus overly-brief, overly-combat-focussed lore.

Imagine Ologostion having originated on, say, Necromunda as a lowly skitarius quickly turned lexmechanic.

She ascends the local priesthood as one typically does, displaying accomplished nous at politics and techno-disciplines.

She eventually realises a wealth of interests that lie far beyond the meagre ambitions she might make manifest on Necromunda alone.

She secures technopilgrim authorisation and ships out as a custodian superintendent on a shipment of varied artefacts acquired by her local allies on Necromunda, and bound for Mars to curry favour with the more senior figures on the Forge World.

She manages to make a name for herself at some point between Necromunda and leaving Mars.

When she eventually leaves Mars, she's integrated into a few learned societies, forges, perhaps even securing her own Forge on the Forge World itself, enough to be a Political Player, as it were. She sets off, perhaps as an Explorator, and eventually ends up on the Eastern Fringe near the Sautekh territories, having left a wealth of allies (and spurned fair-weather friends, perhaps even a few enemies) and enclaves loyal to her on her wake. At Amonotep, she establishes some sort of major facility - sufficient to be taken as a title when the world is in question.

She sets off, for whatever reason, and at some point also becomes acquainted with the venerable (if also absurdly dangerous, and peculiarly powerful) Heretek Belisarius Carl, her own operation being subsumed politically into the auspices of that auld yin operating out of Mars. (Though surely one of the deepest and most significant threats to the Fabricator General that can be imagined, not to mention the affiliation with the Xenarites on Stygies VIII.)

As such, Ologostion now holds numerous titles, as well as the rather spurious and situationally acquired 'Magos Dominus', a title worn more akin to fashion than with any inspiring meaning to the wider Machine Cult armies of the galaxies. (True Magi Dominum would be battlefield specialists to the foremost degree, other specialisations would likely be held by the back-field Magi who decree the Canticles and Protocols, allowing a Dominum to take the field for purely strategic and tactical purposes, rarely to lead entire expeditions or oversee the political elements.)

Consider, of course, the Myrmidons.

I digress.

Ologostion is therefore in a position to pick and choose titles, not to mention affiliations and loyalties to various worlds, as she wishes.

Let's face it: the idea that all Martian forces have the same set of peculiarities and strengths is daft. It might be truer of small subsets like the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes where isolation and strong willed numbers can lead to large deviations that are locally homogeneous.

But the forces under individually bellicose Magi of the Adeptus Mechanicus? Which themselves surely number in the untold billions?

Indeed, we see the issue with the codified lore, not just the rules: to even evoke the true scale of variety (and it's intricately Omnissiah-ordained specifics) is not easily done. Certainly not with any brevity.

http://thebolthole.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3371

Rogue Star
07-04-2018, 06:14
- Blackstone AKA Noctilith AKA Pariah Stone is mined from smooth, dark, obsidian or onyx -like rock. Worlds which feature blackstone (amongst other 'supernaturally valuable resource[s]') are known as Quarry Worlds. Note that the blackstone on such worlds needn't be in 'raw' form - worked blackstone in the form of obelisks/pylons/tomb complexes etc. counts. Indeed it is not clear from Forgebane whether raw blackstone is even a thing - rather it reads as though Cawl's efforts are focussed upon cannibalising existing structures.

GW being silly again. It would have been better to suggest Cawl has plans to create his own network of Pylons, and desperately needs the blackstone material for construction, which sends Mechanicus expeditions out to excavate it... from Necron Tombs.


- Cawl recognises that blackstone repels the warp. Forgebane presents this as a great new discovery; which is obviously untrue since the Cadian pylons have long been recognised by in-universe sources as holding back the Eye (plus there are artefacts such as null rods in the service of Imperial institutions, which match the description of blackstone).

Again, better would have been just suggesting that after his studies on Cadia, Cawl intends to recreate or make a new network of Noctilith pylons...


- Cawl sends out agents to recover and/or protect blackstone wherever they can find it. The first of these is Magos Dominus Dentrex Ologostion (the Magos in the Forgebane campaign).

- The Necrons are also looking for blackstone (quite why they need to if their tomb complexes are made of it isn't clear. Possibly they're trying to reclaim structures which they're misplaced since sixty million years ago?)

I assume the The Technomandrite Crypteks leading these other parties are doing their own thing, hijacking parts of dynasty forces to steal Blackstone material to create a pylon network to try to seal the rift, leaving the Phaerons to do... whatever mad schemes they've decided to do this week meanwhile...


- The Technomandrite Crypteks (hey, remember them from the 5th ed. Codex?) understood how to manipulate blackstone in order to make it repel the warp. (It isn't clear if other Crypteks understand the process as well. Presumably the various lord-level 'Architects of the Great Work' would understand the basics at least). After the Silent King defeated the Technomandrites and Magistrakh at the outbreak of the Triarch's war against the Old Ones, the survivors apparently went off and joined other Dynasties. Presumably this explains why the Forgebane Cryptek - Agdahax the Technomandrite - is part of Sautekh forces. Post-biotransference the Crypteks were apparently 'exiled' and locked in stasis by 'anti-Chaos protocols put in place against an empiric breach of cosmic scale'. (It certainly was good of the other Dynasties to take in members of the conclave which they had agreed with the Triarch to attack in the first place, harbour them until biotransference, give them powerful Cryptek bodies, and then have the foresight to seal them up just in case something like the Cicatrix Maledictum should happen...)
The Technomandrites are only now beginning to come out of stasis.

Nothing says carefully, well thought out plan as attacking another group which holds powerful, esoteric knowledge... then completely failing to interrogate it out of them over the millennia...


- The Technomandrites lack the numbers and influence to build a galactic blackstone network. The Adeptus Mechanicus have the resources but not the knowledge of how to harness the blackstone. If the Necrons and Mechanicus were to work together, they could possibly achieve the goal.

Oh those silly 'material' races. When will they learn. :p


- Magos Dominus Dentrex Ologostion goes to Amontep II in the Ultima Segmentum (at the southern-most tip of Sautekh's territory). There seems to be some confusion in the narrative as to exactly what Ologostion's role actually is. Page 3 and the fact that the Skitarii are Martian imply that he has been dispatched from Mars, or is at least Martian himself, but page 18 implies that he is 'The Magos Dominus of Amontep II's Vrackian Megacomplex' - ie. presumably from the Amontepian priesthood.

I assumed it was more a touch of providence for the Skitarii. They'd surely have seen images of what Mars' surface look like, and found the analogue pleasing on Amontep II (which is totally not a Necron name at all...)


- Ologostion and his Skitarii Rangers travel to an area called the Vrackian Ridge which is a large shallow, dusty, caldera. They detect the presence of blackstone, and Ologostion calls in his drop-lander, Bellerophobos, to use it's thrusters to clear away sand from the area. A group of obelisks and dolmen henges are revealed. They are then ambushed by Immortals and Wraiths. The Skitarii win scenario 1 and defend the Magos.

- One of the dolmens forms a gateway, out of which emerges Agdahax and his Lychguard. The Skitarii are surrounded, but then the Armigers arrive and rescue them. The Skitarii win scenario 2.
It is not clear if the 'dolmen gates' mentioned are actual dolmen gates (ie. entrances to the webway) or gates which happen to be in the form of dolmen stones (which some dolmen gates are, and some aren't) (ie. hyperspace portals). If they are proper webway- dolmen gates, why are there a bunch of them just out in the open on the surface of the tombworld? Given their significance to the Necrons, shouldn't they be defending them better? At least by putting them indoors?

- The ground shakes and sinkholes open up. Towers and ziggurats rise from the sand, and the Vrackian Ridge is revealed to be a vast Necron fortress. One of the Armigers chops the top off a 'towering obelisk' with it's chain-cleaver (can't have been all that towering then...). The detached capstone is sufficiently small that Ologostion can pick it up and tuck it under his robes. The Mechanicus forces run away and escape aboard Bellerophobos, the Necrons apparently powerless to stop them for some reason. The Skitarii win scenario 3 and recover the blackstone fragment.

- Ologostion is apparently going to send the lump of blackstone to Cawl (who's half the galaxy away, so that might take a while). However apparently the loss of the top of just this one [short] blackstone obelisk 'would bear a terrible cost - with its noctiliths compromised, Amontep II had been left vulnerable indeed'. Its then implied that a warp breach occurs.
But what about all the other blackstone? They lose one little chunk and the whole lot stops working? Why bother with huge pylon networks if just one little chunk is what's doing the work? The Cadian pylon network was badly damaged, and while slowly failing, was still functional, but removing this little lump causes Amontep II's defences to fail immediately?
It all gets a bit too silly at the end.

Again it's silly and demonstrates some confusion on the writer's part. Cawl's orders imply he's (just) discovered the nature of Blackstone, so go grab every last bit you can, loyal Mechanicus forces. But the mission narrative reads like Ologostion has discovered it's true nature or that it's properties haven't been verified, and so just wants to grab a 'sample' to send back to Cawl for him to examine it. So is blackstone this super rare, not fully understood material, or is it on all these tomb worlds and made out of Cadian Pylons, null rods, etc.

I've also given up on the Necrons being sensible, which is the biggest change between "Oldcrons" and "Newcrons" - old Necron lore wrote them as a creeping menace, colonies lost without a trace, expedition fleets destroyed by "raiders unknown" with scenarios like Necrons attacking to recover examples of their technology so their foes wouldn't begin to unravel the threat or develop a strategy. Sure their were silly bits but no more than other factions...

Then came the 5th edition Newcrons... where Necron robot space-docks chuck out conquest fleets in random directions, and Tomb Worlds attack like clockwork so Guard can use as training drills, or Phaerons spare enemies (minus limbs) and put stasis-crypts under resource rich worlds (no one will investigate those!) or crash world-sized space-fortresses and leave their wreckage to be... turned into a shrine?

Basically, leaving Dolmen gates on the surface and noctilith capping their buried structures seems like the least of their "lol we're so randum now" stuff...


The background of the box art for Forgebane bears no relation to the description of the area of the battle(s) described in the narrative.

But it's so pretty. :p

Lord Damocles
10-04-2018, 20:22
There's a continuation in the form of 'The Blackstone Extraction' battle report in White Dwarf April 2018.

Ologostion and Agdahax are back for round 2.
The Mechanicus have carved a larger chunk off of a Necron monument (it fits inside a munitorum container, so again, it's pretty small in the grander scheme of things). How they got around the Necrons and the warp breach is left for us to imagine for ourselves.

Ologostion is very slowly moving it to an atmospheric lander when the Necrons attack. All seems lost until... Cawl arrives! Wait, what? Nevermind, don't let the narrative get in the way of forging a narrative!

The blackstone is extracted, and the Necron Nemesor, Mafdet, is about to kill Ologostion when, cliffhanger!

...okay then.


Also the Necron army list apparently doesn't know the difference between Heavy Support and Fast Attack. Something something proof reading. Geeze.

Hellebore
09-05-2018, 11:12
Given the black stone fortresses channel Warp energy, one assumes it's just a message rather than a descriptor....?

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Razios
17-12-2018, 18:24
the Cadian pylons have long been recognised by in-universe sources as holding back the Eye (plus there are artefacts such as null rods in the service of Imperial institutions, which match the description of blackstone).

I think more thant before they didnt know how the pylons disrutp the warp while now we know why.