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The Blackshield


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#1 FatPob

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 11:34 PM

No longer shall I hear the war cries of my battle brothers. If cannot hear them, then none shall hear mine, forsaken as I am by the God-Emperor.
Five companies, and but one sole survivor. I cannot believe what I see. Once again I look across the fields of death. The enemy utterly destroyed. Devastation surrounds the bodies of my brothers, the wall breached, and inside the fortress I know there are others. I have checked every single one. Forty nine comrades dead, worse I cannot retrieve the geneseed, that which would allow us to be reborn.

This is when I spot them, the Imperial Guard, sitting smugly in their vehicles, chatting happily. There is talk of a war well won, light casualties, then they refer to my chapter, my battle brothers whose bodies remain strewn at the forlorn hope.

One of the guard is bending over one of my brothers, I see his stinking hands touch the sacred armaments of the Astartes. My Vow of silence forbids me to shout a warning, however the crack of the bolter startles carrion beasts that are flocking to the dead. He turns, and others look to see what has broken the silence of peace after the battle. The bolt hits the guard in the centre of his face, the bolter in his hand flies into the air and all eyes are following the bolter to where it lands. The guard look agog at me, horror and fear in their eyes. Not smug now are they.

I walk to the bolter and return it to my dead brother’s hand. The filth won’t touch the blessed arms of the Astartes now.

There is no honour now. I was made to kill, kill with my squad, kill for the God-Emperor, slay the xenos, the rebels and the insidious chaos. This was the workings of chaos. A small rebellion, easily quashed if the Arbites had done their job properly. They of course blamed the governor; they said he didn’t want to make things worse so they sat back. It festered. It grew. Then the Daemon came. How many died because of this Governor. Too many. If but one marine died it was a tragedy, but forty nine!

I gathered the bodies of my brothers, and my heart was joyous at the kill tally around their bodies. I would burn them, remove the taint of this world, they would be released to join the Emperor, He who would not take me. I feel shame, there is no honour in this victory.

The Guard avoid me, and with good reason. If any get in my way they will die, these rites, the final time I consider them, the last time I will recite them in my mind, for my vow forbids any utterance, and once this ritual is complete I shall no longer have any brothers, no chapter, and no rituals.
I will Kill as I was bred to do, and may my enemies know fear.

The fire is cathartic. I am released by it, and my understanding of what I must do now.

I head to the battle headquarters, all eyes are upon me. I know some want to shoot, I see it in their readiness, but none have the nerve.
The tent is guarded by two imperial soldiers, and I see they consider whether to stop me entering the head quarters, wisely they choose not to.
The Governor begins to speak, uttering praises on my old chapter, their deeds not in vain, talk of a memorial. However he stammers as I point my bolter at him. He calls to the guards, offers monies riches to those who stop me, but none will intercede.

His final heresy is accusations that I have been tainted, my choler truly breaks, and the decision is made, a single shot through the stomach. Guts, intestine, blood splattered bits of lungs fall from the six inch whole in his body. I move to stand over him, I watch him die in pain. Guards have entered behind me, and I feel weapons trained on me, my suit is already plotting a kill sequence. None fire though. Time passes slowly as the Governor calls out in pain, crying for aid, his words getting fainter as his life blood pools about him. I watch him try and push his intestine back into his body, hands slipping as they become more and more coated in blood and ichor.

His eyes finally close, and silence pervades the room.

I hear the general then, maybe he has been speaking, “So where to Marine?”

I look at him, this general doesn’t show fear. He knows I did what was right. I look upwards.

The general nods, “That was well done marine, the man was a fool.”

There is only one place I can go, only one place where I can seek redemption, one final task to complete before I embark on the last stage of my journey.
I find the armour paint. Black. With great care I paint the shoulder pauldron black. With my separation from my chapter complete, I board the transport destined to take me on the final leg of my journey.

The Watch Captain greets me, asking me questions, I answer none. He asks for a name, but I cannot speak. I point to my left shoulder, my old squad number VII is painted there.

He understands, “You shall be known as Septimus, welcome to the Deathwatch, may your final death bring you honour.”

 

 



#2 s1ay3r

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 09:35 AM

Granted, maybe his chapter does things a little differently, but wouldn't there be 500 Marines if there were 5 entire companies?



#3 FatPob

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 07:15 PM

yup, maths wasn't great yesterday and it was an off the cuff penning. ho hum



#4 bmaynard

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:06 AM

I dig it. Makes me want to pen a Lone Wolf back story for a black shield. Lone Wolves are just like my favorite dwarf units in fantasy, the slayers. Gotta love that whole tragic hero / glorious martyr thing.



#5 Brother-Captain Polemus Krieg

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 05:26 AM

That was exceptional! In my opinion it captured the phyche of a Space Marine, his view of himself, his Chapter and others. Maybe it is not very likely for a brother to be recruited by the Deathwatch because he is an only survivor, but the piece of writing as an independent story, connected to the WH40K universe, its conventions and its narrative style is awesome. Very, very good job.



#6 FatPob

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 04:01 AM

thanks for that, nice to see positive response



#7 ebolazaire

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 11:18 PM

Brother-Captain Polemus Krieg said:

...Maybe it is not very likely for a brother to be recruited by the Deathwatch because he is an only survivor...

not a recruit, a "volunteer"

 

Fatpob, great character backstory, would love to know how the campaign goes if you are playing this character!



#8 FatPob

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 03:28 AM

no it was just a quick story tbh, though it may turn out to be an npc at some point.



#9 The_ColonelCommisar

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 08:52 AM

That was super badass. Really cool.



#10 Martellus

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 09:30 PM

Great background story!



#11 Drake Pendragon

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 07:12 PM

 Really enjoyed it, thanks for sharing. Yes some oddness about numbers, 49 or even 499 dead marines is a tragedy but not the end of a chapter. But that is the kind of fact that just doesn't always tally up in the 'grim dark grimness' of the 41st millenium. It did capture a marines mindset and possible view of humans nicely.



#12 mrady

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:20 AM

Very good man, very good



#13 pearldrum1

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 12:47 AM

I liked it. The only `problem` I could point out is that a Guard Commander, Commissar, whatever wouldn`t refer to an Astartes as `Marine` like we did in boot camp haha. They would probably say something like, `My Lord` or `Lord Space Marine.` They are essentially addressing demi-demi Gods: sons of the Primarches and genetically linked to the Emperor himself.

 

Now, I could see that same Commander referring to a member of an Imperial Guard boarding party as `grunt` or `soldier,` something like that. But not the Angels of Death!

 

Other than that, great back story. I hope you turn him into a character some day. I would love to read about his exploits.



#14 Fgdsfg

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 07:27 AM

I liked it. The only `problem` I could point out is that a Guard Commander, Commissar, whatever wouldn`t refer to an Astartes as `Marine` like we did in boot camp haha. They would probably say something like, `My Lord` or `Lord Space Marine.` They are essentially addressing demi-demi Gods: sons of the Primarches and genetically linked to the Emperor himself.

 

Now, I could see that same Commander referring to a member of an Imperial Guard boarding party as `grunt` or `soldier,` something like that. But not the Angels of Death!

 

Other than that, great back story. I hope you turn him into a character some day. I would love to read about his exploits.

In any formal setting (which any setting would instantly turn into when graced by the presence of the Emperor's Angels of Death), I think the proper usage would be "Astartes", such as "My Lord Astartes".

The Space Marines are almost always (with some notable exceptions... Space Wolves, for example) described as being quite formal, akin to a knightly order, and the upper echolons of society would likely mirror this in their relations with them, such as actually prefacing every name with the persons proper title.

I don't have the books in front of me, but does Space Marines even start with Low Gothic? I'd expect that they'd mostly run around speaking High Gothic all the time, or whatever Chapter Cant they have.


Real men earn their fun

Unified WH40kRP Ruleset Homebrew - Personal Notes
Talking Necrons. Dreadknights. Centurion Armour. Sororitas-murdering Grey Knights.
These things are dumb and do not exist. This is non-negotiable and undebatable.


#15 Routa-maa

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 12:46 PM

 

I liked it. The only `problem` I could point out is that a Guard Commander, Commissar, whatever wouldn`t refer to an Astartes as `Marine` like we did in boot camp haha. They would probably say something like, `My Lord` or `Lord Space Marine.` They are essentially addressing demi-demi Gods: sons of the Primarches and genetically linked to the Emperor himself.

 

Now, I could see that same Commander referring to a member of an Imperial Guard boarding party as `grunt` or `soldier,` something like that. But not the Angels of Death!

 

Other than that, great back story. I hope you turn him into a character some day. I would love to read about his exploits.

In any formal setting (which any setting would instantly turn into when graced by the presence of the Emperor's Angels of Death), I think the proper usage would be "Astartes", such as "My Lord Astartes".

The Space Marines are almost always (with some notable exceptions... Space Wolves, for example) described as being quite formal, akin to a knightly order, and the upper echolons of society would likely mirror this in their relations with them, such as actually prefacing every name with the persons proper title.

I don't have the books in front of me, but does Space Marines even start with Low Gothic? I'd expect that they'd mostly run around speaking High Gothic all the time, or whatever Chapter Cant they have.

 

 

High and Low Gothic are starting skills for Space Marines.

 

Again taken from Lexicanum but this is my one best source, after many of my books, for anything relating to WH40K (with reserve of course):

 

High Gothic (or "Tech") is the hieratic tongue of the Imperium, used in the titles of ancient institutions and organisations (such as the Adeptus Terra). It represents an older language and is regarded as holy. In the Age of the Imperium, it is the equivalent of Latin or French during the medieval age.

 

High Gothic is also known as "Tech" as it is a version of the language in which technical rituals and ancient works are recorded. This developed during the Dark Age of Technology. It derives from the common tongue of the time, an assimilation of English, European and Pacific languages which developed over many centuries in the American/Pacific region. This was the universal medium of written record until the Age of Strife, and was spoken as a first language by many and as a second language by almost everyone. Its idioms and vocabulary now appear archaic and mystic, and many of its words have acquired religious significance over the years. It is the language of the Tech-priests and of forbidden books.

 

High Gothic is unintelligible to most Imperial citizens. It is only the language of important adepts and members of the Inquisition, and even among those who can speak it, it is only a second language. It is used only formally (as in pious benedictions), rather than as a casual language.

 

Low Gothic, a bastardised version of High Gothic, is the common tongue of the Imperium.

 

Also wanted to point that you should not mix High Gothic with Lingua Technis (as there are some points that mention it being languate of Tech-Priests)

 

Lingua-technis or Techna-Lingua is the official language of the Adeptus Mechanicus. It is a binary language consisting of a burst of static emitted through the bionic implants of members of the Mechanicum which cannot be understood by unaugmented humans. It has been optimised for quick communication of technical data and servitor commands, and is generally full of internal self-references and allusions to secret knowledge only known by members of the Mechanicum.

 

It it rarely used outside of the Mechanicum, although elements of it can be found integrated into the Low Gothic languages of highly industrialised or technologically oriented cultures.

Deciphering Lingua-technis has long been a priority of the Inquisition, but so far even the most rudimentary syntax has yet to be established.


Edited by Routa-maa, 07 October 2013 - 12:49 PM.

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#16 Fgdsfg

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:59 AM

Yeah, the background of the languages is what lead me to find it a bit strange that the Space Marines, essentially a "holy order" of would-be space-knights, exceedingly insular warrior-monks mired in tradition and ritual, would even teach their recruits Low Gothic.

You're basically sitting them down in Schola and going "This is the true language, the fine language of antiquity... but today we're going to be learning this other language of peasantry that we will never use to talk between ourselves, because it is to us what rats are to lions".

Real men earn their fun

Unified WH40kRP Ruleset Homebrew - Personal Notes
Talking Necrons. Dreadknights. Centurion Armour. Sororitas-murdering Grey Knights.
These things are dumb and do not exist. This is non-negotiable and undebatable.


#17 Routa-maa

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:35 AM

Well I think it's more the other way, every Space Marine recruit is in some level fluent in Low Gothic/Homeworld language. Then those poor bastards brainpan it stocked full of Gibberish called High Gothic.

 

I think that as most Imperials talk Low Gothic then it's easier to talk with it as not every IG commander would be fluent in High Gothic.

 

Chapter master: "Caedimus diluculo!"

IG Commander: "What did you say?"

Chapter Master: "sigh, We strike at dawn"

IG Commander: "Why didn't you say that before."

 

(Quite pointed example, but might be what would happen)


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#18 Fgdsfg

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 10:03 AM

Well I think it's more the other way, every Space Marine recruit is in some level fluent in Low Gothic/Homeworld language. Then those poor bastards brainpan it stocked full of Gibberish called High Gothic.
 
I think that as most Imperials talk Low Gothic then it's easier to talk with it as not every IG commander would be fluent in High Gothic.
 
Chapter master: "Caedimus diluculo!"
IG Commander: "What did you say?"
Chapter Master: "sigh, We strike at dawn"
IG Commander: "Why didn't you say that before."
 
(Quite pointed example, but might be what would happen)

On the other hand, Space Marines are recruited at a young age (10-14), and spends years in training (a minimum of 6 just for the implants alone), amounting at first to what must be considered pure torture by our standards, coupled with intense, massive indoctrination and, essentially, brainwash.

Speaking Low Gothic is for Serfs. An IG Commander that can't speak High Gothic can safely be ignored, if they weren't already. No wonder the Astartes considers mundanes peasantry.

Edited by Fgdsfg, 11 October 2013 - 10:05 AM.

Real men earn their fun

Unified WH40kRP Ruleset Homebrew - Personal Notes
Talking Necrons. Dreadknights. Centurion Armour. Sororitas-murdering Grey Knights.
These things are dumb and do not exist. This is non-negotiable and undebatable.


#19 Routa-maa

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 11:25 AM

And like I made in my previous post here:

 

"even among those who can speak it, it is only a second language. It is used only formally (as in pious benedictions), rather than as a casual language."

 

So no battle plans talked in High Gothic and such. Blessings, Rituals and such might be but not your everyday conversation.


Muutokselle annamme Elämän, Elämälle annamme Muutoksen.

#20 Fgdsfg

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 11:42 AM

And like I made in my previous post here:
 
"even among those who can speak it, it is only a second language. It is used only formally (as in pious benedictions), rather than as a casual language."
 
So no battle plans talked in High Gothic and such. Blessings, Rituals and such might be but not your everyday conversation.



I did read your post(s). I'm sorry if that didn't come across to you when I said that it was the background of the languages [that] lead me to find it a bit strange that the Space Marines [...] even teach their recruits Low Gothic.

Edited by Fgdsfg, 11 October 2013 - 11:43 AM.

Real men earn their fun

Unified WH40kRP Ruleset Homebrew - Personal Notes
Talking Necrons. Dreadknights. Centurion Armour. Sororitas-murdering Grey Knights.
These things are dumb and do not exist. This is non-negotiable and undebatable.





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