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"Good-bye, Brother" and off to the DW


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#1 Dok Martin

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:50 PM

What I'm doing is writing scenes for the farewell festivities of the individual Chapters when they send a battle brother to the Deathwatch. I need visuals. So far I got:

Space Wolves: In accordance with Prospero Burns I imagine the rout sitting in near total darkness (wolves don't need light), in a cave most likely, the hearth fire burning, wearing oily leather garments and masks, growling, laughing, drinking Mjod. A skjald is telling the heroic tale of the brother as if he were already dead. There are sarcastic remarks and grim nods. Raw meat is consumed. A wolf priest decorates the brother's skin with war paint to ward against evil spirits.

Black Templars: A holy mass in a small black chapel, filled with old candles and smoke. Battle brothers in full plate, swords drawn stand in front of weathered statues of forgotten saints. It is a solemn service. The brother kneels before the priest who anoints sword and brow with ash.

Ultramarines: Full military honours. Open space. An entire company is present with banners and decorations and servitors and possibly tanks and whatnot. The Captain speaks about honour, duty, past battles. The speach is rousing, sometimes amusing, always brilliant. After that every single battle brother present clasps the brother's hand with a grin or a nod, maybe a joke.

Dark Angels: A gathering in a secret chamber filled with ancient texts, the walls and the floor are decorated with geometric symbols. Hooded figures in bone white robes, their faces hidden behind masks of ivory, gloves. A coin changes hands. Secret words are spoken, some are repeated by all. Cryptic passages are recited. A prophecy and a warning. Some things are better left unsaid.

Imperial Fists: Very little visuals here. I imagine them as monks in a grey monastery of granite, unmovable stone, heavy and oppressive. No decorations but weapon systems and eternally silent servitors, carefully hidden. Grey robes. The mood is contemplative, a private meeting with the Chaplain, walking through the dusty corridors of the monastery. It ends in a cell. Bolts are shut, chains. The brother has to confess, his flesh and mind punished by the pain glove. Guilt, cleansing.

I'd be grateful for suggestions and ideas. :)



#2 Lightbringer

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:48 PM

One concept that hasn't really been explored in DW so far: that some chapters might regard serving within the Deathwatch as a punishment. 

The game emphasises that the Deathwatch chapter itself is the creation of a number of oaths sworn by various chapters to provide marines for service as effectively a specialist anti-xenos standing army. In the material published so far, there seems to be an unspoken assumption that the chapters loaning out their precious marines are glad to be of service, and happy to give up one of their own for decades at a time. 

To some extent, this aproach is slightly incompatible with some recent 40k material, like the Badab War books from Forgeworld, which portrays the Astartes as a pretty fractious lot, as prone to squabbling and political infighting as any other Imperial institution.

Furthermore, the Badab War books reveal the extent to which some Chapters have effectively become either superhuman monsters (Charcaradons),  savage and arrogant attack dogs loyal only to the High Lords (The Minotaurs) or merciless Executioners (er...the Executioners.)

None of these chapters play nicely with others. The Executioners commonly duel each other to the death, the Minotaurs soecialise in killing entire Marine chapters, and no one knows what the Charcaradons get up to in the depths of interstellar space, but it's likely to be messy. 

My point is that I really can't see any of these chapters cheerfully embracing the loss of one of their own to a strange chapter. Given their "bad boy" reputations, if they have to give up one of their own, one imagines that they'd hand over one of their screw-ups, an outcast or insubordinate criminal. The Ultramarines would hand over a paragon - the Minotaurs might hand over a murderer, or worse.  



#3 Dok Martin

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:20 AM

The question is: Would these guys be accepted into the Deathwatch at all?

As far as I understand it, the Deathwatch is not a penal legion but an elite unit. And every Astartes sent there will be thoroughly examined by Apothecary, Chaplain and Watch Commander. Being refused by Deathwatch is considered a severe dishonour for the Captain who selected the battle brother.



#4 Vendettar

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:07 AM

Serving in the Watch is a great honour for every one of the chapters that sends brothers. 

Why should it be a punishment to send you to Brotherhodd of fellow warriors, to a place where only a few choosen may enter, to fight the most foul Xenos creatures for the Fututure of Mankind and the Glory of the Emperor, to be entrusted with some of the deepest sercrets the Imperium has to offer and deemed wothy to keep them secret???

 



#5 Gurkhal

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:19 AM

Dok Martin said:


The question is: Would these guys be accepted into the Deathwatch at all?

 

As far as I understand it, the Deathwatch is not a penal legion but an elite unit. And every Astartes sent there will be thoroughly examined by Apothecary, Chaplain and Watch Commander. Being refused by Deathwatch is considered a severe dishonour for the Captain who selected the battle brother.

Well all Marines are pretty impressive and at least a few of these guys should be able to meet the requirements. And while some Chapters might consider it an insult some might just not give a **** about it. They might say: "If you don't like him, to bad, because we're not taking him back with us." and thus the Deathwatch is with a Marine they literally can't send back.

 

Vendettar said:

Serving in the Watch is a great honour for every one of the chapters that sends brothers. 

Why should it be a punishment to send you to Brotherhodd of fellow warriors, to a place where only a few choosen may enter, to fight the most foul Xenos creatures for the Fututure of Mankind and the Glory of the Emperor, to be entrusted with some of the deepest sercrets the Imperium has to offer and deemed wothy to keep them secret???

Well alot of Chapters have alot of stuff that wouldn't make much sense. In all however I would think that being sent to the Deathwatch can also mean that they are being sent away from their home and brothers, to fight with men they share very little with, to fight battles that they don't really understand the significance of and constantly be in an alien enviroment far away from everything that they've grown up with.

 



#6 Dok Martin

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 02:54 AM

Gurkhal said:

Dok Martin said:


The question is: Would these guys be accepted into the Deathwatch at all?

 

 

As far as I understand it, the Deathwatch is not a penal legion but an elite unit. And every Astartes sent there will be thoroughly examined by Apothecary, Chaplain and Watch Commander. Being refused by Deathwatch is considered a severe dishonour for the Captain who selected the battle brother.

 

 

Well all Marines are pretty impressive and at least a few of these guys should be able to meet the requirements. And while some Chapters might consider it an insult some might just not give a **** about it. They might say: "If you don't like him, to bad, because we're not taking him back with us." and thus the Deathwatch is with a Marine they literally can't send back.

 

That would make the Deathwatch the Astartes litter box. I don't think so.

Also, if his own Chapter won't take him back, why should the Deathwatch? As far as I understand it, the Chapters swore to send their best, but the Deathwatch cannot be forced to accept anyone.



#7 Gurkhal

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:11 AM

Dok Martin said:

Gurkhal said:

 

Dok Martin said:


The question is: Would these guys be accepted into the Deathwatch at all?

 

 

As far as I understand it, the Deathwatch is not a penal legion but an elite unit. And every Astartes sent there will be thoroughly examined by Apothecary, Chaplain and Watch Commander. Being refused by Deathwatch is considered a severe dishonour for the Captain who selected the battle brother.

 

 

Well all Marines are pretty impressive and at least a few of these guys should be able to meet the requirements. And while some Chapters might consider it an insult some might just not give a **** about it. They might say: "If you don't like him, to bad, because we're not taking him back with us." and thus the Deathwatch is with a Marine they literally can't send back.

 

 

 

That would make the Deathwatch the Astartes litter box. I don't think so.

Also, if his own Chapter won't take him back, why should the Deathwatch? As far as I understand it, the Chapters swore to send their best, but the Deathwatch cannot be forced to accept anyone.

I only think that it will become a litter box if every treats it like that but it won't if the majority of Chapters, probably a few hundred at least who are involved, send good Battle Brothers while only a dozen or so treats it like a place to dump unwanted characters. I've even played a Storm Warden, my very first character, who was supposed to have been sent to the Deathwatch to regain his honor or not come back, after a dishonorable espisode in his service.

And are you sure the Chapters made the oath to send their best? Because I only understood the thing as meaning that they would send functional and merited Battle Brothers to serve, there were no additional details that I saw but I may have overlooked things. Also if his Chapter won't have him back the Deathwatch strikes me as the kind of guys who won't throw away an asset like trained and operational Space Marine and I think that the Blackshield illusterate this example. At least that's how I see it.



#8 crisaron

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:28 AM

Since the empire is vast and the chapters have all sorts of rituals, interpretation, all those are possible.

Death Watch is still secretive, it may even be possible some young obscure chapters never heard of them. Now that would be even better, a death Watch brother lands with override code on a old battle barge, the chapter all in fury of this intrusion, until a code is entered and an old dreadnought awaken to select at random a champion to be sent with an holy relic.

Just imagine and it creates a cool RP situation, from the I know the Death Watch too, well my chapter is a bunch of savages with ships.

 

In the end you can create a group that learns to work together, even create in them the future leader of those barbaric chapters.



#9 Kshatriya

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 04:31 AM

Gurkhal said:

 

Vendettar said:

 

Serving in the Watch is a great honour for every one of the chapters that sends brothers. 

Why should it be a punishment to send you to Brotherhodd of fellow warriors, to a place where only a few choosen may enter, to fight the most foul Xenos creatures for the Fututure of Mankind and the Glory of the Emperor, to be entrusted with some of the deepest sercrets the Imperium has to offer and deemed wothy to keep them secret???

 

 

Well alot of Chapters have alot of stuff that wouldn't make much sense. In all however I would think that being sent to the Deathwatch can also mean that they are being sent away from their home and brothers, to fight with men they share very little with, to fight battles that they don't really understand the significance of and constantly be in an alien enviroment far away from everything that they've grown up with.

 

It's a great learning experience. The Astartes aren't dumb. having a few guys go train to be super alien hunters meaning that if any survive, they will eventually come home and teach their true Brothers super alien hunting tactics. Profit for everyone.



#10 Okidus

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 05:37 AM

 Did you want visuals for Chapters other than IF?

Id imagine the IF are aboard the Phalanx, so probably a massive landing platform or vehicle bay inside or out. Imagine something like the shuttle bay of the Deathstar in Return of the Jedi, when the Emperor shows up: Rows of Tactical marines around a brother that is being sent out, probably aboard a Storm Raven or some other unknown dropship. Or, part of the squad that he is going to join might pick him up in an unmarked OX Raven.

 



#11 Dok Martin

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:53 AM

Okidus said:

 Did you want visuals for Chapters other than IF?

Yes! Anything you can come up with!

Basically this is also about establishing a clear picture of a Chapter for players who are not familiar with 40K.

Space Wolves for examples are very impressive, very clear cut. I'm still wondering about the Blood Angels. What's their deal? I know all the canon, but that's not what I mean. And I think, important events like this are a good way to portrait the Chapter itself.



#12 Decessor

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:49 PM

Not every chapter swore to send marines to the deathwatch in any condition. I can easily imagine that the distant Carcharadons or secretive Minotaurs would simply have never signed up.



#13 Quozzo

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:06 PM

Blood Angels: A full ceremony on Baal with the chapters chaplains and sanguinary priests attending. The chaplains say a blessing to suppress the black rage while the captain recalls tales of valor and courage. A sanguinary priest reveals his Blood Chalice. As the priest fills the chalice with the blood running through his veins this fills the marine with honour and the seconded marine then drinks from the icon of the Holy Relic inspiring him to achieve great feats in the name of his Primarch and his chapter.

Thats my take on it anyway.



#14 Baradiel

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 02:19 PM

I imagine the Storm Wardens having their ceremony during a lightning storm, also, there has to be bag-pipes, and painting of woad



#15 Captain Ventris

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:50 PM

Decessor said:

Not every chapter swore to send marines to the deathwatch in any condition. I can easily imagine that the distant Carcharadons or secretive Minotaurs would simply have never signed up.

Actually, the Carcharodons have sent marines: "There are said to be items of armor held within the niches of the Hall of Glory belonging to Chapters not heard of in millenia, including such otherwise unheard of names as the Carcharodons and Flame Falcons." - First Founding, pg. 115.

Doesn't sound like they send guys regularly, but they have.



#16 Dok Martin

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:01 PM

Quozzo said:

Blood Angels: A full ceremony on Baal with the chapters chaplains and sanguinary priests attending. The chaplains say a blessing to suppress the black rage while the captain recalls tales of valor and courage. A sanguinary priest reveals his Blood Chalice. As the priest fills the chalice with the blood running through his veins this fills the marine with honour and the seconded marine then drinks from the icon of the Holy Relic inspiring him to achieve great feats in the name of his Primarch and his chapter.

Thats my take on it anyway.

Yes, Blood Chalice and Sanguinary Priest most definitely. Also I imagine it all taking place in a rokoko kind of palace with richly decorated balconies, white marble and gold, filled with glorious white light, beneath the golden statue of Sanguinius. Full war gear of course.

Or in the semi translucent chapel of a ship floating above the clouds. :)



#17 borithan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:03 AM

Lightbringer said:

Furthermore, the Badab War books reveal the extent to which some Chapters have effectively become either superhuman monsters (Charcaradons),

The Space Sharks! You know they ride flying sharks?

Not that it is much more absurd than the official "torpedoes filled with water" thing they have... and the absurd CHAINLIGHTNINGPALMS! the Chapter Master has.



#18 Decessor

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:31 AM

Captain Ventris said:

 

Actually, the Carcharodons have sent marines: "There are said to be items of armor held within the niches of the Hall of Glory belonging to Chapters not heard of in millenia, including such otherwise unheard of names as the Carcharodons and Flame Falcons." - First Founding, pg. 115.

Doesn't sound like they send guys regularly, but they have.

Ah yes, I overlooked that bit. But my general point stands.



#19 Zappiel

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:52 AM

my thinking with the blood angels is along the lines of honour and sacrifice....they are sacrificing their battlebrother to the deathwatch, in a sense, so i think they will parallel that with Sanguinius' self-sacrifice on terra.  This might help the lone blood angel while he is away from his brothers and apothecaries, and chaplains.  (they must strengthen his resistance to the Thirst before he goes away, so as not to dishonour the chapter)

The salamanders, i picture very medieval, darkness and flame and strong stone halls.  It would have an aspect of family/togetherness/unity/common-good (NOT greater good! ;); there would also be some sort of challenge or test of skill/craftsmanship/will.  Possibly the humans known to the seconded marine would also be present to send him off/wish him well/celebrate his past successes.  Some sort of feast shared by the marines and the commoners?



#20 Captain Ventris

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:49 AM

As a side note, for at least Dark Angels and Blood Angels I imagine that, maybe not as part of the ceremony but just in general, the marine would be provided information on any Deathwatch Leadership figures that are of their Chapter. For example, Dark Angels would be notified about who they could use as contacts in the hunt for the Fallen, or a Blood Angel told whose name to look up so they can get in contact with a Blood Angel Apothecary, Sanguine Priest, or Chaplain.






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