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Do Normal People Matter?

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I think that interpretation is pretty close to mine - all of that sounds very "viking'ish" to me. :)

 

Including that Inquisition event, although there's multiple versions of it again, including a Black Library novel one where it escalates so far that the SW end up assaulting and killing a Lord Inquisitor and a bunch of Grey Knights. That's where I just have to draw the line; such an action should simply mark the offender Excommunicate Traitoris regardless of who it was, as it undermines the Inquisition's authority and clearly shows whoever did it cannot be controlled. "The Ordo Malleus does not practice forgiveness."

 

In general, I think there is a somewhat worrying development regarding the Space Wolves where some authors try and expand on their rebellious image by inserting more and more conflict with other Imperial institutions, but it's slowly getting to the point where they ought to have no support left and should be hated by anyone save (most) other Astartes. The SoB Codex, for example, mentions the Space Wolves murdering a bunch of visiting Ministorum envoys in cold blood, which triggered a punitive strike by the Adepta Sororitas. The conflict lasted only a couple weeks and pretty much ended in a draw, but I think it would be naive to assume that it would not have lasting repercussions for the relationship of the Chapter and the Imperium's state-church. Then again, this happens at the end of M41, so much like with the Flesh Tearer's imminent excommunication the looming consequences may simply not be obvious to us because the timeline does not move forward. The only branch of the IoM left they don't seem to have issues with is the Adeptus Mechanicus, but then again we just didn't read anything on what the AdMech thinks about the Wolves' semi-heretical "Gods of Iron" stuff yet.

 

Either way, I believe as far as relations and perception are concerned, it would be important to keep in mind a few things:

  • proximity of the Chapter towards the population of the planet in question (how often do they interact?)
  • similarities between Chapter and planetary culture (tech level, lifestyle)
  • likelihood of stories to spread (who are the survivors, what happens to them)
  • relationship of the Chapter towards other branches of the Imperium (media control)
 

Some people may make the mistake and believe a Marine Chapter is popular "just" because they did something good. I think this misses out on the fact that news about this good actually have to spread, and that often this may not be the case due to the limits on space travel, communications and the freedom of ordinary folks. In the end, how the people of the Imperium perceive a Space Marine Chapter depends less about how that Chapter actually behaves, but more about what they are being told by local Imperial institutions about it - whether true or false. Before actually having met a Space Wolf in person, the only thing an ordinary Imperial citizen, including Guardsmen, knows about them is not what they picked up on some independent news channel that may report on things in an unbiased fashion ... it's what they are getting told by their local Ministorum Preacher and Administratum-controlled propaganda. And this is why I believe the Space Wolves might have deserved an (unjustly) bad reputation for daring to stand up for the little man. It's simply one of the downsides of removing oneself from the Imperium's power structure and leading a semi-independent life.

And it's unfair stuff like this that preserves the Grimdark of the setting, and I think ignoring it would eventually lead to the setting getting "declawed" and ending up as just another generic space fantasy opera rather than filling the rather unique dystopian slot it does now.

 

Also important may be a natural predisposition between the Marines and Humans that hinges on their respective cultures. For example, I think a Feral Worlder may have a much easier time befriending a Space Wolf than someone who grew up on a Shrine World. Even a single planet may feature different "castes" that might react differently: again taking a Space Wolf as example, the violent lifestyle in an Underhive could endear him to a Ganger, yet a merchant, an Enforcer or even a noble might find it somewhat difficult to interact with one of the Sons of Russ due to their clashing personalities (depending on how we imagine them).

 

In general, the Ministorum seems to be somewhat split as to what to teach people about Astartes. From the 2E SoB Codex:

 

"There has been constant conflict between the Adeptus Ministorum and the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes since Fatidicus first began preaching on Terra. They are rivals in power like any Imperial organisations, but more importantly, their beliefs differ at a very fundamental level. In particular, there is a schism in the clergy's thinking concerning the Space Marines. On the one hand the Space Marines, above all others, can truly be called the children of the Emperor. They are wholly his creation and even contain elements of his own genetic structure. They are the founders of the Imperium, and supreme defenders of humanity. The Space Marines are unswervingly loyal to the Emperor and would die in the defence of his honour and the Imperium. However, the Space Marine Chapters do not adhere to the teachings of the Ecclesiarchy. Their beliefs vary wildly from Chapter to Chapter, worshipping the Emperor and their Primarchs to different degrees. In many ways they are heretics with their own traditions, ceremonies and beliefs, some of which are very barbaric, compared to the well-ordered masses of the Ecclesiarchy. 

 

Most Space Marines worship the Emperor as a great, gifted man, but do not consider him a god in the same sense that is preached by the Ecclesiarchy. His blood runs through their veins and he is considered the ultimate example of mankind, but he is a man nonetheless. Also it is a matter of debate whether the Space Marines are truly human at all. Their genetically engineered bodies are far superior to a normal human, enough to make them a separate race if one wished to interpret their differences so. How can any self-respecting Confessor or Cardinal relate to a monstrous giant who can spit acid, crush a mans skull with one hand and practises crude acts of blood sacrifice?

 

An uneasy compromise has been reached over the millennia, which can be summed up as an agreement to differ. The Ecclesiarchy does not send Confessors and Missionaries to the Space marine worlds and the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes do not interfere with the Adeptus Ministorum. Space Marine Chaplains are given their precious Rosarius by the Ecclesiarchy as a symbolic link between the two organisations, but the Chaplains still preach their own version of the Imperial Creed to their brethren. This uneasy truce has been shattered at times when a particularly zealous Cardinal or Confessor has roused the ire of the Space Marine Chapters with his words or deeds. These feuds are usually resolved quickly, though not always without bloodshed, and the relative peace between the two organisations returns.

 

Occasionally the Battle Sisters will have common cause with the firce Space Marines of the Adeptus Astartes. Although the relationship between these two organisations is only civil at best, the Space Marines and Battle Sisters both respect each other's prowess and skill at arms. Many times, the foes of the Imperium have been eradicated by a combined attack from these two elite forces."

 

On a sidenote, it may be interesting that, at least in GW's fluff, there also seem to be limits to Space Wolf loyalty: the CSM Codex entry on the Red Corsairs warband mentions Huron's renegades boarding a SW strike cruiser - but when some of the Space Wolves aboard noticed they couldn't win this fight, they betrayed and executed their brethren, pledging allegiance to Huron Blackheart and offering the ship to him.

Personally, I believe this sudden shift in loyalty to be a product of the Wolves' lifestyle. They combine obvious enjoyment of the perks of Marine ascension with a lack of the minimum humility that seems prevalent in more Codex-compliant Chapters, which in my opinion is a dangerous combination. It may be kept in check by charismatic leaders, but it doesn't prevent stuff like jealousy (could the traitorous SW have had a problem with their former leader?) or even the prioritisation of one's own life before that of their brethren, or the Imperium.

 

 

Also, thanks for mentioning that bit about the mead - it must have escaped me so far, but it's very characteristic! I could imagine a Deathwatch SW player doing the same with his gun or sword. :)

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In general, I think there is a somewhat worrying development regarding the Space Wolves where some authors try and expand on their rebellious image by inserting more and more conflict with other Imperial institutions, but it's slowly getting to the point where they ought to have no support left and should be hated by anyone save (most) other Astartes. The SoB Codex, for example, mentions the Space Wolves murdering a bunch of visiting Ministorum envoys in cold blood, which triggered a punitive strike by the Adepta Sororitas. The conflict lasted only a couple weeks and pretty much ended in a draw, but I think it would be naive to assume that it would not have lasting repercussions for the relationship of the Chapter and the Imperium's state-church. Then again, this happens at the end of M41, so much like with the Flesh Tearer's imminent excommunication the looming consequences may simply not be obvious to us because the timeline does not move forward. The only branch of the IoM left they don't seem to have issues with is the Adeptus Mechanicus, but then again we just didn't read anything on what the AdMech thinks about the Wolves' semi-heretical "Gods of Iron" stuff yet.Lynata said this.

 

In reply to this, there are a couple reasons. The first, a rather weak one but a reason all the same is that the High Lords of Terra cannot just throw the Wolves away. Yes I know that the High Lords of Terra destroyed many other traitor chapters without a second thought but I've always imagined there is a reason unknown even by the Space Wolves. The acceptance of the Space Wolf way.

 

Another reason is that the common man and trooper respect the SW for respecting them. I have read a book where a group of guardsmen refuse to execute a possible Space Marine traitor because he fought with them and they have a mutual respect. The common soldier who fights every day and respects his mates for helping him, that is what the SW look for. The guardsman likes the SW, seeing them as liberators and heroes not like the other chapters. Reason why I like books with a lone Space Marine having to be helped by a normal human family.

 

Otherwise you have very good points Lynata and I can't really argue against that.

 

About the mead, one of my players is a SW and splashes almost everything he has with blood. Usually human blood. Jokes about whever he should join the Blood Angels are common. Or the Salamanders. :lol:

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In reply to this, there are a couple reasons. The first, a rather weak one but a reason all the same is that the High Lords of Terra cannot just throw the Wolves away. Yes I know that the High Lords of Terra destroyed many other traitor chapters without a second thought but I've always imagined there is a reason unknown even by the Space Wolves. The acceptance of the Space Wolf way.

 

Certainly, but this acceptance has - or rather, should have - its limits. Looking at the list of internal conflicts, it almost starts to look as if the Space Wolves are killing more Imperial troops than "actual" enemies, aside from the various leaders (both the High Lords as well as the SW Chapter Master) issues with one another being quite capable of overriding reason.

 

Not to mention that the SW are already suspect for having such a peculiar geneseed. Really, I think that some authors should just try to consider likely consequences before they start adding to that ever-growing list of "how the Wolves give the Imperium the finger".

 

Once I considered the "SW are too important" line to be perfectly reasonable, even common sense, but with every friendly fire incident it grows weaker. At some point, I'm starting to think that if the Space Wolves are still too important, perhaps something is wrong with their importance, too. ;)

It is for this reason, for example, that I simply ignore stuff like the murder of a Lord Inquisitor and a Grey Knights Grand Master (apart from the novel in question having been hilariously badly written) - it preserves the last remnants of tolerance the Wolves may still enjoy.

 

At the end of the day, to the High Lords, the Space Wolves are just ~2.000 Space Marines the likes of which are created every couple millennia with one of the dozens of Foundings. In other words, they are replaceable. Or again, rather, they should be.

 

Though here I should probably point out that I prefer looking at the setting in a more gritty fashion, "embracing the Grimdark", rather than wishing to see something or someone immune to any consequences to what they do because they are a protagonist or an established entity in the franchise. So, once again a matter of preferences/perspective; it's just different styles of narration. I suppose you could say I'd wish for 40k to be a bit more like Game of Thrones, where you actually have to fear for whoever you like, and never know what comes next. ;)

 

Another reason is that the common man and trooper respect the SW for respecting them.

 

Yet, if they've not already fought side by side, how could they possibly know how the SW might feel about them?

That's what I meant with the previous post. What the common man and trooper knows is being dictated by the Administratum and Ministorum. If they know anything about the Space Marines, much less individual Chapters, it's what they are getting told by the people in charge.

 

Fenris has already been invaded by millions of Guardsmen once, during a war that lasted three years. Arguably, Cardinal Bucharis did not have much of a problem instilling a sense of hatred in them: "Despite the adversity of the conditions, the bloodthirsty warriors under Bucharis' command vowed to exact revenge on the Space Wolves for their lost comrades."

 

 

Though, if the High Lords really wanted the SW out of the way, there are probably less problematic, more dirty methods than direct military intervention, especially as the latter might draw other Chapters into a civil war with the IoM. The Space Wolves don't have any successors, but I would not be surprised if they wouldn't have one or two Chapters that are honour-bound to assist them, leading to an ever-escalating conflict much like the Badab War with Marines fighting Marines, just because one Chapter Master felt a need to defy the legal representatives of the Emperor out of personal pride.

 

About the mead, one of my players is a SW and splashes almost everything he has with blood. Usually human blood. Jokes about whever he should join the Blood Angels are common. Or the Salamanders. :lol:

 

:lol:

 

 

[edit] After some introspection, it occurred to me that the above might sounds as if I just don't like the Space Wolves - I wanted to clarify that I don't think this is the case. I do like their idea (in fact, I almost started them once, many years ago), I just don't like how many (most?) authors execute it. "Too much of the good stuff", if you will, spoiling my perception of them, at least of how they are portrayed in their books and most of the fanbase. :unsure:

Edited by Lynata

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"how the Wolves give the Imperium the finger". Lynata said this.

 

 Ha Ha Ha! Wolf Style! :lol:

Very well explained. And no I was not talking about that sentence! ^_^ 

 

The wolves are... unique. Independant and outragously lucky. I mean killing three million soldiers doesn't make the High Lord happy. Thanks a lot Lynata you made everything detailed and clear. Hmm, what does anyone think about making a Space Wolf traitor as the main badguy. Better tell Fenric to prepare a shower. A blood shower. ;)

Edited by Misha

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Hmm, what does anyone think about making a Space Wolf traitor as the main badguy. Better tell Fenric to prepare a shower. A blood shower. ;)

 

This could actually be a neat tie-in to that strike cruiser story from the CSM Codex! If you manage to link that incident to your campaign, that is?

 

It'd kind of give your SW player the opportunity to "restore the honour of his Chapter", in his brethren's eyes. Certainly, executing a renegade would be counted as removing a stain on the Wolves' annals? This way, you could combine duty to the Deathwatch with adding to the history of a character's Chapter. :)

 

Normally, I'm a bit sceptical against tie-ins with existing material, but on the other hand believe that such things are not only okay but actually desirable, if the players' involvement doesn't surpass a certain level of importance that lets them rival their Chapter Masters in renown. Keeping things small is another of my preferences - but that doesn't mean you cannot play some role in an event that your players may know from a book.

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This could actually be a neat tie-in to that strike cruiser story from the CSM Codex! If you manage to link that incident to your campaign, that is? Lynata said this.

 

I didn't think about the tie-in to the strike cruiser story! Thanks! :)

 

I think I could link the incident to my campaign because my SW player knows about the Incident and hates Huron. That would be interesting but it might block out the other characters... Still the idea stands and I am thinking about making him from the scenario of sad betrayal. How is Fenjir Fenheart for a name? I also want to make him worship a chaos god though I don't want, but I don't mind Khorne. What god should I choose? Or maybe I shouldn't choose any god? I will do so myself but please post possible characteristics and personality. It will be interesting to see how other people would make him. Images are welcome. I'm thinking of making him... flighty. He doesn't care that he betrayed the Imperium. He will happily change sides to survive.

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How is Fenjir Fenheart for a name?

 

Hmm, I'd say drop at least one "Fen". I know it must seem incredibly popular for SW, but you'll end up with Fenjir Fenheart from Fenris, challenged to a duel by Fenric.

 

Though maybe that's just me - I'm incredibly picky when it comes to names and tend to spend days or weeks when looking for one...  :lol:

 

One tool I tend to use for this kind of quest is behindthename.com, though. Maybe it could prove useful for you, too? Here is a configuration that might fit to Space Wolves.

 

I also want to make him worship a chaos god though I don't want, but I don't mind Khorne. What god should I choose? Or maybe I shouldn't choose any god?

 

The Red Corsairs are ... Khorne? Or Chaos Undivided? I'm not sure myself at the moment.

 

For characteristics and personality, I suppose you could attempt to "backtrace" his past and gauge likely traits from that. What could have driven him to change sides, was it a grudge/jealousy, or was he really just afraid, or a mixture of both? Either way, how about if you make him somewhat defensive in his justifications, in that he actually attempts to explain himself to the players even though deep down he knows they'll never going to let him live? He could have spent the years lying to himself, convincing himself that he did the right thing, and now he could taunt the players in a similar way. Perhaps even insulting his former Chapter, making up half-true claims about supposed weaknesses as if those were what drove him from their midst, rather than his own weakness. In short, make him an arrogant bastard who just doesn't want to acknowledge his time is finally up.  ;)

 

"You fools! Still you are willing to lay down your lifes for an Imperium that died together with the Emperor. Old Logan is just too afraid to challenge our true enemies!"

 

Just an example off the top of my head.

Edited by Lynata
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Great, I can imagine him now!

 

Hmm, I'd say drop at least one "Fen". I know it must seem incredibly popular for SW, but you'll end up with Fenjir Fenheart from Fenris, challenged to a duel by Fenric. Lynata said this.

 

Yeah, I was going to edit that but I got busy. It popped into my head, only took me a few seconds to make up. I'm the same when it comes to names. Maybe not as picky but it takes me ages to get anywhere.

 

The Red Corsairs are ... Khorne? Or Chaos Undivided? I'm not sure myself at the moment. Lynata said this.

 

I think they are chaos undivided, or maybe they are all of them mixed into one big heap of bastards. Can't tell. I don't know much about Huron apart from that a grey knight killed him but he actually killed his fake double (slippery ****).

 

For characteristics and personality, I suppose you could attempt to "backtrace" his past and gauge likely traits from that. What could have driven him to change sides, was it a grudge/jealousy, or was he really just afraid, or a mixture of both? Either way, how about if you make him somewhat defensive in his justifications, in that he actually attempts to explain himself to the players even though deep down he knows they'll never going to let him live? He could have spent the years lying to himself, convincing himself that he did the right thing, and now he could taunt the players in a similar way. Perhaps even insulting his former Chapter, making up half-true claims about supposed weaknesses as if those were what drove him from their midst, rather than his own weakness. In short, make him an arrogant bastard who just doesn't want to acknowledge his time is finally up.  ;) Lynata said this.

 

Interesting. I was thinking about that and heres a brief summary. Oh, thanks for the website, I'll recomend it to my friends.

 

Gunnar Baldr(meaning Warrior Prince): The son of the Warrlok peoples chief, he was always special, destined for greatness was what his father said. Since a young age he trained in fitness and war and so he got the name Gunnar Baldr at the age of ten. He was a handsome youth, strong and cunning. He was the eptitome of the Warrlock people. Until the Sharazak. Warrlocks allies betrayed them, joining together to destroy their once ally. This event only lasting one year shaped Gunnar strongly teaching to trust no one. His father died after bravely defending the people but Gunnar escaped. He ran and ran and ran. He saw trusted friends betray him in his journey to safety but hid his despair behind a mask of charm and friendship. He beat a stranger in a drinking competition but almost died from the mass of alchohal he drank. Fortunately the stranger was Space Wolf and so saved Gunnar. Impressed because no one ever beat him in a drinking contest before he took the twelve year old to the Space Wolf trials. He exceeded all expectations. Gunnar was enchanted by the Space Wolf way and took the vow, but the year of Sharazak left its mark. He respected his Blood Claw brethren but didn't trust them. It was his develpment that troubled Ulrik. So he trained Gunnar himself after Gunnars whole pack apart from himself was destroyed by traitor legioneries. He told no one what happened and how he survived. He was capable but was arrogant stressing the fact that he was a prince. Ulrik was happy when Gunnar finished his tutelage under the old chaplain, but he was uneasy when he left. Something was wrong. Gunnar fought faithully until one day. The day he left the Emperor. He said that Lorgan was weak and that the rest were foolish. He said he was right and strong and they were weak. It is time to destroy this dirty mark on the history of the Space Wolves. Show no mercy because none shall be shown to you.

 

Still unrefined but any suggestions are welcome. I didn't make a good reason for betraying the Emperor but I am still working on that. I am fine with Chaos gods that don't fit with the Red Corsairs. He could have left them even betrayed them... Yes! I might make the Red Corsairs trying to kill him also. That might work quite well.

Edited by Misha

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I really liked a lot of the answers in here, and it really got me thinking.  I think that, for me and my views on it, the person who said the comment about squirrels almost had the right of it, albeit a bit too simplified.  I like to think that the default view is something like that of a Beekeeper.  Bear with me, though, before you dismiss that as absurd.

 

For one, a Beekeeper's job is, ultimately, protecting the bees so they can keep being productive.  For individual beekeepers, the way they view their relationship with the bees can and will certainly vary.  Some will take care of them simply because it is their duty, and there is honor in performing your job well.  Some will take care of them solely for the benefit they provide.  Some may take care of them because they value bees specifically, or all living things in general.

 

Ultimately, though, the reason they take care of them, and their attitude towards the bees themselves, does not matter in the performing of their duties.  Their responsibility is to take care of them as a whole, so when a bear or honey badger or beast shows up, they take care of it.  It's not that the bees are incapable of defending themselves, and certainly you aren't going to normally be hypervigilant and protect against random frogs, newts, spiders, and "lesser" threats, but they just suck at it so hard compared to what you can do, so when it's time to get serious, no matter what your thoughts are about them, you show up and do your job.

 

At the same time, since the responsibility is the protection of them as a whole, if a hive suffers blight or disease, you destroy it so that it does not spread to the rest of them.  You may feel regret or loss in doing so, either because you're killing all them, or because of the loss of their productivity, but you still need to do it, regardless of any moral or ethical qualms, because not doing it will only lead to a much worse situation later on.  Similarly, if one stings you, it dies, and barring unusual moral positioning, you do not feel great remorse that one individual bee has died.  It shouldn't have stung you, after all.

 

The parallels are hopefully obvious, but in 40k, it is much the same- the role of the space marines is to protect all of humanity, not one particular human, and so they choose to devote their efforts to things that humanity cannot defend against itself.  That in and of itself implies a kind of separation from humanity as a whole, which is certainly true.  It's not like they actively think of themselves as better than regular humans, they don't need to in the same way that we don't bother thinking of ourselves as better than bees.  They *know* they are better, but they also know that their sacred duty, the purpose of their existance, is to defend them.  How they handle that knowledge varies from marine to marine and chapter to chapter, and that's where the whole thing comes in, in terms of some chapter's "paternal" attitude, some chapter's "scornful" attitude, etc.

 

My whole point with all of this is that yes, ordinary humans matter, because they have to- that's the whole point of space marines.  No Iron Hands is ever going to exterminatus a hive world for the fun of it, and no space wolf or ultramarine is going to fail to slay a cabal of chaos cultists, they have to do their job regardless of their feelings.  If you want a less extreme (and  worse) analogy you could compare it to a bodyguard.  It doesn't matter what you think of the guy, you still have to do your job.  And in terms of what you think of the guy, whether you shed a tear as you pop a bolt shell into a tainted cultist and cry yourself to sleep after ordering the extermination of a world, or coldly calculate the impact its loss will have on the manufacturing ability of nearby systems, well, that depends on the individual. 

 

Bear in mind too, even though chapters have trends and patterns in their beliefs, views, and emotions, it's bad storytelling to reduce those things down to a chapter level, so don't be afraid to have the iron hands who believes that any loss is unacceptable, and seeks to save every life possible.  Such a character may also have an unhealthy obsession with preserving ammunition and consummables, and never fire 2 shots when 1 will do, as he carries that philosophy over into more "conventional" iron hands thought patterns, but they're not all remorseless in their destruction of that which they see as "weak".  Similarly, the Salamander who *was* extremely protective of life, seeking to valiantly defend all of humanity 200 years ago, may now be at the point at which he has become jaded by the never ending tide of foes, and humanity's inability to properly defend itself, and as a result is perhaps a bit too fast to pull the trigger on his flamer, regardless of what guardsmen may be in the way, as his priorities have shifted to the eradication of foes, trying desperately to contribute towards exterminating them faster than they can reappear.

 

Sorry for the wall o' text.

tl;dr: Humanity is a bunch of bees.

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I liked it back when there was more mystery and ambiguity about the nature of the Emperor and his supposed divinity. Miracles were less blatant, atheists and separatists actually had a foot to stand on, and there was always a possibility that the Chaos worshippers are right all along. 

Now days everybody knows the Imperium are the good guystm even when they are screaming for hatred, genocide and ignorance. Nobody even bats an eyelid anymore. You can have Inquisitor Hitler authorizing the exterminatus of planet Auschwitz to protect the purity of the human race from xeno infiltration, and everyone is HOO HAH IMPERIUM **** YEAH! 

 

But hey, at least they aren't Tau. 

 

Agreed. The games I play in/run operate under the above.

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Fast answer to the question.

 

Humans worth nothing for chapters like Blood Tearers, Carcharodon, Iron hands, Mortificator and those kind of chapter

Humans are what they are for most of the chapter a mass of people they have to defend against the rest of the galaxy and somtime themself.

Humans are important for chapters like the Salamenders, Ultramarines and others but right now can't tell more.

 

I think the worst chapter is the Marines Malevolent. During the 3d war for Armageddon they started shelling a refugee camp under attack by Orks. Flesh tearers aren't that bad, of course there was that time where they attacked the enemy in the front while the guard attacked the enemy from behind. The flesh tearers just ran out of enemies and then ran into the imperial guard. Oops!

Space wolves are (perhaps surprisingly) alos pro humans. Thye got really pissed off at the inquisition when they put the survivors of the 1st Armageddon war in camps.

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Please help me here.

 

This is a tricky one. The Space Wolves in particular seem to have gone through a lot of subtly different interpretations all depending on who writes about them. In the words of another player, "they can't decide whether they want to be Space Vikings, Werewolves, Loyalist World Eaters, Mary Sues, Wolverine, Monsters, Primitive Pagans, Disciplined, Feral, Serious, Humorous, Intelligent, Bestial, Super Soldiers or an awful amalgamation of all of these often contradictory things."

 

I'd say go for which of these terms you like the most - personally, my favoured version is Space Viking Super Soldiers with just a hint of Werewolves, and for their behaviour in and out of battle, as well as their reputation, I'm looking at the real world viking cliché which, imho, was the original inspiration.

 

And even the Horus Heresy novels are just one of many possible interpretations of 40k (and quite over the top compared to the Index Astartes' version of events).

 

 

 

From what I remember I believe Space Wolves primarily use an oral traditional of storytelling to preserve their Chapter history and rituals.  They are also notably not a Codex Chapter.  They also operate in quite distinct Great Companies.  When you consider this and the fact that the WH40K setting is based over 10,000 years it maybe isn’t too surprising that the Space Wolves encompass so many different characteristics.  It might simply be a case of the Chapter changing.

 

In terms of whether normal people matter.  I think the question is wrong lol!

In terms of emotional intelligence a marine has roughly the same range of emotions as a normal human.  So there is no reason for them not to have some empathy towards normal humans.  The main barriers are cultural and institutional. 

But therein lies the rub.  A Marine in the 41st millennia is only really going to get the chance to talk to military personnel and even then most of these will be officers

 

In this context then ordinary humans do matter, as invariably they will be viewed as a military asset or even in some cases an ally.  However they will only very rarely be seen as equal in military value to a marine.

 

However most Space Marines by and large have only a limited conception of normal people or what it is they actually do. 

 

For example imagine a random baker working on an average peaceful world in the Imperium. 

He works for a head baker who pays him minimum wage, he has wife and 2 kids and he knows nothing of space travel the warp or xenos.  He belongs to a guild to which he pays a tithe and another tithe to the local Temple.  Finally he has flour tax to pay the local governor.  He has a house he has a mortgage on.  Every summer he attends the local carnival.  His mother in-law husband died so she has moved in and is giving him grief.

 

Now compare this to a fairly regular marine, say a Nova Marine. 

 

Now tell me what do they possibly have to talk about?

 

It’s not so much a case of the baker not mattering so much as the Nova Marine simply not understanding what the baker does or why he does it.  Why does he put up with his boss? Why does he waste so much time drinking or on idle chatter? Why doesn’t he work harder? Why isn’t he pushing himself to be better?

 

Empathy is based on understanding.  This is why some Chapters like Salamanders or White Consuls will think normal people matter and will understand the fraction of a difference the baker makes to the Imperium.  They might even appreciate that they as Astartes stand as the pinnacles of humanity on a pyramid supported by the baker. 

 

A Flesh Tearer whose entire existence is consumed by war and anger would probably need to remind himself what a baker even is if you used the word in conversation.

In game terms, there is a case to be made that Space Marines shouldn’t necessarily automatically have Common Lore Imperium.

Edited by Visitor Q
Lynata, Decessor, Blood Pact and 1 other like this

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It really depends on the individual marine. Not even on the chapter. Opinions on humanity are as different as there are space marines. The important thing to remember, though, is that they once were human and depending on how they liked their life then, or if they had a good social connection with their environment or were their community's outcast/miser, that may well shape their view on mankind in the centuries to come, when they, as marines, become more and more disconnected and only really have those early memories to truly make them feel "human".

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From what I remember I believe Space Wolves primarily use an oral traditional of storytelling to preserve their Chapter history and rituals.  They are also notably not a Codex Chapter.  They also operate in quite distinct Great Companies.  When you consider this and the fact that the WH40K setting is based over 10,000 years it maybe isn’t too surprising that the Space Wolves encompass so many different characteristics.  It might simply be a case of the Chapter changing.

 

The majority of stories about them take place in either M41 or during the Great Crusade - I think it's really just a case of different authors having different ideas. This isn't unusual in 40k at all, but with the Space Wolves it may be more obvious - both because as one of the major armies they get more time in the limelight and thus more material (and thus a greater chance for deviation), but also because GW's original vision is comparatively "open", so it simply allows people to pile their own preferences/interpretations on top of them?

 

In terms of emotional intelligence a marine has roughly the same range of emotions as a normal human.  So there is no reason for them not to have some empathy towards normal humans.  The main barriers are cultural and institutional. 

 

Depending on where you look, Marines are also subjected to a great deal of hypno-indoctrination and regular drug injections affecting the very way they think and feel - it's the background for the ATSKNF they have in the tabletop, and the different ways in how this technology has become corrupted in various Chapters over the span of millennia is an explanation for why some of them "act a little strange", if you get my drift.

 

Their monastic lifestyle and daily life is, of course, another great barrier though - but at least all Space Marines used to have a normal childhood on their respective planet of which they are likely to retain some memory (it is, after all, how certain native traditions such as cannibalism may seep into a Chapter). A problem here might be that most Marines are recruited from Feral Worlds that were specifically selected as Marine fiefs for their warlike population, and that memories of their former lives might fade over the decades or even centuries of service, given the extreme experiences they are subjected to as a member of the Adeptus Astartes.

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Their monastic lifestyle and daily life is, of course, another great barrier though - but at least all Space Marines used to have a normal childhood on their respective planet of which they are likely to retain some memory (it is, after all, how certain native traditions such as cannibalism may seep into a Chapter). A problem here might be that most Marines are recruited from Feral Worlds that were specifically selected as Marine fiefs for their warlike population, and that memories of their former lives might fade over the decades or even centuries of service, given the extreme experiences they are subjected to as a member of the Adeptus Astartes.

 

 

Though there are a fair number who don't have normal childhoods, The Red Scorpions for example take their recruits as pretty much new born infants, the Carcharadons seem to aggressively indoctrinate their recruits to supress memories of their childhood (if I remember the Badab War correctly) and the Minotaurs also use some strange mental reconditioning on their recruits.  On the other hand these are all pretty extreme Chapters.

 

I think the monastic life and routine combined with little or no contact with ordinary humans would have a huge impact even without any kind of chemical or genetic conditioning.

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The Red Scorpions bit is interesting. I'll hazard a guess and assume that's from some novel or a Forge World book rather than the main studio? But it could fit in nicely, depending on how it's done ... do they have some sort of creche where they keep (and probably train and indoctrinate) the kids until they are old enough for implantation, like an Astartes copy of the Schola Progenium?

 

I think the monastic life and routine combined with little or no contact with ordinary humans would have a huge impact even without any kind of chemical or genetic conditioning.

 

Yup. The real world unfortunately has plenty of examples in that regard ...

Humans are surprisingly "malleable", under certain conditions.

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The Red Scorpions bit is interesting. I'll hazard a guess and assume that's from some novel or a Forge World book rather than the main studio? But it could fit in nicely, depending on how it's done ... do they have some sort of creche where they keep (and probably train and indoctrinate) the kids until they are old enough for implantation, like an Astartes copy of the Schola Progenium?

 

I think the monastic life and routine combined with little or no contact with ordinary humans would have a huge impact even without any kind of chemical or genetic conditioning.

 

Yup. The real world unfortunately has plenty of examples in that regard ...

Humans are surprisingly "malleable", under certain conditions.

 

Yes.  It's why in real life most monastic orders acted as part of the community rather than apart from it.  Not to mention why there are so few hermitage orders left in the Western world.  

 

I've always suspected that the Emperor planned to get rid of all but a few of the Primarchs and the marines after the Great Crusade and isolating them both emotionally and phyisically would have been a perfect foundation to do this. 

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I've always suspected that the Emperor planned to get rid of all but a few of the Primarchs and the marines after the Great Crusade and isolating them both emotionally and phyisically would have been a perfect foundation to do this. 

 

It would also be an interesting explanation for why he made sure that Marine geneseed only works on men - it's an elegant way to prevent unchecked "breeding". After all, to the Emperor, the Space Marines were nothing but tools; he did not want to replace Mankind with them (which might otherwise have happened, given their genetic superiority), but merely have them be the vessel by which Mankind conquers the stars.

 

I share your suspicion, chiefly because it'd be yet another suitably grimdark aspect of the greater setting. :)

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I've always suspected that the Emperor planned to get rid of all but a few of the Primarchs and the marines after the Great Crusade and isolating them both emotionally and phyisically would have been a perfect foundation to do this. 

 

I share your suspicion, chiefly because it'd be yet another suitably grimdark aspect of the greater setting. :)

 

 

It's also exactly what he did to the Thunder Warriors when he was done with them.

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On the other hand there are numerous references and hints that there was originally a purpose for all of the Primarchs after the war (even if Jhagatai's and Russ' aren't as apparent as Magnus' or Guilleman's). Perhaps not the Space Marines, or all of them if they were to be retained. But Angron wasn't supposed to end up a bloodthirsty maniac because someone hammered archeotech in to his skull, either.

 

And it would be harder to put down the much more numerous Space Marine Legions than the inherently genetically unstable Thunder Warriors.

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The Primarchs were supposed to be part of the "beginning the next stage/phase of humankind" plan, IIRC. The Astartes were created as a stopgap measure in the absence of the Primarchs. The Emperor couldn't follow his original plan with the Primarchs, so he went with the Marines as a Plan B.

 

 

As for the dealing with the Legions post-Crusade, I expect that they would have been retained for some time, but with the 'war' over, and the Imperium at 'peace', they would likely reduce the production of new Marines significantly. The Legions would still have been required for a time, as they would be an independent and mostly impartial arm, resistant to political influences, and would have been required both as the primary line of defense and quite possibly as an internal enforcement force for the Emperor, during the process of progressing humanity to the next step on humanity's path. By the time the Legions would be unneeded, Mankind would have moved on, and purging the Marine Legions (if necessary) would have been significantly easier - besides, disposing of the Legions doesn't actually require killing them all. Put them into an honorable semi-retirement, training the successor forces, and let them die off naturally, and/or allow them to grind themselves down against enemy forces. Besides, at the hypothetical point the Legions need to be disposed of, it's quite likely that there would have been several steps of technological advancement past where they are/were, and it's probable that there would be multiple armor/equipment/ship upgrades, and if truly necessary, remotely triggered suicide charges of various forms/means could be utilized. Or, y'know, just pull a Horus and land them somewhere under false pretences and Exterminatus them from orbit, or land them somewhere for review/celebration and stasis field the place, that way if you need them again, for whatever reason, they're still available.

And it is worth remembering, that at the time of the Great Crusade/Horus Heresy, the Astartes were not so distant from the masses of humanity as they are nowadays. Non-Astartes were much more closely worked with and the Legions were far more accepting of outsiders than they are now.

It's also possible that the Legions would slowly have evolved, phasing out Astartes production with next-stage of humanity recruits.

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ok, a lot of interesting point of view.

maybe we can try another pow?

 

imagine to be yourself and today a lot of micetics spore falldown.... tyranids are here and we try to survive...

I, you know, i'm the best fighter :)

 

After some days, the space wolf come to save our planet, and choose me to go with them. (leaving behind my old life)

 

- Now after 1 year, i've already transformed into a Sapce Wolf...the humans is important for me?

 

- After a lot of battle 50/100 years of horrors and nightmare, if my mind was not broken, the humans are important for me?

 

(please keep in mind that all the space marine venerate the Emperor, the god that descend on heart to save humanity, he create the primarch and the chapater, for defending humanity. He die for defending the imperium of man.)

 

 

(please forgive for my bad english) 

 

cheers

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i will answer first:

 

- yes, I'm human, I now have a superbody and I'm indoctrinated for fighting at the top, armed to the fang with the best weapons and armor, but I'm still human.

The Emperor give is life for humans, Leman Russ fight as the champion of the emperor, i will do my duty!

 

- I remember a past time when I play on my world with other children...But now I'm a Wolf Guard, I know a lot and live alot, now i see almost the entire plan of the Emperor, and yes i will give my life for defending humans.

But now i fight with more wisdom, for Russ shake, i'm not the Great Wolf, and i have not to decide if we have to save first one world or another...as always we do our part.

 

We are the Wolf, We will fight to the end, for the Wolftime.

 

:):):)

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let us compare two extremes on either end:

 

On one hand, we have the extremely appropriately named Marines Malevolent, who see normal humans, and Marines of other chapters for that matter, as weak and inconsequential, without value. A refuge camp being overrun by the enemy? Bomb it, it has enemies in it! But there are civilians in there! Who cares? They stop just shy of going out of there way to actively cause pain, but to them individual humans, let alone on the scale of thousands, mean nothing.

 

On the opposite end we have the Salamanders who, unlike most chapters, regularly interact with civilians after becoming marines, acting as community leaders among tribes. Also their volcanic home world is, every 15 standard Terran years (one year on their planet), wracked by massive planet-wide earthquakes followed by a massive winter, killing many. They quickly learn how fragile and precious life is, and see themselves as protectors of humanity first, slayer of its foes second.

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How lively this place has become in the last few days :)

 

Anyway, loyalist Chapters subscribe to the notion of protecting of Mankind as an abstract concept, which generally includes an unwillingness to straight up commit genocide (at least when said humans are loyal). The tolerance for collateral damage, however, is a sliding scale, Marines Malevolent or Black Templars being closer to one end, Salamanders to the other, and it is influenced not only by Chapter culture, but also by countless other factors (nature of the threat, strategic or tactical situation, etc.), and it is always evaluated on a case-by-case basis. So the question is basically whether individual human live is inherently valuable for Marines, right? For that, the answer - I think - is a resounding no. Marines usually approach such philosophical questions using Service and Sacrifice as cornerstones, and the value of an individual human lies in possessing a potential to render future service, even for the most mortal-friendly Chapters. So I think no, normal people as a rule don't matter, the only variable is the constantly changing threshold of acceptable collateral damage.

Edited by musungu
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