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Calgor Grim

Oath of Silence

9 posts in this topic

Query about something I read.

 

From the Lexicanum pages for "Deathwatch":

 

http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Deathwatch#.UpXxINKtTQU

 

Once the mission is complete, the Space Marine is allowed to return to his chapter, under an oath of silence, as their duty has been fulfilled.

 

Is this a pre-written oath, one which is standardised for use in the Deathwatch or does it vary by context? The article doesn't cite a source for this so presumably there is no example I can use.

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I wouldn't necessarily put too much stock into this. The Lexicanum article seems influenced mostly by GW's version of the Deathwatch, which differs from FFG's in how it relates to the Astartes and the Inquisition. As the Deathwatch in this RPG is not part of the Inquisition but instead more something like an alliance between individual Marine Chapters, this oath may simply not exist, since the Chapters participating in the Deathwatch probably wouldn't keep secrets from one another. After all, who's going to tell them to? The Inquisition they do not have to listen to in this version of their existence? ;)

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I think there's a bit of confusion over the difference between saying AN oath of silence instead of THE oath of silence. It just says 'an oath of silence' meaning they are sworn not to speak specifics of their Deathwatch activities, not that there is a specific oath in the same terms as the DW pre-mission oaths.

 

This idea is reinforced by Cyrus' dialogue in Dawn of War 2 as well as the recent Deathwatch novel by Steve Parker, so feel free to use or ignore that information as pleases you. DW marines do not speak to others of their exploits in the Deathwatch, but their tactical and strategic knowledge is exploited where possible. For example, Cyrus doesn't say under what circumstances he fought the Tyranid in the DW, only that he did, and then informs his brothers of the kind of threat they pose and to target Synapse creatures. So as I consider it, in returning from the DW, the home Chapter benefits from the warfare knowledge its brother has gained without the sensitive information surrounding Inquisitorial activities being compromised. So, the Chapter may not know about the Necrons buried under world X, but if they stumble on to world X and encounter them, the DW brother who fought them can pipe up with the best ways to kill them.

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Certainly no specifics of such an oath are written out anywhere, and as per everything in 40k, it will vary wildly from place to place.

 

There are watch-fortresses where the Deathwatch behave much more like Talon squad, and few people outside the inquisition get to know what's going on, much less their home chapters, whilst others are more like erioch, which as noted is essentially an astartes facility with a few just-about-tolerated inquisitorial guests...

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Exactly.

 

I have a mental image of a curious librarian translating the high gothic inset text on the deathwatch veterans pad, to find it reads "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove nothing."*

 

The extent to which chapters take this seriously will vary.

 

 

* Ego autem non feci. Videret me fac. Non probat.

Edited by Magnus Grendel
pearldrum1 likes this

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I view it as something like: you can use the knowledge gained of how to fight the Enemies of Man to teach your Chapter how to better themselves but any knowledge about how the Inquisition operates is to be kept in the strictest of confidence.  In the new novel "Blood of Asaheim" one of the characters flashes back to the end of his Vigil.  The Ultramarine that was in charge of the squad said something to the effect of, "We won't every see each other again and even if we do, I'll have to act like we haven't."

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