+ inload: Legionary Olvidar Nonnatus +

+ Legionary Olvidar Nonnatus +

+ [spooling] [transcript unclear] [spooling] +
+ 'The turquoise of the ocean; the rose of morning'. Such was Iterator Veil's description of the Eleventh Legion's heraldic colours, when it came to the time to demarcate and honour the warriors as a true Legion in their own right. +

+ In truth, none of the artificial oceans on Terra had turquoise shallows any longer; and the only hints of rose that crept into the bleached white sky above Taiohe'a Outpost were the chem-drenched clouds at dawn and dusk, swiftly burnt away by the merciless sun. +

+ inscriptor: Ali Yaqtest, extract from The Open Mind of Mankind; an Ongoing History of the Emperor's Victories vol I +
+ datum:[datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT] +
+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] +

Marquetry of the [REDACTED], Pre-compliant Terra [inload datum scrubbed – spec. three years prev. Fall of Luna?]

+ [spooling] [transcript unclear] [spooling] +
+ OperamMilitary Adepts; New Imperial Order +
+ Epigram: [Summo Secretam – Eyes Only] Seventeen Legions project; pre-prep. +
+ [spooling] [transcript unclear] [spooling] + examples of the the Urshite, Pansylvanian and Neo-Germaine militaries – if such a blanket term can be applied to those roaming and shiftless masses – are warriors who share cultural ties or common ideals. Whether we like it or nor, such concepts serve to bond the men and women into a fighting force – but in this they become brittle; and this is yet another subtlety that we must avoid. Weaknesses can be found in such a homogenous group; they may stand together, but they also break toget+ [spooling] [transcript unclear] [spooling] +s the Perandor (Editrix: spec. trans. 'Emperor'? I'm not sure he'd like that, whatever the marshals say. Use his formal title 'warmaster', at least until we have confirmation of the Med. tribes surrender) has stated already, his Thunder Warriors will not suffice for his vision of world domination: and so we are tasked with the creation of seventeen groups; his 'Legio+ [spooling] [transcript unclear] [spooling]et to be formed will be made up of previously unaffiliated individuals; drawn from [spooling] [transcript unclear] [spooling]ith relish – and no little pride – I can foresee these Seventeen Legions conquering not just the Dominions of Ursh, but perhaps the planet itself. (Editrix: Scribe, strike all following paragraphs before sending; I don't want to find myself explaining Demmet's grandiloquent hubris to the warmaster once moreIndeed, at the risk of sounding overly sanguine, I dare dream we will one day find a way to send these Legionaries into the heavens, as I am told humanity did in those lost days. We might just dream that our glorious warmaster will one day extend his hand over the whole Solar System; thereby bringing every human in existence under his protection. What lofty is +SCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPT+
+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] +


[datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] was not, of course, the case with the Astartes, who were as different – as 'Other' – from base mankind as was the Emperor himself. Even the Thunder Warriors, monstrous figures who seemed quite inhuman to the Emperor's foes – and, indeed, to those like us, who bore witness to their conflict – had been created from human warriors. They had human minds inside their gene-bulked bodies, albeit altered and twisted. In contrast, the Astartes were elevated; their genetic code altered and partially subsumed beneath the pattern dictated by the Legion's unique genesperm. + 

+ The Astartes' stature and physical alterations were the least of the differences from their previous selves; their mental and spiritual alterations – or as the Emperor's jealous enemies came to say 'mutilation' – creating something quite different. As a result, while Astartes might have memories of their families or places of birth; the changes wrought upon them, in concert with their training and indoctrination, rendered these memories ghostly and vague. +

+ inscriptor: Hammurabi, Ovidem et al., extract from The Three Legions, late M31 reprint 44. +
+ dat+ [datalog terminus] [proceed] [spooling] +

+ Armour rad-bleached Pacific Basin Theatre; chromatically unreliable +

+ [spooling] [spooling] [spooling] + + How then, one might ask, could such a force be created? Who would shape the tabulae rasa of these new Legions? In the instance of the First Legion (and to an extent, the Second and Third), the answer was the Emperor himself. It was from his example that his 'perfect soldiers' learned to fight. With none of the considerations of their opponents – no emotional investment, no fear, no homes or cultures – they presented a terrifying blank slate to humanity. It is not for nothing they were labelled with terms from mythology – djinni, spirits, angels – by their enemies. +

+ Prior to their Investiture in full operational warfare, the later Legions were deployed alongside other Imperial Forces, both as integrated warriors within Astartes squads, and as observers. Their command cadres were initially made up of experienced alien warriors from Legions I, II and III, who led small forces of the nascent Legions until native command could be taken. In this way, the hard-won lessons of Unity – as recorded in The Three Legions by Ovidem and Hammurabi the Wordsmith – were impressed upon the raw clay of the Legion. Some of the Fourteen Legions took to these lessons more readily than others. Neverthel[spooling] [transcript unclear] [spooling] +. 
+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] + +

+ The Mark of the Legionary; Imperator Vincere +
+ [spooling] [SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT] [spooling] + 
+ Redirect channel +

+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] +

'Thunderheads' designate: Stormbreaker specialist
+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] +

+ Manhide boltgun strap – post Pan-Pacific campaign, judging by stylised bolt on belt. +

+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] +
+ [datalog] [spooling] I have seen these new warriors. They are more pleasing to the eye than the Thunder Warriors; almost comely in their closeness to the human form. I have no doubt this will be a final solution. You might face the Thunder Warriors and see them as ogrish; but with this new army there can be no doubt the Emperor leads the best of humanity. Humanity Plus! + 

+ I confess to finding it simultaneously thrilling and terrifying – sublime in its horrific perfection – that the work of the psienticians and alchaemical staff has been so scrupulously successful. The tube-subjects resist every test; physical, mental and chemical; though being that it was performed under the eye of the warmaster Himself, it is perhaps not surpr
[datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [spooling] + 
+ inscriptor: Trosty, The Astartes Project +
+ Datumunclear; spec. ca~ Himalaysian Counter-insurgency Campaign [transcript unclear] [spooling] + 
+ [datalog] [spooling] [SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT] [fatal error] +

+ [spooling]+osing, I state simply that their loyalty was, and remains, absolute; not to kin, not to place, not even to humanity – but to the great Emperor of Terra and the Luna Colonies. Praise Him, then, that in the Emperor, we have a ruler who is truly worthy of such unquestioning loyalty. Benevolent tyranny, once apparently reviled, and now extended throughout the whole Empire – has proven itself the best form of government. + 
+ inscriptor: Veil, Iterations vol. IV +
+ Datum: unclear; spec. prior Martian Compliance +

+ Standard plate plans example. Apparently we are to call them Astartes now – sounds pompous to me. I preferred the old name. Anyway Anatoli, I digress. Is the request correct? Fourteen thousand void-sealed suits? Let me simply say I am glad we have a whole planet as our workshop. Goodness knows what they want that many for. Do what you can for additional staff, please – or come down and help me and the girls with another set of hands for painting the heraldry !
Yours, Gagarin

+ [spooling]e write, I am pleased to report the XIIIth have reported that the last of the Moon Men's forces have been brought to terms. They will accept the Imperial Truth in time; such is the manifest destiny of Mankind and the Emperor of Earth. With Luna now ours, we can extend the bounds of the empire beyond the bounds of the earth itself. A humbling – and inspiring – thought. +

+ Postscript: Between you and me, Gagarin, in submitting my initial report to the Unity Council, I joked that we had exceeded our brief by reuniting all humanity with four fewer legions than planned. There was a paus+ [spooling] [transcript unclear] [spooling] + since been told that the Unity Council means to continue expansion. It sounds lunatic to me – who needs more than the whole earth? – but apparently it has been part of the+ [spooling] [transcript unclear] [spooling]+
inal four Legions have been brought to full strength in secret and will march on Mars itself. Once the IInd, I+ [spooling] [transcript unclear] [spooling] +
vered from the Lunar campaign, all seventeen are poised to descend on the Red Planet. +

+ It fills me with fear – more so for success than failure. Death against the Martians would prove an honourable end of sorts, but victory? That brings with it troubling questions. Where next? Where does it end? +
+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] +
+ [spooling] [SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT] [spooling] + 
+ Redirect channel +
+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] ++SCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPT+
+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] ++SCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPT+
+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] ++SCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPT+
+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] ++SCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPTSCRIPT+
+ [datalog] [spooling] [transcript unclear] [fatal error] +

+ inload: Perturabo, the Lord of Iron +

+ Perturabo, the Lord of Iron +

Tell them ruin has come to their world, death, despair and red war...

Tell them their hopes and pride have come to nothing.

Tell them their empty whispers fall upon deaf ears - their gods are dead, human logic has killed them.

Tell them the Angels of Death have come.

Tell them that nothing can save them now

The Lord of Iron brooks no dissent; courts no allies; and needs little introduction.... +

+ An interesting and enjoyable piece to work on, this Primarch figure was the culmination of a few months practising painting metal. In a previous inload [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+], I showed you the work in progress and talked through my thoughts on the scheme. I find it very useful to take a break halfway through and assess the paintwork, rather than crack on with it. It helps to put your finger on what is and isn't working. +

+ Adding darker non-metallic areas around the gold helps it to stand out. I used a mix of Charadon Granite and Abaddon Black to avoid pure black (which can look artificial), but kept these areas fairly neutral. Touches of silver ink were added for highlights (particularly on the studs), and a red glow has been added behind the Primarch's head, emanating from the Logos' hood. The other change is Forgebreaker. Initially painted silver and gold like the rest of the figure, I decided to repaint it using more black and white – this helps it stand out and become a focal area; creating a triangle of stronger contrasts along with his forward knee and face. +

+ Sepia ink was used to knock back the brass on the ammunition feeds, and Devlan Mud on the power generator area on his back. This gave it a slightly darker, dirtier look that differentiates it from the brighter silver of his armour. +

+ This shot shows Forgebreaker in more detail; and annoyingly it's now given me the urge to convert and paint a Ferrus Manus. I like the FW figure, but it's not how I picture the Xth Legion Primarch. + 

+ Stark contrasts of black and white, along with a brighter silver, mark the weapon as unassociated with Perturabo. It's worth noting that I've used a pure blue-white on the hammer; the brightest tone on the whole figure (even his eyes are a slightly cream hue). Perturabo may think himself justified in rebelling against the Emperor, but the true purity is obvious. Creating a character and drama through a paint scheme like this is fun and helps make the figure more understandable. In miniature sculpture, where the majority of figures are in martial poses, it's good to hint at something deeper. +

+ Of course, it helps when the background of the figure has sufficient depth and interest that you can make such value judgements. All the Primarchs are fairly monstrous in their world-views; but some, like the bitter Perturabo, are lined up as relatable monsters. You could argue he gets unfairly treated; but equally you could regard him as a psychopath justifying his atrocities. +

+ The sculpt is a lovely one. While I like the display base as a piece in itself, I'm not sure it works for Perturabo – his heavy solidity is at odds with his precarious position on the curved carapace of the downed Knight – and I think I'll hold on to it for another purpose. +

+ The detail on the sculpt is lovely, and he's a real reward to paint. Not much space for freehand, unfortunately, but if you want a centrepiece packed with detail to pick out, you could do much worse than this lovely figure. +

+ It wouldn't be right to end with a pic of him on his own, so here's a shot of him with a few of his troops. +

+ inload: Phalangite Ivanho +

+ Phalangite Ivanho +

+ The Iron Warriors' geneseed allowed for excellent integration with bionics and augmetics, on par with the Xth Legion. In concert with their experienced Apothecarion, this meant that more casualties were returned to the front lines more quickly than in other Legions. +

+ On the face of things, this should have proven a great advantage to the Imperium. In practice, it meant that a culture of brutal pressure and expectation built up around the wounded, forcing them back into warfare before they were truly recovered, dosed with immuno-suppressants and caked in anti-sepsis gels. In addition, while bionics and augments took readily, the flesh of the IVth Legion Astartes was not impervious to damage. Marginally less physically resilient than the Xth or XIVth Legions, Iron Warriors pushed back into the fight occasionally found themselves unable to keep up with their comrades, leading to a vicious circle of injury and too-swift return. Inevitably, this led to ill-feeling within Musters and Grand Companies. +

+ This rapid cycling of casualties back into the fight did have its advantages, particularly when scale of firepower was more important than quality. Phalangite Ivanho, pictured here, has been pushed back into the lines with a bulky temporary augmetic on his injured eye, preventing him from wearing a standard helm. Low-tech solutions like this were far from ideal, particularly in the rad- and gas-swamped battlegrounds of the Imperial Palace, but the Pitiless IVth were uncompromising. +

+ The lack of rest and repair is more obvious from this angle, as the damage to Ivanho's battleplate is shown. Cuts and rents in his breastplate, along with popped rivets in the reinforcement in his thigh armour, tell a grim story. +

+ The rest of his equipment appears standard; an unremarkable set of equipment for a standard line warrior. Soldiers like Ivanho were exceptional on their worlds of recruitment (Ivanho himself was drawn from a dusty satellite in the Dheneb system), but set against the stalwart Imperial Fists manning the walls, proved merely servicable. Casualties against the well dug-in Loyalist forces were horrendous. +

+ His muster markings are standard; though his boltgun is slightly unusual for this Grand Company. The Varn-pattern weapon was forged under license from the Forge World Umbra, and is near identical save for being constructed mainly from plastek. This renders it non-magnetic and requiring a carrying strap. +

+ Ivanho survived the Heresy, perishing in the Legion Wars nearly two centuries (Terran standard reckoning) later. His corpse was time-stamped after being found lashed to a standard lost by a Night Lords raiding party on Cadia. +

+ inload: Legion IV +

+ Updates on the Iron Warriors +

Meanwhile, during the Siege of Terra... 

+ A Leviathan Dreadnought is the only thing in the Legion that comes close to dwarfing this Primarch! +
+ So, 2016 is firmly with us; and here in the UK we're about to be plunged into the deep cold. Time to wrap up warm and get some building and painting done. So far in 2016, iron has been the theme. + 

+ In addition to the Iron Warriors here and in the previous inload, I've been painting dwarf warriors for a game Bob Hunk is setting up – keep an eye out for these Tallowland dwellers over the next week or so – and also some of my new Unification Wars/11th Legion project, which is plodding along behind the scenes. +

+ As you can see, Perturabo himself is kicking along:

+ A lovely model, and one that's proving an interesting challenge. Metallics have always been a bit of a bane for me – hence my attempt to learn to paint them a bit more convincingly through building a bit of the IVth Legion. + 

+ The main problem I'm finding with the Primarch is balancing the grimy, desaturated aesthetic of the army with the striking qualities you want from a centrepiece. Almost inevitably Perturabo is going to end up as a focal point for the army, and so I need to make him striking. Using more of the accent colour (gold) is an obvious way to do this, but it's a warm colour; quite at odds with the cold palette which helps set the Iron Warriors as 'villains'. Using rich, warm gold, as on my Ultramarines...:

+ Warm colours are inviting and positive, cold colours more threatening and sinister. +

+ ...would not work, as large areas of gold would draw the eye away from the less intrusive cold areas, giving Perturabo entirely the wrong feel. Instead, I've mixed the gold with silver ink, which gives a fantastic sparkle and also neutralises the hue. +

+ The other big problem I've found is that the scheme doesn't allow for much differentiation between armour and weaponry; so after a few slightly awkward experiments, I've ended up using different tones to differentiate – using sepia (to knock back and tone down) on the brass ammunition belts to differentiate them from the decorative gold trim – and black wash on the wrist-mounted guns, again to make them stand out from the heraldic silver armour. Whether this ends up the approach in the final version is still up in the air, but it seems to be working. +

+ When stuck with colours decisions like this and you're not stuck with self-imposed palette restrictions, traditional heraldry offers solid advice. Boiling it down to bare essentials, heraldry regards gold/yellow and silver/white as metallics, and all the other heraldic hues – red, green, blue, black – as colours. You can put a colour on a metal, or a metal on a colour, but not a colour on a colour or a metal on a metal. It's worth noting that the Iron Warrior scheme includes yellow (gold) as an accent colour rather than as a secondary – which is black. That give a metal primary (silver/white armour) with colour secondary (black shoulder pads) and metal accents (gold/yellow trim). You'll notice that the colour sits between the metals. +

+ Looking at how I've painted Perturabo so far, I'm starting to think that I need colour barriers between metal areas:

+ Here, for example, the belt works well. It's metal (gold) between two areas of colour (black/Charadon granite): the loincloth and the soft ribbing of the abdomen. The kneepads and collar details, however, are metal on metal; so I think I need to add borders around them. This will make the model more striking. +

+ One area I am pleased with so far is the head. I've gone for a Darth Vader-style pallor, which I think fits the character of the bitter Lord of Iron. I'm glad I trimmed away some of the excess cabling round the cheeks and forehead, as I think it opens up the sculpt a little. Having such a bright, pale skintone also creates a strong contrast with the dark recesses of the Logos (Perturabo's specialist Terminator armour), drawing the eye on a figure that otherwise lacks a good focal point. +

+ I'll also be altering the paintscheme on Forgebreaker, the storied warhammer made by Ferrus Manus for Fulgrim; and later used in the fateful duel that saw the Xth Legion Primarch beheaded. Perturabo inherited it and adapted it – hence why the standard sculpt has a different look. I want to really emphasise that this isn't Perturabo's own hammer, and so have converted it to use the sculpt from the Ferrus Manus model (I had it spare from my Roboute Guilliman conversion). To further strengthen this idea, I'll be using a scheme more suited to the Iron Hands (or possibly the Emperor's Children, as it was made for Fulgrim) on the hammer – the gold and silver used here makes it look too much like its been made for Perturabo . +

+ Scale shot + 

+ As you can see, Perturabo is massive – he absolutely towers over his marines! +

+ Not a huge deal more to do on him, so I hope to have him finished fairly soon. +

+ inload: Phalangite Metricos +

+ Phalangite Metricos +

I have raised this Imperium not for a man, but for all mankind. In his vainglory, the Emperor must be felled; no different from any other tyrant we have toppled from a thousand perches on a thousand worlds. This is a solemn duty, and is to be approached as is any parricide; with detachment and cold duty. So will we demonstrate the power of the Imperium; greater than any man.

There is another task to be accomplished before that fell day. The capture of my brother. That duty is more to my liking; and more to be relished.
+ attr. Perturabo +

+ Speak not of us, but glance, and move on. +
+ Creed of the Officia Monstrosa +


+ As angels to the masses of humanity, so are the Primarchs to the Astartes. How could a Space Marine hope to subdue a Primarch? +

+ We are Legion. +

+ Serenity in conflict. +

+ We shall be the coins on the eyes of gods. +

+ inload: Thunder Warriors +

+ Bellator Tonitro: Baru Karanean +

The Astartes' face buckled like leather as he smiled; a far-away look in his eye. It was a peculiar expression for a Legionary. My only previous experience with the Legionaries had left me with the impression of rigid, unfeeling automata. The expression seemed oddly human; uncomfortably so, somehow. I pushed the thought to the back of my mind, and motioned to the officer to continue.

'It was told later, that the Emperor's warriors struck like lightning; that their victory was as inevitable as the storm. It was told later that their name was mere metaphor. I was told this by one such as you; a hundred years after the last of their kind met their unkind end. That moemoae-caipan – my apologies; your word,' he coughed, and I realised as he continued that he was slightly embarrassed. Another expression that I had not – and would not – see on the other Legionaries I met. 'Apologies again; our word, of course, would be 'bard'. I have been on the frontiers too long, perhaps. I have not yet adjusted to Imperial Gothic.'

That much was clear. Even the words themselves seemed awkward for him to phrase; his tongue tripping heavily over the syllables.

To put him at his ease – reading that back, I find the concept oddly comic – I interrupted. He listened to my clarification, head tipped, then he continued, with an eyebrow raised quizzically and a smile on his voice. 'Is that right? I hadn't heard that term. 'Remembrancers', is it? Well, well. So no more poets or bards to sing our stories? Just Remembrancers to report.' I said nothing, unsure of what I could say. It didn't seem like a question to me. I was reminded, strangely, of my grandfather. His mind had wandered. His pauses had become attenuated. His gaze had grown misty.

As the silence stretched, I wondered just how old the Legionary was. That I was talking with him attested to his having lived through Unity. Had he been born before the rise of the Emperor? Could any Legionary be so old?


'I was there, Remembrancer. I saw the Thunder Warriors, and I tell you that their name was nothing so abstract as simile. They rolled over my father's forces without breaking stride.'

'I found later that our ten thousand-strong caravan was not even a target. We were merely in their path.' He smiled again. I detected no sadness, no regret. Perhaps his Ascendance had scoured or altered his emotions. Perhaps it was simply because he could not connect with the child he had been.

'I was not yet of the Legion, so my memories are patchy. You might excuse a frightened child of omitting certain details. Nevertheless, I see you wish to know all you can of the... first forces.' 

I dutifully jotted down his notes on his impressions – huge ogres that emerged from the blackness; fire-lit and bloody-toothed. Great roars that shook his thin chest, and the booming weaponry that burst his eardrums and left him screaming noiselessly. He talked spottily of the stench of sweat and salt-dirt; outlining his primitive memories in the enlightened frame of our more modern ideas, pausing to answer my prompts on how his humours were balanced or the relevance of the astromantic signs.


After the report was made, he paused again. His face grew dark. 'We never knew them as Thunder Warriors. That is a later label, added to put something strange and terrifying in a box. Just as you were once a recordist, or a journaller – and now you and your kin are all Remembrancers. It is the same'. He brought his hands up, the fingers together, then opened them in a motion like a blooming flower. 'The Great Crusade will do this, too. All the myriad languages that have flowered over Old Night will be recorded and put aside; replaced with Imperial Gothic. We will establish a single culture, a great Imperium across the stars. The Emperor, beloved-by-all, will rule over a humanity united.'

He seemed to sit straighter, the cot beneath him creaking at his animation.

'I bear witness to the Imperial Truth. I am an ambassador of what is to come. My kind will journey to the galaxy's edge to bring all humanity together.' His smile returned and he continued. 'We will learn everything. We will encompass the whole of human knowledge. Think of it! Every song, every story, every scientific or mathemagickal principle from a million worlds – at the hands of everyone. It will be a golden age.'

He paused, his eyes glittering.

'But I will not be part of it. The scythe does not share the bread.' Did I detect a note of frustration beneath the conviction? Before I could ask, he began to speak again.

'But part of this is the past. We must not forget what has happened. The Thunder Warriors were a brutal necessity. Let me tell you more of them...'

+ inload: Grubby Little Wars +

+ The Unification Wars +

Hesitantly, the rubricist coughed. His overseer looked over, lenses coiling as his vis-spectacles adjusted. His expression was irritable – more so than usual, the rubricist thought to himself, glumly.

'I have told you more than once not to disturb me,' began the overseer. He raised a finger to stop the rubricist interrupting, and continued. 'There is little in these archives as-is; and even less that requires me to hold your hand. Make the decision, rubricist.' With that, the overseer turned back to his own datascroll. The rubricist, clearly agitated, remained for a moment, until the overseer dismissed him more angrily.

As the rubricist travelled slowly back to his station deep in the under-cellars, his mind was turbulent. He wished he'd never thought to check the deleted remnants. Old files shunted here were – in principle, at least – unreadable, unusable; at least without skills unknown to the Adeptus Mechanicus in these benighted days. He drew his stool up to his writing desk and took a deep breath before striking the rune of ignition on the recovered dataengine. 

Lambent runeglow from the dusty slate gave his face an unhealthy and sinister under-lighting. These files were different. The encryption had prevented them being accessed; even by the machine spirits intended to destroy them. Like an airtight travel chest taken down in a shipwreck, the contents had lurked unmarked and unnoted for centuries. Perhaps longer.

The rubricist raised a finger, then hesitated. He bit his lip, then depressed the rune of resurrection. The files spooled. They were incomplete, patchy, but as he began to read, his mouth hung open as wide as his disbelieving eyes...

+ [transcript unclear] [spooling] +

It is the 30th Millennium. For more than twenty-five centuries, mankind has been bound in unceasing genocide, struggle and atrocity. Contact has long been lost with worlds beyond the solar system, and the so-called Dark Age of Technology is an irrelevant myth to the barbaric wretches that grub a living amongst the ruins of Terra. Humanity stands at the brink of creeping extinction.

Since time immemorial, cruel masters, inspirational madmen and monstrous warlords have arisen and burned the world and boiled away the oceans with forbidden arsenals of dirty atomic, biological and alchaemical agents. Each sends their ignorant armies marching across the haunted dustbowls that make up the hostile planet to victory and eventual defeat. Humanity battles for Terra's meaningless territory, meagre resources and thin glory, their lifeblood wetting the dead soil over and over again in forgotten battles.

Mars and Luna have looked away, wracked with their own civil wars, and the cradle world has slipped into irrelevance, a dusty and ruined jewel. Against this, a New Man arose. Long-hidden, he names himself the Master of Mankind. Leading his bio-engineered super-warriors – the dread Thunder Warriors – the warlord conquered one techno-barbarian tribe after another, until the cry was taken up that an Emperor had arisen; an Emperor of blood and steel – and hope.

Building and refining his nascent empire tirelessly, the Emperor's foes gather their strength against this new threat. The Thunder Warriors have been superceded by his new creation, the twenty Legiones Astartes. With this advanced army of elevated post-humans, clad in the finest armour and bearing the best weaponry the Emperor's scientists can craft, the Emperor intends to stare down the jealous eyes of Mars and Luna – and look beyond to the sea of stars itself.

His ambition is boundless, his conviction complete. His vision is as inspiring as it is terrifying – nothing less than casting back the shroud of Old Night and unifying humanity in a mighty galaxy-spanning Imperium.

Before he can strike for the stars, however, Terra must be pacified. Humanity will kneel before the Emperor – or it will be crushed. To be a man in such times is to dwell in terror and ignorance. It is to live in a time of great change; of terror, brotherhood, fear and one last hope. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be relearned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim darkness of the far future there is only war. There is no peace amongst mankind, only a future of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.

+ [terminax: file ends] [spooling] [Continue?]+


+ First steps +

+ A happy new year to you all; hope you've had a great time and are looking forward to 2016. +

+ This is a new project sparked by GW's Betrayal at Calth (BaC) box. I've been building bigger marines for years now, and thought it'd be nice to use the cool models from BaC essentially 'as-is'. As is traditional, I toyed with lots of different Legions, but couldn't decide on one that stood out from the others. +

+ After a while, some ideas percolated. I'd always liked looking at the 'history' hinted at by the background, and I decided I'd look at the development of a Legion from the very beginning – right through from the first battles on Terra, through the Wars of Unification and onto the Great Crusade, where they would meet their Primarch. +

+ Still, that doesn't solve the problem of which Legion. I mulled this over, and then thought – hold on, there's two that have never been looked at. The histories of Legions II and XI are a mystery by the times of the Horus Heresy, but there are lots of little hints hidden away. I really like digging into these, and any history I make up won't be contradicted in the future. +

+ Anyway, enjoy your year. I hope you'll join me on the journey! +