+ inload: Blood Angels background terminology +

+ Progress report: Blood Angels +

+ Tycho's Third Company – or Prince Dauhavran's Host of the Third Choir, to give the group its atroatican name) grows. +

+ 'Wait, what?' +

+ Ah yes. While it's great to explore the background, and play around with linguistics, it's also easy for understanding to get a bit lost, so I thought I'd do a little primer on the (made-up) terminology I'm using. Here's a little extract to get you in the mood, taken from my Horus Heresy-era Blood Angel background:
"3:12 is a binder; a codifier. The atroatican names are ancient. There are not many. As a result, there are many repetitions. At first, we used suggenic names to distinguish between us – Ambriel Hemas and Ambriel El-Aster, for example. After the arrival of blessed Sanguinius," he paused. My eyes were pointedly fixed on the pict-screens in front of me, but I had seen him sketch a brief gesture in the air on the other occasions he had cause to mention his Primarch, and supposed the ellipsis owed to this, "We grew fast. There were many then. Many hundreds of Ambriels, many hundreds of Kerubiels, many Phanuels... and so on. You understand."
"And so you took numerals, too? So there is a Phanuel 1:11, for example?"
"Yes – Phanuel 1:11, and many like it. Phanuel 17:4, Lucifer 2:16, Tzaphqiel 19:19, and so forth. The numbers remind us we are Imperial. We belong to the Angel, and through him, to the Emperor." Both paused at this point to chorus the familiar blessed be his name before Catabin continued. "In any case, we were uneasy about using the suggenic names. It is good to know where you come from; but more important to know to whom you owe your loyalty. That is who you are."

+ Nomenclature +

+ All Blood Angels have at least two names: a gave-name and a Suggenia name; equivalent to a modern personal name and surname. The suggenic names are from the tribes of the Blood; the human denizens of Baal. I've used a variety of sources – Renaissance-era Italian names in the main, alongside some Hebrew, Arabic and Ancient Roman – for these names, as I suspect Baal has a number of different cultures. Getting a bit of variety in there helps with realism; and stops the homage beating people over the head a bit. +

+ On ascension (that is, joining the Blood Angels as a full brother), the Blood Angel gains a new name to symbolise his rebirth as an Angel. I've called this their atroatican name; which is drawn from a (fictional in-universe) Baalite cultural mythology. As a resource for atroatican names, I use a fantastic book I bought years back called Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (I recommend you pick it up; despite the dry name, it's wonderfully written), but angelic names from various cultures are widely available with a Google search. This site is a good example: [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. +

+ I've also added a numbering system; mainly as a bit of interest, but also to evoke a bit of sci-fi and to add a bit of spice to the naming conventions. These take the form of X:XX. The first number indicates the Cycle, which is a (again, in-universe) denotation of the name's 'spiritual reference' – the sort of thing determined by placement of stars at time of birth, dowsing, withinlookery and similar sorcery – while the second number, the Frequency simply indicates how many times the name has been used in a particular cycle. +

+ To take an example, the chaps I'm working on at the moment are part of squad Mephisto, a combat squad mentioned in the Battle for Armageddon campaign booklet that came with 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000. Knowing that the combat squad leader was called Mephisto, I had his Suggenic name already. To this I added the Atroatican name 'Rashin Rast', an alternative name for the Angel Rash from an Persian text on comparative religion written around 1655. This is, to Western ears, a relatively uncommon name for an angel (compare Michael or Gabriel, for example). I think that it's important to include a diverse range of cultural sources – it all starts to feel a bit Flanderised, otherwise. In any case, using some non-European Angel names helps to give design space for the (far more gothic and mediaeval) Dark Angels, should I ever explore them. +

+  The Cycle and Frequency numbers are effectively chosen at random, though I do tend to add a bit of Eurocentricism by giving those more familiar to me higher frequency numbers – after all, the established canon names are nearly all Biblical or Italian. +

+ Anyway, hope that diversion was interesting – back to the painting! +


+ Squad Mephisto WIP +

+ So, without further ado, here are Brother El-Aster (Ambriel 1:01)Brother Mephisto (Rashin Rast 2:05); and Brother Thaddeus (Saditel 4:04, called the lost). You'll notice Thaddeus ended up with an extra little flourish to his name, in the form of an epithet. Applying your own rules to things like namings or markings can be fun; but it should always take a backseat to creativity or whimsy. After all, you're not taking a census, but enjoying yourself! +

+ Brothers El-Aster, Mephisto and Thaddeus stumble over two fallen heroes on the plain of the Deathworld Orro. +

+ Note also the injured marines. As mentioned in the previous inload, I used these to test out the new colours – just in case. Colour theory is all very well, but nothing replaces practical experimentation. +


+ Their place in the host +

+ The five marines of Squad Mephisto will make up the second part of Tactical Squad 1. The other half is squad Raphael, shown below:

+ Completing this combat squad will let me play a minimum-sized Battalion in 8th edition (three five-man troop units and Captain Tycho as the HQ). It'll also leave me just five marines away from being able to replay the Battle for Armageddon scenarios in 2nd edition. + 

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