Thursday, December 1, 2016

The End?

Like all good things, it seems that Twisthammer is nearing its end.

Originally, the Twisthammer setting was supposed to be an extensive look at this alternate universe, with its own homemade Legion rules, campaigns, and a fiction series covering the most prominent players within the setting. As it stands, there is nearly half a million words of fiction written in the setting, comprised of three full novels, detailed faction descriptions, and a lengthy timeline addressing the pivotal events in the setting.

For whatever reason, the setting did not seem to draw interest from the public, despite the prevalence of other alternate Horus Heresy/Warhammer 40,000 scenarios. It was good while it lasted, and it was enjoyable to write in, however, it is very disheartening to continue writing the setting when there is no interest in it. Perhaps I am wrong and there are readers out there curious about the further adventures of Iskanderos, Angelus, and their friends, but so far, the lack of comments and feedback are making it difficult to find motivation to continue.

To put it bluntly - unless there is clear indication of interest in this setting, it will not be continued. The blog will remain here, as will the novels (in their respective threads on the Writer's Ark forum), but no new material will be created.

Fan-fiction is a different world from traditional writing, since there is no expectation of financial gain from it in any shape or form. It is fed purely by reader interest, which in turn serves to motivate the writer to create more. As it stands, there is not enough interest in Twisthammer to justify spending my time telling the stories from this universe, and to put it simply, I am lacking in motivation to continue this. Unless there is any eleventh-hour outpouring of interest, this will be it for Twisthammer and associated projects.

C'est la vie, I suppose.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Twisthammer novels - check them out (for free!)

There are, to date, three full-length novels set in Twisthammer universe. All of these are now available at the Writer's Ark forum - check them out, and if you would like to register at the forum and comment, all the better!

Conqueror (Twisthammer Book One)
Witness the origins of Iskanderos' rebellion as the Imperial Redeemers struggle to find their place in the post-Great Crusade galaxy. From the last battles of Imperial conquest to the halls of power at Terra, from the fringes of known space to the Sixth Legion's homeworld at Apella, this is the story of the Legion's fall and subsequent remaking.

Features: Imperial Redeemers, Illuminators, Iconoclasts, Grim Angels, Lion Guard, ConsecratorsGargoyles, Hellhounds.

Reaper's War (Twisthammer Book Two)
Though the Gargoyles Legion served mankind during the Great Crusade, their wartime savagery only hinted at the Legion's monstrous nature. Now, that nature is examined and revealed as the Fourteenth Legion finds its true calling.

Features: Gargoyles, Peacekeepers.

Broken Blades (Twisthammer Book Three)
Baelic and his Eleventh Legion, the Warblades, are growing disillusioned with their role in Iskanderos' rebellion, even as the galactic civil war engulfs the known space. Their allies in the Iconoclasts Legion, however, may have other plans.

Features: Warblades, Iconoclasts, Angel Kings, Iron Locusts, Imperial Redeemers.

In progress:

Death March (Twisthammer Book Four)
Locked in a deadlocked struggle against the Arch-Traitor, the Doom Reavers resort to ever more desperate measures to gain victory. How far will the Eighteenth Legion and its despised primarch Marvus go?

Features: Doom Reavers, Midnight Riders, Lion Guard, Imperial Redeemers.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Twisthammer Legion Themes

As in the canon Warhammer 40,000 universe, we attempted to give the Twisthammer factions a bit of personality by borrowing elements of our world’s history, myth, and fiction. While in certain cases there seems to be an overt influence, our goal was to give these characters and factions a unique feel that may or may not have bits and pieces of the familiar. Therefore, while some of the influences in Legion and character design are fairly obvious, we hope that we were able to make these alternate factions more than (insert society here) in space.

In this post, I will give a brief overview of some influences that went into the Legion and Primarch design – a “breaking the fourth wall” type of a look into the design decisions that came out of discussions between the team members. This is, of course, just my interpretation of these decisions, as some of the Legions were created by other team members.

Red Star Legion
While the naming convention of the Legion, its homeworld, and its Primarch is very much Russian, the Red Stars have more in common with the chaotic post-Soviet Russia than with that nation’s long history and extensive culture. Stefan Ignatiyev himself is, for all intents and purposes, an oligarch rather than a conventional politician or soldier, and though his Legion is the First, they are but one tool of the wider arsenal. As such, the Legion and the Primarch are heavily pragmatic in their approach, and while capable of calculated brutality, are typically rational in their choices and decisions. After all, they are descended from shadowy, dangerous, yet ultimately regimented and orderly organizations, and cover their violent nature with high culture and civilized veneer.

Jaws of the Deep
Though on the surface, the Khornate followers of the Great Shark God Kthuln are simple creatures, we tried to give them additional depth that would keep them from becoming a cliché. I have always thought them to have a vaguely Polynesian feel in terms of culture, with maritime tradition being very important to them, and some of the Legion’s practices having a very tribal feel. Then, there is Kthuln – the man who was worshipped as an actual god, and who believed his own legend until it crumbled all around him. Unlike canon universe characters faced with similar dilemmas (Angron and Mortarion come to mind), Kthuln’s reaction at learning his place in the universe is shame. It is his shame at having fallen so short of the Emperor’s ideal which drives him to adopt a strict code of martial honor to subdue the beast inside, and to make penance for what he sees as savagery and dishonorable slaughter of his youth. That, and his status as the first Primarch to be found, keep him apart from most of his brothers, and play a role in his eventual fate.

Spears of Eternity
While Zaeed and his Legion definitely have an Arabian influence to their naming convention, there is more to them than straight-up proxies. Yes, they are vaguely Arabic in names, their signature psychic ability is causing dust storms (which may bring to mind the battle at Yarmuk in the VIIth century), and their homeworld has higher-than-average proportion of deserts, but there are other aspects to them which are inspired by other sources. Personally, I always got a vaguely Dune vibe from them, and the highly morbid practice of psyker-servitors as “psychic batteries” to provide fuel for the Sihrmagi’s power seems to fit the Warhammer universe rather well. The eventual development of the Spears as civilized, educated warrior-mystics plays into that as well; to me, they seem to have a considerable Sufi influence as well.

Steel Wardens
The inspiration behind the IVth Legion was simple – robots, lots and lots of robots. I have to admit that one of the factions from Dan Abnett’s “Prospero Burns” (Olamic Quietude) was somewhat influential as well, though in creating the Steel Wardens and Echelon, we hoped to avoid the clichés. After all, the canon Warhammer 40,000 universe already has technology-obsessed Iron Hands with their cybernetic fetish. For that reason, we decided to use a different approach to Steel Wardens, and to portray their addiction to internment in robotic bodies as a form of transhumanism. This made them considerably more humane than most Twisthammer factions, as they see themselves as a form of human evolution instead of as something inhuman.

Midnight Riders
Who doesn’t love a good dose of post-apocalyptic fiction? Enter Midnight Riders and Ashur, who started as a deconstruction of the canon universe “biker army” principle (looking at Space Mongols… I mean, White Scars here), and ended up as a Mad Max biker gang with a nasty reputation, and an even nastier temper. Add combat drugs into the mix, crank up the addiction factor and the psychological issues of withdrawal, and the Fifth Legion becomes one of the more disturbing Loyalist factions of Twisthammer universe.

Imperial Redeemers
The Sixth Legion started out as power-hungry empire builders led by the most brilliant general of the age (who had a bit of a god complex, and who was very much Alexander the Great in space). Naturally, this made them into prime candidates to become this universe’s answer to canon Sons of Horus, leaders of the rebellion and combined arms, flexible, disciplined force. The temptation to make them into expies of Alexander’s Macedonians was great, and many aspects of that culture eventually made it into “Conqueror”. At the same time, I tried to give them a slightly different flavor by making Apellan culture seem like a fusion of several societies of Earth. My underlying idea behind it was imagining what would have happened if the Arabs conquered Constantinople during the Dark Ages, and what the fusion of Greek and Arab cultures would have looked like in its golden age. As such, the Apellans are the epitome of civilized, educated people with a superiority complex and accomplishments to show for it.

There was definitely an Eastern Asian theme to the Illuminators and their Primarch, who had a number of Buddhist influences in his philosophy and approach to warfare. It was an interesting challenge to have a psychic Legion that does not actively flaunt its powers, but uses them considerably more cautiously, and avoids the arrogance of canon Thousand Sons. It lent itself naturally to martial arts, emotional detachment, and search for enlightenment as the ways to maintain control over their psychic nature without compromising their duties as a weapon of conquest.

As the Legion’s and the Primarch’s names imply, the Iconoclasts are all about destruction (and technological aptitude of making it happen). When the Legion was starting to take shape, the key aspects of it were the general cruelty of the Eighth, the burned image of their Primarch, and their utter contempt for all. From there, it went in a direction of deconstructing the canon technologist Primarch (Ferrus Manus, Perturabo), which led to the creation of complete monsters with Nihlus and his callous, omnicidal sons. Incidentally, they were perfect target for the one Chaos power which embodies entropy.

Grim Angels
The anti-psyker, paranoid, violent weapons of terror with an agenda, the Grim Angels (in my interpretation) are the complete deconstruction of canon Night Lords and the like. While extremely dangerous and brutal, they are in complete control of themselves, understand who they are, and are, on top of it, utterly loyal – if not to the Emperor, then to the ideas of human supremacy. Coincidentally, this makes them obsessed with the purity of humanity, which, in real world, would have brought some very unsavory comparisons. In Twisthammer, they are par for the course.

In creating Peacekeepers, we hoped to have one of the few unambiguously “good” factions in the setting. One of the largest challenges was to avoid making them an expy of the Ultramarines or the Salamanders, and in doing so, they ended up obtaining an identity as essentially the agents of order. As such, the Peacekeepers had to draw heavily from how modern-day Western societies see themselves (a key difference, as the Tenth Legion is all about trying to live up to a certain ideal and contrasting that ideal with reality of the universe). To them, anarchy is the ultimate evil rather than the symbol of freedom, and they try to fit the universe into their structured, regimented view based on post-Enlightenment principles (contrasting that with the moralism of the Salamanders or the Republican Rome ideals of the Ultramarines). There is, however, a hidebound streak to the Tenth – they may get too moralistic for their own good, and in the universe where most demigods are monsters of varying degree, the Peacekeepers may have the tragic distinction of being the primary group attempting to make a stand against the injustices of the universe... even if it, paradoxically, ensures that they let a greater evil take root.

The Eleventh Legion is both a deconstruction of the “gladiator Primarch” archetype, and a reimagining of the online gaming culture. The signs are all there – the “kill-teams”, the “frag count”, the glory-seeking treatment of war as a game. Unlike Angron in the canon universe, Baelic’s time in the arena made him a celebrity, not unlike many gladiators in real world history, and taught him completely different lessons. If anything, it made him even more naïve, and thus, more susceptible to manipulation. There was a definite amount of youthful exuberance to the Eleventh Legion, a certain degree of immaturity inherent in them, which becomes a key theme of the third Twisthammer novel, “Broken Blades”.

Lion Guard
When we decided to flesh out the Lion Guard, the initial idea was to give the Twelfth Legion a vaguely Finnish/Ugric cultural legacy, however, it became apparent early on that the theme did not extend beyond certain naming conventions. At their core, the Lion Guard are about numbers, disposable conscripts, and propaganda to spin their endeavors in a favorable light – the very idea that an individual is essentially meaningless, which quite frankly is a horrifying thought to many of us. In that, they are probably one of the most callous Legions, a Lawful Evil of Twisthammer factions, if you will (compare to Lawful Good Peacekeepers, Chaotic Good Warblades, or True Neutral Illuminators), though there is plentiful space for heroism and even basic human decency in the ranks. It is no accident that Rogr Hemri’s realm in the “present day” Twisthammer setting is closest in spirit to canon Imperium of Man.

The original concept of the Consecrators started with a scientist Primarch whose background included Renaissance-era, heavily experimental and sometimes coldly callous approach to science as the means to achieve victory. Naturally, the Consecrators as they appear in Twisthammer are considerably different, retaining only the basic principle of their original concept – they are all about precise, scientifically determined application of force based on the scientific exploration of their enemy’s patterns, weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities such traits present. This outlook gave the Consecrators a somewhat subdued profile; they are neither flashy nor glory-seeking, but are considerably more competent than first impressions may suggest, and even more dangerous as a result. While these traits would normally lend themselves to a spymaster-type Primarch or a Legion specializing in covert operations and similar underhanded tactics, with Consecrators they led to an almost special operations, Navy Seals type of mentality, a modern style of rational, research-driven warfare as opposed to more ritualistic or savage factions within the Twisthammer setting.

I must admit that the Fourteenth Legion is somewhat of a pet project of mine. Though their original concept had them be sabotage/guerilla warfare specialists with a winged monster of a Primarch, their background had quickly evolved into their present-day state. “Reaper’s War” was the first Twisthammer novel finished, and it helped define much of the setting thanks to the exploits of Angelus and his twisted, barbaric sons. I do not believe that there was a singular cultural influence on the Fourteenth Legion, and even the names of the Legionaries are drawn from multiple sources; at the same time, as I wrote more of “Reaper’s War”, the savage, primitive, and violent world of Argos came into focus, and with it, the kind of people it would spawn. Thus, the Gargoyles ended up being a product of their environment – a monster-infested world where oral history and superstition ruled supreme, where the people’s psyche embraced the dark side of night terrors and made them real.

The core concept at the heart of the Hellhounds was simple – alien hunters with boundless hatred for the Eldar, yet no compulsion against using their weapons. From that point, however, many questions had to be answered. Why would Griven Kall and his sons have such a chip on their shoulders? What is at the core of the dichotomy where the Legion would use the weapons of the enemy with pragmatism unbefitting the people given to strong emotions such as hatred? After attempting several different narratives, we had an idea of making it intensely personal for Mr. Kall by having him raised in the gladiator arena of Commoragh amongst the most depraved of the Eldar kin. That concept gave the Fifteenth Legion the push they needed, the rationale for the undying hatred of their Primarch for the elfin aliens, and, paradoxically, little compulsion against using the enemy’s weapons due to familiarity.

Ah, Leto (who, despite the name, has very little Dune influences). He came rather far from his original concept – a Primarch defined by a world practicing biological transhumanism, eugenics, and other practices where one’s genetics would define his or her status in the society. There still remain hints of those beginnings, both in Leto’s experiments to improve the human “stock” of his worlds, and in his aborted Heresy-era experiments with Chaos, however, the Primarch and the Legion ended up going in a different direction. Where the post-Heresy ideas for Leto and the Immortals have a retro-futuristic feeling (all the way to the inevitable “robot rebellion” predicted by many a science fiction author), I have always seen an almost Foundation series-like (looking at you, Hari Seldon) scheming mind at the heart of the Sixteenth Legion, very much a plotter, schemer, and politician as opposed to a front-line fighter. As such, Leto does not have a singular influence at this point, neither culturally nor thematically, though he does address a number of tropes from the golden age of science fiction.

If Andrieu Ulliann’s name does not make it rather clear, he is heavily influenced by many ideological revolutionaries from the French revolution all the way to the Communist and Marxist leaders of recent memory. Like many of such figures, Andrieu is naïve, willingly ignorant of vile things done in the name of noble ideals, and nearly fanatical in the pursuit of his goals. This, ironically, creates a character who is either unaware of his hypocrisy, or is purposely blind to it, a deconstruction of the “noble revolutionary” archetype as he becomes the very thing he fought against. As this character spread to the Seventeenth Legion, it lent itself well to a split within the Liberators – on one side, the naïve fanatics guided by an impossible ideal, on the other side, the callous opportunists who use the rhetoric for personal aggrandizement. While there are some overt late-Industrial era influences to the Legion’s appearance and the Primarch’s backstory, the core influence for the Liberators is the conflict between the impossible ideal and the cruel, unprincipled men who would use it to justify their excesses.

Doom Reavers
As yet another Legion without a clear cultural counterpart on Earth (no “Viking werewolves”, “Italian vampires”, “Egyptian sorcerers”, “Greek siege masters”, or “Mongol bikers” here), the Doom Reavers started life as a deconstruction of the spymaster concept. Where in the canon Warhammer 40,000 universe, the Alpha Legion filled the role of the shadowy, know-it-all force, the Doom Reavers use some of the similar methods, but produce very different results. They are the special forces of Twisthammer universe, but, unlike the more precise and scientific Consecrators or the organized crime-like Red Star Legion, they are the people who are called when the job must be done, no matter the cost and casualties. Coincidentally, they are less of a clandestine organization with an Astartes component, and more of a Space Marine Legion that just happens to have an attached clandestine organization. As such, they are often distrusted by their peers, and when the Legion’s liberal use of weapons of mass destruction is added into the mix, their reputation suffers even more, producing a bitter, angry Legion with dubious loyalties.

Iron Locusts
Starting with the idea of a jump infantry-like Legion with a vaguely insect-like visual theme, the Iron Locusts came far from their roots. While the first developments included giving them a “hive mind”-like ability, it was SIngemeister’s suggestion of Indian cultural theme and subsequent IA entry that gave the Locusts a unique personality. At the same time, they are more than a Hindu-themed faction in space. We wanted to give the Locusts some depth outside of being a straight cultural expy, and though their theme can be vaguely described in terms similar to canon universe (i.e. “Indian entomologists”), the added touch of sympathy for abhuman populations and strange emotional changes caused by Maikhaira’s genetic legacy gave them exactly that.

Angel Kings
As more of the background for the Twentieth Legion came into play, we had to work hard to give them a distinct identity in order to separate them from certain canon factions (Dark Angels in particular). Though on the surface, the Angel Kings seem to have certain similarities with the canon First (knightly code, an aloof-yet-tactically-brilliant Primarch), we decided to delve much further into certain aspects of real-world feudalism for inspiration. As such, Angel Kings are all scions of aristocratic families, and act as such – they have lengthy pedigrees, complex social hierarchies, and an undying conviction that the Primarch knows better. Therefore, while the Twentieth Legion naming convention is vaguely Middle Ages European, it is an idealization of the knightly ideal going back to Charlemagne and Roland, or even earlier European myths defining traditions, conventions, and rules of such conduct. The post-Heresy Angel Kings are, therefore, an organic outgrowth of a feudal polity where the Astartes commanders take the role of landed nobles, line Astartes form their contingents of household knights or men-at-arms who lord over the human commoners, and have a complex relationship with the planetary aristocracy they are recruited from.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Story So Far...

What is an alternate story without a timeline? This is the timeline of the major events of Iskanderos Heresy and beyond:

Some time before M30
The Emperor uses the Chaos Gate on Molech to make a bargain with the Ruinous Powers. He leaves a perpetual sentinel behind to watch over the gate before returning to Terra.

Late M30
Using the knowledge obtained in his travels, the Emperor creates twenty Primarchs in preparation for the conquest of the galaxy. The Primarchs are whisked away by the Chaos gods before they have a chance to fully develop. Using the leftover genetic material from the creation of the Primarchs, the Emperor creates Space Marine Legions to aid him in his Great Crusade.

Late M30
The Great Crusade begins. One by one, the worlds across the former human domains are brought into the fold.

The first Primarch is discovered on the oceanic world of Ahne. Unfortunately, while Kthuln is a fierce warrior, his particular nature and upbringing makes him unsuitable for the role of a charismatic leader and diplomat. Instead, Kthuln is used purely as a military commander.

822.M30 – 824.M30
Two other Primarchs are discovered in rapid succession – Nyxos and Nihlus. While they are formidable in their own ways, their talents are somewhat singular. The first three Primarchs discovered manage to form a successful, if sometimes tense, partnership, developing a healthy amount of respect for each other even if it did not produce any genuine friendships.

841.M30 – 853.M30
After a considerably longer period of time, additional Primarchs are found (Griven Kall, Mohktal, Maikhaira, and Echelon). All of them are capable individuals, yet their personalities, backgrounds, and abilities make them less suitable for positions of overall leadership.

Corwin is the eighth Primarch discovered, and the first to have a wide-ranging set of talents expected of a potential overall leader. Unfortunately, while he quickly establishes himself as the Imperium’s preeminent military leader, the first three Primarchs are proud and would not accept the leadership of one of their younger brothers.

Iskanderos is the ninth Primarch discovered, and while he is charming and highly accomplished, the order of discovery ensures that he would never lead the Great Crusade. Nevertheless, with the Imperial technology at his side, Iskanderos begins to build the Apellene Network from the worlds his Legion had conquered.

869.M30 – 877.M30
A number of other Primarchs are discovered (Leto, Rogr Hemri, Gideon, Zaeed, Ashur, Stefan Ignatiyev, and Dyal Rulf). Many of them are accomplished empire-builders, and quickly take up to establishing their own star kingdoms akin to Iskanderos. Before long, their domains begin to function as independent states owing fealty to the Emperor rather than as integrated parts of the wider Imperium.

884.M30 – 897.M30
Marvus, Angelus, and Baelic are discovered and given command of their respective Legions. With their less conventional backgrounds, the latter-day Primarchs tend to lead specialized forces, attempting to distinguish themselves.

917.M30 – 919.M30
The Ullanor campaign takes place, where the forces of the Imperial Redeemers and Angel Kings work together to preemptively destroy a budding Ork empire. The first suggestions of Council of Terra to replace the Imperial Senate are made amongst the Primarchs. At this time, they do not come to fruition, though a number of Primarchs express interest.

The Last Primarch, Andrieu Ulliann of the Seventeenth Legion is discovered. With all twenty Primarchs, the Great Crusade proceeds apace, subjugating most of the charted galaxy within a space of several centuries.

The Apellene Network continues to expand at a prodigious rate, prompting concerns about Iskanderos from other Primarchs and certain Imperial officials. Eventually, a political compromise is reached to limit (but not stop) the expansion of the Network.

The Yavi Campaign against a particularly noxious xenos breed reaches the stalemate, which is broken through the intervention of Maikhaira and Iron Locusts Legion. Tensions rise in the wake of victory over the fate of the abhuman population oppressed by the xenos, leading to an armed confrontation between the Iron Locusts and the Imperial Navy.

Maikhaira is summoned into the Emperor’s presence to account for his actions in the Yavi Campaign. The Nineteenth Legion avoids censure, but its tolerant approach to non-baseline humans is severely tested. The seeds of enmity between Maikhaira and the duo of Nyxos and Rogr Hemri are sown, while Iskanderos’ intervention on behalf of Maikhaira endears him to his brother.

015.M31 – 025.M31
Certain members of the Remembrancer cadre attached to the Spears of Eternity Legion experience a spiritual awakening, claiming that the Emperor is a divine being. While similar events might have warranted censure in other Legions, the Spears of Eternity’s own traditions of mysticism and esoteric knowledge allows this quasi-religious belief to spread to the Legion’s mortal serfs and eventually to Legionaries and Zaeed himself. Only Zaeed’s insistence on treating the Great Crusade as a sacred mission instead of attempting to proselytize or build ideal societies keeps the eyes of the Imperium away from the Third Legion.

034.M31 – 041.M31
The Grim Angels embark on a secretive campaign in the Galactic Northwest in Legion strength. No records of their endeavors survive, though it is not clear if such documents were sealed away or purposely destroyed. The Imperial records indicate a heightened level of recruitment into the Ninth Legion in the subsequent years.

An Imperial Commander in the Thraxis Sector files an official complaint about the actions of the Warblades during the campaign. The petition states that the Eleventh Legion exhibited poor coordination with other Imperial forces, and did not see the campaign through to the end.

The Red Star Collective, the Tambora Combine, and the Apellene Network stand as some of the largest organized entities in the galaxy, though all claim fealty to the larger Imperium.

A communique from the Imperial Redeemers flagship claims that two thirds of the galaxy is in compliance with the Imperial rule, incorporating over two million inhabited systems. Iskanderos claims credit for over two hundred thousand successful compliances, though the number is subsequently disputed by others.

The last vestiges of the former nation-states on Terra are consigned to history as the purge led by elements of Grim Angels and Doom Reavers subjugates the remnants of Terra’s old royal houses.

A Doom Reavers campaign on the Eastern Fringe is particularly brutal and destructive, even by the standards of Legiones Astartes. For the last part of the campaign, the non-Astartes assets are detached from the Expeditionary Fleets as not to witness the mass atrocities perpetuated by the Eighteenth Legion. Nevertheless, dark rumors about the genocidal actions of the Doom Reavers spread, though the nature of the enemy on the receiving end of such warfare remains unknown to the Imperial records.

The Midnight Riders Legion disappears en masse while pursuing a particularly elusive threat from a nomadic human-xenos coalition. Though certain segments of the Terran Administratum seek to officially acknowledge the Fifth Legion as lost, the Emperor orders no such action. His orders are vindicated five years later, when the Midnight Riders emerge from the Warp near Sol System, victorious.

A victory over Eldar Corsairs earns Griven Kall an official triumph on Terra. This only serves to promote his popularity with the Imperial citizenry.

Though typically unheralded, the Consecrators end a dangerous threat of a splinter human empire near large Warp anomaly. The Legion records make only the briefest of mentions on the nature of the enemy and the campaign specifics.

In what was hailed as one of the most important diplomatic coups of a century, Primarch Gideon of the Peacekeepers is able to negotiate a bloodless surrender of an advanced space-faring culture where humans coexisted with several xenos species. A number of Primarchs, chief amongst them Angelus, Nihlus, and Rogr Hemri, criticize Gideon for allowing the aliens to live. This nearly causes a major political crisis on Terra as Gideon outright refuses to commit his Legion to a campaign of extermination.

As organized opposition to the Great Crusade becomes scarce, and the borders of the Imperium push ever outward, Rogr Hemri dedicates himself to administrative tasks, ensuring that he remains close to Terra. Over the following three decades, several other politically astute Primarchs follow his lead, though a number of Legions remain on the front lines.

Administratum records on Terra recognize ninety percent of the galaxy as under the Imperial dominion. The nature of the Great Crusade changes, as fewer major campaigns remain, and smaller task forces are instead used to identify and reconquer previously hidden planets. Due to the difficulties in locating such isolated planets, the pace of Imperial expansion slows considerably.

210.M31 – 230.M31
The changes in the nature of the Great Crusade prompt greater focus on administrative and organizational aspects of the Imperium. Rogr Hemri and Leto are heavily involved with these efforts, though both are careful to avoid accusations of inaction.

The Parias Atrocity takes place. On the world of Parias, a joint campaign between the Peacekeepers and the Gargoyles ends in disaster when the two legions nearly come to blows over the Gargoyles’ indiscriminate slaughter of civilians. The two Legions purposely avoid each other for the rest of the Great Crusade.

On the blood-stained fields of Charadon, Kthuln personally slays the Ork warlord known only as the Abomination. This action forces the greenskins to scatter, preventing the largest conglomeration of xenos to threaten the Imperium since Ullanor.

Stefan Ignatiyev de facto retreats from the Great Crusade to ostensibly upgrade the administration of the Red Star Collective to Imperial standards. As the First Legion’s military efforts are not hampered, no objections are raised.

The Imperial Senate, already a moribund body with little real power, is disbanded. The Emperor begins to increasingly rely on the Primarchs and Malcador the Sigilite to conduct the business of government.

While Mohktal and Illuminators do not possess the highest tally of conquests or a large dominion, the Seventh Primarch is frequently seen on Terra, and is often entrusted with the most critical tasks. Despite Mohktal’s professions to the contrary, a number of the more ambitious Primarchs believe that he is seeking to be elevated amongst them. To accommodate these private protests, the Emperor noticeably spreads responsibilities amongst the number of Primarchs, chief amongst them Rogr Hemri, Gideon, and Leto.

Echelon’s campaign against the artificial intelligences controlling outer worlds of the Verida Sector invites wrath of the Mechanicum when the Steel Wardens destroy the archaeotech used against them instead of bringing it to Mars for study. Only the Emperor’s personal intervention staves off the military confrontation.

Working in small cells and company-sized units, the Liberators infiltrate the multi-system dictatorship at Mariande which previously resisted all attempts at integration into the Imperium, and proved to be successful at repulsing incursions by the Peacekeepers. The previously coordinated defenders of Mariande are unable to adapt to the variety of tactics and strategies utilized by the Seventeenth Legion, and the entire star kingdom falls to the Imperial forces in less than a week of fighting.

The Emperor gathers all Primarchs to Terra and declares victory in the Great Crusade before announcing his departure to work on a secret project. The Primarchs found the Council of Terra to serve as the Regency until the Emperor returns from his seclusion.

An assassination attempt against Iskanderos of the Imperial Redeemers nearly succeeds. Iskanderos blames Rogr Hemri of the Lion Guard for the attempted murder, and storms off from Terra in anger.

Leto resigns from the Council, asking only that an embassy is sent to Iskanderos to persuade him to return to the fold. The Imperial Redeemers launch an expedition into the uncharted regions on the galactic fringe in Legion-strength. They meet the Ascendancy and witness the power of the Empyrean for the first time during the destruction of Pacal. On Grail, Iskanderos learns of the secret hidden at the world of Molech, and resolves to learn the truth behind the Emperor’s ascension. The Council ambassadors arrive on Grail, attempting to reason with the Conqueror. Iskanderos confines them to their quarters while attempting to discern the truth.

Iskanderos covertly arrives at Molech. He finds evidence that his memory has been erased, and discovers the gate leading directly into the Warp. Iskanderos enters the Gate, and returns changed and corrupted by Chaos. He sends the Council ambassadors back to Terra, challenging the Council.

On Taramin, the Gargoyles give in to their bestial nature, and Primarch Angelus surrenders to the lure of Slaanesh. A loyalist frigate attempting to escape is discovered by the Imperial Redeemers and silenced. The Imperial Redeemers are able to successfully persuade the leadership of the Gargoyles to side with them in the coming civil war. The Council expedition is sent against Iskanderos. The expedition is led by Mohktal, and includes the entirety of Illuminators, Iconoclasts, and Gargoyles Legions, with considerable additional forces from the Lion Guard, the Steel Wardens, and the Grim Angels.

In Operation Starfall at Apella, Iskanderos defeats Mohktal, aided by his use of Chaotic powers and the betrayal of Iconoclasts and Gargoyles. The Council forces are shattered, and Mohktal himself is left a gibbering wreck. In the aftermath of the battle, the Warblades declare for Iskanderos.

Corwin departs Terra as his holdings are threatened by the rebel forces. The Council of Terra dispatches Marvus and the Doom Reavers to destroy Iskanderos, with support from Midnight Riders. Kthuln and Jaws of the Deep are dispatched to the galactic north to deal with the Gargoyles.

After a lengthy campaign including the battles at Maegara and Hyrule Secundus, the Warblades split into two factions. One, led by Primarch Baelic, seeks to turn their backs on Iskanderos, and to seek Council forgiveness; the other, fully given to Chaos, seeks daemonic possession as the means to enhance their own combat capabilities. On Hyrule Secundus, the Eleventh Legion splits in the middle of battle against the Angel Kings. While the Angel Kings retreat in organized order, the newly dubbed Chaos-aligned Abyssals become fully wedded to Chaos under the guidance of the Iconoclasts.

As Midnight Riders prove themselves unreliable and hazardous to Marvus’ meticulously laid battle plans, the Eighteenth Primarch decides to continue the war against Iskanderos on his own. A brutal campaign dubbed the “Death March” ensues. On Agrippa VI, Marvus decides to completely exterminate the tainted world, prompting some of the Council members to seek his censure. Rogr Hemri vetoes the motion, and instead arranges for a celebration of Marvus’ campaign on the world of Vindictus.

The battered remnants of Warblades arrive at the outskirts of Red Star Collective territory, seeking sanctuary from the Red Star Legion.

At the Scouring of Vindictus, Marvus orders the extermination of the Imperial world. From now on, the Doom Reavers become an independent force, though many commanders align with Iskanderos in return for plunder and power. Marvus is betrayed and assassinated by a conclave of his senior officers concerned about his increasingly erratic leadership. The Doom Reavers fracture for all intents and purposes. Iskanderos obtains the Dream Conclave of Nirvana, neutralizing easy communications and travel in Segmentum Solar. From now on, the Council is practically blind outside of the Core Worlds.

304.M31 – 306.M31
In the galactic north, the Gargoyles and the Jaws of the Deep wage a campaign of mutual extermination. Kthuln breaks up the Legion into “hunting packs” to harry the enemy and attempt to bring them to battle.

The Eldar approach Kthuln and ask for a temporary alliance against the Slaaneshi Gargoyles, who are attempting to destroy a Craftworld to aid in the daemonic ascension of their leadership. Despite his misgivings, Kthuln agrees. The Eldar use their divination arts to locate the Gargoyles’ center of operations.

At the battle of Anubis, the Gargoyles hid their command structure in a colony under the crust of an ice-covered moon. The Jaws of the Deep bore through the ice crust and perform an amphibious assault through the moon’s global underground ocean. Though the battle is difficult, the Jaws stand on the verge of victory. The Hellhounds, dispatched by the Council to discover the fate of the Second Legion and to reinforce Kthuln, reach Anubis  and are dismayed at finding the Jaws cooperate with the hated xenos. Griven Kall confronts Kthuln, but is defeated and only survives due to last-second moment of lucidity from the Firstborn. Escaping to his flagship, Griven Kall vows revenge. Kthuln and the Jaws of the Deep revert to the tribal religions of Ahne, where the Primarch is worshipped as the incarnation of Great Shark God.

A large force of daemon-possessed Abyssals supported by regiments of Iron Locusts and mercenary Doom Reavers locates the Warblades survivors, and demands their surrender. Stefan Ignatiyev attempts to remain neutral, but finds it difficult as the Chaos forces grow more demanding. Leto and the Immortals offer to serve as mediators between the two halves of Warblades, however, the Immortals have their own agenda. A plan is hatched between Leto, Stefan Ignatiyev, and the surviving Warblades to goad the Abyssals into an attack. Secretly, Leto hopes that the esoteric knowledge he can obtain from the Abyssals can help his own research on transhumanism.

Multiple elements of the Liberators are corrupted by Chaos during the campaign at Marathon. Due to the decentralized nature of the Legion and certain naivety of Andrieu Ulliann, it does not become apparent until it is too late.

A small force of Warblades goes back to Hyrule Secundus, following the rumors of Baelic’s survival.

Heeding the Imperial Redeemers’ emissary, Griven Kall begins to utilize Chaos-tainted weapons and artifacts in his campaign of vengeance against the Jaws of the Deep. On Tesseract Primus, he manages to destroy the force of several Jaws Dynasties. After the Hellhounds’ attacks, Kthuln is no longer able to trust the Council. The Jaws of the Deep begin to consider all other Legions to be the enemy, and spread out across the galactic north as hundreds of hunting packs. Their marauding depredations drive them into the eventual worship of the Blood God, Khorne.

The Abyssals mount an attack on the world of Arcangelo, where the surviving Warblades make their stand. In the last moment when all seems lost, the Red Star Legion arrives in force to save the day. Though the Abyssals attempt to retreat, they are intercepted by the Immortals, who capture and interrogate the survivors. The true consequences of that decision would not surface for many centuries.

After seeing the Council rebuke his concerns regarding the Jaws’ cooperation with the xenos, Griven Kall makes the fateful decision to fully join in with Iskanderos. From then on, the Hellhounds become the masters of Chaos-tainted technologies, utilizing daemon engines and other esoteric tools in their campaigns supporting Iskanderos on his march to Terra.

On Galen IV, an ill-fated attempt to trap Iskanderos by the Steel Wardens results in death of Echelon, destruction of majority of the Fourth Legion, and the transformation of Iconoclasts into Plague Marines after virus bombing by Nyxos and the Grim Angels. Nihlus ascends to the rank of a daemon prince of Nurgle. The forces of the Lion Guard are locked in a brutal battle against the daemonically empowered rebels, and are unable to come to the rescue of Galen IV. Though the Twelfth Legion manages to prevail, the victory comes too late to alter the outcome of the campaign.

The first mass-produced cloned Astartes warriors created from Mohktal’s modified gene-seed enter service, and see battle in multiple engagements in Segmentum Solar. Though the initial batches show certain amounts of genetic instability, the Council of Terra is optimistic that these problems will be resolved in the future. For the moment, these would-be Illuminators are sufficient to bolster the strength of the loyalist forces.

After hearing the news of Galen IV, Gideon storms out of the Council session, and orders his Legion to depart for Topia rather than defend Terra. He would spend the following several centuries consolidating his dominion, and attempting to preserve the ideals of the Great Crusade-era Imperium.

Malcador leads large detachments of Spears of Eternity to a secret location in the galactic south. Nyxos notices Malcador’s disappearance. Mohktal, kept alive to harvest his genetic material and to create more warriors, awakes as a Chaos-tainted monster. The last Illuminators attempt to stop him, however, it takes Nyxos’ personal interference to put an end to his rampage.

Battle of Sirius takes place. The Imperial Redeemers vanguard is now within striking distance of Terra.

Nyxos and the Grim Angels locate Malcador on the hidden world of Puritania, where the Sigillite seems to be creating an alternate center of Imperial government. The Grim Angels initiate an assault on Puritania and, after a brief rapid operation, seize control of the planet and all of its resources while slaying Malcador.

Rogr Hemri orders a program of rapid recruitment to expand the Lion Guard as quickly as possible. The Legion is spread across the worlds of Segmentum Solar, attempting to keep them in line and to prepare for decisive blow while the Grim Angels operate behind the enemy lines. The remaining Primarch of the Council understand that unlike Galen IV, Iskanderos will be forced to command the rebel forces at Terra. A plan is hatched between Hemri, Nyxos, and Dyal Rulf to force Iskanderos to commit his armies at Terra and to strike at him while he is at his weakest. Though the plan is generally similar to the failed battle at Galen IV, the Council believes that it has no choice but to engage the rebel leader over the Throne World and to hope for the best.

Most Lion Guard and Grim Angels forces are redeployed across Segmentum Solar, with many dedicated to securing their newly won dominion centered around Puritania. The Consecrators and all units that could be spared remain at Terra, with the objective of holding it at all costs. The Liberators are trusted to continue harassing the rebels, and to keep the lines of communication open.

Iskanderos commences assault on Terra. The rebels use sorceries to keep the Warp turbulent, and to prevent loyalist reinforcements from reaching Terra in time. Chaos-corrupted Liberators spread the news of Terra’s fall, and force crucial delays in the muster of the Council forces. Even though the accusations are shown to be false, the Council reinforcements are demoralized as they set on to win the war.

Andrieu Ulliann’s ship is lost in the Warp, though suspicions of foul play persist.

The Fall of Terra takes place mere days before the loyalist forces would have arrived. Dyal Rulf is slain by Iskanderos. Iskanderos is enthroned as the new Emperor, while the Emperor himself is nowhere to be found. Iskanderos claims to have slain the Emperor, but offers no visible proof. The Council forces turn back rather than attempt to wrestle the control of Terra back from the traitors. The Midnight Riders join with the Council forces rather than attempt an attack on Iskanderos.

313.M31 – 400.M31
On Puritania, Rogr Hemri and Nyxos establish the Second Imperium, which they dub the Imperial Remnant. Over the following millennia, the Remnant would incorporate multiple sectors, eventually encompassing almost a tenth of the galaxy.

Last known sighting of Maikhaira during the Nineteenth Legion’s gathering above Terra. The Iron Locusts subsequently depart for parts unknown.

Iskanderos dies suddenly, leaving the rebel forces without leadership.

Griven Kall wins the Second Battle of Terra against the forces of Nihlus, and crowns himself the Daemon Emperor of Terra. The slaughter fuels his ascension to the rank of a daemon prince.

322.M31 – 800.M31
The fracturing of the Chaos Imperium into multiple minor kingdoms, sector empires, and quasi-feudal fiefdoms. 

Leto of the Immortals performs first experiments with Warp-infused enhancements of base human stock. Though the initial results appear to be promising, the Sixteenth Primarch recognizes the dangers inherent in the Empyrean. From now on, Leto follows the path of science and reason in bringing about the new golden age for humanity from his private domain.

Nihlus turns Kars into a daemon world, and sets upon preparing for an apocalyptic conflict in the millennia to come in the name of entropy.

320.M31 – 600.M31
Red Star Collective continues to grow in strength, though Stefan Ignatiyev begins to retreat from public affairs.

Nyxos launches the first in a series of Crusades to expand the Imperial Remnant. Each Crusade is a focused campaign to bring lost territories into the fold, and to obtain more resources for future wars of expansion.

The Laodicean Warblades venture out into the galaxy as mercenaries and adventurers. They soon acquire a reputation as a particularly fearsome, if honorable, force.

The Spears of Eternity emerge from their homeworld at Qirac in strength, and seize multiple systems around Qirac.

Rogr Hemri orders an ambitious expansion of the Lion Guard Legion. Using equipment and materials salvaged from the Fall of Terra, the Imperial Remnant creates cheap and disposable Rank Four Marines to provide a backbone to their ever-growing forces.

The first known appearance of Kthuln as a daemon prince during the battle in the Stygian Belts. Previous sightings of transformed Kthuln are widely believed to be apocryphal, or come from unreliable sources.

First recorded instance of Iron Locusts employing swarm fleets in an attack against the Imperial Remnant.

First suspected Consecrators activity noted during a xenos invasion of a system nominally allied to Red Star Collective. After repelling the alien attack, the suspected Consecrators are gone without a trace.

Continued Iron Locust attacks prompt Stefan Ignatiyev to take personal command of Red Star Collective forces at Altachron V, where the Nineteenth Legion is turned away – only just so.

Leto’s focus on technological development ensures that the Tambora Combine is the most technologically advanced large-scale human polity in the galaxy.

Last recorded instance of Iron Locust swarm fleets. Though several Imperial successor states are on the verge of reaching a political agreement to fight this menace, the disappearance of the Locusts ensures that the successor states remain at odds with each other.

Stel Saf’s Liberators attack Warblades at Laodice with hope of plundering the planet’s technological treasures. During the Miracle in the Labyrinth, the invading Chaos forces are completely exterminated.

In the aftermath of the Liberators’ attack on Laodice, the leaders of the Warblades decide to establish a zone of control around the homeworld to protect it.

The last known public appearance of Stefan Ignatiyev at the Festival of Unification on Bogatyr.

Remnant operations in the Gestahl system are disrupted by a sudden attack of crimson-clad Astartes who respond to no hails, and make no announcement of their presence. The few survivors note the inhuman speed of the attack, and apparent use of psyker arts by the attackers.

During the Scouring of Istakh, the Chaos armada of Griven Kall attempts to destroy the Consecrators. The Hellhounds find no trace of the Consecrators’ homeworld in the system it was expected to occupy.

Nyxos’ last Crusade is his attempt to conquer the Topian Dominion. With thousands of Grim Angels, Lion Guard, and mercenary units, Nyxos launches an all-out war against Gideon. The overwhelming Imperial Remnant forces punch through the Peacekeeper defenses, though the casualties are high.

In the battle of Topia, the Peacekeepers defeat the Grim Angels, however, at heavy price. Both Nyxos and Gideon are slain. The Grim Angels and their subordinate forces suffer nearly total casualties.

The Grim Angels reconvene to decide on the Legion’s fate after grievous losses suffered at Topia. Marcos Ovid becomes the new Legion Master, and preaches an uncompromising, harsh creed of excising weakness.

During the Standoff at Ragnarok, the Grim Angels resist Rogr Hemri’s orders to disband. A diplomatic solution allows the Ninth Legion to survive as an elite internal security force of Imperial Remnant, while forgoing the Legion’s crusading past under Nyxos.

The Topian Dominion is reorganized, and the Peacekeepers Legion is divided into smaller Chapters of Space Marines tasked with maintaining order and local governance to the best extent of their ability.

An Iron Locust contingent is spotted amongst an Imperial Redeemers warband. It appears to be considerably smaller than the swarm fleets of yore.

Artificial intelligence modules are recreated across Tambora Combine.

The Commonwealth of Laodice becomes a galactic power under the rule of the Warblades as its holdings stretch across over five thousand systems.

All contact is lost with the Tambora Combine. Rumors persist that Leto’s experiments with artificial intelligence are to blame.

Corwin abdicates the throne of the Kingdom of Angels, and departs for the regions unknown. The leadership of the Twentieth Legion and its realm passes to Lord Commander Baldwin Arrath.

Last known sighting of Ashur during a campaign against the Eldar of Samm-Hain.

Deimos Mukhtabi attempts to reunite the Imperial Redeemers. He is struck down by uncontrolled mutation on the verge of final victory against the Apellene Regency.

The first instances of the Jahid creed are recorded amongst the Imperial Redeemers on Apella. The Legionaries believe that Iskanderos will return to his Legion to lead it to glory and galactic conquest at the end of days. The Regency discourages such notions, however, over millennia the Jahid belief becomes widespread amongst the Imperial Redeemers.

Present day.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A look at Twisthammer Primarchs

While the Twisthammer Primarchs are a varied lot, the order of their discovery had much influence on their eventual fates. Unlike the canon Horus Heresy setting, in which the first Primarch to be discovered proved to be singularly capable to serve as the leader of all Imperial armies, the circumstances surrounding the discovery of Twisthammer Primarchs were considerably more complicated.

Though the first Primarchs to be discovered were all capable warriors or generals in their own right, they were not the kind of charismatic leaders who could command fealty of all the varied factions which made up the nascent Imperium of Man. By the time the first Primarchs with undisputable leadership potential were discovered, their more established brothers, not to mention many specialized factions within the Imperium, would not have accepted their authority. Because of this, the eventual allegiances and destinies of the Primarchs became quite complicated.

So, without further ado, let's meet the Primarchs (and for more details, click on the Legion's link in the panel on the right)!

In order of discovery (Legion after the Primarch's name, Heresy-era allegiance in parentheses):

1.  Kthuln / Jaws of the Deep (Independent/Khorne) - a peerless warrior struggling to get the darker aspects of his personality under control, once worshipped as a god on his homeworld. While he is brutally effective in war, he is often seen as a barbaric savage, and finds it difficult to earn respect of the more civilized segments of Imperial society.

2.  Nyxos / Grim Angels (Loyalist) - an uncompromising weapon of terror, Nyxos is an obsessed fanatic suspecting mutation and subversion at every step. Unlike many of his brothers, he does not seek personal aggrandizement, preferring to work in the shadows.

3.  Nihlus / Iconoclasts (Traitor/Nurgle) - a violent, thoroughly broken mad genius with nothing but hatred for all creation, Nihlus revels in his monstrous appearance and the suffering he brings to others. Despite maintaining a measure of professional courtesy with Kthuln and Nyxos, he is not a popular figure, and is often seen as a weapon of last resort instead of a charismatic leader.

4.  Griven Kall / Hellhounds (Traitor) - while incredibly popular with the Imperial citizens due to his heroism in fighting the alien menace, Griven Kall's obsession with xenocide borders on fanaticism that makes more pragmatic Imperial institutions uneasy. His use of alien weaponry and technology is a massive point of contention with the technology-worshipping Mechanicum, ensuring their distrust of Griven Kall and his Legion.

5.  Mohktal / Illuminators (Loyalist) - as one of the most psychically powerful beings in the galaxy, Mohktal curiously chose the path of enlightenment and self-discovery that also set him apart from his brothers. As such, he is generally well respected as a neutral mediator and a voice of reason, but has little authority with his more militant brothers.

6.  Maikhaira / Iron Locusts (Traitor) - already embittered by the Imperium's treatment of his beloved abhumans, Maikhaira is seen as an unlikeable outsider by most of his brothers. Though effective in war due to his embrace of airborne assault tactics, he is looked at as having dubious loyalties and ideals.

7.  Echelon / Steel Wardens (Loyalist) - hailing from a world that embraced technology to the extent of replacing bodies of flesh with cybernetic shells, Echelon is looked at with suspicion or outright enmity by the technology-hoarding Mechanicum. Though one of the most humane Primarchs, Echelon is frequently misunderstood and accused of tech-heresy by his less enlightened brothers.

8.  Corwin / Angel Kings (Loyalist/Independent) - a product of heavily traditionalist noble upbringing amongst the feudal techno-barbarians, Corwin is one of Imperium's foremost military minds, though his cold and cautious nature makes him somewhat aloof from his brothers. Had he been the first Primarch discovered, he would have made a fine candidate for eventual leader of the Imperial armies, however, by the time of his discovery the other Primarchs were too well established to consider taking orders from him.

9.  Iskanderos / Imperial Redeemers (Arch-Traitor) - though he was far from the first Primarch discovered, the proud and haughty Iskanderos is one of the most militarily successful ones, often called the Conqueror due to his countless victories. With boundless energy and charisma, it was only natural that Iskanderos would find the constraints of the Imperium too small for his ambitions.

10.  Leto / Immortals (Independent) - a scientifically aware, civilized, and rational, Leto is an organizational genius without peer, a politician and a statesman with designs on improving the human civilization through his efforts. While his goals may be noble, he is well aware of political and military realities, and is extremely pragmatic about accomplishing such goals.

11.  Rogr Hemri / Lion Guard (Loyalist) - the master of the largest Space Marine Legion, Rogr Hemri is nevertheless better known as the statesman, the orator, and the politician with penchant for successful propaganda campaigns and a cult of personality. Though some of the more strong-willed Primarchs find Hemri to be objectionable, he is able to command the loyalty of many of his brothers and Imperial servants.

12.  Gideon / Peacekeepers (Loyalist/Independent) - a noble gunslinger who rebuilt a ruined civilization into a star-faring society, Gideon embodies the virtues of a selfless leader and honorable warrior. With his Legion second only to the Lion Guard in size, Gideon's toll of victories is considerable, however, some of his more ambitious brothers may see him as a threat in the realm of politics.

13.  Zaeed / Spears of Eternity (Loyalist/Independent) - though heavily unconventional in ideas, tactics, and abilities, Zaeed is a charismatic leader and commander unquestioningly loyal to the Emperor. Some may say that such loyalty exceeds the healthy boundaries set in an officially atheistic Imperium of Man, and borders outright worship.

14.  Ashur / Midnight Riders (Loyalist) - a volatile techno-barbarian gang warlord with penchant for impulsiveness and heavy combat drug use, Ashur is only truly at home when leading his men from the saddle of his combat bike. Though considered unreliable and unpredictable, Ashur remains fiercely loyal to those who earned his fealty.

15.  Stefan Ignatiyev / Red Star Legion (Independent) - having risen from the ranks of organized crime to covertly rule an interstellar empire, Stefan Ignatiyev is fond of clandestine measures, massive feats of coordination across many battle fronts, and using his Legion as only one tool in an arsenal of conquest. While Stefan presents a civilized, aristocratic front, woe to those who underestimate his intellect and ruthlessness.

16.  Dyal Rulf / Consecrators (Loyalist) - though his quiet manner can be disarming, Dyal Rulf is the epitome of scientific, thoroughly studious approach to warfare. To him, war is a simple matter of applying knowledge and rational thought to achieve victory, and the results matter more than the glory of conquest.

17.  Marvus / Doom Reavers (Traitor) - a tortured, underestimated man whose stern demeanor hides dark past, Marvus and his sons are called upon for the jobs considered too distasteful, too brutal for the more publicity-conscious Legions. While some of his brothers are aware of his potential as a general and a leader, most others consider Marvus a despicable master of a Legion fond of underhanded tactics and forbidden weaponry.

18.  Angelus / Gargoyles (Traitor/Slaanesh) - the winged, hunchbacked form of Angelus is a common sight on the front lines of the Great Crusade, where he leads his superstitious, savage sons on wars of callous extermination suggested by the voices only he can hear. Only Angelus' extreme psychic ability and undeniable usefulness as both a weapon of terror and as a would-be clairvoyant delivering cryptic warnings from the future stave off those who would rather see him and his Legion censured.

19.  Baelic / Warblades (Traitor) - a celebrity arena fighter from an incredibly technologically advanced world, Baelic sees the Great Crusade as a challenge to prove his martial skills, a game rather than a higher calling. Though seen as immature and glory-seeking by his brothers, Baelic is, at his core, a warrior of integrity whose beliefs may be challenged when brother turns against brother.

20.  Andrieu Ulliann / Liberators (Traitor/Tzeentch) - though born and raised as an aristocrat and beloved for his poetic talent, Andrieu Ulliann's idealism led him to start a bloody revolution against an oppressive regime in the name of change and hope for better times. Some may call his idealism naïve, though to others, it has the beginnings of dangerous fanaticism.

Twisthammer is here!

Twisthammer - a fan-made reimagining of popular Warhammer 40,000 universe - is here! The premise behind the universe is that instead of the twenty canon Primarchs and Space Marine Legions, things went a bit off-schedule, producing twenty original Primarchs and Legions considerably different from the canon.

As a result, instead of Horus, Magnus, Guilliman, and friends, the universe is blessed (?) with these guys:

On this blog you will find pages detailing the background and the history of each Legion and Primarch before, during, and after the Heresy (the galaxy-spanning civil war between the Legions). This page will serve as a central location for all things Twisthammer, which may include Legion entries, homegrown rules to field these Legions on the tabletop, and then some.

Check out the page links to the right to learn about each Twisthammer Legion, and its fate!

Needless to say, this is completely unofficial, and is a work of fan-fiction by several authors (Gulag, Ran Exilis, Midgard, and SIngemeister, with additional contributions from WarWolf88 and Meaneye). The appropriate trademarks are the property of Games Workshop and their affiliates.