The expedition fleets were renumbered after each refit and launch. Horus’ commanded several expeditions. Guilliman is noted to have commanded at least thirty different designated expeditions. The expedition is not a fleet, it is a mission of months or years and is then decommissioned back at a refit. Ships were reconstituted to other fleet assignments.
So the 63rd had only operated for about 60 years at maximum. It’s worth noting that the lore books directly contradict and amend details in the first set of novels.
In the novels the Emperors Children only separate from the Luna Wolves for three campaigns nearer the end of the Crusade but in the lore books they only journey with the Luna Wolves for a few decades and bring compliance to hundreds of systems alone.
Graham McNeill explained that their initial discussions were based on 10,000 strong legions and compliance being a semi rare thing. Later, the authors and editors realised they had vastly underestimated the scope required and started inflating numbers to compensate.
I’m not sure there is or even can be an equivalent really. I’d go with greater daemons if you must as they are produced from the ultimate essence of the principal (the Emperor or a Chaos God). However, Custodes seem incapable of betrayal whilst retaining individual faculties. But even greater daemons can act against their ‘parent’ simply because the nature of Chaos is... well... chaotic.
Appreciate the main pages becoming more focused too, Monty. It has been a little wearying in the past to read an entire history of the Horus Heresy in each and every HH character bio, so I applaud this streamlining and sectioning push! Bravo.
I’m not entirely certain they do have those normal feelings of attraction. Male sexual development relies on formative experiences, oestrogen and testosterone development and various other factors both psychological and genetic. Most Astartes lose all those formative experiences, have next to zero oestrogen as they’re pumped full of synthetic hormones, and most show absolutely zero interest in the opposite sex (or the same sex given a percentage of space marines would by definition be born gay). This is certainly part of the Astartes project as the Emperor did not want troops forming human attachments but super soldiers who cared only for their brothers and their primogenitor ‘father’ figure. The evidence of the Emperors Children, when all inhibitions are excised, would suggest they literally do not care even when corrupted by Chaos but turn to other obsessions.
As for the Thunderhawk, I think you possibly misunderstood the lighthearted joke there, but even so, the Thunderhawk has transported human troopers before so I doubt the g forces are going to be damaging in the way that say an orbital drop-pod hitting the ground at supersonic speeds might pulverise a mortal compared to a space marine.
I agree with the passing on of genes though. The only replication of geneseed takes place within the progenoids. There’s no possibility of this transmutating gametes of sexual reproduction (otherwise the imperium would have been providing the space marines with women to breed with on an industrial scale rather than bothering with implanted gene receptacles)
Perhaps not a thunderhawk but as they’re clearly based on Viking legends, the popular characters of which are noted for going across the world and creating sires from the Russian steppes to the Northumbrian coast, i’d guess Lukas might have been one of these wanderers (in fact Viking tradition has tricksters who used magic - or charisma - to charm their way into the beds of women across the provinces)
But the lore isn’t always consistent. Ragnar Blackmane is surprised to find he has sexual feelings towards a female imperial agent but that’s not a new novel and it seems a bit of a one off compared to other sources.
It might be best to say this is another case of ‘author discretion’
I think gigantic raving psychotic space vampires is enough to keep the BA interesting.
I’m not really an expert on the theoretical strange stars but they sound like a theoretical quark variant of neutron stars. These hypothesised sources of certain cosmic bursts are indeed weird but I’m not certain what the link to chaos is? The point of the Warp is that there is no matter of any kind within that universe so I’m not sure how you achieve ‘solid’ chaos.
The black rage seems to be a psychic/psychological trait rather than a simple mutation so I think it’s exempt from Cawl’s messing. But then we’ve got Black Dragons Primaris with mutational bone spur blades and horns and ‘semi Wulfen’ Wolves Primaris so I guess even mutational aspects haven’t been bypassed. Originally it was stated they had been eradicated but I think the story authors have rebelled and forced some aspects back in lest it result in identikit vanilla marine stories.
There are several incidences where it’s pointed out they simply do not have romantic or sexual feelings and that their brain washing and gene-sept encourages a fraternal love. Some stories openly point out that space marines feel anything like this is ‘organic and surpassed by their apotheosis’. But I don’t know if it’s outright stated that it’s one particular aspect that is responsible for this.
They are sterile functionally whether this is some actual physical surgical intervention or it’s a combination of brain washing, hormonal implants, and the alterations of their geneseed.
As Neithan suggests, the Space Wolves notably are the only chapter that routinely recruits older individuals, many of whom will likely have fathered children prior to implantation. I’m not sure on Lukas particularly, but if it’s like the Salamanders or Ultramarines , it might simply be visiting family but not adding to the gene pool directly any longer. More a cultural living ancestor/grandfatherly figure.
The Emperors Children are a good example as you can see how they behaved when all sense and inhibition was removed and they became indulgent hedonists. Even then, they didn’t partake in orgies or rapes but channeled their excess into murder, noise, twisted artistic pursuits etc. If even the crown prince of excess can’t turn beautiful hedonists on to sex I expect it’s quite a fundamental part of the Astartes creation.
Same as the black holes question earlier. Avoid if hazardous, exploit if technically possible.
They have come across them many times given they’ve colonised half the galaxy. I recall there was an alien race using black holes as energy sources during the Great Crusade. Naturally, the Imperium exterminated them so I imagine the technology was lost.
I doubt you’ll be getting any marine characters who aren’t crossing the rubicon now.
They’re functionally sterile as in chemically, hormonally, and psychologically sterile but the sheer amount of steroids being pumped into their bloodstream by both internal implants and their Medicae harnesses within armour would sterilise them alone.
But let’s assume Lukas the Trickster has such a raging hormonal mojo that he overcomes all such impediments built into all other marines, he can’t pass on the altered genome within him so any offspring would be genetically rote human. In the same way you don’t pass on genetics for another family line if you’ve had a heart transplant. The implants are bred from the Primarchs but the only way to pass on their genetic structure is through removal and processing of the progenoid glands.
So, I’d say a marine might be sexually functional if you could somehow remove all the ways their minds have been altered and their hormonal and chemical imbalances perpetuated but they’d only pass on the gene line of their parents and ancestors, not the altered genes of their implants (bar some functional mutations for height and weight etc which might tend towards bigger and taller children - perhaps)
You certainly should. I think this has been a highly useful and interesting thread.
I look forward to reading it and will do my best to gloss over the internal consistencies as the overall tone and setting sounds as if it’s something I’ll fully enjoy.
Yes, it’s jumped around before. We’ve had the palace allegedly built mostly in the past 200 years before the Heresy and before that being but a keep on the mountain. But even the existing HH novels jump around, let alone the lore vs novels, and it sounds like this adds to the confusion.
For my own interest, I started ploughing through the lore books and just about every Terran born Astartes is said to have taken part in massive unification wars battles. Even the lore on the Luna Wolves pacification of the Selenar clearly states that colossal conflicts are ongoing across Terra even as they lift off in their rockets for Luna.
Hell, we have entire nation states rebelling before the Heresy. There are campaigns for the Terran War Hounds who earn that name in bloody pacification programmes, the Night Lords operating in Terran hive warfare punishment campaigns, the Third Legion masterminding the arctic campaigns by leading mortal geno troops to victory - all which would be decades before the Great Crusade. The Luna Wolves earned a reputation by pacifying vast swathes of the Urals. The Space Wolves were blood soaked psychopaths who the Imperium was bloody keen to get off Terra before they lost the plot.
But equally, as you point out, the lore exists with the Dark Angels being operational alone. These ‘facts’ clash but they seem to both be put forward as accurate. Ah, the joys of a gigantic shared universe I suppose.
Another attempt I have to reconcile it is this: the very first cohorts were called Proto-Astartes and they operated in very small units, often numberless, more like walking medical experiments than warriors. Each a testbed for different strains of geneseed stability. It’s said that a large proportion were to become 1st Legion cohorts but perhaps the lore can accommodate a differentiation between these walking test tubes as ‘proto-Astartes’ and the sort of 10,000 strong ‘Fully compliant phase II Astartes’ in the Valdor novel. Perhaps I’m clutching at straws.
I’m not certain I buy the whole gothic not being relevant thing. It’s established that gothic was formed from older languages during the DAoT and the chronicles of more ancient wars sound a hell of a lot like gothic tinged Mad Max conflicts writ large. Ursh being long before Unity but that’s not a campaign I’d say related to anything much associated with our world and times. Also doesn’t explain how and why so many worlds in the Great Crusade have high gothic usage and traditions dating back 5000 years or more. Hell, Mars had the lingua-Franca of ‘Tech’ (high gothic) dating back to the dawn of the Titans long, long before the Emperor even revealed Himself. It sounds like a novel equivalent of one of the Star Trek or Star Wars prequels rewriting on the hop. More fanfic than fantastic.
I can see this is going to be an infuriating read even if the plot and writing are excellent and enjoyable, when things get this wacky, I might have to just shake my head and put it down to over ambitious author syndrome with an incident of being struck down by the curse of Prequelitis.
But as Monty has put it: if it’s published, it’s canon, unless it’s GW specifically suggesting something is outdated by newer material.
Anyway, thanks for the additional overview/review of details. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it at all now but I’m a sucker who’ll read it anyway.
If nothing else, it can’t be worse than Battle for the Abyss so it’s safe from being at the bottom of the pile.
Supposedly the Akashic horoscope with its 20 ‘facets’ of æther. Some of the Egyptian astrological beliefs thrown in for colour. I think it’s always been suggested the Emperors own genes have been used in the creation of the Primarchs as the Chapters and Legions have always gone on about bearing the direct lineage of the Emperors blood in their veins. Now with the 20 legions of Thunder Warriors being similarly ‘adapted’ as the Legiones Astartes to follow, it hints there is a mystical constant the Emperor was fascinated by. Perhaps He didn’t so much choose that path as it was forced upon Him by some fundamental multi-universal constant.
As for the last sanction stuff, either typical blurb hype or just the fact that every legion thought they were ‘the Emperors right hand’ at some point.
There must still be shorter and taller Primaris just like Astartes. They just need to pretend they are stumpy Primaris...
Also, the Alphas had gene altering technologies to make some individuals large enough to pass as Alpharius in public appearances by doubles. Alpharius/Omegon may have been smaller than most of the Primarchs but they were certainly bigger than Primaris.
It’s the Alpha Legion. Survey says: Always Possible.
Yes, but so is the White Scars and Luna Wolves lore stating they operated for decades alongside the Thunder Warriors in several detailed campaigns. That isn’t old lore, it was published in book VIII of the Heresy lore.
Obviously there is an existing mass of contradictions throughout the novels and lore books (the changes the Custodians have gone through in 10 years is fairly dizzying) but Alan Bligh kept a fairly tight rein on retcons by often releasing material after the novels covering those events, which is a bit of a cheat but guarantees you can ignore any accusations against the authors.
I’m sure Valdor is a good read, and certain details such as Astarte as the mother of the project sounds expertly crafted stuff. I just don’t like the timeline shenanigans.
But, hey, book I of the Heresy lore deeply contradicts facts and figures from the first four novels, from basic stuff like the size of the Legions to ranks, named individuals, and times and durations of battles. So, I should probably just accept that the ‘canon’ is going to be both.
I’m fine with the Black Library guys playing fast and loose with ‘the truth’ as they are creating drama and so we can have all these varying visions of the Emperor and all and it doesn’t contradict things. Hell, we had Dan Abnett and Graham McNeill openly planning to contradict both sides’ accounts of the Razing of Prospero - which I thought was very clever way of portraying the fog of war angle.
The only way I can really try to justify this in my personal head canon is to say: Like the Primaris who nobody noticed for 10,000 years operating in their hundreds of thousands, the Astartes were operating in secret trials with the Thunder Warriors still operational as the principle shock troops. That doesn’t really fit with the book going with 10,000 untested marines having their first engagement but hey, head canon can take some bruising off road courses before it lands back at logic...
Again, appreciate the updates, Charles