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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-17, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Default Trefoil of Legions: Purpose of the Salamanders?

I recently got my hands on a copy of the HH: Inferno, and upon reading the first page of the SW fluff, one paragraph jumped out at me.

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Beyond the usual concealment and security that the Emperor chose to surround the Space Marine project with in order to protect the nascent Legiones Astartes, the Vl division, along with that of the XVIII Legion (that would later become known as the Salamanders) and the XX Legion (who would become the Alpha Legion), was formed and established largely in separation from the rest, and it is generally thought created to very specific ends. There were none save perhaps a handful of the Emperor's closest and earliest confidants surviving from those lost and bloody days who knew the facts regarding this mysterious 'trefoil' of Legions, as it is sometimes known, and the truth likely died with them, though in the case of the strains of Legiones Astartes that would be known as the Salamanders and the Space Wolves, they varied considerably in gene-forged ability to their peers.
HH: Inferno, p73

We have an idea of what the SWs and AL "very specific ends" are, but what about the Salamanders? I don't ever recall any mention of them filling a specific roll amongst the legions, like the IFs breaking fortress's or NL's shock and awe terror tactics. They've always seemed like a well rounded multitool. So, any thoughts on what their specific end might be?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-17, 08:58 AM
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Their purpose was to be the "diversity quota" in the Wh40k universe, being the black people in a galaxy filled by white caucasians humans and eldars and green beasts.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-17, 01:06 PM
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-17, 08:13 PM
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I think something to consider is that the Emperor might have made them humanists for a reason. to push the salamanders when a softer touch was needed.

Though one of their earliest campaigns was on terra, the tempest galleries. The salamanders was the only force to suceed there, simply unyielding and inventive. Overcomming deadly relic machineries of DaoT through sheer toughness and inventive genius.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-17, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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I think something to consider is that the Emperor might have made them humanists for a reason. to push the salamanders when a softer touch was needed.
Possibly. They are definitely more in touch with humanity on a personal day to day level. But the irony of course is that their demonic appearance makes them appear even less human than their brothers from other chapters.

I was also thinking about the SWs and AL. I'm thinking that they were kept separate because of the nature of their supposed purposes, enforcers or spies. Both of these would require them to remain somewhat aloof from their brothers, and this made me think did the Sallies have a similar predetermined roll that might require a certain distance? If the SWs, WEs and NLs were designed to be brutal terror troops with no qualms about slaughtering entire populations, were the Sallies meant to be a bulwark against that if it got out of hand? Their nature might prove a balancing factor if they happen to share a battlefield with out of control WEs, and without command step between them and innocents, willing to fight their brothers to defend the defenceless.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-17, 08:59 PM
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That reminds me of Conrad facing off against Vulkan on that world where he lets his night lords take the sins of slaughtering the population so the sallies can be seen as far better to the survivors. Vulkan is understandably disturbed by it. I believe it was one of the flashbacks in the novel where vulkan is trapped in the maze and conrad hunts him.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-17, 12:47 AM
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Maybe because of their more compassionate ways they were to be the imperium police force, for when the great crusade was over and the more brutal legions were no longer needed and went the way of the thunder warriors

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-17, 12:56 AM
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Old Man: Hrm, I think the Ultramarines was more suited for general peacekeeper role, and minding the mortals. In 30k they are the statemen and leaders in the 500 worlds.

Khorne's Fist: I think you hit it in the nail that the Salamanders is meant to police and mind the astartes themselves, to keep them in line when the more volatile legions threaten to go out of control. The human heart of the salamanders and their innate thoughness sees them easilly selflessly blocking the path of their more angry brethen because of their overdeveloped empathy for mortals. Just look at their issues with the Marines Malevolent in 40k.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-17, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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I think you hit it in the nail that the Salamanders is meant to police and mind the astartes themselves, to keep them in line when the more volatile legions threaten to go out of control.
I think you're on the right track, but it has been pretty much confirmed that the SWs were there to police the other legions. Just look at who tackled Angron when he was out of control and slaughtering millions. Despite the SWs apparent lack of inhibitions in doing similar if the cause deserved it, it was Russ, not Vulkan who stepped between the WEs and the innocents.

You made a good point about Curze taking the burden on his own legion so that the Sallies could be the good guys. Maybe it's in a more figurative than literal sense that they are meant to be the most human. Post-humans that could be held up to say, hey, we're not that different from you. Except for the black skin and glowing eyes.

That doesn't really tackle the bit about them that says "they varied considerably in gene-forged ability to their peers." We know they seem to be slower, but stronger than other legions, all appear to have a streak of Vulkan's artistic and smithing talents, and that they have a penchant for burning themslves with hot brands, despite being highly resistant to heat and fire.

I can see how the SWs sharper senses and faster reflexes (this is also stated as fact in Inferno) might give them the edge over their brothers if required, but the Sallies baffle me.

Last edited by Khorne's Fist; 05-09-17 at 02:10 AM.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-17, 08:14 AM
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Hrm, perhaps further forgeworld books will elaborate on the salamanders then.
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