Chaos God of Old Night
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: The Eternal Night
Stormcast and Space Marines - What Makes Them Differ?
After seeing all the flaming on the net about the Sigmarines, I have decided to collate information together to show that while the Stormcast Eternals do share some similar features to the Space Marines, they are actually quite different. So let us begin;
Firstly we'll look at background. A Space Marine, no matter his Chapter of origin, will have mostly the same backstory. Born on a Feral/Death/Hive/etc world, chosen for the Chapter by either genetic selection, trials to find the most worthy, or some other method and is uplifted to become a Space Marine. He is always and invariably a pre-teen male human child, because that is the only option to create a Space Marine due to the Primarchs themselves being male and the xenophobic attitude of the Imperium. Though the minute details will differ, and do produce wildly different results, ultimately each Space Marine shares a similar background to every other Space Marine in existence.
The Stormcast on the other hand have much different origins. For starters they are not limited to one gender, both male and female warriors can be elevated to become Stormcast. That alone creates a great deal of variety in that the Stormcast themselves seem to identify as male, but if some of them were originally female, how would that affect the personalities they create or are created for them during their Forging? Would it change how other Stormcast view them? Would their female personalities be subsumed or would they actually retain knowledge that they were once women? Next, they are not limited to a single race. When Sigmar uplifted those that would become the first Stormcast, he didn't limit himself to his own race. Heroes from the Aelfs, both Higborn (Asur) and Exiles (Druchii) and even Wanderers (Wood), Duardin (Dwarves), and even the Orruks (Orcs) were chosen and elevated. So underneath that Stormcast armour there could actually be the soul of a Dark Aelf or an Orc, perhaps even a Vampire or a Giant; what could that mean to a Stormcast? Would they retain memories of what race they used to be? And if they do how could a Dark Aelf, admittedly one that was a hero against Chaos, fit into an army based around honour and loyalty? Could there be a divide between the human and non-human Stormcast, or does their diversity make them stronger?
Another differing aspect of background is that where Space Marines are uniformally children, Stormcast could have been any age. Some might have been children that showed heroism, but the majority would have been adults with fully formed personalities. One reason that Space Marines show such stilted personalities in comparison to mortals is that they are changed before their personalities can develop fully, whereas a Stormcast already has a full personality. I am not sure at the moment if each Stormcast has full access to the memories of his/her previous life, some might do and some may not, but each Stormcast would have a full range of emotion and understanding that a Space Marine would lack because they had time to actually develop these personality aspects before their Ascension.
Next we look at death. When a Space Marine dies, he dies period. He ain't coming back. Stormcast on the other hand can and will come back. When a Stormcast is slain they are sent back to Sigmaron and reforged until they can fight again, similar to Chaos Daemons. However this comes with a price, every time a Stormcast is reforged they lose a piece of their personality. Eventually this builds up and the Stormcast is left an automaton that has no thought beyond fighting and dying again and again against the hordes of Chaos until either total victory or defeat. This means that unlike the Space Marines each Stormcast is, or will be, ancient as they amass centuries of warfare with no end in sight. When a Space Marine dies his experience is lost, but a Stormcast can come back and keep fighting. But the build up of fracturing in personality means that each Stormcast will differ not just in personality but capability of thought as well, some may be far along this spectrum and be little more than robots, while some may not have died at all and have their full range of memory and personality. This means that the Stormcast will have a wider range of personality to each character that sets them apart from the Space Marines.
More to come as more information is released.