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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My fluff is in need of a rewrite for my homebrew space marines chapter, and I've run into a problem that keeps nagging at me: GW used my chapter name for chaos.

I've been away from the game for a long time. I started with Rogue Trader, stopped playing until 4th edition for a short time, and then just started back up with 7th edition last September. Before ever worrying about being a successor chapter or Primarch or anything, my homebrew chapter had the name: Bloodlords.

The problem is, "Cold Blood" and the 6th edition chaos space marines codex apparently reference the Bloodlords, the fallen Spears of Olympus. Not that they needed permission, but the taint of heresy is now on my chapter name.

Despite playing and stopping, I'm still attached to the name and chapter symbol that I spent too many hours working out. If you were in my shoes, what would you do? Ignore it and keep the name? Change the name? Write circles around the problem?
 

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You could say they're related. Maybe their Bloodlords were part of your Bloodlords, but fell to Chaos and you're in a Dark Angels kind of situation. Or, I mean, it's a big galaxy and they're not a popular group, so maybe your marines are just from across the galaxy and have never heard of them or seen a report about them. It even seems like impersonating loyalist chapters is something Chaos should be doing all the time (seriously, civilians would never know the difference between random chaos marines in generic blue armor and Ultramarines).
 

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Depends really, like for my orginal SM chapter I came up which was the Ultra Hawks, I'd tell GW to go F*** them selves sue them lol. I have my entire SM army painted after them, have concept art of them and even wrote an extire custom codex for them however if it was just a color sheme, a custom badge and a little fluff, i'd prob change it just so I wouldn't have to deal with BS.

I cant really talk and If I offend I apologize, To be honest Bloodlords is common but ill help you out. Trying replacing the word with words that mean the same thing or something similier like

Cruor(means red liquid) Lords
Cruor Barons
Barons of Gore
Lords of Entrails
Blood Chiefens of Butchery
Kings of the bloodbath

they aren't the greatest but gives you an idea and I don't know what there about so I couldn't come up with awesome names lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like both the Unrelated Chapter idea and the Chaos Impersonation. If not exactly impersonation, sowing confusion among loyalists when they hear the name and immediately think the chapter is tainted.

It opens a lot of doors for fluff, when the chapter must constantly prove loyalty to some degree. As long as it's not so bad that the chapter banner is a white sheet that reads: "I assure you, we're not heretics."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, Bloodlords isn't a very innovative name, but I was young when I came up with it, and now I'm too old and stubborn to easily change it. Although, it does sound a little bit Chaos. The Blood Angels sort of make the "Blood" part acceptable or I might have changed it already.

Part of the problem too is the combination crown/blood droplet chapter symbol. I'd want a new name to hook that. Bloodlords is sort of a clean and short name.

Blood Kings
Blood Barons
Sanguine Lords
Lords Sanguine
Lords of Blood

Just tossing out ideas here, but the stubborn old man part of me is still holding back.
 

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The problem with coming up with synonyms is that most of them sound more like Chaos, or like a Blood Angels successor.

If you don't mind changing the name, you could make it not blood related at all and say the symbol is derived from the chapter history, but not the name. Maybe something like the Noblehearts, who are all about being "noble" and taking care of the humans entrusted to them (hence the crown), but they have paid a high price for their nobility in the past (hence the blood).

Do you have a specific history for them? Are they from a certain Legion? Chapter of origin is helpful for these things.
 

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Whats the theme your trying to go with? Fallen Angels seeking redemption?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The theme origin was that the chapter was beaten back and under siege in their final stronghold, the Praesidium. After expending nearly their entire armory, they made a suicidal assault with little ammunition, chainswords, and their bare hands to bring down the enemy command and break the siege. In short, few survived, and those who did remember little more than the blood.

The core of the fluff was based on sort of an "All In" rogue trader era game my cousin and I played, that basically ended with a handful of my marines in melee with almost everything he had, and the marines lived. By today's standards, that "All In" game was probably less than 1000 points. At that time, it was the largest battle we had ever played.

Initially the enemy was Orcs because my cousin played them a bit back then, but I swapped the story to Chaos which my friend currently plays. I enjoy the narrative games when there's a more direct tie to your nemesis.

So: Thematically, even from the original bit, there are some fluff links to existing 40k fluff. I'm trying not to stray too far from the actual game origin, although some bits are obviously in need of update. If it were not for the actual game, I'd aim for a little less cliche basis, but that's where it started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Spikes are how CSM overcompensate for their old codex. But really, for some reason, I still like the struggle against chaos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Working through History

I think I'm going to stick with "Bloodlords." But now, I'm trying to work through writing a mature version of fluff that fits into the 40k universe with minimal cliche.

What I'm somewhat struggling to do is to align my chapter history with my play history. My rogue trader days are my founding, then the chapter returns briefly and weakly during 4th edition, finally returning to full strength now in 7th. The struggle is getting those bits of critical linkage to the established fluff. The history is much more established when I started, and there are a lot more pitfalls in history. Back in my day, you could just paint leopard spots on a marine and call it a chapter. But now, onto the pitfalls:

Founding: How early of a founding is too early? Foundings didn't seem like much of a thing, or at least, the people I interacted with were very light on fluff. From my perspective, it feels like my chapter existed before chapter creation was such a rigid and scrutinized exercise.

Primarch: Torn on this one. The vision says Sanguinius, but I'm not certain at this point we are a Blood Angels successor. Playing as Iron Hands with It Will Not Die feels like a rule that fits well with the older battle I mentioned above, with a melee that the marines almost unbelievably survived.

Going dark between editions: Somehow, in a not-very-cheesy way, I sort of want the chapter out of commission when I wasn't playing, including when the Chaos name thing happened. Sucked into the warp, or blocked by the warp, or any such thing... I don't know if that really works. Any out-of-commision/communication ideas for a chapter?

As I'm writing this, I hope it doesn't sound like I'm asking anyone here to "write my fluff." These sorts of things always seem to pop up almost immediately in a critique, so I'm trying to avoid the pitfalls now. Writing the more recent interactions feels like a breeze. Getting there seamlessly is a little bit daunting.

Thanks!
 

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Man, I don't know why anyone would complain about someone asking for help writing fluff. That shit's my jam.

First, I would reflect your rogue trader days with an earlier founding. You've been playing since the beginning, so it would make sense if your marines were around from the beginning (or close to it). Also, the first gap is easily explained - you almost went extinct, refused to rejoin your parent chapter, spent hundreds/thousands of years rebuilding.

Maybe they weren't entirely out of commission, but just struggling in the gaps. Maybe they were assigned to a system that just didn't see much combat, grew complacent, led a crusade to shake the dust off (i.e. 4th ed resurgence), had another brutal war like the first one that turned out to be a pyhrric victory, went home to lick their wounds. They could've been active this whole time, just without seeing action, or even just without memorable action.

For example, maybe they showed up to help protect Armageddon, but just got there late. Maybe they mobilized the entire chapter to scourge a massive Eldar fleet to find out the reports were greatly exaggerated. Maybe part of that time was occupied by their civil war that they just never reported. Maybe they spent years (or even decades) under siege, cut off from help by a warpstorm, to have their enemies just give up. Or maybe they spent centuries outside the known galaxy trying to find the rogue Bloodlords' base to exterminate them, but recently gave up and came home. Or maybe they failed to protect their forge world, and so have been without necessary supplies for decades and so have had to wait.

You don't have to write them completely out of the story. I think the Imperium is generally more interested in morale benefits than actual truth when they record history anyway, so if there are no "good" battles to record, I wouldn't be surprised if they just didn't care to write it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So: Hypothetically as a second founding chapter, our main enemy would have been ork, since that's what my cousin played. If the chapter is wiped out to near extinction while I'm out of the game until 4th edition, the chapter history almost duplicates the founding of the Crimson Fists. That's not exactly bad, but something needs to be there to mix it up, not just a carbon copy background.

A second founding doesn't seem bad since there isn't a great record of exactly how many and from which legions the chapters derived, unless there is a reason not to use that founding.

If it were too early, maybe it's just a legend that they were there during the second founding, but it's unconfirmed. If the founding were thought to be second founding, but that was actually incorrect, which would be a good fit? Possibly a 21st Founding (Cursed)? Maybe that's why (during 4th edition) the force was so small, leading to a rebuild that lasts for millennia. Secret keeping is kind of a Dark Angel thing, so that needs some tweaking too. Maybe we're not keeping a secret, we're just wrong.

Getting the founding nailed down will probably help with the Primarch, or determine if the primarch should be unknown.

That leads to the more recent history where we develop our new nemesis, the Black Legion. The timeline would be current with a fully operational chapter.

With the Blood issue, as well as the Chaos using the name thing, it feels like the chapter flaw should be somehow related to the temptation of joining Khorne.

There are a lot of out-loud thinking points here, but at some point, I'll actually have some fluff that hopefully doesn't feel patched together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Random Answers

So I thought I'd run through the random chapter tables to see what happens, and the results are surprisingly similar to what I've written and what I've posted here. I'll toss the summary here, and the only change was rolling up Eldar for the enemy entry which I changed to Black Legion.

36th millennium founding aligns with the false origin second founding idea and cursed finding actual origin. I've also been running standard codex since I came back to the game not really knowing how to reboot my chapter, so the Adeptus Mechanicus friend roll might explain the grav gun use by the chapter despite the Blood Angels progenitor. I've been on the fence about which Codex fits the chapter vision more closely, and this random generation has provided a nudge in each direction.

Chapter founding: Crusade in the 36th Millennium
Progenitor: Blood Angels, Pure , The Red Thirst
Master of Sanctity: Ork's Bane
Hive World, Dead terrain
Distant Rule
Codex Chapter
Siege
Modified Weaponry
Revere the Primarch
Nominal (The Chapter can field a full 10 companies, each with ten squads)
Friend: Adeptus Mechanicus
Enemy: Black Legion
 

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So: Hypothetically as a second founding chapter, our main enemy would have been ork, since that's what my cousin played. If the chapter is wiped out to near extinction while I'm out of the game until 4th edition, the chapter history almost duplicates the founding of the Crimson Fists. That's not exactly bad, but something needs to be there to mix it up, not just a carbon copy background.

Secret keeping is kind of a Dark Angel thing, so that needs some tweaking too. Maybe we're not keeping a secret, we're just wrong.
Several chapters have elements of potential extinction in their history (Raven Guard springs to mind) so I wouldn't worry too much about that part of it. Crimson Fists handled the situation very differently, also. But, maybe they were believed to actually be fully killed off for a time, so the reports of their return and founding get mixed up a lot (hence the uncertainty as to how old they are).

As far as secrecy goes, pretty much all Astartes have a finger in that pie. Blood Angels are hiding their vampirism, Space Wolves hide their numbers to appear more codex compliant, everyone has secrets. Maybe your chapter is unsure if the chaos bloodlords are even related at all and are trying to investigate (so more of a fear than a secret).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Would it be too out there if the fear is that their actual origin is not Sanguinius as they believe, but some Khorne-influenced Cursed founding instead? Perhaps they have faith that their Blood Rites are faithful to their Primarch, but secretly, the Chaplaincy wrestles with the truth of their origin. Some subtle hints to either Sanguinius or Khorne in iconography and weaponry keep the chapter guessing.

Maybe one of the major expected traits of the Blood Angel gene seed doesn't exhibit as they expect, which bolsters the fear. The Red Thirst maybe exhibits as fanaticism and ritual rather than an actual flaw. So, lacking the expected chapter flaw is not a blessing to this chapter, but the source of their uncertainty.

Instead, their genetic flaw may need to be a dash of Blood Angel and a dash of Khorne to cause doubt in their faith. Something that adds credibility to either theory if that's a working route.

Maybe heretics left the ranks for chaos and although not directly involved in the GW corruption of the Spears of Olympus, the chapter name was just an artifact of the Loyalist Bloodlord heresy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
To add onto the iconography:

The chapter symbol is a three pointed crown with a large blood droplet forming the center. I could easily see the triangle shape at the bottom of the Khorne symbol reflected in the droplet, and the two "horns" extending from it reminding the chapter loosely of the crown points. Archaic icons may share a few more subtle similarities that the Chaplaincy sees into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK, I've been trying to write this all out and have it make sense. Here's the first draft. Let me know where things don't work or fit together. There was a lot of note copying and pasting, so I think there is some repetition, poor placement, etc. There are probably some opportunities for renaming. I also think some of these areas may have too much, while others need additional work. Some of it is hopefully just cleanup, as expanding some of the notes in places felt awkward.

A simple change was to separate Blood from Lords as well. It's a minor distinction, but it does feel a little bit better having even a minor change over the Chaos name.

In any case: I'll follow up this post with some of the updates to how I'll add to the models to reflect some of this history.

Origins


The Blood Lords were a Second Founding successor chapter to the Blood Angels. The chapter thought to be lost during the Siege of Cocytus, and restored contact with the Imperium after several centuries of isolation. They are remembered to be siege-breakers; hammers that shatter through unbreakable onslaughts. (This might change to reflect chapter weaponry)

Chapter Founding


The chapter was founded as a successor chapter to the Blood Angels believed to be during the Second Founding. Their gene-seed was drawn originally from the patriarch Sanguinius, but through mutation and selection, their stock became distinctly different. The most prevalent characteristic of the Blood Lords was that for those who survived, they typically had much longer lifespans than most Space Marines. Their greatest asset derives from their incarnation of the Red Thirst which invigorates them and makes them very difficult to kill.

The chapter believes that they were founded to be a crusading chapter brought about to counter an unknown xenos threat. The oldest surviving records of the chapter describe a legendary last stand made by the chapter against an ork Waaagh, but the details of the encounter have been lost to history. What is known is that despite overwhelming odds, the chapter stood their ground and refused to die. The Chaplains hint at this great victory in their rites, but within the Reclusiam, it is believed that the chapter may have been brought to the brink of extinction.

Siege of Cocytus


During the 6th Black Crusade in 901.M36, the Cocytus Sector fell under siege by the traitor legions. The Blood Lords held their ground on Erineyum while the rest of the sector fell. As Abaddon the Despoiler ends the crusade elsewhere, the Blood Lords pushed once again to break the siege that held the planet.

The Chaos Battle Barge Exile crashed into Erineyum with world-breaking force. The Blood Lords and the entire planet were thought to be lost in the devastation. Warp energy from the crash and the destroyed fleet rendered communication and scans of the surface useless. The chapter was thought to be lost.

For centuries the people of Erineyum worked with the Blood Lords to rebuild their infrastructure to regain contact with the imperium, but the warp energies continued to block communication and travel from the planet. In 614.M37, the Blood Lords were able to navigate their badly damaged transport through the warp storm and reestablish trade with the rest of the Imperium.

Despite their victory, the Siege of Cocytus is remembered as the chapter’s greatest shame. Abaddon’s successful campaign never had any intention of holding Cocytus, and horrible rumors linger that the remaining Black Legion forces were abandoning the system at the time of the Blood Lords apparent victory. The chapter was not saved by a valorous act, but their fallen were mere pawns in a Heretic Plot.

Further tainting what should have been a valorous battle, the fallen brothers were not all accounted for after the Battle Barge collided with the planet. Whether they died, fled, or turned to chaos is unknown. The chapter reports that their brothers were killed and holds faithfully to this belief.

Recommunication


While the Blood Lords continued their work with to reconnect with the imperium, in 321.M37 the Spears of Olympus chapter was redesignated the Blood Lords Warband when they turned to Chaos.

Though the chapter had been named the Blood Lords since the Second Founding, in a show of loyalty, Chapter Master Iridon Kane offered to change the chapter name to distinguish the chapter from the newly-designated warband of traitors. The Ecclesiarchy recommunicated the chapter and was pleased with such a gesture of devotion, though the offer for redesignation was declined. The Blood Lords chapter designation remained intact.

The Lost Archives


As a result of the damage caused by the Battle Barge Exile, the Chapter Librarium suffered great losses. The vast majority of the surviving history of the chapter is instead found in the secret rites and relics of the Reclusiam.

As the librarians endeavor to restore the archive, they have encountered a troubling concern. There have been no reliable records of the chapter’s history prior to the 21st Founding. The librarians grow increasingly concerned that the Chapter Reclusiam has been keeping secret the truth of the chapter’s origin. Even the mention of the chapter’s valorous “Last Stand” against the Ork Waaagh come from records no older than the late 36th millennium.

The Dark Concern


The Chaplains express fervently that the chapter is a second founding chapter and that they are born of the gene seed of Sanguinius. Within the confines of the Reclusiam, however, there is a growing doubt surrounding the accepted origin.

The Chapter Relics which are older than the Siege of Cocytus are marked with the chapter symbols. Lord Chaplain Benedictus noted that these archaic chapter symbols bear a subtle resemblance to the mark of Khorne. The theory that the chapter may have actually been a Cursed Founding chapter presented by the Librarians has created a great doubt and debate among the Reclusiam. There are now fears that the chapter founding may have been influenced by a chaos god.

Smaller signs have begun to compile into the Dark Concern. It has been noted that the Red Thirst has not presented in the brothers in the way that they had believed it would. The chapter blood rites are still performed, but the brothers afflicted describe not a thirst, but a lust for blood. The brothers have even begun to question the longevity of their lifespan, as only a few living veterans are rumored to be old enough to validate this claim. As the Chaplains are asked about these issues, with each deflection that they offer for these discrepancies, the more the Dark Concern grows.

Rumors of their brothers wholly consumed in battle with a fanatic desire to spill blood has begun to circulate through the ranks. The chaplains sense growing suspicion among the chapter, and carefully assess how widespread the knowledge of the Dark Concern has become. A direct link to Khorne would be a heresy that the chapter could not survive, and the Chaplains seek irrefutable proof of their purity.

Liberation of Ogma III


After the Recommunication of the chapter, the Blood Lords sought to liberate the nearby Forge World of Ogma III from Xenos forces.

In the effort to recommunicate with the Imperium, the chapter worked very closely with the surviving Tech Priests and devotees of the forge. Although everyone feared that the dying world of Cocytus would be their tomb, the efforts of the chapter and the Adeptus Mechanicus priests were fully devoted to this cause.

The Adeptus Mechanicus of Ogma III had drawn the attention of a newly awakened Necron force. Owing a great debt to the Adeptus Mechanicus priests, the chapter immediately requested to intercede on behalf of the occupied Adeptus Mechanicus.

After a long campaign to secure the planet, the xenos threat was eliminated. Upon learning of the chapter’s reverence for the machine god and the rebuilding efforts they had undertaken with their tech priests, the manufactorums of Ogma III began production to rebuild the fleet and armory of Blood Lords Chapter.

Stronghold: Praesidium


Segmentum Obscurus, In the Cocytus sector, on the planet Erineyum, an Adeptus Astartes homeworld, is the fortress of the Blood Lords. Praesidium is the fortress that withstood the assault of the hordes of chaos, sheltering both the Blood Lords and thousands of survivors of the siege of Cocytus. Since the crash of Exile, the shrapnel and debris was purified in the furnaces of the Praesidium Forge and used to repair large portions of surface structure. Praesidium’s defenses have been bolstered and the citadel has never been as formidable as it is today.

Chapter Relics


The newest relics of the chapter are the Shard of Exile, and the Bulwark of Exile. These two relics were constructed of purified metal from the Exile that had been warp twisted and thrown from the wreckage. The Shard of Exile (Powersword) cleaves through enemy armor with unnatural swiftness, while the Bulwark of Exile (Stormshield) protects the bearer miraculously from devastating attacks. Both of these relics are wielded by the Blood Lords Chapter Master Alastor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Modeling the Chapter
A lot of a fairly standard space marine force is painted. One of the things I think I may go back to do is put various sizes of crowns or circlets on the sergeants and captains. I'm not sure how that will turn out, or if it's even a good idea, but it gets the lord portion into the units.

I think the relics will likely be modeled to be cobbled together from wreckage.

Part of this exercise was to define the chapter a little more before getting Sternguard, because I want them to have some hints of a story. I'll need to retrofit the idea onto the other HQ models. So, veterans and older vehicles or armament may have hints of being cobbled or rebuilt from a crashed warp-twisted ship. All of the newer equipment would have the typical marine equipment look since it has been built and supplied from Ogma III.

The last bit, is that I need to somehow find a small allusion to Khorne. Maybe reworking the power swords to look like bloodletter swords a bit, or maybe hints of Chaos Space Marine bits modified to look less like chaos. Basically, maybe it should look like an icon was shaved off of the weapon and repainted. Maybe these veteran pieces have some chipped paint revealing the Black Legion colors below.

I'm not sure how I want to add that character in, but there is a bit of scavenging from Chaos built into the story that if it stays that way would need to translate to models.

Actually: since some of the models are from Macragge and some from Dark Vengeance, it feels less out of place now that some of the other chapter features remain. The chapter would have used whatever they had during this rebuild, so a random assortment of other chapter gear, repainted but carrying some iconography makes sense. If I add the paint chipping to the already painted models to reveal the correct chapter colors below, the models make sense. It would definitely explain why three of my bikes have feathers.
 
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