Epithanies

As followers of my Twitter account probably know, I’m finally getting my long-gestating Chaos Space Marine army ready for battle.  In part this has been spurred on by the new codex (which I picked up today, love it) but mainly because the background I’ve been writing for them has in many ways become my latest obsession.  Two nights ago however, something magical happened.

Let’s go back a bit.  Long suffering readers may remember that I talked briefly about the provisional background for my Chaos Marines, then called The Heralds of Woe, in my first ever post; as you can see, what’s there is very basic, the synopsis from the book jacket if you will.  Also, not that long ago I posted an experimental colour scheme for my army.  This I’m keeping, the background however…

You see, as of last Saturday I’d written a good 1,500 words which chronicled their secret creation on Holy Terra in M.35 and their crusade westwards beyond the borders of the Imperium.  All of this is good, I genuinely like it and most of it will stay.  However, then I started writing about The Event which forever corrupted them and I realised as I was writing it I was basically rehashing the history of The Word Bearers.

Fuck.

This realisation hit me like a freight train.  Heck, even their original name, The Heralds of The Emperor is far to bloody similar to the Word Bearers original name, The Imperial Heralds.  Plus, my army, which rechristened themselves as The Heralds of Enlightenment are religious fanatics, albeit of a different flavour to Lorgar’s lads.

So, what to do?  I genuinely did not mean this, especially since once my army turned from the Emperor’s light they are a very different beast from the Word Bearers but the fact remained that I had cheated my army out of a unique background, it would have been easier just to paint them crimson and silver and be done with it!

Then Thursday night happened.

As I was drifting off to sleep I started pondering the choices men make and how these decisions can mount up and lead them into the army of Chaos.  I played out the final scene I’d written that had definitely been my own work, the one where Chapter Master Augustus Gideon had to decide whether to push on into the unknown or turn back and I realised with absolute clarity what would happen next; trust me, it’s very different from what happened to Lorgar.

I don’t want to spoil things since I’m still working out some of the ramifications of the choices that he makes, and those he’s forced to make.  The best part of it is that in retrospect the outcome was unexpectedly foreshadowed by the first lines of the background I wrote:

 

In the God-Emperor of Mankind’s name, we will not rest until his supreme vision is realised. We will finish His Great Crusade, no matter the cost.”

Augustus Gideon, Chapter Master of the Heralds of The Emperor, M.35

 I’ll leave you with that for now, there’s much more work to be done.

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