Deathwing

Malika
Praetor
Joined: January 5th, 2013, 9:12 pm

January 17th, 2013, 10:28 pm #1

The 6th edition Dark Angels codex has something odd...

Apparently a Dark Angel named Bartholomew was the first Grand Master of the Death Wing. Thing is that he got a Stormbolter named "Foe Smiter", it was one made in the early days of the Great Crusade (another oddity since Stormbolters were supposed to have been produced only later on...). It was made to honor the First Legion.

So this leaves me with the impression that the Stormbolter was handed out to Bartholomew during the early days of the Great Crusade, meaning the Deathwing has already been around then.

But if the Deathwing is primarily focused on capturing the Fallen, why would they've been around during the Great Crusade? Or is there something else going on that I've overlooked?
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Brother Handro
Centurion
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 8:52 pm

January 17th, 2013, 10:52 pm #2

Just because it was made in during the Great Crusade doesn't mean he received it then.

As you say, it'd be weird for a unit focused on capturing Fallen to exist before the Fallen did...

However, that's not to say that the Deathwing didn't exist anyway, before the Fallen role. IIRC there was a formation called the Ironwing, mechanised I'd guess, that existed during the Crusade, and I think the DW and RW were there too, named after specialist Orders on Caliban.

So it could be that he was the first master of the DW after they began to pursue the Fallen, and got an old stormbolter as a present, or he was the first master during the crusade, but they were just a specialist formation within the First Legion.

What is the actual quote?
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Xisor
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Xisor
Centurion
Joined: January 16th, 2013, 8:57 pm

January 18th, 2013, 12:05 am #3

I could be missing specifics, but isn't it possible that Barty got the bolter before being GM of Deathwing?

Theoretical: Barty gets his bolter early on. By the time DW is instituted (presumably by his decree), he becomes the Grand Master?

Though in the ten-thousand years since we know the Dark Angels haven't been terribly inventive with their changes (many/most/all of their more notable secrets remain routed in the HH - but what have you done for me lately?), I wonder if during the crusade it'd have been possible for Knightly Orders within the Legion to emerge in a manner much more akin to schisming Warrior Lodges?

(Certainly, I think that'd have been an interesting thread to weave through them.)

Anyway, that's beside my point, rather: if it were about during the HH, would they have been the 'dominant' lodge? If our own culture of secret orders, private clubs, gangs and so forth... it's all a bit dynamic, it's rare for rigid hierarchies of any esoteric manner to remain... constant.

Or to put it another way, if the Dark Angels are operating as a quasi-legion, wouldn't it be nice if their 'seniormost leader', the real head of the legion, was actually from one of the successor chapters rather than the Dark Angels - they're the face of the secrecy, everyone else gets on with the business?
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Malika
Praetor
Joined: January 5th, 2013, 9:12 pm

January 18th, 2013, 12:15 am #4

Holy crap, the lodges angle is genius!

Perhaps the Dark Angels had a similar Lodge like the Traitor Legions (casting even more doubt on their loyalties), which after the Heresy basically became the Deathwing.

It's very possible that the development of the Lodges has its stages as well. I doubt that a Lodge in a Legion would be a fully Chaotic infiltration from day one. I would imagine that the Lodges would be introduced into a Legion, and that step by step the Chaotic element would be introduced into it.

Looking at it like that, it might have been very possible that the Dark Angels had the Lodges introduced into their Legion (the Deathwing amongst them), but that they've never been able to fully evolve into their Chaotic form as amongst the Sons of Horus and others.

Don't know though...just an idea!
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Xisor
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Xisor
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Joined: January 16th, 2013, 8:57 pm

January 18th, 2013, 1:06 am #5

Malika: Makes sense to me*. The DA had Chaplains pretty much wholesale, they might've found a lot in common with whichever Word Bearer representatives were tasked.

Spotting an 'in' on the Legion, the Word Bearer appeals to Caliban's now disappeared knightly orders - "Wouldn't it be nice to honour the past with this as a mechanism for ensuring the Legion works at its very best?". A few trial runs within the local chapters, all of a sudden the DA's unnoticed disposition for 'secret clubs and circles within circles' runs riot and the Word Bearer's quickly lose any control! There's the 'Secret Society', nod nod, wink wink, which is actually just a 'down time forum' for the bulk of the Legion to exchange ideas in a slightly less formal, but not completely informal way.

Nevertheless, as soon as that starts, some smaller order of that group think "Hey, we could use this really well for getting one-up over <rival chapter>! Keep it schtum from the rest of the Chapter, but if you, you, you and you do this...". Meanwhile everyone's doing it.

The emergent property would be that the Lodges would institute themselves well within the legion, yet they'd also be almost completely ineffectual compared to, say, that of the Sons of Horus or the Death Guard - the DA Lodges ('orders') quickly take control of their own destinies. Unfortunately for them, some are stronger than others (e.g. Deathwing) and they start becoming dominant forces within the legion.

To that extent, like After Desh'ea, Deathwing mightn't be the pre-eminent of these organisations during the Horus Heresy, rather they'd be more akin to Captai Kharn of the Ninth Company - the only ones standing with any sort of command perspective of know-how to actually cover up the mess that'd been made. (Or did they? Perhaps the Deathwing didn't really seize control until much later, having ejected previous dominants?)

Unfortunately, as noted in the 'Primarch Discovery Orders', whilst there's a certain 'intellectual allure' to all of this, one has to measure it against when it stops being useful to story-telling. (As you can see from the brackets above: this would happen very quickly indeed, if you're not careful!)

But, critically, if it's not mentioned at all, it still remains a massive 'oooh, what if?' potential twist. What if, for example, it's Deathwing who side with Luther, and the whole myth-structure is co-opted by the post-Heresy Dark Angels for convenience because the Deathwing were 'somewhat' known to outsiders... it was just easier to internally re-brand than come up with an even more complex lie to tell everyone else?

My head hurts!

---

* Thinking on it, as weapons go, could the Lodges have been scatter-fire? Would they really have only been used in the Death Guard, Sons of Horus and Emperor's Children? Perhaps they only needed, say, a 33% success rate to be 'worthwhile', so the WB's tried applying it to, say, the Space Wolves, White Scars and Dark Angels... but in each case, the Legion's own personalities took it aboard a little to seriously, perhaps, or had already instated a 'better system'!
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Freelancer
Legionary
Freelancer
Legionary
Joined: May 26th, 2015, 2:25 pm

July 6th, 2015, 12:47 pm #6

Short answer is yes the Dark Angels legion had the deathwing and ravenwing during the latter part of the crusade. With this they also had the dredwing no idea what that was. From what I remember these are briefly spoken about in the short story where the Lion fights Curz and mortally wounds him. I also remember vaguely that the wings were introduced by the Lion after his unification with the first. I think that was in the same story.

To add to this the wings are mentioned in savage weapons. AS for the change I think its mentioned either there or in the master of the first.
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