Ravenfather

Here’s a quick fluff piece about the chaplains of my Eagle Eyes space marine chapter:

The Order of Tliltohatzin, roughly translated as Ravenfather, are what the Eagle Eyes call their chaplains. They protect the two things which are most at risk within the chapter: the link to their Raven Guard lineage and the primarch Corax, and the native culture and spiritualism of the Macay. The natives have long believed that ravens could speak for the Sky Father, and the dead, and mystics have sought to commune with them. Perhaps it is because they are found primarily in the sacred mountainous regions of Tonatzin. Or maybe their link to spirits and the dead arises from their tendency to haunt the skies above battlefields and feed on corpses. For the initiated astartes, however, their spiritual significance is only enhanced by their connection the the primogenitor chapter. The chaplains therefore utilize the imagery of the raven and Raven Guard, painting their armor a deep iridescent black and occasionally adorning themselves with raven skulls. Their actual role within the chapter is not unlike other Astartes, administering to the marines’ spiritual needs as well as the chapters traditions and rituals. 

I’ll be adding it to my IA as I continue to flesh things out. I had gone with the idea previously that my chaplains were like the Raptors (and some descriptions of the RG); that is to say more likely to talk about tactics and strategy than spiritual concerns. However, I also saw them as bringing in elements of the native spirituality of the Macay people. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it but I just left it alone.

The other day I was thinking about the really cool black paint schemes I’ve seen on some Raven Guard marines, where you can see a little hint of iridescent color on them (ForgeWorld does this on some of their heresy-era Iron Hands for some reason. Oil slick?). I’ve also been thinking about strengthening the Eagle Eyes’ ties to their founding chapter. The two ideas were both floating around at the same time, so I put them together and came up with Ravenfathers. It didn’t hurt that many native American indigenous cultures had spiritual beliefs about ravens and crows that involved them being a sort of connection to the spirit worlds, gods or the dead, and that one could learn to commune with them. It all just clicked, because it allows me to test out a cool painting effect that I’ve been itching to try, and also ties some things together with my fluff nicely. I don’t know if I’ll ever add much raven bling, but on the off chance that I get some Raven Guard from Forgeworld I’ll have some raven skulls to kit-bash. They do look cool. Unfortunately, eagle skulls look too different to properly convert them.