Do You Have a Moment to Talk About Chaos? A Brief Sermon

That seemed the most apropos tag to give this little bit of writing. The ole FLGS is starting up a narrative-driven massive campaign, spanning both stores and–ideally–sporting six different teams split evenly between the locations. Players can join any of the teams at either store, though I’m still not entirely confident in the ways they’ve discussed managing teams; there’s been talk of forcing the best player on a given team to migrate to the worst team, and I am not okay with that as a concept. I say this as a CSM/Daemon player who doesn’t run deathstars and has used his Heldrake once, so my objection’s not for fear that I’ma be traded to bulk up someone’s score.

Anyway, at our sop the three team leads broke out just about perfectly: there’s a military guy who’s leading a team that’ll mostly be made up, I imagine, of military guys (we have a big air base here, so a lot of the gamers are enlisted). They’re going to run a lot of Marines/Loyalists with a smattering of Eldar, and good for them!

There’s a fierce tattooed gentleman who’ll head a fierce tattooed team of folks with varied armies. In terms of the folks that I know have made team commitments, most (but not all!) of the folks I’d  consider friends signed on to this team. It actually folded two potential team leads (and our club president, who could probably have made a bid for a team) into itself. Given the theoretically adversarial nature of the campaign, having many/most of the folks I actively enjoy playing on a team that’s not my team is to my advantage. Interestingly, while this group has a goodly mix of armies represented, they ended up having most of what I consider the Xenos armies. What I mean by this is that Eldar might as well be Loyalists, since they appeal (at least in the local meta) to a lot of the same players and sensibilities. Same with Tau. By contrast, I have no problem thinking of Space Wolves as Xenos, just as I’d consider Carcharodons essentially a Chaos army (and the only Loyalists I could see playing).

That leaves one more team lead who, unsurprisingly, is me. It also leaves one major faction which, unsurprisingly, happens to be Chaos. Now, nothing anywhere says that the teams have to be broken down by fluff or allegiance lines; it just happens that the teams are kind of shaking out that way. I obviously can’t speak to the membership on my team beyond a few immediate sign-ons I’m thrilled to have (one of whom technically plays Loyalists, but he inches closer to Chaos every day), but since there are maybe five Chaos players total, having two of them on the team already represents a hearty chunk. The team shakeouts so far only represent the handful of folks who were at the meeting (incidentally the same handful of folks who are essentially at every meeting) so there are at least a dozen theoretical players to join up somewhere.

Even though team membership isn’t supposed to have anything to do with fluff, I’ve been working up some…promotional material for our team; actually started it before I was even a team lead. I’m typing some of it up here, though less than I’d originally planned to provide because I read it to my wife and her support was less than overwhelming (love you honey!). Once I have the rhythm down for the sermon I plan to annotate it with Imperium condemnation, pointing out all the ways in which the lines are subversive. I’ve also got a bit to add in yet about how all creation comes from the sea: life from the oceans of the worlds, civilization from the sea of stars with the Imperium, and ultimately all that man accomplishes being sourced in the sea of his thoughts, the turbulent oceans of imagination. 

Freedom.

Freedom is the first, greatest good.

Freedom to choose what will support us, nourish us, define us.

Freedom to reject what pains us, to oppose that which enslaves us, to forge a path through choice and loyalty.

Freedom bought is just slavery deferred, a sweetness as fleeting as the affection of the bee for the flower.

Loyalty given without choice is false. Pride handed down is threadbare and hollow.

Can a man be said to bow with shattered knees?

Can any man stand tall with a prison wall at his back?

Freedom to define oneself means abandoning the illusions of conformity and stagnation, embracing beauty and expression in all of its forms.

Does one beast look upon another and bray, “Your eyes are too close together, where mine are not. You are foul?” Or, “Your horns are too short, and crooked. Mine are long and straight. I am noble?”

What madness this would be, particularly when cow and stag, arnyx and geistyn, all alike flee the stalking wolf, the padding starish, the circling razorwing. Even a beast who is a stranger to the ways of the thonich looks upon its fangs and claws and knows to fear. But does one beast say to another, “You have feathers, I fur, so my view is right?”

Show me the fruit that tells another, “Your flesh is sweet, yet dry; mine, though bitter, is redolent with juices.” Does not the tender faun feed upon them equally? As the gheg with flowers, red or white?

Yet tell me, how many amongst you see the gossamer wings of the gheg gently sway, fanning its flanks as it plucks blossoms with its tongue? Is it in the wrong for eschewing your tenement blocks, with their cold plascrete walls and steel streets? Who is truly in error?

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