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Fridge Brilliance

  • Retribution: In the mission on Calderis, no matter your faction, you have to kill the corrupt Blood Ravens attacking the village. All factions have a good motive to do so: getting information on The Ascendant at least, and alternatively, protecting Imperial territory (Space Marines and Imperial Guard), protecting the nearby Webway assembly (Eldar), preserving the village so your forces can loot it (Orks) or gathering biomass (Tyranids). As Neroth points out, they can always destroy the village after they pick up their enemy's trail. But this gets an additional advantage while playing Chaos, because the attackers are Space Marines in loyalist armor. What better way to gain cultists than save the villagers from the False Emperor's betrayal?
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  • The subtitle of Retribution can be confusing, but it does have precedent in the source material. A quote from the Imperial Creed is "The reward for treachery is retribution." This quote is one of the first game's Imperial Thoughts for the Day and is directly quoted in Chaos Rising by Avitus. In this context it's likely referring to retribution for Kyras, the pay-off for his monumental act of treachery.
  • Read up on the Blood Ravens on Lexicanum. It says their battle doctrine relies on knowing what the enemy is going to do ahead of time and then hitting them at just the right moment with just the right combination of forces. That suits their psyker-heavy fluff, sure, but doesn't it sound just a bit like an RTS gamer playing their favourite scenarios over and over again?
  • Avitus:
    • Avitus, the violent, cruel Big Guy of your squad, seems overly cruel. But every time Avitus was acting in a particularly mean or spiteful fashion, the other squad sergeants angrily reprimanded him. His cruelty helped bring out the other Marines' inherent kindness and decency, which probably wouldn't show if it didn't resonate against his nastiness. With Retribution it is generally accepted that Avitus is the canon Chaos Rising traitor. Relic was foreshadowing it the whole time.
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    • He also delivers a blistering rant about how much he hates being a Blood Raven after a late-game mission. No wonder he ends up as one of the guys trying to destroy the universe.
    • Avitus is a walking deconstruction. As much as he acts like a stock Space Marine, throwing himself into battle eagerly and quoting parts of the Imperial Creed there are hints in his speech near the end of the game that he's extremely maladjusted to his job, notably his grim assertion that "War is all we are. Killing is all we are good for." He can't stop being a Space Marine because it's such a one-way process, but he doesn't like being one, so he channels his all his resultant anger, grief and frustration into battle. Bearing in mind that he's all but confirmed to be the traitor, we know he's also haunted by the memory of all the people he's killed, and sees only death where others see life. And not only was he motivated to become a traitor by despair and bloodlust, but he simply couldn't handle living in such a dump of a universe anymore. The things he says and his story has to say about the Imperium, being a Space Marine and even the setting itself are none too flattering.
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    • His rant can be seen as what Diomedes could have become after realizing he'd spent centuries in the service of a traitor, and how many heinous actions and purges to protect the Chapter were in fact advancing Kyras' goals.
  • According to the Latin-based conventions of the human language in WH:40000, the name Avitus can be interpreted as A-vita = Non-life/anti-life. Basically, it means "Killer." Now, that's an appropriate name for the bastard.
  • The Tau's Relic unit in the first game is a Kroot warbeast. This makes little sense... until you realize the Tau are Flat Earth Atheists: relics and other religious symbols mean nothing to them (nearly every other relic unit has a religious connotation), but very likely hold significance to the Barbarian Hero Kroot (as all Kroot species are derived from the basic one, it could be a form of Ancestor Worship).
  • Carron:
    • Carron's defeat is inevitable when you take into account all his boasts about his temples dedicated to Khorne. Khorne emphatically does not want his followers to build temples to him, as time spent building stuff is time not spent spilling blood. Carron, having unknowingly lost the support of the god he worships right from the start, is doomed.
    • In addition, he at one point starts yelling that they will be Khorne's hand and strangle the enemy. Strangling, aka a method of killing that does not spill blood, and does not end with the head separated from the body. Did Carron fail Basic Ruinous Powers 101?
    • Then there's the small matter of the shields he erected that poison any non-Chaos units which enter it. First of all, poison is yet another method of killing someone that doesn't involve spilling blood. Second of all, Khorne expects you to be proactive and meet your enemies head-on; hiding behind defences like a civilian and waiting for them to come to you, in the Blood God's view, is the coward's way of fighting. Whoever won the Kaurava conflict, it's pretty clear Khorne was rooting for them when they came to the Peninsula of Iseult. As DOW 3 confirms that it's Gorgutz, this makes much more sense.
    • When you play as Chaos, Carron's tactics will inevitably become more pleasing to the Blood God. For one, the player will have to actively attack and conquer enemy territory. You can play defensively just fine, but Carron will still be killing without relying on the blasphemous shield. His last stand in the Peninsula will (probably) not come to pass, meaning Carron will be out taking blood and skulls all over the system. Carron will be doing all this in melee, which is the form of combat demanded by the Blood God. He would be far, far more likely to earn Khorne's favor at this point; indeed, he can become a Daemon Prince after earning all of his wargear. Not that this actually happened in the canon result of the Kaurava campaign, but the point still stands.
  • As the Dawn of War II entries demonstrate (especially Retribution), the Imperial Guard are capable of making their own field repairs without the need of a Tech-priest. This would technically be considered an affront to the machine spirits if not the Omnissiah (something that Guardsmen themselves dryly note). But given what they do and the conditions of the battlefield, it'd make sense that they're forced to understand everything about their equipment and make the most of them. At the same time, this also emphasizes the Guard's professionalism.
    • It's not just in DOW: One overheard line in Space Marine is a Guardsman asking for a field manual, because there are no Techpriests around despite being on a Forge World.
  • Once you play Retribution, every misfortune that's befallen the Blood Ravens now makes sense once Kyras's betrayal is revealed. Going to aid a planet that holds a daemonic artifact, which Kyras might know about and want them to either release the daemon or bring it back to the Chapter? Going to Kronus and engaging in a costly war there that results in the deaths of millions, as well as suspicion being thrown on the Loyalist Blood Ravens by the Inquisition? Sending half of the Chapter to Kaurava at the command of an incompetent Commander, getting them all killed and grievously weakening the Chapter as a result, as well as resulting in more deaths? It all makes sense! Kyras was behind everything since the beginning!
  • For one mission of Chaos Rising, you have to explore a Space Hulk, and if you spend too long doing so your characters will start to fall under the influence of the Warp, and can be heard arguing with non-existent people or muttering to themselves. Although what they say seems to be random mutterings when you first play through the game, when you play through a second time you realize their comments actually foreshadow their reasons for possibly being the traitor! For example:
    • Jonah can be heard screaming for somebody to "Get out!" If Jonah is the traitor, it's because he's been possessed by a Daemon.
    • Thaddeus can be heard sobbing "I've done what you asked, no more!" If Thaddeus is the traitor, it's because he's being forced to uphold a bargain he made with Ulkair.
    • Cyrus can be heard grumbling "He leads us in circles. Why does he lead?" If Cyrus is the traitor, it's because he feels all the Blood Raven commanders (especially Boreale) are incompetent.
    • Avitus can be heard yelling "Kill them all, Let there be Blood!" If Avitus is the traitor, it's because he succumbs to his hatred/bloodlust.
    • Tarkus can be heard mumbling how "None other will do, it must be mine, then we can fight back..." If Tarkus is the traitor, it's because he wants to use Chaos-corrupted wargear to become powerful enough to destroy all the Chapter's enemies.
  • Psykers and Khorne:
    • In Retribution as well as the preceding Dawn of War 2 games, the notion that a psyker like Azariah Kyras would be an aspiring servant of Khorne would initially seem like an oversight if not an Ass Pull on the part of the writers. That is until one realizes that while Khorne has no love for psykers or sorcerers, neither does he actually care about whose blood is spilled (let alone how), only that it does. Using the Exterminatus as a sacrifice to the Chaos God definitely helps his ascension to daemonhood too.
    • Additionally, it's stated in official canon that Khorne's hang-up about Psykers/Sorcerer is when they only use their psychic powers for combat, and no martial prowess. A Psyker/Sorcerer that fights more like a Magic Knight, using their psychic powers to augment their martial abilities, is not as hated as a "pure mage" psyker.
    • The fact that his ascension involves erecting towers that make him invulnerable is probably not winning him any points with Khorne. Perhaps that's why he's trapped in a pit with only half his body out, leaving him stuck with only his arms and short-ranged attacks to defend himself.
  • The ork aboard the space hulk is pretty angry to be there despite being under constant attack, something most other orks would be thrilled about. However this ork is also called the Mad Mekk, by ork standards an ork that doesn't want to fight would be insane. Also, Tyranids have no vehicles or guns to loot.

Fridge Horror

  • The ending to the Space Marine Campaign in Retribution has Diomedes and Angelos finishing the purge of heresy on the chapter, and Angelos ascending as the new chapter master in front of a crowd of Marines. Considering how high the Blood Raven casualties have been over the course of Dawn of War II, that may very well be all that's left of the chapter. However, it's made slightly less horrific, as Several Space Marine Chapters have bounced back from massive losses; the most recent well-known example is the Celestial Lions, who were brought to less than 96 Astartes and are currently recouping their losses, with the aid of the Black Templars.

Fridge Logic

On the headscratchers page.


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