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Literature / White Scars

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For the Khan and the Emperor

The White Scars are a chapter of Imperial Space Marines in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. They are best known for their specialization of fast attack and mounted combat, as well as being thinly-veiled Mongols in the 41st Millenium.

While not the most prominent chapter within the fluff or the fandom, the White Scars enjoy an important position within the canon as being one of the Legions of the First Founding. They are also notably as the only culturally and ethnically Asian faction, in the otherwise mostly European Imperium of Man.

They feature in Andy Hoare's Savage Scars and Hunt for Voldorius, as well as Chris Wraight's upcoming Horus Heresy novel Scars, and several short stories.

Tropes associated with this chapter, or the novels:

  • Badass Biker: This is the White Scars Space Marines' entire schtick. They're pretty much Mongols on armoured bikes with machine guns.
  • Bearer of Bad News: In Hunt for Voldorius, Skall is desperate to avoid this.
  • Blood Magic: The Alpha Legion uses this in Hunt for Voldorius. The White Scars find bodies drained of blood.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: This is how the governor died in the Backstory of Hunt for Voldorius.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: This is how the Alpha Legion tries to secure Malya's compliance in Hunt for Voldorius.
  • Combat by Champion: In Hunt for Voldorius, Jhogai demands the right, as company champion, to face off against the Chaos champion Nullus. He loses.
  • Damsel in Distress: In Hunt for Voldorius, the Bloodtide tells the White Scars and Raven Guard that Malya is being subjected to being made a new Bloodtide, and begs them to rescue her.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In Hunt for Voldorius, Malya is chosen for Voldorius's equerry. They get her to obey by threatening to kill a hundred people every time she is disobedient.
  • Divided We Fall: In Hunt for Voldorius, La RĂ©sistance splits over an assassination attempt. Later, after they (barely) manage to avoid a friendly fire incident, the Raven Guard and White Scars snipe at each other with accusations of Glory Hound and sneaking about.
  • Due to the Dead: In Hunt for Voldorius, the White Scar scouts find unburied bodies and are distressed by the lack of respect for the dead; one wishes to bury the dead (even hesitating over a direct order), and his sergeant admits that they should, but they cannot.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": In Hunt for Voldorius, Voldorius refers to Skall solely as "the equerry".
  • Fire-Forged Friends: We are assured in the epilogue of Hunt for Voldorius that the events of the novel formed this between the White Scars and the Raven Guard... although the last actual scene shows that the Raven Guard vanished, leaving the White Scars with plenty of questions, taking the woman who had been prisoner, and the White Scars were rather annoyed.
  • Friend or Foe?: In Hunt for Voldorius, the Raven Guard, seeing someone arrive, discuss the possibilities — not allies of the Chaos forces, since they arrived secretly, but they could be Chaos forces that are rivals, and they don't see any way they could be Imperial. It is fortunate that one White Scar scout made out some of the Raven Guard and voxed an abort to the Thunderbirds, and the Raven Guard intercepted it; there was nearly a fratricidal bloodbath.
  • Get It Over With: In Hunt for Voldorius, when Voldorius reveals he knows that Malya sent information to his foes, she tells him to kill her. He reveals worse plans.
  • Glory Hound: In Hunt for Voldorius, the Raven Guard accuses the White Scars of headlong charges to glory without consideration for the grand scheme.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: In Hunt for Voldorius, the Bloodtide tells the Raven Guard and White Scar scouts that it cannot kill itself, but they can Kill It with Fire.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: In Hunt for Voldorius, Voldorius taunts Malya with this: her incorruptible soul will remain intact, and she can therefore be used for his spell.
  • Kill It with Fire: In Hunt for Voldorius, the Bloodtide, begging for death, tells the White Scars to use fire.
  • King in the Mountain: Jaghatai Khan, primarch of the White Scars, disappeared while pursuing Dark Eldar reavers into the Webway, and his chapter believes he is still out there somewhere, ready to return when needed.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In Hunt for Voldorius, Kor'sarro is not sure how he recognizes that Nullus is a daemon; intuition, or maybe being near another daemon.
  • The Mole: In Hunt for Voldorius, Malya, forced to serve as Voldorius' equerry, sends information to his foes.
  • More Hero than Thou: In Hunt for Voldorius, Jhogai demands the right, as company champion, to face off against the Chaos champion Nullus. He loses.
  • No One Could Survive That!: In Hunt for Voldorius, Nullus assures Voldorius that no one could have survived the exploding refinery.
  • Pride: In Hunt for Voldorius, Kor'sarro is warned against the sin of pride while talking with the Raven Guard captain; he manages to move from Divided We Fall to Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
  • Revenge: The titular Hunt for Voldorius is motivated by revenge.
  • Revenge by Proxy: In Hunt for Voldorius, Nullus reports that killing a thousand people for each revolt is stopping the resistance. Later, he uses the threat on Malya to get her to serve as Voldorius's equerry.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: In Hunt for Voldorius, Kholte is angry because although he managed to detect a squad of the Raven Guard, famed for their ability to hide (in time to prevent a fratricidal bloodbath), he missed the company.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In Hunt for Voldorius, the White Scars and the Raven Guard manage to overcome Divided We Fall and do this. They find it difficult enough that the Raven Guard, attacking first, has brothers wondering if the White Scars will really support them.
  • Zerg Rush: In Hunt for Voldorius, Voldorius deploys thousands of cultists and conscripted militia against the Space Marines.