Here’s some background fluff for the Reavers regarding their approach to technology, salvaged equipment, and other marines that they encounter as they’ve drifted through the warp on the space hulk Nidhogg. The ideas I cover here have influenced and will continue to guide certain aspects of how I model and paint the Reavers, more so as I move away from filling the core troops and have more time to convert individual models.
So far from home…
Under the guidance of Raemos, an Iron Priest long before his rise to Wolf Lord, the Reavers’ reverence for technology was well entrenched even before the fall of Herjolfsnes. Raemos believes that it is crucial for a marine to trust his battle gear, and full trust requires understanding. Each marine in the great company was expected to know how to maintain his own equipment and even execute minor repairs. Those assigned to tank crews were expected to assist the Iron Priests in maintenance and repair to increase their bond with their mechanical charge. As a matter of pride, most of Raemos’ wolf guard carried weapons that they had heavily personalized to suit their preferences. The great company had a reputation for well maintained equipment and was well known for their ability to salvage wrecks that others would have abandoned.
Cut off from the Imperial forgeworlds, this increased level of technical understanding has become critical to the Reavers’ survival after the fall of Herjolfsnes. It wasn’t long before large machines began to fail without the raw materials to repair them. Lower priority vehicles were stripped, their engines and machine spirits interred in the Hall of Ghosts to preserve them, to repair and maintain the higher priority vehicles. There are countless Imperial wrecks floating through the wastes of space and any encountered by the Reavers are scoured for salvageable technologies before being broken down for raw materials. In time the Reavers began to abandon some of the taboos regarding xenos technologies. At first these were simply stripped for any usable materials but over time the Iron Priests have begun to decipher the secrets of the xenos artifacts that most closely resemble their Imperial counterparts. Raemos has incorporated a number of captured technologies into his own Dreadnought, increasing it’s capabilities well beyond that of even most venerable Imperial Dreadnoughts.
A Heart of Stone
As the Reavers and their protectorate, the Forsuttenstam, worked their way deeper into Nidhogg a great stone mass was discovered. Further exploration uncovered an ancient mining vessel encircling a quarter of the asteroids circumference. It is uncertain whether this vessel and asteroid were the original core around which the rest of the space hulk has accumulated, or if they were simply another addition to an already considerable bulk of debris, but the mining vessel has become knows as “Nidhogg’s Heart” or simply “the Heart.” Much of the mining equipment has since been resurrected providing the Reavers with a vital source of raw materials to supplement their salvaged supplies. Nodhogg’s Heart has become one of the largest Forsuttenstam settlements on Nidhogg.