I had to break this up because it would have gotten confusing to answer everything in here in a block.
I'm not suggesting anything that's not in the fluff. As I've said, the Space Wolves may have been around for a long time, but they aren't above suspicion - their loss of the strike cruiser Wolf of Fenris in the Badab war and the turning of several squads on board that strike cruiser suggests weakness and deviance, and chapters have been purged for less. Sure, there might be bad blood and a cold war between the Space Wolves and the Inquisition after the First War of Armageddon and the Months of Shame, but again, there is no evidence, literally nothing, nada, nuts that suggests that the inquisition was involved in the Fenris incident. Every piece of information (which is very scanty in the first place) that GW has produced on the Fenris Incident has not mentioned the Inquisition at all.
Infact, chapters have not been purged for less, most chapters have some blacksheep who turn every now and then, and if you think the Space Wolves dont want to kill those traitors more than the Inquisition does, you are sadly mistaken. Hell, through sheer averages, I'm willing to bet there are more traitors on Guiliman's line than Russ's due to how common his geneseed is. Hell, there are fallen GKs in the fluff now.
There is also the whole fact that the Badab War started decades after the Fenris Incident, which kinda blows a big hole in the idea that the Wolves had somehow proven themselves to be suspicious for something they had not yet done.
And thats also kind of the point
, we dont know exactly what the Inquisition has been doing behind the scenes to hurt the Wolves, all we know is that they are doing it. Being randomly assaulted by the Ecclesiarchy seems like a pretty big shoe-in, saying there is no proof
that the Inquisition(of all things) did it is no counter argument at all.
Like it or not, just because the Space Wolves have been around for a long time doesn't mean that they're above suspicion. And if you want to go back to Horus Heresy lineage, the Inquisition was supposedly commissioned by the Emperor himself following Horus' betrayal, as he sought 12 individuals who were beyond reproach. These people would go on to form the original lord inquisitors and the first Grey Knights. So while the Astartes predate the Inquisition, the Emperor's chosen people who would form the Inquisition itself were supposed to be purer and more loyal than the Astartes themselves. Kind of invalidates your point that the inquisition has no power or authority to question an Astartes' chapter's purity.
That is but one story (there is at leased three currently-canon stories shared with us, and implications of there being dozens more in-setting) of how the Inquisition was founded, and its by far the most self-serving one. I would say that makes it even more worthless than the assumption that the Incident was the work of the Inquisition. Oh why yes! We were totally chosen by the emperor for our incorruptible pure pureness. Said every Inquisitor whos gone bad ever.
And now that I think of it, there are more traitors in the Inquisition's glorious history by a loooong
shot than confirmed Space Wolf defections. Hell, than Astartes defections entirely I'd wager, including the Heresy! Who needs purging now?
And the quote you mentioned:
"Astartes legions (and later Chapters) are fraternal religio-military orders more akin to the knightly orders of the middle ages than a 21st century military. This means that their loyalties are expressed in terms of debts of honour, ceremonial ritual and fealty rather than a CoC. Their duties are bound by custom, ceremony and archaic practice rather than orders."
That must have come from someone who has no idea of knightly orders during the medieval period at all. Knightly orders in the middle ages answered to the Pope first and foremost - in the 40k universe the closest approximation is the Ecclesiarch. Whether it's the Knights Templar, or the Teutonic Knights, or the Knights Hospitaller, all of them were papal institutions that owed allegiance to Rome. In fact, the Knights Hospitaller still exists, remaining loyal to the Vatican to the present day. So if you're trying to find a precedent in historical concepts of military orders, you're not going to find any vindication for your concept of the Astartes legions.
It was a metaphor, and one that was accurate to the point I was making... a point which you arnt actually countering, just talking around. Unless your trying to make your case that the Astartes are somehow under the authority of the Ecclesiarch. To resolve my metaphor, the Legions (and now Chapters) owe their Fealty to the Emperor himself, not the Imperium. The High Lords (and by extension, the rest of the Imperium) only have so much as sway over the Astartes as they can politely request (which is how most dealings with them are done, Astartes live to fight, asking them to fight is not a difficult thing to do), or compel through honour, oath, or duty. For example, many Chapters have exchanged oaths in place to defend nearby Forge Worlds, and in turn they are supplied with the equipment they need to persecute the enemies of Man.
Regardless I could go on about the inaccuracies about your depiction of the inquisition, but that's not what the issue is about, it's about the Ecclesiarchy. Now, while I agree with you that the Ecclesiarchal envoys were pigheaded and dumb for trying to force the docking above Fenris, I can't imagine anyone thinking the right response was to blow them out of the sky. I mean, surely that's a bit much? I mean, it's like the Trade Federation blowing up the Jedi's diplomatic cruiser at the beginning of Episode 1. It's that level of ridiculousness. Oh do tell~
I really dont think so, if someone tries to beat down your door and threaten you, you have a few options to deal with it; you can call for help (and who would any Chapter have called in that case?) or you can take their block off. The Trade Federation is not exactly a good example, since they were actually blockading a planet that wasn't their's and were up to all kinds of illegal stuff. While the Space Wolves are not up to anything bad. That said, what would you have preferred them to do? I cant imagine there wasnt a warning shot involved, and thats basically the only three options you have when it comes to voidships; telling them off, a warning shot, and then shooting them. Its not like they could have targeted the engines or something, that would have just got the faffers stuck in their space.
And disregarding your obvious bias against the real world comparison with the Catholic Church (I'm not Catholic, but I think it's mean spirited and unfair for you to focus on the few cases of child molestation while ignoring that fact that the Catholic Church is the largest provider of aid and welfare in the entire world, whose humanitarian missions are amongst the most comprehensive and least discriminatory, and provides a platform for international discussion and negotiation. Comparing them to the Ecclesiarchy in 40k is incredibly unfair.)
Hey hey, way to name names
besides, I said they were saintly in comparison to the Ecclesiarchy, are you protesting on the grounds you think they are not
? I wouldnt go that far, sure they have all kinds of issues these days, but they are not nearly that bad! Really!
The Ecclesiarchy, from what I see, and from what the fluff seems to suggest, represents what most of the Imperial bureaucracy is - large, overbearing, inefficient, but only so out of necessity. The sheer scale of what the Ecclesiarchy has to cover makes it very difficult to ensure incorruptibility and efficiency - it must be nice as a single chapter of what, 12,000 marines, to claim efficiency, and look down on an organization that encompasses billions upon billions of people, and say you're so much better at managing resources. Sure, there's a lot of politicking, and corruption, and graft, but there's also a lot of orphanages, schools, I mean, they run the Schola Progenium and provide escorts for the multitudes of pilgrims as well. And remember, this is the 40k universe, where holy water, purity seals and prayers actually do work, which provides another important aspect to the role of the Ecclesiarchy.
1000 marines under the Codex. Though the Wolves care not for Guiliman's twiddle, I do belive the current edition just lists 'no one knows' for the current number of Wolves. But i think it was between 2-3k in previous editions.
That said, its not so much the bureaucracy that I'm arguing against, I expect it, its 40k after all, my position is that the Ecclesiarchy is systemically
corrupt. Not merely occasionally or inept. And theres plenty of examples of extreme corruption at the heights of power in the Ecclesiarchy, and few to no examples of the reverse. This actually shows up in the RPG; Missionaries have Pure Faith (and the attending Miracle-style Faith Talents), as do Sororitas, but Clerics by default do not, because they are assumed to be the same secular tripe as most of the Ecclesiarchy. It also folds neatly into your point above, blessed gear is bloody hard to get in 40k... but you cant walk down the street in the Imperium without tripping over a gold-plated priest or cleric.... something isnt adding up there.
Again, it's not so much about doubting the Space Wolf's purity - even though the Ecclesiarchy, or the Inquisition, for that matter, has every reason to doubt, it's kind of like, their job, to doubt such things, and the Space Wolf experience in the Badab war has been suspect. But if your concept of 'honour' is blowing up your erstwhile allies when they were being overzealous in doing their job, and then thinking that it's unfair when they come back with military force, I think you should think again.
Most of this is answered above (badab happened after, etc), but I'm pretty sure 'Ally' is a title that the Wolves bestow on those who fight at their side, and decidedly not people who show up and try to knock the door down. I wouldnt. Would you?
*whew* that took some work, god this is fun though, been a while since I could talk shop with someone.