Horus Heresy series analysis thread

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Connor MacLeod
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Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-05-23 06:01pm

Well, we reach that time at last. I've gotten around to covering the Horus Heresy series, whcih seems to be BL's attmept at doing an 'arc' story in the fashion of oh, New Jedi Order and such. This has been running as long as I've been wasting my time coming up with these silly numbers, and its been sitting around waiting to be covered for quite awhile. Over a score of novels, plus the 'Collected visions' stuff, a bunch of audio books and special edition books (which I dont have acess to at the time) and other stuff.

So how is it, in my opinion? Variable, like you'd expect. It has very good stuff and some not so good stuff. On the whole, I'd say that plot and arc wise it did a better job than its Star Wars equivalents have, and many of the books in the series are pretty good. And even some of the worst books (like Battle for the Abyss) can still be pretty fun as a popcorn read if nothing else (although its clearly filler.)

Some of the good things about the series are the way they have expanded on the historical past of the Horus heresy, filling out that time, giving us a glimpse into that mythic time. Of course, that has drawbacks too, since if you de-mythify stuff it loses some of its impact. The Series has tried to fix that too, I think - things like the Perpetuals, the nature of the Warp and 'Saint Keelor', The Watchers on Caliban, the Cabal, etc. Whether or not they keep the 'mystry' is up for debate, as they are still seting things up, but I know in reading it I have questions. The contrasts between the 'old' and the 'new' with the Imperium, how the Emperor influences things, and whether or not the Imperium really is the Great Place of Rationality it makes itself out to be is handled well, and many authors have done a good job of putting a sympathetic angle on the 'Heresy' side of things (although Chaos still mucks it up something fierce.)

We're still mostly inundated with a shit-ton of Space Marine crap despite that, although the Primarch stuff moderates that and excuses it, but I find myself wanting more novels like Mechanicum and Nemesis, where we deal with parts of the Imperium SEPARATE from Space Marines. Indeed novels like Legion almost feel like the Space Marines are tacked on - they feel more like an IG novel.

I understand that some people tend to have objections to the portrayals of Primarchs and Space MArines in this series (esp Abnett) - to which I can only say, I have no problems. If someone wants to vent why they do, I'd be happy to hear it in this thread.

I'll be starting off the series with Horus Heresy the Collected Visions, which we could think of as being the sort of 'framework' for the entire HH series - it lays down alot of the ground for what is to come, although it doesn't correspond 100% (which is not a bad thing) and there is still lots of that 'sandbox' atmosphere that 40K amanges in its fiction and STar Wars never quite seemed to grasp.

So here we go. I figure two updates for HHCV and then we'll actually start on the series proper. I have LOTS of catching up to do!


Page 9
Triumphs are raised on a million worlds to record the epic deeds of his most powerful and deadly warriors
Million world Imperium.

Page 9
The Space Marines are the mightiest human warriors the galaxy has ever known. Each one is capable of besting a hundred normal men in combat.
Space marines can beat 100 men in combat. Whether this is all at once or in sequence (or osmthing in between) we dont know.

Page 9
Organised into vast armies of tens of thousands called legions, the Space Marines and their Primarch leaders now rule the galaxy in the name of the Emperor.
One definition for Legion size. The series puts a different spin on it later on though.

Page 9
He is the Warmaster, the commander-in-chief of all the Emperor's miiitary might, the subjugator of a thousand thousand worlds and conqueror of the galaxy
thousand thousand worlds = 1 million.

Page 9
It was the Emperor who unlocked the potential of the Navigators and enabled humanity to travel vast distances through the warp without peril.
Interesting comment considering other sources have noted Navigators existed since the DAoT or earlier. It is possible "unlocking the potential" means setting up the Astronomican and other standardized means of navigating (various devices) to make it faster safer and more accurate.

Page 9
His precognitive powers are fading; the pressure to maintain the galaxy-wide signal of the Astronomican grows daily; the future has become clouded and dark.
One possible reason for the Empy's failure to predict the consquences of his actions or the Heresy.. the AStronomican was either a distraction or a weakenning influence.. although how he could be doing everything he did in general in addition to the Astronomican is poorly understood (or inconsistnetly applied.)

Page 9
Now is the time for him to order the fabrication of the psy-Engines and Occullum Test Stations; the devices that will search out the latent psyker genes within the populace.
Technologies used to hunt down psykers. I dont know if there is just one device that scours the galaxy on its own, or if such devices are spread throughout the Imperium to be used by its agents to hunt down psykers. Test stations at least seem to be the latter, some osrt of physical examination. Psyk engines could be like that Scientology "testing" Mandatory testing could be part of Imperial law.

Page 10
From out of this doom a powerful leader emerged. He was the Emperor and his power lay in his rationality and foresight. Few suspected him of being the mutant he was. The Emperor conquered great swathes of the Earth and instituted many social changes. Out went fear and blind faith, in came practicality and rationality. The Emperor started to experiment with genetics to stabilise the population and to recreate the race of mankind as it was before the radiation storms.
He's a "mutant" in the sense he's a psyker, an abnormally powerful one, but psykers are still often considered a mutation of sorts.

We also learn that the Emperor did a fair bit of genetic engineering on the human races post war, either to correct certain flaws or damages, or possibly to nehance things (like he did with Thunder Warriors.) The Chiliad might be an example of this.

Page 12
Worlds infected with warp creatures were cleansed with powerful virus bombs and Vortex missiles in apocalyptic orbital barrages.
This has been mentioned before in Tales of Heresy, although not that vortex weapons were used (warp weapons to destroy warp creatures.. lol) Maybe they reference psycho-electric or wahtever those weapons from Descent of angels were. Vortex missiles might banish or destroy warp creatures whilst virus bombs destroy the physical matter - a one-two punch.

PAge 12 - Emperor's Children lascannon.. shoulder mounted seems to have a backpack power source.

Page 15
The Great Crusade was a mammoth operation involving millions of troops and thousands of ships Imperial armies fought campaigns across the broad sweep of the galaxy. Tens of thousands of human worlds needed to be saved.

The Imperial military of this time comprised the entire force of Space Marine legions, hundreds of auxilary regiments drarwn from the freshly reconqured worlds, gigantic war machines supplied by the Mechanicum and their Forge Worlds....
Scope of the Great Crusade. Sufficed to say its an under-statement unless itw as something like "hundreds of legions per fleet or legion"

Interesting is that the Mechanicum is implied to have some forge worlds other than Mars at this time, and they contributed equipment and supplies to the war effort, despite the fact some sources say Mars alone carried the burden.

Page 15
The Emperor sat at the head of the [War] Council; at his right hand was Malcador. Each of the Primarchs had a seat on the Council, as did the chief custodian. When the Emperor made his alliance with Mars the fabricator-general of the Mechanicum was offered a seat. Supporting the council was a team of astropaths who provided communication between the members since it became increasingly impractical for the group to physically assemble given the size of the growing Imperium and the inherent difficulties of travel through the warp.
The War council. Primarily military forces, except for the Fabricator General and MAlcador. The astorpathic contingent suggested realtime or near-realtime communication across the galaxy for "meetings" but that is largely conjecture.

Page 15
Malcador was an exception. He was not a warrior but a man of learning with the bearing of a priest. From the early years of the Battle of Unification he was ever present at the Emperor's side. His origins were unknown to all save perhaps the Emperor. He wore the hooded robes of a simple Terran administrator.

Malcador was appointed to run the Emperor's Palace and through it he managed the administration of newly conquered Terra. As the Crusade progressed Malcador's power and influence grew as he became overseer of the Imperial Tithe and chief of the Imperial Adminstration

Blessed with unnaturally long life there were many rumors about the true nature of this enigmatic figure. Some say he was a psyker, the first to have undergone the soul-binding ritual. Other rumours say that he was distantly related to the Emperor.
Malcador the Sigillite. For better or worse, the Emperor's right hand man, especially on the nonmilitary side of things. As we learn he ran the administration as well as the assassin side of things. While its doubftul he ever did anything without the knowledge or consent of the Emperor to some degree, its quite possible that Empy's reliance on him did create some problems, since much of the conflict the Primarchs felt stemmed from the administrative side of things, especially as his influence grew.

Page 15 - Emperor's Children jetbikes.

Page 17
The early Space Marines were organised into regiments, each comprising no more than a few hundred warriors. The Emperor named each one of the twenty regiments.

By the time Earth was totally under the Emperor's control each of the legions could muster several thousand warriors.
The Growth of space marines from regiments into legions, from hundreds to thousands.

Page 23 - Another Devastator group, with lascannon except these seem to be hand-carried rather than shoulder mounted (sort of like na oversized lasgun.) Again backpack-mounted power pack.

Page 24
During Earth's isolation in the Age of Strife the Emperor was already planning ahead. ln preparation for the reconquest of the galaxy he conceived of and created the twenty Primarchs. These extraordinary chatacters were to be his generals - great leaders who would conquer millions of worlds in his name. Each Primarch would have powers and skills beyond those of any other human, possibly rivalling those of the Emperor himself.
PRimarchs only potentially rivalled the Emperor. given that Primarchs in the HH series are depicted as reflecting various aspects of the Emperor (EG Magnus his psychic power) it's likely the Primarchs matched the Emperor only in certain areas, and were weaker elsewhere - except for MAgnus none of them were really psykers.

Also they conquered "millions" of worlds in his name

Page 24
A strange warp vortex snatched the still foetal Primarchs from the Emperor's laboratory and cast them across the galaxy. Each Primarch was cast onto separate worlds whrere they matured.
The scattering of the primarchs. as we know this was Chaos' doing.

Page 27
Some say that the Primarchs were created from the Emperor's own genetic stock, each engineered to be a leader of men, a warrior and a hero, each a mighty warlord whose martial prowess is only matched by his charisma and mental prowess, each with special powers that set them apart from normal men.
We never get strong clarification of these "powers", aside from the strength and durability and charisma, but they all seemed to have that to varying degrees. Some were obvious (sanguinius flight nad prophecy, Curze having prophecy... Magnus being psychic, etc.) Others aren't so obvious.

Page 27
What was the mysterious force that scattered the infant Primarchs across the galaxy? The few records that exist of this event are vague and unclear. Tradition has it that it was a warp vortex - a swirling maelstrom that opens a portal or doorway between distant planets.
It was Chaos.

Page 29
The Space Marines are not the only super-warriors created by the Emperor. The first group of genetically and psychologically modified troops he created were his own personal bodyguard - the Custodian Guard. Their duty was simply to ensure the safety of the Emperor at all times.

Stronger than a Space Marine, the Custodian is a fearsome warrior and has an unbreakable devotion to the Emperor. They are his most loyal and trusted servants. A detachment of the Guard always accompanies the Emperor, even when he retires to his private chambers.
Technically the Thunder warriors were first, but I imagine the Custodians were second. Then the AStartes. The whole "is a Custodian better than a Space Marine" is up in the air depending on source or author.. sometimes the difference is obvious, sometimes it isn't. May depend on gear, Custodian, etc.

Page 29
The Custodian Guard is organised in a simiIar fashion to the Space Marines. The main difference between the Guard and a Marine Legion is the size of the formation, the Custodians numbering but a thousand warriors.

The Custodians have access to all of the myriad types of weaponry and wargear that are used by the Space Marines, including transport and fighting vehicles. They also have access to the Emperor's personal transports and battleships so that they can always be at his side.

In addition to the Marines' wargear the Custodian Guard also has access to a variety of weapons only they can use. An example is the Guardian Speara, combination of bolt gun and power axe, which is the standard armament for a Custodian Guard squad.
There are (supposedly) only a thousand Custodians now. Rather a shrinkage since, IIRC there were 10,000+ Custodians back when. Custodians also get some very neat shit.. like hover versions of Rhinos. The Emperor himself also seems to have personal transports and battleships (as do the Custodes.) though we rarely see them.. we've seen the Emperor's personal starship a few times (Mechanicum, Descent of Angels, etc.)

Page 32
The galaxy is a big place and travel through the warp is at best unpredictable. Time flows strangely in the Immaterium and communications are the biggest problem of the fledgling Imperium. As the Great Crusade progressed a new class of human psyker was slowly introduced to the reconquered worlds - the astropath. Even so, messages transmitted by them through the warp are not certain to arrive at their destination, nor are they sure to be correctly interpreted if they do. There was no practical way to institute galactic-wide rule of the human worlds.
Astrootelepathy. And there is no practical way to govern or administer the Imperiunm - as laways they just muddle along as best they can.

Page 32
Newly conquered worlds are therefore handed to the rule of the Imperial Commanders. Some of these new leaders are military men rewarded for their service by being given a planet to rule in the Emperor's name. Others are the indigenous rulers of worlds who now swear allegiance to the Emperor

Imperlal Commanders have important responsibilities They are expected to pay tithes to the Emperor by way of supplying troops and materials. They must provide shelter and succour for his armies and fleets They must cleanse their population of mutation, specifically psykers. They are told to expect great black ships to visit them and transport their psykers to Earth. This is the Imperial Tithe.
Origins and responsibilities of Imperial commanders. Not much different from modern times, although in the Crusade ERa they were just starting to set up the tithing/taxation scheme at the start of the series.

Page 32
Daemons were not recognised at this time but it is doubtful if any could make the distinction between a daemon, an alien or a monstrously mutated human in any case.
Which only begs the question fo why knowledge of Daemons was suppressed, since ignorance was what best served their purposes.

PAge 32
Some worlds immediately venerated the Emperor. This was especially true on the many worlds that had developed myths and prophesies that spoke o ftheir deliverance from evil by the 'Emperor of the Stars'. The demagogues of Terra were quick to fan the religious flames. The stronger the Emperor denied his divinity the more strident were their demands that he should embrace it.
The origins of Imperial religion. One has to wonder at the origins of those myths and prophecies. Did they have roots in pre-Imperium terra in some distant past? Psychic divination?

Page 33 - Emperor's Children with hand flamers.

Page 34
The Warp is a separate or parallel dimension of energy that co-exists with the material world. Every point in space and time in the material world or true space has an analogous reference point in the complex energy pattern of the Warp.

Where the material world is a place with familiar physical laws and the steady march of time, the Warp is a place of anarchic, random energy. This energy swirls and oozes and is subject to eddies, currents and tides. The energy of the Warp is distorted by massive shocks that reverberate through the Warp - these are commonly referred to as Warp-storms. Time flows strangely in the Warp if it flows at all.

Human scientists discovered that a spacecraft could enter the Warp from one point in true space and after a few days travel leave it at another point, light-years distant from the first. By using the Warp in such a way a vessel can traverse the galaxy, journeys that at sub-light speed would take generations to complete can be accomplished in a few months.
The warp defined, with its usual analogies. Depending on where the "points in space" begins and ends, you might get only a few hundred c (a few LY) to hundreds of thousands of c (a few thousand LY). The second one is implied to be a bit more better, as it suggests travelling across the galaxy in a few months, which is consistent with speeds we get in most of the HH novels (100-120K LY in 2-3 months is between 400,000 and 700,000c)

Page 34
Ships in Warp space do not navigate as such, but move from one energy stream to another, cruising the flow of energy until they reach their jump point back into true space. Short trips through the Warp, whilst by no means safe, can be made with a degree of reliability and precision. Longer jumps are unpredictable and very dangerous.

The tides of the Warp move in complex and inconsistent patterns; ships attempting long journeys often end up wildly off course or are lost permanently within its complex weave. Furthermore, such vessels may suffer bizarre time shifts. It is not unknown for ships to arrive years after or even years before, they had originally planned.

Warp-storms and other disturbances within the Ether can block navigation completely. Ships must simply avoid such regions or be lost forever or be destroyed by the rampant energy of the maelstrom. This means that it is impossible to reach some points in the material world through the Warp. A world may be cut off for days, weeks or centuries. During the Age of Strife, massive Warp-storms shook the entire Immaterium, preventing any inter-stellar navigation for the best part of five millennia.
Travel through the warp. I gather the energy "streams" are the currents that push through, and that it means that starships are pushed along by the currents (or victim to, precisely). The danger and unpredictability however become there are often numerous, different and even conflicting currents of varying strength, all acting on the craft randomly. Couple that with the way the distortion of time and space can vary in the warp, and it's easy to understand why it is so hard to navigate. The warp storm bit is pretty self-explanatory.

Page 34
It is widely recognised that there is a link between the Warp and psychic powers. Psykers have a special affinity to the Warp and can interpret some of its energies. These revelations most often take the form of visions and dreams. Few realise that the energy of the Warp is the well from whlch all psykers draw their powers.

It is also widely known that the Warp is home to predatory monsters collectively referred to as Warp-creatures. These ravening beasts prey on the unwary psykers who commune with the Warp too frequently and on those whose Warp-ships are becalmed within the energy weave.
Psychic powers and the connection to the warp. Precog in 40K involves "reading" the currents basically. Since the Warp is the nexus of all thoughts, emotions, actions, etc. of people, and because it can transcend time and space, it is possible to "read" either the past or the present - the Eldar novels explain it better with farseeing and the 'skein', but for now it's sufficient to note that the accuracy of precog depends on the ability of the psyker to read and interpret the dreams correctly, which can be distorted by the same factors that affect everything else with the warp (psychic powers, warp travel, astrotelepathy, etc.)

Also warp creatures are a general category - which seems to include both warp based xenos like enslavers a well as daemons. You have to wonder why the Emperor hid this knowledge at all if that was just the case.

Page 34
Many of these people possess only minor, apparently harmless, talents such as preternatural luck with games of chance or the ability to see moments ahead in time. Such skills are for the most part benign but there are other more dangerous talents enjoyed by human psykers. The ability to move objects with the mind, to create fires, to call down lightning from the sky or to dominate other human minds are just a few of the many skills these people can use.


Some psykers are driven mad by precognitive dreams and visions. Others find their talents uncontrollable and wreak terrible damage on themselves and the people around them. Because of this many psykers are treated as witches and executed or banished into exile.
It's probably a good thing that most humans have onyl minor psychic talents, since it keeps one from going crazy. I wonder if this majority is included in the usual human-psyker ratios? Probably. It might mean (for example) that the 1 per 1 million is truly useful psykers, while the 1-2 per 100,000 (from Faith and Fire) is for psykers in general. Which means that 9 out of 10 psykers have no significant power.

page 34
Unfortunately the warp is home to terrible creatures, unfathomable horrors who desire only to corrupt and destroy. Psykers accessing the warp through their talents inevitably attract the attention of these beasts. The greater the energy being channelled the gteater the attraction is.

Only the very strong willed are able to resist the attentions of the creatures of the warp and even then only for a short time, only the Emperor himself appears immune. Eventually the warp entities will be able to secure a foothold in true space, usually at the expense of the pysker's life. For a brief time the warp cteature is able to survive in true space by possessing the pysker's body. Dreadful physical changes usually accompany this possession as the creature tries to mold the flesh into something that parodies its form in the warp.

These vile monstrosities have only a short time before the body they possess is leached of all of its life force. During this time they will invariably embark on an orgy of destruction. Some creatures of the warp are more cunning and will inveigle themselves into human society keeping secret their true nature for as long as possible. Usually they are seeking to nurture other psykers so that they can simply possess each in turn and maintain a presence in true space.

The most powerful and dangerous of all of the denizens ofthe warp are the daemons of Chaos. Only a handful of people, if any, are aware of their existence. If the Emperor knows he thinks it better to keep such dangerous knowledge to himself. He would understand that knowledge of such creatures would drive humanity to madness and anarchy.

The Chaos daemons are intelligent, cunning and malicious in the extreme. They are cruel reflections of the baser human emotions and so are expert at manipulating weak-minded psykers. They promise great power and riches but typically any pact agreed with a daemon serves only them. Unlike the other denizens of the warp the daemons have a greater purpose, each is in thrall to a more powerful daemon and all daemons pay homage to one of the four Great Powers - the Chaos Gods Nurgle, Khorne, Tzeentch and Slaanesh.
The risks of possession - the baisc inverse relationship between tapping psychic power and drawing the attention of a warp creature, and the limits of possession.

The really interesting thing about the quote is that it suggests the defining trait that sets daemons apart from other warp creatures is the way they are psychic "gestalts" - eg thralls to more powerful warp creatures (EG the Chaos gods).

Page 37
This special corps of interstellar communicators was created by the Emperor during the final months of the conquest of Earth.
For the most part the Emperor did not favour the use of psychic talents, even in the early days he was aware of the dangers they held for those using them and for humanity at large. However, he was able to identify those pyskers strong enough to withstand the temptations of the warp and so with some prudence certain psykers were employed in a variety of special roles.

An astropath is an astro-telepath, an individual capable of communicating with others of his kind over vast interstellar distances. This is an essential talent in a time when worlds are light years apart and the only practical way for the Imperium to maintain any semblance of unitly
The Emperor's role and need for psykers.

Page 37
All astropaths undergo a special process that moulds their powers and at the same time strengthens them against psychic danger. This is called the soul-binding ritual and only the Emperor is able to perform it.

The soul-binding takes place in the Imperial Palace, where psykers are led before the Emperor one hundred at a time. Knelt before the Emperor they must endure terrible agony whilst the Emperor uses his power to reshape theit minds - mingling an infinitesimal portion of his own power with theirs.

Unfortunately, the Emperor's mind is so powerful that not all of the candidates survive this ritual. Some are driven insane, and all have their personalities altered to some degree. The raw energy of the Emperor's will also has another effect, so powerful are the forces involved that many of the more delicate nerves can be damaged, especially the optic nerves. Consequently, all astropaths are blind, while many also lack a sense of smell, touch or hearing.
Soul binding. It's not *quite* true that only the Emperor can do this - any powerful warp creature can. What soul binding is, after all, is just creating a permanant psychic connection between two entities, enabling power to be shared (usually one way, but it probably does go both ways.) In the case of the Emperor, he is bestowing a fraction of his power onto an astropath to bolster his own power, as well as a portion of his resilience against the warp. It's actually just a variation on sorcery, which is when daemons give a human with or without psychic powers a "safe" channel for using the warp through themselves. Expressing it in those terms, of course, woudl be heretical, but its still accurate.

You have to wonder where the Emperor found all the time to soul bind astropaths. Assuming he could only do it once every hour he'd only have bound a few million over the centuries. Even once per minute wouldn't change it that much. He'd have to be binding 100 or so every second... well you get the idea... and this still requires centuries to pull it off.

There must be more to it, and he must be able to do it whilst doing other things. The Emperor - psychic multitasker!

Page 38
Before expanding the Great Crusade to the stars beyond Sol, the Emperor ordered the construction of the Astronomican on Earth. Huge numbers of techpriests were brought from Mars to oversee the project and the majority of the Terran population were drafted to construct the towering machinebuilding.
The Astronomican was built by Mars.

Page 38
The psychic navigational beam from the Astronomican cuts through the warp and those attuned to its unique frequencies and modulations, the Navigators, are able to use it as a point of reference when calculating journeys therein. Using this beacon they can plot a course that lasts days rather than weeks or months rather than years.
The astronomican has "frequencies" and modulations which Navigators are especially sensitive to. This probably could account for why other psykers could still "sort of" see it (like astropaths or Librarians. Or Gabriel Angelos) - it would just mean they couldn't see it nearly as well as the Navigators themselves. Of course one then asks "well why not use a frequency all psykers could read" to simplify navigation?" My best guess would be that the frequencies of the warp "stuff" affect its ability to penetrate the warp - much as the frequencies of a laser can affect its ability to penetrate matter (EG x-rays or gamma rays penetrating much better than IR or UV rays) - the Emperor would logically want the best "penetration" of the Warp he could get, and it would be only Navigators (or perhaps sorcerors) who have the right psychic equipment to detect the warp. Other psykers (astropaths, Librarians, etc.) can still be used to navigate, of course.

Likely this is what astropathic relays and beacons mentioned in BFG are meant to do as well - they project smaller "beacons" duplicating the Astronomican, but perhaps on different frequencies and with considerably less range. Hell there's lots of ways you could do this (EG the Eisenstein detonating its warp drive could provide similar.) We know the Tyranids use something similar to home in on target worlds (Genestealers or other vanguard forms). You probably could make portable beacons (as hinted at in the Dawn of War novels) but thier use would be limited by their stationary nature (EG as a reference point and something to fix on.)

For those of you who are bored by what I said the simple version is: FTL works similar to the Honorverse or age of sail travel (eg routes, currents, waves/tides which helps explain the predictability chartist captains use to navigate without navigators) but with some submarine/naval analogues like sonar and shit.

also the approximate difference between Navigator and non-navigator travel seems to be within an order of magnitude or two (days instead of weeks, months instead of years) depending on interpretation. That fits with my rough ideas (hundreds to thousands of c for inter sector travel, especially by Charitsts, whilst travel between sectors or segmentums can be tens or hundreds of thousands of c easily.)

Page 38
The Astronomican shines through the warp, a beacon of energy that the Navigators can see and thence use as a guide as they chart their journeys across the galaxy. The beam is powered by the psychic energies of the Emperor himself, though few are aware of this. Despite this it is often referred to as his Divine Light or Light of the Emperor.
The Astronomican is mainly a reference point (as are the astropathic beacons, warp signatures of inhabited planets, and the like) for figuring out location and orientation in the warp and (hopefully) offset the disrupting effects of time/space dilation/contraction and currents.

An interesting implication of the past two quotes can explain a recent odditiy I uncovered in reading the ADB Night Lords books - it wsa noted that the Astronomican's use can be "detected" - the Night Lords avoid using it because it would give away their presence - which could be explained as anyone attmepting to absorb or tap into that beacon to navigate would "bounce" some of that psychic energy off themselves, which could be picked up and detected (psychic radar.) Heck, we know that the astronomican could be tapped that way in Mecahnicum. You probably could even tap the beacon to "bounce" the AStronomican (or other psychic) signals around to pierce the gloom in a radar (or sonar) like fashion - see what it reflects off of. I love those ocean/naval analogies.

The current Astronomican is powered by thousands (tens of thousands) of lesser psykers, giving us an idea of the Emperor's power. I guess Empy's warp connection was cut off in that way, or something.

Page 38
The Astronomican is not the sole means of navigating great distances through the warp. If he desires, the Emperor, with some effort, is able to project a signal into the Ether that the Navigators or other attuned psykers can perceive. A journey that would otherwise take many months to complete can be accomplished in days or hours if directed in such a fashion.

In a similar way the Emperor is able to shut down the Astronomican or interrupt the beam. Only a handful of individuals know that the great signal is powered by the Emperor's psychic powers. They live in fear that should he be disabled or killed, the galaxy would be plunged tnto a new Age of Strife.
Good old Empy has final control over aspects of the beam. To use the radar/radio analogy, this is a directed "pulse" which I suspect fixes a specific location. Telemetry sort of - the Emperor knows where the ship (or fleet) has to go, and uses his powers to help them directly stay on course. It's more active than the passive "lighthouse beacon" of the AStronomican though, so it probably has more limits and tradeoffs (can only handle a limited number of ships at one time, can't maintain it for long, etc.)

The benefit of this is greatly increased warp speed - tens at least, if not hundreds or even thousands of times faster warp travel - I guess navigation is one of the main limiting factors on travel speed, which makes sense. For context - "Months" long journeys are the one that cover segmentum distances usually (2nd edition IG codex, HH series, RT RPG - eg 10,000+c) or a good chunk of the whole galaxy. I like this because it helps explain certain otherwise "outlier" calcs (EG Gabriel angelos crossing a segmentum in only a few days - given his "episodes" seeing the Astronomican we could chalk it up to him being blessed or favored by Empy for some reason.

I would also speculate that Astropaths can probably pull this off too, to a lesser degree. We know they can "track" people through the warp by placing part of themselves in them (beacons), and we know they can scry/observe events from far away. If Astropath relays can act as weaker, more local "beacons" then I expect they might also perform the "active" function to similer, albeit lesser, degrees. In theory, at least.

Page 38
The Navigators are an ancient strain of human. They have lived amongst humans since the days even before the Age of Strife. It is not known how the Navigators first came into existence though some suspect the hand of the Emperor. Navigators are a special form of human variation or mutant. They must intermarry to breed true and each one is a member of a large interrelated family or House.

Page 38
Navigators bear a special gene that allows them to see through the warp and hence guide a vessel as it attempts to plot a course in that otherworldly dimension. A human ship without a Navigator to guide it would be quickly lost in the maelstrom of currents never to return. Even so their natural ability only enables them to chart relatively short journeys through the warp with any degree of certainty.

However, Navigators are attuned to the special frequencies and modulation of the Astronomican. Navigators can perceive the beam across huge tracts of warpspace. This 'fixed point' allows them to calculate journeys in the warp with much greater accuracy and so enable them to guide vessels on much longer journeys than they would otherwise be able to do.
Simple version: Navigators are so special because their eye gives them the ability to "see" through the warp the best of any psyker (like having eyes that can pierce the dark or fog, or see in IR or UV.) Some predictive/precognitive ability, and the ability to make out other possible landmarks (stars, inhabited systmes., etc - all things which for some reason or antoher have a
relfection on the warp) through the haze of the warp also explain this.

Again the modulation thing. I suspect there may be artificial means of doing this - FFG material mentions DAoT artificial devices which greatly extended warp travels in a way similar to navigators, which the Navigators themselves try to suppress to maintain their own importance.

Page 38
As the Great Crusade unfolded there were psykers, in addition to the astropaths and the Navigators, who were deemed strong enough to be allowed to operate freely within the Imperium. Great black ships had been ordered to visit each human world and return to earth with their cargo of psykers. Stringent testing ensured that the weak-willed or insane psykers could be isolated and dealt with. These were generally lobotomised and set to work as menials.

The more stable and strong-willed of the psykers were then apportioned to various Imperium organisations. The majority was sent to the Emperor's Palace to undergo the soul-binding ritual that would render them astropaths. Others were enlisted by the Space Marine legions to be trained in their new Iibrarius departments. Some psykers found themselves in the employ of other more secret Imperial organisations.
Lobotomised psykers. not the first time we've heard of this (the novel Blind, for example as well as various other sources I've mentioned in the past.) I wonder if they did mundane tasks or they had some special psychci roles?

Page 38
The black ships were operated by the Astro-Telepathica, the Imperial organisation that tested psykers. The vast majority of pyskers who were transported back to Terra were destined to undergo the soul-binding ritual. The lucky few that survived this would be enlisted in the corps of astropaths.

Amongst the crews of the black ships were the mysterious warrior-investigators known as the Sisters of Silence. The Sisters were recruited from the ranks of the Untouchables - rare human variants who are psychic blanks. The Untouchables are anathema to psykers, who find it difficult to be close to them. Their presence disrupts psychic abilities and they are apparently immune to telepathy and the like. The Sisters are able to identify hidden psykers and have the means to fight and contain them if necessary.
Untouchables - the Silent Sisters. One wonders what happened to male untouchables. We learn that they can detect as well as disrupt psykers (As we saw in Tales of Heresy.) I have to wonder if the Sisterhood works under the auspices of the Astro-Telepathica too? If they do, they probably represented his wildcard against betrayal from that avenue, given their absolute loyalty to Big E.

PAge 41
For thousands of years the planet of Mars has been ruled by the strange caste of tech-priests known as the Mechanicum or the Cult Mechanicus, worshippers of the mysterious Machine God. This religious sect rose to dominance on Mars during the early centuries of the Age of Strife. The entire planet became devoted to the study and manufacture of machines of every conceivable type and function.
The AdMech.

Page 41
To this end theu periodically dispatched great vessels into the warp in hope that some clues would be found. These were the Explorator fleets of Mars. Over the centuries thousands of such expeditions left Mars, many founded new colonies that were to become the Forge Worlds, others were simply lost for all time.
We know in modern times there are forge worlds.. this certainly implies there were potentialyl thousands of Forge worlds. At the time of the Crusade, they had founded (or discovered) only a small number of these - indeed, the Fabricator General was rather miffed at Big E because of this slow progress - he wanted to reclaim Mars great empire.

Page 41
When the Emperor rose to power on Earth the tech-priests of Mars recognised a kindred spirit. The Emperor was to them a man of science who valued the machine and technological advancement. As word filtered back to Mars some tech-priests even began to equate the Emperor with their own Machine God in fufillment of ancient prophesies.

The Emperor forged an alliance with the Mechanicum. ln return for supplying materials for his armies and building a mighty warfleet for his crusade to the stars, the Emperor promised to protect the tech-priests and respect the sovereignty of their Forge Worlds. Furthermore the Emperor gave to the service of the Mechanicum six of the Houses of the Navigators, to replace their long dead thrall Navigators so that their ships might once again travel safely through the warp.
A bit more complicated than that, if we believe the FAbricator Generla in Mechanicum. He saw it as a mutual alliance, and believed or expected Big E to provide him aid in reclaiming the AdMech Empire in return for industrial and technological aid. This seems to imply a more optimistic intepretation (willing vassals and acolytes). This may be revisionist, but Kelbor-Hal is hardly an unbiased observer either.

We also know tht the Emperor was not universeally hailed as the Omnissiah reborn - AdMech still debated over that even up to the point of the Heresy, again according to Mechanicum. It even created resentment as the deal/restrictions on the Mechanicum did.

The navigator bits are interesting.. they have six navigator houses tied directly to them. Did this mean they had their own slave navigators before, or were they some sort of servitor analogue (one term I recall used for servitors is thrall, but its also been used for slave, as has servitor for slave/servant.)

Page 41
Sigma-Phi 19 Plasma projector

Theta-Mu 24 Photon Thruster
Cult Mechanicus weapons. Also the plasm aprojector shows what looks like A power armored cyborg with an arm mounted gun. Maybe combat servitor or tech priest.

Page 41
Zeta-Pi 7 Eviscerator Engine
Not sure if this is a Dreadnought, Robot, Servitor, or what.

Also Mechanicum protecotrs seem to predate the Skitarii.

Page 46
As the Great crusade drew to a close, fully two million human worlds had been repatriated by the Emperor and his mighty armies.
An (approximate) indicator of the number of worlds in the Imperium pre heresy. It does fit millions, although it could be larger. It almost certianly grew over time, since the modern Imperium is larger than the Crusade-era Imperium.

Page 49
To this end the Emperor convened the first Council of Terra. Unlike the War Council, of which Horus was now leader, the Council of Terra would attend to the matters of state and the establishment and maintenance of Imperial law across the myriad worlds of the Imperium. In particular the Council of Terra was to administrate the Imperial Tithe. Under its auspices would fall all the civil government of the lmperium.
It also lead to a conflict between the War council and the Council of Terra over power and authority, which the latter seemed to be winning, judging by the early HH novels. Here, though, it suggests a more division and balance of powers - a military arm and a civilian arm, which work together but remain separate. That actually would make sense. Even though the Crusade has reached the limits of the galaxy (for the most part) in all directions, it still had (and still has) lots of territory within that scope to explore and colonize and conquer. The Astartes and Primarchs would have been busy quite awhile going back over old territory and scouring out potential threats and setting up new colonies.

Page 54
The Dark Gods had whispered in his ear. "We desire only the Emperor. His psychic might is destroying our realm. Even now he retires to his dungeon to work his selfish plot. He cares not for you or your warriors. He will put weak men above you. If the Emperor were to be sacrificed to us we would have no interest in your worlds. You would be a just and rightful ruler of the galaxy. We give you the gift of mankind to do with as you will."
Which is hinted at in Galaxy in Flames I believe. Again the interesting thing is that it isn't so much an outright lie as a half-truth.. there are elements believable enough, that the rest can be distorted to suit Chaos' purposes (Eg the "weak men above you" bit seems true to Horus, but it gives Chaos an opening to poison the Primarch against his Father.)

Page 61 - Space Wolf support squad.. again hand flamers.

Page 62
However, some of their Marines would not be so easily swayed. These were the Marines for whom the Emperor was like a god, many of them men of Earth, the original recruits into the ranks of the Space Marines whose loyalty to the Emperor predated that to their Primarch.
Seems like the Terran-born marines were more prone to belief in the Emperor's divinity, although the novel series never showed this overtly.

Page 62 - Death Guard heavy support squad, appear to be using multimeltas, both a shoulder mounted and arm-carried (rifle like) variety.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-05-23 06:09pm

Part 2 of Collected Visions. also includes part of the 'Kaban Machine' by Graham McNeill. Plays a role later on in Mechanicum.

Page 65
He ordered the Primarchs Lion El'Jonson, Sanguinius and the redoubtable Guilliman to muster their Legions in preparation for a series of missions in the Signus Cluster and Veridan Systems. The Signus Cluster was deep in the Ultima Segmentum, close to the Galactic Center whilst the Veridan Systems stretched across the outermost regions of Segmentum Tempestus to the galactic south.

So it was that three of the most staunchly loyal Legions, the Dark Angels, the Blood Angels and the Ultramarines were sent by Horus to regions far from Earth and from the Isstvan system.
Veridian would be somewhere on the edge of Tempestus close to Macragge/Calth, since IIRC they used Calth as a mustering point to invading Veridian (Orks I think.) Signus cluster is probably close to the Galactic center but on the southern end. This would tend ot suggest the shield worlds are probably similarily far away and ot the south, and Isstvan was in the north. The novels tend ot suggest months of travel (less than a year anyhow) to reach those locales.

Isstvan has to be somewhere in the northern part of Ultima segmentum close to the edge (half a galaxy away form Terra, remember.)

Page 66 - Again Emperor's Children shoulder mounted lascannon.

Pge 67 - Wolrd Eater's support squad has respirator masks and some sort of visor/targeting eyepiece connected to some back source. And spome sort of non-bolter rifle. May be a lasgun but it isn't clearly so.

Page 69 -

no text, but its worth noting a group of Space Wolves - the caption notes its a recon squad - carrying what look to be lasguns rather than bolters. I'd say its a scout company if it werne't for the fact they're clearly wearing power armor (including backpacks and helmets)

PAge 77 - Again Empero's Children Devastators, some this time carry the lascannons in the hand and some on the shoulder. It seems in this one its interchangable (although they look shoulder-carried types)

Page 79 - "Fellblade" - super heavy tank of som ekind looks like its crushing a Rhino under its feet. Looks a bit like a Baneblade but with a slightly rounded turret.

Page 81
All communications with the orbiting fleet ceased and the encircling battleships began to bombard the planet. A thousand virus bombs rained down onto Isstvan III, within moments razing every city to the gound. Millions died as the giant bombs exploded around them. Worse still was the carnage wreaked by the bombs' viral payload in the wake of the firestorm. Virus bombs were devised to cleanse planets of all life, and so it was on Isstvan III, the six billion inhabitants of the planet had no chance of survival.
The destruction of Isstvan III. more than a thousand bombs I'm prett ysure. and it was twelve billion. Maybe the first half died in the virus attack, the rest in the firestorm.

Page 81 - EC tactical squad carryingall plasma guns.

Page 82
It was immediately apparent to the orbiting Horus and his co-conspirators that the virus bombs had failed to destroy the loyalist Space Marines on Isstvan III. As the firestorm abated, communication channels crackled into life. Frantic signals blared out from the vox-units and comms-relays.
Implies a fairly short firestorm.

Page 91
Magnus the Red was an imposing figure, a red, cyclopean giant. He was a very powerful psyker, probably the most powerful psyker of all of the Primarchs.
Well he was the only psyker of the Primarchs. Most of them had no discernable talent, and only a few (like Sanguinius) displayed anything evne remotely resembling psychic ability.

Page 91
Possibly feeling it was more dangerous for Magnus to remain ignorant of the secrets of the warp than it was for him to know them, the Emperor showed him the truth.

Magnus feigned shock and horror at what the Emperor revealed to him. He immediately agreed to renounce sorcery and to re-educate the peopies of Prospero. But Magnus secretly dismissed the Emperor's warnings. He had already peered into the warp with his one great eye and was obsessed with the power and beauty it promised him.
This makes Magnus more of an asshole than he's portrayed in Thousand Sons, although some of the earlier novels (like False Gods) do this as well.

Page 92
The legion ofthe Thousand Sons had been plagued with psychic mutancy in the years leading to their unification with Magnus. When they did meet, Magnus was able to offer a solution to them. He secretly taught them the ways ofthe Sorcerers of Prospero, to embrace their psychic talents as a gift rather than suffer them as a curse.
Magnus taught the Thousand sons Sorcery.. so they had both internal and extenral sources of power.. which probably explains how they can do some insane shit. This probably also explains alot of the thousand sons novel.

Page 92
Some of the Space Marine Primarchs had long wanted to exploit the powers of psychically talented Space Marines. In some legions psychic mutation was relatively common and it was felt that there must be ways for such individuals to continue to be ofuse to their Legion without preseniing any danger.

Magnus and a number of other Primarchs created a program of training and development for psykers that supplemented the traditional process of creating a Space Marine. The Emperor sanctioned these first experiments with psychic Space Marines as a means of controlling the spontaneous out- breaks of psychic mutation within the ranks of certain legions. Then the Emperor had been asked to approve ofthe recruitment of psykers into some of the other legions.
The Librarian program.

PAge 94
Beyond the exceptions of the Navigators and astropaths he was adamant that the legions did not employ psykers. Even the hint of sorcery had become dangerous and unacceptable. He commanded that the Primarchs close their librarius departments forthwith and ordered that the Primarchs themselves not indulge their undoubted psychic talents
The Nikea edict thingy. Didn't last much past his death it seems. Apparently also the Primarchs as a whole all have psychic talents of some kind or another.

Page 94
Then the Emperor had shared with Magnus secrets of the warp to which only they were privy. Now Magnus appeared to have ignored the Emperor's warnings and was at the very least dabbling in the black arts of sorcery.
Again Magnus comes across as a colossally arrogant ass.

Page 97
None can say when Magnus was tainted by the warp, but his actions suggest that his corruption was well progressed by the time of the council of Nikaea. It is probable that his senior officers and librarians were also corrupt at this point. Magnus had no problems persuading his Legion to collude with his plan to secretly continue their study of the warp.
Thousand Sons tells us it was pretty damn early.

Page 98
Unbeknown to anyone else the Warmaster was being seduced by the Ruinous Powers and would soon challenge the Emperor. Except that Magnus knew. Peering into the warp with his one good eye the Red Sorcerer had seen the Warmaster make his pact with Chaos and he saw much more besides. Much of what Magnus saw was madness and turmoil, but he also saw events that could only be the future. His dream foretold ofthe epic events that were yet to unfold, of Horus's betrayal, of the Primarchs who would die, of those who would betray the Emperor and of those who would defend him. Of his own fate the dream was silent.
Sounds like one of those "just as planned" Tzeentch plots to me. Would be just like the bastard.

Page 98
They decided against the use of their astropaths to send the message to the Emperor - they desired a quicker, surer method of communication, they would send the warning by daemonic spell!
There are other, faster methods of communication than astrotelepathy. We've seen one such used by the Cabal in Legion, for example.

Page 98
In any case, the cabal of the Thousand Sons joined with Magnus to cast a mighty spell. this potent conjuration flew across time and space. Breaching the protective wards and hexes around the Imperial palace the spell lanced into the brain of the Emperor, instantly filling him with the knowledge of Magnus's dark vision and details of Horus's impending betrayal.
You'd have to wonder why Magnus wasn't aware of those wards, and what they might be there for. Nevermind that if Horus could figure out what the Emperor was doing, you'd think Magnus would too.

Page 98 - STarship called Maclador's observer. Noteworthy for being Maclador's ship(s), but also because it looks like the entire ship has massive burning braziers. In space.

Page 103 - Long Fang squad using what seems to be a multi-barrel weapon. Energy weapon or gatling gun maybe?

Page 109
Yes, the Emperor of Mankind will forsake his people. He will turn his back to them to win his place amongst the Gods. The Emperor cares only for himself. He is obsessed with his own power and glory. He has deceived his sons and followers. We have no place in his grand scheme. He has been biding his time, waiting for the opportunity to spurn us and ascend to godhood. Whilst we have fought war after war for him, he has been secretly building his power in the warp.The creatures of the warp are innocent pawns in his deadly game. They have assured me they have no interest in our affairs. They do not oppose him for nought. To them he is a hurricane, a whirlwind, a cosmic storm of destruction that threatens to rip them asunder. He has wounded them and they fight back as a wounded lion cornered in a cave.

The great powers of the warp seek only respite from the Emperor's predations, and they have bargained with me to achieve that goal. I shall give them his head, and in return I will receive the Galaxy to do with as I will.

I am the saviour of the future. I am the one who will bring lasting glory to Mankind. only I can offer genuine hope to the masses of a future free from pain and servitude, free from death and dishonour.

I am Horus. I am the future Master of Mankind.
more of the deceptions and half truths dumped on Horus by Chaos. We also see how Horus started out with noble intentions (coloured by a sense of outrage, betrayal and hurt - he did love the Emperor and he missed having him around and felt abandoned by him) but those were twisted by Chaos by the end. He may have even been possessed (not as completely as Fulgrim perhaps, but he was subverted.)

Page 110
As the war continued the Warmaster also committed some of his Army regiments to the fray These units were indentured warriors through the Imperial tithe and had sworn allegiance to their Space overlords. Unaware of the broadest implications of Horus's treachery, the Imperial Army simply followed orders and did as commanded by their superiors Amongst Horus's troops were also bands of ferocious cultists from the planet Davin. These batbarians openly chanted the names of their dark gods and displayed the foul runes of Chaos. At the fore were sinister sorcerers - the Priests of Davin.
Horus used his authority and charisma, and the obedience of his subordinates, to carry out his plans. alongside cultists of course.

Also indentured servitude in the military.. sort of slavery (which is what the uplifting primer called it anyhow.)

PAge 113
He gave the command and with a huge lurch the ship made the jump into that dark and terrible place. The warp was restless. Great storms were brewing in the ether. The navigator was unable to chart a safe course, and knew if they stayed in the warp they could be lost for all time.
Self explanatory.

Page 113
Garro had other ideas, and ordered the warp engines to be set for self destruct and then ejected from the listing ship. He figured the exploding engines would act as a beacon in the warp, afttacting any nearby ships. Hopefully they would be friendly!
Prtty much as happened in Flight of the Eisenstein.

Page 114
There was no limit on the size of a Space Marine Legion and most of them could muster at least 100,000 combatants. The Ultramarines Legion was by far the largest, and its Primarch, Roboute Guilliman, could call upon the services of over 250,000 Space Marines. New recruits were drawn from the legions Homeworld, or any of a hundred feral worlds famed for the warrior prowess of their indigenous people.
Not all. Some only had tens of thousands (or perhaps less.) I'd say only the ultramarines had 250,000. We know the word bearers had 100,000 troops.

Page 114
The structure of a Space Marine army varied slightly from Legion to Legion, but at the core of all of them was the company of one hundred fighting men led by a captain. Companies were usually grouped into battallons, normally five companies strong, and led by a lieutenant commander. Battalions are brigaded together in pairs, as a regiment of one thousand warriors. These were variously known as 'regiments', 'wings', 'chapters' or 'great companies'. A Space with the rank of commander or in some cases lord commander led each of these units.
Much as with the latter Imperial guard, the naming conventions seem to vary depending on who you ask, but as far as organization goes, they mean the same thing. (EG a unit of 10, a unit of 100, a unit of 1000, etc.)

PAge 114
Subordinate to the Space Marines were the regiments of the Imperial Army. As the Great Crusade progressed, the need for more troops increased beyond even the capacity of the Space Marine Legions. Thus, it was decreed that every world of the Imperium was to supply men-at-arms to the command of the Primarchs. Certain worlds like the Space Marine Homeworlds, the Forge Worlds of the Mechanicum and those ofthe Solar System were exempt from this tithe. Even so, the decree provided the Primarchs with millions of additional warriors. Although not as powerful as Space Marines, the soldiers of the Army could be stubborn fighters and their sheer numbers made them ideal for siegework, mass invasions and garrison duty.
Not quite true. Many of the Legions seemed to serve with regiments raised from their home worlds - the Prospero spireguard or the Caliban Jaegers). Hell I'm pretty sure there's mention in the card game stuff (the artwork) of Calth infantry too. And we definitely know of lots of Terran-raised infantry regiments. And while the Mechanicum remained soveregin, the fact is they basically contributed their forces as a matter of course during the Heresy (Titans, robots, Tech-Guard, etc.) so it came to effectively the same thing. It could be that they were raising regiments from other worlds by then, but I suspect this wasn't quite set in place, as they were still working out the tithing system as a rule.

The Army was basically the "mop up" and "hold ground" force. They came in behind the Speartip of the Astartes and supported their offense, held ground they took, and generally did the sorts of things that were too minor to waste on an Astartes (usually.)

Page 114
The Forge Worlds of the Mechanicum were exempt from the Imperial tithe but were obliged by an ancient pact with the Emperor to supply his armies with war machines of various types. Chief amongst these were the great Titans - huge bipedal engines crewed by tech-priests and armed with an array of devastating weaponry. Additionally, the Mechanicum supplied regiments of war-robots and various grades of artillery, from small portable field pieces up to enormous barrage-cannons the size of a building.
Mechanicum contributions.

Page 115 - Imperial army "speeder" listed here.. Ironically it looks like the old "Grav Attack tank" of early 40K days (the soap bottle one I believe.) We do know of a number of speeder types from Legion as well.

Page 118
Each world was assessed and a census taken of its population. From this, the Emperor's administrators calculated the tithe that each was to pay in the form of regiments of soldiers and war materials. The numbers of regiments raised from each world varied enormously. Sparsely populated worlds would be tithed to supply only a handful of regiments each year, whilst the overcrowded Hive Worlds near to the Galactic Core would have to supply hundreds of regiments annually This huge body of soldiers became known as the Imperial Army.
Sparselpy populated worlds might provide only tens or hundreds of thousands of troops annually, whilst overcrowded Hives could provide hundreds (millions or tens of millions, depending on the size of the regiment.) I'd guess at least hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of troops annually (tens/hundreds of thousands or so from over two million worlds on average, and millions per the thousands/tens of thousands of hive worlds.)

Page 118
The indentured troops of the Imperial Army were assimilated into the command structure of the Space Marine legions, and fell under the direct authority of the Space Marines. Space Marine transports would arrive at each world and carry the regiments of the Imperial Army away to fight on distant battlefields across the Galaxy.
This would seem to be one of those things where the War council/Expeditionary fleets would clash with the administration - who collects and distributes the taxes? The warlords would just take what they need (and the world would have to provide it) but the administrators would demand to be the ones to collect and distribute it. In the case of troops this would be especially true (and probably lead to differences in training, organization and usage across the fleets.) On the other hand this also made the Space Marines more flexible and gave them more organic combat assets they always had (starships, fighters and aircraft, skimmers and gunships, tanks and infantry, and so on..) which made them more effective as an offensive fighting force.

And regardless of who they were tithed to, the troops are still basically contract servants/slaves and seem to have little say on the matter (although given what you see in the fluff, I suspect much of the Army was made up of voluntary recruiting, especially from Astartes homeworlds and Terra, as it was seen as a duty and a benefit to serve in the Crusade.)

Page 118
Each of the tithed worlds supplied troops as best they could. Those from developed industrial worlds were kitted out with sturdy flak jackets and newly minted, standard issue lasguns. Soldiers from primitive worlds were fortunate if they had a pair of boots and a gun. Some worlds supplied troops that were well-drilled and organised into squads,companies and regiments. Others supplied what amounted to little more than loosely ordered mobs or warbands.
The "Variation" in troops. All that said I can't seriously recall many cases of "mobs", unless they were used as conscripts or cannon fodder (which they might have.) - this is something more in line with Chaos. Also the novels give much of the Army some pretty badass kit - speeders and aerial gunships and air transport are more common than in the IG.

Page 118
To instil discipline and loyalty in the regiments of the Imperial Army, it was common practice for the Primarchs to appoint special officers to the role of commissar. These veteran warders ensured that the Imperial Army was unwavering in its duties to its Space Marine overlords.
No Commissars that I recall, unless this was another "just before the Heresy" Change. It's also possible that that is what the genewhips were but they didnt call them commissars usually.

The Commissariat was more of the Adminsitratum/Munitorum's bueraucreatic arm anyhow.

Page 118
A Space Marine Legion may have had hundreds of auxiliary Imperial Army regiments fighting under its command. These troops were used to reinforce the Space Marines and were frequently deployed in sieges, mass invasions and to garrison newly conquered planets
Tens of thousands of marines, millions of soldiers.

PAge 118 - Heavy weapons troopers from an Imperial army regiment wwith greatcoats and carrying huge shoulder carried and fired missile launchers with a top-feed magazine - at least six missile capacity by the picture. The weapons are also incredibly huge (nearly a meter long and maybe .3 meters in diameter. I suspect they might use suspensors to alleviate the weight.

Page 119 - Calth (Gropp's raiders) infantry... they look alot like Cadians but in gray fatigues.

PAge 122 - 2 Catachan/Armageddon Ork hunter like jungle regiments, which seem to look identical (right down to red bandannas on their head and tank tops) (Vallis' brigade, the Phyrian 2nd Auxiliary and McCormick's reapers, the Calth 2nd irregulars.)

PAge 122 - Fellesian 23rd Airborne - seem to be wearing partial carapace or hardshell flak (upper body) with Elysian-style helmets with visors and using either jump packs (possible) or grav chutes (more likely).

Page 122 - Helios mortar carrier for the Army. Look ot be Cadian like troops (2nd edition or so) working them.

Page 123 - Fellesian 5th Airbone auxiliary - looks to be some kind of air-mobile variant of a Sentinel. - it may have its own grav chute but it looks like its some sort of thruster setup, since it has obvious thruster nozzles and what may be intake fans above.

Page 123 - Siege Engineers - again Catachan-like including red bandannas. One of them is female who has a bionic arm and eye. (Barnald's Sappers)

Page 123 Mercenary conscript force shown. Seem to be wearing some sort of metallic (plate?) armor and carrying metla weapons as standrd or oversized lasguns without stocks.

Page 123 - Fasadian 45th Infantry, Sader's Fighters. Look alot like the Krieg or Armageddon STeel Legion troops.

Page 124
He resolved to find a way to ensure these Legions obeyed the Emperor and observed the psyker ban. His thoughts turned to Lorgar and the Word Bearers Legion.

Whilst the Emperor worked his secret labours in the Palace Vaults, Malcador the Sigillite issued a new edict through the Council of Terra in the name of the Emperor. This was the Order of Observance, more commonly known as the Chaplain Edict, and its inspiration was the Word Bearers legion.
Chaplain Edict.. which seems to be designed to do for Astartes what the Commissars did for the Army.

PAge 124
On becoming Primarch, Lorgar had introduced officer clerics to his legion. These warrior-priests were named chaplains, and their role was to minister to the needs of the Space Marines and ensure that their faith in the Emperor was strong.

Inspired by thls, Malcador ordered the other Space Marine Primarchs to appoint chaplains who would ensure the spiritual wellbeing of the Legion, and enforce the psyker ban.
Another irony.

Page 124
Lorgar of the Word Bearers was quietly amused by the irony of the new edict - his Legion had aleady secretly fallen to Chaos.

Page 126
Lorgar praised the Emperor and the people of Colchis rejoiced. The Emperor was dismayed. He had long rejected claims to his own divinity.
"Yeah. I'm just your average 10 foot tall warrior with Jesus hair and an omnipresent glow. Nothing divine about me at all!" Again his approach to all this was incredibly stupid.

Page 126
However, as time went on, the Emperor grew increasingly frustrated with Lorgar's persistent claims of his divinity and the Word Bearers' desire to leave no stone unturned in their quest to promulgate the Cult of the Emperor. In his zeal, Lorgar perpetrated terrible acts in the name of the Emperor. Entire worlds were punished for not demonstrating sufficient piety.

As the Great Crusade progressed, the relationship between the Emperor and Lorgar soured. Lorgar was determined to promote the Emperor's supposed divinity and had taken to sermonising on every human world he conquered or visited. Much valuable time was lost as Lorgar ordered the construction of cathedrals to the Emperor on each of the worlds he had conquered.


Rehgious pogroms characterised the Word Bearers' endeavours on the worlds they conquered. Many innocents died at the hands of Lorgar's Legion for refusing to accept the divinity of the Emperor, and those who were not considered devout enough were killed.

This was not what the Emperor desired. He did not intend his Great Crusade to be perverted in this way. The Emperor's mission was to save Humanity, not to enslave it! The Emperor ordered Lorgar to cease his religious activities and renounce his belief that the Emperor was divine.
This takes on an especially amusing twist given how the Emperor has Guilliman basically purge an entire world the Word Bearers have brought into compliance because of their Emperor worship. I suppose there could be good reasons for ordering that - to make an example of religious zealots who may have killed their own unbelievers, but the idea he killed an entire civilization to make a point smacks of the same sort of shit he was pissed at Lorgar doing.

Again when it comes to this whole religion angle it seems like Big E just fucked up by the numbers

Page 127
When this failed, he turned to his most devout followers. Kor Phaeron of Colchis had been the first to cast doubt on the Emperor and his motives. If the Emperor would not accept their worship there were others who would, he argued. It was First-Chaplain Erebus who first uttered the names of the ruinous powers. Were these not the true Gods of Colchis, to whom they had sworn fealty before the false-god Emperor had tricked Lorgar with a false vision? Lorgar had found his answer. The Emperor had deliberately misled him into thinking he was a god, subverting his worship away from those who rightly desetved it! Lorgar committed himself to the Dark Gods; he becamea servant of Chaos.
And while I just chastised the Emperor for mishandling religion, Lorgar still has a buttload to blame for everything because of this paragraph here. Summarised it's "I'm not going to play with you anymore because you won't play the way I want to." Lorgar would not have been happy with anything less than "Emperor as god" because he wanted someone/something to worship, and the fact he so willingly looked elsehwre to have that need filled only underscores that. Everything else is just self-serving rationalization.

Page 127
Horus told of his pact with Chaos and of his new mission to free the Galaxy from the Emperor's shackles. Erebus explained that Lorgar was eager to take action.
Considering Lorgar and Erebus were instruments in corrupting Horus to begin with, one can hardly be surprised at this.

Page 129
Horus had been busy in the months leading up to the incident on Isstvan III. He had despatched agents to dozens of Forge Worlds to secretly agitate on his behalf. The Forge worlds were sovereign to the Mechanicum of Mars, the ancient order of tech-priests, with whom the Emperor had struck an alliance at the start of the Great Crusade.
The AdMech have at least "dozens" of Forge worlds.

PAge 129
Some techpriests regarded the Emperor as the living manifestation of their Machine God. Others thought this a blasphemy, and the Machine God was still entombed beneath the red sands of Mars. The agents of Chaos suggested that it was the Emperor himself who had presented himself as their god in order to strike a bargain with the Mechanicum that served him and him alone.
Pretty much as outlined in Mechancium. Surprisingly, it was blasphemy.

Page 132
As he launched his attack on the planet of Isstvan III, the daemons of the warp stirred. The Warmaster had desired them to remain hidden. He did not want his pact with them to be known by the Emperor and his sycophants, least of all the other Primarchs. This could upset his plans. He instead made them aid him in more subtle ways.
But the daemons would not be still. Like beasts in a cage they paced back and forth across the weirdness of the warp. As their agitation grew, the warp began to boil and wrought storms.

In the wake of their distress, the energy weave of the warp was wracked with shocks and maelstroms. Great storms appeared in the ether. This served Horus well, for he knew that the warpstorms would disrupt his enemy's communications. The Emperor's astropaths would be muted, his navigators blinded and his great fleets crippled.
Much as happened in the series. I suspect that the murder of Isstvan may have been a prerequisite for this.. a 'feeding' for the daemons of Chaos to get them worked up. It would be in their MO to trick someone into genocide just to provide them billions of souls. The Warp storms basically futzed things up for a great length of time.

Page 133
The ruinous powers of Chaos were frothing at the bit. They wanted to join Horus's campaign, destroy the Emperor and gain unfettered access to the material world. For too long they had been restricted to only temporary sojourns in the realm of Mankind, unable to claim a more permanent foothold.

The Eye of Terror offered them a tantalising glimpse of what could be. This strange region is a giant gateway between the dimensions, a place where the warp and the material world intermingled. The worlds within the Eye fabulous monuments to the glory of Chaos; ever changing, violent and strange. But the daemons of Chaos cannot freely travel beyond the Eye's confines.

Similar portals are scattered across the galaxy, but none so big or so permanent as the great Eye of Terror. The majority of these holes in space have only a fleeting existence before they collapse back into the warp, taking great chunks of the material world with them. In this fashion, many worlds have been sucked into the warp.
Showing how Horus was a moron, we see that the Daemons wanted to get involved and manifest in realspace to feast and run riot.

Page 133
One method by which a Chaos daemon can sustain a presence in the material world is to possess a psyker. Every time a psyker utilises his talents, a tiny portal is opened to the warp. This offers a chance for the creatures of the ether to enter the material world through the psyker's brain. Those of strong will and training are able to resist such predations. The weak-willed and untrained are easy prey. Possession eventually destroys the host, leaving only a withered, hideously disfigured husk and the daemon is wrenched back into the Immaterium.
Techically, this refers to using a psyker as a gateway, not just possession. As in waiting for a Psyker to tap the warp and open up a gateway, then use that gate/link to invade the material realm using the psykers body. If they are already there they might use any body or be bound into it (daemonhosts, although that might be more of a summoning) or into some object.

PAge 133
The other way in which Chaos daemons can exist in the material world is through summoning. A powerful psyker with the correct knowledge and suitable safeguards in place can open a portal between the realms, allowing a daemon to enter the material world. Such summonings are fraught with danger, the conjurer at grave risk of being possessed. A large, powerful group of psykers can cooperate to open a gateway large enough for many daemons to traverse the dimensions. As long as the summoning spell is maintained, the daemons can survive in the material world indefinitely.
In other words: Summoning is of limited success and duration, unless there is an intact warp gate open to sustain the daemons. Daemon worlds or warp rifts like the Eye are evne more desirable.

Page 134
When the Emperor launched his campaign to the stars - the Great Crusade to free humanity from its alien bondage - the twenty Legions could each muster many thousands of Space Marine warriors. Even so, their numbers were small compared to the Herculean task ahead of them. Millions of human worlds needed to be rescued and protected from the many dangers that beset them. To this end, the Emperor instructed the Legions to recruit warriors into their ranks from amongst the populations of the reconquered worlds.
Millions of worlds to rescue. They only recurited as I recall from the Legionary homeworlds, and Terra.

PAge 134
In the ensuing years, many tens of thousands of new Space Marines were created ftom these men and many of the Legions enjoyed a massive expansion of their fighting strength because of this.
again repeat of "tens of thousands" of marinees rather than hundreds of thousands.

Page 134
Within a few years, many of the Legions had also recruited tens of thousands of new Space Marines, created from the warrior-peoples of their new Homeworlds'.
Tens of thousands "in a few years" per Legion. Indicator of the rate of growth and replenishment.

PAge 134
Each of the Legions established its own policy as to how these large numbers of new Space Marines would be added to their fighting complement. In some Legions, the new recruits were used to bolster the existing regiments or Chapters, ating as replacements and reinforcements. In other Legions, the Primarchs simply added new regiments of Homeworld Space Marines to their organisation.
Uses of the recruits.

Page 135
- Death Guard heavy plasma cannon, shoulder mounted. They're emitting solid, parallel blue beams of slightly transparent glowy death.,

PAge 138
The Space Wolves were aided by a detachment of the Emperor's own bodyguard, the Legio Custodes, and by the Silent Sisterhood. The latter were Untouchables, carriers ofthe pariah gene, psychic blanks who were immune to psychic assault and anathema to the sorcerers of Prospero.
Untouchables and the assault on Prospero.

Page 142 - Prahopte recon squad, lasguns, and power armor.

Page 143
In battle, a double-strength company always fights alongside him, and a detachment of the Guard even accompanies the Emperor when he retires to his private chambers within the Imperial Palace.
The custodian guard, that is. In short they're everywhere.

Page 143
Each Custodian is an awesome warrior, stronger and more resilient than a normal human, or even a Space Marine. They are without peer in battle and have an unshakeable devotion and loyalty to the person of thre Emperor. Although they do not appear to have any psychic powers of their own, their willpower is such that they can resist assaults from the most powerful of psykers, save perhaps the Emperor himself.
Custodian abilities. Their feats compared toa Space Marine seem variable (depending on the warrior, the source, etc.) In general I'd expect them to be superior due to either training or equipment, but they might be equals as far as abilities go. It may even be up to tricks like the kinds of drugs and chems they're able to gland in combat or something. Or maybe even the baseline potentials of the recruits. That said they have no Librarians.

Page 143
There are reckoned to be only a thousand of these elite warriors in total, although this is highly speculative. Only the Emperor and his inner circle know their exact number. Certainly no more than a thousand have ever been seen together at any time..
At least a 1000. Old fluff said 10,000. In my personal opinion I'd bet way more, just to reconcile it with all the fluff. It would be just like the Custodians to avoid showing their numbers though.

Page 143
At the head of a thousand Custodians, the Emperor struck at the very heart of the ork horde, confronting Gharkhul atop a towering Gargant. As the Emperor decapitated the giant, black-skinned ork, the Custodians laid waste to the warlord's prime warriors. It is said that within moments over a hundred thousand greenskins died and the Waaagh! was broken. Legend has it that only three Custodians fell at the battle, their names enshrined forever, engraved on the Emperor's armour.
Custodians in battle alongside the Emperor.

Page 143
Some say that the Custodian Guard are to the Emperor what the Space Marines are to the Primarchs; that the Emperor's own genetic matrix was used in their creation and through this their loyalty to him is assured. Others argue that the Custodians are not like the Emperor in the way that a Space Marine is like his Primarch, and that some other source was used as a template for their physical and psychological form; a source that was lost during the anarchy of the Age of Strife.
Rumors about the relationships between Custodians, Marines, and the Emperor.

Page 144
The sisters were warrior-investigators, tasked with the seeking and apprehension of untrained psykers. As such, they formed a department within the Astral Telepathy Division, the Imperial organisation whose responsibilities included the processing of all psychic humans. The Division operated the Black Ships, huge transport vessels that travelled to the myriad worlds of the Imperium to collect psykers and carry them back to Terra. It was on Terra that such humans were tested and their eventual fate decided. Many of these underwent the soul-binding ritual, and were then recruited into the ranks of the astropaths who comprised the Astral telepathy Division. Each of the Black Ships had a small contingent of the Silent Sisterhood aboard.

The Silent Sisterhood was unusual within the Astral Telepathy Division in that its members were all non-psychic; in fact they are all Untouchables. These ares trange and very rare variants of normal humrans who are psychic blanks. Such individuals are the bearers of the pariah gene, and are imune to psychic assault and telepathy. The mere presence of an untouchable can disrupt psychic abilities. Psykers find Untouchables intolerable to be near and become visibly uncomfortable in their company; very close proximity or intimate contact can even cause great pain to them.
The silent sisterhood, the Telelpathicus and the Black Ships. The pain angle makes it very easy to root out psykers, obviously.

Page 147 - Emperor's Children use a treaded Rapier Laser Destroyer carrier.

Page 150 - Custodian and Silent Sister portrayed near the Emperor. The Custodian is a head taller than the Sister, and the Emperor is a head taller still.

Page 153
..Lorgar ordred his trusted Lord Commander Sor Talgron to remain on station near the Solar System with forty companies and continue to feign loyalty to the Emperor. The rest of the Legion was ordered to Ultramar. The powers of the warp gave them sure and speedy passage across the restless Immaterium.
40 companies - 4000 Marines. Daemons facilitate fast passage through the warp for Lorgar. An advantage of Chaos worship, I guess.

Page 153 - Terminator armor have 6-shot twin missile launchers on their shoulders.

PAge 158
The Ultramarines legion, under the command of their Primarch, Roboute Guilliman, had been ordered by Horus to go to the Veridan System in the Segmentum Tempestus, far to the galactic south.
Roboute and a sizeable portion of his Legion had been stationed near the moons of Saturn. He immediately set course for Ultramar, a region of space ruled by the Ultramarines. Here he was able to rendezvous with more elements of the Ultramarines Legion and take on supplies. Ultramar was also close enough to launch an assault on Veridan
Ultramarines source and destination. I'd guess the Veridian system is just on the edge of Tempestus where it joins Ultima, close to Macragge. I'd guess 50 thousand LY to Calth. Again the timeframe frm the series is months (Galaxy in Flames for example mentions it was a few months since the battle against the Technocracy, which was just before Horus gave his orders to Guilliman.) so we're looking at maybe 200-300 thousand c. In any case it took less than a year, so we're looking at around 50-100,000c at the very least.

Page 162
Calths three sister planets were being destroyed by Lorgar's ships, massive geo-nuclear strikes ripping them apart. Calth's sun was being bombarded with radiation and chemical warheads that were boiling away its surface and threatening to send it supernova. The Ultramarines' fleet was scattered by a succession of hammer blow assaults from the warships of the Word Bearers.
The Word BEareres had means of triggering novas or CMEs in stars (Its not a supernova no matter what they say) and they destroyed planets with geo-nuclear strikes, whatever that is.

In the novel KNF we learn the defense grid is used to blast Calth, and Lorgar's fleet was bobmarding the planet.

btw 'chemical warheads' could mean chemical explosives, or some sort of chemical reactions, although what chemicals cna trigger a supernova is interesting to speculate in either case.

Page 163
Their [Ultramarines] fleet was scattered and entire planets destroyed by Lorgar's warships. Tens of thousands of Word Bearers and their allies descended uoon Calth....
This Twisted warrior (Phareon) had over a hundred thousand Space Marines and many times more Chaos Cultists at his command. He also had aid from traitorous elements of the Mechanicum of Mars, who supplied him with a variety of giant war machines, including dozens of fearsome Titans.
100,000 Word Bearers is "tens of thousands" and dozens of Titans.

Page 164

Klaxons blared as the mighty ship Iisted and turned slowly in space. Around it, Ultramarines, ships exploded like small suns as torpedoes fired from the Word Bearers, strike craft pounded them. Below, the world of Calth rippled as gigantic plasma-quakes boiled up through the atmosphere.
Effects of the battle in space and the battle on the ground. I take it "plasma quakes" refer to sub-surface plasma warhead detonations.. MT range probably, perhaps (a few) GT is possible, although at that point you're more likely to just blow craters in the crust.

Page 169 - Thousand Sons heavy support squad, with some extremely slender, long barreled plasma guns. Different from the previous plasma guns (which were shorter but thicker looking)

Page 171
Horus the Warmaster, commander of all the Emperor's Armies, ordered the Primarch Sanguinius to the Signus cluster - a tri-star system of the Ultima Segmentum near to the Galactic Centre. His Legion, the Blood Angels, was to cleanse the seven worlds and fifeen moons of Signus of the alien invaders and release the humans thereon from their xeno-overlords.
Blood Angels location. Sadly we don't know where they started from, or where exactly around the Centre the place was.

Page 176
As the ships' klaxons blared out their warnings, Sanguinius and his Space Marines took control of the situation. They quickly erected psychic baffles and restrained deranged crewmen.
Gellar field breach control measure.

Page 177
In a few short months, the daemon host of Kyriss of Slaanesh and his deluded cultist allies undid hundreds of years of civilisation. Entire planets were ravaged and the verdant plains of Scoltrum burned to a cinder, the towering mega-Hives of Holst razed, the ocean world of Ta-Loc boiled and the planets of Kol, Phorus and Signus Tertiary were utterly destroyed.
Effect of a daemonic incursion.

Page 177
At his [Sanguinius'] side were the elite of his Legion, fully ten companies of veterans, Dreadnoughts and Terminator squads.
Blood Angels Elites.

Page 177
At this, the beast let out a mighty bellow and flashed across the battlefield, cutting a huge swathe through the ranks ofthe Blood Angels with his great axe. Five-hundred Space Marines died a horrible death as their bodies were torn apart. The psychic backlash of so many of his sons dying so suddenly blasted Sanguinius into unconsciousness.
500 marines killed i nshort period of time... Sanguinius injured by psychic backlash. Rather interesting really.. you would think that many would have been killed before at some point in the Crusade, and he might have reacted to it. or known about the psychic backlash. Did it have something to do with the fact a Daemon did it? Or was it the speed and number?

Page 180

- Army regiment labeled: "Ghazal's Defenders - Fasadian 4th Infantry" looking a bit like a "laurence of arabia" type force.

Page 188
The Warmasrer Horus had not been in direct contact with him for weeks and Malcador had found it impossible to ascertain the whereabouts and wellbeing of most of the other Space Marine legions.
Implies contact between forces in "weeks", at most, possibly days. Millions of c considering most of the Legions are at the edges of the galaxy. On the other hand, why didn't the Legions let Terra know?

Page 188
Thankfully, the Primarch Jaghatai Khan was nearby, his White Scars legion stationed within the Solar System, as was a large contingent of the Word Bearers legion, though their primarch Lorgar was away on some mission with the rest of his troops. Malcador was at least satisfied that ancient Terra was safe from any immediate threat.
Seems like they made it a habit of keeping at least one Legion stationed near Terra as a matter of course.

PAge 190 - Battle BArge and Strike craft *(cruiser?) that look virtually identical.. although hilariously the Gauntlet of Macragge (Battle barge) looks more like a cruiser and is less ornate than the Miatus Strike craft

Page 190
My lord, it has been many months since any have undergone the soul-binding ritual. As we speak, there are thousands of psykers in holding cells awaiting an audience with you. Could we not utilise their talents in service of the great beacon?"
I've alreay addressed my issues regarding the whole soul binding issue and how slow the Emperor seems to go about it. Also we get the start of the whole "sacrificed to the astronomican to bolster it." Basically what happenes is becuase the Emperor was busy doing his whole webway plan, Magnus' sorcery warning disrupted it, and forced the Emperor to divert even more of his power to fending off daemons and keep a webway connection open. As mentioned previously, the Emperor's powers were already stretched maintaining the Astronomican over such a huge area, so now the beacon was failing. Plan B, it seems is to use psykers to supplement the Emperor's power.

Page 190
"Their powers are insignificant measured against my own. I would still have need to provide the correct modulations and frequencies for the beam and the effort of powering the beacon would quickly strip their life essence from them. You would have to recruit many tens of thousands to this sacrificial duty.


Malcador worked quickly to adapt the workings of the AStronomican so that the collective power of thousands of human psykers could be utilised in place of the Emperor's Matchless might.

Thousands of psykers were taken from their holding cells where they had been awaiting the testing of the soul-binding ritual. Each psyker was wired into the huge construct that is the Astronomican, and its arcane technology amplied and focussed their weird powers into the resonanting haromics of the mighty beacon. It was a death sentence; all were fated to give their lives to the vast machine. The lucky ones died quickly within a few hours of being attached to the Astronomican. The less fortunate suffered a lingering death lasting many months.
The beacon-sacrifice plan is initiated. This pretty much frees him up for other things. By the time of Outcast Dead, the Beacon thing is something of a punishment or a means of recycling useless psykers (including burned out or used up astropaths) Noone knows what happens to psykers assigned to this duty, though. Thousands or tens of thousands of psykers is equal to (part) of the emperor's power.

Page 192 - World Eater and Emperor's Children jetbikes.

Page 193 - Emperor's Children shoulder mounted bazooka lascannon.

Page 199
Two microns to the left. Now four down. There... Adept Third class Palias Ravachol adjusted the fine callipers that slid from his fingertips, watching with smug satisfaction as the hardwired doctrina wafer slid smoothly through the cerebral cortex of the servitor's brain (or at least what the Iobotomisation process had left of its brain) and into the medullao oblongata.

"No one knows servitors like me," he said, as fibrous tendrils wormed their way from the wafer and into the grey matter of the brain.
Programming servitors. Note the doctrina wafer and how it gets stuck right into the brain. somehow this gives the Servitor its instructions.

Page 199
He shuddered as he imagined the consequences of placing a damaged wafer in the brain of a battle robot or implanting a combat sequence into the mind of a loader servitor.
They don't seem to have anything in their hardware that is a failsafe to prevent these sorts of errors. Rather sloppy if you ask me.

PAge 199
Half human, half machine, the servitor's arms had been replaced with pneumatic lifters and what little of its head remained had been augmented by the addition of visual mass readers
Servitor augmentations.

Page 201
After all, only by knowing the mechanics of a human brain inside could a man hope to understand the mechanics of a robot brain.
I don't know how this follows, but I guess it does. I suppose it might indicate that their robots and what passes for "acceptable" AIs is based on human organics (either using imprints or artificially organic structures or something. that's not impossible, given we know that they can imprint animal natures into titans, grapplehawks, etc.)

Page 201
a Praetorian battle servitor whose weapon had malfunctioned and exploded on a test range. The weapon was beyond repair, but the augmetics grafted to its chest and the targeting mechanisms that formed the bulk of its skull were by no means lost.
Praetorian battle servitor.

Page 201
Ravachol knew that he had a natural affinity with robots and their programming, but whoever had authored the code on the doctrina wafers that comprised the Kaban machine's systems was an order of magnitude beyond him. He doubted it was Adept Chrom, who, though brilliant in other regards, appeared to have little or no interest in the field of integrated battle wetware.
Imperial Robots and Servitors seem to share the need to have detailed instructions provided to them (They don't think on their own at all.) That said, we know that servitors can be multitask (at least high order ones can), so it stands to reason they could do multitask robots. Or human directed AI/machine type things (like starships and Titans)

Page 201
Some of these adepts had lived for centuries, their lives extended by cybernetics grafted to their bodies in service of the Blessed Omnissiah - the Machine God of the Martian Priesthood.
AdMech life extension.

Page 201
Silver skinned Skitarii in red cloaks stood sentinel over temples where more secretive work was undertaken, their armour gleaming and bonded to their flesh with bionic enhancements that boosted their strength and endurance.

Page 201
Ravachol wondered if the man had had his sense of humour removed as well as his fear. He felt a mild discomfort as the mechadendrites of the soldier's hand slid inside his own and up into the marrow of his arm. Amber light flickered behind the Skitarii's eyes as the questing tendrils read the machine codes of Ravachol's arm and sampled his genetic material.
Genetic testing security.

PAge 201
The door itself was three metres thick and could withstand all but an orbital bombardment, though Ravachol was only now beginning to understand why the Kaban machine warranted such precautions.
A few paragraphs up it is described as a "monstrous steel door" . not sure how wide or tall it is.

Page 201
A host of technomats, calculus-logi and robed adepts filled the dome, each working at a silver workbench on one aspect of the Kaban machine.
Robot construction crew.

Page 202
A quartet of battle servitors turned to face him, their terrible weapons of destruction whirring as they acquired him as a target. Quad-barrelled rotary cannons, conversion beamers and energy claws powered up with lethal speed.

"Adept Third Class Pallas Ravachol,' he said as visual and aural recognition protocols scanned his voice, mass, features and bio-metric readings before deciding that he was an authorised presence and the weapons returned to their idle positions.

He knew he had no reason to be afraid of these battle servitors, since he himself had designed their autonomic defence routines, but he'd had to suppress a shudder as he stared into the barrels of their weapons.

Had even one protocol failed, he would now be a pile of shredded meat, bone and blood.
Battle servitors. Again note no failsafes or backups to prevent accidents or system failures.

Page 202
It sat immobile at the far end of the chamber, its tracked drive systems not yet fully integrated with it's armoured spherical body. The machine was six metres in width and ten high, though the high-sided pauldrons that protected its vulnerable arm joints added another metre. Its arms sat at rest, one ending in a plethora of projectile weapons, while the other bore a fearsome energy claw and saw-blade combination that could rip through the armoured bulkhead of a starship.

A network of scaffolding surrounded it and he could see that Adept Laanu's weapons teams had been busy over the last few days, installing a myriad of deadly looking plasma and laser weapons on flexible, metallic tentacles. The machine's sensory apparatus lay within a trio of convex blisters on its front, a dim orange glow indicating that the machine was in its dormant state.
The Kaban Machine. We see it in Mechanicum.

Page 202
It had been a routine diurnal shift, and he had been updating the doctrinal wetware of the battle servitors who stood guard over the Kaban machine when it had first spoken to him.

At first he had been amused by the machine's locution, admiring the thoroughness of the adept who had configured its response mechanisms. But as time went on, Ravachol began realise that the Kaban machine was not simply choosing its words from a pre-selected list of set responses, but was replying specifically to his questions. He had devised ever more complex questions and topics of conversation to ensure that he was not simply triggering pre-existing phrases or responses, but as the days turned into weeks it soon became clear to Ravachol that he was in fact conversing with a sentient machine... an artificial intelligence.

The idea of a sentient artificial construct was both fascinating and terrifying, for part of the compact that had been sealed between the Mechanicum of Mars and the Emperor was that such researches were forbidden.
Note that in Mechanicum they don't describe it as wholly mechanical. It had some organic (or semi organic, pseudo organic, or artifically created organic) components. I suspect what the true fear is self-aware, adaptive/learning, self-developing intelligences, which is basically what the Kaban machine is.

PAge 203
His sandaled feet carried him swiftly along the road, avoiding ponderous stilt walkers, rumbling Praetorians and long tankers carrying vat-grown protein pastes to be pumped into the innumerable nutrient dispensers that fed the populace of Mars.
"vat grown protein paste" - ah such culinary delights to be had on Mars.

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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Ahriman238 » 2012-05-23 06:17pm

Glad you made it to this series, Connor. I'm really looking forward to this, in no small part because at this stage the Galaxy was still full of minor human nad xenos star empires, the Interex, the Quietude, the Laer, etc.
"Any plan which requires the direct intervention of any deity to work can be assumed to be a very poor one."- Newbiespud

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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-05-27 06:43pm

Part 3 of 4

Page 205
"Isn't there a, well, a prohibition against such researches? Wasn't it... forbidden? Isn't such research illegal?'"

"You of all people must surely see that? Your work with doctrina wafers is second to none, but even your robots are bound within parameters you set for them. With machines capable of thought, we will usher in a new age of discovery and mechanical perfection. No longer will we have to rely on the fragility and impermanence of flesh."


"It's just that the Mechanicum was forbidden from developing artificial intelligences as part of our alliance with the Emperor."


Ravachol sat on a stool in front of a desk littered with tools and picked up a micro laser before saying, "I'm not entirely sure. There are stories that tell of a great war many thousands of years ago between a race of sentient machines that almost wiped out the human race. Since then, developing machine intelligence has been one of the technologies we've been expressly forbidden to research. It's one of the cornerstones of our pact with the Emperor."
The supposed reasons for the prohibition on AI, which I take to be a reference to the Men of Iron. They basically don't want machines able to think for themeslves or operate independently of human control in any way. Although we do know they have things sort of like that (Starship intelligences, Titans, etc.).. although those may not count as they work in conjunction with humans. Also reference to the old Legio Cybernetica version of robots.

I'd guess what is acceptable is something that uses a machien in conjunction with a human pilot or, say, a servitor, but no self aware machine by itself is allowed (such as the tau use, although Tau drones don't generally operate on their own either, except in large groups.)

Page 207
"The point is that you will decide that for yourself and that's the problem. When machines think for themselves, it doesn't take them long to realise that they have many superiorities to humans, and it is an inevitable fact of history that those who believe themselves superior to the ones they serve will always begin questioning that servitude. It's a mathematical certainty that sentient robots will eventually seek to supplant humans. Why would they not?"
Just like I said. I gather this means 40K sucks at making AIs. Or it may be chaos corruption.

Page 207
Each Protector was a heavily augmented enforcer with cybernetic weaponry and sensors, but was not yet as fully mechanised as to be considered a servitor. A human brain and consciousness motivated these warriors, though their gleaming, expressionless facemasks and dead eyes betrayed no hint of that humanity.

Martian Protectors.

Page 207
His fear rose in suffocating waves as the Protectors raised their weapons in unison. He saw melta guns, plasma coils, nerve scramblers and solid projectile weapons, and knew that they could kill him in a heartbeat were he to resist.
Protector weapons.

Page 207
Ravachol threw up his arms, but instead of the expected agony he saw the Protectors jerked and twisted by dreadful impacts as a line of gunfire and laser energy sawed through them. Blood sprayed from their bodies as they danced in the hail of bullets, and laser-sheared limbs dropped to the floor.

In seconds it was over, the six Protectors reduced to smoking piles of torn flesh and shattered metal. Ravachol dropped to his knees and vomited at the horrific stench of burned meat and blood. As repellent as the sight of the mangled corpses was, he found himself unable to tear his gaze from their ruined forms, struggling to comprehend how they could have been so thoroughly slaughtered in so short a time.

The whine of weapons powering down and the barrels of a hyper-velocity cannon slowing finally penetrated the thunderous ringing in his ears and Ravachol looked up to see the Kaban machine's sensory blisters glowing brightly and thin plumes of blue smoke curling from the weapons mounted on the ends of the metallic tentacles.
the Kabal Machine intervenes. Note that it has a hypervelocity gun.

PAg 207
The Kaban machine had just killed soldiers of the Mechanicum of its own volition and the implications of that action were as inescapable as they were terrifying.

Without human orders, a machine had killed humans...

Even though the Kaban machine's actions had saved his life, he found himself horrified by what it had done. For without the yoke of conscience and responsibility enforced upon machines by the Mechanicum, what else might it decide to do?

He backed away from the Kaban machine, suddenly afraid of its homicidal tendencies and avoiding the pools of blood as best he could as he made his way to the battle servitors that stood sentinel at the chamber's entrance.
Yes we're well along the way to one of those Robot goes mad stories.

Page 208
"I have to," said Ravachol, moving from servitor to servitor. He opened the backs of their skulls and swapped their doctrina wafers for ones he removed from the pouch that hung from his tool belt. Each wafer contained a personalised battle subroutine he had authored and slaved each servitor to respond only to his vocal commands. As each wafer was replaced, the servitor turned to face him and stood expectantly awaiting his orders.
Illegal programming perhaps?

Page 208
Trails of smoke and streaks of light crossed the smeared sky and the low-orbiting moon of Phobos glimmered some three thousand kilometres above him. Its cratered surface was home to a vast surveyor array; its rapid orbit making it perfectly suited to perform multi-spectral sweeps of surrounding space.

The second moon of Mars, Deimos, was not yet visible, its wider orbital trajectory carrying it in a longer circuit of the red planet.
Phobos was converted into a giant sensor platform. Probably Deimos as well.

Page 208
Itself a vast complex of tunnels, glass and steel bridges, rotating turntables and blaring klaxons, thousands of figures flowed in and out of the hub, travelling along horizontal mass conveyors or embarking upon the silver skinned trains that slithered across the surface of Mars like twisting snakes.

From a hub, a person could travel anywhere on the surface of Mars within a few hours.
Rapid transit across mar's surface in a few hours. Mars is some 6800 km in diameter, suggesting that whatever the transport is it can travel in excess of 7000 kph.

Page 211
The train sped past the Ascraeus Mons, a shield volcano with a diameter of over three hundred kilometres that was now home to the Legio Tempestus Titan Legion
We meet them in Mechanicum too.

Page 211
Ravachol peered through the energy-shielded aperture as the train described a gentle eastward curve to catch a glimpse of the vast holy complex. Its temples, shrines and reliquaries covered millions of square kilometres and was home to billions of faithful priests.
I think a ship crashses into this one at some point in Mechanicum - millions of square kilometres gets devastated.. as does billions.

Page 211
What remained of their mechanical components would be salvaged and their flesh would be rendered down into proteins to feed the technomats and servitors.
Remains of the six oblitrated Protectors. Also unsurprising that human flehs gets recycled to feed organics, even if it is just the brainless menials.

PAge 211
He stepped down into the chamber, followed by a slender figure in an all-enclosing bodyglove of a gleaming synthetic material that rippled like blood across its skin. The figure was athletic and toned through a vigorous regime of physical exercise, genetic manipulation and surgical augmentation.
Hardwired targeting apparatus grafted to the side of her skull made her a deadly killer and the long snake-like sensor tendrils that swam in the air at her back ensured that she would always be able to track her prey.

The Tech-Priest Assassins of Mars were a law unto themselves and Chrom knew better than to antagonise one with talk of emotions, but he could not resist elaborating.
Tech priests assassins. We meet them in Mechanicum too. Why the AdMehc have assassins I dont know.

Page 212
Her lower body twisted like smoke, her long, multi-jointed legs fused together just above the ankles by a spar of metal. Below the spar, her legs ended, not in feet, but in a complex series of magno-gravitic thrusters.
We see these in Mechanicum too

PAge 212
"And in moments I can know every detail of what you and he talked about when he returned from my forge. Your memories can be extracted from your synthetic cortex. Of course there is a danger that this may damage your synaptic network, but that is a risk I am willing to take."
Interesting ability

Page 212
An entire demi-legio of battle titans from the Legio Ignatum, a hundred war machines, lined the road and their majesty and power was humbling to a mere human.
A 100-machine strong demi-legio. Note that in Mechanicum a Legion is described as 30 machines.

Page 212
Here, a limbless adept was carried atop a multi-legged palanquin surrounded by impossibly tall tripods that walked with a bizarre, long-limbed gait. There, the fleshy remnants of a collective consciousness travelled in a floating glass tank that was escorted by a squad of Castellan battle robots slaved to its will.
Mind controlled battle robots. I think the tripods are a "War of the Wars" reference.

Page 213
She knew her prey had come this way, passive data feeds embedded on the surface of her skull sensitive to the constant stream of information that flowed like an electrical river all across the surface of Mars told her so.

To Remiare, the air was filled with dancing motes of electrons, each of which spoke to her, and each of which carried with it nuggets of information - useless in themselves, but gathered together they painted an image of Mars more detailed than even the most advanced bionics could produce. She was an island of perception in a sea of information.

Every electronic transaction was carried somewhere, via copper wires, fibre-optic data streams, radio waves, transmission harmonics or in a myriad of other ways. All of it filtered through Remiare's skull and though such a volume of information would send a normal human brain into meltdown, her cognitive processes were equipped with filters that allowed her to siphon relevant information and discarded the rest.
Techpriest Assassin hunting.

Page 214
The Confessor Field is quite safe. It isolates us from the rest of the temple. We take the sanctity of the confessional very seriously and none beyond this field can hear or monitor what passes between us.
"Confessor field" - Techpriest religious version of confession involves info security,

Page 215
" As they exchanged greetings, I recognised a kindred spirit in the Emperor, even though he was twelve hundred and thirty six metres away. I saw that he was a man of science, a man who solved problems with empirical evidence and who had unlocked the secrets of machines that had eluded the greatest geniuses of Mars for centuries. We, the masters of technology, were humbled by the discoveries this Terran had made and yet he was gracious in his mastery, granting us access to the forgotten vaults of Terra and offering us an end to the war between our worlds. A union of Terra and Mars, the head of the Emperor's eagle gaining a twin in his heraldry"
This priest had met the Emperor. Rather obviously one of his fans. Note the way he appreciates the Emperor, and contrast this with the Mechanicum and Adepts like Zeth, compared with others like Kelbor Hal and such.

Another interpretaiton of the Aquila.

Page 215
"The Emperor shared his vision of a galaxy for humanity to inherit, but for such a grand dream to become reality, he needed weapons, supplies, tanks, ammnition and all that the Mechanicum could provide. He promised to protect Mars and respect our sovereignty of the forge worlds, even going so far as to grant us the exclusive services of six of the great Navigator houses to once again despatch our Explorator Fleets. An unprecedented era of cooperation with Terra followed and when the Emperor set out to prosecute his great war of conquest, it did not take long for some of the tech-priests to equate the arrival of the Emperor as the fulfilment of the ancient prophecies of the coming of the Machine God."
This techpriest seemed to understand the deal. The Fab General tells things differently.

Page 215
"Yes, the Noctis Labyrinthus, where some say the Machine God lies dreaming his silver dreams that filter through the red sand to us on the surface. "
Or the Dragon does.

Page 216
Avoiding collisions was easy, for the skiff broadcast a continuous electronic bow wave that registered against anyone in its way, gently guiding their steps or course away from its path and thus Ravachol was able to make steady progress through the Martian landscape.
Neat trick.

Page 218-219
Thanks to his embedded wetware, both enhanced servitors would be working together to bracket the target and destroy it. The third surviving servitor clambered from the transporter to shelter him as the crowd of adepts scattered from the gunfire. The servitor's left arm was a powerful gauntlet sheathed in deadly energy, its right ending in a short-range plasma discharger. Its heavy boots and thick jumpsuit were a reassuringly solid presence between Ravachol and the assassin, but he knew from their reputation that mere servitors could not stop such a deadly killer for long.
Servitor coordination.. also close quarters battle serivtor.

Page 219
Darts of fire spat from the assassin's pistol and bloody craters erupted on one of his servitors. It didn't go down, but dodged and kept firing until another shot struck its head and its lobotomised brain mushroomed from the back of its skull.
Assassin weapon.

Page 219
Surprised by such an aggressive move, the assassin slid to the side as a flurry of lasblasts sawed towards her and left molten craters in the roadway. She flipped up into the air until she was upside down and passed over the servitor, her sword a blur of blue fire.
Super Techpirest ninja skillz.

Page 219
No sooner had the words left his mouth than a pair of cone-shaped shield projectors mounted on the ceiling swivelled to face him. He looked up and saw a nimbus of green light build within the cones.

A shriek of blazing energy flashed towards him from the ceiling. He turned and cried out in terror as he heard a screeching yell from behind him. The razor edge of the assassin's energy sword exploded in a flare of brightly discharging energy as it impacted on the newly generated conversion field.
Defensive screens.

Page 219
He slumped to his haunches and put his head in his hands as a trio of Mechanicum Protectors marched towards him from the temple's interior. Each was armed with a bolter-topped spear stave and was augmented with a fearsome array of plate armour and enhanced battle gear.
They're packing Custodian armaments. I wonder if the Emperor knows.

Page 220
Ravachol was about to ask about these ramifications as he stepped into a colossal chamber hung with tens of thousands of suits of Astartes battle plate and all questions died in his throat.

"I've never seen so many Mark IV suits," said Ravachol. "It must be an awe inspiring sight to see these worn by the Astartes."

"I imagine so," nodded Malevolus. "Of course, we are only about halfway through the general issue of the Mark IV. And as you might imagine, there have been difficulties in getting some of the more... traditionally minded Legions to abandon the old "Iron Suits"."

"The Armorum Ferrum? But why? I thought the Astartes complained that Mark III armour was too clumsy and uncomfortable for everyday battle use."

"It is," agreed Malevolus, "But it is the most visually brutal of all Astartes armour patterns and some Legions relish that brutality and wish to retain it as a uniform for ceremonial guards or speartip assault units."

"But Mark IV is by far the better armour."
Comment on Astartes plate and such. Note that Malevolus (innocent name there YEAH!) appares to be like Locum Kane and be devoted to Astartes production.

Page 221
"He shackles our advancement with absurd restrictions on what we may and may not research and then demands we supply his forces with weapons and war materiel. Where was the Emperor when Old Night engulfed Mars? No, when the Emperor's conquest of the galaxy is finished he will turn on us and take our technologies for himself. We are his vassals, nothing more."
Malevolus tells another side of the coin about the AdMech and Emperor, one more in line with the Fabbie General.

Page 228
"At an opportune moment all forces are to disengage and let our artillery and orbiting craft blast them into oblivion with barrage attacks."

Erebus the Dark Apostle, emissary from Lorgar of the Word Bearers spoke: "My lord Horus, this is a commendable plan and one which I fully endorce. However, it is not guaranteed that an artillery barrage, even one of such magnitude, will completely deal with these foes. Some will inevitably survive."
Why that is, I don't know. It's not like they haven't vaporized whole towns or stuff to eradicate teh enemy. Are they buried belowground or something?

Page 230 - Picture describing "Torvinal Tactical Support squad" of the Empeor's Children.. carrying what appear to be some sort of man portable, lascannon like weapon that is basically an oversized rifle.

Page 230
For the last few months he had never known the enemy to relent from their attacks. The fighting had been constant, the death continual.
Tarvitz reflects on events on Isstvan III. A few months have passed.

Page 230
Instead of laurels for their victory the orbiting fleet sent death down onto the loyal Space Marines. Thousands upon thousands of virus bombs were launched at the planet. The planet's population of six billion people were virtually annihilated in that one action. only a last second warning from loyalists stiil aboard the orbiting ships and their superhuman resilience had saved the Space Marines on the surface from sharing their fate.

After the orbital strike came the assault by the traitors. As the smoke and fire of the virus bombs dispersed, the loyalists saw the drop pods falling to the planet's surface.
Virus bomb attack on Isstvan III again. except its 12 billion.

Page 234
The Space Wolves legion was organised into thirteen Great Companies, each one a sizeable army numbering many thousands of warriors. A mighty Wolf Lord led each of the Great Companies that were more akin to barbarian warbands than to formal military organisarions.
That implies there are at least 26,000 wolves, probably more than that... 50,000 or more I'd guess.

Page 236
The great forests of Prospero were now ashen wastelands, its seas empty dustbowls and the silver and glass spires of its cities laid waste by days of orbital bombardment. The Hrafnkel and the shadowy craft of the Silent Sisterhood had pounded the surface of Prospero to oblivion, but still the Thousand Sons resisted, their magicks protecting their capital from harm while the rest of the planet burned.
The orbital bombardment of prospero vaporized the seas/oceans with days of bombardment. Assuming 10K ships.. 184 MT/sec. call it hundreds of megatons a sec at least. Inefficiencies and the probability I over estimated the number of ships involved is likely. Call it somehwere in the high megatons to gigatons range of firepower for ships at least.

Page 238
Three metres tall, the dreadnought stood silhouetted by the flames and smoke of battle, its mechanised, armoured body housing the remains of one of the Space Wolves' greatest heroes. Bjorn bellowed in laughter as Patrekr's guns opened fire, spraying the Thousand Sons with heary calibre shells that ripped them apart in seconds, their bodies reduced to a fine mist of blood and torn flesh.
Dreadnought firing on Thousand sons.

Page 240
Bjorn watched with fierce pride as the Sisters of Silence, the Custodian Guard and the Wulfen stood ready to face the monstrous Primarch.

Bolter fire pattered harmlessly from his armour and he laughed as his opponents charged towards hlm. They could not possibly defeat Magnus, but would give their lives in trying.

But even as the Cyclops raised his axe to smite them down, a silver tower crashed into the rubble-strewn street, cast down by a howling figure in bloody armour who raised his gore-smeared sword in challenge to the traitorous sorcerer.
Magnus vs Space Wolves.

Page 241
Each Custodian that fell had taken at least five of their enemy with them. The carnage was appalling!

Leaping up onto the raised platform Valdor immediately and very deliberately disembowelled the first of the hulking Terminators in front of him. As the traitor's guts spilled out onto the dais he sidestepped the falling corpse and speared a second Terminator through his left eye.


Valdor had incapacitated two of the massively armoured Thousand Sons before they could even strike back at him. His supporting Guard followed him onto the dais and engaged the remainingTerminators, seven against seven, the odds were even, the traitors had no chance and were quickly despatched.
Custodians vs Thousand sons Terminators.

Page 241
To their credit, the three blue-cloaked sorcerers did not run. They stood their ground and levelied their staves. Bolts of blue lightning flashed from their rods, lancing into the golden armour of three of Valdor's men. Within their suits, the blood of the Custodians boiled instantly, spewing out of their armours' seals and the eye slits of their helmets.
MJ range.. maybe?

Page 241 - Prahopte Recon squad of the Thousand sons. Power armored (Scouts?) with lasguns.

Page 249
"Primarch Dorn, you and I have known each other for many years. For longer than a normal man might count three lifetimes we have been comrades and friends."
200-300 years maybe?

PAge 252
Some astro-telepathy had been possible and some ships had been able to travel to the Solar System from outlying stars, but without the Emperor's mighty psychic powers to call upon, such endeavours were at best unreliable and threatened any who attempted them with mortal peril.
It's possible to travel without the astronomican, but risky.

Page 252
"Even as I speak, the Astronomican signal is being reinforced, Lord Dorn. Hundreds of new psykers are being attached to the machinery of the great beacon each day, but the death toll is horrendous. The harder we push them the quicker they burn out and die. I'm not entirely sure how long we will be able to sustain the beacon at the increased level. We are making some progress, but time is against us and I have some reason to suspect that matters are far worse than we could have possibly imagined."
The Astronomican beacon seems to operate at variable levels depending on circumstances. This seems to enable the beacon to penetrate the disruption of the warp better and improve the ability of ships to navigate the Warp. Would only be useful if they have lots of excess psykers.

Page 252
It was a mighty gamble. Each day hundreds of psykers died as their life energies were exhausted by the effort required to power the Astronomican signal. Without constant recruitment of new psykers from the worlds of the Imperium there would soon be no more psykers available for harnessing to the great machine. If the beacon failed, then all communication and travel through the warp would become impossible.

But slowly and surely, the gamble began to pay off. With each passing day the Astropathic Corps was able to process more and more signals form the distant star systems of the Imperium. Across the vastness of space, human worlds were able to communicate with each other, and with Terra. At long last the first messages from some of the Space Marine Legions were interpreted and transmitted to the logic-engines of Malcador and Dorn's command centre.
Again Tradeoffs of boosting the Astronomican. What's interesting is how the Astronomican is linked to communication as well as travel - do the astropaths tap into it or rely on it then as well? Is that why they can see the beacon?

They seem to get more signals each day from outlying star systems (millions of c?) Also the bit about translating and transmitting messages to the logic engines.

Page 254
If this rebellion could not be stopped then everything that the human race had worked to achieve over the last three centuries would be destroyed.
3 centuries.. 200 years of Great crusade plus.. what? 100 years of preparation or so?

Page 256 - Emperor's Children jetbike squad. Again.

Page 260
"My primary concerns are the warp storms and the fact that we have been able to overcome them these past days."
Implies that communications between outlying forces took days. Although some forces are incommunicado and the distances aren't exactly known.. but if they're pulling it in from the edges of the galaxy we're talking millions/tens of millions of c.

Page 268 - world eater scout squad shown here.. but they're different from teh recon squads - the armor they are wearing looks like carapace but not power armor (no helmets or backpacks or stuff) and they look like scouts.. (pistol and close combat weapon in this incarnation) not like lasgun toting marines with power armor.

Page 272
Whilst the warp storms raged, the loyal astropaths and navigators of the Imperium could not easily carry out their duties. This interference had crippled the loyalist efforts to understand what was happening actoss the galaxy, let alone do anything about it. It had enabled Horus to isolate the most powerful and loyal legions in remote corners of the lmperium and it had allowed him to operate without hinderance in the Isstvan System.
Difficulties presented by warp storms. All the loyal legions (except the White Scars, obviously) are scattered in "remote corners" of the galaxy, far away from Terra or Isstvan.

Page 279
Ferrus had sped to the Isstvan System in his fastest ships with ihs Legion's veteran companies. He was desperate to fight the traitors. Months previously he had been confronted by Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor's Children Legion.
In the long weeks since the confrontation, Ferrus had been unable to contact the Emperor with the hideous revelation of the betrayal of Horus and Fulgrim as he and his Legion were becalmed by warp storms. When he was finally able to communicare with Terra he learned the full extent of the betrayal.
"weeks" and "months" since the confrontation, gives an implication about warp speed if we knew exact location.

Page 282
Finally he got the news he wanted to hear. The remaining four fleets were only hours away and would break their warpjump close to the fifrh
Pretty much as happened in Fulgrim.

Page 287 - Mordant Mammoth heavy tank... death guard vehicle.. looks to be a super heavy or baneblade variant.

Page 290 - Malbon support group of Iron Warriors.. looks to be carrying what is a shoulder-fired plasma cannon.

Page 290
As the command to attack wsa broadcast from Ferrus' flagship, the sky above Urgall blackened as ten thousand drop pods rained down onto the planet from the loyalist fleet in orbit. Huge explosions ripped through the traitor lines as the orbiting fleet unleashed a torrent of fire from its massive guns, bomb and missile launchers.
Following in the wake of the drop pods, hundreds of dropships and landers carrying heavier equipment and large war machines began their urgent descent to the planet's surface. Within minutes, the entire loyalist forces of Ferrus had made planetfall.
The Raven Guard, Salamanders and the Vet forces of the Iron Hands engage,

Page 291
- Goldoara Heavy support squad of Emperor's Children - looks to be carrying a lascannon in rifle-fashion (no stock though) with power cable linking to backapck power source.

Page 302
His previous encounter with Fulgrim and the traitor's attempt to turn him, the months he and his Legion had been stranded on the far side of the Imperium, unable to contact or be contacted by the Emperor, the passion with which the traitor Space Marines had fought back against his attack had all conspired to fill him with rage and set his heart on a quest for vengeance.
Months spent straneded on the far side of the Imperium.. means weeks or months maybe (less than a year, again) to reach Isstvaan.. across either half a galaxy or a full galaxy.. can't tell. Hundreds of thousands of c.. how many hundreds of thousands is up to debate. Maybe millions.

Page 303 - Nisr's scouts - Imperial Army Look like Krieg or Steel Legion type troops - Greatcoats, skull like face masks and the helmets.

PAge 304- alpha-Omega 05 a battle robot that looks vaguely spherical and mounted on treads.. similar to KabanProject Machine (even having the tentacle/Mechadendrite type beam weapons)

Chi-Mu 25 - some sort of Ad Mech Rhino variant that looks to be mounting a whirlwind Missile launcher (six shot)

Page 309 - Fohrste OGryns of the Imperial army. They all look to be surpsisingly sophisticated and well equipped OGryns. They're wielding what looks to be some kind of rifle that is not a Ripper gun - some ogryn style lasgun perhaps? Its got glowy buttons on it (no stock though, so still close combat). THey also have grenades, and armor and webbing and other gear. And pants. One is smoking a cigar and has a soda can in one of his grenade belt loops. Maybe the BONE'Ead surgical technique was more common back then? Or perhaps these are one of the demi-OGryn Guard troops who aren't quite as stupid (something like the Kanak)

Page 312 - Vicente Six Raven Guard troops. They all seem to have suit modifications.. some sorts of devices mounted on the tops of backpacks - targeters or sensors or cameras of some kind, and odd ocular/eyepiece attachments on the left sides of their helmets. Also their armour is oddly pure white with a red skull and wings chestpiece.

Page 315 - Ornatav's barge, Imperial army listing. Has some huge guns sticking out of it (although they look small and spindly.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-05-27 07:04pm

Part 4. Next time we start the novels!

Page 320
He was seated upon a huge chair fully ten metres above them. The chair was bulky and machine like, a mass of twisted cables, wires and conduits linking it to the enormous portal over which it hung. Arcs of power crackled about the Emperors head, his eyes were shut tight and he did not move. The air was thick with the smell of ozone and machine. The entire construct was fabricated of metal, gold in colour, and gigantic mechanised doors of the same golden metal blocked the portal shut. The huge machine throne and the doorway beneath it filled one end of a vast, cavernous hall.
The Golden Throne.

Page 320
The hall itself was large enough to accommodate five or six fully equipped companies of Space Marines and he was sure even a Warhound Titan of the Mechanicum of Mars would be able to walk through the portal unbowed.
The Imperial Dungeon - I believe is what it is called.

Page 320
"Beyond these golden doors lies a vast network of tunnels. These are no ordinary passageways. They were constructed eons ago by a race more ancient than our sun. The tunnels do not pass through the rock upon which my Palace is built but instead pass through the fabric of the warp itself. The web of tunnels is so unimaginably large and complex it is difficult to map. However, it is possible to travel to the other side of the Imperium in the blink of an eye through its arcane assageways if one can access the necessary warp-gates. The location of these doorways and the layout ofthe web are the greatest secrets of the aliens who built it.."

The Emperor's big, great work on Terra and why he abandoned the crusade. He's trying to invade and conquer the webway for the Imperium. Speed of the webway - 100,000 LY/sec implied, although it could vary.

Page 324 - Various pictures showing the inside of the Webway show it to have cities and structures. Some of which look vaguely Eldar like in design or type, although the portal itself does not look of Eldar design I have noticed. We know from Thousand Sons that the Emperor did nto "build" the Golden Throne per se, but he found and built upon/modified it It may have been Eldar (one picture caption identifies "wraithbone ruins" which bear a resemblence to Eldar astehtic) but it may not be - it coudl be some contemporary of the Eldar, or perhaps even a remains of the Old Ones themselves.

On the other hand there is the question of why, if the Golden Throne was a Webway portal to begin with, it needed the Emperor's protection in connecting between said gate and the network...

Another possibility, and strongly hinted at in the series (with the Dragon being on Earth, and 5th edition and such) is that the Golden Throne was a Necron-built Dolmen Gate.

Anyhow, we learned in 5th edition with the Dark Eldar codex that there were Eldar civilizations in the webway, and the Dark Eldar still reside in the webway.

Page 324
"The warp-gate before you is the fruit of many decades of labour - work I set in motion when first I set my Palace on this mount. Its construction was to have been the first stage in a bold mission to conquer the web of the warp and thus free Humanity from reliance on warp-ships and astrotelepathy."
I guess he constructed the webway portal. That doesn't mean he created the throne though.

Page 324
"The warpgate I have constructed and the short section ofpassage beyond require constant maintenance lest they fall into ruin. At first this demanded only a srnall portion of my psychic might and so I was able to command my armies and do all that was expected of me as Emperor. But the hideous monstrosities that rule the warp - the self-proclaimed gods of Chaos have ever been my foes and they conspired to subvert my goals. To this end they tempted the naive Magnus to warn me of the very plot they had incepted - the betrayal of Horus. Magnus sent his warning by means of powerful sorcery and this wreaked havoc on the protective psychic shielding around my construct."

"The spell of Magnus not only allowed the foul denizens of the warp entry to the section of the web my secret army had by then conquered, it destroyed the delicate controls I had set in place. Now this warp-gate requires virtually all of my power and concentration lest it rips open a permanent doorway between our world and the warp!"
Well Magnus fucked that plan up in his arrogance, didn't he? And he claims to know the Warp better than Big E too. Of course Chaos has plenty of reason not to want the Imperium to use the webway I suppose.

This also menas that in modern times the Emperor is fighting to keep that webway shut. So if he died or if things fell apart? Terra would beg engulfed in a demon portal.

Page 324
"However, I fear that in itself will not end this trouble.The actions of Horus and his cronies will have consequences far into the future - far beyond the point where my clairvoyance is clear. The Warmaster has opened up posibilities for treachery that will bedevil Hurnanity for centuries to come. Malcador, you must draw about you men of character, skill and determination. These men are to be rigorously tested and trained to ensure that they are of the highest calibre and that their loyalty to me is unshakeable. These men will be the cadre of an elite group of investigators whose role is to root out heresy and treachery wherever it may hide."
It seems like a side benefit of Horus' actions is that he's thrown all future probability into the air - so much so the Emperor cannot accurately see the future at this time (assuming Chaos isn't just messing up that too.)

Anyhow he's talking about creating the Inquisition. Pity their loyalty is imperfect in modern times.

Page 326
The warp-gate in the Imperial Dungeon led to a short section of human-built warp-tunnel. Beyond this lay the vast interlocking maze of tunnels, passageways and conduits that was the alien webway. Many of the passageways were small, intimate walkways just big enough for a human to walk along. Some were so large it was possible to dtive a large vehicle along them. In places there were enormous tunnels, easily big enough to facilitate the passage of large ships. At the junctions of the largest tunnels sat ancient cities; long abandoned by their former occupants, these places had fallen into disrepair and ruin
Inside the webway.

Page 326
The Golden Throne gateway, the Imperial conduit and the alienbuilt web-tunnels were all both physical and psychic in nature. Trapped around the physical component was a psychic sheath or shield. the very substance of the alien tunnels appeared to generate this shielding naturally - the Imperial engineers and technicians found no mechanisms or engines that wete responsible for it. For the human-built gateway and conduit, the Emperor himself generated the protective psychic sheath. This psy-shield sealed the web from the warp and its denizens in some inexplicably arcane fashion. Magnus's spell disrupted this shield causing great rifts to appear in it.
Nature of the human-built webway, including its vulnerability. I have to wonder how the Emperor intended to overcome this shortcoming. Especially since he cannot apparently close it up and seal it.

Page 326 - hover rhino of some kind, for the Custodes.

Page 332
"Night Haunter is to take his Legion to the planet of Tsagualsa within the Eastern Fringes. From this base he is to strike at the Imperial strongholds of Heroldar and Thramas. These two systems present a clear danger to our operation. If not dealt with they could provide the enemy with an opportunity to outflank us. Thramas, in particular, needs to be neutralised as the system contains a number of forgeworlds who remain loyal to the Emperor. I have also received reports that the Dark Angels have been sighted in the sector. If these reports are true you will have more than enough to worry about, Curze."
As far as I know the Night Lords or Dark Angels didn't fight. The Dark Angels werne't able to make it from the Easter Fringe to Terra though in a few months it seems. I wonder how this meshes up with the viewpoint of Talos in the NL novels, since it implies that Curze came out to the Eastern Fringe of his own volition.

Page 334
"Alpharius. You have a vital duty to perform for me. Despite our glorious victory on the plains of Isstvan V our enemy can yet call upon the services of a number of powerful Legions. I am sure that Lorgar's Word Bearers can keep Guilliman and his Ultramarines busy at Ultramar for some time to come but I am concerned about those Legions rather closer to Terra.The White Scars Legion has been operating in the Chondax systems close to Prospero where we know the Space Wolves have been active."
The location of the White Scars and Space Wolves. how the Alpha Legion was to tie up both of them.. I have no clue.

Page 334
"Rogal Dorn despatched these troops to reinforce the Imperials on the third planet. Our allies within the warp have been able to delay their transit for many months long enough that they can never complete their original mission, nor have they been able to participate in the battle here on Isstvan V. Now they must be dealt with. We cannot allow such a strong complement of Space Marines to infiltrate our space. They could seriously disrupt preparations for the attack on Terra."
Implied that the Fists could have reached Isstvan months earlier had the Warp not interefered.

Page 337
"In addition to the greater portion of tech-priests, the traitors could also call upon the services of seven Titan Legions."
Hundreds of Titan legions either way (assuming between 30-100 per Legion or something) Maybe some thousands. The Loyalists still have more, but they're scattered.

Page 338
Dorn and his confidants feared the worst regarding the fate of the several Legions they had sent against the Warmaster. These fears were more than realised when the first of the Isstvan V survivors arrived back at Terra and told of what had happened there.
the survivors returned to terra.

Page 341
"Even as Sanguinius regained consciousness his crushed legs were beginning to heal.


Within a few days the Angel was able to walk, although not without discomfort.

As his legs grew stronger and the pain from them slowly subsided, he noticed a change in his Blood Angels.
Sanguinius' healing abilities.

Page 341
The scarce few surviving indigenous people of the system were arranged passage to nearby human systems. Warning beacons were stationed at the warp-jump points to ward off any future unwary visitors from setting foot on any of the planets or moons.
The blood Angels evacuated who they could, in other words.

Page 342
The rest of Dorn's Legion had made for Isstvan. It was a significant force of arms - over thirty thousand Space Marines aboard a fleet of seventeen battlebarges and assorted cruisers, with a host of smaller supporting craft.
30K Space Marines and seveteen battle barges and cruisers. Probably not all of his Legion... but it implies he might have less than 100,000.. It's a lower limit anyhow. Tens of thousands of Marines and dozens/hundreds of ships.

Page 342
However, for reasons they could not ascertain, the warp was calm in this region and the Imperial Fists found that they could navigate to and from the system with some surety. The Legion's commanders decided therefore to use Phall as a base for the fleet whilst they sent ships to scout the surrounding space and probe the warp for routes to either Isstvan or Terra.
Chaos again manipulating things to frustrate the Imperium and Aid Horus.

Page 342
The Iron Warriors Primarch commanded a fleet of over twenty large warships. Before the Imperial Fists' astropaths could relay news of the rebel fleet's appearance at the warp jump points, it was firing upon the loyalist ships orbiting the second planet. Within minutes, three Imperial Fists battle barges had been crippled, the Hammer of Terra exploding as a salvo of torpedoes smashed into its aft section, setting off a chain reaction in the plasma engines. A dozen smaller craft were simply ripped apart by the hail offire from the traitor vessels.
the Iron Warriors fleet. The oddity here is the short time between emergence from the warp point and opening fire. Even assuming the Iron Warriors emerge fairly close (half an AU to an aU out) and are travelling at a high fraction of c (.75 say) we'd be looking at engagement ranges of hundreds of thousands, and more probably millions of kms. If they are travelling slower? Or emerge from further away? The range is correspondingly greater (eg tens of millions of km) Considering it's mostly torpedoes mentioned (or possibly other guided munitions) this wouldn't be too weird.

Page 343
After many long months of being isolated from any communication with the rest of the Imperium, the Imperial Fists had finally made contact with Terra.
I think they're still close to Isstvan, so the contact seems to be near-realtime and tens of thousands of LY.

Page 343
As the loyalist ships broke orbit and manoeuvred to their jump points, the traitor ships turned back towards them and began a new assault. A number of Imperial Fists light cruisers moved to intercept the fresh attack. These few ships were no match for the battle-barges of Perturabo and were cut apart by laser fire from the prows of the heavier ships. Their sacrifice was well judged and delayed the traitors long enough for the rest of the loyal Legion to make the jump points, enter the warp and head for Terra.
We're probably talking minutes at best... which matches the Iron Warriors attack. That kinda reinforces we're dealing with close warp jump points.

Page 344
As the Khan's fleet was making final preparation for the warp-jumps they received urgent astropathic signals from an unexpected quarter. It was the Primarch of the Space Wolves, Leman Russ. The Wolf Primarch told of his mission to Prospero, which was relatively close to the Chondax System, and of the rebellion of Magnus the Red. The Khan had been unaware of Russ's attack on Prospero and hearing of the treachery of the Thousand Sons added to his growing sense of unease. Worse still, was the news that the Space Wolves had intercepted a traitor fleet bound for Chondax. Russ told Jaghatai that his fleet was now battling the rebel ships and warned him that some elements of their armada had broken away and were heading his way.

The two loyal Primarchs exchanged communications and discussed the options open to them. They agreed that combined their two fleets could easily defeat the traitors, who Russ identified as the Alpha Legion. However either of the loyal fleets would be at grave risk of defeat if they tried to fight alone. Russ told the Khan that he was only able to avoid being overwhelmed by adopting hit and run tactics. This was stopping Alpharius from being able to bring his greater number of ships to bear but it was doing little to slow the advance of the traitor fleet.
I don't think they are in the same system, so we're talking about near-realtime, system to system communication with astropaths yet again. Also interesting that Russ was able to tell (and warn about) the incoming Alpha Legion fleet Khan would face.

Page 345
It was a difficult choice for the Khan to make. He sent urgent communications to Terra, requesting that Dorn amend his orders in the light of this latest revelation and allow him to support his old firend. While he was waiting for a response from Dorn, the White Scars Primarch ordered his fleet to make ready to support the Space Wolves. Even as the great battle-barges swung into position, leading elements of the traitor fleet of Alpharius appeared on the scanners. Within moments the traitor ships were upon them.

The leading ships of Alpharius's fleet were small, fast cruisers and escorts.

lt did not appear to the White Scars that these would present too much of a threat to them and so it proved. The massed gunnery of the White Scars battle-barges ripped the smaller ships to pieces. The Khan and his officers were confused. They could not understand what the traitors were trying to achieve. As long as they attacked piecemeal and with their smallest ships, the loyal fleet was virtually invulnerable. It did not make any sense.

It made even less sense to the Khan when the larger Alpha Legion warshlps started to appear. These vessels did not attack but held station at the edge of the system whilst their smaller comrades continued to commit suicide.
Khan is waiting for response from Terra.

Page 345
Jaghati Khan's reluctance to fully engage the traitor fleet of Alphrarius was vindicated when he received a reply to the signal he had sent to Rogal Dorn on terra.

Dorn's new communique was clear and unequivocal - the Khan was instructed to move his legion to Terra without delay, regardless of any and all other considerations. Dorn's orders also told the Khan to relay this order to Leman Russ of the Space Wolves with the added codicil that the Space Wolves Legion was was to draw the enemy fleet as far from Terra as possible and that if, and only if, he was able to break contact with the rebels should he attempt to warp jump to Terra.
Khan gets a reply backwithin the course of the battle.. hours or a few days tops. Prospero is about 15K LY from Terra.. so we're talking maybe 10-15K LY. Millions to tens of millions of c.

Page 350 - Imperial webway conduit described.

Also shown are the Custodians (I'd guess) and Custodian troop transports, which look antigrav. The Emperor looks to be (scaling wise) equal to 1/3 to 1/4th the height/width of the portal.

Page 351
The Emperor drew on his reserves of power and his star burned ever brighter; the daemons, unwilling to approach the shining nimbus, were held back.


The gate would remain closed to the daemons for as long as the Emperor was able to power it frorn his throne atop the golden portal. Only the mightiest of psykers had power enough to do this and even then most wourd be exhausted and fail in a short time. Only the Emperor had the might to keep the gate closed permanently and for him the effort got harder as the daemonic forces gathered about him. For as long as the daemon horde threatened to breach the portal, the Golden Throne would be his prison.
The Emperor's magic aura seems to have anti-daemon properties. And again the Emperor has to sit on the golden toilet forever to keep it from overflowing with daemons. Frankly the fact the gate hasn't opened and invaded Terra is perhaps one of the best indicators that the Emperor is still active.

Page 351

- Bloodthirster with a Mace at the gate of the Imperial Webway... hard to gauge his height but he might be 2-3 times the height/width of the webway.. maybe 20 meters tall, judging by the Emperor and the Silent sister. Of course, this doesnt mean much, since Daemons can assume whatever size/mass they wish, if they have enough matter/energy nearby.

Page 352
He had recalled all remaining known loyal Legions to Terra to face the impending threat of invasion by Horus and his traitor army. Early responses to his signals suggested that the traitors had anticipated this move and were actively trying to prevent these Legions from reinforcing the defences of Terra.

The Space Wolves legion had been attacked and thus prevented from travelling to the Solar system. The loyal defenders of Terra would miss the strong arm of Russ and his legion. However, their actions at least allowed the White Scars Legion of Jaghatai Khan to make headway for Earth. Even allowing for the vagaries of warp travel, Dorn expected the Kahn and his fleet to arrive within days. He pressed Malcador to maintain the highest Astronomican beacon at peak efficiency to give them as much aid as possible and reduce their chance of mis-navigation.
Implied time for the White Scars to reach Terra from near Prospero of "days" (remember he ordered Khan back to Terra and Russ to lead off the Alpha Legion during the battle) 10-15K LY in days is 600,000c to 1.8 million c at least (900,000 to 2.7 million if 15K LY). Even if it was more like weeks, we're still talking hundreds of thousands of c.

Page 353
At long last Dorn's wait was over as first, the Imperial Fists fleet broke warp near the Uranus jump point and then the White Scars and the Blood Angels fleets appeared on long-range scanners.
Rather interesting that they all arrived near-simultaneously like that.

Page 353
In addition to their three Legions of Space Marines, the loyalist defenders included nearly one and a half million troops of the Imperial Army and three entire Titan Legions of the Mechanicum.


The loyal fleets were stationed as a first line of defence in orbit above the Earth. A string of Mechanicum orbital gun platforms, missile stations and clouds of space mines reinforced this ring of battleships.
1.5 million Army troops and 3 Titan legions (90-300 Titans.) and a shit ton of orbital defenses. I believe at or around this point things start being more like in the past fluff, with Bill King's take on the Battle of Terra and such. It will be interesting to see how this meshes upw ith the eventual stories (in some distant future.)

Page 354
On the thirteenth day of Secundus, the bombardment began. From orbit, the Warmaster's ships laid down an unrelenting barrage of missiles and deadly energy beams. Horus's aim was to cripple the defences around the Emperor,s Paiace and make possible a massive invasion of the Earth. Striking from Mars the traitor ships had destroyed the lunar bases, smashed Terras orbiting defences and scattered the protecting loyal fleets.


The skies of Earth were black with dust and ash thrown up by the barrage. The land was split with gigantic fissures and the tectonic plates groaned with stress. Mountain chains shivered and seas evaporated to become barren deserts. Rains of blood and ash dripped from the darkening sky. Astropathic choirs sang of evil portents and men went mad with fear. The fleet of Horus hung in orbit over the ravaged world. Shielded by the cunningly wrought defences ofthe tech-priests, the pitiful few defenders ofTerra stood ready to repel the invaders.
The effects of horus' bombardment. We know it lasts less than 55 days. Terra seems to have shielded much of its surface from the attacks though. Cracking the crust and boiling off the oceans suggests yields in the order of e27-e28 joules. Probably not evaporating it totally off the planet's surface, since the place still had an atmosphere I think. Also we know that Terra had ice caps of some kind (Inquisition War novels). We don't know how many ships there are but some hints have suggested up to a million. We know from Galaxy in Flames he deployed with 3000 at least. ASsuming a million and a full 55 day bombardment for ocean vaporiziation... we're talking e15 watts. for 3000 ships we go up to e17-1e8 watts, especially if the yield goes up (inefficiencies, blowing off part of the moisture/atmosphere)

This will be an interesting thing to witness in the future, as vairous novels have at different times indicated Terra does or does not have its oceans or any body of water (it was boiled away during the Unificaiton Wars and the infighting prior to the Emperor's armies conquered the planet, for example.)

Page 355
Defence lasers blasted many renegade ships from the sky, sending thousands of tons of fused metal death raining down onto the ground below. Crippled vessels crashed into buildings or were vaporised in flight by the energy beams of the huge Terra guns. As quickly as the surviving ships landed they disgorged their cargoes and tens of thousands of traitor troops surged forth to attack the bastions of the defenders.
Assuming iron.. Terajoules. although we dont know how many shots, how many guns, or how to interpret it, so it doesn't help a great deal. Then again some are also vaporized.

Page 356
Hundred-metre high doors opened along the flanks of the monstrous ships and from within their stygian holds the Titans of Chaos emerged. They were warped giants; the armour of their carapaces fused and moulded into new macabre designs by the power of Chaos. Some of the Titans had been equipped with strange and potent weapons, others had become a bizarre hybrid of the organic and the machine. Metal tentacles lashed, spiked tails whipped back and forth. Engines roared like the bellowing of ancient beasts. Banners unfurled bearing the foul runes ofChaos and theTitans ofthe Storm lords and the Flaming Skulls Legions marched to war.
Titan Landers and Chaos titans. Corrupted in a matter of months or a few years.

Page 357 - Depicts white beams of energy from above precison-blasting enemy vehicles, land speeders, etc of Chaos. The title labels it as defence satellites.

Page 359
At this, Sanguinius leapt at the daemon and seizing it by the wrist and ankle, raised the beast high and smashed it down across his knee. The crack of its back breaking shook the masorny upon which they stood and echoed across the Palace grounds, the hordes below watching in silence.
The infamous battle between Sangy and the Bloodthirster.

Page 359
They rode in aboard the great Sky Fortress - a massive fortified gunship. Dorn had received the signal from Malcador and was determined to stand, and if necessary, die side by side with the Emperor in the final hour.


The traitor Titans of the Death's Head legion spied the great ship and with a hail of fire from their mammoth weapons they shot it down. As the ship fell from the skythe loyal command crew bravely struggled to crash the crippled vehicle amongst Horus's attacking army.

To those watching from the Palace towers it seemed as if a new sun had been born on Earth as the Sky Fortress's plasma reactor exploded. The glare from the orb of plasma {ire seared their eyes and the shockwave in its wake knocked them fiom their feet. The explosion ripped a huge crater in the land fully three kilometres across.
The Sky Fortress was from the Horus Heresy board game. Alot of the fluff for this part of teh book is actually taken from the game, which I find very interesting

anyhow, plasma reactor blowing up.. 3 km across.. megaton range explosion.

Page 359
"Horus thinks me blinded by his psychics but I am more powerful than he can possibly imagine. The Space Wolves have had help from an unexpected quarter and, having turned the tables on their pursuers, are now bound for Earth. The Ultramarines have likewise triumphed and also head this way, as does the fleet of the Dark Angels. Horus knows that these Legions are coming and will want to finish affairs here before they arrive. He can only do this by confronting me in person. This will force him to act rashly, against the counsel ofhis closest advisors. I must be ready to take advantage of his mistake."
as I recall they were days/weeks away. The Ultrasmurfs are at Calth, the Dark Angels are on the Eastern Fringe somewhere. The Wolves were much closer (10-20K LY at least, but probably further away given Russ' orders)

Page 359
"Sire, when last we met you commanded me to gather together a group of people whose loyalty to you and to the Imperium was unquestioning. This I have done. I have worked long and hard to find those I thought would suit. I have personally overseen every aspect ofthe exhaustive tests to which they have been subjected and can vouch for their character, loyalty and strength of mind. They have many skills and will serve you well."

Malcador gestured to the hooded figures behind him, as he did so four of them stepped forward and knelt before the Emperor. The Emperor nodded an acknowledgement of their show of fealty to him.

"Sire, these others are known to you. Each of them is a Space Marine. They have cast aside their allegiance to Primarch and Legion who have sided with Horus and pledged themselves anew to you, their Emperor and father. I have chosen these eight since allied to their unflinching loyalty they each are blessed with paranormal skills, kept dormant in respect of your previous commands. However these skills are most apt in combating the horrors that have recently emerged from the warp and I know they will be needed in the coming years."

"Malcador you have judged well, these eight Space Marines do indeed have a vital role to play in the future of the Imperium, though veiled in secrecy will they be."
Inquisition's genesis. Note that this is also Garro and Qruze and some of those folk if I remember details right... which has formed a whole bunch of short stories already.

Page 360
Erebus of the Word Bearers reported to Horus that their warp-based allies had espied a number of loyal fleets heading for Terra. The Space Wolves fleet of Leman Russ had somehow evaded the Alpha Legion of Alpharius and had set course for Earth. Likewise,a huge loyal fleet had departed from Ultramar carrying the apparently victorious Ultramarines Legion. Horus's daemonic allies said that they were but scant hours from reaching the Solar system. Furthermore, the Dark Angels of Lion El'Jonsown were also Earth-bound, though the daemons couldn't say when they would arrive.
Daemonic recon telling of the appearance of loyalist fleets - antoher benefit of DAemon allies. The Ultramsurfs are hours away from arriving, meaning they took a little over 2 months or so to reach Terra, and the Space Wolves took no more than 2 months. At least 60-90,000c for the Wolves, 300-350,000c for the Ultramarines perhaps.

Page 360
He immediately ordered all comm-net communications to be blocked so that the defenders on Terra could receive no word from their rescuers. He concentrated on his own psychic powers to cloud the Emperor's psy-senses and prevent him knowing of the approachring fleets. He turned to his waiting minions, his head ablaze with psychic fire, and gave his fateful command.
How are the loyalists going to get comms from outside the system?

Page 364
How was this possible, he wondered? Could Horus have disrupted the teleport beam? Had he become so powerful?
The Emperor consider's it a sign of Horus' power that he disrupted a teleporter beam. This tends to suggest that disrupting a Teleporter beam is not normal (at least barring shields)

Page 364
The Emperor's sword lashed out, severing limbs, freeing those trapped. He summoned his psychic energies. A nimbus flickered around his head as he unleashed but a fraction of his power A tidal wave of destruction ripped through the daemons, destroying them utterly, yet left his own men unscathed.

The Emperor scanned about him, seeking the primarchs, but the walls of the Warmaster's battle-barge were resistant to his mindsight.
The Empy's psychic powers are tied to his magic glow aura, probably a side effect of the usage. A fraction of his power is sufficient to outright destroy daemons. (recall that Eisenhorn with his Force Staff, at Alpha psyker level, could obliterate daemons too.)

Page 364
Bolts of force flashed back and forth as the demi-gods clashed, balancing the fate of the galaxy on every blow. Runesword and lightning claw rang against each other with a sound like thunder. Energes potent enough to levle planets were unleashed. The chamber was filled with fire and brimstone and the Vengeful Spirit shook from prow to stern.

A backhand swipe form Horus knocked the Emperor through a stone bulkhead. His counterstroke tore a supporting column out of the ceiling as the Warmaster ducked.


Somehow, he could not make himself bring his full force to bear on Horus; the Warmaster might be treator but deep within him he was still the favoured son...


A lightning claw cut the Emperor's armour as if it were cloth, sheered through flesh and bone. The emperor riposted with a psychic stroke intended to disrupt the Warmaster's nervous system. Horus laughed as he deflected it easily. His claws raked the Emperor across the throat, crushing windpipe and severing jugular. The Emperor gasped for breath as his blood spurted forth. He staggered, clutching desperately at his neck . Another blow severed the tendons of his wrist, causing his sword to drop from nerveless fingers.


Horus broke several ribs with an almost playful punch. A surge of enregy seared the Emperor's face, melting flesh til it ran, burst an eyeball, set the hair alight.


Horus grabbed a wrist, splintering bones. Blood pumped from the Emperor's throat. Horus lifted his foe above his head and brought him down across his knee, breaking his spine.
The big battle. I really wonder how this will be handled in novel. Big E tries, but his desire to save horus leaves him exposed to getting his ass kicked, which he does.

Page 367
"He [Malcador] reserved a fragment of his strength for me. It gives me a little time to pass final orders to you all. If you do as I ask then I shall not wholly die, my spirit at least will survive. My injuries are severe, more so than I had hoped but less so than I had feared. My psychic powers will return to me in time but my body will never heal. I shall never walk amongst you again. I am now bound to this machine for all time."
The last act of Malcador. He claims to have partly died (but not wholly... you figure it out) Note he doesn't think the machine will for a long time it seems, or fer that sort of thing.

Page 370
The Emperor was trapped on his Golden Throne, its arcane engineering barely able to keep his physical being from simply rotting away, communicating only through psychic mysteries, a thousand psykers a day sacrificed to keep his spirit charged.
So there are psyskers sacirficed to sustain Empy as well as the astronomican. Also they know the Emperor communicates indirectly (visions, dreams, the Tarot, etc.) but that he still communicates

Page 370
Though potent enough, these new Chapters were not as powerful as the legions had been. The Space Marines were recast as an elite strike-force. No longer would a single man wield the awesome power of one hundred thousand Space Marines. Fettered by the petry dreams of lesser men, nevet again would the Space Marines conquer the galaxy
That's overstating things a bit. For one thing, the Adminstratum was well on its way towards gaining control, and that would have ushered in a more defensively minded era regardless. I'm not sure that it means the LEgions would break up, but the Great Crusade as they had known it would be ended, at the very least. As it is, the transition ushered n by the Codex was largely a transition from a proactive, offensively minded force to one more reactive and defensive. That isn't to say that a defensively minded Imperium doesn't have problems (it has a great many) but it's not as if conquest and colonization completely stopped post-Heresy, after all.

It reminds me of the nostaligic nonsense Astelan vented about in Angels of Darkness, really, and that was pretty silly.

If there is one bad thing about it, it's the fact that control has fragmented - it is nowhere near as centralized as it was back during the Crusade. Of course, it only stayed centralized due to the Emperor, so its debatable whether there was any way it could have remained so. and even if it could, there's still the fear/risk of another HEresy - that would always be a danger.

Ultimately, ther was no perfect answer for the Imperium even during the Crusade, and once Big E was stuck on the toilet, there was even less of one. You manage the best you can.

Page 391
- Markov's rangers, Syrin 12th REgiment.. like 2nd edition cAdians in green camo.

Page 391 - Gropp's Raiders/Riders shown again (Calth 3rd) notable bout their lasguns is they have no powerpacks.

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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by wautd » 2012-05-29 04:16am

Well he was the only psyker of the Primarchs. Most of them had no discernable talent, and only a few (like Sanguinius) displayed anything evne remotely resembling psychic ability.
Didn't Lorgar had some talent as well? I remember that Magnus was his mentor when he initiated him to warpcraft.
And Konrad Curze saw visions of the future, so that's some talent as well (iirc, looking into the future is one of the more difficult psi-related stuff to do).

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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by dragon » 2012-05-29 11:47am

I know in Deliverance Lost they mentioned how they lost 72,000 mariens dead on the battlefield as the rest of the Raven Guard fled towards earth.
Know no fear by Abnett means one chapter having a quater of a million.
As for the million worlds which most likely is could be like my mom used to say "I told you a thousand times to clean your room" When it's maybe 90 times.
Or the fish was this big.
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Ahriman238 » 2012-05-29 12:23pm

wautd wrote:
Well he was the only psyker of the Primarchs. Most of them had no discernable talent, and only a few (like Sanguinius) displayed anything evne remotely resembling psychic ability.
Didn't Lorgar had some talent as well? I remember that Magnus was his mentor when he initiated him to warpcraft.
And Konrad Curze saw visions of the future, so that's some talent as well (iirc, looking into the future is one of the more difficult psi-related stuff to do).
Kurze had visions of the future. Lorgar occasionally had prophetic dreams (but he was more Warp-touched than most of the others) Sanguinus is frequently depicted with an Emperor-like halo, and if he had considerably psychic powers that could have helped him against the Bloodthirster. When Lorgar is chatting with Magnus in the First Heretic, he claims to not be like Magnus or even Russ who "can howl and all the wolves on Fenris howl with him."
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by dragon » 2012-05-29 12:24pm

Know No Fear also metions "The 500 Worlds of Ultramar" or the somewhat heretical "New Empire
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-06-05 04:40pm

Time to start digging into the meat of the series, beginning with Dan Abnett's Horus rising. The story proved to be a great way to start off the series in all respects - it shows us this bright, wonderful, glorious era of the Imperium, full of hope and glory for the shining future the Emperor and his forces were leading us to. We saw a Horus at the height of his power, bright, charasmatic, powerful - a man who loved his sons as if they were sons, who led his troops with respect and honour, and knew how to get the best out of the people he had - not just in his own fleet, but across the Imperium.

And then the cracks start showing. We see Horus not as some mustache twirling villain, but as a pawn. A victim of his own doubts, fears, and ultimately preyed upon by others (The Word Bearers and Chaos) to be their instrument in the upcoming war. We also see that that bright, shiny Imperium might not be as bright and shiny as we thought - through people like Karkasy we glimpse the devastation wrought by 'compliance', we see the resentment that results.. and begin that roller-coaster slide down into the hell of the Horus Heresy.

What Abnett does in the first book is really set the stage for the next few books, but he sets it well, and it manages to carry the first couple of novels reasonably well (becuase IMHO McNeill and co kind of stumbled after that.) carrying us to that turning point - the destruction of Isstvaan and the Drop Site Massacre. With that stage set, novels that have followed have more or less filled in the gaps with all that time, detailing various aspects (and people) caught up in this war.


Page 14
It had been, as far as the warp-dilated horologs could attest, the two hundred and third year of the Great Cru­sade.
The commander had been Warmaster for about a year, since the triumphant conclusion of the Ullanor campaign...
203 years since the start of the Crusade, and a year since Ullanor.

Page 16
The commander's grief was absolute. He had loved Sejanus like a son. They had warred side by side to affect compliance on a hundred worlds. But the commander, always sanguine and wise in such matters, told his sig­nal men to offer the Emperor another chance. The commander detested resorting to war, and always sought alternative paths away from violence, where such were workable.
Horus pre-Heresy. Implied that the 63rd Expedition had conquered at least a hundred worlds.

Page 16
At the order, battle musters began. The ships of the speartip slipped forward, running under obscurement. On board, stormbirds were hauled onto their launch carriages.
Stealth measres in the expedition ship.

Page 16-17
...the 'Emperor's' fleet elements rose up out of the oceans, out of the high cloud, out of the gravity wells of nearby moons. Six hundred warships, revealed and armed for
The opposition's warfleet.

Page 17
Abaddon broke obscurement and made a final, per­sonal plea to the 'Emperor', beseeching him to see sense. The warships began to fire on Abaddon's speartip.
Back then Abbadon wasn't an asshole either. Again the "obscurement" which might suggest they are just running silent

Page 17-18
Spectral shapes swam high in the upper atmosphere: ships engaging in a swirling mass, charting brief, nonsensical zodiacs with the beams of their bat­tery weapons.

At ground level, around the wide, basalt platforms that formed the skirts of the palace, gunfire streamed through the air like horizontal rain, hosing coils of tracer fire that dipped and slithered heavily like snakes, die-straight zips of energy that vanished as fast as they appeared, and flurries of bolt shells like blizzarding hail. Downed stormbirds, many of them crippled and burning, littered twenty square kilometres of the land­scape.
Anti-aircraft fire I think. Mostly beam fire, targeitng the stormbirds.

Page 18
Black, humanoid figures paced slowly in across the limits of the palace sprawl. They were shaped like armoured men, and they trudged like men, but they were giants, each one hundred and forty metres tall. The Mechanicum had deployed a half-dozen of its Titan war engines. Around the Titans' soot-black ankles, troops flooded forward in a breaking wave three kilometres wide.
*snicker* 140 metre tall titans. That ranks right up wiuth the sixty-storey titan from Fire Warrior.

Page 19
This was modern warfare in a civilised place. This was man against man, inside the monolithic precincts of a cultured people. The enemy possessed ordnance and firearms every bit the technological match of the Legio forces, and the skill and training to use them. Through the green imaging of his visor, Loken saw armoured men with energy weapons ranged against them in the lower courses of the palace. He saw tracked weapon car­riages, automated artillery; nests of four or even eight automatic cannons shackled together on cart platforms that lumbered forward on hydraulic legs.
'modern' warfare. Draw your own conclusions.

Page 20
They were big men, tall, thick through the chest and shoulders, and at the peak of fitness. Not one of them, not even the tallest, came up to the chin of one of the Luna Wolves. It was like fighting children.
The 'emperor's soldiers. They're still shorter than the Astartes by at least a head.

Page 20
The battle-brother carrying the squad's plasma can­non obeyed without hesitation. For a dazzling half-second, a twenty-metre ribbon of light linked the muzzle of his weapon to the auto-mortar, and then the device engulfed the facade of the palace in a roasting wash of yellow flame.
Dozens of enemy soldiers were cast down by the blast. Several were thrown up into the air, landing crumpled and boneless on the flight of steps.
Half second beam of plasma fire.

Page 21
He began to fire, not on burst, but on single shot, feeling the weapon buck and kick against his palms. Bolter rounds were explosive penetrators. The men he hit popped like blisters, or shredded like bursting fruit. Pink mist fumed off every ruptured figure as it fell.
Bolter rounds blow apart individuals. Not completely, but at least burst them open.

Page 21
In the far distance, a brilliant dome of light suddenly lifted into the sky, astonishingly bright and vivid. Loken's visor automatically dimmed. The ground trembled and a noise like a thunderclap reached him. A capital ship of some size, stricken and ablaze, had fallen out of the sky and impacted in the outskirts of the High City.
Collision of a capital ship on the ground, and Loken's visors dim to protect against glare.

Page 22
Three kilometres away, across the flat plain of the basalt platforms, across the tide of charging men and striding Titans and stitching fire, Abaddon's company, First Company, was crossing the bulwarks into the far flank of the palace. Loken magni­fied his view, resolving hundreds of white-armoured figures pouring through the smoke and chop-fire.


"Loken to First," he sent. "Tenth has entry."
There was a pause, a brief distort, then Abaddon's voice answered. "Loken, Loken... are you trying to shame me with your diligence?"
3 km comm range, and magnified visor range in armor for Space Marines.

Page 25
The area read cold and still to his imaging.

Brother Zakias, his body as yet unretrieved, lay in pieces at the centre of the crossway, a steaming pile of shattered white plasteel and bloody meat.

No heat-trace, not even a flicker of movement. But studying the area, Loken saw a heap of empty shell cases, glittering brass, that had spilled out from behind a bulkhead across from him. Was that where the killer was hiding?

Loken bent down and picked up a chunk of fallen plasterwork. He lobbed it into the open. There was a click, and then a hammering deluge of autofire raked across the junction. It lasted five seconds, and in that time over a thousand rounds were expended. Loken saw the fuming shell cases spitting out from behind the bulkhead as they were ejected.

The firing stopped. Fycelene vapour fogged the junc­tion. The gunfire had scored a mottled gouge across the stone floor, pummelling Zakias's corpse in the process. Spots of blood and scraps of tissue had been spattered out.

Loken waited. He heard a whine and the metallic clunk of an autoloader system. He read weapon heat, fading, but no body warmth.
Automated gun platform that fires 1000 rounds in 5 seconds (200 rounds a escond). Loken's visor has Thermal/heat vision properties.

Page 30
Small and frail, though possibly beautiful. Loken had very little experience of women. Perhaps they were all frail and beautiful. He knew enough to know that few were as black as her. Her skin was like burnished coal. He wondered if it were some kind of dye.

He wondered too about her skull. Her head was bald, but not shaved. It seemed polished and smooth as if it had never known hair. The cranium was enhanced somehow, extending back in a streamlined sweep that formed a broad ovoid behind her nape. It was like she had been crowned, as if her simple humanity had been made more regal.
Mersadie Oliton, remembrancer. Possibly genetically or augmetically modified for her task. Also note Loken's lack of experience with women. Considering their bred for war, taken at a young age... etc.. that really is no surprise is it? Tends to suggest Marines have little in the way of romantic or sexual feelings, but this may also vary from Legion to Legion.

Oliton is one of four primary 'witness' characters in the early part of the HH series, along with Keelor, Sindermann, and Karkasy. Oliton's role currently is to be Gavriel Loken's chronicler, but in the course of events she becomes Chronicler for the great tragedy soon to sweep down on things.

Page 32-33
There was an odd, hard bang, so hard it was painful to feel and hear, and Brother Edrius fell to his knees, then folded onto his side. He had been struck in the face by some form of energy weapon. The white plasteel.’ceramite alloy of his visor and breastplate had actually deformed into a rippled crater, like heated wax that had flowed and then set again. A second bang, a quick concussive vibration of air, obliterated an orna­mental table beside Nero Vipus. A third bang dropped Brother Muriad, his left leg shattered and snapped off like a reed stalk.

The science adepts of the false Imperium had mas­tered and harnessed some rare and wonderful form of field technology, and armed their elite guard with it. They cloaked their bodies with a passive application, twisting light to render themselves invisible. And they were able to project it in a merciless, active form that struck with mutilating force.

The Invisibles were even hidden to their visor arrays.
Raking the area ahead of him, splintering furniture, Loken hit something. He saw pink mist kiss the air, and something fell down with enough force to overturn a chair. Vipus scored a hit too, but not before Brother Tar-regus had been struck with such power that his head was punched clean off his shoulders.

The cloak technology evidendy hid its users best if they remained still. As they moved, they became semi-visible, heat-haze suggestions of men surging to attack. Loken adapted quickly, firing at each blemish of air. He adjusted his visor gain to full contrast, almost black and white, and saw them better: hard oudines against the fuzzy background. He killed three more. In death, sev­eral lost their cloaks.
Elite guards armed with cloaking devices that leave shimmers of distortin when moving and some odd force field weapons that do a real numbe ron AStartes armour (concussive or shock/blast effects, I guess?) Perhaps some sort of gravitic weapon, but that's sci fi crud.

Page 34
Servos and mimetic polymers, layered between his skin and his suit's outer plating to form the musculature of his power armour, bunched and flexed.
Invisible force stabbed at Loken again, scrunching the edge of his left shoulder guard and almost knocking him off his feet.
Power armor has "mimetic" polymers, and another force bolt.

Page 35-36
He looked up, pushing his sensors hard. A third of a kilometre above him, he fancied he caught a brief sign of movement, a partial heat-lock.
Thermal sensors have a range of at least 300-400 metres. Possibly reflecting gun range also.

Page 41
There was a loud bang. The elderly man's ribcage blew out, spattering blood, tufts of burned silk and shreds of meat in all directions. He swayed, his robes shredded and on fire, and pitched over the edge of the platform.
Ekaddon lowered his bolt pistol.
Bolt pistol round blows out ribcage.

page 42
The golden throne trembled and broadcast a shock-wave of invisible force. It was a power like that which the elite guard had wielded, but a hundred times more potent. It slammed out in all directions, casting Loken and all the Catulan off their feet like corn sheaves in a hurricane. The windows of the tower top shattered out­wards in a multicoloured blizzard of glass fragments.

Most of Catulan Reaver Squad simply vanished, blown out of the tower, arms flailing, on the bow-wave of energy. One struck a steel spar on his way out. Back snapped, his body tumbled away into the night like a broken doll. Ekaddon managed to grab hold of another spar as he was launched backwards. He clung on, plas-teel digits sinking into the metal for purchase, legs trailing out behind him horizontally as air and glass and gravitic energy assaulted him.
Loken, too close to the foot of the throne to be caught by the full force of the shockwave, was knocked flat. He slid across the ring platform towards the open fall, his white armour shrieking as it left deep grooves in the onyx surface. He went over the edge, over the sheer drop, but the wall of force carried him on like a leaf across the hole and slammed him hard against the far lip of the ring. He grabbed on, his arms over the lip, his legs dangling, held in place as much by the shock pres­sure as by the strength of his own, desperate arms.
Amped up super force field weapon fires. Here it is actually noted to be gravitic in nature and to also be a sort of shockwave. It seems more omnidirectional and less focussed as it simply blasts everything in range backwards without punching huge and messy holes in it.

Page 43
The god was a true giant, as large again to any Astartes warrior as an Astartes was to a normal man. His armour was white gold, like the sunlight at dawn, the work of master artificers. Many symbols covered its surfaces, the chief of which was the motif of a single, staring eye fash­ioned across the breastplate. Robes of white cloth fluttered out behind the terrible, haloed figure.

Above the breastplate, the face was bare, grimacing, perfect in every dimension and detail, suffused in radi­ance. So beautiful. So very beautiful.

For a moment, the god stood there, unflinching, beset by the gale of force, but unmoving, facing it down. Then he raised the storm bolter in his right hand and fired into the tumult.
One shot.

The echo of the detonation rolled around the tower. There was a choking scream, half lost in the uproar, and then the uproar itself stilled abruptly.
Horus. Note his storm bolter. One charateristic is his 'style' - everything he does is charasmatic and suave and wonderful and shit. this is one of his faces.

Page 45
Three months after the battle for the High City, the first of the remembrancers had joined the expedition fleet, brought directly from Terra by mass conveyance. Various chroniclers and recorders had, of course, been accompanying Imperial forces since the commence­ment of the Great Crusade, two hundred sidereal years earlier. But they had been individuals, mostly volun­teers or accidental witnesses, gathered up like road dust on the advancing wheels of the crusader hosts, and the records they had made had been piecemeal and irregu­lar. They had commemorated events by happenstance, sometimes inspired by their own artistic appetites, sometimes encouraged by the patronage of a particular primarch or lord commander, who thought it fit to have his deeds immortalised in verse or text or image or com­position.
Rememberancers. They encompass artists, architects, poets, journalists, etc. and represent one arm of the propoganda element of the Crusade (the other arm being the Iterators.) despite being essentially civilians, they (along with the Iterators) represent the forces that conduct the 'cultural conquest' of the world after the Astartes and Army have physically conquered it.

They are also another 'symbol' (albeit something of a subtly grim one) of that grand, bright, shiny Imperium that never truly comes about. The fate of the remembrancers in this serie is, for the most part, quite grim.

Page 46
Returning to Terra after the victory of Ullanor, the Emperor had decided it was time a more formal and authoritative celebration of mankind's reunification be undertaken. The fledgling Council of Terra evidently agreed wholeheartedly, for the bill inaugurating the foundation and sponsorship of the remembrancer order had been countersigned by no less a person than Malcador the Sigilite, First Lord of the Council. Recruited from all levels of Terran society - and from the societies of other key Imperial worlds - simply on the merit of their creative gifts, the remembrancers were quickly accredited and assigned, and despatched to join all the key expedition fleets active in the expanding Imperium.
Origins of the Remembrancers. Since it's been a year since the Emperor returned to Terra... assuming that the forces are somewhere out in the other segmeentums and beyond segmentum Solar (at least 10-20K LY) it takes at least 6 months to and back... we're talking at least 20-40,000c FTL speed, and probably still much faster. If it's up to half a galaxy (close to the edges, as subsequent events show) we're closer to 120,000c.

We also get a bit of a glimpse at the political side of things and the problems it causes with the 'Council of Terra' - something that becomes a sore point between the bureaucrats and administrators and the warriors of the Imperium (the Primarchs, Astartes, etc. who were running things up to that point.)

Page 46
At that time, according to War Council logs, there were four thousand two hundred and eighty-seven primary expedition fleets engaged upon the business of the cru­sade, as well as sixty thousand odd secondary deployment groups involved in compliance or occupa­tion endeavours, with a further three hundred and seventy-two primary expeditions in regroup and refit, or resupplying as they awaited new tasking orders. Almost four point three million remembrancers were sent abroad in the first months following the ratification of the bill.
The scope of the Expeditionary fleets engaged in the Great Crusade. We don't know quite (Yet) how big fleets are (yet), but this number is useful to remember for later on, when variables do pop up. Figure 4659 primary fleets and 60K some secondary. Oh and 4.3 million remembrancers amongst them all. Average is about 65-70 remembrancers per fleet, although the primary fleets likely have far more than the smaller - suggest hundreds for the primary fleets and dozens for the secondary.

Also implied it took months to deploy the Remembrancers. Note their presence is one of the major points of contention between the military and governmental arms of the Imperium.

Page 47
The formation of the Council of Terra had come as more unpleasant news. Since the inception of the Great Crusade, the War Council, formed principally of the Emperor and the primarchs, had been the epicentre of Imperial authority. Now, this new body supplanted it, taking up the reins of Imperial governance, a body com­posed of civilians instead of warriors. The War Council, left under Horus's leadership, effectively became rele­gated to a satellite status, its responsibilities focused on the campaign and the campaign alone.
Yet another point of transition that becomes a point of contention, and a rather more significant one. The fate of the Astartes post Crusade, and the growth of a bureacracy that will come to dominate the Post-Heresy Imperium is a significant point of this and a number of other books in the series, especially early on. It also forms the basis of alot of other novels like "Angels of Darkness." This is actually one of those 'cracks' I mention at the start - the doubt and uncertainty about the future of the Astartes and Primarchs is a theme that runs common amongst many novels. Indeed, with revelations in latter books (like The Outcast Dead, First Heretic, etc.) the implications as to the Emperor's intentions can be quite.. dark.

Page 47-48
When they arrived, the fleet of the 63rd Expedition still encircled the capital world. The process of replevin had begun, as the Imperial forces sectioned the 'Imperium', dismantled its mechanisms, and bestowed its various properties upon the Imperial commanders chosen to oversee its dispersal.

Aid ships were flocking down from the fleet to the surface, and hosts of the Imperial army had been deployed to effect police actions. Central resistance had collapsed almost overnight following the 'Emperor's' death, but fighting continued to spasm amongst some of the western cities, as well as on three of the other worlds in the system. Lord Commander Varvaras, an honourable, 'old school' veteran, was the commander of the army forces attached to the expedition fleet, and not for the first time he found himself organising an
effort to pick up the pieces behind an Astartes speartip.
Post conquest efforts of the Expeditionary fleet.

Page 50
One of the waiting servitors stalked up to her on thin, piston legs. She held out her picter. "This mechanism is jammed. Take it for repair. And fetch me my spare units."

"Yes, mistress." the servitor croaked, taking the device. It plodded away. Keeler poured herself a glass of wine from the decanter and went to lean at the rail. Below, on the sub-deck, most of the expedition's other remem­brancers were assembling for luncheon. Three hundred and fifty men and women gathered around formally laid tables, servitors moving amongst them, offering drinks.
Talking servitor and 350 remembrancers are the bulk of the expeditions contingent.

Page 53
...his trun­cated arm was very evident. The missing hand had been bagged in sterile jelly, and nanotic serums injected to reform the wrist so it would accept an augmetic implant in a week or so.
Medical procedures preceding augmetic.

Page 56
It was said that the iterators were selected via a process even more rigorous and scrupulous than the induction mechanisms of the Astartes. 'One man in a thousand might become a Legion warrior.’ so the sentiment went, 'but only one in a hundred thousand is fit to be an iter­ator.’

Loken could believe that. A prospective Astartes had to be sturdy, fit, genetically receptive, and ripe for enhancement. A chassis of meat and bone upon which a warrior could be built.
But to be an iterator, a person had to have certain rare gifts that belied enhancement. Insight, articulacy, polit­ical genius, keen intelligence. The latter could be boosted, either digitally or pharmaceutically, of course, and a mind could be tutored in history, ethic-politics and rhetoric. A person could be taught what to think, and how to express that line of thought, but he couldn't be taught how to think.
Here we are introduced to the iterators, the other forces in the cultural/ideological conquest of the Crusade. Despite the emphasis on logic and intelligence and all the "Imperial Truth", iterators are little more than propogandists and ideological manipulators - basically the secular version of the ministorum officials of 'modern' 40K in purpose and results. The Pre-Heresy Imperium is one hard-core ideology rather than hard-core religion, and it actually makes the pre-Heresy Imperium sound alot more like the Tau (just with "Imperial Truth" replacing the "Greater Good" - the outcome is the same)

1:1000 men could be astartes at this point in time. This means that from a population of quadrillions there are trillions of potential (pre-Heresy) Astartes candidates. What is more interesting is that in the "modern" Imperium (in one of the Space Marine anthologies) it is noted that 1:10,000 people could become Astartes. That means that that Post-Heresy astartes screening processes became 10x more rigid (likely as much due to mental/ideological purity as for genetic purity).

If we ever know how many iterators there are the other ratio might be useful.

Page 57-58
Loken loved to watch the iterators at work. On occa­sions, he had delayed the withdrawal of his company so that he could follow their functionaries around conquered cities and watch as they addressed the crowds. It was like watching the sun come out across a field of wheat.

Sindermann was finishing a briefing in the School of Iterators when Loken strayed into the audience hall, a long vault set deep in the belly of the Vengeful Spirit. Two thousand men and women, each dressed in the simple, beige robes of their office, sat in the banks of tiered seating, rapt by his every word.

"The truth we convey is the truth, because we say it is the truth. Is that enough?"

He shrugged.

"I don't believe so. 'My truth is better than your truth' is a school-yard squabble, not the basis of a culture. 'I am right, so you are wrong' is a syllogism that collapses as soon as one applies any of a number of fundamental ethical tools. I am right, ergo, you are wrong. We can't construct a constitution on that, and we cannot, should not, will not be persuaded to iterate on its basis. It would make us what?"

He looked out across his audience. A number of hands were raised.



Sindermann smiled. His words were being amplified by the array of vox mics set around his podium, and his face magnified by picter onto the hololithic wall
behind him. On the wall, his smile was three metres wide.

"I was thinking bullies, or demagogues, Memed, but "liars" is apt. In fact, it cuts deeper than my suggestions. Well done. Liars. That is the one thing we iterators can never allow ourselves to become."
Loken observing Sindermann., the Big Iterator, holding lessons. Even knowing that the Iterators are little more than ideology peddlars, its still a marked difference between what they have prior ot the Heresy and what we get later, isn't it?

Sindermann is another of those 'witnesses' I spoke of. the funny thing is, he starts the series in a position of authority telling people what they should think and feel through his rhetorical manipulation, but once things start unravelling, he is put in the position of having to observe and be told what the truth is. Indeed, he is not the one who conveys 'truth' as such (Karkasy has that role), despite the fact he conveys the 'Imperial Truth' (which is just the ideological version of the Imperial Cult, as we learn.)

One other thing to note here is how Loken is being 'educated' by a mere human. Getting back to that earlier idea of the 'fate of the Legions', one thing Horus of this time encourages his sons to do is to grow and learn beyond simply being warriors. One part of this novel is the glimpse of Loken in fact doing this (as I mention a bit further on).

Also there are at least 2000 iterators in the Expedition fleet.

Page 58
He had a commanding presence, but it was his voice that really mattered. Pitched deep, rounded, mel­low, compassionate, it was the vocal tone that got every iterator candidate selected. A soft, delicious, clean voice that communicated reason and sincerity and trust. It was a voice worth searching through one hundred thousand people to find.
The iterator ratio, and the prime qualities of an iterator. Considering that words are their weapon, it makes sense.

Page 58-59
"Great actions have shaped our society." Sindermann said. "The greatest of these, physically, has been the Emperor's formal and complete unification of Terra, the outward sequel to which, this Great Crusade, we are now engaged upon. But the greatest, intellectually, has been our casting off of that heavy mantle called reli­gion. Religion damned our species for thousands of years, from the lowest superstition to the highest con­claves of spiritual faith. It drove us to madness, to war, to murder, it hung upon us like a disease, like a shackle ball. I'll tell you what religion was... No, you tell me. You, there?"

"Ignorance, sir."

"Thank you, Khanna. Ignorance. Since the earliest times, our species has striven to understand the work­ings of the cosmos, and where that understanding has failed, or fallen short, we have filled in the gaps, plas­tered over the discrepancies, with blind faith. Why does the sun go round the sky? I don't know, so I will attribute it to the efforts of a sun god with a golden chariot. Why do people die? I can't say, but I will choose to believe it is the murky business of a reaper who car­ries souls to some afterworld."

His audience laughed. Sindermann got down off his podium and walked to the front steps of the stage, beyond the range of the vox mics. Though he dropped his voice low, its trained pitch, that practiced tool of all iterators, carried his words with perfect clarity, unen-hanced, throughout the chamber.

"Religious faith. Belief in daemons, belief in spirits, belief in an afterlife and all the other trappings of a preternatural existence, simply existed to make us all more comfortable and content in the face of a measure­less cosmos. They were sops, bolsters for the soul, crutches for the intellect, prayers and lucky charms to help us through the darkness. But we have witnessed the cosmos now, my friends. We have passed amongst it. We have learned and understood the fabric of reality. We have seen the stars from behind, and found they have no clockwork mechanisms, no golden chariots car­rying them abroad. We have realised there is no need for god, or any gods, and by extension no use any longer for daemons or devils or spirits. The greatest thing mankind ever did was to reinvent itself as a secular cul­ture."
Yes, this discussion is fraught with the irony given that this is 40K. Frankly, given this was the Emperor's preferred approach, this highlights one of the chief failings in his undertaking from the outset. By setting out to totally deny and root out religion, by treating the daemon as a myth, and by forcing others to be atheists.. he pretty much set the stage for Chaos to worm its way in. The Emperor's penchant for secrecy is, in fact, his biggest flaw, and it manifests in myriad ways throughout the series. That said, not everything that happens can be laid at his feet - the events that lead up to the heresy and the various catatsrophes have roots in many other people, and there are many different points at which things could have changed, or gone differently, or turned out less severe. It's one of the things I actually LIKe about the series - that potential for "what if".

Page 60
There were a few cheers of approval. Iterators were not simply schooled in the art of public speaking. They were trained in both sides of the business. Seeded amongst a crowd, iterators could whip it into enthusiasm with a few well-timed responses, or equally turn a rabble against the speaker. Iterators often mingled with audi­ences to bolster the effectiveness of the colleague actually speaking.
Yet another facet of the iterator trade that reinforces that 'ideological manipulator' angle, and the fact they are little more than secular versions of the Ecclesiarchy.

Page 60-61
"But what of faith? Faith has a quality, even when religion has gone. We still need to believe in something, don't we? Here it is. The true purpose of mankind is to bear the torch of truth aloft and shine it, even into the darkest places. To share our forensic, unforgiving, liberating understand­ing with the dimmest reaches of the cosmos. To emancipate those shackled in ignorance. To free our­selves and others from false gods, and take our place at the apex of sentient life. That... that is what we may pour faith into. That is what we can harness our bound­less faith to."


"These last months, we have quashed an entire culture. Make no mistake... we haven't brought them to heel or rendered them compliant. We have quashed them. Broken their backs. Set them to flame."


"The souls we have lately conquered believed in an Imperium, a rule of man." Sin­dermann said as soon as the last flutter had faded. "Nevertheless, we killed their Emperor and forced them into submission. We burned their cities and scuppered their warships. Is all we have to say in response to their 'why?' a feeble 'I am right, so you are wrong'?"

He looked down, as if in thought. "Yet we are. We are right. They are wrong. This simple, clean faith we must undertake to teach them. We are right. They are wrong. Why? Not because we say so. Because we know so! We will not say 'I am right and you are wrong' because we have bested them in combat. We must proclaim it because we know it is the responsible truth. We cannot, should not, will not promulgate that idea for any other reason than we know, without hesitation, without doubt, without prejudice, that it is the truth, and upon that truth we bestow our faith. They are wrong. Their cul­ture was constructed upon lies. We have brought them the keen edge of truth and enlightened them. On that basis, and that basis alone, go from here and iterate our message."
The more you listen to him talk, the more it sounds like ideology, doesn't it? Just hav him saying GOD EMPEOROR with spittle flecked lips.

Page 61
"You sound like a showman." Loken said, "or a carnival peddler, advertising his wares."

Sindermann crooked one black, black eyebrow. "Sometimes, Garviel, that's precisely how I feel."
Loken hits the nail on the head, and Sindermann, at least, is honest enough to admit the truth. Honesty is Sindermann's strongest quality, and one that serves him well as time goes on. I admit I'm rather fond of his character for alot of these reasons. He's charasmatic in his own way, a showman, but he also is willing to face up to things that might be contrary to what he's ben told and take them to heart.

Page 62-63
Beyond their duties as iterators, senior counsellors like Sindermann were expected to conduct programmes of education for the Astartes. This had been ordered by the Warmaster himself. The men of the Legion spent long periods in transit between wars, and the Warmas­ter insisted they use the time to develop their minds and expand their knowledge. "Even the mightiest warriors should be schooled in areas beyond warfare." he had ordained. "There will come a time when war is over, and fighting done, and my warriors should prepare them­selves for a life of peace.
They must know of other things besides martial matters, or else find themselves obsolete."
Yet another one of those contrasts between pre-Heresy Astates and modern astartes. Whereas the modern astartes might receive some sort of education or knowledge (about fighting, about how things owrk, etc.) they mostly tend to be brainwashed into loyalty and hatred of all things the Imperium hates. Pre-Heresy Horus, however, wants his warriors to be scholars as well, and its a marked difference that makes me like this Horus. Which makes the fall all the worse, I think. The Horus of "Horus Rising" is a charasmatic, admirable, and considerate being, with many talents and traits that make him the leader that he is. And this all too brief glimpse will soon be corrupted into the Horus we know and loathe (unless you're a fan of Chaos, in which caes you probably like him more than Abbadon.)

This is another one of those 'loss' symbols - at least for me - the potential for the Astartes to have been great at something else, to have been more than warriors, was hinted at by this (and by other, similar examples later on in the series), but fate and cruel circumstance seems to snatch this away. Leaving us with the Marines we have to cope with (although some, lik ethe Blood Angels, etc. try to embrace other avenues regardless of the perpetual war.)

Page 64-65
"You are a weapon, Garviel, an example of the finest instrument of destruction mankind has ever wrought. There must be no place inside you for doubt or question. You're right. Weapons should not think, they should only allow themselves to be employed, for the decision to use them is not theirs to make. That decision must be made - with great and terrible care, and ethical consideration beyond our capacity to judge - by the primarchs and the comman­ders. The Warmaster, like the beloved Emperor before him, does not employ you lighdy. Only with a heavy heart and a certain determination does he unleash the Astartes. The Adeptus Astartes is the last resort, and is only ever used that way."
Yet another irony, IMHO. Sindermann talks about how rarely the Astartaes are used, but we are often shown in the novels how they are CONSTANTLY in use. Maybe he means this in a relative sense - not all Crusade fleets may have an Astartes contingent, for example. But there is a reason they are called the "Speartip", after all. And it is certainly implied that it is not unusual for them to be used (or called in if the situation requires.) They are bred for war, they thrive in war, and secretly what they crave is war, because without war they are bereft and uncertain about who and what they are.

This also forms the basis for what we see of the latter-day Astartes - they're weapons, they shouldn't think, etc. Which itself is a reaction to the Heresy. Kind of funny that way, since it's all the secrecy and uncertainty (a good chunk of it originating from Big E) that enables a good deal of the Heresy itself to come about, when simple honesty and truth might have averted it.

Page 64
They walked out of the audience chamber and along one of the great spinal hallways of the flag­ship, an arch-roofed, buttressed canyon three decks high, like the nave of an ancient cathedral fane elon­gated to a length of five kilometres.
The Vengeful Spirit is at least 5 km long. With engines and such you can probably add another 1.5-2 km at least.

PAge 65-66
"Whether our truth is right or not, must we always enforce it upon the unwilling? As the woman said, could we not just leave them to their own destinies, unmolested?"

"You are walking along the shores of a lake." Sinder­mann said. "A boy is drowning. Do you let him drown because he was foolish enough to fall into the water before he had learned to swim? Or do you fish him out, and teach him how to swim?"

Loken shrugged. "The latter."

"What if he fights you off as you attempt to save him, because he is afraid of you? Because he doesn't want to learn how to swim?"

"I save him anyway."
Logic can be used to justify anything, can't it? Like I said, ideology, and one that echoes the tau of the modern age.

Page 69
Mersadie Olitan had spent the first twenty-eight years of her twenty-nine-year life on Terra, and this wasn't it.
Implies it took her about a year to travel to the Crusade fleet.

Page 70
She turned to look at the distant city, taking in the panorama and committing it to her memory coils. She blink-clicked her eyes to store certain views digitally...
She smiled to herself and blink-clicked it. Already, the basis of her account, with visual keys, was formulating in her enhanced mind.
Olitan is modified - she has memory coils, built in digital picture-capture capability, etc. It's also a very subtle augmetic, compared to the large, bovious and clanky sorts we get in modern 40K.

Page 77
His head was shaved smooth, and oiled, so that the lamp-light gleamed off it. Aximand, like many in the younger gen­erations of the Legion, had been named in honour of the commander, but only he used the name openly.

He, like Torgaddon and Aximand both, shared the same aspect of straight nose and wide-spaced eyes so reminiscent of the Warmaster, though only in Aximand were the features an actual likeness. They might have been brothers, actual womb brothers, if they had been sired in the old way. As it was, they were brothers in terms of gene-source and martial fraternity.


There was a curious incidence in the Luna Wolves Legion of Astartes bearing a facial resemblance to their primarch. This had been put down to conformities in the gene-seed, but still, those who echoed Horus in their features were considered especially lucky, and were known by all the men as 'the Sons of Horus'. It was a mark of honour, and it often seemed the case that 'Sons' rose faster and found better favour than the rest. Cer­tainly, Loken knew for a fact, all the previous members of the Mournival had been 'Sons of Horus'. In this respect, he was unique. Loken owed his looks to an inheritance of the pale, craggy bloodline of Cthonia. He was the first non-'Son' to be elected to this elite inner circle.
We get our glimpse into the Mournival and its various members. Loken is one, as is Torgaddon, Abbadon, and Horus Aximand. Also note the commentary on the utter similarity many Astartes have (genetically) with Horus, which may be an aspect of the Gene-seed. Also a hint as to the origins of the name "Sons of horus." it's another of those upbeat aspects that really shows a more positive spin that contrasts with how things soon become.. because lines will be drawn and brotherhood split. But as long as it lasted, i liked seeing it.

Plus, I have to note the Mournival ritual. It reminds me alot of the warrior lodges we see later on. Uncomfortably so.

Page 81-82
To all intents and pur­poses, and by every measurement known to the gene-scientists and gerontologists, the Astartes, like the primarchs, were immortals. Age would not wither them, nor bring them down. They would live forever... five thousand years, ten thousand, beyond even that into some unimaginable millennium. Except for the scythe of war.

Immortal, but not invulnerable. Immortality was a by-product of their Astartes strengths. Yes, they might live forever, but they would never get the chance. Immortality was a by-product of their Astartes strengths, but those strengths had been gene-built for combat. They had been born immortal only to die in war.
Only the beloved Emperor, who had left the warring behind, would truly live forever.
One of the more curious aspects of this novel is the suppsoed revelation that Astartes are ageless (I prefer this term to immortal because they can die through violence or accident.) The fact that it is stated to be due to their strengths makes me suspect it may be due to various factors (suspended animation ability, their ability to regenerate/heal themselves perpetually, their greater biological efficiency and enhanced prowess, etc.) Near as can be told, they are expected to be able to live thousands of years. Probably the same is true for the Primarchs.

If this is true.. this may in fact be an indicator of just how badly the gene-seed has degenerated over the millenia, given that Marines typically last centuries at most, with only some (usually high ranking commanders) getting close to or exceeding the 1000 year mark. Of course, that lack may also simply reflect the relatively fewer numbers of the 'modern' astartes and the increased warfare they are faced with as well. There is also the one example from Salamander who "dies", but those circumstances could be debated also.

Other possibilities occur. They may remain ageless, but that does not mean that their bodies do not suffer in some way or another. Like Talos in Void STalker, we know that compatability may be a future issue, especially under abuse, mutation, etc. which could lead to abbreviated lifespans. Indeed, given the need to be monitored and medicated constantly tends to point to the fact that they are not totally free of drawback.

however its hard to say with any certainty, because of the mysteries (and the different attitudes of authors to the topic) in the astartes themselves. WE can only speculate.

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Lord Revan
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Lord Revan » 2012-06-06 11:25am

correct if I'm wrong but it seems that during the heresy there were specific terminator squads/companies (similar to the Dark Angels Deathwing in "modern" times) rather then veteran squads using terminator armor on "needs of the mission" basis, at least for the Luna wolves/Sons of Horus.

Also it seems the terminator company working with Abbadon's first company has it's armor painted black, sadly we don't get to know if it's all black, black with white trim (aka reverse of the legion colors) or Black with gold trim. The reverse colors for specialist formations doesn't odd as at least Dark Angels Deathwing company and the Blood Ravens honor guard seem to do the same thing.

I have to say that I like how they made Horus likeble and kind of a "good guy" at the start so that his fall has more impact when it happens
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
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Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n

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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Irbis » 2012-06-07 10:09am

dragon wrote:Know no fear by Abnett means one chapter having a quater of a million.
That 'one chapter' is Ultramarines, which are noted to be abnormally large. Next largest, Word Bearers, is only about hundred thousand strong.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-06-17 02:27pm

Well another update for Horus Rising. I'm going to post two because I want to finish this up and move on, and its two big for a single update.

Page 92
The soldier looked up from the papers into Karkasy's face, as if searching for some essential characteristic of poet-hood that might be discerned there, comparable to a Navigator's third eye or a slave-drone's serial tattoo.
"slave drone" might refer to a servitor, but that slavery may exist in any form kind of makes the whole 'Imperial truth' thing a joke. Although as far as the 'Imperial Truth being a joke', this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Page 96
Karkasy favoured notebooks of thick, cream cartridge paper, and at the start of his long, feted career, had sourced a supplier in one of Terra's arctic hives, who specialised in antique methods of paper manufacture.
Pre-Heresy Terra had "arctic hives" and some of which had manufacturers who excelled in antique paper manufacture. We also see one of Karkasy's defining elements of how he writes.

Page 104
Karkasy knew that there were some, many perhaps, amongst the population of the compliant Imperium, who longed for a return to those ways. God, in every incarna­tion and pantheon, was long perished, but still men hankered after the ineffable. Despite prosecution, new credos and budding religions were sprouting up amongst the cultures of Unified Man. Most vigorous of all was the Imperial Creed that insisted humanity adopt the Emperor as a divine being. A God-Emperor of Mankind.

The idea was ludicrous and, officially, heretical. The Emperor had always refused such adoration in the most stringent terms, denying his apotheosis. Some said it would only happen after his death, and as he was func­tionally immortal, that tended to cap the argument. Whatever his powers, whatever his capacity, whatever his magnificence as the finest and most gloriously total leader of the species, he was still just a man. The Emperor liked to remind mankind of this whenever he could. It was an edict that rattled around the bureaucra­cies of the expanding Imperium. The Emperor is the Emperor, and he is great and everlasting.

But he is not a god, and he refuses any worship offered to him.

Karkasy took a swig and put his empty thimble-glass down, at an angle on the edge of the lectern shelf. The Lectio Divinitatus, that's what it was called. The missal of the underground wellspring that strove, in secret, to establish the Cult of the Emperor, against his will. It was said that even some of the upstanding members of the Council of Terra supported its aims.

The Emperor as god. Karkasy stifled a laugh. Five thousand years of blood, war and fire to expunge all gods from the culture, and now the man who achieved that goal supplants them as a new deity.
Introduction of the Imperial Creed and Lectio Divinitatus. IIIRC we learn that this had origins with Lorgar's own works before he got all angsty and looked for someone who would accept and respect his worshipping abilities. It is perhaps a testament to the Imperial propoganda machine that despite the fact he is a giant glowing human who is singlehandedly responsible for the Imperium as they know today (and is many thousands - tens of thousands of years old) people will not even think of him as a god. It makes you wonder just how pervasive imagery of him is, or how many people actually see him, or artwork of him, or stuff like that. It's unlikely that people can say 'oh that artwork is bullshit' because even if they don't call him a god they revere him as the nest best thing (and insulting him in any way can be just as deadly in the 30th Millenium as in the 41st. Hell Karkasy gets injured just talking bad about the Imperial truth, and some suffer for badmouthign Primarchs.)

Also the Emperor's grand crusade to purge all religion hits some hefty bumps, which only get worse over time as the Heresy grows and actually breaks out. Despite this grand crusade to stamp out all religion (which may have ulterior motives in hurting/crushing the Chaos Gods and Chaos as aw hole) we learn that humans are stubborn (big shock) and will find ways to do what they want - and some want to worship the Emperor, whether he likes it or not (Again not unlike the Word Bearers.) Anyhow, the LD serves as the basis for what will become the Ecclesiarchy we know in the modern times, although they still have the AGe of Apostasy/Reign of Blood to live through as well. It also serves as the focal point for one Euphrati Keelor and what she becomes, as we see later on - an event with interesting implications all by its lonesome.

Page 111
It was lined by forty Guardsmen of the Imperial army, members of Varvaras's own Byzant Janizars, twenty against each wall. They were splendidly appointed in full dress uniforms: long cream greatcoats with gold frogging, high-crowned chrome helms with basket visors and scarlet cockades, and matching sashes. As the Mournival came through the doors, the Janizars brandished their ornate power lances, beginning with the pair directly inside the doorway. The polished blades of the weapons whirled up into place in series, like chasing dominoes along the processional, each fac­ing pair of weapons locking into position just before the marching captains caught up with the ripple.
Imperial army troops. Power lances. Given what we see in Legion, its quite possible these are legit military weapons.

PAge 114-115
He was as magnificent as ever, Loken thought. Mas­sive and limber, a demi-god manifest, wrapped in white-gold armour and pelts of fur. His head was bare.

Shaven, sculptural, his face was noble, deeply tanned by multiple sunlights, his wide-spaced eyes bright, his teeth gleaming. He smiled and nodded to each and every one of them.

He had such vitality, like a force of nature - a tornado, a tempest, an avalanche - trapped in humanoid form and distilled, the potential locked in. He rotated slowly on the dais, grinning, nodding to some, pointing out certain friends with a familiar laugh.

The primarch looked at Loken, back in the shadows of the overhang and his smile seemed to broaden for a second.

Loken felt a shudder of fear. It was pleasant and vig­orous. Only the Warmaster could make an Astartes feel that.


His voice was like honey, like steel, like a whisper, like all of those things mixed as one.
Horus again, emphasizing his easy manner and charisma. It's quite easy to see why he wsa chosen as Warmaster, and why Chaos considered him such a pivotal figure for corruption to their cause. Also given what we learn in latter novels, its quite likely this was somethign engineered into Horus by the Emperor, for this exact reason (same way Magnus is a psyker/sorcerer - he had a particular role.)

Page 116
"How can we draw the lost outposts of man back into one harmonious whole if all we bring them is con­quest? We are duty-bound to leave them better than we found them, enlightened by the communication of the Imperial Truth and dazzlingly made over as august provinces of our wide estate. This expedition - and all expeditions - must look to the future and be mindful that what we leave in our wake must stand as an endur­ing statement of our intent, especially upon worlds, as here, where we have been forced to inflict damage in the promulgation of our message. We must leave legacies behind us. Imperial cities, monuments to the new age, and fitting memorials to those who have fallen in the struggle to establish it."
Another of those intereting little contradictions throughout the novel and the series as a whole.. they wreak such utter ruin and devastation, but talk of leaving behind a legacy, a future. A legacy and future approved by the Imperium, of course - which shows the whole propoganda angle of the 'Imperial Truth.'. Rather like the modern day Imperium, actually, and the conflict/reconciliation between these two ideas is a recurring theme throughout the series (starting with Karkasy and moving onwards.)

Another interetsing thing about this is, at this point Horus is still a fervent believer, although doubts have started to creep in. Once he starts doubitng the Emepror, the whole edifice comes crumbling down and leaves fertile ground for Chaos to grow.

Page 117
"My lord Warmaster, the Mechanicum is satisfied with this rock. We continue to study, with great interest, the technologies captured here. The gravitic and phasic weapons are being reverse-engineered in our forges. At last report, three standard template construct patterns, previously unknown to us, have been recovered"
The "gravitic and phasic" weapons, which I'm guessing were the cloaking and force field beams.

Page 118
One of Lord Commander Varvaras's gen­erals, Rakris had been selected to remain at Sixty-Three Nineteen as governor overseer, marshalling the occupa­tion forces as the world transmuted into a full Imperial state. Rakris was a career soldier, and it was clear that, though he took his election as a signal honour, he was quite aghast at the prospect of being left behind. He looked pale and ill, brooding on the time, not long away, when the expedition fleet left him to manage the work alone. Rakris was Terran born, and Loken knew that once the fleet sailed on and left him to his job, Rakris would feel as abandoned as if he had been marooned. A governorship was intended to be the ulti­mate reward for a war-hero's service, but it seemed to Loken a quietly terrible fate: to be monarch of a world, and then cast away upon it.
Pre-Heresy, conquered worlds were set up under the control of officers from the Expedition itself, along with garrison/occupation forces to help keep things along peaceful., I suspect. This means at some point they have to restock on ships and troops and such, I think. The logistics of the Heresy is one of those little quirky things - some sources (like Horus Rising and the earlier novels) imply that the whole burden is carried by Mars, whilst other sources suggest other worlds (forge worlds at least) helped, or at least served as vital stockpiling/distribution nodes. Indeed when we learn about Caliban it seems that Space Marine homeworlds are also vital sources of industry. A subset of this we learn with latter books is that many Terran nobles also hold significant offworld resources, probably a concession resulting from the Emperor enlisting their aid to support the initial conquests.

Considering the scope of the Imperium pre-heresy, there's bound to be a million or more such garrisons scattered about, which is interetsing given what we see of such garrisons later on (Davin, for example) as far as military and naval assets go.

This tradition of Army officers being installed as governor of worlds also reflects the IG practice of using older/decimated regiments as part of conquest fleets, giving them authority over a newly conquered world as its ruling elite.

Another interetsing thing is the whole 'terran/non-terran' angle, which has been played up to some degree with Astartes but not others. As we see through the series, there are still significant 'terran born' forces which are present in the Crusade, although they've started to become a minority as recruits (Astartes, Army, etc.) from non-terran worlds are brought into the Crusade. The implications of this (and the status as 'terran born) sometimes play a role in the novels - either in how people perceive them, how they view the war as a whole, etc. In this case, the governor is terran born, will probably never see his homeworld (or the people he knew/loved) again, and he is also no longer part of the Great Crusade. Loken's view of this also serves to illustrate teh growing divide in the Crusade itself, between thsoe who wage it, and those who are responsible for holidng and administering what has been won. And while I can understand Loken's view on things, I think it perhaps shows yet again why Chaos pulled off what it did - they put far too much emphasis on war for war's sake, that the true glory was in the Crusade (because that really is all the early Astartes knew), that others did as well, and it created what can best be considered distorted perceptions of things. And from what we know earlier on, there is likely a fair bit of fear of the unknown driving those atittudes as well. Which again provide ample grounds in which Chaos can fester.

Page 123-124
"Our most obvious and accessible next port of call. Scout ships report eighteen systems of inter­est, twelve of which promise fundamental worth in terms of elemental resource, but no signs of life or habi­tation. The searches are not yet conclusive, but at this early juncture might I be so bold as to suggest that this region need not concern the expedition. Subject to cer­tification, these systems should be added to the manifest of the colonial pioneers who follow in our footsteps."
"Nine weeks to spinward, thank you." Maloghurst replied. "We have barely begun to scout this district, but there are early indications that some significant culture or cultures, of interstellar capability, exist within its bounds."

"Currently functioning?" Abaddon asked. Too often, Imperial expeditions came upon the dry traces of long perished societies in the desert of stars.

"Too early to tell, first captain." Maloghurst said. "Though the scouts report some discovered relics bear similarities to those we found on seven ninety-three one-five half a decade ago."

"So, not human?" Adept Regulus asked.

"Too early to tell, sir." Maloghurst repeated. "


"Our third option, further to spinward."

"Eighteen weeks, standard." Boas Comnenus supplied before he had to be asked.

"Thank you, Master. Our scouts have yet to examine it, but we have received word from the 140th Expedition, commanded by Khitas Frame of the Blood Angels, that opposition to Imperial advance has been encountered there. Reports are patchy, but war has broken out."

"Human resistance?" Varvaras asked. "Are we talking about lost colonies?"

"Xenos, sir." Maloghurst said, succinctly. "Alien foes, of some capacity. I have sent a missive to the One Hundred and Fortieth asking if they require our support at this time. It is signifkandy smaller than ours. No reply has yet been received. We may consider it a priority to venture forward to this region to reinforce the Imperial presence there."
Discussion of the next destination in their expeditionary efforts. It seems that, by and large, the path and routes of each fleet is left up to individual commanders, and they rely heavily on scouting and recon to locate potential targets. I also suspect that since they are trailblazing what is essentially new territory, this includes finding and establishing new and useful warp routes out in these regions of space, which may explain the slow speeds between systems.

Also the nine week travel time deserves comment. It seems slow (and it probably is, even over thousands of light years, which I kinda doubt is the case here. Hundreds at best.) and it is, but we have to remember that a.) They're probably at the edges of the Imperium, and close to the edges of the Astronomican's reach - or at least further away from Earth than other worlds are, and b.) They have yet to actually map out or lay down the 'routes' between new conquests and the Imperium at large. Travelling the unknown is always slow, risky, and difficult, wheras known routes are easier, and this can contribute to the apparent differences in speed between here and other cases (like Battle for the Abyss, where they went from Segmentum Solar ot Ultramar in a matter of weeks.)

Page 129
Horus had solicited the opinions and advice of all his brother primarchs on the subject since the honour had been bestowed upon him. Being named Warmaster set him abruptly apart from them, and raised him up above his brothers, and there had been some stifled objections and discontent, especially from those primarchs who felt the title should have been theirs. The primarchs were as prone to sibling rivalry and petty competition as any group of brothers.

Guided, it was likely, by Maloghurst's shrewd hand, Horus had courted his brothers, stilling fears, calming doubts, reaffirming pacts and generally securing their cooperation. He wanted none to feel slighted, or over­looked. He wanted none to think they were no longer listened to. Some, like Sanguineus, Lorgar and Fulgrim, had acclaimed Horus's election from the outset. Others, like Angron and Perturabo, had raged biliously at the new order, and it had taken masterful diplomacy on the Warmaster's part to placate their choler and jealousy. A few, like Russ and the Lion, had been cynically resolved, unsurprised by the turn of events.

But others, like Guilliman, Khan and Dorn had simply taken it in their stride, accepting the Emperor's decree as the right and obvious choice. Horus had ever been the brightest, the first and the favourite. They did not doubt his fitness for the role, for none of the primarchs had ever matched Horus's achievements, nor the intimacy of his bond with the Emperor. It was to these solid, resolved brothers that Horus turned in particular for counsel. Dorn and Guilliman both embodied the staunchest and most dedicated Imperial qualities, commanding their Legion expeditions with peerless devotion and military genius. Horus desired their approval as a young man might seek the quiescence of older, more accomplished brothers.

Rogal Dorn possessed perhaps the finest military mind of all the primarchs. It was as ordered and disci­plined as Roboute Guilliman's, as courageous as the Lion's, yet still supple enough to allow for the flex of inspiration, the flash of battle zeal that had won the likes of Leman Russ and the Khan so many victory wreaths. Dorn's record in the crusade was second only to Horus's, but he was resolute where Horns was flam­boyant, reserved where Horus was charismatic, and that was why Horus had been the obvious choice for War-master. In keeping with his patient, stony character, Dorn's Legion had become renowned for siegecraft and defensive strategies.
A bit of Primarch-related fluff pertaining to Horus' rise. The mainly interesting bit is how Dorn is regarded, methinks, but the attitudes of all the Primarchs matter here. As one delves into the series, we learn that not all Primarchs feel the same way about their intended roles, the Emperor, or the Imperium, and this can engender as much resentment and bitterness (or hatred) as it does more positive things. People like Angron, Perturabo, Curze, are prime examples.

Page 130-131
Primarch Dorn wore a case of armour that was bur­nished and ornate like a tomb chest, dark red and copper-gold compared to Horus's white dazzle. Unfurled eagle wings, fashioned in metal, haloed his head and decorated his chest and shoulder plate, and aquilas and graven laurels embossed the armour sec­tions of his limbs. A mantle of red velvet hung around his broad shoulders, trimmed in golden weave. His lean face was stern and unsmiling, even when the Warmaster raised a joke, and his hair was a shock of white, bleached like dead bones.

Abaddon introduced them as Sigismund, First Captain of the Imperial Fists, resplendent in black and white heraldry, and Efried, Captain of the Third Company.
Rogal Dorn and his subordinates. Sigismund is the dude who goes on to form the Black Templars in the second founding.

Page 138
The embarkation deck - and Keeler had to remind herself that this was just one embarkation deck, for the flagship possessed six - was an immense space, a long, echoing tunnel dominated by the launch ramps and delivery trackways running its length. At the far end, half a kilometre away, open space was visible through the shimmer of integrity fields.
The Vengeful spirit has six "embarktion decks". EAch is at least half a kilometre wide. Assuming they have 3 per side that might mean the ship is at least a kilometre across, and would make it again at least 5-6 km long.

Page 139
"The actual pattern type is Warhawk VI. Most expedition forces are now reliant on the smaller, standard construct Thunderhawk pattern, examples of which you can see under covers to our left in the hardstand area, but the Legion has made an effort to keep these old, heavy-duty machines in service. They have been delivering the Luna Wolves into war since the start of the Great Crusade, since before that, actually. They were manufactured on Terra by the Yndonesic Bloc for use against the Panpacific tribes during the Unifica­tion Wars. A dozen will be employed in this venture today. Six from this deck, six from Aft Embarkation 2"
Stormbirds, predecessor to the Thunderhawks, bigger, toughr and can carry more troops.

Page 142
"Every soldier of the Imperium is sworn to uphold his loyalty to the Emperor at the start of his commission, and the Astartes are no exception. No one doubts their continued devotion to the pledge, but before individual missions, the Astartes choose to swear an immediate oath, an "oath of moment", that binds them specifically to the matter at hand. They pledge to uphold the particular concerns of the enter­prise before them. You may think of it as a reaffirmation, I suppose. It is a ritual re-pledging. The Astartes do love their rituals."
The "Oath of moment" described.

Page 146
She found a seat away from the others, and began to review the picts she'd already taken, calling them up on the picter's viewscreen.


"Of course." she said, rising to her feet and holding the picter so he could see the images as she thumbed them up one by one. He craned his head forward, curious.
built in viewscreen in the back of a picter - basically a digital camera.

Page 153
Like all the men in his specialist squad, Sergeant Rassek wore the titanic armour of a Terminator, a vari­ant only lately introduced into the arsenal of the Astartes. By dint of their primacy, and the fact that their primarch was Warmaster, the Luna Wolves had been amongst the first Legion to benefit from the issue of Ter­minator plate. Some entire Legions still lacked it. The armour was designed for heavy assault. Thickly plated and consequently exaggerated in its dimensions, a Ter­minator suit turned an Astartes warrior into a slow, cumbersome, but entirely unstoppable humanoid tank. An Astartes clad in Terminator plate gave up all his speed, dexterity, agility and range of movement. What he got in return was the ability to shrug off almost any ballistic attack.
Rassek towered over them in his armour, dwarfing them as a primarch dwarfs Astartes, or an Astartes dwarfs mortal men. Massive weapons systems were built into his shoulders, arms and gauntlets.
Terminator armour, another recent innovation it would seem, although I'm not sure all sources agree on this or not. Also, despite what Dawn of War says, Terminator armour (or at least these versions) can't backflip or jump :P

Page 157
Raising their storm bolters, the Terminator squad began to crunch out across the rock bridges, dislodging white bone and rotten tunics with their immense feet. Gunfire greeted them immediately, blistering down from invisible positions up in the crags. The shots spanked and whined off the specialised armour. Heads set, the Terminators walked into it, shrugging it away, like men walking into a gale wind. What had kept the army at bay for weeks, and cost them dearly, merely tickled the Legion warriors.


The front ranks of the Terminator squad, halfway across the bridges, began to fire. Bolters and inbuilt heavy weapon systems unloaded across the abyss, blitz­ing las shots and storms of explosive munitions at the upper slopes. Hidden positions and fortifications exploded, and limp, tangled bodies tumbled away into the chasm below in flurries of rock and ice.
Terminator assault. note that some of the built in Terminator weapons seem to include lasers.

Page 158
"I keep hearing it."’ Flora insisted, following him. He was having trouble catching a breath. Flora wore an earplug so he could listen in to the military's vox traffic.
Remembrancer equipped with a vox bead.

Page 159
He took out his data-slate, and connected it to the fleet archive base. As an afterthought, he uncoupled his rebreather mask and set it to his face, sucking in oxygen from the compact tank strapped to his hip.

After a few moments consultation, he said, "Oh, that's interesting."
Later we learn Sindermann was acessing and reviewing over the records of the local legends and history of the planet. So I'm guessing he did a word search. The fact his data slate can link to the fleet archive (wireless communication) is interesting.

Page 161
Beyond the rock-bridges, the insurgents had raised shield walls of stone and metal. They had heavy can­nons covering the gully approaches to their fortress, wired munition charges in the narrow defiles, electrified razor-wire, bolted storm-doors, barricades of rockcrete blocks and heavy iron poles. They had a few automated sentry devices, and the advantage of the sheer drop and unscalable ice all around. They had faith and their god On their side.
They had held off Varvaras's regiments for six weeks.

They had no chance whatsoever.

Nothing they did even delayed the advance of the Luna Wolves. Shrugging off cannon rounds and the backwash of explosives, the Terminators wrenched their way through the shield walls, and blasted down the storm-doors. They crushed the spark of electric life out of the sentry drones with their mighty claws, and pushed down the heaped barricades with their shoul­ders. The company flooded in behind them, firing their weapons into the rising smoke.
More on the Terminator assault.

Page 162
Gunfire pinked off his armour, and he turned, without really thinking, and cut down his assailants. Two desper­ate men in mail shirts disintegrated under his fire and spattered across a wall. He couldn't understand why they were still fighting. If they'd ventured a surrender, he would have accepted it.
Loken fighting insurgents - their gunfire is ineffectual against his armor, and he disintegrates them in return. Also he (unlike modern astartes) knows what surrender is, which shows that for all the destructiveness, 'compliance' is perhaps less brutal even with astartes pre-heresy than it is in modern 40K.

Page 163
He drew his combat blade, the standard-issue short, stabbing sword, and activated the power cell. The grey blade glowed with force.
Powered combat knives seem to be astartes standard in the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus legion.

Page 167-168
Jubal's bolter came up very suddenly. There was no warning. He shot Udon in the face, blowing gore and pulverised skull fragments out through the back of Udon's exploded helm. Udon fell on his face. Two of his men lunged forward, and the bolter roared again, punching holes in their chest plates and throwing them over onto their backs.
Bolter fire on Astartes. One bolt penetrates and blow sout the back of the helmet.

Page 170-171
Loken shrugged lightly. "The Astartes have no fear. It is unthinkable to us."

"Because you have trained yourself to master it?" Mer­sadie asked.

"No, we are trained for discipline, but the capacity for fear is bred out of us. We are immune to its touch."

Mersadie made a mental note to edit this last com­ment later. To her, it seemed to leach away some of the heroic mystique of the Astartes. To deny fear was the very character of a hero, but there was nothing coura­geous about being insensible to the emotion. She wondered too if it was possible to simply remove an entire emotion from what was essentially a human mind. Did that not leave a void? Were other emotions compromised by its lack? Could fear even be removed cleanly, or did its excision tear out shreds of other qual­ities along with it? It certainly might explain why the Astartes seemed larger than life in almost every aspect except their own personalities.
Astartes and fear, as well as a comment on how they might have been emotionally conditioned. Great if youw ant to focus on the purely military aspect of Astartes, but this whole 'geared for war' thing plays into that 'what happens to the Astartes after the Crusade' thing - that fear and doubt of being cast aside, of no longer being needed.. or being abandoned (remember Loken's words about the military governor just a short while ago?) I imagine if you start fucking with their thoughts and emotions their ability ot judge things is bound to be impaired as well.

The commentary on the 'heroic' aspect is a bit interesting, given the difference of opinion. Loken doesn't see it as heroic because it's how he is, but one can see that the fearlessness is also part of that mythic/symbolic aspect of Astartes - their ability to inspire awe/fear in both allies and enemies. Loken's comments are interesting in light of how other Astartes view this 'fearlessness' either. It has been commneted before that Astartes do feel fear, but it just has no real hold on them like others. Which has merit and perhaps reflects Loken trying to come to terms with himself and his nature - he denies having fear because he is fearless in battle, but does not acknowledge his fears on other things - fear of his fate and the future, fear of being uselss, etc.

Page 174
The overseers, he explained, were a machine race and, as artificial sentients, quite beyond the limits of Imperial law. Machine life untempered by organic components had long been outlawed by both the Imperial Council and the Mechanicum. The over­seers, commanded by a senior machine called the Archdroid, inhabited a series of derelict, crumbling cities on the world of Dahinta. These were cities of fine mosaics, which had once been very beautiful indeed, but extreme age and decay had faded them. The over­seers scuttled amongst the mouldering piles, fighting a losing battle of repair and refurbishment in a single-minded obsession to keep the neglected cities intact.

The machines had eventually been destroyed after a lasting and brutal war in which the skills of the Mechan­icum had proved invaluable. Only then was the sad secret found.

" The overseers were the product of human ingenuity,"


"Yes, thousands of years ago, perhaps even during the last Age of Technology. Dahinta had been a human colony, home to a lost branch of our race, where they had raised a great and marvellous culture of magnificent cities, with thinking machines to serve them. At some time, and in a manner unknown to us, the humans had become extinct. They left behind their ancient cities, empty but for the deathless guardians they had made. "
Imperial attitudes towards AI. It's pretty nteresting that they insist on AIs to have at least some organic components - the implication seems to be an outgrowth or reaction to the DAoT - like the inclusion of organic bits woudl somehow make AIs more trustworthy or something.) Of course, as we learn a bit in this series and in other novels - they still use inorganic machinches and stuff that should be - for all intents and purposes - AI, so this attitude is pretty hilarious - much like the 'Imperium hates xenos tech, except when the AdMech wants to capture and study it."

Page 176
Sergeant Udon, his helm a deformed ring of bloody ceramite, lay dead at his feet. Beside him sprawled two other battle-brothers, shot point-blank through the hearts, if not dead then fatally damaged.
The aforementioned AStartes shot in the head.

Page 177
Xavyer Jubal, commander of Hellebore squad and one of the finest file officers in the company, had already begun to fire. Bolt rounds screeched out across the chamber and struck into the hesitating squad. Another helmet exploded in a welter of blood, bone chips and armour fragments, and another battle-brother crashed to the cave floor. Two more were knocked down beside him as bolt rounds detonated against their torso armour.
More bolter headshots, although not all the armor is penetrated.

Page 177
Loken threw a punch that would have decapitated a mortal man. His fist cracked against Jubal's helm and he repeated the action, driving his fist four or five times against the other's face and chest. The ceramite visor chipped. Another punch, his full weight behind it, and Jubal stumbled. Each stroke of Loken's fist resounded like a smith's hammer in the echoing chamber, steel against steel.
Daemon-Possesssed Astartes resistance. Note that at this time they don't realize he is possessed, or even know what Daemons are or their connection to the warp. Part of that whole 'Imperial Truth' - thing therea re no gods and daemons. Not unlike the way the Imperium denies the existence of Chaos in modern times really, albeit for different reasons.

Page 178-179
Beyond any thought of reason now, Loken hurled himself at Jubal, but the berserker turned and smacked him away with a mighty back-hand slap.
The power of the blow was stupendous, far beyond anything even an Astartes should have been able to wield. The force was so great that the armour of Jubal's gauntlet fractured, as did the plating of Loken's shoul­der, which took the brunt. Loken blacked out for a split-second, then was aware that he was flying. Jubal had struck him so hard that he was sailing across the stone well and out over the abyssal fault.
punching ability of daemon possessed Astartes.

Page 179
He saw Jubal. He was charging forward across the cavern to the foot of the steps, drawing his combat blade. The sword glowed as it powered into life.
Loken wrenched out his own sword. Falling meltwa­ter hissed and sparked as it touched the active metal of the short, stabbing blade.
Power knife again.

Pgae 180
Combat swords we're not duelling weapons. Short and double-edged, they were made for stabbing, for battle­field onslaught. They had no reach or subtlety. Jubal hacked with his like an axe, forcing Loken to defend. Their blades cut falling water as they scythed, sizzling and billowing steam into the air.

...drove the tip of his sword into Jubal's exposed chest. The sword punched clean through, and the tip emerged through Jubal's back.
Astartes combat knives are long enough to pass completely through an Astartes chest and have the tip come out the back (a good 30-40 cm at least?) and again a power blade.

Page 193
"We killed it. Nero and I together, with our bolters. It took ninety rounds at full auto. It burst and burned, and we used a flamer to cremate all that remained."

"Myself, Nero, Sindermann and the remembrancer, Keeler. We cut the thing down just before it bit her in half. Everyone else who saw it is dead."
Referencing to Jubal/Samus. "ninety rounds at full auto" suggests at least 45 shots per person, reflecting an upper limit on Astartes durability (EG ninety rounds of bolter fire to kill a Space Marine is unnatural.) Also a flamer that cremates. The fact they cut it down before Keeler died suggests a matter of seconds, tops.

PAge 198-199
"The... warp?"

"Of course it was. We know the power of the warp and the chaos it contains. We've seen it change men. We've seen the wretched things that infest its dark dimensions. I know you have. On Erridas. On Syrinx. On the bloody coast of Tassilon. There are entities in the warp that we might easily mistake for daemons."
"I have been trained in the study of the warp. I am well-prepared to face its hor­rors. I have fought the foul things that pour forth from the gates of the Empyrean, and yes, the warp can seep into a man and transmute him. I have seen this hap­pen, but only in psykers. It is the risk they take. Not in Astartes."

"Do you understand the full mechanism of the warp, Garviel?"
"No, sir. I don't pretend to."

"Neither do I, my son. Neither does the Emperor, beloved by all. Not entirely. It pains me to admit that, but it is the truth, and we deal in truths above all else. The warp is a vital tool to us, a means of communica­tion and transport. Without it, there would be no Imperium of Man, for there would be no quick bridges between the stars. We use it, and we harness it, but we have no absolute control over it. It is a wild thing that tolerates our presence, but brooks no mastery. There is power in the warp, fundamental power, not good, nor evil, but elemental and anathema to us. It is a tool we use at our own risk."

"Spirits. Daemons. Those words imply a greater power, a fiendish intellect and a purpose. An evil archetype with cosmic schemes and stratagems. They imply a god, or gods, at work behind the scenes. They imply the very supernatural state that we have taken great pains, through the light of science, to shake off. They imply sorcery and a palpable evil."

He looked across at Loken."'Spirits. Daemons. The supernatural. Sorcery. These are words we have allowed to fall out of use, for we dislike the connotations, but they are just words. What you saw today... call it a spirit. Call it a daemon. The words serve well enough. Using them does not deny the clinical truth of the uni­verse as man understands it. There can be daemons in a secular cosmos, Garviel. Just so long as we understand the use of the word."
Horus tells Loken about the Warp. It's supposed to be a great secret from the bulk of the Imperium, but really... this is just a case where the Emperor fucked up. especially since he's still not telling even Horus everything. Which will ultimately just give the Word Bearers and Chaos their lever and allow them to pull Horus away from the Emperor. The Emperor's penchant for keeping secrets from everyone - including hte Primarchs - is really just one of the biggest ways he fucked up. I'm not saying that not keeping the secrets would have automatically meant the HEresy would not have happened - I suspect to at least some degree it was inevitable given some of the Primarch's dissatisfaction. Lorgar being an obvious example. Angron would have turned to Khorne, Curze would have rebelled, and quite probably so would have Perturabo. The Thousand Sons probably would still have been a problem, and I doubt the CAbal would have left the Alpha Legion alone, either. And its quite likely that Fulgrim was also doomed - but the severity of the Heresy would have lessened (I doubt Horus would have turned so willingly, and without Horus on their side they lose alot of the charisma and loyalty that proved so crucial. Hell even if Horus had died, it probably owuld have benefitted the Imperium more than it did Chaos.)

All that said though, I do like Horus' mentality in looking at the warp - daemons and spirits and gods are really just names, and saying that it behaves like magic or something doesn't mean its a walking no limits fallacy. I wish people in 40K debates would stop treating Chaos corruption that way, for example.

Page 199
"Meaning the warp?"

"Meaning the warp. Why coin new terms for its hor­rors when we have a bounty of old words that might suit us just as well? We use the words "alien" and "xenos" to describe the inhuman filth we encounter in some locales. The creatures of the warp are just "aliens" too, but they are not life forms as we understand the term. They are not organic. They are extra-dimensional, and they influence our reality in ways that seem sorcer-ous to us. Supernatural, if you will. So let's use all those lost words for them... daemons, spirits, possessors, changelings. All we need to remember is that there are no gods out there, in the darkness, no great daemons and ministers of evil. There is no fundamental, immutable evil in the cosmos. It is too large and sterile for such melodrama. There are simply inhuman things that oppose us, things we were created to battle and destroy. Orks. Gykon. Tushepta. Keylekid. Eldar. Jokaero... and the creatures of the warp, which are stranger than all for they exhibit powers that are bizarre to us because of the otherness of their nature."


"I have seen psykers taken by the warp, sir." he said. "I have seen them change and bloat in corruption, but I have never seen a sound man taken. I have never seen an Astartes so abused."

"It happens," Horus replied. He grinned. "Does that shock you? I'm sorry. We keep it quiet. The warp can get into anything, if it so pleases. Today was a particular tri­umph for its ways. These mountains are not haunted, as the myths report, but the warp is close to the surface here. That fact alone has given rise to the myths. Men have always found techniques to control the warp, and the folk here have done precisely that. They let the warp loose upon you today, and brave Jubal paid the price."

"Why him?"

"Why not him? He was angry at you for overlooking him, and his anger made him vulnerable. The tendrils of the warp are always eager to exploit such chinks in the mind. I imagine the insurgents hoped that scores of your men would fall under the power they had let loose, but Tenth Company had more resolve than that. Samus was just a voice from the Chaotic realm that briefly anchored itself to Jubal's flesh. You dealt with it well. It could have been far worse."
More on the Warp. Once again, I think The Emperor would have bene better off being honest about the nature of the warp, or at least admitting there were things in it. Calling them Xenos rather than aliens or gods would have sufficed, if the Emperor was afraid of worship. If someone did 'worship' them, then it becomes consorting with aliens. It was foolish to think that the truth about Chaos could be hid or suppressed, and ignoring it just gave Chaos the openings it needed.

PAge 200
"'Ing Mae Sing, Mistress of Astropaths, informed me of a rapid warp spike in this region just after you disembarked. The data is solid and substantive. The locals used their limited knowledge of the warp, which they probably understood as magic, to unleash the horror of the Empyrean upon you as a weapon."

"Why have we been told so little about the warp, sir?" Loken asked. He looked direcdy into Horas's wide-set eyes as he asked the question.

"Because so little is known," the Warmaster replied.
As far as Horus knows. While I doubt the Emperor had any nefarious intentions behind his secrecy, the fact is he's almost certain to know that Chaos Gods exist (or godlike beings exist) - he knows more than he is letting on, but his penchant for secrecy is what sets the stage for everything to follow.

Page 201
"I am Warmaster, Garviel, because the Emperor is busy. He has not retired to Terra because he is weary of the crusade. He has gone there because he has more important work to do."

"More important than the crusade?" Loken asked.

Horus nodded. "So he said to me. After Ullanor, he believed the time had come when he could leave the crusading work in the hands of the primarchs so that he might be freed to undertake a still higher calling."

"Which is?" Loken waited for an answer, expecting some transcendent truth.

What the Warmaster said was, "I don't know. He didn't tell me. He hasn't told anyone."


"He didn't want to bur­den me." he said briskly, "but I'm not a fool. I can speculate. As I said, the Imperium would not exist but for the warp. We are obliged to use it, but we know per­ilously little about it. I believe that I am Warmaster because the Emperor is occupied in unlocking its secrets. He has committed his great mind to the ulti­mate mastery of the warp, for the good of mankind. He has realised that without final and full understanding of the Immaterium, we will founder and fall, no matter how many worlds we conquer."
As we know from the Collected Visions series, The Emperor was trying to break into and conquer the Eldar webway. Frankly, you have to wonder why this was such a big secret to begin with. The fact the Emperor refused to let Horus know simply drove deeper wounds in and made the lies told to him by Erebus and the Chaos Gods all the more believable. The more we read, the more we see what sorts of secrets and lies (or rather half truths) this grand, shining Imperium is built upon.

Page 213
It had trans­lated twelve weeks earlier, by the ship-board clocks, and had made a journey that ought to have taken eighteen weeks. Great powers had been put into play to expedite the transit, powers that only a Warmaster could call upon.

It coasted for about six million kilometres, trailing the last, luminous tendrils of plasmic flare from its immense bulk, like remorae, until strobing flashes of un-light to stern announced the belated arrival of its consorts: ten light cruisers and five mass conveyance troopships. The stragglers lit their real space engines and hurried wearily to join formation with the huge flagship. As they approached, like a school of pups swimming close to their mighty parent, the flagship ignited its own drives and led them in.

Towards One Forty Twenty. Towards Murder.

Forward arrayed detectors pinged as they tasted the magnetic and energetic profiles of other ships at high anchor around the system's fourth planet, eighty mil­lion kilometres ahead. The local sun was yellow and hot, and billowed with loud, charged particles.
Horus' ship emergesf rom the warp about 86 million km from the system's planet, about 2/3 of an AU. Horu's expeditionary fleet has at least 5 troopships and 10 light cruisers (16 ships) and this is only part of his fleet. Also Horus can put into play things that can speed up his warp travel, although what they are we don't know.

Page 217
...detailed hololithic images shim­mered into place above the dais. They showed a general profile of the system, with orbital paths delineated, and the position and motion of tracked vessels. Horus gazed up at the hololithic graphics and reached out. Actuator sensors built into the fingertips of his gaundets allowed him to rotate the hololithic display and bring certain segments into magnification. "Twenty-nine craft." he said. "I thought the 140th was eighteen vessels strong?"

"I confirm the 140th Expedition was given a complement of eighteen vessels."
touch-controlled hololithic display.. and 140th Expedition has eighteen vessels.

Page 219
"There's sense in this." Horus decided, peering at the luminous graphics. "I want this run. I want us to ran it. Start with standard numeric blocks. With respect to the 140th, I don't intend to take their word for anything. Cursed awful job they've done here so far."

Abaddon nodded, and stepped aside to speak to one of the waiting deck officers and have the order enacted.

"You said it looks like music." Loken said.


"You said it looks like music, sir." Loken repeated. "An interesting word to choose."

The Warmaster shrugged. "It's mathematical, but there's a sequential rhythm to it. It's not random. Music and maths, Garviel. Two sides of a coin. This is deliber­ately structured. Lord knows which idiot in the 140th Fleet decided this was untranslatable."

Loken nodded. "You see that, just by looking at it?" he asked.

"Isn't it obvious?" Horus replied.
An indicator of Horus' enhanced mental faculties - he can instincitvley see/recognize things that even an AStartes can't figure out.

Page 219
"Master Comnenus confirms all contacts are Imperial." he said, holding out another wafer slip of print out. "Other units have been arriving these last few weeks, in response to the calls for aid. Most of them are Imperial army conveyances en route to Carollis Star, but the big vessel is the Proudheart. Third Legion, the Emperor's Children. A full company, under the command privilege of Lord Commander Eidolon."
an explanation for the extra ships in orbit. This implies that individual transport ships may be dispatched (with or without escortw e dont know) to provide aid or to reinforce worlds, I'd gather. Ina ny case, in addition to the Garrison fleets and the Expeditionary fleets, we can figure there are an unknown number of ships dedicated to just the transport and escort side of things - eg logistics.

Page 221
The taskforce of the Emperor's Children was com­paratively small in size: just a company of the Legion's main strength, conveyed by the battle-barge Proud-heart, under the command of Lord Eidolon. After a brief, peace-keeping tour of newly compliant worlds in the Satyr Lanxus Belt, they had been en route to rejoin their primarch and brethren companies at Carollis Star to begin a mass advance into the Lesser Bifold Cluster. However, during their transit, the 140th Expedition had begun its requests for assistance. The taskforce had been the closest Imperial unit fit to respond. Lord Eidolon had requested immediate permission from his primarch to alter course and go to the expedition's aid.
Apparently the expeditionary fleets can break up or detach/dispatch individual units to various roles as well.

Page 222
The 140th Expedition was a small, compact force of eighteen carriers, mass con­veyances and escorts supporting the noble battle-barge Misericord. Its martial composition was three companies of Blood Angels under Captain Frome, and four thou­sand men of the Imperial army, with allied armour, but no Mechanicum force.
This might suggest they are a "secondary" echelon force, rather than a primary fleet (like the 63rd). Assuming a similar composition amongst the various secondary fleets, we might figure around a million or so ships. Note that that is a combination of warships AND transports, but it would reflect warship numbers to no more than an order of magnitude.

Page 225
The megarachnid warriors were three metres tall, and possessed eight limbs. They ambulated, with dazzling speed, on their four hindmost limbs, and used the other four as weapons. Their bodies, one third again as weighty and massive as a human's, were segmented like an insect's: a small, compact abdomen hung between the four, wide-spread, slender walking limbs; a mas­sive, armoured thorax from which all eight limbs depended; and a squat, wide, wedge-shaped head, equipped with short, rattling mouthparts that issued the characteristic chittering noise, a heavy, ctenoid comb of brow armour, and no discernible eyes. The four upper limbs matched the trophy Lucius had taken in the first round: metal-cased blades over a metre in length beyond the joint. Every part of the megarachnid appeared to be thickly plated with mottled, almost fibrous grey armour, except the head crests, which seemed to be natural, chitinous growths, rough, bony and ivory.
The Xenos foes. They strike me as vaguely Tyranid like, to be honest.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-06-17 02:29pm

Last part for Horus Risng.

Page 226
Tarvitz had opened fire, denting the centre line of the megarachnid's thorax armour with three shots, before his fourth obliterated the thing's head in a shower of white paste and ivory crest shards. Its legs stumbled and scrabbled, its blade arms waved, and then it fell, but just before it did, there was another crash.
Bolt round detonates Megarachnid's head.

Page 231
It was a vaguely triangular, vaguely concave piece of tinted glass, with rounded corners, roughly nine cen­timetres on its longest side. Its edges were lipped, and machine formed. Tarvitz knew what it was at once, because he was staring at it through two similar objects.

It was a visor lens from an Astartes helmet. What manner of force could have popped it out of its ceramite frame?
Astartes visor lens.

Page 232
Giant forks of lightning, savage and yellow-white phosphorescent, were searing down into the open space, explosively scorching the earth. Though each fork only existed for a nanosecond, they seemed solid and real, like fundamental, physical structures, like upturned, thorny trees. Three Astartes, including Lucius, were struck. Secure in their Mark IV plate, they shrugged off the massive, detonating impacts and laughed as aftershock electrical blooms crackled like garlands of blue wire around their armour for a few seconds.
Astartes in armor resistant to lightning strikes, although its possible the Astartes biology helps here too.

Page 233
The storm above grew still more ferocious. Five more men were struck. One of them, Ulzoras, was actually knocked off his feet. They saw fused, glassy craters in the ground where lightning had earthed with the force of penetrator missiles. The shield-storm seemed to be pressing down on them, like a lid across the sky, pres­surising the air, and squeezing them in an atmospheric vice.
Again ligthning does little to Astartes in armor, though I wonder if their biology might have some role here still.

Page 234
Bulle raised his bolter and yelled, "At ten metres! Shoot till you're dry"

When the tightening wave of megarachnid warriors was ten and a half metres away Bulle yelled, "Fire!" and the firm circle of Astartes opened up.
Their weapons made a huge, rolling noise, despite the storm. All around them, the front ranks of the enemy buckled and toppled, some splintering apart, some bursting. Pieces of thorny, zinc-grey metal spun away into the air.
As Bulle had instructed, the Astartes fired until their weapons were spent, and then hefted their blades up in time to meet the onrushing foe.
bolters vs megarachnids. Empty their magazines in a matter of seconds. Also waiting to ten metres? What the fuck is thsi, pre heresy 300? Either way it implies they drained the magazines in seconds.

Page 244
The Warmaster had ordered the immediate departure of ten companies under his per­sonal command, leaving Varvaras behind with the bulk of the fleet to oversee the general withdrawal from Sixty-Three Nineteen.
Horus left the vast majority of his fleet behind, suggesting that the 63rd Expedition was more than two or even 3 times the size of what he took with him.. 30-50 ships, most of which are military warships. With the aformentioned fleet numbers, we might be looking at 139,000-233,000 active Crusade ships give or take a few thousands, with over half to 2/3 of which are warships. I'd expect similar ratios amongst the secondary fleets, suggesting more than half of those fleets are warships (this ratio seems to hold for other fleets in the series, as well.) Between probable numbers for primary and secondary fleets, we're probably looking at 3/4 of a million to a million Crusade fleet warships (also implied in First Heretic and other HH onvels) active easily, not including things in garrison or shipyards/docks or on other detached duties.

Page 246
Officially, there were no warrior lodges, or any other kind of fraternities, within the Adeptus Astartes. It was common knowledge that the Emperor frowned on such institutions, claiming they were dangerously close to cults, and only a step away from the Imperial creed, the Lectio Divinitatus, that supported the notion of the Emperor, beloved by all, as a god.

But fraternal lodges did exist within the Astartes, occult and private. According to rumours, they had been active in the XVI Legion for a long time. Some six decades ear­lier, the Luna Wolves, in collaboration with the XVII Legion, the Word Bearers, had undertaken the compli­ance of a world called Davin. A feral place, Davin had been controlled by a remarkable warrior caste, whose savage nobility had won the respect of the Astartes sent to pacify their warring feuds. The Davinite warriors had ruled their world through a complex structure of warrior lodges, quasi-religious societies that had venerated vari­ous local predators. By cultural osmosis, the lodge practices had been quiedy absorbed by the Legions.

Loken had once asked his mentor, Sindermann, about them. "They're harmless enough," the iterator had told him. "Warriors always seek the brotherhood of their kind. As I understand it, they seek to promote fellow­ship across the hierarchies of command, irrespective of rank or position. A kind of internal bond, a ribwork of loyally that operates, as it were, perpendicular to the official chain of command."
Pre-existing fraternal lodges. The cynical side of me suspects the existence of these is Chaos (through their agents the Davinites) laying down the framework for the eventual infiltraiton and corruption of the Astartes Legions.

Page 249
"Stick to them, or I will withdraw my sponsorship of you entirely, and you'll be spending a cold forty months lugging your arse back to Terra."
Duration of trip between Terra and the general location of Horus' own expedition fleet. Rather slower back than coming too it would seem. A few thousand to a few tens of thousands of c.

Page 278-279
"Orbital bombardment." Horus said, repeating what had already been decided as the best course of action.

"Men might yet live." Torgaddon said.

The Warmaster stepped aside, and spoke quietly, in Cthonic, to the Mournival.

"If I authorise this, I echo August and Eidolon, and I've just had you take them to task for that very brand of rash mistake."

"This is different." Torgaddon replied. "They went in blind, wave after wave. I'd not advocate duplicating that stupidity, but that break in the weather... it's the first they've detected in months."

"If there are brothers still alive down there." Little Horus said, "they deserve one last chance to be found."

"I'll go in." said Torgaddon. "See what I can find. Any sign that the weather is changing, I'll pull the speartip straight back out and we can open up the fleet bat­teries."


"I admire your com­passion, Tarik, but the answer is a firm no. I'm not going to repeat the errors that have already been made and pour men into-"
An interesting insight into pre-Heresy tactics. Orbital bombardment is preferred if an enemy is too tough, rather than wasting men and lives. Although they will risk more lives if it means getting other Astartes out. Personally, I also suspect a bit of Astartes ego is dictating choices here - it's obvious that the Astartes forces want to fight the Megaarachnids.

Page 286
"No, Horus! You meet in secret, and secrecy is the enemy of truth. So we are taught! Truth is everything we have! You hide yourselves, you conceal your identities... for what? Because you are ashamed? Hell's teeth, you should be! The Emperor himself, beloved by all, has ruled on this. He does not sanction this kind of activity!"

"Because he doesn't understand!" Torgaddon exclaimed.

Loken turned back and strode across the chamber until he was nose to nose with Torgaddon. "I can hardly believe I heard you say that." he snarled.

"It's true." said Torgaddon, not backing down. "The Emperor isn't a god, but he might as well be. He's so far removed from the rest of mankind. Unique. Singular. Who does he call brother? No one! Even the blessed primarchs are only sons to him. The Emperor is wise beyond all measure, and we love him and would follow him until the crack of doom, but he doesn't understand brotherhood, and that is all we meet for."
And.. the cracks start to show. And predictably it is the warrior lodges where it starts.

Page 308
Loken went downship to the barrack decks of Tenth Company. His men were waiting, half-armoured, weapons and kit spread out for fitting. Apprenta and servitors manned portable lathes and forge carts, making final, pre­cise adjustments to plate segments. This was just displacement activity: the men had been battle-ready for weeks.
barracks of tenth company including weapons maintenance.

Page 310
Over a period of nine days and nights, the war machines of the Red Engines blasted their way across the culti­vated agroponic pastures and reduced them back to the desert, from which they had originally been irrigated and nurtured. They cut through the laserthorn hedges and the jewelled walls of the outer conclave, and unleashed dirty atomics into the heart of the ruling zone, before the Lancers led a tidal wave of screaming berserkers through the breach into the earthly paradise of the gardens at Xozer, the last fragment of Eden on a corrupted planet.
Technobarbarians from teh Unificaiton era of old Earth (prior to the GEoM) used "dirty atomics" What's rather interesting is we have a sort of Fallout-esque
wars in the Unity era, mixing both high technology (or that which was left over) with some more primitive fallbacks. Gives a good idea of what 'primitive' actually means in the Imperium (Eg not just stone axes and bows and arrows or black powder or earlier.)

Page 315
Loken switched the slate off and began to strip off his armour as quickly as he could. When he was down to the thick, mimetic polymers of his sub-suit bodyglove, he stopped, and pulled on a long, hooded robe of brown hemp.
mimetic polymers again.

Page 316
Loken held up the cuff, and allowed it to auto-sync channels with Vipus's vox sys­tem. Small notice lights on the cuff and the collar of Vipus's armour flashed rapidly and then glowed in uni­son.
Vox-cuff. Off duty comms.

PAge 325-326
She punched up the second pict, and half-looked at it, gesturing with her hand. "Look at the background. And the droplets of blood in the foreground there. Perfect pict capture. But the thing itself. I've never seen any­thing create that effect on a high-gain instrument. That "wild beast" is out of sync with the physical continuity around it. Which is, captain, exactly as I saw it."

Loken stared. What had at first seemed to be a frothy, milky ghost blurring across the image of the nightmare thing had resolved clearly thanks to her manipulation. Superimposed on the fuz2y abomination was a semi-human shape, echoing the pose and posture of the creature. Though it was faint, there was no mistaking the shrieking face and wracked body of Xavyer Jubal.
Jubal photograph, capturing the fact he is possessed. Interesting detail, isn't it?

Page 327
"I've found strength. I've found"'

For a moment, Loken was certain she had been about to say 'faith'.


"Trust. Trust in the Imperium. In the Emperor. In you."

"In me?"

"Not you, personally. In the Astartes, in the Imperial army, in every branch of mankind's warrior force that is dedicated to the protection of us mere mortals." She took a sip and sniggered. "The Emperor, you see, pro­tects."

"Of course he does." said Loken.

"No, no, you misunderstand." said Keeler, folding her arms around her raised, sheet-covered knees. "He actu­ally does. He protects mankind, through the Legions, through the martial corps, through the war machines of the Mechanicum. He understands the dangers. The inconsistencies. He uses you, and all the instruments like you, to protect us from harm. To protect our physi­cal bodies from murder and damage, to protect our minds from madness, to protect our souls. This is what I now understand. This is what this trauma has taught me, and I am thankful for it. There are insane dangers in the cosmos, dangers that mankind is fundamentally unable to comprehend, let alone survive. So he protects us. There are truths out there that would drive us mad by one fleeting glimpse of them. So he chooses not to share them with us. That's why he made you."
Keeler is of course, talking about the Imperial Creed/Lectito Divinatus, but she doesn't want to admit that to Loken.

Page 330
Once the shutter had closed, Keeler got up off the cot and let the sheet fall from her. Naked, she padded over to a cupboard, knelt and opened its doors. From inside, she took out two candles and a small figurine of the Emperor. She placed them on the top of the cupboard, and lit the candles with an igniter. Then she rummaged in the cupboard and pulled out the dog-eared pamphlet that Leef had given her. It was a cheap, crude thing, badly pressed from a mechanical bulk-printer. There were ink soils along its edges, and rather a lot of spelling mistakes in the text.

Keeler didn't care. She opened the first page and, bowed before the makeshift shrine, she began to read.

"The Emperor of Mankind is the Light and the Way, and all his actions are for the benefit of mankind, which is his people. The Emperor is God and God is the Emperor, so it is taught in the Lectio Divinitatus, and above all things, the Emperor will protect..."
Self explanatory.

Page 331-332
Loken smiled. "The Mechanicum had planed smooth an entire continent as a stage for the event."

"Planed smooth? What?"

'With industrial meltas and geoformer engines. Mountains were erased and their matter used to infill valleys. The surface was left smooth and endless, a vast table of dry, polished rock chippings. It took months to accomplish."

"It ought to have taken centuries!"

"You underestimate the industry of the Mechanicum. They sent four labour fleets to undertake the work. They made a stage worthy of an Emperor, so broad it could know midnight at one end and midday at the other."

" A ceremony. A hundred thou­sand Astartes. Eight million army regulars. Legions of Titan war machines, like forests of steel. Armour units by the hundred, formations of tanks, thousands upon thousands. Warships filling the low orbit, eclipsed by the squadrons of aircraft flying over in unending eche­lons. Banners and standards, so many banners and standards."

He fell silent for a moment, remembering. "The Mechanicum had made a roadway. Half a kilometre wide, and five hundred kilometres long, a straight line across the stage they had levelled. On each side of this road, every five metres, was an iron post topped with the skull of a greenskin, trophies of the Ullanor war. Beyond the roadway, to either hand, promethium fires burned in rockcrete basins. For five hundred kilometres. The heat was intense. We marched along the roadway in review, passing below the dais on which the Emperor stood, beneath a steel-scale canopy. The dais was the only raised structure the Mechanicum had left, the root of an old mountain. We marched in review, and then assembled on the wide plain below the dais."
Post Ullanor. It gives you an interesting glimpse into AdMech industrial feats and ability to move aorund large quantities of matter. It isn't even an extraordinary feat for them, ti seems.

Page 339
Many battles had been vast, pitched affairs, where thousands of Astartes led tens of thousands of army troopers against endless files of the megarachnid.
The scope of the battles on Murder.

Page 343
Over the period of a few days, the vessels of the expe­dition, high in orbit, became aware of curious signals and etheric displacements that suggested the activity of starships nearby, and various attempts were made to locate the source. Advised of the situation, the Warmas­ter presumed that other reinforcements were on the verge of arrival, perhaps even additional units from the Emperor's Children. Patrolling scout ships, sent out by Master Comnenus, and cruisers on picket control, could find no concrete trace of any vessels, but many reported spectral readings, like the precursor field elevations that announced an imminent translation. The expedition fleet left high anchor and took station on a battle-ready grid, with the Vengeful Spirit and the Proudheart in the vanguard, and the Misericord and the Red Tear, Sanguinius's flagship, on the trailing flank.

When the strangers finally appeared, they came in rapidly and confidently, gunning in from a translation point at the system edges: three massive capital ships, of a build pattern and drive signature unknown to Imper­ial records.
Some sort of implied FTL-type signal, related to detecting warp travel, but clearly passive.

Page 353
"The stars are mankind's birthright. That's what he told me. That's one of the first things he told me when we met. I was like a child then, raised up from nothing. He set me at his side, and pointed to the heavens. Those points of light, he said, are what we have been waiting genera­tions to master. Imagine, Horus, every one a human culture, every one a realm of beauty and magnificence, free from strife, free from war, free from bloodshed and the tyrannous oppression of alien overlords. Make no mistake, he said, and they will be ours."
"The first thing my father gave me was an astrological text. It was a simple thing, a child's primer. I have it here somewhere. He noted my wonder in the stars, and wished me to leam and understand."

"There were zodiac charts in it. In the text." Horus took a sip of his wine and smiled at the memory. "I learned them all. In one evening. Not just the names, but the patterns, the associations, the structure. All twenty signs. The next day, my father laughed at my appetite for knowledge. He told me the zodiac signs were old and unreliable models, now that the explorator fleets had begun detailed cosmological mapping. He told me that the twenty signs in the heavens would one day be matched by twenty sons like me. Each son would embody the character and notion of a particular zodiac group."
Horus talks about his past with the Emperor, and the Emperor's vision. It reflects another one of the key aspects of the Heresy - Horus feels estranged and abandoned by the Emperor - a feeling felt by many of the Primarchs and a good many of the Astartes, army and related troops. It also serves as one of those openings that the Word Bearers and Chaos use to turn Horus and his supporters to their ends, eventually. This plays into that secrecy angle too.. the Emperor may have been a loving father, but he clearly had issues trusting even his 'sons', and what's worse, Horus and others must realize that.
Heck, you could probably write entire novels (or short stories) on the issues pertaining ot the interpersonal relationships of the Primarchs and the Emperor.

Page 354
"In Anatoly in his own childhood, the centaur had been a revered symbol."
A rather indirect reference to the very early fluff about the Emperor's origins in the Realms of Chaos stuff.

Page 356
"Make no mistake" Horus continued. "Those three words. Make no mistake. I am Warmaster, by the Emperor's decree. I cannot fail him. I cannot make mis­takes."


"Since Ullanor, little one, I have made two. Or been party to two, and that is enough, for the responsibility for all expedition mistakes falls to me in the final count."

"What mistakes?" asked Loken.

"Mistakes. Misunderstandings." Horus stroked his hand across his brow. "Sixty-Three Nineteen. Our first endeav­our. My first as Warmaster. How much blood was spilt there, blood from misunderstanding? We misread the signs and paid the price. Poor, dear Sejanus. I miss him still. That whole war, even that nightmare up on the mountains you had to endure, Garviel... a mistake. I could have handled it differendy. Sixty-Three Nineteen could have been brought to compliance without bloodshed."
Again, we get a glimpse into Horus and what drives him, or rather what haunts him. He is a man, a great man, but one who puts himself under a great deal of pressure and must shoulder it alone. Not unlike the Emperor himself, but Horus is not the Emperor and he clearly wishes the Emperor were still here.

Page 357
"Therein lies the difference between our philosophy and that of the interex." Aximand said. "We cannot endure the existence of a malign alien race. They subju­gate it, but refrain from annihilating it. Instead, they deprive it of space travel and exile it to a prison world."

"We annihilate." said Horus. "They find a means around such drastic measures. Which of us is the most humane?"

Aximand rose to his feet. "I find myself with Ezekyle on this. Tolerance is weakness. The interex is admirable, but it is forgiving and generous in its dealings with xenos breeds who deserve no quarter."

"It has brought them to book, and learned to live in sympathy." said Horus. "It has trained the kinebrach to-"

"And that's the best example I can offer!" Aximand replied. "The kinebrach. It embraces them as part of its culture."

"1 will not make another rash or premature decision." Horus stated flatly. "I have made too many, and my War-mastery is threatened by my mistakes. I will understand the interex, and learn from it, and parlay with it, and only then will I decide if it has strayed too far. They are a fine people. Perhaps we can learn from them for a change..."
An interesting argument about whether or not it is better to find ways to coexist with aliens when you can, or if obliterating them is the only option. It really kind of shows up the flaws in the Imperial way of thinking, which set the stage for what is to come in the future. AT this point in time they're not quite so hardcore about Xenos extermination, although there's still plenty of that there too.

Funny enough, this could prove to be another of those wedges driven between Horus and the Emperor. He is clearly well meaning, but he's running up against what is (basically) Imperial 'Truth'. Between that conflict and the engineered betrayal later on, it seems liek Horus gets frustrated no matter what he tries to do.

It also provides another one of those potential glimpses at what the Imperium might have been had things been different, I think.

Page 358
The people of the interex called it the aria, and it was a fun­damental part of their communication. They still used language - indeed, their spoken language was an evolved human dialect closer in form to the prime lan­guage of Terra than Cthonic - but they had long ago formulated the aria as an accompaniment and enhance­ment of speech, and as a mode of translation.

Scrutinised by the iterators during the voyage, the aria proved to be hard to define. Essentially, it was a form of high mathematics, a universal constant that tran­scended linguistic barriers, but the mathematical structures were expressed through specific harmonic and melodic modes which, to the untrained ear, sounded like music. Strands of complex melody rang in the background of all the interex's vocal transmissions, and when one of their kind spoke face to face, it was usual to have one or more of the meturge players accompany his speech with their instruments. The meturge players were the translators and envoys.

Tall, like all the people of the interex, they wore long coats of a glossy, green fibre, laced with slender gold piping. The flesh of their ears was distended and splayed, by genetic and surgical enhancement, like the ears of bats or other nocturnal fliers. Comm technology, the equivalent of vox, was laced around the high collars of their coats, and each one carried an instrument strapped across his chest, a device with amplifiers and coiled pipes, and numerous digital keys on which the meturge player's nimble fingers constantly rested. A swan-necked mouthpiece rose from the top of each instrument, enabling the player to blow, hum, or vocalise into the device.
Various detail on the interex. Pretty neat, really.

Page 360
Behind the slender soldiers, as a further escort, came heavier forms. Shorter, and far more thick-set, these men were similarly armoured, though in browns and golds. Loken supposed them to be heavy troopers, their bodies gene-bred for bulk and muscle, designed for close combat, but they carried no weapons. There were twenty of them, and they flanked five robotic creatures, slender, silver quadrupeds of intricate and elegant design, made to resemble the finest Terra-stock horses, except that they possessed no heads or necks.

"Artificials." Horus whispered aside to Maloghurst. "Make sure Master Regulus is observing this via the pict feed. I'll want his notes later."
Details of the Interex technology. Again the dreaded AI.

Page 363
They were called the kinebrach. An advanced, mature species, they had been an interstellar culture for over fif­teen thousand years. They had already founded a strong, multi-world civilisation in the local region of space before Terra had entered its First Age of Technol­ogy, an era when humanity was only just feeling its way beyond the Solar system in sub-light vehicles.

By the time the interex encountered them, their cul­ture was aging and fading. A territorial war developed after initial contact, and lasted for a century.
Despite the kinebrach's superior technology, the humans of the interex were victorious, but, in victory, they did not annihilate the aliens. Rapprochement was achieved, thanks in part to the interex's willingness to develop the aria to facilitate a more profound level of inter-species communication. Faced with options including further warfare and exile, the kinebrach elected to become client citizens of the expanding interex. It suited them to place their tired, flagging destiny in the charge of the vigorous and progressive humans. Culturally bonded as junior partners in society, the kinebrach shared their technological advances by way of exchange. For three thousand years, the interex humans had successfully co­existed with the kinebrach.
Kinebrach get mention in other sources priro to this, including IIRC some of the Gaunt's Ghosts stuff.

Page 370
One of Varvaras's ships had brought with it a delega­tion of eaxector tributi administrators from Terra. This was perhaps the most galling of all the voices baying for the Warmaster's attention. On the instruction of Malcador the Sigillite, and counter-signed by the Council of Terra, the eaxectors had been sent throughout the spreading territories of the Imperium, in a programme of general dispersal that made the mass deployment of the remembrancers look like a modest operation.
The Council of Terra had decreed that all expedition and crusade forces, all primarchs, all commanders, and all governors of compliant world-systems should begin raising and col­lecting taxes from their subject planets in order to bolster the increasing fiscal demands of the expanding Imperium. All she insisted on talking about was the col­lection of tithes.

"One world cannot support and maintain such a gigantic undertaking singlehanded." she explained to the Warmaster in slightly over-shrill tones. "Terra cannot shoulder this burden alone. We are masters of a thou­sand worlds now, a thousand thousand. The Imperium must begin to support itself."

"Many worlds are barely in compliance, lady," Horus said gently. "They are recovering from the damage of war, rebuilding, reforming. Taxation is a blight they do not need."
Something I mentioned before pops up now. We are introduced to yet another issue that drives a wedge between the Imperial military and its adminsitrative side, and represents what will become the long term tradition of the Imperial tithe, although they call it taxes here.

The interesting aspect of all this is twofold: a.) that all the "compliant" worlds brought into the Imperium through warfare are struggling to recover, and are not in a position to contribute economic or militarily, and b.) that Terra has been shouldering a burden for the war effort for centuries. To be honest, I'm not wholly sure I believe that Terra is the ONLY world supporting all those expeditionary fleets - later on we're introduced to various worlds (forge worlds, etc. like in fallen angles) who provide production and suchnot.. and we know the various homeworlds of Primarchs acted as supply depots and places to repair and rearm. Rather, I interpret it as meaning that Terra is one of the few worlds with a substantially intact and effective industrail base, and it has contritbuted the lion's share of military and economic resources to the Crusade as a whole, but it is not the only world to do so.

Hell, even with other worlds supporting, the fact that Terra was a major contributor is still a damned impressive feat.

Page 371
"The Emperor has insisted this be so."

"Has he?"

"Malcador the Sigillite, beloved by all, has impressed this upon me and all of my rank. Tribute must be col­lected, and mechanisms established so that such tribute is routinely and automatically gathered."

"The world governors we have put in place will find this too thankless a task," Maloghurst said.

"They are still legitimising their rule and authority. This is premature."

"The Emperor has insisted this be so." she repeated.
You can just smell the beginnings of our beloved Adminstratum coming into being. Given that, I admit I can't blame Horus for wanting to rebel, especially since the Emperor should have been paying attention to this sort of thing. Interpersonal conflicts between your military and adminsitrative branches is not a good thing, and even Malcador seems to not have noticed this. On the other hand, there's still that whole 'only war' angle I talked about earlier.

Page 372
"Through the eaxectors, the Council places a burden on the fledgling worlds that is so great it might break us. It is too soon, too compre­hensive, too stringent. Worlds will revolt. Uprisings will occur. Tell a conquered man he has a new master, and he'll shrug. Tell him his new master wants a fifth of his annual income, and he'll go and find his pitchfork. Aenid Rathbone, and administrators like her, will be the undoing of all we have achieved."
"But it is the Emperor's will." Torgaddon remarked.

Horus shook his head. "It is not, for all she says. I know him as a son knows his father. He would not agree to this. Not now, not this early. He must be too bound up in his work to know of it. The Council is making decisions in his absence. The Emperor under­stands how fragile things are. Throne, this is what happens when an empire forged by warriors devolves executive power to civilians and clerics."
"This could trigger civil war in certain regions. At the very least, it could undermine the continued work of our expeditions. The eaxectors need to be... sidelined for the moment. They should be given terrific weights of material to pore through to determine precise tribute levels, world by world, and bombarded with copious additional intelligence concerning each world's status."

"It won't slow them down forever, lord." Maloghurst said. "The Administration of Terra has already deter­mined systems and measures by which tribute should be calculated, pro rata, world by world."
Horus describes how this taxation could prove to be a destabilizing element, and vents his frustrations on the whole "warriors vs Burecreats" angle. Funny enough, I suspect this may be one of the things he played upon when he did turn traitor, and what lead to so many worlds rallying to his cause. As he demonstrates now, being Warmaster puts him in an ideal position to be aware of these myriad flaws and propblems, as well as being able to exploit them to his advantage.

Page 375
The bout lasted sixteen minutes. That in itself would have made it one of the longest sparring sessions any of them had ever known. What made it more remarkable was the fact that in that time, mere was no pause, no hesitation, no cessation. Erebus and Lucius flew at one another, and rang blows off one another's blades at a rate of three or four a second. It was relentless, extraor­dinary, a dizzying blur of dancing bodies and gleaming swords that rang on and on like a dream.
Sixteen minute bouts, sword blows landing 3-4 times a second.

Page 380
The city was home to buildings of exquisite design, and it was clear the interex possessed great skill in both the old crafts of stonemasonry and metalwork, and the newer crafts of technology. Pavements abounded with gorgeous statu­ary and tranquil water fountains, but also with modernist public sculpture of light and sonics. Ancient lancet window slits were equipped with glass panels reactive to light and heat. Doors opened and closed via automatic body sensors. Interior light levels could be adjusted by a wave of the hand. Everywhere, the soft melody of the aria played.

The Imperium possessed many cities that were larger and grander and more cyclopean. The super-hives of Terra and the silver spires of Prospero both were stu­pendous monuments to cultural advancement that quite diminished Xenobia Principis. But the interex city was every bit as refined and sophisticated as any conur­bation in Imperial space, and it was merely a border settlement.
Interex architecture.

Page 383
"Surely, general commander, a blade is just a blade?" Sindermann asked politely. "These daggers here, for instance. How are these weapons "too lethal to be left beyond securement"?"

"They are tailored weapons." Naud replied. "Blades of sentient metal, crafted by the kinebrach metallurgists, a technique now utterly forbidden. We call them anathames. When such a blade is selected for use against a specific target, it becomes that target's nemesis, utterly inimical to the person or being chosen."

"How?" Sindermann pressed.

Naud smiled. "The kinebrach have never been able to explain it to us. It is a factor of the forging process that defies technical evaluation."

"Like a curse?" prompted Sindermann. "An enchant­ment?"

The aria generated by the meturge players around them hiccupped slightly over those words. To Sindermann's surprise, Naud replied, "I suppose that is how you could describe it, iterator."
The weapon plays a role in later events in many ways. The interesting thing is the "sentient metal." at first I was thinking that it was something necron like, but now I'm wondering if it refers to some sort of warp entity being bound into the blade, like a Daemon sword. If so, given the Interex view on chaos, why the hell do they just have it lying around???

Page 385
Horus waited silently while six officers and servitors from the Master of Vox's company finished their routine sweep for spyware, and only spoke once they had acti­vated the portable obscurement device in the corner of the room. The distant melodies of the aria were imme­diately blanked out.
Portable obscurement device (privacy screen I guess).

PAge 386-387
"Since when have we worried about hurting people's feelings, lord?" Abaddon asked. "Whatever our differ­ences, these are humans. It is their duty and their destiny to join with us and stand with us, for the pri­mary glory of Terra. If they will not..."

"They are deviant in their ways. Too deviant for us to embrace them with­out forcing change."
"The interex, for good reasons, I'm sure, have built a society that is too greatly at variance to the model of human culture that the Emperor has proclaimed. Unless they show a willingness to adapt, they must by necessity be regarded as enemies to our cause."
Abaddon was not smiling. "The Emperor, beloved of all." he began, "enfranchised us to do his bidding and make known space safe for human habitation. His edicts are unequivocal. We must suffer not the alien, nor the uncontrolled psyker, safeguard against the dark­ness of the warp, and unify the dislocated pockets of mankind. That is our charge. Anything else is sacrilege against his wishes."
More on the whole "xenos or no xenos" conflict.

Page 387
"The crusade was born out of the Age of Strife, Ezekyle. Born out of war. Our ruth­less approach of conquest and cleansing was formulated in a time when every alien form we met was hostile, every fragment of humanity that was not with us was profoundly opposed to us. War was the only answer. There was no room for subtlety, but two centuries have passed, and different problems face us. The bulk of war is over. That is why the Emperor returned to Terra and left us to finish the work. Ezekyle, the people of the interex are clearly not mon­sters, nor resolute foes. I believe that if the Emperor were with us today, he would immediately embrace the need for adaptation. He would not want us to wantonly destroy that which there is no good reason to destroy. It is precisely to make such choices that he has placed his trust in me."
Some of the last moments of the likable Horus. enjoy them while they last. Things go downhill real fast.

Page 392-394
"The interex is a mature society. We understand the threat of Kaos well enough, and set it in its place."


Tull frowned. "Yes, captain. Kaos. You say the word like you've never heard it before."
"No star-faring race in the cosmos can operate without understanding the nature of Kaos. We thank the eldar for teaching us the rudiments of it, but we would have recognised it soon enough without their help. Surely, one can't use the Immaterium for any length of time without coming to terms with Kaos as a..." his voice trailed off. "Great and holy heavens! You don't know, do you?"
"Kaos is a primal force of the cosmos. It resides within the Immaterium... what you call the warp. It is a source of the most malevolent and complete corruption and evil. It is the greatest enemy of mankind - both interex and Imperial, I mean - because it destroys from within, like a canker. It is insidious. It is not like a hostile alien form to be defeated or expunged. It spreads like a disease. It is at the root of all sorcery and magic. It is..."


"In the ages since we last had contact with Terra, things might have changed. An age of strife and damnation had passed. There was no guarantee that the men, who looked like men, and claimed to come from Terra in the name of a new Terran Emperor, might not be agents of Kaos in seemly guise. There was no guarantee that while the men of the interex remained pure, the men of Terra might have become polluted and transformed by the ways of Kaos."

"Kaos, when it manifests, is bru­tal, rapacious, warlike. It is a force of unquenchable destruction. So the eldar have taught us, and the kine-brach, and so the pure men of the interex have stood to check Kaos wherever it rears its warlike visage. Tell me, captain, how warlike do you appear? Vast and bulky, bred for battle, driven to destroy, led by a man you hap­pily title Warmaster? War master? What manner of rank is that? Not Emperor, not commander, not general, but Warmaster. The bluntness of the term reeks of Kaos. We want to embrace you, yearn to embrace you, to join with you, to stand shoulder to shoulder with you, but we fear you, Loken. You resemble the enemy we have been raised from birth to anticipate. The all-conquering, unre­lenting daemon of Kaos-war. The bloody-handed god of annihilation."
The Interex know about Chaos, and its dangers. The Emperor could have taken a lesson from these guys, really. The great irony is that while this could have been a turning point that prevented the Heresy, things just happened to fall apart before that could happen (thanks to Erebus, the dick.) And at the same time, Erebus manages to use Horus and the Luna Wolves to wipe out a potential threat to the Chaos God's plans. And I don't doubt for a second meeting the Interex wouldn't have thrown a monkey wrench into Chaos' plans.

Also the Eldar are on terms with the Interex.

Page 395
Loken clamped his own helm in place. The visor screens were alarmingly blank. He checked sub-vox and security channels, trying to reach Kairus, Torgaddon or any of the bodyguard detail. His suit systems were being comprehensively blocked.

"Are you damping me?" he asked.

"City systems are damping you."
The interex can dampen sensors and comms.

Page 396
He managed to snatch up his plated arms to fend off the blow, and the two that followed it. The lightweight armour of the interex soldiery seemed to facilitate the most dazzling motion and dexterity, per­haps even augmenting the user's natural abilities, Tull's attack was fluent and professional, slicing in blows with the long spear blade designed to force Loken back and down into submission. The microfine edge of the blade hacked several deep gouges into Loken's plating.
Not unlike Eldar armor. Note the "microfine" edges gouging but not cutting through the armor.

Page 396
As far as Loken knew, all Imperial agents in the area had been deprived of vox and sensor links. There was no cue to the Warmaster's party, or to the Extranns compound, and certainly none to the fleet.
"vox and sensor links" between various components of the Imperial force.

Pag e396
Loken focussed. He felt the power in his limbs, in the suddenly warming, suddenly active flex of the polymer muscles in his suit's inner skin. He felt the throb of the power unit against the small of his back as it obeyed his instincts and yielded full power. He'd been swatting away the spear blows, allowing Tull to disfigure his plate.
"polymer muscles" and variable power outputs for the power armor. Similar is seen in other novels (like Savage Scars.)

Page 398
Every blow and parry and ripostes each one essayed was inexplicable and foreign to the other. Every millisecond of the exchange was a potentially lethal learning curve.
Millisecond reaction times involved in the duel between Tull and Loken.

Page 399
Two more interex soldiers came into view, another sagittar and a gleve. Loken, still running, shot them both before they could react. The force of his bolts, both torso-shots, threw the soldiers back against the wall, where they slithered to the ground. Abaddon had been wrong. The armour of the interex warriors was master­ful, not weak. His rounds hadn't penetrated the chest plates of either of the men, but the sheer, concussive force of the impacts had taken them out of the fight, probably pulping their innards.
Loken's bolter fails to penetrate Interex armour, but blunt trama still does it work. Probably an intentional design of the bolter, either through sheer kinetic force of a large calibre, high velocity round, or the shock of the explosive effects.

PAge 400
Kairus rose and opened up with his storm bolter, fir­ing on auto. He hosed the colonnade ahead of them, and Loken saw three sagittars crumble and explode under the thunderous pummel of the weapon. Now their armour broke. Under six of seven consecutive explosive penetrators, now their armour broke.
Storm bolter exploding Interex troops, six or seven bolts to penetrate armor apiece.

PAge 403-404
"Just when things turned sour. He was telling me of Chaos."


"Of Chaos, and how it is our greatest common foe. He feared it was in us. He said that is why they had been so careful with us, because they feared we had brought Chaos with us. Lord, what did he mean?"

Horus looked at Loken. "He meant Jubal. He meant the Whisperheads. He meant the warp. Have you brought the warp here, Garviel Loken?"

"No, sir."

"Then the fault is within them. The great, great fault that the Emperor himself, beloved by all, told me to watch for, foremost of all things. Oh gods, I wished this place to be free of it. To be clean. To be cousins we could hug to our chests. Now we know the truth."

Loken shook his head. "Sir, no. I don't think that's what was meant. I think these people despise Chaos... the warp... as much as we do. I think they only fear it in us, and tonight, something has proved that fear right."
Oh the irony. Part one of Erebus' plan is complete.

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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Cykeisme » 2012-06-26 02:01pm

Pointing out something that I've noticed ever since the Horus Heresy novels started coming.. is there a reason why "Throne!" is used as an expletive even before the Emperor's Ascension?
"..history has shown the best defense against heavy cavalry are pikemen, so aircraft should mount lances on their noses and fly in tight squares to fend off bombers". - RedImperator

"ha ha, raping puppies is FUN!" - Johonebesus

"It would just be Unicron with pew pew instead of nom nom". - Vendetta, explaining his justified disinterest in the idea of the movie Allspark affecting the Death Star

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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-06-28 07:59pm

Well with Horus Rising out of the way we move to False Gods. One update for two posts, because frankly, I'm not as fond of this one as I was Horus Rising.

The HH series is kind of interesting in that the way I regard the 'good' authors like Abnett and McNeill depends on the book. I liked Mechanicum and 'The Last Church' for McNeill, but I disliked False Gods and Fulgrim was 'meh' (as are most of the EC-related short stories like the one in The Primarchs.) I liked Horus Rising and Know No Fear, but I'm pretty blah about Legion and . Alot of it may just be the subject matter - I'm still not convinced McNeill writes CSM as well as he does Loyalist Astartes, and he's got a positive gift for the Mechanicus (I can't wait to see his Mechanicus novel coming out). I can't quite explain why I dislike Legion, except that its too... ambitious. And Prospero Burns was well written, I just didnt' care for the Space Wolf characterization (which is pure nostalgia and bias on my part.)

False Gods chronicles Horus' actual descent, picking up just after Horus Rising and pretty much carrying us towards the Catastrophe of Istvaan and the Drop Site Massacre, which ultimately set the stage for the Horus Heresy as we know it. For the most part its a decent book, and the 'turning' bit is only at the end when we get to the actual 'turning point' - which I feel simply didn't match the buildup. It could be that I'm just biased against CSM - and False gods is very much 'chaos-centric'. Also, I'm not sure I could blame McNeill for that, either. It's such a pivotal moment in the series (as much so as Istvaan, the Battle for Terra, etc.) that it may be no writing can truly live up to expectations, so maybe I'm just expecting too much from it..

Anyhow, on with the book.

Page 14
Tall and striking, she sat at her maplewood escritoire, a family heirloom her father proudly boasted had been a gift from the Emperor to his great, great grandmother after the great oath-taking in the Urals. She tapped on her dataslate with a gold tipped mnemo-quill, its reac­tive nib twitching in response to her excitement. Random words crawled across the softly glowing surface, the quill's organic stem-crystals picking up the surface thoughts from her frontal lobes.
An overly complicated means of transcription, using some sort of MIU or something.

Page 14
She smiled and erased the words with a swipe of an elegantly manicured nail, the edge smooth down to the fractal level, and began to write with pronounced, cur­sive sweeps of the quill.
Fractally manicured nails. Talk about extravagance.

Page 17
He moved to the side as the door shut behind him, his dancing, golden eyes sweeping the vaulted, filigreed ceiling and the adjacent anterooms in a variety of spec­tra for anything suspect. He kept one hand on the smooth grip of his pistol, the other on the grip of his gold-bladed Kirlian rapier. His bare arms bore the faint scars of augmetic surgery, pale lines across his dark skin, as did the tissue around his eyes where house chirur-geons had replaced them with expensive biometric spectral enhancers to enable him better to protect the scion of House Carpinus.
But since his life was forfeit should anything untoward befall her, she supposed she could understand his cau­tion.
Augmetically enhanced bodyguard, pleged with his life to protect his charge.

Page 18
The Imperator-class Titan represented the pinnacle of the Mechanicum's skill and knowledge, the culmination of millennia of war and military technology. The Titan had no purpose other than to destroy, and had been designed with all the natural affinity for the business of killing that mankind possessed. Like some colossal armoured giant of steel, the Titan stood forty-three metres tall on crenellated bastion legs, each one capable of mounting a full company of soldiers and their associ­ated supporting troops
43 metre tall Imperator class.

Page 19
Giant, rumbling cranes suspended from the ceiling lifted massive hoppers of shells and long, snub-nosed missiles into the launch bays of the Titan's weapon mounts. Each gun was the size of a hab-blоск, massive rotary cannons, long-range howitzers and a monstrous plasma cannon with the power to level cities.
Plasma cannon that can "level cities" Also hab-block sized guns.. which is interesting considering the Titan is a mere 43 metres tall.

Page 20
The hangar, though over two kilometres in length, felt cramped to Jonah as he made his way towards the Dies Irae, the scent of engine oil, grease and sweat not help­ing one whit with his hangover.
The Titan hangar in Horus' flagship is 2 km long. Probably not the only one, but it means the ship is at least 7 km long probably. with engines, more like 10 km.

Page 20
A host of Battle Titans of the Legio Mortis stood ready for war: fast, mid-range Reavers, snarling Warhounds and the mighty Warlords - as well as some newer Night Gaunt-class Titans - but none could match the awesome splendour of an Imperator-class Titan. The Dies Irae dwarfed them all in size, power and magnificence, and Jonah knew there was nothing in the galaxy that could stand against such a terrifying war machine.
Various titans part of the Legio.

Page 24
He was bathed in red light as he entered the,cold, hard interior of the Titan and began threading his way through the low-ceilinged corridors with a familiarity borne of countless hours learning the position of every rivet and bolt that held the Dies Irae together.
Titans are riveted and bolted.

Page 25

..two soldiers in burnished black breastplates over silver mail shirts. Each wore a mask fashioned in the shape of the Legio's death's head and was armed with a short jolt-stick and a holstered shock-pistol.
Its muz­zle was slightly flared, and two silver steel prongs protruded threateningly, sparks of blue light flickering between them. Arcs of light could leap out and sear the flesh from a man's bones in a burst of lightning, but wouldn't dangerously ricochet in the cramped confines of a Titan's interior.
"shock pistol" some sort of pseudo-particle beam weapon. Exotic Admech weaponry I suppose.

Page 26
"Com­mand Bridge, Moderati Primus Jonah Aruken."

The floor beneath him shimmered and rippled like mercury, a perfectly circular disc of mirror-like metal forming beneath his feet and lifting him from the ground. The thin disc climbed into the air and Jonah rose through a hole in the ceiling, passing along the transport tube towards the summit of the Titan. The walls of the tube glowed with their own inner light, and Jonah stifled a yawn as the silver disc came to a halt and he emerged onto the command deck.
the liquid metal stuff is disturbingly reminiscient of Necron tech. Which, given what we learn from Mechanicum, seems oddly prescient.

Page 27-28
"Adepts," he said. "Link me."

Red-robed adepts of the Mechanicum appeared, one on either side of him, their movements slow and in per­fect concert with one another, and slotted fine micro-cellular gauntlets over his hands, the inner, mnemonic surfaces meshing with his skin and register­ing his vital signs. Another adept lowered a silver lattice of encephalographic sensors onto his head, and the touch of the cool metal against his skin was a welcome sensation.

"The cortical-dendrites are ready to deploy."
Jonah heard the hiss of the neck clamps as they slid from the side of the headrest, and, from the corners of his eyes, he could see slithering slivers of metal emerg­ing from the clamps. He braced himself for the momentary pain of connection as they slid across his cheek like silver worms reaching towards his eyes.
Then he could see them fully: incredibly fine silver wires, each no thicker than a human hair, yet capable of carrying vast amounts of information.
The clamps gripped his head firmly as the silver wires descended and penetrated the corners of his eyes, worm­ing down past his optic nerve and into his brain, where they finally interfaced directly with his cerebral cortex.
He grunted as the momentary, icy pain of connection passed through his brain, but relaxed as he felt the body of the Titan become one with his own. Information flooded through him, the cortical-dendrites filtering it through portions of his brain that normally went unused, allowing him to feel every part of the gigantic machine as though it were an extension of his own flesh.
Within microseconds, the post-hypnotic implants in the subconscious portions of his brain were already run­ning the pre-deployment checks, and the insides of his eyeballs lit up with telemetry data, weapon readiness status, fuel levels and a million other nuggets of infor­mation that would allow him to command this beautiful, wonderful Titan.
Linking into the Titan. Ouch.

Page 32
Sitting on the cold, iron benches out­side the practice cages, she had already blink-clicked more images to store in her memory coils than she would ever need.
Mersadie Oliton and her remembrancer augmetics.

Page 33
"I didn't realise Astartes aged," she replied, regaining her composure.
Loken shrugged, picking up a carved vambrace and a polishing cloth. "I don't know if we do either. None of us has ever lived long enough to find out."
This seems to imply that their actual immortality may be up for debate

Page 36
It had been six decades since Loken had last set foot on Davin, though back then it had been known as Sixty-Three Eight, being the eighth world brought into compliance by the 63rd Expedi­tionary force.
Six decades since Davin.

Page 36
The Luna Wolves had been impressed by their courage and willingness to accept the new order of their society and the commander - not yet the Warmaster - had decreed that his warriors could learn much from these brave opponents.

Though the tribesmen were separated from the human genome by millennia of isolation, and shared few physical traits with the settlers that came after the Astartes, Horas had allowed the feral tribesmen to remain, in light of their enthusiastic embracing of the Imperial way of life.
Iterators and remembrancers had not yet become an official part of the Crusade fleets, but the civilians and scholars who hung on the coattails of the expeditionary forces moved amongst the populace and promulgated the glory and truth of the Imperium. They had been wel­comed with open arms, thanks largely to the dutiful work undertaken by the chaplains of the XVII Legion, the Word Bearers, in the wake of the conquest.
the Davinites. Letting them live was a mistake. Letting them anywhere near the word bearers an even bigger one.

Page 54
Torgaddon looked shocked at the Warmaster's out­burst, and shot a hurt glance at his fellows. Loken was less shocked, having witnessed the commander raging at subordinates many times in the weeks since they had departed the marches of the interex. Horus had known no peace since the terrible bloodshed amid the House of Devices on Xenobia, and the deaths and the missed opportunity of unification with the interex haunted him still.

Since the debacle with the interex, the Warmaster had withdrawn into a sullen melancholy, remaining more and more within his inner sanctum, with only Erebus to counsel him. The Mournival had barely seen their com­mander since returning to Imperial space and they all keenly felt their exclusion from his presence.
Yes things went rapidly downhill since the ending of Horus rising, mere weeks past. And Erebus no doubt has been making them worse. We're well on our way to stage two of the Master Plan.

Page 60
"..being maintained by Commander Temba and the forces left with him."

"Where is Temba anyway?" demanded Horus. "I gave him enough men to pacify any last remnants of resis­tance."
Indication that Davin was left with a military/garrison force as well as a commander.

Page 60
"The tribes on Davin itself were honourable and read­ily accepted compliance, but those on the moon did not,’ explained Erebus. Temba led his men in a glorious, but ultimately foolhardy, expedition to the moon to bring the tribes there into line,"
"Why foolhardy? Such is the duty of an Imperial com­mander."
Implying some sort of space-transport capability.

Page 72-73
Loken pointed towards the pulsing, spectral light of the warp on the other side of the observation bay's glass. Clouds of many colours and spirals of darkness spun and twisted like blooms of ink in water, constantly churning in a maelstrom of light and shadow. No coher­ent forms existed in the mysterious otherworld beyond the ship, which, but for the power of the Geller field, would destroy the Warmaster's vessel in the blink of an eye.
Gellar fields protect Horus' ship from destruction.

Page 88
Six of the monstrous flyers sat hunched at the end of their launch rails, cranes deliver­ing the last of their ordnance payloads, while gunnery servitors calibrated the cannons slung beneath the cockpit.
Stormbird armaments.

Page 89
Though if their intelligence was correct, all they would be facing was perhaps ten thousand rebellious Army soldiers, no match for even a quarter this many Astartes.

The Warmaster, however, had demanded the utter destruction of Temba's forces, and five companies of Astartes, a detachment of Varvarus's Byzant Janizars and a battle group of Titans from the Legio Mortis were to unleash his fiery wrath.
10,000 "rebel" army soldiers, giving an idea of the Garrison. About 500 or so Astartes are being dispatched, which means that 1 Astatres is worth slightly less than 100 soldiers.

Assuming this Garrison held constant throughout the galaxy, we're looking at 10 billion or so soldiers at least. That's almost certianly an under-estimate, as Davin is a feral world, and hardly needs a large garrison. I'd expect civilised worlds to have at least 10-100x more.

Page 89
"I'm telling you, the subsonic shells will be better," said Aximand.

"And what if they have armour like those interex bas­tards?" demanded Abaddon.

"Then we use mass reactive. Tell him, Loken!"

Abaddon turned at Loken and Torgaddon's approach and nodded curtly.

"Aximand's right," Loken said. "Supersonic shells will pass through a man before they have time to flatten and create a killing exit wound. You might fire three of these through a target and still not put him down."

"Just because the last few fights have been against armoured warriors, Ezekyle wants them," said Axi­mand, "but I keep telling him that this battle will be fought against men no more armoured than our own Army soldiers."
Discussion of different kinds of bolter ammo. It can be subsonic and supersonic. supersonic ammo seems to be the armor piercing type. Both seem to be non-explosive, since they flatten and create exit wounds, and supersonic shells can overpenetrate.

"mass reactive" seem to be a third type.. suggesting that they carry both explosive and non-explosive rounds. I wonder if the "mass reactive" rounds can be sub or super-sonic?

Page 92
Hundreds of Astartes surrounded them, standing before their allocated Stormbirds - monstrous, fat-bodied flyers with racks of missiles slung under each wing and wide, rotary cannons seated in forward pintle mounts.
Stormbird armaments again.

Page 92
"At Ullanor, six hundred vessels anchored above the planet of the green skin. My entire Legion went to war that day, girl. We covered the land with our soldiers: over two million Army soldiers, a hundred Titans of the Mechanicum and all the slaves we freed from the green skin labour camps,"
600 vessels, a full Legion, 2 million army troops and 100 titans deployed. That may suggest that the full naval strength of the Legion was 600 ships.

Page 94
"It's for the generations who come after us," said Loken. "For the Imperium yet to be. You can't imagine the wealth of information the remembrancers are gath­ering: libraries worth of achievements chronicled, galleries worth of artistry and countless cities raised for the glory of the Imperium. Thousands of years from now, people will look back at these times and they will know us and understand the nobility of what we set out to do. Ours will be an age of enlightenment that men will weep to know they were not a part of it. All that we have achieved will be celebrated and people will remember the Sons of Horus as the founders of a new age of illumination and progress. Think of that, Ezekyle, the next time you dismiss the remembrancers so quickly."
The purpose of the remembrancers. Yet another bittersweet irony to come from the Heresy.

Page 98-99
The Stormbirds launched in sequence, the Warmaster's bird streaking from its launch rails like a predator unleashed. At intervals of seven seconds, each Stormbird fired until all six were launched. The pilots kept them close to the Vengeful Spirit, waiting for the remaining assault craft to launch from the other embarkation decks. So far, there had been no sign of the Glory of Terra, Eugan Temba's flagship, or any of the other vessels left behind, but no one was taking any chances that their might be wolf pack squadrons of cruisers or fighters lurking nearby. Presently, another twelve Stormbirds of the Sons of Horus took up position with the Warmaster's squadron as well as two belonging to the Word Bearers. The formation complete, the Astartes craft banked sharply, altering course to take them to the surface of Davin's moon. The mighty, cliff-like flanks of the Warmaster's flagship receded and, like swarms of bright insects, hundreds of Army drop ships detached from their bulk transporters -each one carrying a hundred armed men.

But greatest of all were the lander vessels of the Mechanicum.
Vast, monolithic structures as big as city blocks, they resembled snub-nosed tubes fitted with a wealth of heat resistant technologies and recessed deceleration burners. Inertial dampening fields held their cargoes secure and explosive bolts on internal anti-motion scaffolding were primed to release on impact.

In the wake of the militant arm of the launch came the logistics of an invasion, ammunition carriers, food and water tankers, fuel haulers and a myriad other support vessels essential for the maintenance of offensive opera­tions.
The assault on Davin. Various points of interest: Stormbirds launch at intervals of seven seconds, implying they launch from the sides of the ship. hundreds of army drop ships accompany them, each carrying 100 men (tens of thousands of troops) along with AdMech Titan transports the size of city blocks and using inertial dampers to protect against the descent.

Oh yes, and Temba's force not only had soldiers, but also a force of starships to defend - a flagship, cruisers, and escorts (wolf pack squadrons?) Assuming one flagship, two cruisers, and two escort squadrons (4-6 ships) we're still talking many millions of ships devoted to Garrison duties. Hell even if I'm off by an order of magnitude thats many hundreds of thousands of warships right there, nevermind those in the Crusade fleets.

Page 114
"Main guns spooled up and ready to fire," reported Moderati Primus Titus Cassar.
"We need a damn target first, I'm not about to fire into that mess without knowing what I'm shooting at," said Turnet. "If it was Army I'd risk it, but not Astartes."
Its nice to be in the Army and serving with Titans, isnt it?

Page 115
"Aerial contact. Signal's firming up. Fast moving and heading towards us,"

"Then it's hostile. Do you have a solu­tion, Aruken?"
"Running it now, princeps,"
"Range six hundred metres and closing," said Cassar. "God-Emperor protect us, it's coming right for us,"
"Aruken! That's too damn close, shoot it down,"
600 metres minimum range is "too close" for an air target vs a Titan.

Page 117
With a thought, he flooded his metabolism with battle stimms and fresh strength surged into his limbs. He gripped the arms of his attacker and pulled them from its reeking torso in a flood of dead fluids and a wash of brackish blood.
Power armor has drug/stimm injectors. Oh yeah, and plague zombies.

Page 117
Bolters blasted chunks of mouldered flesh from their bodies or tore limbs from putrefied torsos, but still they kept coming, tearing at the Astartes with diseased, yellowed claws. More of the things were rising all around them and Loken shot three down with as many shots, shattering skulls and exploding chests with mass-reactive shells.
single bolt rounds exploding chests and smashing skulls.

Page 118
Too close for bolters, he drew his sword and brought the monstrously toothed blade to life with a press of the activation stud.
Loken has traded his power blade for a chainsword in this novel.

Page 122
His Kirlian rapier darted like a silver snake, its glowing edge stabbing and cutting with incredible speed. Whatever it touched dropped instantly to the muddy ground like a servitor with its doctrina wafer pulled.
Kirlian rapier in action.

PAge 123
Deafening bangs thundered behind her and the crea­ture disintegrated in an explosion of wet meat and bone. Petronella covered her ears as the thunderous roar of gunfire came again and her attackers were torn apart in a series of rancid explosions, falling back into the fires of the skiff and burning with stinking green flames.
Gunfire (bolters I think) tearing apart zombies. Again.

PAge 124
"And this blade he wields? How is it that the slightest touch of its edge slays one of these creatures?"
"It is a Kirlian blade, forged on ancient Terra and said to be able to sever the connection between the soul and the body, though I have never seen it used before today."
Pre-Force Force weapons.. but clearly its a warp-baesd weapon.

Page 132-133
Despite the Warmaster's insistence on leading the Astartes into the wreck, he consented to Loken's plan of allowing the Titans of the Legio Mortis to engage the tar­get first. All three mighty war engines braced themselves and, at a command from the Warmaster, unleashed a rippling salvo of missiles and cannon fire into the mas­sive ship. Flaring blooms of light and smoke rippled across the ship's immensity and it shuddered with each concussive impact. Fires caught throughout its hull...
Titans bracing themsleves before unleashing massive firepower. Enough to rock the ship at least with impact.

Page 134
The rear quarter of the crashed Glory of Terra reared up before them, its command decks pitched upwards at an angle, blotting out the diseased sky. It enveloped them in its dark, cold shadow, and Loken saw that getting into the ship would not be difficult. The gunfire from the Titans had blasted huge tears in its hull, and piles of debris had spilled from inside, forming great ramps of buckled steel like the rocky slopes before the walls of a breached fortress.
Titan fire had punched holes in the hull of a crashed, damaged, and possibly decayed ship (this is nurgle magic after all.)

Page 135
"Ezekyle, use the signal locator on my armour to form overlapping echelons around my left. Little Horus, take my right. Torgaddon and Loken, form the rear. Secure this area and our line of withdrawal. Understood?"p
Signal locator.

Page 139
He looked back in time to see the wreckage slam into the ground with the force of an orbital strike, the super­structure crumpling under the impact of its own weight and hurling lakes of muddy water through the air. Loken was tossed like a leaf by the Shockwave, landing waist deep in a stagnant pool of greenish scum and disap­pearing beneath the surface.
Rolling to his knees, he saw tsunamis of mud rippling out from the vessel, and watched as dozens of his warriors were buried beneath the brownish sludge. The power of the wrecked starship's impact spread from the crater it had gouged in the mud. A brackish rain of muddy water drizzled down, smearing his helmet's visor and reducing visibility to no more than a few hundred metres.
Loken climbed to his feet, clearing the action of his bolter as he realised the Shockwave had dispersed the sul­phurous fog that had been their constant companion since landing on this accursed moon.
Wrecked tarship impact likened to an orbitla strike.

Page 140
Not even the armour of a primarch could withstand the impact of a falling starship, and Horus grunted as he pulled a twisted spar of jagged iron from his chest. Sticky blood coated his armour, the wound sealing almost as soon as he had withdrawn the metal. His genhanced body could easily withstand such trivial punishment, and despite the spinning fall through the decks of the ship, he remained perfectly orientated and in balance on the slop­ing deck.
He remembered the sound of tearing metal, the clang of metal on armour and the sharp crack of bones snap­ping as Astartes warriors were thrown around like children in a funhouse.
Horus' resilience to damage, especially compared to his Astartes.

PAge 141
Horus had set foot on the Glory of Terra only once before, nearly seventy years ago, but remembered its layout as though it had been yesterday.
Horus' memory.

Page 142
Horus grunted as he felt a sharp pain in his chest and realised that the iron spar must have torn through one of his lungs. Without hesitation, he switched his breathing pattern and carried on without pause, his eyesight easily piercing the darkness of the vessel's interior.
More on Horus' super biology.

Page 144
His golden sword clove into the monsters like a fiery comet, each blow hacking down a dozen or more with­out effort. Spatters of diseased meat caked the walls, and the air was thick with the stench of faecal matter, as each monster exploded with rotten bangs of flesh at his every blow. Filthy claws tore at Horus, but his every limb was a weapon. His elbow smashed skulls from shoulders, his knees and feet shattered spines, and his sword struck his foes down as if they were the mindless automatons in the training cages.

Horus did not know what manner of creatures these were, but they had obviously never faced a being as mighty as a primarch. He pushed further up the centtal spine of the starship, hacking a path through hundreds of organ-draped beasts. Behind him lay the ruin of his passing, shredded meat that reeked of decay and pesti­lence. Before him lay scores more of the creatures, and the bridge of the Glory of Terra.
Horus fighting plague zombies.

Page 149
Loken could scarcely remember a fight where he and his warriors had expended all their ammunition. Each Astartes carried enough shells to sustain them for most types of engagement, since no shot was wasted and each target would normally fall to a single bolt.

The ammo hoppers were back at the drop site and there was no way they could get through to them. The Warmaster's resolute advance had seen to that.

Loken's full capacity of bolter rounds had long been expended, and he was thankful for Aximand's insistence on subsonic rounds, as they made satisfyingly lethal explosions within the bodies of the dead things.

"Throne, don't they ever stop?" gasped Torgaddon. "I must have killed a hundred or more of the damned things."
Subsonic rounds "explode" in the target, which means they do have super and subsonic mass reactive ammo. I wonder if perhaps "mass reactive" is some exotic form of deformation or fragmentation of the round for maximum wounding, rather than a detonator for a literal high explosive, given the earlier discussion.

Page 154
Horus fought like never before, his every move to parry and defend. Eugan Temba had never been a swordsman, so where this sudden, horrifying skill came from Horus had no idea. The two men traded blows back and forth across the command deck, the bloated form of Eugan Temba moving with a speed and dexterity quite beyond anything that should have been possible for someone of such vast bulk. Indeed, Horus had the distinct impression that it was not Temba's skill with a blade that he was up against, but the blade itself.
The blade is from the Interex, stolen by Erebus as I recall. Which suggests it is indeed a daemon weapon of some kind.

Page 171
Since their inception, the Thousand Sons had been viewed with suspicion for embracing powers that others were afraid of. Powers that, because they were not understood, were rejected as being somehow unclean: rejected ever since the Council of Nikaea.

Magnus threw down his goblet, angry at the memory of his humbling at the feet of the Emperor, when he had been forced to renounce the study of all things sorcerous for fear of what he might learn. Such a notion was surely ridiculous, for was his father's realm not founded on the pursuit of knowledge and reason? What harm could study and learning do?

Though he had retreated to Prospero and sworn to renounce such pursuits, the Planet of the Sorcerers had one vital attribute that made it the perfect place for such stud­ies - it was far from the prying eyes of those who said he dabbled with powers beyond his control.

Magnus smiled at the thought, wishing he could show his persecutors the things he had seen, the won­ders and the beauty of what lived beyond the veil of reality. Notions of good and evil fell by the wayside next to such power as dwelled in the warp, for they were the antiquated concepts of a religious society, long cast aside.
Magnus contemplating his act of greatest stupidity. It will be interesting to read A thousand sons and contrast this attitude with the latter, more benevolent depiction.

Page 172
Knowledge had always been a refuge for Magnus, the intoxicating thrill of rendering the unknown down to its constituent parts and, by doing so, ren­dering it knowable. Ignorance of the universe's workings had created false gods in man's ancient past, and the understanding of them was calculated to destroy them. Such was Magnus's lofty goal.

His father denied such things, kept his people igno­rant of the true powers that existed in the galaxy, and though he promulgated a doctrine of science and rea­son, it was naught but a lie, a comforting blanket thrown over humanity to shield them from the truth.
Much as I consider Magnus a fool, he does have a point. The Emperor's denial of these things only served to create the situation the Imperium is rapidly heading towards. Not to mention pushing Magnus into his own brand of stupidity. At least he comments on the fact that the 'Imperial Truth' is as much of a joke as I've noted it is.

Page 192
"Get me more Larraman serum, his blood won't clot, and fix up another fluid line,"
A whirring surgical narthecium swung down from the ceiling, multiple limbs clattering as they obeyed Vaddon's shouted commands. Fresh Larraman cells were pumped directly into Horus's shoulder and the bleeding slowed, though Vaddon could see it still wasn't stopping completely
Use of Larraman's cells as a direct medical agent..a t least for astartes if not for others (we've known Astartes blood is used for medical purposes even on nonhumans, so this may be what we typically see/hear about.) Unsurprisingly Horus must have Larraman's cells in his body too.

Page 192
Vaddon had never expected to have the Warmaster for a patient. The primarch's biology was as far beyond that of a normal Astartes warrior as his own was from a mortal man, and Vaddon knew that he was out of his depth. Only the Emperor himself had the knowledge to delve into the body of a primarch with confidence, and the enormity of what was occurring was not lost on him. A green light winked into life on the narthecium machine and he lifted the data-slate from the port in its silver steel surface. Numbers and text scrolled across its glossy surface and though much of it made no sense to him, he felt his spirits fall as what he could comprehend sank in.
Apothecaries have no knowledge of Primarchs biology.

Page 194
"As I said before, I just don't know. We're like children trying to repair a logic engine that's been dropped from orbit. We don't understand even a fraction of what his body is capable of or how it works. I can't even begin to guess what kind of damage it's suffered to have caused this."
Again, lack of knowledge about the Primarchs hampers them more than helps.

Page 194
"Might it be a bacteriological or a viral infection?" asked Torgaddon. "The water on Davin's moon was thick with contaminants. I ought to know, I swallowed a flagon's worth of it,"
"No," said Vaddon. "The Warmaster's body is, for all intents and purposes, immune to such things,"
"Then what is it?"
"This is a guess, but it looks like this particular poison induces a form of anaemic hypoxia. Once it enters the bloodstream, it's absorbed exponentially by the red blood cells, in preference to oxygen. With the Warmas­ter's accelerated metabolism, the toxin was carried efficiently around his system, damaging his tissue cells as it went, so they were unable to make proper use of the reduced oxygen content,"
"So where did it come from?" asked Loken. "I thought you said the Warmaster was immune to such things,"
"And so he is, but this is like nothing I've ever seen before... it's as though it's been specifically designed to kill him. It's got precisely the right genetic camouflage to fool his enhanced biological defences and allow it to do the maximum amount of damage. It's a primarch killer - pure and simple."
the kill mechanism of the daemon weapon. Remember the Interex weapon was designed to be "tailored" to kill its enemy.

page 195
Recovering a Titan after action in the field was a long and arduous process, full of technical, logistical and manual difficulties. Entire fleets of vessels came down from orbit, bringing huge lifters, enormous diggers and loading machines. The delivery vessels had to be dug from their impact craters, and an army of Mechanicum servitors were required to facilitate the process.
Titus Cassar was exhausted. He'd spent the better part of the day prepping the Titan for its recovery and every­thing was in readiness for their return to the fleet. Until they were recovered, there wasn't much to do except wait, and that had become the hardest part of all for the men left behind on Davin's moon.
Titan recovery processes.

Page 196
With time to wait, there was time to think; and with time to think, the human mind could conjure all man­ner of things from the depths of its imagination. Titus still couldn't believe that Horus had fallen. A being of such power, like unto a Titan himself, was not meant to fall in battle - he was invincible, the son of a god.

"Oh Emperor, who is lord and god above us all, hear me in this hour of need. Your servant lies with death's cold touch upon him and I ask you to turn your benefi­cent gaze his way."
He fished out a pendant from beneath his uniform jacket as he read. It was a delicately wrought thing of sil­ver and gold that he'd had one of the blank-faced servitors fashion for him. A silver capital T with a golden starburst at its centre, it represented hope and the promise of a better future.
He held it clasped to his breast as he recited more of the words of the Lectitio Divinitatus, feeling a familiar warmth suffuse him as he repeated the words.
Yet anotehr fun member of the Imperial Cult.

Page 201
"I was simply the one who most embodied the Emperor's need at that time. You see, for the first three decades of the Great Crusade I fought alongside the Emperor, and I alone felt the full weight of his ambition to rule the galaxy. He passed that vision to me and I carried it with me in my heart as we forged our path across the stars. It was a grand adventure we were on, system after system reunited with the Mas­ter of Mankind. You cannot imagine what it was like to live in such times, Miss Vivar."
Horus talking of his early time with the Emperor.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-06-28 08:05pm

Part 2 to the end.

Page 202-203
"Petty functionaries and administrators have supplanted me. The War Council is no more and I receive my orders from the Council of Terra now. Once everything in the Imperium was geared for war and conquest, but now we are burdened with eaxectors, scribes and scriveners who demand to know the cost of everything. The Imperium is changing and I'm not sure I know how to change with it,"
"In what way is the Imperium changing?"
"Bureaucracy and officialdom are taking over, Miss Vivar. Red tape, administrators and clerks are replac­ing the heroes of the age and unless we change our ways and our direction, our greatness as an empire will soon be a footnote in the history books. Every­thing I have achieved will be a distant memory of former glory, lost in the mists of time like the civilisa­tions of ancient Terra, remembered kindly for their noble past,"
"But surely the Crusade was but the first step towards creating a new Imperium for mankind to rule the galaxy. In such a galaxy we will need administra­tors, laws and scribes."
Horus commenting on the bureacracy vs the military side of things in the Imperium. a comment towards the future.

Page 225
Loken permitted Tybalt Marr to torch the body of Eugan Temba before they left the bridge. His fellow cap­tain, streaked with gore and filth, played the burning breath of a flame unit over the monstrous corpse until nothing but ashen bone remained. It was small satisfac­tion for the death of a brother, not nearly enough, but it would have to do.
Flamer cremation yet again.

Page 231-232
The Davinites were more wiry than most mortal men, tall and hirsute with thin limbs, and elaborate topknots worn in a style similar to Abaddon's. They wore long capes of shimmering, patterned scales, banded armour -of the same lacquered scales - and most were armed with cross-belts of daggers and primitive looking black powder pistols. They parted before the advance of the Astartes, heads bowed in supplication, and it forcibly struck Loken just how close to deviancy these creatures appeared to be.

He hadn't paid much attention to the Davinites the first time he'd landed. He was just a squad captain more concerned with obeying orders and completing the tasks assigned to him than paying attention to the locals. Even this time, his attention had been elsewhere, and the almost bestial appearance of the Davinites had more or less slipped past his notice.
Surrounded by hundreds of the planet's inhabitants, their divergence from the human genome was unmistakeable, and Loken wondered how they had avoided extermination six decades ago, especially since it had been the Word Bearers who had made first contact with Davin - a Legion not noted for its tolerance of anything beyond the norm.
Loken starts to get suspicious.

Page 232
The Davinites were clearly of human gene-stock, but this offshoot of humanity had diverged into a species almost all of its own. The wide spacing of their fea­tures, the dark eyes without pupils and the excessive, almost simian volume of thick hair on their faces and arms put Loken more in the mind of the stable-bred mutants some regiments of the Imperial Army employed. They were crude creatures with the intelli­gence to swing a sword or fire a clumsy rifle, but not much else.

Loken did not approve of the practice, and though the inhabitants of Davin were clearly possessed of a greater level of intelligence than such beasts, their appearance did not reassure him as to what was going on.
Abhuman, in other words.

Page 235
"The Emperor tells us that civilisation will only achieve per­fection when the last stone of the last church falls upon the last priest, and this is where you bring the Warmas­ter. This goes against everything we have fought for these last two centuries. Don't you see that?"
The Emperor is also a plagarist it seems :P

Page 246
Erebus watched carefully as the priestess's lodge thralls spread around the circle, ensuring that every stage of the ritual was enacted with meticulous care. To fail now, after he had invested so much effort in bringing the Warmaster to this point, would be disastrous, although Erebus knew that his part in the Warmaster's downfall was but one of a million events set in motion thousands of years ago.

This fulcrum point in time was the culmination of bil­lions of seemingly unrelated chains of circumstance that had led to this backwater world that no one had ever heard of.

Erebus knew that that was all about to change. Davin would soon become a place of legend.
The secret chamber in the heart of the Delphos was hid­den from prying eyes by potent magic and sophisticated technology received from disaffected Mechanicum adepts, who welcomed the knowledge the Word Bearers could give them - knowledge that had been forbidden to them by the Emperor.
Erebus speculates on the scope and timeline of this plan.

Page 256-257
"Great intelligences dwell in the warp," explained Sejanus, casting wary glances at the dissolution of the sky. "They do not communicate as we do and this is the only way they could reach you."


"They are powerful, but they cannot exist in the mate­rial universe and must work through emissaries," replied Sejanus. "You are a man of strength and ambition and they know there is no other being in the galaxy powerful enough or worthy enough to do what must be done."


"They have no interest in the material universe, it is anathema to them, they simply wish to preserve their own realm from destruction," continued Sejanus as the chemical reek of the world beyond the illusion returned, and a stink­ing wind arose. "In return for your aid, they can give you a measure of their power and the means to realise your every ambition."
Sejanus (or the dream Sejanus, possibly a daemon) is telling Horus about the nature of the warp and what the creatures supposedly are. And what it is proposing, of course, is at least sorcerous links to the Chaos Gods, if not outright possession.

Page 263-264
"The Emperor is no god. He spent centuries freeing humanity from the shackles of religion. This makes no sense,"
"Not from where you stand in time, but this is the Imperium that will come to pass if events continue on their present course," said Sejanus. "The Emperor has the gift of foresight and he has seen this future time,"
"For what purpose?"
"To destroy the old faiths so that one day his cult would more easily supplant them all,"
"No," said Horus, "I won't believe that. My father always refuted any notion of divinity. He once said of ancient Earth that there were torches, who were the teachers, but also extinguishers, who were the priests. He would never have condoned this."
"But the Emperor shamed Lorgar for behaviour such as this," protested Horus. "The Word Bearers Legion raised great monuments to the Emperor and persecuted entire populations for their lack of faith, but the Emperor would not stand for it and said that Lorgar shamed him with such displays,"
"He wasn't ready for worship then: he didn't have con­trol of the galaxy. That's why he needed you,"
"Soon he will turn his back on his people to win his place amongst the gods. He cares only for himself and his power and glory. We were all deceived. We have no place in his grand scheme, and when the time comes, he will spurn us all and ascend to godhood. While we were fighting war after war in his name, he was secretly building his power in the warp."
Chaos is good at its halftruths and misleadings. The interesting thing about it is tht I suspect that there was a 'power in the warp' - the human god form being shepherded by the reincarnated shamans - we know the Emperor is a gestalt entity after all. What Chaos seems to fear is the rise of an aware, human god. something with the power (perhaps) of the Ork gods, but nowhere near as random. Were it to be "born" it probably would crush the other or at least drive them away.

Page 277
"I'm not surprised you don't remember. It's been over two hundred years."
referenceing the birth of the Primarchs.

Page 283-284
"You have seen the ultimate goal of the Emperor, my friend," said Sejanus. "Now it is time for you see how he began his quest for godhood,"

"With the primarchs?" said Horus. "That makes no sense,"

"It makes perfect sense. You were to be his generals. Like unto gods, you would bestride planets and claim back the galaxy for him. You were a weapon, Horus, a weapon to be cast aside once blunted and past all use­fulness."
Yet more half truths. The insidious aspect of this is that it all plays into Horus' fears and doubts, the things he's been afraid of since the Emperor left and returned to Terra. and Chaos knows it.

Page 284
He stopped by the tank with XI stencilled upon it and placed his hand against the smooth steel, feeling the untapped glories that might have lain ahead for what grew within, but knowing that they would never come to pass. He leaned forward to look within.
Hints about the "unknown" Primarchs and Legions.

Page 290-291
"The Emperor knew he would need the greatest war­riors to lead his armies," began Sejanus. "To lead such warriors as the Astartes needed commanders like gods. Commanders who were virtually indestructible and could command superhuman warriors in the blink of an eye. They would be engineered to be leaders of men, mighty warlords whose martial prowess was only matched by the Emperor's, each with his own particu­lar skills."

"The primarchs."

"Indeed. Only beings of such magnitude could even think of conquering the galaxy. Can you imagine the hubris and will required even to contemplate such an endeavour? What manner of man could even consider it? Who but a primarch could be trusted with such a monumental task? No man, not even the Emperor, could achieve such a god-like undertaking alone. Hence you were created."

"To conquer the galaxy for humanity." said Horus.

"No, not for humanity, for the Emperor," said Sejanus. "You already know in your heart what awaits you when the Great Crusade is over. You will become a gaoler who polices the Emperor's regime while he ascends to godhood and abandons you all. What sort of reward is that for someone who conquered the galaxy?"
Again Chaos plays on the fears and doubts of Horus, his prejudices and his secret fears and desires, sprinkled with just enough fact to give it the semblance of truth.

We also learn a bit about the nature of the Primarchs. Despite being superhuman they weren't meant to be overtly powerful - no death rays shooting from eyes or zapping with beams of power (unless you're Magnus.) Their skills/powers were more innate and subtle - Physical power and endurance to allow them to kill any foe or survive any wound. Superhuman intellect and willpower to make them great statesmen, diplomats, generals, able to formulate plans and strategies rapidly as the situation requires. And great charisma to make them figures of inspiration and loyalty. They, like the Astartes, are virtually avatars of the Emperor.

Page 291
"Do you think that the science of man alone could have created a being such as a primarch? If such technology existed, why not create a hundred Horuses, a thousand? No, a bargain was made that saw you emerge from its forg­ing. I know, for the masters of the warp are as much your father as the Emperor"
Implication that the reason the Emperor couldn't make more primarchs is because of having to deal with the Warp as well as science. I suspect this is another half truth. I have long suspected that the Primarchs, and the Astartes themselves - have some passive psyker-like tap into the warp that powers their abilities. But just because that is so does not mean the Emperor had to deal with the Chaos Gods to make it happen. But it would be convenient to persuade Horus that it was so. Just another hold on him.

Note as well that gene-seed having some warp-link would also help explain why it cannot be replicated.

Page 292
"The primarchs are my brothers, the Emperor's sons created from his own flesh and blood and each a part of him."

"Each a part of him, yes, but where did such power come from? He bargained with the gods of the warp for a measure of their power. That is what he invested in you, not his paltry human power."

"The gods of the warp? What are you talking about, Sejanus?"

"The entities whose realm is being destroyed by the Emperor," said Sejanus. "Intelligences, xenos creatures, gods? Does it matter what terminology we use for them? They have such incredible power that they might as well be gods by your reckoning. They command the secrets of life and death and all that lies between. Experience, change, war and decay, they are all are part of the end­less cycle of existence, and the gods of the warp hold dominion over them all. Their power flows through your veins and bestows incredible abilities upon you. The Emperor has long known of them and he came to them many centuries ago, offering friendship and devotion."

"He would never do such a thing!" denied Horas.

"You underestimate his lust for power, my friend," said Sejanus as they made their way back towards the steps that led down to the laboratory floor. "The gods of the warp are powerful, but they do not understand this material universe, and the Emperor was able to betray them, stealing away their power for himself. In creating you, he passed on but a tiny measure of that power."
More half truths, again I am sure. If he did deal with gods, who said he dealt with the four chaos gods? Naturally it is in the Chaos Gods' interests to paint themselves in the nicest way.

Page 293
"The power of the warp simply is. Used wisely and by a man of power it can be a weapon like no other. It can be mas­tered and it can be a powerful tool for one with the will to use it."

"Then why did the Emperor not use it well?"

"Because he was weak," said Sejanus, leaning in close to Horas. "Unlike you, he lacked the will to master it, and the gods of the warp do not take kindly to those who betray them. The Emperor had taken a measure of their power for himself, but they struck back at him."


"You will see. With the power he stole from them, he was too powerful for them to attack directly, but they had foreseen a measure of his plans and they struck at what he needed most to realise those plans,"

"The primarchs?"

"The primarchs," agreed Sejanus, walking back down the length of walkway.
I suspect the Emperor IS too powerful to attack directly, in realspace or in the warp. Which means they need to create a pawn from one of his Primarchs to topple him...

and the Warp always spreads the same lie that the warp can be used if the person is strong or wise enough to do so. Of course they claim that, because they want you to use it and succumb to their power.

Page 294
Even as he spoke, he saw a group of armoured warriors rushing through the chamber's doorway towards them. There were six of them, each with the build of an Astartes, but without a suit of battle plate, they were less bulked out and gigantic. They wore fabulously ornate gold breastplates decorated with eagles and lightning bolts, and each wore a tall, peaked helm of bronze with a red, horsehair plume. Scarlet cloaks billowed behind them in the cyclone that swept through the chamber. Long spears with boltguns slung beneath long, crackling blades were aimed at him, and he instantly recognised the warriors for what they were - the Custodian Guard, the Praetorians of the Emperor himself.
Though the warrior wore an enclosing helm, Horus would have recognised his eyes and that voice any­where.
"Valdor!" cried Horus. "Constantin Valdor. It's me, it's Horus."
Custodians were around at the birth of the primarchs.

Page 295
Ripping blasts of light erupted from the Custodians' spears, and Horus was forced to his knees by the ham­mering impacts of their shells. The howling gale swallowed the noise of the shots, and Horus cried out, not with pain, but with the knowledge that fellow war­riors of the Imperium had fired upon him.

More blasts struck him, tearing great chunks from his armour, but none was able to defeat its protection. The Custodians advanced in disciplined ranks, pouring their fire into him and keeping him pinned beneath its weight. Sejanus ducked behind the stairs, sparks and smoking chunks ripping from the metal as the explosive bolts tore through it.

Horus roared in anger and surged to his feet, all thoughts of restraint forgotten as he found himself at the centre of the deafening storm. A bolt clipped his gorget and almost spun him around, but it was not enough to stop him. He ripped the guardian spear from the nearest Custodian and smashed his skull to splinters with a sin­gle blow from his fist.

He reversed his grip on the spear and slashed the next Custodian from collarbone to groin, the two shorn halves swept up by the howling winds and vanishing into the crackling vortex. Another Custodian died as Horus rammed the spear through his chest and split him in two.
A blade lanced for his head, but he shattered it with a swipe of his fist and ripped the arm from his attacker with casual ease. Another Custodian died as Horus tore his head off in his mighty fist, blood gushing from the neck, as if from a geyser, as he tossed the severed head aside.
Only Valdor remained, and Horus snarled as he rounded on the Chief Custodian. A blaze of light erupted from the barrel of Valdor's guardian spear. Horus granted at the impacts and raised his fist to strike Valdor down, hearing metal squeal and tear as the force of the hurricane reaching from the vortex above finally achieved its goal.
Primarch > Custodian. Of course this assumes this is an accurate vision. Since it is in Chaos' best interests to fool Horus, this could all be a trick. Either way its managing to fool Horus and feed his sense of betrayal.

Page 296
Horus dropped to his knees in rapture at the sight. Who would not strive to worship so perfect a being? Power and certainty flowed from the figure, the secret mystery of creation at his fingertips, the answers to any question that could be asked there for the knowing, and the wisdom to know how to use them.

He wore armour that gleamed a perfect gold, his fea­tures impossible to know, and his glory and power unmatched by any being in creation.

The golden warrior moved as though in slow motion, raising his hand to halt the madness of the vortex with a gesture. The maelstrom was silenced, the tumbling incubation tanks suspended in mid air.

The golden figure turned a puzzled gaze upon Horus.

"I know you?" he said, and Horas wept to hear such a perfect symphony of sound.

"Yes," said Horas, unable to raise his voice above a whisper.

The giant cocked his head to one side and said, "You would destroy my great works, but you will not suc­ceed. I beg you, turn from this path or all will be lost."

Horus reached out towards the golden warrior as he turned his sad gaze to the incubation tanks held motionless above him, weighing the consequences of future events in the blink of an eye.

Horus could see the decision in the figure's wondrous eyes and shouted, "No!"

The figure turned from him and time snapped back into its prescribed stream.
honestly, I'm not sure what to make of this.

Page 306
"You Astartes stand above us mortals in all regards and you demand our respect, but that respect has to be earned. It requires your ethics to be without question. You not only have to stay above the line between right and wrong, you also have to stay well clear of the grey areas in-between."
Somethign I'm actually inclined to agree with. That whole "great power comes with great responsibility" thing, to paraphrase a silly movie.

Page 309
"Your Lectitio Divinitatus talks about how the Emperor has moved amongst us for thousands of year, yes?"


"Well in the old texts, rubbish mostly - ancient histories and lurid tales of barbarism and bloodshed - I found some recurring themes. A being of golden light appears in several of the texts and, much as I hate to admit it, it sounds a lot like what this paper describes."
Because the Emperor has bene aorund that long. It's amazing that people can see such a huge, wonderous being and not imagine he's the same one. It's like Clark Kent and superman.

Page 318
The screen of the edit engine flickered to life, its white screen bathing them both in its washed-out light as Keeler flicked through the images she had captured. She zipped through those she had taken while on Davin's surface and those of Captain Loken and the Mournival prior to their departure for the Whisperheads.


The file contained eight pictures, all taken at the war council held on Davin where Eugan Temba's treachery had been revealed. Each shot included First Chaplain Erebus, and she used the engine's trackball to zoom in on his tattooed skull. Sindermann gasped as he recog­nised the symbols on Erebus's head. They were identical to the ones in the book that he had shown Keeler on the sub-deck.


Using all the various images, and shots of the Word Bearer from different angles, Euphrati was able to create a composite image of the symbols tattooed onto his skull and project it onto a flat pane. Sindermann watched her skill with admiration, and it took her less than ten minutes to resolve a high-gain image of the symbols on Erebus's head.

With a grunt of satisfaction, she made a final key­stroke, and a glossy hard copy of the screen's image slid from the side of the machine with a whirring sigh. Keeler lifted it by the corners and waved it for a second or two to dry it, before handing it to Sindermann.
Keeler's Editing engine for her picter.

Page 327
"Oh Emperor protect us." whispered Keeler as she turned to run.

The beast shuddered at her words, and Ing Mae Sing tugged on her sleeve, crying, "Come on. We can't fight it,"

Euphrati Keeler suddenly realised that wasn't true and shrugged off the astropath's grip, reaching beneath her robes to pull out the Imperial eagle she kept on the end of her necklace. Its silver surfaces shone in the creature's dazzling light, brighter than it had any reason to be, and feeling hot in her palm. She smiled beatifically as she understood with complete clarity that everything since the Whisperheads had been preparing her for this moment.
And Saint Keelor is born. Sort of.

Page 331-332
The flames bathed Euphrati Keeler, but they were cold and she felt no pain from them. The silver eagle blazed in her hand, thrust before her like a talisman, and she felt a wondrous energy fill her, rushing through her from the tips of her toes to the shorn ends of her hair.

"The power of the Emperor commands you, abomina­tion!" she yelled, the words unfamiliar, but feeling right.

Ing Mae Sing and Kyril Sindermann watched her in amazement as she took one step, and then another, towards the horror. The monster was transfixed; whether by her courage or her faith, she didn't know, but what­ever the reason, she was thankful for it.

Its limbs flailed as though some invisible force attacked it, its screeching laughter turning into the pitiful wails of a child.

"In the name of the Emperor, go back to the warp, you bastard!" said Keeler, her confidence growing as the sub­stance of the monster diminished, skins of light shearing away from its body. The silver eagle grew hotter in her hand and she could feel the skin of her palms blistering under its heat.

Ing Mae Sing joined her, adding her own powers to Keeler's assault on the monster. The air around the astropath grew colder and Keeler moved her hand close to the psyker in the hopes of cooling the blazing eagle.

The monster's internal light was fading and flickering, its nebulous oudine spitting embers of light as though it fought to hold onto existence. The light from Keeler's eagle outshone its hellish illumination tenfold and the entire corridor was bleached shadowless with its brilliance.

"Whatever you're doing, keep doing it!" cried Ing Mae Sing. "It's weakening."
Keeler tried to answer, but found that she had no voice left. The wondrous energy that had filled her was now streaming from her through the eagle, taking her own strength with it.

She tried to drop the eagle, but it was stuck fast to her hand, the red hot metal fusing itself to her skin.
Keeler banishes the daemon. Honestly, this scene was far more interesting to me than the whole bit with Horus falling to Chaos, because a.) it wasn't dragged out so far and b.) it creates alot of interesting questions. How did Keeler pull it off?

One possibility of course, is that she is/was a latent psyker, and she's awakened this power. I don't totally rule out this possibility, but even back then the Black Ships were efficient at capturing psykers, and if she had such ability you'd think Ing Mae Sing would be aware of it and know what Keeler was doing.

The second, and more likely (in my mind) explanation, is that she is a "saint" - or rather a sorcerer. She's channelling the power of the latent human god (or possibly the Shaman gestalt acting through the Emperor-Avatar), believing it to be the "God Emperor", and banishing the daemon. And this is certainly the more interesting possibility of the two. we know the Emperor denies he is a god (and really, he isn't) and we know he believes that fervently. But that does not mean he's not an Avatar for another entity, or godlike being (which ties into the Thorian doctrines from the 40K RPGs). He may not (and probably isn't) even aware of it, or aware that he's it's puppet, but that does not mean it doesn't exist. Whehter it is some latent human godling (Star child?) or it is the combined psychic might of the thousands of Shamans who created the Emperor - or both - we don't know, but it is quite obvious taht there is some separate, external, but ultimately benevolent power independent of the Emperor at work here.

Page 338-339
Sixteen weeks of warp travel had seen them translate into a system alive with electronic chatter.

Two planets and their shared moon in the second system were dis­covered to be inhabited, glinting communications satellites ringing each one, and interplanetary craft flit­ting between them.

More thrilling still, communications with orbital monitors revealed this civilisation to be human, another lost branch of the old race - isolated these past centuries. The arrival of the Crusade fleet had been greeted with understandable surprise, and then joy as the planet's inhabitants realised that their lonely existence was finally at an end.

Formal, face-to-face contact was not established for three days, in which time the 203rd Expedition under the command of Angron of the XII Legion, the World Eaters, translated in-system.
Discovery of yet another human world.

Page 340
Puffs of flickering detonations tore a line through the Astartes, and Loken dropped as the warrior with the flame unit disappeared in a column of fire. His armour kept him alive for a few seconds, but soon he was a burning statue, the armour joints fused, and Loken rolled onto his back to see a pair of speeding aircraft rolling around for another strafing run.
... and the Chaos Horus leads them into war with them. Deliberately.

Page 340
Two warriors ducked out from behind a fallen wall, one aiming a long missile tube in the rough direction of the flier while the other sighted on it with a designator.
The missile launched in a streaming cloud of bright propellant, leaping into the sky arid speeding after the closest flier. The pilot saw it and tried to evade, but he was too close to the ground and the missile flew straight into his intake, blowing the craft apart from the inside.
Missile launcher used for anti-air roles.

Page 341
Loken chopped his hand at the approaching vehicles and the missile team turned to engage their new targets. Within seconds, one was a smoking wreck as a missile punched through its armour and its plasma core exploded inside.
And the missile launcher can engage ground targts. Armour piercing plasma warheads.

Page 341
Torgaddon nodded, moving forwards with five war­riors. Leaving him to it, Loken turned back towards the armoured vehicles as they crunched to a halt, pintle-mounted bolters hammering them with shots. Two men fell, their armour cracked open by the heavy shells.
Self explanatory.

Page 342
He heard gunfire from behind, and heard Torgaddon issuing orders to the men under his command. Stuttering impacts on Loken's leg armour drove him to his knees and he swept his sword low, hacking the legs from the enemy warrior behind him. Blood jetted from the stumps of his legs as he fell, spraying Loken's armour red.
Gunfire breaching Loken's armor.

Page 345
"Then if you will permit me, I will introduce myself. I am Emory Salignac, Fabricator Consul to the Auretian Technoc­racy. On behalf of my people, may I be the first to welcome you to our worlds,"
Loken had seen Regulus's excitement at the sight of Salignac's augmetics, but upon hearing the full title of this new empire, his enthusiasm overcame the protocol of the moment.

"Consul," said Regulus, his voice blaring and unnat­ural. "Do I understand that your society is founded on the knowledge of technical data?"
Their adversaries.. back when they weren't adversaries.

Page 346
"How is it they are armoured so similarly to my own warriors?"

Salignac appeared to be confused by the question and said, "You expected something different, my lord Warmaster? The construct machines our ancestors brought with them from Terra are at the heart of our society and provide us with the boon of technology. Though advanced, they do tend towards a certain uniformity of creation."
"Construct machines?" asked Horus, a cold edge of steel in his voice. "STC machines?"
"I believe that was their original designation, yes," agreed Salignac, lowering his staff and holding it towards the Warmaster.
They have STC. Power armour then seems to be a STC design.

Page 346
Emory Salignac never got to finish his sentence as Horus took a step backward and drew his pistol. Loken saw the muzzle flash and watched Emory Sali-gnac's head explode as the bolt blew out the back of his skull.
Bolt pistol blows apart a head. and war starts.

Page 348
The Brotherhood might not have the abilities of the Astartes, but the Technocracy could call on millions of them, and they fought with courage and honour.
Millions of powered armoured troops, albeit human ones.

Page 358
It was immaterial; she had locked herself away since the beginning of the war with the Technocracy, trawling every fragment of her mnemonic implants for the words and turns of phrase that the Warmaster had used.
Mnemonic implants.

Page 362
" The citadel was built with the old technology and needs siege experts like the Iron Warriors to break it open."

"And if I could contact Perturabo, I would have him here." said the Warmaster.

Regulus spoke from behind the Warmaster. "The STC machines will be able to counter much of the Mechanicum's arsenal. If the Dark Age texts are correct, they will adapt and react to changing circumstances, creating ever more cunning means of defence."
STC tech at work.

Page 362-363
"Fully functional construct machines would be quite a prize, would they not?"

"Beyond imagining." admitted Regulus. "To rediscover the thinking engines that drove humanity into the stars and allowed the colonisation of the galaxy is a prize worth any price."

"Any price?" asked Horus.

"These machines will allow us to achieve the unimag­inable, to reach into the halo stars and perhaps even other galaxies."
Horus's agenda makes it self clear. He sacrifices the Technocracy to make allies. Interesting that Regulus thinks STC would allow them to travel to other galaxies or reach the Halo Stars (implying they currently lack the range or ability to do so.)

Page 367
"Come, there is much for us to talk about, for these are strange times we live in. It seems our brother Magnus has once again done something to upset the Emperor, and the Wolf of Fenris has been unleashed to escort him back to Terra,"
At this time (before Isstvaan) Russ had been unleashed on Prospero. This was also before the Ultramarines were redeployed to Calth.

Page 376
Loken saw that the Iron Citadel was aptly named, its gleaming walls rearing from the rock like jagged metal teeth. The mid-morning light reflected from its shim­mering walls, the air rippling in the haze of energy fields, and clouds of metal shavings raining down from self-repairing ramparts. The outer precincts of the fortress were in ruins, the result of a four-month siege waged by the warriors of Angron and the war machines of the Mechanicum.

The Dies Irae and her sister Titans bombarded the walls daily, hurling high explosive shells and crackling energy beams at the citadel, slowly but surely pushing the Brotherhood back to this, their last bastion.

The citadel itself was a colossal half moon in plan, set against the rock of a range of white mountains, its approach guarded by scores of horn-works and redoubts. Most of these fortifications were little more than smouldering rubble, the Mechanicum's Legio Reductor corps having expended a fearsome amount of ordnance to flatten them in preparation for the storm of the Iron Citadel.
After months of constant shelling, the walls of the citadel had finally been broken open and a half-kilometre wide breach had been torn in its shining walls. The citadel was ready to fall, but the Brotherhood would fight for it to the bitter end, and Loken knew that most of the warriors who were to climb that breach would die.
Legio Reductor, Titans and months of bombardment to finally breach the defenses.

PAge 382-383
The rumbling grew louder and more violent, and Loken had to grip onto a rusted spar of rebar to hold himself in place as the ground continued to shake as though in the grip of a mighty earthquake. Great cracks split the ground and plumes of fire shot from them.


No one answered and Loken fell as the top of the breach suddenly exploded in a sheet of flame that reached hundreds of metres into the air. Rocks and metal were hurled skywards as the top of the wall van­ished in a massive seismic detonation.
Like the bunkers in the cities, the Brotherhood destroyed what they could not hold, and Loken's reac­tive senses shut down briefly with the overload of light and noise. Twisted rubble and wreckage slammed down around them, and Loken heard screams of pain and the crack of splintering armour as scores of his men were pulverised by the storm of boulders.

Dust and matter filled the air, and when Loken felt safe enough to move, he saw in horror that the entire crest of the breach had been destroyed.
Angron and the World Eaters were gone, buried beneath the wreckage of a mountain.
Loken watched his brother rise from the aftermath of the explosion like a true hero, and began his own charge towards the breach. He knew that there was every chance a second seismic mine was buried in the breach, but the sight of a primarch brought low by the Brotherhood obliterated all thoughts of any tactical response, except charging.
Seismic mines, and Angron supposedly killed. Oh no..

Page 389
At first Loken thought that it was the second seismic charge he had feared, but then he saw that these tremors were far more localised. Janizars scattered, and men shouted in alarm as more debris clattered from the breach. Loken gripped the hilt of his sword as he saw many of the Brotherhood warriors reach for their weapons.

Then the breach exploded with a grinding crack of ruptured stone, and something immense and red erupted from the ground with a bestial roar of hate and bloodlust. Soldiers fell away from the red giant, hurled aside by the violence of his sudden appear­ance.

Angron towered over them, bloody and enraged, and Loken marvelled that he could still be alive after thousands of tonnes of rock had engulfed him. But Angron was a primarch and what - save for an anathame - could lay one such as him low?

PAge 390
Hektor Varvarus lay in a spreading pool of blood, and even from a distance, Loken could see that there would be no saving him. The man's body had been ripped open from the inside, the gleaming ends of splintered ribs jutting from his chest where it was clear a bolter round had detonated within him.
Varvarus brought low, his body "ripped open" from the inside from a bolter round exploding inside him.

Page 401
Sindermann had told Mersadie what had happened and she found herself torn between wanting to believe him and calling him delusional. His talk of a daemon and of Euphrati standing before it with the power of the Emperor pouring through her was too fantastical to be true... wasn't it? She wondered if he'd told anyone else of it.

The apothecaries and medics could find nothing phys­ically wrong with Euphrati Keeler, save for the eagle shaped bum on her hand that refused to fade. Her vital signs were stable and her brain wave activity registered normal: no one could explain it and no one had any idea how to wake her from this coma-like state.
Keeler post-daemon.

Page 402
"These," said Torgaddon, "are the bolt round fragments removed from Hektor Varvarus."
"Bolt round fragments? Why do you have them?"
"Because they're ours."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean they're ours." repeated Torgaddon. "The bolt that killed the lord commander came from an Astartes bolter, not from one of the Brotherhood's guns."
Loken shook his head. "No, there must be some mis­take."
"There's no mistake. Apothecary Vaddon tested the fragments himself. They're ours, no question."
Bolt rounds are distinctive and can be tested to determine their origins. Also bolt rounds frgment inside the target, meaning that some (at lest) are more than mere concussion grenades.

Page 405
"The Emperor commands the loyalty of millions of soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Astartes warriors. His battle fleets reach across the stars from one side of the galaxy to the other. The 63rd Expedition cannot hope to match such numbers or resources. You all know this to be the case, but even so, we have the advantage."
The scope of the Imperium's military might.

Page 405
"But what of Magnus?" asked Maloghurst urgently, "What happens when Leman Russ returns him to Terra?"

Horus smiled. "Calm yourself, Mal. I have already con­tacted my brother Russ and illuminated him with the full breadth of Magnus's treacherous use of daemonic spells and conjurations. He was... suitably angry, and I believe I have convinced him that to return Magnus to Terra would be a waste of time and effort."
Russ hasn't reached prospero yet, it seems.

Page 406
"Unnder the guise of the Chaplain Edict, we will send emissaries to each of the Legions to promul­gate the formation of warrior lodges within them. From small beginnings we may win many to our cause.
The Chaplain edict.

Page 406
"In the meantime, I have despatched mobilisation orders to those Legions I do not believe we can sway. The Ultramarines will muster at Calth to be attacked by Kor Phaeron of the Word Bearers, and the Blood Angels have been sent to the Signus Cluster, where Sanguinius shall be mired in blood. Then we make a swift, decisive stroke on Terra."
Horus dispatches the Ultramarines to Calth prior to Isstvan, and the Blood Angels to signus, etc. Implies both Legions might be in or around Terra - close enough to be threats, anyhow.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-06-28 08:11pm

Cykeisme wrote:Pointing out something that I've noticed ever since the Horus Heresy novels started coming.. is there a reason why "Throne!" is used as an expletive even before the Emperor's Ascension?

I see it as a reflection of his 'unquestioned' (til the Heresy) rulership of Mankind and a reflection of the ideological fervor it spawns. Even if he forbids worship of him as a god, people still treat him as being godlike in all but name in terms of reverence and devotion. And the way they treat people who do not show him due reverance and devotion. We see this with Karkasy's beating in the first book at the hands of the Imperial Soldiers. They're just as fanatical as their 'modern' religious counterparts, they are just more hypocrticial at this time about it.

I actually dont know how widespread knowledge of the Golden throne (or what it is) responds, but Terra is his Throneworld (effectively) and he rules from there.

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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Lord Revan » 2012-06-28 09:41pm

I wonder if the emperor has a passive "Clark Kent-effect" field to allow him to remain unnoticed (sort of), he might even be personally unaware of it.
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Lost Soal » 2012-07-01 11:54am

Lord Revan wrote:I wonder if the emperor has a passive "Clark Kent-effect" field to allow him to remain unnoticed (sort of), he might even be personally unaware of it.
Theres nothing sub-concious about it, he can change his appearance and hold in his aura at will. In fact its more likely that the Golden Being of Power is something he has to actively project while the utterly bland featured native american which he sometimes appears as is his natural at rest state.

One of the more, personally, interesting parts of this story which Connor left out is Horus' deathbed confession that he feels Sanguinius should have been made Warmaster.
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by khursed » 2012-07-01 05:33pm

Hestur Sejanus was Erebus in disguise too.

When the chaos gods show Horus his creation time, they show him an emperor who just couldn't care enough to save his "sons" from the chaos storm that took them away.

My favorite part, is those shrine worlds, where all the loyalist primarchs and the Emperor are revered as holy figures, with the Emperor as a benevolent god, all because Horus turned traitor and made it be so.

Had Horus not turned traitor, those visions would have been completely different. It is very subtle of the chaos gods to show Horus the exact repercussion of his heresy and then claim it's a future he might avoid if he rebels, when in fact, the very act of rebelling will lead to the future he saw.

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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-07-01 10:23pm

Lost Soal wrote:One of the more, personally, interesting parts of this story which Connor left out is Horus' deathbed confession that he feels Sanguinius should have been made Warmaster.
Mainly because a.) Its been a long time since I read the earliest HH novels, and taking time to reread and re-update my analyses there would put me even further back. I had to put a limit on how far back I reworked things :P

Also, I can't quite cover every little tidbit when I did this mostly for technical. Alot of extra stuff has just creeped in over time, so I have to be careful about what I do or do not comment on because otherwise I should just post the entire novel :P. Sometimes I also just forget things. The main reason I probably skipped over that line was because I'd already commented on Horus' insecurity and self doubts existing, and that line about Sanguinius pretty much reinforced that in my mind. Horus is/was without a doubt the one intended to be warmaster from the get go (by the Emperor as well as Chaos) - it just turns out he's more human than might have been anticipated, and the responsibility and pressures with that role are too much even for a Primarch. And that pressure must be even worse for Big E

I'll also be curious to see how Sanguinus turns out in the HH - I believe we have a novel about him coming up sometime this year (James Swallow as well.) Sanguinius may very well have his own burdens to share.
khursed wrote:Hestur Sejanus was Erebus in disguise too.
I must not have picked up on this or forgotten about it then.
When the chaos gods show Horus his creation time, they show him an emperor who just couldn't care enough to save his "sons" from the chaos storm that took them away.

My favorite part, is those shrine worlds, where all the loyalist primarchs and the Emperor are revered as holy figures, with the Emperor as a benevolent god, all because Horus turned traitor and made it be so.

Had Horus not turned traitor, those visions would have been completely different. It is very subtle of the chaos gods to show Horus the exact repercussion of his heresy and then claim it's a future he might avoid if he rebels, when in fact, the very act of rebelling will lead to the future he saw.
I would caution that we have to take alot of the visions we see in the HH series with a grain of salt, regardless of source. Between what Chaos tells the Traitors (at least some of which is doubtless manipulation, as civil war is in Chaos own interests), the general randomness of the warp itself, and shit like the Eldar and the Cabal... there's lots of room for (mis)interpretation and speculation and whatnot. Indeed guessing at whether or not things said in the series might actualyl be true, only believed to be true, or whatnot is one of the ways they counter the 'de-mythifying' inherent in the HH series.

One of the recurring elements of the Series is that not everyone is quite as forthright and honest as they should be, especially Big E.

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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by khursed » 2012-07-03 01:18am

Completely agree with you about the complete lack of honesty and lack of straight forward answers.

I'm just saying the comment about the tribute world, because we've seen what the 40k universe looks like.

But in universe, when Horus is shown the world where he and his traitorous brothers are completely ignored, he can not possibly know it's because he's being turned toward chaos. which is extremely amazingly well done by chaos to recruit him.

I've started re-reading the books as of this past February, I'm reading the thousands son atm.

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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-07-11 10:41pm

Next up: Galaxy in flames, by Ben Counter. Basically it 'concludes' the little story begun in Horus Rising and kicks off the actual Heresy by covering the destruction of Istvaan 3 and the purging of the loyalists from Horus' ranks. It's mostly an action story, but really.. it just didn't resonate all that well with me. Not sure if its because of Ben Counter's writing (which as discussed previously can be hit or miss) or what, it just felt.. off. Not quite the conclusion I'd expected. It could be that we know what happens and the fact they try to play it up as 'averting catastrophe' is already known, or something. Anyhow, subsequent novels will cover this and the dropsite massacre again, but from different POV (flight of the Eisenstein for example will overlap with Galaxy in Flames some.)

On the other hand, the novel does continue that 'Saint Keeler' subplot from the last book which I found so interesting, because it really plays into the whole 'gods and divinity and the Warp' angle, and to me reflects a throwback to the days of the 'Realms of Chaos' books and their commentary on daemons and the warp and such.

Two posts in a single update, although neither is particularily big.

Part 1

Page 16
Word had spread fast and Euphrati had become, overnight, a saint in the eyes of the faith­ful and an icon to cling to on the frontier of space. He was unsure why he had even come to this meeting - not a meeting, he corrected himself, but a service, a religious sermon - for there was a very real danger of recognition.
Keeler is a saint and the religious belief in the Emperor has spread.

Page 17
"In the depths of the warp, the Emperor's mighty soul does battle with the dark things that would break through and consume us all. On Terra, he creates wonders that will bring peace, enlightenment and the fruition of all our dreams to the galaxy. The Emperor guides us, teaches us, and exhorts us to become more than we are, but most of all, the Emperor protects."
Interesting, isn't it? They claim the "Emperor's Soul" is battling in the Warp against Chaos. Not the Emperor directly. This may highlight a cruical misunderstanding of things - again a distinction between whatever power in the Warp is championing humanity and the forces of order, and its (unknowing?) mortal avatar the Emperor in realspace. It really opens up questions as to the nature of that entity as well as the origin of the Imperial Cult. For example, could it be that the religion has its roots in the old fluff concerning the shamans? Maybe they were the ones who set this cult into place thousands of years ago, knowing a time would come when it would be important, regardless of what the Emperor himself believed.

Either way, this would tend to reinforce the idea that such a division exists.

Page 17
"The faith of the Lectitio Divinitatus, the Divine Word of the Emperor, is not an easy path to follow. Where the Imperial Truth is comforting in its rig­orous rejection of the unseen and the unknown, the Divine Word requires the strength to believe in that which we cannot see. The longer we look upon this dark galaxy and live through the fires of its conquest, the more we realise that the Emperor's divinity is the only truth that can exist. We do not seek out the Divine Word; instead, we hear it, and are compelled to follow it. Faith is not a flag of allegiance or a theory for debate; it is something deep within us, complete and inevitable. The Lec­titio Divinitatus is the expression of that faith, and only by acknowledging the Divine Word can we understand the path the Emperor has laid before mankind."
Imperial Truth vs Imperial Creed.

Page 20
"As certain as I can be." said Ing Mae Sing, the 63rd Expedition's Mistress of Astropaths. Her face was lined and drawn and her blind eyes were sunken within ravaged eye sockets. The demands of send­ing hundreds of telepathic communications across the galaxy weighed heavily on her skeletal frame. Astropathic acolytes gathered about her, robed in the same ghostly white as she and wordlessly whis­pering muttered doggerel of the ghastly images in their heads.
Sending "hundreds of messages" across the galaxy, recently I'd gather.

Page 20
"My lord, I cannot give you an exact answer, but I believe that within days the gathering warp storms will obscure the Astronomican from us."
"Within days we shall hardly see it. Our minds can barely reach across the void and the Navigators claim that they will soon be unable to guide us true. The galaxy will be a place of night and darkness."
The warp storms begin.

Page 21
"And my brother primarchs? What news from them?" asked Horus.

"We have been unable to confirm contact with the blessed Sanguinius." replied Ing Mae Sing, "and Leman Russ has sent no word of his campaign against the Thousand Sons."

Horus laughed, a harsh Cthonic bark, and said, "That doesn't surprise me. The Wolf has his head and he'll not easily be distracted from teaching Magnus a lesson. And the others?"

"Vulkan and Dorn are returning to Terra. The other primarchs are pursuing their current cam­paigns."

"That is good at least," said Horus, brow furrowing in thought, "and what of the Fabricator General?"

"Forgive me, Warmaster, but we have received nothing from Mars. We shall endeavour to make contact by mechanical means, but this will take many months."
"months" to contact Mars from the Warmaster's location. Probably close to the edges of the galaxy. Tens to hundreds of thousands of c minimum to travel.

Also Russ' conflict with the Thousand Sons is still ongoing at this time.

page 22
Ing Mae Sing had telepathically broadcast a mul­titude of encoded messages between the Vengeful Spirit and Fabricator General Kelbor-Hal of the Mechanicum in the last few weeks. Although their substance was unknown to her, the emotions con­tained in them were all too clear. Whatever the Warmaster was planning, the Mechanicum was a key part of it.
"few weeks" to send perhaps hundreds of messages across the galaxy, and with the Fabricator General in particular. Assuming only a hand ful of messages (a couple either way) means one message taking 4-5 days to cross 10-20 thousand LY (at least.. we know that Horus is far outside Segmentum Solar) to up to 60,000 LY (on the edge of the galaxy, whichever edge we're talking about) At least 1-1.5 million c for 15K LY, 4-5 million c or so for 60K LY. If she was sending hundreds of messages in that same timeframe (less than "few months" anyhow) - we're talking a matter of hours per message, and thats tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of c.

Substance of messages unknown, emotions behind them clear.

Page 22
Horus spoke again, distracting her from her thoughts. "The other primarchs, have they received their orders?"
"They have, my lord." said Ing Mae Sing, unable to keep the unease from her voice.

"The reply from Lord Guilliman of the Ultra­marines was clean and strong. They are approaching the muster at Calth and report all forces are ready to depart."

"And Lorgar?" asked Horus.
Ing Mae Sing paused, as if unsure how to phrase her next words.
"His message had residual symbols of... pride and obedience; very strong, almost fanatical. He acknowledges your attack order and is making good speed to Calth."
The UItramarines are nearing Calth - Ordered there by Horus at the end of False Gods.. implying they crossed half the galaxy or more in a matter of a few months tops. hundreds of thousands of c. Lorgar in pursuit, suggesting he is travelling faster.

Page 22
Ing Mae Sing prided herself on her immense self-control, as befitted one whose emotions had to be kept in check lest they be changed by the influence of the warp, but even she could not keep some emotion from surfacing.
Self control is important to astropaths.

Page 24
Loken tore the head from the training servitor and turned to face them both, and Mersadie felt a thrill of anticipation. It had been too long since the conclusion of the war against the Technocracy and she had spent too few hours with the captain of the Tenth Company. As his documentarist, she knew that she had a paucity of material following that campaign, but Loken had kept himself to himself in the past few months.
only a "few months" have passed, it would seem, since the battle against the Technocracy.

Page 37
"These animals invaded a compliant world and slaughtered all the troops we left to defend it. They have spaceships and weapons we don't understand, and they attack as if war is some kind of religion to them."
Mention again of a Garrison force left on a complaint world. The animals in question are the Orks, and this is Tarvitz warning that they shouldn't be underestimated

Page 43
"Although Isstvan is not far distant, the conditions in the warp have become more diffi­cult, so we must make all haste. The strike cruiser Andronius will leave for Isstvan in four hours."
Since the Emperor's Children join the Warmaster before proceeding to Isstvaan, we could conclude that all forces are close to the planet.

PAge 45
Tarvitz said nothing as he considered the sheer numbers of Astartes that would be converging on the Isstvan system. Hundreds of Astartes had fought on Deep Orbital DS191, but more than ten thou­sand Emperor's Children made up the Legion, most of whom would be journeying to Isstvan III. That in itself was enough for several war zones. The thought of four Legions arrayed in battle sent shiv­ers up Tarvitz's spine.
Scope of the Emperor's Children Legion and the scale of typical Astartes deployments.

Page 47-48
He paused for a moment as the full weight of that thought wrapped itself around him like a comfort­ing blanket. The warmth and ease such simple acceptance gave him was like a panacea for all the ills that had troubled him this last year, and he smiled as his pen idly scratched across the page before him without his conscious thought.

Sindermann started as he realised that the pen was moving across the page of its own volition. He looked down to see what was being written.

She needs you.

Cold fear gripped him, but even as it rose, it was soothed and a comforting state of love and trust filled him. Images filled his head unbidden: the Warmaster strong and powerful in his newly forged suit of black plate armour, the amber eye glowing like a coal from the furnace. Claws slid from the Warmaster's gauntlets and an evil red glow built from his gorget, illuminating his face with a ghastly daemonic light.

"No..." breathed Sindermann, feeling a great and unspeakable horror fill him at this terrible vision, but no sooner had this image filled his head than it was replaced by one of Euphrati Keeler lying supine on her medicae bed. Terrified thoughts were ban­ished at the sight of her and Sindermann felt his love for this beautiful woman fill him as a pure and wondrous light.

Even as he smiled in rapture, the vision darkened and yellowed talons slid into view, tearing at the image of Euphrati.

Sindermann screamed in sudden premonition.

Once again he looked at the words on the page, marvelling at their desperate simplicity.

She needs you.

Someone was sending him a message.

The saint was in danger.
It's kinda up in the air at this point who left the message. It could be something more mysticl or spiritual, but it is implied that Ing Mae Sing did so. Also no more than a year or so has passed since the start of the series, it would seem

Page 49
The Vengeful Spirit, its long flat prow like the tip of a spear, slid from the warp in a kaleidoscopic dis­play of pyrotechnics, lightning raking along its sides as the powerful warp-integrity fields took the full force of re-entry. In the interstellar distance, the closest star of the Isstvan system glinted, cold and hard against the blackness.
"warp integrity fields" handling reentry.

Page 53
"The shells were too fragmented. Apothecary Vaddon wouldn't be able to make a match even if we found the weapon that fired the shot. It was one of ours, but that's all we know."
Referencing the bolter shell fragments that killed Varvarus in the last book, and again noting that bolter rounds cause fragmentation.

Page 63
"This," said Horus, "is Isstvan III, courtesy of servitor-manned stellar cartography drones. Remember it well, for history will be made here."

Servitor manned catrography drones. It seems its possible to deploy drone controlled warp craft. Then again we know of Inquisitorial Kill Ships doing similar, so this isn't terribly surprising.

Page 66
Maggard stalked along the shadowed companionways of the Vengeful Spirit at a brisk pace, marching at double time with the vigour of a man on his way to a welcome rendezvous. His hulking form had been steadily growing over the last few months, as though he were afflicted with some hideous form of rapid gigantism.

But the procedures the Warmaster's apothecaries were performing on his frame were anything but hideous. His body was changing growing and trans­forming beyond anything the crude surgeries of House Carpinus had ever managed. Already he could feel the new organs within him reshaping his flesh and bone into something greater than he could ever have imagined, and this was just the beginning. . His Kirlian blade was unsheathed, shimmering with a strange glow in the dim light of the corridor. He wore fresh white robes, his enlarging physique already too massive for his armour. Legion artificers stood ready to reshape it once his flesh had settled into its new form, and he missed its reassuring solidity enclosing him.
Maggard enduring further enhancement via processses provided by Legion apotehcaries. It echoes the sorts of enhancements that Luther and those like him underwent on Calibran. Some sort of proto-astartes. All this has happeneed in a "few months" confirming the earlier notion that the events of the last novel occured a few months ago.

Page 67
Maggard had jammed the barrel of his pistol beneath the poet's quivering jaw and blown his brains out over the roof of his cramped room before letting the generously fleshed body crash to the floor in a flurry of bloody papers.
Maggard's pistol blew Karkasy's head apart.

Page 73
"Why not just bombard them?" asked Eidolon. The sudden silence that followed his question was deafening.

Loken waited for the Warmaster to reprimand Eidolon for daring to question one of his decisions, but Horus only nodded indulgently. "Because these people are vermin, and when you stamp out ver­min from afar, some invariably survive. If we are to cut out the problem, we must get our hands dirty and destroy them in one fell swoop. It may not be as elegant as the Emperor's Children would wish, but elegance is not a priority for me, only swift vic­tory."
Again orbital bombardmen suggested over ground assault.

Page 74
The holo zoomed in to show a map of the Choral City, a handsome conurbation with many and varied buildings that ranged from exquisite mansions and basilica to massive sprawls of housing and tangles of industrial complexes. Artfully formed boulevards and thoroughfares threaded a multi-levelled city of millions, most of whom appeared to be housed in sprawling residential districts, workshops and factories.

The western edge of the city was highlighted, focusing on the scar-like web of defensive trenches and bunkers along the city's outskirts. The opposite side of the Choral City butted up against the sheer cliffs of a mountain range - the natural defences efficiently shielding the city from a conventional land attack.
Chooral city on Isstvan

Page 75
"It looks as if they have excellent fortifications and artillery. Many of these defences were added after compliance to protect the seat of Imperial governance on Isstvan, which means they're ours, and they will be strong. "
Post-compliance defenses. That means their capabilities echo what the Imperium is capable of at this time.

Page 84
"After you told me of Euphrati Keeler, you sent a warning to someone, didn't you? Tell me who it was and I will let you live. Try to resist and your death will be more agonising than you can possibly imagine."
Like I said.. its likely Sindermann was warned by Ing Mae Sing.

Page 91
"Your Emperor." replied Sarr'Kell, and for a fleeting moment, Erebus detected a trace of unease in the creature's voice. Such entities were unused to the defiance of a mortal, even one as mighty as a pri-march. "He meddles in matters he does not understand. On the world you call Terra, his grand designs cause a storm in the warp that tears it asunder from within. We care nothing for your realm, you know this. It is anath­ema to us. We offer power that can help you take his place, Warmaster. Our aid will see you destroy your foes and take you to the very gates of the Emperor's palace. We can deliver the galaxy to you. All we care for is that his works cease and that you take his place."
Bearing in mind that Daemons lie (such as the fact they do want to infest the material plane. They hunger for it), this is an interesting comment, as it suggests the Emperor's attempts to infiltrate the webway threaten daemons in some way.

Page 92
"Do the gods not rule an entire universe hidden from your eyes, Warmaster? Have they not made the warp dark at their command?"
"Your gods did this? Why? You have blinded my Legions!"
"Necessity, Warmaster. The darkness blinds the Emperor too, blinds him to our plans and yours. The Emperor thinks himself the master of the warp and he would seek to know his enemies by it, but see how swiftly we can confound him? You will have passage through the warp as you need it, Warmaster, for as we bring darkness, so we can bring light."
Implies the Emperor could detect what Horus is doing without the Warp storms, although again this is from a Daemon's lips and thus suspect.

They do confirm they can affect warp currents to give horus favorable passage, which at least is probably true.

Page 94
The Warmaster turned to Regulus and said, "Adept, I wish the Fabricator General to be made aware of this. I cannot contact him directly, so you will take a fast ship and make for Mars. If what this creature says is true, you will make good time."
From Isstvaan to MArs.. half a galaxy away.. 60K LY in months perhaps?

Page 96-97
Maggard's pistol leapt to his hand and the barrel blazed with light as he fired three times.
Sindermann cried out, throwing up his arms and awaiting the awful pain of bullets tearing into his flesh, ripping through his internal organs and blowing bloody-rimmed craters in his back.

Nothing happened and Sindermann heard a cry of astonishment from Jonah Aruken, who had likewise flinched at the thunderous noise of Maggard's gun. He lowered his arms and his mouth fell open in amazement at the sight before him.

Maggard still stood there, his muscled arm still holding his wide barrelled pistol aimed squarely at them.

A frozen bloom of light expanded at an infinitesimally slow pace from the muzzle and Sindermann could see a pair of bullets held immobile in the air before them, only the glint of light on metal as they spiralled giving any sign that they were moving at all.

As he watched, the pointed nub of a brass bullet began to emerge from the barrel of Maggard's gun and Sindermann turned in bewilderment to Jonah Aruken.
Sindermann turned, feeling as if his entire body was numb, only his heart hammering fit to break his chest. Titus Cassar stood at the end of the corridor, the saint held tightly to his chest. Where before Euphrati had lain supine, her eyes were now wide in terror, her right hand extended and the silver eagle that had been burned into her flesh glowing with a soft, inner light.
Yet another "miracle". This time time stopping. Again possibilities are this is innate to Keeler or external, but it would be odd to know of a psyker this powerful (rare) and rather surprising that such a one got by the Black ships and the AStra TElepathica. It's more likely that some other faction is channelling the power of the warp through Keeler's faith (EG sorcery), which again suggests some godlike, pro-human/pro-order entity. Given their penchant for referencing alot of 1st edition stuff with this series (fanservice!) its quite possible we're looking at some sort of 'Star child' type reference or something to that effect, updated to suit modern canon.

Page 111
They wore black armour with bulky power packs and thick cables that attached to heavy rifles. The plates of their armour were traced with silver scroll­work, perhaps just for decoration, perhaps a pattern of circuitry.

Their faces were hooded, each with a single red lens over one eye. A hundred of them packed the dome, sheltering behind slabs of broken machinery and furniture. The armoured soldiers formed a solid defensive line, and no sooner had Eidolon and the Emperor's Children emerged from the entrance tunnel than they opened fire.

Rapid firing bolts of ruby laser fire spat out from the Isstvanian troops, filling the dome with hori­zontal red rain. Tarvitz took a trio of shots, one to his chest, one to his greaves and another cracking against his helmet, filling his senses with a burst of static.
Isstvan soldiery. Whether they are army troops, or native forces we don't know.

Page 116-117
Loken fought to tear his sight from this madness. Remembering the words he had thrown in Horus Aximand's face at the Delphos Gate, he screamed them aloud once more:

"I will not bow to any fane or acknowledge any spirit. I own only the empirical clarity of Imper­ial Truth!"

In an instant, the walls of the dark temple slammed back into place around him, the air thick with incense, and he gasped for breath. Loken's heart pumped wildly and his head spun, sick with the effort of casting out what he had seen.
Interesting how the ideology of "Imperial Truth" serves as much of a purpose as the imperial Creed in fending off Chaos? It tends ot show that the key component is faith in something. Something tangible at least.

Page 120
Long hair whipped around it, and as sheets of lightning arced upwards, Tarvitz saw that it was a woman, her sweeping silk robes lashing like the tendrils of some undersea creature.
Even above the chaos of battle, he could hear her voice and it was singing.

The force of the music lifted her from the pyra­mid, suspending her above the pinnacle on a song of pure force. Hundreds of harmonies wound impossibly over one another, screeching notes smashing together as they ripped from her unnat­ural throat. Stones flew from the pyramid's summit, spiralling towards the dome's ceiling as her song broke apart the warp and weft of reality.
As Tarvitz watched, a single discordant note rose to the surface in a tremendous crescendo, and an explosion blew out a huge chunk of the pyramid, massive blocks of stone tumbling in the currents of light. The pyramid shuddered and stones crashed down amongst the Emperor's Children, crushing some and knocking many more from its side.

Tarvitz fought to keep his balance as portions of the pyramid collapsed in a rumbling landslide of splintered stone and rubble. The armoured body of a Death Guard slithered down the slope towards a sheer drop into the falling masonry and Tarvitz saw that it was the bloodied form of Garro.

He scrambled across the disintegrating pyramid and leapt towards the drop, catching hold of the warrior's armour and dragging him towards firmer ground.

Tarvitz pulled Garro away from the fighting, see­ing that his friend was badly wounded. One leg was severed at mid thigh and portions of his chest and upper arm were crushed. Frozen, coagulated blood swelled like blown glass around his injuries and shards of stone jutted from his abdomen.
Psychic singing banshee creature.

Page 121
Yet more blocks of stone were lifting from the pyra­mid around the Emperor's Children. Tarvitz saw one warrior - Captain Odovocar, the Bearer of the Legion banner - dragged from his feet and into the air by the Warsinger's chorus. His armour jerked as if torn at by invisible fingers, sparking sheets of ceramite peeling back as the Warsinger's power took it apart.
Odovocar came apart with it, his helmet ripping free and trailing glittering streamers of blood and bone as it took his head off.

As Odovocar died, Tarvitz was struck by the sav­age beauty of the song, a song he felt she was singing just for him.

More psychic banshee attacks. Part song, part sonic, part TK I suspect.

Page 122
Tarvitz snarled and his bolt pistol kicked in his hand as he fired at the Warsinger, the sound of the shots drowned by the cacophony. Shells impacted against a sheath of shimmering force around the Warsinger, blooms of white light exploding around her as they detonated prematurely. More and more of the Astartes, Emperor's Children and Death Guard both, were being pulled up into the air and sonically dismembered, and Tarvitz knew they didn't have much time before their cause was lost.
Warsinger can block bolter fire.

Page 123
Eidolon was on his knees, his hammer lost and the Warsinger hovering over him. Her hands stretched out in front of her as she battered Eidolon with waves of force strong enough to distort the air.

Eidolon's armour warped around him, his helmet ripped from his head in a wash of blood, but he was still alive and fighting.


The Warsinger saw him and smashed him to the floor with a dismissive flick of her wrist. His helmet cracked with the force of the impact and for a moment his world was filled with the awful beauty of the Warsinger's song.

Eidolon vs Warsinger.

Page 123-124
Eidolon's eyes were ablaze, his hatred and revul­sion at this foe clear as his mouth opened in a cry of rage. His mouth opened still wider and he let loose his own screeching howl. Tarvitz rolled onto his back, dropping his sword and clutching his hands to his ears at the dreadful sound. Where the Warsinger's song had layered its death in beguiling beauty, there was no such grace in the sonic assault launched by Eidolon, it was simply agonising, deaf­ening volume.
The crippling noise smashed into the Warsinger and suddenly her grace was torn away. She opened her mouth to sing a fresh song of death, but Eidolon's scream turned her cries into a grim dirge.
Eidolon strikes back. Beginnings of Noise marines, and the handiwork of Fabius Bile (as we learn later.)

Page 135
"Once, I could not believe in such things as saints. I had trained myself to accept only logic and science, and to cast aside religion as supersti­tion. Magic and miracles were impossible, simply the invention of ignorant people struggling to understand their world. It took the sacrifice of the saint to show me how arrogant I was. I saw how the Emperor protects, but she has shown me that there is so much more than that, for, if the Emperor protects His faithful, who protects the Emperor?"
Sindermann having a change of heart.

Page 145
Tarvitz followed him, peering more closely at the cylinders as he passed. One con­tained an Astartes-sized body, but not a corpse, more like something that had never been born, its features sunken and half-formed.

Another cylinder contained only a head, but one which had large, multi-faceted eyes like an insect. As he looked closer, Tarvitz realised with sick hor­ror mat the eyes had not been grafted on, for he saw no scars and the skull had reshaped itself to accom­modate them. They had been grown there. He moved on to the last cylinder, seeing a mass of brains linked by fleshy cables held in liquid sus­pension, each one with extra lobes bulging like tumours.
Tarvitz felt a profound chill coming from the next room, its walls lined with refrigerated metal cabi­nets. He briefly wondered what was in them, but decided he didn't want to know as his imagination conjured all manner of deformities and mutations. A single operating slab filled the centre of the room, easily large enough for an Astartes warrior to be restrained upon, with a chirargeon device mounted on the ceiling above.

Neatly cut sections of muscle fibre were spread across the slab. Apothecary Fabius bent over them, the hissing probes and needles of his narthecium embedded in a dark mass of glistening meat.
Fabius Bile's chamber of horrors.

Page 146
Fabius cocked an eyebrow. "So you have seen the results of the commander's augmentations, have you?"
"Is he a psyker?" demanded Tarvitz.
"No, no, no!" laughed Fabius. "He is not. The lord commander's abilities are the result of a tracheal implant combined with alteration in the gene-seed rhythms. He is something of a success. His powers are metabolic and chemical, not psychic,"
"You have altered the geneseed?" breathed Tarvitz in shock. "The gene-seed is the blood of our primarch... When he discovers what you are doing here..."
"Don't be naive, captain," said Fabius. "Who do you think ordered us to proceed?"
Fulgrim is encouraging genetic enhancement of the Emperor's Children. Eidolon's sonic attacks are merely metabolic/chemical.

Page 147
"You remember the Cleansing of Laeran?"
"Of course." answered Tarvitz.
"Our primarch saw what the Laer had achieved by chemical and genetic manipulation of their biolog­ical structure in their drive for physical perfection. The Lord Fulgrim has great plans for our Legion, Tarvitz, the Emperor's Children cannot be content to sit on their laurels while our fellow Astartes win the same dull victories. We must continue to strive towards perfection, but we are fast reaching the point where even an Astartes cannot match the standards Lord Fulgrim and the Warmaster demand. To meet those standards, we must change. We must evolve."
Tarvitz backed away from the operating slab. "The Emperor created Lord Fulgrim to be the perfect warrior and the Legion's warriors were moulded in his image. That image is what we strive towards. Holding a xenos race up as an example of perfec­tion is an abomination!"
we see the battel with the Laer later on, but this is where it started. It tends to suggest as well that perhaps the Emperor's Children, like the Thousand Sons and World Eaters, may have been doomed to a path of betrayal. But it's less certain.

Page 155
"The reactor is ticking over smoothly and the targeting is reacting faster than I've seen it in a while. The Mechanicum adepts have been tinkering so there are a few more bells and whistles to play with"
Admech modifying or enhancing titan performance.

Page 157-158
Qruze was an example of just how little even the Legion's apothecaries knew of an Astartes' phys­iology. His face was as battered and gnarled as ancient oak, but his body was as wolf-tough, honed by years of fighting and not yet made weary by age.

An Astartes was functionally immortal, meaning that only in death did duty end, and the thought sent a chill down Loken's spine.
Reiteration of Astartes being "functionally immortal" as in the first book.

PAge 180
A hundred palace guardians ran at them, resplen­dent in their glass armour. They formed a line before the Astartes, levelled their halberds, and opened fire.

Searing needles of silver filled the air around Lucius, gouging the armour of his shoulder guard and leg. Lucius lifted his sword arm to shield his head and the needles spat from the glowing blade of his sword. Where they hit the stone around the entrance it bubbled and hissed like acid.
One of Nasicae fell beside Lucius, one arm molten and his abdomen bubbling.
Whether these are energy weapons or projectiles of some kind, I don't know. Siome sort of needle gun I guess?

Page 181
As much as Lucius was revelling in the sensations of the slaughter, the smell of the blood, the searing stink of flesh as the heat of his blade scorched it and the pounding of blood in veins, he knew he could not afford to give the defenders such moments.
Power sword has thermal effects.

Page 189
"Movement!" said Casto, sending a blast of orange-yellow fire from his flamer into the darkness ahead of him.

The niches ahead guttered with flames, hungrily devouring the bare bones.
Flames from a flamer devouring bones.

Page 190
The silver-armoured palace guards started flying.

Surrounded by burning arcs of white energy, they leapt over the advancing Emperor's Children, gleaming, leaf shaped blades slicing downwards from wrist-mounted weapons.

Lucius rolled to avoid a hail of blades, the silver guard swooping low to behead two of Squad Que-mondil, the charged blades cutting through their armour with horrific ease.
Power punch daggers.

Page 190
A body fell into the water next to him, its head blasted away by bolter fire and blood pour­ing into the water in a scarlet bloom.
Head bolter destruction.

Page 193
The ship's engines pulsed dimly in the stern, only the rumble of directional thrusters shuddering through the ship. Every sta­tion was manned, every blast door was sealed and Tarvitz knew a battle alert when he saw it.

What confused him was the fact that the Isstvanians had no fleet to fight.

The hull groaned and Tarvitz felt a deep rumbling through the metal deck, sensing the motion of the ship before the artificial gravity compensated. Ever since the first wave of the speartip had launched, the vessel had been moving, and Tarvitz knew that his suspicions of something amiss were well-founded.

According to the mission briefings he had read earlier, Fulgrim's flagship had been assigned the role of launching the second wave once the palace and the Sirenhold had been taken. There was no need to move.

The only reason to move a vessel after a launch was to move into low orbit in preparation for a bombardment.
Preparation for orbital bombardment. AG compensating for movement.

Page 194
Tarvitz descended into the lower reaches of the ship, far from where the Emperor's Children dwelt in the most magnificent parts of the Andronius. The rest of the ship, inhabited by servitors and menials, was more functional and Tarvitz knew he would pass without challenge here.

The darkness closed around Tarvitz and the yawn­ing chasms of the engine structures opened out many hundreds of metres below the gantry on which he stood. Above the engine spaces were the reeking gun decks, where mighty cannons, weapons that could level cities, were housed in massive, armoured revetments.

"Stand by for ordnance." chimed an automated, metallic voice. Tarvitz felt the ship shift again, and this time he could hear the creak of the hull as the planet's upper atmosphere raised the temperature of the outer hull.

Tarvitz descended an iron staircase at the end of the dark gantry and the vast expanse of the gun deck sprawled before him, a titanic vault that ran the length of the vessel. Huge, hissing cranes fed the guns, lifting tank-sized shells from the magazine decks through blast proof doors. Gunners and loaders sweated with their riggers, each gun serviced by a hundred men who hauled on thick chains and levers in preparation for their firing. Servitors distributed water to the gun crews and Mechanicum adepts maintained vigil on the weapons to ensure they were properly calibrated.
"cannons" that can level cities.. implied individually, although I suspect that isn't how some will interpret it :D Tank sized shells loaded into a gun, manually of course. 100 men per gun.

Page 196
"I can assure you, lord, that preparations for the bombardment are proceeding exactly as planned. The warheads will be launched prior to the deploy­ment of the second wave."

"Warheads?" asked Tarvitz.

"Yes, captain." said the adept. "All bombardment cannons are loaded with airbursting warheads loaded with virus bombs as specified in our order of battle."

"Virus bombs." said Tarvitz, fighting to hold back his revulsion at what the adept was telling him.
virus bombs being fired from bombardment cannon.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2012-07-11 10:50pm

Part 2

Page 196
Virus bombs...
Weapons so terrible and forbidden that only the Warmaster himself, and the Emperor before him, could ever sanction their use.

Each warhead would unleash the life eater virus, a rampant organism that destroyed life in all its forms and wiped out every shred of organic matter on the surface of a planet within hours. The magni­tude of this new knowledge, and its implications, staggered Tarvitz and he felt his breath coming in short, painful gasps as he attempted to reconcile what he knew with what he had just learned.

His Legion was preparing to kill the planet below and he knew with sudden clarity that it could not be alone in this. To saturate a planet with enough virus warheads to destroy all life would take many ships and with a sick jolt of hor­ror, he knew that such an order could only have come from the Warmaster.

For reasons Tarvitz could not even begin to guess at the Warmaster had chosen to betray fully a third of his warriors, exterminating them in one fell swoop.
Tarvitz contemplates the Life Eater. Apparently at this point in time mass-extinction scale life eater virus requires large fleets.

Page 200-201
"There is news from Prospero." said Erebus, unper­turbed. The shadow whisperers clung to him, darting around his feet and the crozius he wore at his waist.

"Magnus?" asked Horus, suddenly interested.

"He lives yet," said Erebus, "but not for the lack of effort on the part of the Wolves of Fenris."

"Magnus lives." snarled Horus. "Then he may yet be a danger."

"No." assured Erebus. "The spires of Prospero have fallen and the warp echoes with the powerful sor­cery Magnus used to save his warriors and escape."

"Always sorcery." said Horus. "Where did he escape to?"

"I do not know yet," said Erebus, "but wherever he goes, the Emperor's dogs will hunt him down."
Magnus flees Prospero at the time of Isstvaan just prior to the Virus bombing.

Page 206
"The Pride of the Emperor is in transit," announced Saeverin, senior deck officer of the Andronius.

"Though the vessel's Navigator claims to be encoun­tering difficulties. Lord Fulgrim will not be with us any time soon."

"Does he send any word of his mission?" asked Eidolon, standing at his shoulder.

"Communications are still very poor," said Saev­erin hesitantly, "but what we have does not sound encouraging."
Astorpathic message "in transit" from Fulgrim. Implied to be from light years away and fairly realtime.

PAge 210
The gyros had not yet meshed with his nervous sys­tem and, much to his fury, he had been denied a place in the Death Guard speartip. The bridge of the Eisenstein was open to the workings of the ship, as was typical with the Death Guard fleet, since Mortarion despised ornamentation of any kind.
Garro's augmetic.

Page 212-213
Tarvitz wrestled with the Thunderhawk controls. Streaks of bright crimson sheared past the cockpit -the fighter craft were on his tail, spraying ruby-red lances of gunfire at him.

The Death Guard fleet was a speckling of glittering streaks against the blackness, crisscrossed by red laser blasts.
TArvitz' implied distance from the Death Guard fleet, as he is pursued by fighters.

Page 216
Amazed, he took hold of the gunship's controls and wrestled with them as he fought to level out his flight. The tactical display was a mess of interfer­ence, electromagnetic hash and radioactive debris clogging it with an impenetrable fog of a massive detonation. He couldn't see the fighters, but with such interference they could still be out there, even now drawing a bead on him.

"The Eisenstein shot them down on my orders." said Garro.
Eisenhstein shot down the fighters.. implied range of hundreds if not thousands of km.

Page 234
With a roar of anger, Loken ripped his chainsword through an armoured warrior before him, forcing the enemy back for the split second he needed to open up with his bolter. A full-throated
volley sent a magazine's worth of shells into the mass, blasting them apart in a red ruin of shattered faces and broken armour.
Full magazine of bolter shells blows apart a horde of troops.

PAge 237
The flicker of fear he saw in Praal's eyes filled him with brutal triumph. The shrieking, musical spear blared one last atonal scream before it finally shat­tered under the energised edge of Lucius's sword.

The swordsman pivoted smoothly on his heel and drove his blade, two-handed, into Praal's golden chest, the sword burning through his armour, ribs and internal organs.
Lucius's sword again burning with its power field.

Page 249
The Isstvanians were well-drilled and well-armed, and though the majority of their weapons weren't the equal of a lasgun, trenches were a great leveller and a man with a rifle was a man with a rifle when the gunfire started.
Isstvanian weapons are less than a lasgun.

Page 249
The Isstvanians, with their drab green-grey helmets and mud-spattered flak-suits, were hard to pick out against the mud and rabble with the naked eye, but the sensors on the Dies Irae
projected a sharp-edged image onto Cassar's retina that picked them out in wondrously clear detail.
Istvaan troops.

Page 251
Cassar shifted the weapon arm of the Dies Irae to aim at a booming artillery position some five hun­dred metres away, as it belched tongues of flame and threw explosive shells towards the Death Guard lines.
500 metre range for Dies Irae.

Page 252
"Close up the coolant ducts and seal the magazine feeds as soon as possible."
"Princeps?" said Cassar in confusion. "That will leave us unarmed."
"I know that." replied Turnet, as though to a sim­pleton. "Do it. Aruken, I need us sealed."
"Sealed, sir?" asked Aruken, sounding as confused as Cassar felt.
"Yes, sealed. We have to be airtight from top to bottom." said Turnet, opening a channel to the rest of the mighty war machine's crew.
"All crew, this is Princeps Turnet. Adopt emer­gency biohazard posts, right now. The bulkheads are being sealed. Shut off the reactor vents and be prepared for power down,"
"Princeps," said Aruken urgently. "Is it a biological weapon? Atomics?"
Lockdown procedure for Titan against virus bombing, although implied this would be the same against atomics (implying an Imperator Titan could survive an atomic blast)

Page 253
Its magnificence was like nothing Sindermann had ever seen, and the thousands of remembrancers who filled the chamber wore the expressions of awed children who had been shown some new, unheard of won­der.
thousands of rembmrancers here.

PAge 255
The plaza was a truly horrendous sight, ankle-deep in blood and strewn with thousands upon thou­sands of bodies. Most were blown open by bolter rounds, but many had been hacked down with chainblades or otherwise torn limb from limb.
Effects of bolters on bodies. What happens is that Horus basically calls together all the Remembrancers and then has his marines massacre them utterly, with only Sinderman and the others escaping. I have to say that despite my general feelings for the rest of the book, this scene was suitably well done and chilling, as it serves as a physical symbol of Horus killing the Emperor's dream (although as we discover later, that dream is not so great and shiny as it is made out to be so..)

Page 257
"The edge of the trench system is thick with bunkers, blast proof shelters. If you get your men into them, they should be safe."
Virus-bomb proof shelters/bunkers.

Page 258
Loken tried to judge the angle and speed of the falling darts of fire - some of them would come down between the spires of the Sirenhold, just like the Sons of Horus's own drop-pods had done hours earlier, and they would hit in a matter of minutes.
Virus bombs from orbit to ground in minutes. Probably tens of km/s.

Page 260
The first virus bombs detonated high above the Choral City, the huge explosions spreading the deadly payloads far and wide into the atmosphere. Designed to kill every living thing on the surface of a planet, the viral strains released on Isstvan III were the most efficient killers in the Warmaster's arsenal. The bombs had a high enough yield to murder the planet a hundred times over and were set to burst at numerous differing altitudes and locations across the surface of the planet.

The virus leapt through forests and plains, sweep­ing along algal blooms and riding air currents across the globe. It crossed mountains, forded rivers, burrowed through glaciers. The Imperium's deadliest weapons, the Emperor himself had been loath to use them.
The bombs fell all across Isstvan III, but most of all, they fell on the Choral City.
The virus bombing. Apparently the fleet over-saturated to ensure killing. Also, despite the bombs covering the whole planet, tehy seem to concentrate more areas than others (cities for example.)

Page 261
The World Eaters were the furthest from cover and suffered the worst of the initial bombard­ment. Some had reached the safety of the bunkers, but many more had not. Warriors fell to their knees as the virus penetrated their armoured bod­ies, deadly corrosive agents laced into the viral structure of the weapons dissolving exposed pipes and armour joints, or finding their way inside through battle damage.

Astartes screamed. The sound was all the more shocking for its very existence rather than for the horror of its tone. The virus broke down cellular bonds at the molecular level and its victims literally dissolved into a soup of rancid meat within min­utes of exposure, leaving little but sloshing suits of rotted armour. Even many of those who reached the safety of the sealed bunkers died in agony as they shut the doors only to find they had brought the lethal virus inside with them.
The virus spread through the civilian populace of Isstvan III at the speed of thought, leaping from vic­tim to victim in the time it took to breathe in its foul contagion. People dropped where they stood, the flesh sloughing from their skeletons as their nervous systems collapsed and their bones turned to the consistency of jelly.

Bright explosions fed the viral feast, perpetuating the fatal reactions of corruption. The very lethality of the virus was its own worst enemy, for without a host organism to carry it from victim to victim, the virus quickly consumed itself.

However, the bombardment from orbit was unre­lenting, smothering the entire planet in a precisely targeted array of overlapping fire plans that ensured that nothing would escape the virus.
Entire kingdoms and vassal states across the sur­face were obliterated in minutes. Ancient cultures that had survived Old Night and endured the hor­ror of invasion a dozen times over fell without even knowing why, millions dying in screaming agony as their bodies betrayed them and fell apart, reducing them to rotted, decaying matter.
The effects of the Life eater. Worth oting is how it has "corrosive" agents that bypass Power armour seals, showing it has properties of chemical as well as biological weapons. Not to mention the ifrestorm

Page 270
A bulky shape appeared on the roof of the Pre­centor's Palace. Ancient Rylanor strode to the edge of the roof, overlooking the scenes of horror below, the viral carnage seething between the buildings. Rylanor's dreadnought body was sealed against the world outside, sealed far more effectively than any Astartes armour, and the deathly wind swirled harmlessly around him as he watched the city's death unfold.

Rylanor looked up towards the sky, where far above, the Warmaster's fleet was still emptying the last of its deathly payload onto Isstvan III. The ancient dreadnought stood alone, the only note of peace in the screaming horror of the Choral City's death.
Dreadnought is safe against virus bombing.

Page 270
"Good job we built these bunkers tough." said Cap­tain Ehrlen.
The darkness of the sealed bunker was only compounded by the sounds of death from beyond its thick walls. Pitifully few of the World Eaters had made it into the network of bunkers that fringed the edge of the trench network and barricaded themselves inside. They waited in the dark, listening to the virus killing off the city's population more efficiently than even their chainaxes could.
The virus-proof bunkers are Imperial designs.

Page 275-276
The miasma of rancid, putrid gasses still hung thickly around the Titan and he could only dimly see the trenches again, along with the Death Guard emerging from the bunkers. Shortly after the order to seal the Titan had been given, the Death Guard had taken cover, clearly in receipt of the same order as the Dies Irae.

The Isstvanians had received no such order. The Death Guard's withdrawal had drawn the Isstvan-ian soldiers forwards and they had borne the full brunt of the bio-weapon.
Masses of mucus-like flesh choked the trenches, half-formed human corpses looming from them, faces melted and rot-bloated bodies split open. Thousands upon thousands of Isstvanians lay in rotting heaps and thick streams of sluggish black corruption ran the length of the trenches.
Beyond the battlefield, death had consumed the forests that lay just outside the Choral City's limits, now resembling endless graveyards of blackened trunks, like scorched skeletal hands. The earth beneath was saturated with biological death and the air was thick with foul gasses released by the oceans of decaying matter.
More of the virus bombing. Note the reference to the gases.

Page 277-278
Cassar followed his gaze in time to see the clouds of gas lit up by a brilliant beam of light as a blazing lance strike slashed through the clouds of noxious, highly flammable gasses.

All it took was a single spark.

An entire planet's worth of decaying matter wreathed the atmosphere of Isstvan III in a thick shawl of combustible gasses. The lance strike from the Vengeful Spirit burned through the upper
atmosphere into the choking miasma and its searing beam ignited the gas with a dull whoosh that seemed to suck the oxygen from the air.

In a second, the air itself caught light, ripping across the landscape in a howling maelstrom of fire and noise. Entire continents were laid bare, their landscapes seared to bare rock, their decayed popu­lations vaporised in seconds as winds of fire swept across their surfaces in a deadly gale of blazing destruction.

Cities exploded as gas lines went up, blazing towers of fire whipping madly in the deadly firestorm. Noth­ing could survive and flesh, stone and metal were vitrified or melted in the unimaginable temperatures. Entire sprawls of buildings collapsed, the bodies of their former occupants reduced to ashen waste on the wind, palaces of marble and industrial heartlands destroyed in gigantic mushroom clouds as the storm of destruction swept around Isstvan III with relentless, mindless destruction until it seemed as though the entire globe was ablaze.

Those Astartes who had survived the viral attack found themselves consumed in flames as they des­perately sought to find cover once more.

But against this firestorm there could be no cover for those who had dared to brave the elements.
By the time the echoes of the recoil had faded on the Warmaster's flagship, billions had died on Isst­van
Firestorm. Interestng that they needed a lance strike to trigger it (something that latter virus bombs don't need), but this may again reflect the fact the technology is more refined in the 'modern' Imperium (we know from Planetkill they improve upon virus bombs)

The firestorm is another oddity. Despite a supposedly widespread (even global) firestorm, melting stone or metal, and cremating bodies... all that energy disappears remarkably quick. MAybe its a magic warp weapon, but I'd dobut that. Alternately, the firestorms were concnetrated over population centers and the gas simply hadn't had time to spread out. The temperatures probably even out over time and the firestorm dissipates away.

It may be possible that the firestorm also alters the composition of the atmosphere.. it gets thinner or something. Hard to say.

Page 279
Moderati Cassar hung on for dear life as the tem­pestuous firestorm raged around the Dies Irae. The colossal Titan swayed like a reed in the wind, and he just hoped that the new stabilising gyros the Mechanicum had installed held firm in the face of the onslaught.
Across from him, Aruken gripped the rails sur­rounding his chair with white knuckled hands, staring in awed terror at the blazing vortices spin­ning beyond the command bridge.

"Emperor save us. Emperor save us. Emperor save us." he whispered over and over as the flames bil­lowed and surged for what seemed like an eternity. The heat in the command bridge was intolerable since the coolant units had been shut down when the Titan was sealed off from the outside world.

Like a gigantic pressure cooker, the temperature inside the Titan climbed rapidly until Cassar felt as if he could no longer draw breath without searing the interior of his lungs. He closed his eyes and saw the ghostly green scroll of data flash through his retinas. Sweat poured from him in a torrent and he knew that this was it, this was how he would die: not in battle, not saying the Lectitio Divinitatus, but cooked to death inside his beloved Dies Irae.

He had lost track of how long they had been bathed in fire when the professional core of his mind saw that the temperature readings, which had been rising rapidly since the firestorm had hit, were beginning to flatten out. Cassar opened his eyes and saw the madly churning mass of flame through the viewing bays of the Titan's head, but hе also saw spots of sky, burned blue as the fire incinerated the last of the combustible gasses released by the dead of Isstvan.
"Temperature dropping." he said, amazed that they were still alive.

Dies Irae survives it of course. The context implies it could have been no more than hours, days at the most, before the firestorm passed. For most "real" global firestorms that is simply too short a time, which again means it wasn't really global, it was less energetic than implied, or the atmosphere changed somehow. Or its a magic firestorm.

Page 284
Saul Tarvitz watched the look of utter disbelief on Captain Ehrlen's face as he took in the scale of the destruction wrought by the firestorm. Nothing remained of the Choral City as they had known it. Every scrap of living tissue was gone, burned to atoms by the flames that roared and howled in the wake of the virus attack.

Every building was black, burned and collapsed so that Isstvan III resembled a vision of hell, its tumbled buildings still ablaze as the last com­bustible materials burned away. Tall plumes of fire poured skyward in defiance of gravity, fuel lines and refineries that would continue to burn until their reserves were exhausted. The stench of scorched metal and meat was pungent and the vista before them was unrecognisable as that which they had fought across only minutes before.
Aftermaths of the attack. The fact combustibles are still burning suggests there is some oxygen in the atmosphere, at least.

Also note the implication that "minutes" have passed, which is DEFINITELY too short a time for any actual global firestorm to dissipate.

Page 285
Gunfire stuttered up from the gaps in partially collapsed roofs, chattering heavy bolters and the occasional ruby flare of a lascannon blast. Tarvitz ducked back from the window as return fire thun­dered down, stitching lines of explosions through the World Eaters. More of them fell, blown off their feet or blasted apart.
One World Eater slumped down beside Tarvitz, the back of his head a pulsing red mass.
The gunships banked, spraying fire down at their position.
Gunfire and lascannon strafing the loyalists.

Page 291
The Dies Irae was coming back to life around him; he could sense the god-machine's limbs flood with power and could feel the weapons reloading. The plasma reactor at its heart was beating in time with his own, a ball of nuclear flame that burned with the Emperor's own righteous strength.
plasma reactor a "ball of nuclear flame".

Page 293
Without wasting words of preamble, Qruze raised his bolter and fired, but Maggard's armour was the equal of Astartes plate and the shot simply sig­nalled the beginning of a duel.
Maggard is wearing Astartes-grade armor that resists bolter shot.

Page 294
Blood sprayed briefly from the wound and Qruze dropped to his knees in sudden pain before draw­ing his combat knife, the blade as long as a mortal warrior's sword.
AStartes combat knife as long as a normal sword.

Page 294
The assassin stepped in close and lunged with his sword. Maggard was almost the equal of Qruze in physique and had youth on his side, but even Sindermann could see he was slower, as if his new form was unfamiliar, not yet worn in.
Maggard is nearly equal to an AStartes in physical power. I do admit this is Qruze's time to shine and his scenes were rather nice to read, at least for me.

Page 294
His other arm snapped round to plunge the knife into Maggard's throat, but a fist seized Qruze's hand in an iron grip, halting the blade inches from the man's pulsing jugular.

Qruze fought to force the blade upwards, but Maggard's newly enhanced strength was the greater and he began to force the blade to one side.
Or it's greater.

Page 295
He pushed himself to his feet and ran towards Maggard's fallen pistol, its matt black finish cold and lethal-looking. Though designed for a mortal grip, the pistol still felt absurdly huge in his hands.
He pulled the trigger and the recoil of the shot almost shattered his wrist, but the effect of his intervention more than made up for the trauma.
Maggard's pistol fired by Sindermann.

Page 296
"We were brothers on Cthonia. Not just among ourselves, but with our enemies, too. That was what the Emperor saw in us when he came to the hives. We were gangs of killers as existed on a thousand other worlds, but we believed in a code that was more precious than life. That was what he wrought into the Luna Wolves."
At least a thousand other Hive worlds. This probably is Necromunda type worlds, probably.

Page 300
It had often been said that a Space Marine knew no fear.

Such a statement was not literally true, a Space Marine could know fear, but he had the training and discipline to deal with it and not let it affect him in battle.
Space Marines and fear.

Page 310
The vox was heavy with static and he knew that the War-master's forces would be attempting to jam their vox-channels without blocking their own.

Page 355
"That sword," said Horus, indicating the venom-sheened weapon that hung low at Fulgrim's waist.

"I gave you that blade as a symbol of my trust in you, Fulgrim. We alone know the true power that lies within it. That weapon almost killed me and yet I gave it away. Do you think I would give such a weapon to one I do not trust?"
The fate of the sword that nearly killed Horus.

Page 357
Apothecary Vaddon fought to save Casto's life. The upper half of the warrior's armour had been removed and his bare torso was disfigured by a gory wound, flaps of skin and chunks of muscle blown aside like the petals of a bloody flower by an exploding bolter round.
Bolter round on AStartes chest.

Page 376
He hurled himself back, but felt a red-hot line of agony as the energised edge bit deep into his side He clamped a hand to his side as blood spilled down his armour, gasping in pain before his armour dis­pensed stimulants that blocked it.
Armor-dispensed stimulants again.

Page 378
They rolled and grappled like brawling street thugs, Tarvitz punching Lucius with powerful blows that would have killed a mortal man a dozen times over, the swordsman struggling to push Tarvitz clear.
Astartes blows owuld kill a mortal "a dozen times over"

Page 390
Terminator armour was huge. It made a man into a walking tank, but what it added in protection, it lost in speed. Abaddon was skilful and could fight almost as fast as any other Astartes while clad in its thick plates.
Despite its size, it is possible to fight like a normal Astartes in Terminator armour if you are skilled.

Page 392
The plasma bolt was like a finger of the sun, reach­ing down from the guns of the Dies Irae and smashing through the wall of the Warsingers' Tem­ple, the liquid fire boring deep into the ground. With a sound like the city dying, one wall of the temple collapsed as dust and fire filled the air and shards of green stone flew like knives. Warriors melted in the heat blast or died beneath the heaps of stone that collapsed around them.
plasma gun melts multiple Astartes.. GJ range.

Page 394-395
Suddenly, the air ripped apart as the Titan's plasma gun fired and white heat filled the gallery, throwing Tarvitz to the floor. Molten fragments of stone sprayed him and warriors fell, broken and burning around him. Blinded and deafened, Tarvitz dragged himself away from the destruction. Hot air boomed back into the vacuum blasted by the plasma and it was like a burning wind of destruction come to scour the loyalists from the face of Isstvan III.

He rolled onto his back, seeing that the bolt had ripped right through the temple roof, leaving a huge glowing-edged hole, like a monstrous bite mark, through one corner of the temple. Fully a third of the temple's mass had collapsed in a great rockslide of liquefied stone, flooding out like a long tongue of jade.
We don't quite know how big the temple is, but 1/3 of its mass has to be alot.. gigajoules, if not terajoules of energy easily.. (hundreds if not thousands of tonnes at least.) assuming 30 cm thick stones and a 20 meter cube temple would be 800 tonnes.. 1.6 TJ.

PAge 397
Astartes battle plate enhanced a warrior's strength, but Terminator armour boosted it to lev­els beyond belief, and Abaddon called upon that power to dislodge Loken.

Terminator armor provides greater strength boost than regular plate.

Page 399
The colossal form of the Dies Irae had thankfully stopped firing, the monstrous Titan marching to tower over the Sirenhold like a brazen fortress.
The temples are smaller than the Imperator.

Page 403
He saw streaks of fire dropping through the clouds and closed his eyes as he realised that they were the first salvoes of an orbital bombardment.

Death was raining down on the Choral City for the second time, but this time it wouldn't be anything as exotic as a virus. High explosives would bring the city down and put a final, terrible exclamation mark at the end of the Battle of Isstvan III.
Second wave bombardment. I do have to say that the fate of many of the loyalists was also one of the 'highlights' of the book, although not as much (to me) as Keeler was (for example) or the deaths of the Remembrancers. And there was still a sense of appropriateness for Loken and Torgaddon meeting Aximand and Abbadon here for a 'final' confrontation, although as I learn later Loken survives and Torgaddon seems to have been possessed, so their stories aren't quite over. I think Saul Tarvitz is dead though, which is sad because he was enjoyable to read about here.

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