Horus Heresy series analysis thread

SF: discuss futuristic sci-fi series, ideas, and crossovers.

Moderator: NecronLord

User avatar
Black Admiral
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1870
Joined: 2003-03-30 05:41pm
Location: Northwest England

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Black Admiral » 2013-03-23 04:36am

Connor MacLeod wrote:Page 401
It was at least ninety metres tall, its right arm a massive multi-barrelled cannon, the left another immense weapon that gleamed with the blue sheen of plasma generators. Its armoured carapace was packed with turrets that streaked laser and shell fire into the city: an Imperator-class Titan!

Oh dear. This makes what, the third different Imperator titan scaling in the Horus heresy novels alone?

Fourth, actually; 140 metres tall in Horus Rising, 43 metres tall in False Gods, several kilometres tall in The Iron Within, and the Deliverance Lost figure quoted.
"I do not say the French cannot come. I only say they cannot come by sea." - Admiral Lord St. Vincent, Royal Navy, during the Napoleonic Wars

"Show me a general who has made no mistakes and you speak of a general who has seldom waged war." - Marshal Turenne, 1641

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-03-26 06:18pm

They should work into imposing greater industrial standards when it comes to bipedal giant robots. Standard Template Construction my ass :P

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-03-26 06:28pm

We're heading into the endgame with Horus Heresy (as in, I'm caught up) and the next entry is 'Know no Fear' by Dan Abnett. Which is the whole Ultramarines/Word Bearers stuff at Calth. KNF was a good novel IMHO - I liked it much better than Prospero Burns and Legion, although I dont think it quite gets to the level of 'Horus Rising.' The big draw is that something epic actually happens (so you feel like events are progressing) and we have more foreshadowing of future events (fanservice in Olin Perssson.)

Not really much more to say about it, its not a 'deep' philsophical story, but its a solid 'military' story more or less,

3 part update like usual, although each part is smaller lol.

Page 18-19
Three thousand seven hundred and nine crew members are executed, including the ship master, the Navigator, the echelon port master, two fabricators from the yards, and a detail from the Neride Regulators 10th serving as deck protection.
...Precise details of the circumstances surrounding the loss of the Campanile are lost / and alone in such darkness, on a deceleration arc past the outer moons, one small ship, overweight and wheezing, over three and a half thousand souls / because no log record or data canister is recovered from the wreck

Crew size of a fleet tender.

Page 20-21
An airgate compartment, sixty cubic metres, grav supporting decking, self-seal armoured skinning, neutral normalised atmospherics (though Luciel can feel the pressure decay of the air pumps’ end-cycle). There’s a reciprocal airgate hatch at the other end of the gate compartment.
For a nanosecond, the figure registers to Luciel as an unknown, a threat.
Transhuman responses are already there, unbidden. Adrenaline spikes to heighten an already formidable reaction time. Muscle remembers. Luciel wears his boltgun, an oiled black pit bull of a weapon, in his thigh holster. He can draw, aim and fire in less than a second. The range is six metres, the target unobstructed. There is no chance of missing. Maximus plate, frontally augmented, might stop a mass-reactive shell, so Luciel will fire two and aim for the visor slits. The airgate skin-sleeve is self-repairing, and will survive las-fire damage, but a bolter shot will shred it open, so Luciel also braces for the explosive decompression of a ricochet or a miss-hit. At a simple, subconscious neural urge, boot-sole electromagnets charge to clamp onto the deck plates.
He thinks practical, and that directs him to the visor slits. He can make a clean kill headshot in less than a second and a half, two rounds for kill insurance, and probably protect the atmospheric integrity of the airgate.
All this, all this decided, unbidden, instinctive, in less than a nanosecond.

Nanosecond 'thinking/assessment' times for an Ultramarine, boltgun resilience of Maximus plate. Also 'armoured skin/airgate skin' that is self repairing/sealing.

Page 23-24
In the west, just a cloudy ghost low in the sky, one of the orbital shipyards has just risen like a moon. Thiel knows of eight others. Soon, Calth will rival Macragge’s manufacturing output, perhaps in two or three decades. There is already talk of a projected superorbital plate. Like Terra. Terra has superorbital plates. The master worlds of the Imperium have plates. Calth will join Macragge, Saramanth, Konor, Occluda and Iax as one of the master worlds of the Ultramar sector, and between them, they will govern a vast swathe of the Ultima Segmentum. Calth will be one of the anchor points of the coming civilisation.

Calth has 9 shipyards, and is 'almost' a major world, suggesting the other mentioned worlds might have similar scale of industry. Also mention of the 'Ultramar Sector' Bear that in mind for later.
Also other worlds besides Terra have 'orbital plates'

Page 28
solar radiation burns suffered by many of the combatants, principally the human (specifically non-transhuman) troops.
The last of these veterans to die, many years later, still refuse graft repair...

(skin?) Grafts for radiation wounds.

Page 29-30
When the war is done, as it must eventually be done, when there are no more enemies to end and no more worlds to conquer, what will the transhumans who have built the Imperium do then?
Pine away and die?
Become an embarrassment? A gore-headed reminder of older, more visceral days when humans needed superhumans to forge an empire for them? War is acceptable when it is a necessary instrument of survival. When it is no longer needed, the very fact that it was ever a necessary instrument at all becomes unpalatable.
Guilliman had shaken his head to both. "My father does not make mistakes of that magnitude," he had said. "Space Marines excel at warfare because they were designed to excel at everything. Each of you will become a leader, a ruler, the master of your world and, because there is no more fighting to be done, you will bend your transhuman talents to governance and culture."

An interesting change in viewpoint from prior novels, especially concerning the fate of Marines after the Crusade was won. It also echoes some of the earlier ideas of Horus and the Luna Wolves, or Corax and his intentions after the Crusade was ended.

Page 30
"I was wondering what was so amusing about a manifest list of eighty super-heavy armour pieces"
..mass-loader engines carry four-hundred-tonne tanks into the bellies of bulk liftships.

Mass loaders, and 400 tonn superheavies.

Page 31
"Head or spine, mass-reactive," replies Braellen. "Or heart."
"Heart shot won’t stop one. Not guaranteed. Filthy things soak up damage, even boltguns."
"So, skull or spine."
"What do I have?" asks Braellen.
"Your bolter. A combat sword."
"Skull or spine." says Braellen, "or both or whatever works. Maximum trauma. If it comes to close combat, decapitation."
"The wrinkle is, don’t let it ever get that close," says Domitian. "They’ve got strength in them. Shred your limbs off. Sometimes, the damned things keep going when their skulls are off or open. Nerve roots, or something. Keep them at bay, if you can – ranged weapons, bolter fire. Maximum trauma."

Ork kiling tips. Says alot about their durability.

Page 33
The posters and the handbills all called Ultramar ‘the New Empire’. The slogan seemed a little disloyal, but the point was made. The rich new cluster of worlds that great Guilliman had made compliant, and wrangled into a brawny frontier republic, had the look of a new empire about it. The posters were trying to appeal to the settlers and colonists streaming out towards the Rim on the coattails of the expeditionary fleets. Come to Ultramar and share our future. Build your new life on Calth. Settle on Octavia. New worlds, New destinies!

Ultramar is advertising to encourage settlement and immigration.

Page 33
The fusion plants of Neride generate the power that lights the lamps of Numinus City and Kalkas Fortalice.

Fusion reactor power sources on Calth

PAge 33
He keeps them all in line with an ex-Army loader servitor called Graft. Graft cannot be conditioned not to call him "Trooper Persson".

Loader servitor that gets 'retired' from the aRmy :P

Page 40
The XIII Legion, largest of all the Legiones Astartes, is divided into Chapters, a throwback to the old regimental structures of the thunder warriors. Each Chapter is formed of ten companies. The basic unit currency is the company, a thousand legionaries, plus their support retinue, led by a senior captain.

Ultramarines organziation . Companies are 1000 men rather than 100 at this time, and their format is baesd on old Thunder Warrior formations.

Page 40
Today, at Calth, twenty of the XIII’s twenty-five Chapters will conjunct for deployment. Two hundred companies. Two hundred thousand legionaries. The remainder will maintain garrison positions throughout the Five Hundred Worlds of Ultramar.
Such a gathering is not unprecedented, but it is rare. The XIII hasn’t been oathed out in such numbers since the early days of the Great Crusade.

500 worlds in the Ultramar 'sector' Which makes it a pretty damn big sector. Assuming that it is average for a sector in the Crusade era Imperium we're talking 2000 or so sectors.
Also 50K troops per 500 worlds is 100 Ultrasmurfs per world as a garrison.
200K Marines is also considered an 'rare' gathering of force.

Page 42
Below them, the vast hull of the flagship gleams in the sunlight as it extends away. Macragge’s Honour. Twenty-six kilometres of polished ceramite and steel armour. Flanking it, at lateral anchor marks, eighteen fleet barges, each one the size of a city, gleam like silver-blue blades. In tiers above, grav-anchored like moons, are shining troop ships, carriers, Mechanicum bulkers, cruisers and grand cruisers and battleships. The space between is thick with small ships and cargo traffic, zipping between holds and berths.

A glimpse of the fleet in orbit around Calth. note the 26 km flagship for Guilliman, as well as the 18 'fleet barges (battlebarges) which are bigger than more mundane 'battleships. Aslo the various cruisers, grand cruisers and the like.

Page 43
"I had seen that the Mlatus is eighty-two hundred tonnes overladen, and suggest the yard chiefs reassign the 41st Espandor to the High Ascent. "

WE dont know what the ship is (Yet) but 8200 tons is considered a significant burden. Abnett seems to still be following the FFg masses ni this context :P The funny thing is that seems to be one whole regiment.. you have to wonder what they're carrying to overburden a ship THAt much.

Page 43-44
"Primarch Lorgar’s fleet has been translating into the system since midnight, Calth standard," says Gage. "The first retinues are assembling. We understand the primarch is crossing the system terminator, inbound at high realspace velocity."
"So… sixteen hours out?"
"Sixteen and a half"

We dont know how far out per se they are, except that its far more than millions of km. Given other abnett novels 1-9 AU seems a good guess (hundreds of millions to billions of km) For 1 AU at 16.5 hours we ar eprobalby looking at 17-18 gees and a max speed of around 5100 kps to cross that distance. For 9 AU we're looking at some 150 gees and some 45,500 km/s.
Of course if we take 'high realspace velocity' in context of the speed of light or previous calcs (.75c or such, like from sabbat Martyr) we're probably looking at some fraction of c close to or greater than half the speed of light.
We also learn that the Mandeville limit decribed later we might be talking as much as 15-20 AU for an Earth-like solar system (they use Earth as a standard in other cases, so why not. The actual distance is arbitray but I use Pluto as my benchmark which is close to the 50 AU marker for Earth from ''flight of the Eisenstein') which means closer to billions of km.. about 4x the distance of 9 AU or so. for 20 AU we'd get ~375 gees and .34c respectively for a 16 hour period.

PAge 56
The speeder is a hefty two-man machine with forward gunmounts, its cobalt-blue armour flaked with dust and bruised with the dents and scrapes of use. The cockpit is open. Grav plates keep the ground at bay, and the drive-plant is over-powered to help it slide all that armour around.
nav-track display to the left of the driver blinks a route overlay. The display is armoured and grilled against wear and tear. The speeder is a working machine with bare metal along most seams.
The twitching cursor on the illuminated display is supposed to be them. The etched line is the highway. At the foot of the screen is a blob, that’s Erud station. At the top, a triangular icon.
Red hazard hatching appears on the etched line ahead of the cursor.

Some sort of speeder, and the nav track gear. It has the bulky, utilitarian feel of Imperial tech we've all come to know and love (loathe?)

PAg 56-57
Trundling troop transports, cargo-20s, towed artillery, tank transporters, laden. Each hulking vehicle zips by and falls behind, each one glimpsed for a second as they pass it in the odd light, in the air that is both dry with dust and wet with rain. Troop truck, gone. Troop truck, gone. Troop truck, gone. Troop truck, gone.
Self-propelled guns now, zipping past, barrels up to sniff the sky. Ten, twenty, thirty units. The damn column is forty kilometres long. Shadowswords. Minotaurs. New Infernus-pattern armour and regimental troop carriers.

Army convoy and vehicles. Seems quite vehicle heavy.

PAge 61
He is clearly being fed behind the eyes by some direct-to-retina datasystem. Ventanus can tell from the slightly glassy way his eyes de-focus to verify the names.

Footman gear. rather useful, and remidns me of the stuff Astartes must use for their helmet displays.

Page 62
His name is Eikos Lamiad. His rank is tetrarch and also Primarch’s Champion. The four tetrarchs represent the four master worlds that command the fiefdoms of Ultramar under the authority of Macragge: Saramanth, Konor, Occluda and Iax. Lamiad’s fiefdom is Konor, the forge world. The tetrarchs are the four princes of Ultramar, and they rule the Five Hundred Worlds, standing in the hierarchy of power below Guilliman and above the Chapter Masters and the planetary lords.

Organization of Ultramar. Seems a bit like the subsector/sector organization, with one 'major' capitaol world responsible for scores (100) lesser worlds.

Page 63
Lamiad was grievously wounded during the defence of Bathor. Shuriken shrieker rounds blew his skull apart and dismembered his body, but the worshipful Mechanicum elders of Konor Forge rebuilt him, respectful of his service and his good governance of their world holding.
It is said he would inhabit a Dreadnought chassis now, but for their ministrations.

Dreadnought alternative.

Page 67-68
Ten thousand people work in the Watchtower, and another fifty thousand function in the gun towers and administration buildings around it. It is alert, a sentient place, its noospheric architecture designed on Hesst’s forge world, Konor, and supported by technologies supplied directly from the fabricatories of Mars.
The tower supports its own manifold field, and is inloading data to him and the other seniors at a rate equivalent to the noospheric broadcast of eight hundred Battle Titans. Sixty moderati of the highest quality, working in amniotic armourglas caskets set into the deck, help to cushion that flow and parse it for comprehension.
From this deck, from this summit, Hesst can issue – by means of a simple code command across his permanent MIU link – the order to commit the planet’s weapon grid. Two hundred and fifty thousand surface-based weapons stations, including silo launchers and automated plasma ordnance, plus tower and turret guns, field stations, polar weapon pits. He can activate the immense void shield systems that umbrella Calth’s principal habitation centres. He can bring on-line the nine hundred and sixty-two orbital platforms, which include outward-facing protection systems and surface-aiming interdiction networks. Furthermore, he can harness and coordinate any and all available forces on the ground, and any fleet composition assembling at high anchor or in the shipyards.
Which means that, today, because of the conjunction, Server Hesst has immediate personal control over more firepower than Warmaster Horus. Or, it’s conceivable, the Emperor himself.

Calth's orbital/fixed defenses and a comparison of capability. The computer stuff is interesting as a comparison, as wlel as all the noosphericas and other titan related stuff. The theatre voids and the defense systems as well.

Page 69
<You are running hot,> she blurts to him in binaric code, a microsecond transmission on the intimate direct mode. It is non-verbal, but the blurt contains code signifiers for Hesst, and for a Titan battle unit straining its drives

Admech microsecond communications.

Page 69-70
Calth’s weapons grid has multiple redundancies and stratified forms of cross-check and authorisation. It cannot be abused or used in error by any single individual: not Hesst, not the forty other servers in the Watchtower, not the six thousand two hundred and seventy-eight magi and adepts stationed planet-wide, or the garrison commanders of the Army or the local divisions. Nothing can happen without his personal consent.
Every time a ship arrives, or moves, or passes another, or joins formation, or enters a yard, or docks, or begins to refuel, or begins a sunward circuit to certify its drives, an alarm sounds. Every non-standard motion or manoeuvre system-activates the grid, and Hesst has to reject a firing query.
It’s actually the most superb test and demonstration of Calth’s grid, but it is becoming tiresome. From the summit of the Watchtower, Server Hesst controls the effective firepower of a major fleet, that firepower distributed across the surface and orbit. The system is hyper-sensitive, so that nothing can take it by surprise and secure an advantage. Every non-standard movement triggers an automatic firing solution from the grid, which Hesst has to personally reject in discretionary mode. He’s currently getting between eighteen and twenty-five a second.
Tawren knows that standard Mechanicum operating practice under such conditions, as advised by both the forgemasters of Konor and the exalted elders of Mars, is to temporarily bypass the multi-nodal automatics of the grid‘s alert processors and, for the duration of the fleet manoeuvres, transfer approval control to the automatic stations. Let the sentient machines of the platforms shoulder the burden. Let them cross-check the constant inload of data. Let them verify the anchorage codes and the traffic registration marks.

A comment about the manual and uatomatic control systems of the defense network. Note the Magos is able to process 18-25 fire requests per second. And also the decentralized, redundant computer/automatic control system
Also the Calth defenses constitute the firepower of 'a major fleet' How big that is we dont know yet.

Page 71-72
"he grid is designed to be multi-nodal. That is its strength. It has no single heart, no single brain. It is global. Take out any point, even this Watchtower, even me, and any other ranking server or magos can take over. The grid will adjust and recognise the discretion of the next in line. This tower could topple, and a server on the far side of the planet would instantly take over. Multi-nodal redundancy is a perfect system. You cannot kill anything that has no centre. So I’d prefer not to weaken the integrity of this planet’s defence system even slightly by opting out of discretion and transferring approval oversight to the orbital engines."

Commentary again on the nature of the 'multi-nodal' setup of the defenses.

PAge 72
Any complex information system will produce scrapcode as a result of internal degradation. She knows that. She wonders what he means, and peers into the manifold.
She sees the scrapcode, dull amber threads of diseased information buried in the mass of healthy data. There is two per cent more of it than any Analyticae projection has calculated for the Calth noosphere, even under the irregular circumstances of the day. That is an unacceptable margin.
<Filtration isn’t clearing it.>


Page 74
The Brotherhood of the Knife uses whatever equipment it can gather or forage: hauberks, body armour, ballistic cloth, sometimes a little chainmesh.

Various kinds of body armour

Page 75
He’d been living on Mars when he was approached and recruited by the Cognitae. At least, that’s what they thought they’d done.
Fowst knew about the Cognitae. He’d made a particular study of occult orders, secret societies, hermetic cabals of mysteries and guarded thought. Most of them were old, Strife-age or earlier. Most were myths, and most of the remainder charlatans. He’d come to Mars looking for the Illuminated, but they turned out to be a complete fabrication. The Cognitae, however, actually existed. He asked too many questions and toured datavendors looking for too many restricted works. He made them notice him.
If the Cognitae had ever been a real order, these men were not it. At best, they were some distant bastard cousin of the true bloodline. But they knew things he did not, and he was content to learn from them and tolerate their theatrical rituals and pompous rites of secrecy.

The Cognitae apparently existed in Pre-Heresy times. I thought that was an invention of modern (Ravenor era) times. I acutally kinda prefer it that way.

Page 76
The Imperial truth was, in Fowst’s opinion, a lie. The Palace of Terra doggedly enforced a vision of the galaxy that was rational and pragmatic, yet any fool could see that the Emperor relied upon aspects of reality that were decidedly un-rational. The mind-gifted, for example. The empyrean. Only the Word Bearers seemed to acknowledge that these things were more than just useful anomalies. They were proof of a greater and denied mystery. They were evidence of some transcendent reality beyond reality, of some divinity, perhaps. All of the Legiones Astartes were founded on unshakeable faith, but only the Word Bearers placed their belief in the divine. They worshipped the Emperor as an aspect of some greater power.

Can't say I disagree iwth the guy in this respect.

Page 77
Eight names are now in the system. Eight names broadcast into the dataflow of the Imperial communications network. No filter or noospheric barrier will block them or erase them, because they are only composed of regular characters. They are not toxic code. They are not viral data. But once they are inside the system, and especially once they have been read and absorbed by the Mechanicum’s noosphere, they will grow. They will become what they are. They will stop being combinations of letters, and they will become meanings.
Caustic. Infectious. Indelible.
There are eight of them. The sacred number. The Octed.
And there can be more. Eight times eight times eightfold eight…

Chaos scrapcode.

Page 77
[mark: -14.22.39]
Still over twelve hours out of Calth orbitspace, the fleet tender Campanile performs a series of course corrections, and begins the final phase of its planetary approach.

Note the timeframe and locale.

page 79
The port district is loud and busy. Huge semi-auto hoists and cranes, some of them looking like quadruped Titans, are transferring cargo stacks to the giant bulk lifters on the field.

Titan sized cargo lifter equipment.

Page 87-88
Guilliman steps onto the hololithic plate as it starts to come to life. The tiered stations of the flagship’s bridge rise up around the vast plate like the stalls of an amphitheatre.
Light blooms around him.
Figures resolve, there but not there at all. Light has been captured, folded and twisted to give the illusion of reality. Guilliman knows that, somewhere, millions of kilometres away, other deck systems are fabricating images of him out of light. He is appearing as a hololithic presence on the lithocast decks of other stages, for the benefit of the august commanders whose ghosts are manifesting to him here.
Though luminous, there is true density and solidity to his flesh and his armour. There is no lag to his audio, no desynchronisation between mouth and voice. Remarkable.

Hololithic communciations technology. The interetsing thing is that despite being millions of km away its implied to be virtually realtime. Also they can amke remarkably good holographic representations.

Page 88
"This seems premature. I was informed of your request. I have had no time to dress in ceremonial attire–"
"Brother," says Guilliman. "You see that I greet you in regular battle plate too."

Lorgar gets interrupted by Guilliman. If they were limited to lightspeed lag at the given distance, that would not be possible. Suggesting FTL speeds at least of 7c if not faster.

Page 88
" You are just a few hours out now?"
"Decelerating fast," Lorgar replies. He looks at someone not caught inside the hololithic field of his bridge. "The shipmaster says five hours."

Assuming 2 million km at 5 hours we're talking a few gees and hundreds of km/s velocity.

Page 98
[mark: -1.01.20]

The fleet tender Campanile passes the inner Mandeville Point of the Veridian System, outer marker ring 16, and the local picket. It broadcasts full and correct anchorage codes to the watch ships at ring 14, and to the Veridius Maxim Star Fort. The Star Fort retracts its target acquisition lock and signals the tender to pass.
The ship appears to be decelerating.

According to latter sources a Mandeville point is equal to 'one half the radius of an average star system' This is somehwat arbitrary, but I choose the edge of pluto and Earth as 'standard' (They use Terra for standards in everything else so this stands to reason. Pluto is one definition of the edge nad probably hte smallest justifiable one.) Which means close to ~20 AU.
Its not exact but I'd guess its more than 10 and less than 40 AU (by my definitions at least.) We also know from page 77 that the Campanile was 12 hours out from orbit space and probably outside the Mandeville point. So we could say between 10-20 AU and 1-12 hours timeframe roughly. Now bear in midn they're starting to (apparently) slow down from a high speed, so they travelled that distance in that time.
Given that we'd figure 10-20% of ligthspeed. I'd guess the Inner mandeville point is maybe 1 AU or so from the planet (Abnett usually uses that as a close translation point, and 9 AU isnt unusual for a long distance one) so it probably fits (and it doesnt give us wacky math.) Assuming around 30-40 km/s travel speed we're talking betwee 80 and 990 gravities, depending on the timeframe and distances oyu use. This is very rough and probably not accurate.
Using the relativistic star ship calculator I get 400 gees and .25c for a 12 hour, 10 AU transit. 10 AU in 1 hour is.. murkier where you get into tens of thousand of gees and close to lightspeed, although a 1 AU distance gets you .28c and 5000 gees.
It goes without saying that the distance is (Based on the savage scars/Eye of Terror/sons of Fenris) limits 2.3 million and 25-30 million km, respectively. The first being the absolute definite closest (since only high end Inquisitorial vessels or insane/lucky captains do that usually) and the other is the more probable absolute closest (Rogue Trader/Astartes vessles). At 2.3 million km we're talking 80-100 gees which is 'only' 1400-1500 km/s, and probably a bit conservative since we're actually talking ~45 minutes between events based on 'mark' times. At 25 to 30 million km you're talking betwee 750-1000 gees and 4.5-5% of lightspeed.
How this all plays out is a bit messy, since the calcs generally assume 'decel to zero' but we don't quite know how fast the ship is travelling when it does its ramming action (we can guess but that's all) and that skews the acceleration. I'd generally opt more for the lower estimates for accel and more towards the higher (tens of thousands of km/s) velcoities probably.. although both are still most definitely 'order of magnitude' estimates even then.

Page 104-105
[mark: -0.20.20] The Campanile crosses the inner ring, its codes accepted by the defence grid. The mass of the fleet disposition lies ahead of it, the yards. The bright glory of Calth.
As it passes within the orbit of Calth’s moon, it begins an abrupt acceleration.

Important for events very shortly.

Page 105-106
Point blank, the plasma bolt strikes Honorius Luciel’s torso. The bolt is as hot as a main sequence star. It vaporises armour plate, carapace, reinforced bone, spinal cord. It annihilates meat, both hearts, and secondary organs. It turns blood into dust. The shot’s hammer blow impact knocks Luciel down, through the table...
The plasma shot has burned a massive hole clean through him. His body is cored. The deck plating is visible through his twitching torso. The edges of the gaping damage are scorched and cooked by superheating. His armour is likewise punctured, the cut edges glowing. Larraman cells cannot hope to clog or close a wound quite so catastrophic. Tchure is on his feet, his chair tipping backwards behind him, toppling. He swings the plasma weapon down, aims it at Luciel’s face, and fires again.
The goblet lands on the third bounce, rolls in a circle, and comes to rest on its side next to Honorius Luciel’s seared and shattered skull.

Plasma pistol against AStartes armour. I'm not going to calc it other than saying high kj/low Mj depending on the exact calcs. We don't really know the diameter of the wound (except that it affected two hearts) and did considerable thermal effects. I'd guess maybe a head sized hole, but whether it was purely vaporized (or explosive vaporization, with the bulk pulverized) isn't clear either.

PAge 110-111
Something is coming at them. Something is moving into the dense and rigorously controlled shipping formations spread across the close orbit band. Something is sweeping through the orbital high anchorage without approval or authorisation.
What happens next, though they are looking straight at it, happens too fast for them to see.
[mark: -0.18.34]

The Campanile accelerates. It lights its main realspace drives, delivering main extending thrust in a position where it should be almost coasting at correction burst only. It raises its void shielding to make itself as unstoppable as possible. It fires itself like a bullet at the planet Calth.
Main extending thrust is a drive condition used for principal acceleration, the maximum output that takes a starship to the brink of realspace velocity as it makes the translation to the empyrean. It is a condition that is used as a starship moves away from a planet towards the nearest viable Mandeville Point, a distance that is roughly half the radius of an average star system.
There is no such long run-up here. The Campanile is already inside the orbit of Calth’s satellite. There is not enough range for it to reach anything like maximum output or velocity. Even so, it is travelling at something close to the order of forty per cent of the realspace limit as it reaches the edge of the atmosphere. It is travelling too fast for anything physical, such as an eye or a pict-corder or a visual monitor, to see it. It is only visible to scanning systems and sensors, to detectors and auspex.
The Campanile streaks like a missile into Calth’s orbital shipping belt. It punches through the formations of ships in parking orbit, the rows of freighters, barges and troop vessels at high anchor, the precisely spaced lines of vast cruisers and frigates, the glittering clouds of small craft, loaders, lifters and boats attending the parent ships.

The campanile fleet tender (of unknown size) basically is sent by the Word Bearers on a ramming course through the Ultramaarines fleet stationed there. High anchor I take to mean high orbit, but there are plenty of low orbital things too. I gather its aimed at Calth so it heads past the moons into low orbit, causing the destruction in its wake.
That is about all we know. We know it accelerated for about a minute and a half, but we dont know its starting (or ending) velocity which complicates things. We also know it just passes Calth's moon before accelerating but that doesn't help much since we dont know the size or orbits. Most latter evidence suggests a significant part of the orbital stuff was clustered towards low orbit, although 'high anchor' might suggest a geostationary/high earth orbit. We also know it takes 'less than a second' for all this to occur, and we're in all probably talking about crossing a distance of thousands if not tens of thousands of km even in close orbital space And its possible/likely that the ship's velocity was low at the start (hundreds or tens of km/s) which means it had significant acceleration in a short time (if we assume 200 km/s to 2000 km/s in ~100 seconds we're talking ~1800 gees accel.
On the other hand we're given refrences to 'brink of realspace velocity' and 'maximum velocity' or 'forty percent of the reailspace limit' which could mean 40% the speed of light (or close to lightspeed). Or it could mean close to the maximum they can attain. Which in turn could mean something like .75c (from flight of eisenstein or Sabbat Martyr.) Given Abnett's prior context this is likely, but it could also be interpreted as 'maximum' relative to other factors (what the ship's engines are capable of in a given context, for example.) - the point is without more explicit velocity need not be fixed. Thousands or tens of thousands of km/s is a good guess, given the earlier clacs for the Campanile and what I guessed.
The other interesting point is the definition of a mandeville point. This seemst o be Abnett's new term for 'warp translation' point - where a ship enters or exits the warp (its mentioend in Prospero burns as well.) Although with 'inner' Mandeville points it seems to be a region rather than a specific point (suggesting ships enter or exit realspace at different points due to quality and accuracy of drives, I wager.)

Page 112-113
The Calth Yards are orbiting islands, the fledgling beginnings of the planet’s first proper superorbital plate. There are a dozen of them orbiting Calth. This is Calth Veridian Anchor, the largest and oldest of them. It is a massive edifice of jetties and slips, ship cradles and docks, suspension manufactories, habitats, depots and docking platforms. It is a little over three hundred kilometres across, a raft of metal and activity and life.
The Campanile hits it, creating light. Void shields moving at high sub-light velocities strike physical matter, and mutually annihilate. The tender simply vaporises the Ultramar Azimuth Graving Dock, shredding the superstructure of the giant berth cradle, and the cruiser Antipathy docked inside it. Cut in half, the nine kilometre-long Antipathy vanishes in a ripple of rapidly expanding heat and light as its drives detonate, and six thousand lives disappear with it

Calth at this time had a dozen shipyards, and the oldest was over 300 km across (eg freaking huge) which gives you an idea of their ability to build. Assuming it had dimensions roughly equal to a Ramilies (the rectangular bit) It might be a good 30-50 km thick, and assuming 250 kg/m^3 density it would weigh nigh on 700 trillion tonnes, which is right in Death STar mass Territory (at least for the first one) And this isnt neccesarily an unusual contruction at this point in time, and had to have been built within the last few centuries (probably far less.)
Again note 'high-sub light velocities' which while suggestive of relativistic travel, is not really definite enough to be taken.
Also note the 9 km long cruiser (whether its a regular cruiser, heavy cruiser, battlecruiser, or what we dont know.) Also note its apparent crew of 6000, which suggests a shit-ton of automation.
Also note how the Companile has endured multipel collisions (albeit shielded) and survived mostly intact.

Page 113
As the Ultramar Azimuth Graving Dock disintegrates behind it, it punches on through Assembly 919, a hollow spheroid currently housing the Menace of Fortis, the Deliverance of Terra and the Mechanicum fabrication ship Phobos Encoder.
Part of the Phobos Encoder is flung out of the explosion and spins into the yard’s principal cargo facility, which buckles laterally. This secondary impact destroys forty-nine lift ships and one hundred and sixty-eight small lighters and ferries. Cargo pods and transportation containers spew out like beads from a snapped necklace, like grains of rice from a ripped sack. They spill, tumbling. Some start to glow blowtorch blue as they plunge into the high atmosphere.

More destruction. I've really trimmed down the level of destruction, and a great many more large and small impacts - literally dozens - occur in the text.
Note the Fabricator ship - mobile shipyards. Also note the cargo pods and containers and other things that are broken open and spilling. That plays a role very shortly, both as an observation and as a note of where all this may be occuring.

Page 113
The Aegis of Occluda catches fire, all seven kilometres of it, in its ship cradle.

A 7 km long starship. What it is we dont know.

Page 114
The battleship Spirit of Konor, seventeen kilometres long and one of the most powerful warships in the fleet of the Five Hundred Worlds, ignites, and then vanishes as critical damage compromises its power plants and vast munitions stockpiles.

17 km long battleshp, which perhaps gives us a good idea of the scope and power of Crusade era battleships and battle barges (at least the high-end ones.

Page 114
The grand cruiser Antrodamicus, supported by that dock, rips free of its moorings and begins to slide backwards out of the collapsing cradle, in some ghastly parody of a ship launch.
It is a huge ship, twelve kilometres long.

12 km long Grand cruiser.

Page 114-115
The Campanile is still moving. Its shields finally fail and it is just a solid projectile, a mass of metal. It annihilates two more slipways, and the ships within them, cripples the anchored carrier Johanipus Artemisia, and then rams through the data-engine hub in the centre of the yard structure. All the data-engines are destroyed instantly. The automatics fail. The noosphere experiences a critical and fatal interrupt. Another thirty-five thousand individuals perish as the yard’s core is obliterated.
Impact has virtually erased the unshielded mass of the Campanile. Its structure is atomised, except for the largest chunks of it, which punch onwards as the ship breaks up, still travelling at immensely high realspace velocities, communicating billions of tonnes of force.
This entire catastrophe has taken less than a second to occur. It has been entirely silent, a light-blink in the soundless void.

Unshielded mass transmits 'billions of tonnes of force' - whether this means force literally, KE, or what we dont know. but it does represent a shit ton for a collision - and this is the tail end of the things. The ship's shields have failed after devastating countless ships, and it is still largely intact. And then it still connects with multiple collisions before itself being destroyed.
And it all takes place in a second - it crosses the orbits of all these craft and causes this devastaiton in under a second. Again suggesting thousands, if not tens of thousands (or more) kilometres crossed in that time.
And while none of this is exactly calcable in any concrete way (The ships are at dock for one thing, and we dont know the exact manner of collisions, the size of the ship in question, or its exact velocity) we can tell a few things. Even if it was traveling at a relatively 'low' speed (a few hundred to a few thousand km/s - I doubt you could serisouly argue all the tonnage it destroyed was only within a few tens of km.. and a few hundreds of km is pushing it - hell one of the shipyards was a few hundred km across!) we are dealing with a VERY hypervelocity impact (at a minimum), and a freaking fleet tender - a transport. The transport endures MANY impacts at hypervelocity - if not relativistic (although definitions there are also flexible) - and it remains intact. Shields are only lost towards the end, and evne then it takes some unshielded impacts. (at hypervelocity - things tend to vaporize explosively at those speeds and energies - think asteroid impact.) Taken all in context it says something about their overall resilience, even if in general terms and purely in terms of the tender itself (other ships are harder to measure, since at least some of the destruction will be from the fact starships, stations, etc. are not inert targets.)

As a general idea - if we assume the Transport masses some 5 million tonnes (about the size of an escort in FFG tonnages), and travels at a velocity of 1000 km/s it possesses some 5e20 J of KE (~120 gigatons) and some 1e15 kg*m/s worth of momentum. Neither is a trivial number.

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-03-26 06:31pm

Part 2

Page 120
He can’t open the casket. There is no noosphere. There is no data inload.
His own sensors, the cyberorganic sensors of his combat chassis mount, tell him the external temperature of the casket is over five thousand degrees Celsius. His inertial locators tell him that he is upside down and falling.
At terminal velocity.

Dreadnought in a casket dropping through atmosphere at terminal velocity (now). The casket itself is intact despite a temp at 5000c (for another reference iron's melting point is ~1500c) and this is only an estimate of the external temp.
As it turns out, terminal velocity was the least of it, since the dreadnought gets dropped from orbit :)

Page 125
..Captain of the heavy destroyer Sanctity of Saramanth..

Heavy Destroyer

Page 126
The Infidus closes. It’s firing callous broadsides; the whole length of it lighting up with multicoloured fury. Each salvo causes the counter-active gravimetrics to tense and brace the ship against the monumental discharge.

broadsides involve some 'counter-active gravimetrics' to brace the ship. I gather this means its some sort of recoil countermeasure - either assisting in smoothing out the transmission of forces (recoil dampening system of sorts), but possibly also to help protect the crews against the effects of recoil (like an acceleration compensator.) Then again it coudl be some technowank way to 'dump' momentum, improbably stupid as that is (and it wouldn't be my choice either. It's as bad as mass lightening.)

Page 131
The grand cruiser Antrodamicus, twelve kilometres from bow to stern..

Again the size of the Grand Cruiser.

Page 141
A ship is falling backwards across the sky. A grand cruiser.
"The Antrodamicus."
It seems as if it’s hanging, but it’s only moments from impact. It’s going to crush the world. The fires of its demise will scorch the continent.

Implies that the collision/destruction of the Antrodamicus would involve destroying a continent, if not the world. As it turns out this is exaggerated (it doesn't) but it may give an indication of the magnitude needed to demolish such a ship (or at least what its reactor can output.. although if thats on a sustained basis or its entire fuel supply going up is up for debate.)

Page 143-145
t starts raining main battle tanks.
The first impact is surreal. Braellen sees it plainly. A Shadowsword super-heavy, almost perfectly intact apart from one trailing track section, drops out of the stained sky about sixteen hundred metres ahead of him. The tank’s hull plating is faintly glowing pink from re-entry.
It hits. Hammer blow. Blinding light. Shock-wash.
The impact creates an explosion akin to a primary plasma mine
hey stay upright as their power armour auto-locks and braces, sensing the explosion. Inertial dampers straining.
A second one does. A Baneblade, this time. It’s tumbling end over end. It hits the company shelters a kilometre west, and causes an impact blast that splits the ground and triggers a landslip on the facing hill. Then two more, both Fellblades, in quick succession. One crushes a pair of parked Thunderhawks. The other hits just off the trackway a split-second later and punches a crater, but doesn’t explode. It actually bounces, disintegrating.
Somewhere, far above, a low orbit depot has broken up and the packed contents have spilled out like treasure from a sack.
Enough war machines and equipment for a full division have been thrown down to be smashed by gravity. They’re too low to fully burn up. Air friction is simply heating them.

Superheavy tanks and other vehicles being dropped onto the ground from low orbit. While they never survive the collisions (They acutally make pretty big craters) the mainly interesting thing is how something so completey un-aerodynamic and generally designed for gorund fighting endures atmospheric reentry iwthout much in the way of problem (much like the dreadnoughts) - especially given how it cannot have been designed for that function to begin with. It says alot about the durability and general thermal resilience of the vehicles, that much is certain (superheavies if nothing else.) and that they are quite superior to modern materials.
Also power armor has its own inertial dampers and 'auto-lock/brace' to keep the MArines upright against explosions.
Also a shadowsword hitting at hundreds (or thousands) of km/s is equal to a 'primary plasma mine' whatever that is.. at least single digit (200 m/s) GJ, if not ihgher (2000 m/s is some 600 GJ for example) terajoule is not impossible if the reentry speed is high enough.

Page 150
A boltgun fires.
Battle-brother Karends explodes at the waist and collapses.

Bolt round(s) exploding armoured marines torso

Page 155
Seddom, another man Rane has got to know, takes a las-round to the cheek, and his head goes a peculiar shape as he falls over.

Lasround distorts/displaces human head, without popping it. Hard to calc though.

Page 158-159
Seneschal Arbute is knocked backwards. The head and shoulders of one of her aides become red mist as a round strikes and detonates. White-hot spalling and jagged shrapnel from the floor macerates the two vox-operator volunteers. The other staff aide, a clerk, is thrown into the module’s ceiling by the upward pressure of the blasts. His broken body then falls back and drops out through a floor that is no longer intact.
Mass-reactive. Detonating on impact. Legiones Astartes munition.
There is only smoke below, no clear target, no true thermal print. They fire anyway.
Arbute is dead. There isn’t a wound on her, but Ventanus knows that the overpressure and kinetic slam of the mass-reactive strikes will have pulped her human organs. Amant has been dropped. Two, perhaps three mass-reactive rounds have taken him from below. He is lying on his back on the rapidly perishing deck. His feet are gone, and the blasts have sliced the armour and flesh from his shins and thighs, his torso and his face.

More Astartes boltfire. Unarmoued perosn has head and hsoulders oblitered. Even more telling is the lethality of proximity effects - shrapnel shredding nearby people, the pressure blasts pulverizing organs without external damage, etc.
Even astartes from barrage has huge chunks of flesh and armour blown off his body.

Page 168-169
Their snarling gunports are open, their primary weapons extended in their silo bays. Charge batteries and plasma capacitors seethe with power, ready for lethal discharge
Detection and target systems beyond the darkest imaginings of the Mechanicum peer out into the noisy darkness and alight upon the scattering cobalt-blue vessels of the Ultramar fleet as though they were hot coals on cold ash. They find them, and they bind them, tracking them relentlessly, scrutinising them in lascivious detail, weighing and assessing their shielding and hull strength, while weapons batteries train and align, and munitions loads are ordered up. Bulk magazines chug and clatter as projectile shells and missiles are conveyed by automatic loaders, through-deck hoists or ordnance chutes.
Munitions fill the void like seed pods, like blizzards. Columns of scorching plasma and las, hundreds of kilometres long, stripe afterimages on the retinas of those who witness them. Main lance batteries vomit bright energy and spit light in beams, in gobs, in splinters, in twitching withies of lightning.

Word Bearers capital ship fire. Las and plasma weapons seem to run off batteries/capacitors, and they seem to have nonstandard (demonic?) targeting systems.
Also note the autoloaders, which have been described as 'thematically inappropriate' because it's not using people hauling on chains (which is proper 40K and should never ever be changed. To be fair autoloaders have been described as a lost tech for macrocannons so that has some merit.)
Also lance/beam fire seems to be a combination of sustained, pulsed, and 'other' kinds of discharge.

PAge 169
The Gladius, a four-kilometre-long escort from the Saramanth Wing, serially detonates as it draws clear of its slipway..

4 km long escort of some kind. This means that escort sizes cna overlap with the small (light) cruiser end of things. The largest escorts prior were aorund 2 km. It's possible these are the 'heavy' escorts alluded to earlier :P

Page 169-170
Its main spinal lance mount, a primary magnitude exo-las weapon, wakes and screams, uttering a shaft of matter-annihilating light that sends the picket cruiser Stations of Ultramar reeling from a hammering concussion as it attempts to defend the yard space. The cruiser tries to rally, trailing debris from a blackened and molten port side...
It raises its shields. The Flame of Purity fires its recharged exo-laser again. The shields surrounding the Stations of Ultramar do not even retard the beam. They pop like soap bubbles. The beam vaporises the cruiser’s central mass, until it’s merely a toroid of hull metal around a glowing white-hot hole. The Flame of Purity powers on, bumping the drifting ruin of the Stations of Ultramar aside on its magnetic bow-wave.

Battleship grade spinal lance mount. Echoes the 'plasma lance' of the Furious Abyss in Battle for the Abyss (which preceded this battle, yet we hear nothing of that...)

Page 170
In the dark pits of drive rooms and engineering chambers, hosts of stokers and allworks slave away with furious effort. The chambers are infernal, soot-caked and lit by the ruddy glare of the vast engines and reactor furnaces. Armies of stokers, sweat-sheened and roaring, eyes like white stones in blackened faces, shovel fuel ores and promethium pellets into the iron chutes. Servitor crews, their metal skins colour-bruised like old kettles by the constant heat, lever and haul on the throbbing activator rods that quicken the drive plants. Coal-black chains swing. Bellows wheeze and flush dragon-breath balls of roiling fire up flues and vent pipes. Abhuman labourers, troll-like and grunting, swelter as they drag in monolithic payload carts of raw fuel from the silo decks.

Engine room. Word bearers ship, I think. Men shovelling space fuel into furnaces is more thematically appropriate I suppose, and perhaps it makes up for the autoloaders before. Note the 'fuel ores' and 'promethium pellets.' Either we have diesel (fusion) powered spaceships, or promethium encompasses more than just petrochem (at least in an Abnett context.)
Note the troll like Abhumans as well.

Page 177
Bolt-rounds snap and whine through the trees. One pulps leaves in a mist of sap. One hits a tree trunk, explodes, and collapses the ancient tree wholesale. One destroys Brother Caladin’s head, and flips his corpse into a ditch.

More bolt round fire. One round explodes AStartes head.

Page 185-187
[mark: 01.16.32]
In a star formation, led by the barge Destiny’s Hand, seventeen ships of the XVII fleet enter low orbit and prosecute the southern hemisphere.
As they descend, the ships snipe and barrage at the local orbitals, destroying two yards outright and crippling a third.
The Courage of Konor is a plenilunar ball of white fire, consumed by fluorescent radiation from bow to stern. It falls like a meteor, turning and spinning. It strikes the cold, open ocean near the planet’s southern pole.
The impact is akin to an extinction event meteor strike. The atmosphere buckles for five hundred kilometres in all directions as the released heat and light squirt outwards in a distorted, epipolic flash. Trillions of tonnes of ocean water are vaporised instantly, and trillions more are upflung in an ejection cone. Tectonic damage occurs. The consequential tidal wave, a rolling wall of black water, hits the continental coast six minutes later and wipes out the littoral to a distance of four kilometres inland.
It is merely a prelude, collateral damage that forms a savage precursor to the assault proper.
The assault formation descends to the lowest possible operational altitude, their sizzling void shields squeaking and howling against the thin upper atmosphere. Ventral lance batteries and bombardment cannon begin to fire.
The systematic destruction begins.
There is no finesse involved. The northern hemisphere is dense with strategic targets and population centres that need to be targeted and secured. The northern hemisphere is also where most of the XVII ground forces could be landed prior to the hostilities without raising questions.
The southern hemisphere can, largely, be decimated.
The Hand’s formation does just that. Magma bombs blitz the bleak antipodean continents, scouring them with hellish firestorms. Lance fire turns seawater into steam, and rips oceans from their beds. Meson convertors and ion beamers dislocate the ancient tectonic patterns, buckle the crust, and send seismic spasms through the mantle. Smoke, ash and ejected matter stain the atmosphere. Steam clouds the polar latitudes.
Forests burn. Jungles scorch. Rivers vanish. Glaciers melt. Mountains collapse. Marshlands desiccate. Deserts fuse into glass.
Millions die in the scattered southern cities.

Bombardment of Calth by 17 Word bearers ships of unkonw type. Carrier of some kind collides with planet, vaporizes 'trillions' of tonnes of water. 2 trillion tonnes is 2e15 kg, around 5e21 J to vaporize.. and that is 'collateral' damage to the main bombadment. multiple magma bombs create continent wide firestorms which devastate them.. implying gigaton/teraton range firepower (more towards that) alhtough duration and number of bombs arent' known. Lance fire is boiling/vaporizing seas and oceans.. assuming an EArthlike ocean to within a magnitude we're talking e20-e21 kg, and I'd guess that half that (e19-e20 kg) is being vaped at the moment, which translates into some e25-e26 joules at least. They maybe vaporized at least part of the oceans (at least one) and some seas but hard to gauge. The black sea, for example is 5e17 kg (estimated from here) which would be around e22-23 to vaporize by itself. Beyond that we can't say since we lack timeframe and numbers.

The meson and ion beamers are itneresting, although wheter they are just particle beams or technobabble we don't quite know.. they seem to be pulverizing and shatteirng the crust.

That said without an accurate timeframe for this we cnat' really say more (yet) The bombardment seems to last at least an hour, possibly longer, but the context might imply much of this is happening sooner. We can say (at least) that 17 word bearers ships (including some battleships) are able to unleash teraton level devastation over a fairly short perod of time.
How this translates for ship to ship combat is also debatable. They're using ventral weapons, which seem to be dedicated bombardment weapons (not unlike those used in Dark Adeptus.) They may not be employing them at maximum firepower (EG Exterminatus levles) since they clearly indicate they are concerned about the forces on the other side of the planet. And yet this odesn't neccesairly mean most or all ship weapons are of comparable yield. It just shows what the weapons may be potentially capable of.

I'm also not sure just how possible what is described is. Much like with the 'Prospero burns' bombardment, or the Isstvaan bombardment's firestorm, it seems too abrupt and localized for anything above (perhaps) high TT level devastation, at least in the short term. Ocean vaporization may help avert some factors (like global firestorms) since the saturation of the atomsphere will affect the properties (like how hard it is to heat up) but it does remain a problem. It may even press for calcs to be more towards the conservative end (EG gigatons ratner than teratons, possibly less.) In absolute terms its not contradcitory (nothing says this is max power bombardment after all.) but it has to be borne in mind regardless.

Page 187
[mark: 01.37.26]
Guilliman watches.
There is no way to coordinate them fast enough to counter and check the planetary assault.
Calth is burning. Calth, jewel of Veridia, one of the great worlds of the Five Hundred, is violated, perhaps beyond any hope of recovery.

The bombardment has been going on for at least 20 minutes. Guilliman fears that devastation may have been irreversible. If we go by sea vaporizing and continent searing alone (call it e23-e24 scale) we might be sitting in the e18-e20 w scale for sustained firepower per ship. Of course, the nature of the ships is still up for the debate, and these are (probably) dedicated bombardment weapons, so speculation is iffy. I mean these could all be battleships firing for all we know.

Page 188
[mark: 01.40.41]
The world is trembling. On the far side of the globe, the planetary bombardment is under way, scourging the other hemisphere. The trauma, transmitted as a subterranean micro-shock and an atmospheric flicker of overpressure, can be felt even here.

Bombardment is still going on, but its effects can be felt (to some degree) on the far side of the planet. I'd guess that planet-scale trembling of that scale would require significant (teraton?) level bombardment to feel, but that's just an

Page 189
the heavy support, an armoured speeder with an autocannon mount.

Antigrav speeder, oculd be astartes but I suspect its a captured Army vehicle.

Page 190
There’s another shot. It’s not a las. It’s a gut-deep boom. Bolter. Garel explodes. There’s meat and black blood everywhere in a splatter pattern, covering them all, dark gore and liquidised tissue coating the dust that’s coating them. Teth flinches as he is hit by a whizzing chunk of Garel’s spine. He blinks blood out of his eyes. He sees teeth on the ground, teeth embedded in a chunk of jaw, teeth that just that second were grinning at him.

Bolt fire obliterates a person's body. GRenade level damage for sure.

Page 191
He comes off the roof of a fab-shop twenty metres back. A running jump off a six-metre drop. Transhuman muscle puts some real distance on that.

Astartes jump

Page 191
He starts to fire his giant combi-bolter.
Mass-reactive shells rip up the concourse. They explode and kill two of the Kaul Mandori that Ventanus had subdued but not slain.
..he can’t outrun shells of a combi-bolter, and his armour won’t stop them either.

Combi-bolter rounds. again exploding unarmored humans, suggesting grenade level damage or thereabouts. Inteesting thing is that its implied the Termiantor combi bolter rounds are more powerful (at least as far as armor penetration goes) than regular bolters. Which might not be surprising considering how earlier fluff have listed storm bolter roudns as penetrating 'eight inches of plasteel'.

Page 191-192
It’s the sound Selaton makes as he wrenches the speeder’s autocannon off its mount. He’s standing on the speeder, half inside the cab, one foot on the seats, one braced on the nose plate, the cabin roof peeled back as if to reveal him like a theatrical surprise. He’s got the multi-barrelled cannon wedged against his hip, the metal snake of the munition feeder coiling back, fat and heavy, into the crew bay.
He fires. The heavy weapon makes a grinding metal noise like bells being crushed through some kind of mill. A jumping lick of burning gases flickers around the rotating barrels.
The storm of shots brackets the cataphractii and rips across him. Fragments of metal flake off his armour in a puff of abraded smoke. Rubble on either side of him explodes. Pieces of the gorget and visor fly off, along with scraps of leather pteruges, shreds of horsehair, and broken mail rings. The shots penetrate in four places, allowing blood to glug out of the bare metal craters.
The Terminator stays upright for a long time, staggering backwards under the hail of fire. Finally, he goes down on his back with a crash.

The speeder-mounted autocannon takes down a terminator with sustained fire. We dont know the calibre of the rounds or the kind (they could be sub-calibre or some speical antimaterial projectile) but it is telling that the Smurf could stand on the vheicle and fire the thing accurately. Its either high calibre/slow rate of fire autocannon, or low calibre/high ROF autocannon.

Page 206
"I’m serious. There aren’t many of us, Oll. You know that. You and me, we could set our hands on the table here, and count them off, and we’d still have fingers spare. There never were many of us. Now there are even fewer."

Grammaticus here implies that between him and Oll there are fewer than twenty immortals/perpetuals. I wonder if that includes Oll and John?
I'd guess ther'es probably more than ten (hence tow sets of hands) and perhaps more than fifteen. But fewer than twenty.
Bear in mind that this is all they know - whether they know all that exists (and how they'd know thats all there are) is up for debate.

Page 207
"Don’t be greedy. You’ve lived several."
"Come on, Oll! You and me? Anatol Hive? Come on. The Panpacific? Tell me that doesn’t count for anything."
"It was a lifetime ago."
"Several. Several lifetimes."
"And what will you do when you’ve had enough of that? Will you quit it and move on to something else? When you’re tired of farming, what next? Teaching? Button-making? Will you join the Navy? You might as well, you’ve been Army already. What will you do? An ex-soldier-farmer-widower?"

Oll has had 'several lives'. Whether this means reincarnation or if he's just immortal and moves on periodically to assume a new identity, we don't quite know.
Also John and Oll have a past. What exactly that was we don't know, except it seems to be on Terra at some point and involved soldiering.

Page 208
"I haven’t got much time. I’m not here long. Just talking to you is taking a huge effort. We need you, Oll."
"They sent you? I bet they did."
"Yes, they did. They did. But I didn’t mean them. I meant humans. The human race needs you, Oll. Everything’s gone to shit. So, so badly. You wouldn’t believe it. He’s going to lose, and if he loses, we all lose."
"Who’s going to lose?" asks Oll.
"Who do you think?"
"What’s he going to lose?"
"The war," says John. "This is it, Oll. This is the big one, the one we always talked about. The one that we always saw coming. It’s happening already. Bloody primarchs killing each other. And the latest round of executions happens here, today. Right here on Calth."
"I don’t want any part of it. I never did."
"Tough shit, Oll. You’re one of the Perpetuals, whether you like it or not."
"I’m not like you, John."
John Grammaticus sits back and smiles, pointing a finger at Oll.
"No, you’re bloody not. I’m only what I am now thanks to xenos intervention. You, you’re still a true Perpetual. You’re still like him."
"I’m not. And I don’t have what you have. The talents. The psyk."
"It doesn’t matter. Maybe that’s why you’re important. Maybe you’re just important because you’re here. There are only three like us in the whole Five Hundred Worlds right now, and only one of them on Calth. Ground zero. That’s you. This is down to you. You don’t have a choice. This is down to you."
"Get someone else, John. Explain it to someone else."
"You know that doesn’t work. No one else is old enough. No one else understands as much. No one else has the… perspective. I tell anyone about this, they’ll just dismiss me as insane. And I don’t have time to spend another eighteen years in an asylum like last time I tried it. You’ve got to do this."

Lots of fascinating details here. Grammaticus is back, and he doesn't seem to be working for the Cabal anymore. If he ever did. He seems to be tied up with humanity - a change of heart perhaps based on Legion? The fact he has a past history with Oll tends to point to this, especially given Oll's implied age.

We also seem to learn about the Immortals/Perpetuals. 'Him' clearly refers to the Emperor, whom Oll seems to be like - at least as far as not aging/dying in the conventional sense. John seems to be sort of like them too, but more an artificial one (Xenos intervention), although this may suggest that there are different kinds of perpetuals (He seems to be functionally immortal now, whereas he needed Cabal aid to return to life.)

Whoever the Perpetuals are, they seem to have some connection to humanity and the Emperor, an informal organization, and a fair bit of precog or foreknowledge, since they apparently anticipated events of the Horus heresy. Who the 'They/humans' are is another thing - is there some other faction of humanity being aware of things and influencing events? Something tied to humanity in some positive or benevolent way that acts through the Perpetuals?

Also Oll is merely a human who ages long and has a long memory, he's no psyker or other superhuman talents.
I also have to wonder at the third perpetual apparently in the Ultramar sector, and why there are three there.
Outside the HH, it seems likely what we are seeing here is the Sensei/illumnati concept being revived in a fashion (the Cabal could perhaps be seen as the Eldar analogues to the whole Illuminati plot int ht sense.) and perhaps evne the human god/racial soul/starchild thing (which may very well be the 'they' Grammaticus is referring to. The nascent human god would have an interest in sustaining/preserving the Emperor against the machination sof Chaos. Perhaps the Perpetuals exist to serve them in some way? The Sensei were always the Imperial/human equivalent of chaos champions in their original vision, after all.

Some have also suggested that the Perpetuals may be tied to the old pre-Emperor/New Man shamans who could be constantly reborn, but in a different form or separate from the Emperor.

I also have to wonder if John is really, genuinely serving the human cause now, or if this is naother Cabal trick. Would john even know? Alternately, was he fooling the Cabal and serving humanity all along?
I have to say, this is a better iteration of Grammaticus than we had in Legion. And Oll is much better too.

Page 209
"Get out of here. They’re going to slide this world. An interstitial vortex. The old Immaterium sidestep. You’ve got to be ready to step through that door when it opens."
"You’ve got to get something, and you’ve got to bring it to me. Step through the door when it opens, and bring it to me. I’ll wait for you."

We dont know (yet) what it is he has to retrieve, but a vision of the battle on Horus Barge after Sanguinius bites it comes to mind, which tessl you the height of madness. Lots of foreshadwoing here.

Page 221
He tries to get up, but it’s too late. A third shell takes his head off.

Bolter decapitating Ultrasmurf.

Page 224-225
[mark: 4.55.34]
The Calth weapons grid goes back on-line. Its manifold re-ignites.
ll the orbiting weapons platforms, as well as several ground-based stations including the polar weapon pits, activate and begin to track as their power reservoirs come up to yield.
It takes approximately ten minutes before authority lights flicker green along the master control room’s main console.
There is a glimmer. A flash. Beams of coherent energy, beams of staggering magnitude, rip from Calth and from its orbital stations.
Calth has a weapons grid capable of keeping at bay an entire expedition fleet or primary battlegroup. Only the most devious and ingenious treachery has circumvented it today.
The weapons grid begins to discharge. Calth begins to kill the neighbouring planets in the Veridian system.
It starts with a massive asteroid world that orbits the system beyond the circuit of Calth’s moons. The asteroid, called Alamasta, is the main remnant of a planet that once occupied that orbital slot. It is now a rock the size of a major satellite.
It is no longer called Alamasta. It is known as Veridia Forge. It is the system’s principal Mechanicum station, and the most significant manufacturing venue in six systems.
Veridia Forge is helpless, its systems crashed by the same scrapcode that brought the Calth grid down.
It has no shields, no responsive weaponry, and no means of evasion.
It takes four prolonged strikes from the weapons grid. The first two burn away surface rock and immolate rockcrete bastions or adamantine bulwarks. The third voids the main fabricatory to space, and combusts the forge world’s reactor power systems.
The fourth causes Veridia Forge to explode like a newborn star.
For the next eighteen minutes, Calth has no nightside.

Calth's weapons grid in operation, and its power is measured in comparison to a 'expedition fleet' - presumably like the ones the Space MArines and Primarchs employ. Given the magntidue of most major vs minor conflicts we're probably talking scores or hundreds of ships, although I wouldn't rule out thousands.

It's also a bit hard to calc this one for a number of reasons. The first and most obvious is that we don't know how big Veridia Forge is. Depending on where you look, it's described as a 'forge world', a 'planet'. an 'asteroid', a 'small moon', and a 'major satellite' . You coudl argue its as small as something like Deimos or Phobos (MArs' moons) or perhaps something on the order of a small planet or large moon (like our own moon) or osmething in between (an asteroid hundreds of km in diameter.)

On top of that we know nothing about the composition or buildup on the surface. If its lower than lunar or planetary mass it may very well need artificial gravity to allow people to work on it (unless its a zero gee forge, which it could be. They do have 'automated factories' after a fashion after all.) Forges can vary in construction but many can be 'coruscant like' with large swathes of surface covered in metal. Or they may have large factories (some verging on the scale of contiennts), or they may resemble hive worlds more (surrounded and filled up by the waste of their production.) t mentions 'rockcrete bastions and adamantine bulwarks' alongside surface rock but it doesn't tell us ratios of exposed surfece to covered.

There's also the fact that it's got manmade structures, and hence is not completely inert. Indeed they mention the reactor going up and on many 'planets' reactors tend to contribute in a non-trivial manner to destruction (Even geothermal taps) and that can fudge the firepower calcs some (not too much, since its clear the desturction of the reactor did not totally destroy the moon on its own in any way, else the fourth salvo would have been pointless.)

Another complicating factor is that we know the defense grid has both ground and space based weapons, and of varying types. The beam weapons and the projectiles will travel at different speeds (this is even noted on later), and thus actual 'damage' will be skewed (some have noted that the salvos leading up to the last were subjectively 'less destructive' than the first because only the fourth shattered the moon, but this is silly because unless one assumes perfectly flat planar shockwaves, any devastation is going to penetrate into the surface of the moon and we dont know how deep with each salov. The variation that the different munitions adds only muddies this further.

If we use the solar system as a baseline for "major moons" as per here or here devastation could run from 8-12.6 km diameter Deimos to frigging Titan.. Disregarding 'world/planet' definitions as vague as determiners of size, we can stick with the small planet/major satellite angle.. which tells us the forge is probably a very large asteroid or a small moon (such as those definitions go) but far smaller than something like the Moon or Titan. I'd actually call Deimos an outlier too.. somewhere between tens or hundreds of km.

If we stuck with a purely arbitrary 100 km diameter asteroid. Depending on exact composition and whether it was fragmentation or merely cratering (by the Asteroid Desturction calculator) it could be anywhere from 180 gigatons to 1000+ TT (more if its pure nickel iron, although that is debatable.) Disregarding issues like melting or vaproization, 4 salvoes would represent some 45-250 gigatons apiece on average, which in turn would represent the average 'firepower' of said expeditionary fleets/battlegroups. As noted this number is purely arbitrary: If you go down to tens of km you'd probably have 'megatons'/salvo' and if you go higher it woudl be correpsondingly greater (teraton salvoes.)

It can still stand as supplementary evidence showing 40K firepower can (and proably does) reach at least into the high megaton/low gigaton range at leats on a 'per ship' basis but it doesn't mean much on its own without more concerete figures.
I would subjectively guess Abnett intended it to be a far bigger moon (on the order of hundred + km in diameter) but that's again purely a guess.

Page 229
A haze washes across the city and the port. It’s smoke, in vast quantities, but it’s also vapour. Steam. A fog swathes the skyline, blanketing the river basin and turning millions of individual fires into soft orange smudges. Ventanus has seen that phenomenon before, when large bodies of water have been flash-evaporated by sustained energy discharge. A dead ocean condenses over the city lowlands.

The time is [mark: 5.46.19] It seems the bombardment is continuing or is over, but at least one ocean has been boiled off.

Page 230
He knocks two of the enemy shooters off their feet, and then licks across a third. Ventanus sees a helmet explode like a red paint flare. The casualty rocks backwards off the bridge and hits the ground a second after they’ve passed underneath.
Selaton drops his angle and guns down one of the ground troops. The rotating cannon chews the figure up, shredding him like a sack of meat and metal chaff. The others stand their ground, firing straight at them. Ventanus, his grip unflinching, sees a mass-reactive round pass through the cabin between his head and Selaton’s and exit through the back port-slot.

Vehicle autocannon vs Word bearers and mortal troops alike.

Page 232
They attempt to re-lock target finders on the fleeing Ultramarines, but they are bewildered.
Searing plasma beams chop the gloom and slice them apart as they turn. The beams – scintillating green – fuse through and through blast holes in their armour and pop their helmets like balloons.

Skitarii grade energy weapons explode heads and destroy bodies of Word Bearers. Some implied mlting going on too.

Page 233
[mark: 6.12.33]
. In the last few hours, someone has died while being cradled in her arms.

Time since the assault began.

Page 237
"Are they part of the Calth arcology?" asks Ventanus. He recalls that significant systems of natural caverns lace the planet, and many are being developed as habitats. They are commonly used as population shelters when the local star undergoes its infrequent periods of maximum solar activity.

Calth's underground arcologies (hives)

Page 244
He has an electromagnetic longsword in one hand and a Kehletai friction axe in the other.
The sergeant puts the axe into it. The Kehletai, before they were extinguished during the bitter Kraal Compliance, made paper-thin blades that cut on a molecular level. The nanoedge blade of the axe is huge, bigger than a Fenrisian battle axe. It goes right through the thing, exploding rotten gore in all directions.

Exotic weapons from Guilliman's collection.

Page 254
"Contact," he reports. "Two kilometres from the north gate, coming this way out of the fog."
"We’ve got heat-sources," reports Arook. "Warm bodies."
"Confirming that," says Greavus, using a hand-held auspex.
"They’re using the fog as cover."

Range of thermal sensors and auspex.

Page 255-256
"Arook, have your skitarii paint heat-source targets in that fog bank for the benefit of the artillery crews. Tell Colonel Sparzi we will open fire in sixty seconds."

"You’re going to open fire?"
Beyond the ditch, at the very edge of the miserable fog, the first figures begin to loom. The feeble sunlight catches the dull sheen of crimson armour.

Range of artillery and field pieces. But the Skitarii are 'painting' the targets and the Arty has a range of around 1-2 km.

Page 259
The gun goes off. Krank feels surprisingly little pain considering he’s been shot through the forehead. Blood runs down his face. It’s hot. But there’s no pain. There’s not even any recoil or blowback.
The man with the pistol falls over. It’s his blood decorating Krank’s face. The side of the cultist’s skull has been shot off. It’s all matted hair and white bone shards and leaking pink.
Another man stands on the roadway. He’s got a las-rifle. He fires it again, and snaps the second cultist over on his back. Headshot. A really clean headshot. Marksman standard.

Lasgun headshot. Not sure if it means partial shattering of the skull, total head-splosion (not that there's a big difference ither way except in terms of penetration) which might be single/double digit kj. IF we're talking partial explosion it might be even more. For example using the usual 400 j per sq cm flash burn effect (assume 10-15cm radius we could be looking at 80-200 sq cm which is between 30 and 80 kj.
In any case assuming the head suffers some third degree burns we're still probably talking single double digit kj again.

Page 261
The enemy leaders press the cultists forward in serious numbers. The brotherhood warriors, swathed in black, are chanting, and Ventanus can hear drumming too. The Word Bearers are holding back, driving the cultists forward as shock troops into the earthwork ditch and against the gate.
Sparzi’s gun crews have been shelling into the enemy line for about twenty minutes. They’ve done some serious damage considering the comparatively light nature of the field pieces. The ground beyond the earthwork is peppered with craters and littered with dead. Shot callers on the palace walls are directing the gunners in on the moving mass. Shells fall into the ranged lines, lifting tattered bodies into the air with blasts of flaming debris.
Still they come, wave after wave.
"Small-arms!" Ventanus instructs the defenders at the gate and wall. His practical is to let the Army bear the brunt of this, because the legionaries need to spare their boltguns and heavier munitions for the Word Bearers.

We dont know the exact speed at which the cultists are moving, but I'd guess no more than 2-4 km/h tops. In ~21 minutes (60 seconds to fire the arty remember) they would have crossed btween 630-1260 meters. Which gives a range betwene 750-800 metres to 1.3-1.4 km, or approximately in line with the 900 meter carbine range from Legion. This is of course tenative. If they're running (say 6-7 km/hr) then they could easily be within point blank range, but I dont read that from teh scene (no calls for bayonets or close quarters fighting, for one thing.)

Page 264
[mark: 9.07.32]

The warp opens broad, black wings. Kor Phaeron manifests.
"Explain your delay," he hisses. Creatures of unlight and the outside fidget and gibber around him.
Morpal Cxir, force commander, bows his head to his manifested superior. Dirty light from the warp-flask swaddles them both.
"Resistance here, lord," Cxir says. "Leptius Numinus."

Warp flask. Some sort of word beares based holographic/manifestation communications - at least over short (orbital) distances.
Also Kor Phaeron seems to have finished using the Defence grid to wipe out Veridia forge by now if he attends to other matters (not certain, but probable) Assuming half an AU to an AU away (about the distance from EArth to Mars.) and given the mentioned timeframe (4 hours and 12 minutes) we might figure that any projectiles fired would have an average velocity of 5-10 thousand km/s.

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-03-26 06:38pm

Part 3

Page 266-267
Tawren has just gained entry to the ceramite-lined well under the palace centre where the data-engine and stacks are held. The data-engine is cold, off-line. She examines it, running her agile hand along its dusty, brown plastek casing. She peers into its inspection windows, observing the etched circuitry, the brass key systems. It is old, an old pattern, probably one of the first data-engines active on Calth at the time of first settlement. It employs Konor-Gantz sub-aetheric systems, and linear binaric cogitation. Old. Quite beautiful.
But not very potent. Tawren understands that the engine was only brought on-line when the governor was in residence at the palace, and then only as a back-up for state records
they begin work on ignition and data-agitation. The engine has its own power supply, a Gysson fusion module set into the floor. The chamber grows warm as the module starts working.
"If we had one of these for the vox-caster…" remarks one of the magi.

Old model data engine/cogitator thingy. Note the 'sub-aetheric' systems (Which could mean something tied to the warp, or aether as in space sub-light, eg particles, like electricity.)
The interesting thing is that it has its own (fusion) power source. Moreover its implied to be fairly compact and mobile and applicable to other systems (like vox.) Hell its seems likely they had their own powerplants for vox. that's damn impressive.

Page 270
Thiel, Empion and the rest of the ship’s defenders are learning how to daemon-fight under practical conditions. Fire and blades have greater efficacy than projectiles or energy weapons. It seems that the primordial entities suffer greater harm from simple, basic injuries: the primitive qualities of edge, and blunt force, and flame.
Thiel has a theoretical developing, a proposition that suggests a link between damage and ritual function. Fire and cutting or stabbing tools were essential elements of ancient magic-working. It seems more than coincidental that their symbolic provenance should be retained. It is as if the daemons, products of the primeval void before man’s birth, remember the sacred instruments that were used to summon them.

Ultramarine theory of Daemonic Combat. The nature of the warp makes it work (Orks make it work after all) and its as good a rationalization as any for why melee weapons might be a big thing in 40K. In truth, I actually rather like it, as it plays into the whole fundamental 'thought/emotion/belief influencing the warp, which influences reality', and the symboilsm tied therein.

Page 273
Heavier Legion weapons join in. Autocannons. Lascannons.
The firepower slaps into the enemy charge, properly hurting it, slowing it, breaking it. Thousands of separate explosions and blasts tear men apart or throw them into the air.

Effect of legion weapons, including blowing apart people. Probably means at least single digit MJ depending on numbers and weapon and target.

Page 284
Ventanus can feel the heat seething inside him like a fever. Since the fighting broke out, he’s taken about eighteen minor wounds, including a through and through las-hit to the meat of his right thigh, a fracture to a bone in his forearm, and a crushed fifth finger. The others are knocks, scars, and serious concussion-transmitted bruising.
His metabolism is cranking up, trying to compensate, trying to fight or delay pain, trying to maintain peak performance, trying to accelerate healing and repair. The energy debt has raised his body temperature by several degrees. He is flash-burning body fat fuel reserves. He knows he will soon need hydrolytes and additional pain-buffers if he is going to retain his battlefield edge.

A bit on Astartes metabolism - it does seem their bodies run on chemical energy (stored body fats) which can be useful in some cases but it probably causes problems of energy management unless they are careful.
This would suggest a tradeoff of sorts between their different abilities - eg they can go days without rest , food, water, etc. or they can heal from many kinds of injury and other superhuman abilities.. or they can be super strong, fast, etc. But not both at once. They're either in energy conservation mode or they're using it at max levels. Some measure to control their body and the usage of that energy (as well as an efficient mechanism for collecting/storing said energy in their bodies) probably helps too. I am also still considering the magical angle because frankly Space Marines make little sense from a biological standpoint already (more like biomechanical cyborgs than genetic engineered superbeings.
also note the 'through and through' hit from some sort of lasweapon. Probably not a cannon since his leg is intact, but it suggests a lasweapon of some kind penetrated the armour (over penetrated) and injured his leg in some manner.

Page 284-285
There is an oscillating scream of energy and pressure, accompanied by a micro-pulse of electromagnetics. A thick beam of blinding energy shears out of the fog and strikes the Baneblade. The impact shakes the tank, all three hundred tonnes of it. It shakes it. It rattles it like a tin toy. It rocks it off the ground for a second and skids it sideways. Dozens of brotherhood warriors perish under its violently dislodged mass.
The energy beam bangs painfully as it connects. Huge chunks of armour plating eject, some spinning high into the air. Half the turret structure is burned away. Smoke begins to plume, and then gutters and pours up and out of the damaged section. The Baneblade shudders. Ventanus can hear it attempting to restart its main drive, stalled by the body-blow. He can hear the multi-fuel plant gagging and choking.
A second energy beam, bright as the first, scores out of the fog and misses the tank by a few metres. It hits the ground, spontaneously excavating a huge trench of superheated, fused rock, and incinerating two dozen of the brotherhood and four of the Word Bearers. Other cultists caught in the immediate target zones scream as the secondary heat-sear ignites their robes and their ammo.
The third beam, coming just a moment after the second, kills the Baneblade. It hits the hull square, under the throat of the turret, and the tank ruptures and explodes. For a millisecond, it resembles one of the wood-and-canvas vehicle dummies, little more than covered frame tents, are used in basic training exercises by the Army. It looks like a tank dummy where the wind has got up under the hem of the cover tarp and billowed it out off the underframe, lifting it, twisting the painted outline and edges.
Then the internal blast comes, sudden and bright, and hot and vast, and the twisted outline of the tank vanishes, atomised.
Two Shadowsword tanks plough out of the fog, roiling it around their cobalt-blue hulls.

Shadowsword vs baneblade. While its tempting to treat 'atomise' as vaporize, I kinda doubt that. incinerating several dozen and setting another on fire is suggestive.. we're perhaps talking at least 30-50 MJ (125 J per sq cm to set on fire, 240,000 sq cm which might be increased 130-150% for the word bearers. That's a lower limit as well, so its probably more like triple digit MJ at a low end. If 'incinerate' means cremate, which seems likely given secondary flash burns to the surroudning, we're looking more at double or even triple digit GJ

IF we knew how much material was vaporized to knock Banebalde aside that might be calcable.

Page 295-296
Braellen hasn’t seen inside the arcologies, but he knows they are huge sub-ground complexes. Some of them are habs. This one, apparently. There are hundreds of thousands of citizen workers down there, and the 6th is the only thing stopping the enemy from getting at them.
The surface tower is a small fortress, a significant fortified structure that covers and defends the mouth of the arcology system. Its sublevels contain entrances to the main underground arterial, to walkways and cargo-freight systems, and even maglev rail lines, all feeding the huge subterranean complex.
The link to the arcology is vital. Significant reserves of standard Army munitions can be raised from arcology silos to supply the human defenders.

Page 300
Anchise’s bolts blow the face off the Word Bearer with the cannon. The visor of the man’s helmet explodes...
Anchise’s shots shredded his helmet, his gorget and part of his upper chest plate. The Word Bearer’s head and face are exposed.
It may just be injury: burns, contusions, swelling. The warrior has, of course, just taken substantial damage from a boltgun.
The mouth is misaligned, but it looks as though it has grown that way, not been brutally configured by kinetic shockwaves.

Comments on the destructive effects of a boltgun, at least against astartes.

Page 305
"You fell from a low orbit facility," says Lamiad. "Two of your kind fell at the same time, but their caskets were already damaged and they did not survive."
Telemechrus zooms in on the half-open caskets beside his own.

Dreadnought survives low-orbit atmospheric reentry and impact, albeit two others do not (although we dont know if it was the bodies destroyed, or just the operators inside. They may have killed the organic components through extreme acceleration.) This explains the 5000 degree temp from earlier.

Page 307-308
[mark: 11.40.02]
The Ultramar fleet is dying. Scattered across Calth nearspace, it is being hunted, hounded and picked off by the predator warships of the XVII and the unstoppable fury of the weapons grid.

This would suggest the defense grid is long done with destroying the Veridia forge, setting a firm(er) upper limit on timeframe

Page 323-324
[mark: 12.17.46]
Virtually all the orbital yards are gone, or so damaged that they will need to be destroyed and replaced rather than rebuilt. XVII fleet formations are bombarding the southern hemisphere of Calth. The rest of the fleet has established a clear orbital superiority position.
The Ultramar fleet is scattered. It has been reduced to about a fifth of its original strength. Those vessels remaining are either fleeing to the far side of the local star to avoid fleet attack or the inexorable fire of the weapons grid or, like the Macragge’s Honour, they are lying helpless and drifting in the high anchor zone.
The weapons grid seems to be having no difficulty doing that. It has destroyed the local forge world, a small moon with offensive capabilities, a starfort near the system’s Mandeville Point, and several capital ships.

Comment on the grid again. This is the absolute uppermost limit as to how long it could have taken, and it couldn't have taken any longer. What's more, is that it's almost certainly a lower limit since it mentions a station many AU away (remember what a Mandeville point is) as well as capital ships which are

Note as well Veridia is described as a 'forge world' and a 'small moon'. I'd guess it's big enough to represent a sort of world on its own (having at least some noticable gravity) but small enougjh that it isn't a full fledged planet, but again there's still alot of latitude in that.

Also note the defense grid has enough range to hit ships as far away as the local star, since they're seeking to get around it.
There are several calcs of measure the range and velocities involved, as we know from before some of the weapons are physical projectiles of some kind. In between the time they bombed Veridia forge and attacked the fleet in orbit, they've destroyed a star fort at the Mandeville point. Both give us fairly precise estimates. CAlth is ~1 AU from the planet (confirmed later when the grid fires on the star and the beam take around eight minutes to reach.) The Mandeville point is perhaps at least 5-10 AU away (depending on definition of edge of system and such.. we're talking at least multiple AU - a good 5-10, and more probably 10-20.

For the 'sun' distance we can approach that two ways. One is that the fleet has gotten from Calth to near the sun within the timframes involved.. that could be either Mark: 11:40 just previously mentioned (when ships are being targeted in Calth Near space) but it cannot be before the Grid bombarded Veridia Forge (Mark 4:55) At 11:40 we're talking ~37 minutes. At 4:55 we're talking closer to 7 1/2 hours. acceleration and max velocity in the latter is is around 70-80 gees and something like 3.5% of c Average velocity at that rate would be a bit more than 5600 km/s. At 37 minutes we're talking closer to 10-12 thousand gees and nearly .35-.4c. I'm actually less convinced 37 minutes is the 'accurate' value because we dont quite know how long the ships were accelerating for before that (or ineitial velocity.. they were just in Calth nearspace) and it may have been a bit longe rthan what I estimates In any case average speed between the star and Calth at 37 minutes and 1 AU is ~65-70 thousand km/s. Either way should suggest the Defence Grid's projectile velocity is on the order of thousands, to tens
of thousands of km/s easily.

The other way to do it is for bombarding the fort at the Mandeville point. Assumign 5 AU distance and 7 1/2 hours (no way to
confirm its 37 minutes here) - projectile velocity is something on the order of 39,000 km/s Even if the 'mandeville point' was a mere 1 AU away, we're again back to around 5600 km/s
Lastly, the Utlramarines only retain 1/5 their initial fleet strength.

PAge 327
The markings on the compass rim are so small and intricate you’d need a watchmaker’s loup to read them. Oll has one of those too.
The simple gold and black pointer spins fluidly as he moves the tiny instrument.
He sets it down, aligns it north. He watches the pointer twitch.
He suspends the pendulum over the compass on its silver chain and lets it swing. He repeats the process several times, noting down, in a neat column, the angles and directions of the spin and the twitches of the compass needle. He calculates and writes down the azimuth.
It was written on Terra, twenty-two thousand years earlier, a copy of a chart that had been drawn twenty-two thousand years before that.
The chart shows a wind rose of cardinal points. It is a piece of sublime mystery recorded in ink.
Words are power, some of them at least. Information is victory.

Oll again. He seems to be taking measurements of some kind - whether they are mundane, mystical or what we don't know, but this is the first of several incidents from this point on suggesting Oll has some measure of.. not exactly power, but knowledge. An understanding of how things work. He's not an innate psyker and he's clearly no sorceror (we get further confirmation later) but he knows more than the typical person. Whether or not this is tied to his Catheric faith or his 'Perpetual' nature we don't know.
Also Oll has been alive for at least 22,000 years. He's older than that though.

Page 328
The skiff’s a fishing craft, good for a dozen people, with a small covered cabin and a long narrow hull.
"No, it’s got an engine. A little fusion plant."

A boat small enough to be rowed has its own fusion plant. That's some impressive miniaturization tech. Of course, 'fusion' in 40K can mean anything from 'related to melta tech' to 'weird shit that can matter-to-energy conversion magic powders.'

Page 329-330
[mark: 12.39.22]
Calth has the look of Old Terra: green landmasses and blue seas, laced in white cloud.
But Thiel can see its terminal injuries, however. A spiral of soot-brown stormcloud caps part of the sphere, and other areas look like bruises on the skin of a fruit. The atmospheric discolorations are immense. Behind the curved shadow of the daylight terminator, sections of the southern continent are suffused with a luminous orange glitter, like the hot coals at the bottom of a furnace grate.

Calth before its destruction, and the effects of the bombardment implied. Still confined to the southern end of things, although a bit under 12 hours have passed yet since the bombardment began. the fog from evaporated water has reache daround the planet in that time though, it seems.

Page 330
Nearer at hand, there are ships. Thousands of ships. Ships on fire. Ships drifting, spilled and butchered, shredded and ruined; slow swarms of wreckage, silent clouds of glinting metal debris.

Scale of the starship losses near Calth. They probably are not all warships - they may not even all be warp capable, but the scale is still impressive.

Page 330-331
The flagship supplies a limited gravity source, and a skin of thin atmosphere – the atmospheric envelope – clings to the ship’s hull, maintained by the gravitic field generators to facilitate the function of open launch hangars and docking bays.
The low gravity amplifies their strength. One firm step becomes a bound of ten metres.

AG and atmosphere seem to extend a bit outside the hull, albeit a lower gravity. Moon like, maybe?

Page 332
His fourth takes the face off a Word Bearer, turning him hard in a spray of flame and sparks. Blood balloons out from his ruined skull, wobbling and squirming in the near-void.

bolt round incomplete head explosion :P

Page 335
Shots five, six and seven. Two knife brothers turning with their rifles, the trio grouping punching through both of them.

Oll's rifle penetrates straight through two bodies. Assuming it is a regular laser and they're around 25-30 cm 'wide' (ignoring angle and orientation) he'd probably punch a ~2 cm or so hole through both targets. This is about 5-10 kj, abou twhat Luke Campbell figured for his battle lasers. The diameter is about right for what we know of lasgun wound diameters, albeit usualyl with cauterization, which might increase the figure by at least several times (depending on depth and severity of the burns inside the wound channel.) If the wound diameter is bigger (or if it punched thorugh one or both targets frm the side rather than head on) it might increase by several times or more as well. Single/double digit kj seems likely either way.

Page 336
Trench war style, like they were taught all those years ago in the mud outside... Verdun?

Oll was at Verdun. This suggests he's closer to 30K years old.

Page 337
Oll doesn’t know what Rane or Krank are seeing. Probably something out of an illuminated bestiary. Oll sees it for what it is. Filthy matter, fused into a humanoid shape, clothed in the trappings of a nightmare. It’s real enough, real enough to kill, but it’s not real all the same. It’s just a reflection in the energy of this world of something out in the Immaterium. Something hungry, and agitated, and impatient to get in.
Call it a daemon, if you like. Too specific a word, really, though maybe that’s all that daemons are.
Oll glances down at the bodies he has killed, the ragged warriors in black. They knew about warp-magick. Not much, but enough to tinker with it. Enough to believe they’d found the unbearable truth. Enough to form a cult, a religion. Enough to lose their minds. Like the idiot Word Bearers. Warp-stuff is pernicious. Once you touch it, it sticks. Hard to ever get it off you again.
The black knives of their brotherhood. Ritual knives. Athames.

Oll knows something about the true nature of the warp, daemons, and the like. Again he seems to have more knowledge (and more than practical knowledge) than the average man in 40K would, but he isn't a psyker and he seems unlikely to be an actual sorceror, given his views on what the Word Bearers are doing.
Whatever the daemon is the athame kills it, so I suspect Oll knew this as well.

Page 340
Ventanus reaches Sullus. His body is compressed into the lawn in a steaming, scorched depression that oozes slime. He tries to pull him out. Sullus is alive. His armour has protected him, though there are crush injuries. Bones are broken.

Ultramarine survives getting stepped on by daemon of unknown size who can compress him into the ground, albeit injured he
is still combat capable (to some degree - he can fight but not move too well.)

Page 341
The super-heavy rumbles across the mangled lawns, knocking down some of Sparzi’s emplacements. It lines up its volcano cannon. Ventanus hears the characteristic sigh-moan of the capacitors charging for a shot.
The blast is savage. A light flash. A searing beam. It hits the daemon in the body. The blindingly bright light seems to dislocate against the daemon’s darkness, obscured. Dark vapour wafts from the creature’s body, but it shows no sign of damage.
It turns on the tank.
It’s got the Shadowsword. The superheavy tries to recharge its cannon, but that famous slow rate of fire...
The daemon seizes the tank by the front of the hull, buckling the armour skirts and tearing the track guards. It shoves the three-hundred-tonne tank backwards, gouging up the turf like a tablecloth. The tank revs, pluming exhaust, trying to drive against the horned thing, tracks slipping and squirming. Mud sprays. Divots fly. The Shadowsword tries to traverse to aim at the daemon point-blank. The daemon slaps at the massive cannon muzzle, ripping the assembly around like a chin turned by a punch. Ventanus hears internal gearing and rotation drivers shred and blow out. The gun mounting falls slack and loose, lolling on the mighty chassis, weapon flopping sideways.

Daemon as big sa a tank can push/shove a shadowsword back even againt its engine, and survive a point blank shot.

Page 345-346
Erebus stands, surrounded by daemonkind.
Around Erebus, on the charred slopes and blackened rocks, the daemons slither and chatter, disturbed by his movement. They are basking in the luciferous glow, glistening, glinting, chirring; some sluggish, others eager to be loosed.
He calms them with soft words. Their forms stretch out around him as far as he can see, like a colony of pinnipeds basking on a blasted shore. They loop around one another, bodies entwined, embraced, conjoined. They writhe and whine, yelp and murmur, raising their heads to utter their unworldly cries into the dying sky. Fat blowflies buzz, blackening the filthy air. Horns and crests sway in ghastly rhythm. Batwings spread and flutter. Segmented legs stir and rattle.
Erebus sings to them. He knows their names. Algolath. Surgotha. Etelelid. Mubonicus. Baalkarah. Uunn. Jarabael. Faedrobael. N’kari. Epidemius. Seth Ash, who aspects change. Ormanus. Tarik reborn, he-who-is-now-Tormaggedon. Laceratus. Protael. Gowlgoth. Azmodeh. A hundred thousand more.
Samus has just returned, dipping into the circle to clothe himself in new flesh.

Erebus seems involved in creating Space Marine.. daemonhosts..or possessed not sure which or if there is even such a distinction. This (and creating the warp storm) seem to be the whole point beyond the devastation.
This is interesting because it does put an interesting slant on things. They've said multiple times that while they enjoy getting revenge on the Ultramarines, it isn' t their primary goal (specifically pages 316-317) but to take the Ultramarines out of the picture and isolate the Imperial forces is. Raising daemons seems perhaps a secondary goal. An entire Legion of them, in fact. We have seen war and death and devastation used as a means of fuelling daemonic rituals and invocations (Dawn of War novel, Pawns of Chaos, Erebus did it severla times in 13th Black Crusade to do things similar to what the Word Bearers are doing here and now..) so if there are.. inconsistencies in how things are being done (EG bombardment of southern continents, etc.) we can explain it away as trying to inflict the maximum death and devastation by being inefficient about it (after all it doesnt matter who dies here.) And we know from earlier sources that the manner of death can matter too (why they may use melee weapons vs more efficient means.)

Page 347
[mark: 12.59.45]
The entire planetary weapons grid is re-trained on a single new target.
Kor Phaeron’s eagerness is evident. He has played with the grid, annihilating battleships, orbitals and moons, but quickly wearied of the sport. A pure purpose awaits.
The Word Bearers affect a communion with the stars. The suns of the heavens hold deep meaning for them. The strata of their Legion’s organisation are named after solar symbols. Through superhuman effort, Erebus and Kor Phaeron have transformed the entire planet of Calth into a solar temple, an altar on which to make their final tribute.
Erebus has worn the skin of reality thin, and opened the membrane enclosing the Immaterium. The altar is anointed.
The weapons grid begins to fire. Concentrated and coherent energy. Shoals of missiles. Destructive beams. Warheads of antimatter sheathed in heavy metals. The rays and beams will take almost eight minutes to reach their target. The hard projectiles will take considerably longer. But they will all hit in turn, and continue to strike again and again and again as the merciless bombardment continues.
The target is the blue-white star of the Veridian system.
Kor Phaeron begins to murder the sun

Again on the motivations of the word bearers. The revenge on ultramarines is perhaps a third goal. A second goal - an intermediate one - was to summon daemons and bind them into bodies - which hleped to wear the warp/realspace interface down and prepare the way. Now they're going to ritually 'murder' the sun and (trigger the warp storm.)

Also the weapons grid again has projectile (missiles at least, if not misisles and warheads together) as well as beam weapons (whcih are at or near c) Given an 8 minute or so timeframe we're talking roughly an aU, which confirms what I assessed before (we know they have laser and lance weapons anyhow.) The projectiles clearly take longer (EG they aren't near-c) but we dont know just how fast yet, and multiple salvoes are involved.
Also note the use of antimatter munitions,.

Page 348
"Voided without a helm," Guilliman says. "Primarch biology helped, but the atmospheric envelope was my true saviour."

Primarchs can survive (and fight) in low-air enviorments without a helm (or even in vaccuum perhaps) for limited times, but they still need air to breathe.

Page 349
"We can use the word daemon, I think. A warp entity manifested and destroyed the bridge. You have fought others. Daemon is as good a word as any. It was Lorgar, or at least.."
" Lorgar and his Legion have consorted with the powers of the warp. They have forged an unholy covenant. It has twisted them. It has started a war."
"I don’t know how to fight them. I know how to fight most things. I can even work out how to fight warriors of the Legiones Astartes, though the notion seems heretical. Like Thiel here, I can think the unthinkable, and make theoreticals out of the blasphemous. But daemons? It seems to me, with the Council of Nikaea, that we voluntarily rid ourselves of the one weapon we might have had against the warp. We could dearly use the Librarius now."
"We should petition for their reinstatement," he adds, "If we ever get the chance. We cannot do it now. There is no time, no means. But if any of us survive this, know that the edict must be overturned."
"It is almost as though," he muses, "someone knew. Nikaea disarmed us. It is as though our enemy knew what was coming, and orchestrated events so that we would voluntarily cast aside our only practical weapon the moment before it was needed."

Guilliman knows about daemons/warp entities, but his Ultramarines did not. Again the emperor keeping secrets. What's more interesting is that its implied that the Nikaea thing and the Librarians being restricted/purged was a deliberate trick o nthe part of Chaos and the traitors to deprive the loyalists of a good anti-daemon weapon. Which means Magnus was used even more thoroughly and insidiously than we thought in Thousand Sons/Prospero burns: fuck up Terra's wards and create a warp rift, screw up the webway and the Emperor's attempts to conquer it, get the Thousand Sons on Tzeentch's and Horus' side, and deprive the Imperium of psykers.

Of course, where ar the Smurf Librarians? We know the Raven guard at least (if not the Dark Angels) still had them serving, simply sworn not to use their psychic abilities.

Page 350
In all tactical simulations, Guilliman shows particular favour for certain of his brothers. He refers to them as the dauntless few, the ones he can most truly depend upon to do what they were made to do. Dorn and his Legion are one. Ill-tempered, argumentative Russ is another. Sanguinius is a third. Guilliman admires the Khan greatly, but the White Scars are neither predictable nor trustworthy. Ferrus Manus and the Iron Hands were always the fourth of the dauntless few. With any one of those key four – Dorn, Russ, Manus or Sanguinius – Guilliman always claimed he could win any war. Outright. Against any foe. Even in extremis, the Ultramarines could compact with any one of those four allies and take down any foe. It was primary theoretical. In any doomsday scenario that faced the Imperium, Guilliman could play it out to a practical win provided he could rely on one of those four. And of them, Manus was the key. Implacable. Unshakeable. If he was at your side, he would never break.

Guililman's 'favorite' brothers. All loyalists note. And what about the Lion, or Corax, or Vulkan? One wonders why he doesn't favor those.
He also does not seem to like Horus much, despite respecting/obeying him. Or Magnus. He doesn't hate Lorgar, but he doesnt trust him. Its pecuiliar but in a way it fits in with the 'deadpan bureaucrat' nature of Guilliman in this book.

Page 348-351
[mark: 13.10.05]
"The weapons grid, my lord. It’s firing."
"At whom?"
"At... the sun."

A differnet timeframe when the sun begins being bombardment. Not much more than an 11 minute difference but still... its interesting nonetheless.

Page 359-360
[mark: 14.01.01]
"It’s the sun," says Empion.
They all look at the main viewer.
Bombarded by concentrated energy and laced with toxic, reactive heavy metals, the Veridian star is suffering a gross imbalance in its solar metabolism. Its natural, internal chain reactions and energetic processes have been disrupted and agitated. Its radiation levels are rising. Its output is visibly increasing as it starts to burn through its fuel resources at an unnaturally accelerated rate.
Its blue-white wrath is growing more fierce, like a malignant light. A daemonic light. Black sunspot crusts seethe across its tortured surface. Staggering, lethal flares rip away from it in tongues of flame and lashing arcs of energy millions of kilometres across.
It is going nova.

The sun has already been hit at least once by projectiles, and multiple times certainly by beams. It takes between 51 and 62 minutes roughly for the bombardment to strike. Call it an hour. The projectiles take at least an hour to cross an AU.. we're talking roughly 40,000-50,000 km/s velocity (average) for the missiles, projectiles, whatever. It could be several times that depending on rates of fire and such.

As for the sun going.. 'nova'. thats murkier. On one hand the defence grid is mundane and it clearly is meant ot be dumping lots of energy into the star to disrupt its processes but there are some problems:

1.) it was not (wholly) a stable star to begin with - it did periodic flares and such already - Calth had underground arcologies and shelters for that purpose. (which itself is interesting for the survival of orbital assets)

2.) The warp is clearly involved on some level. We knwo the skein is thin and the death of the sun is part of the ritual, but its also the warp and its hard to argue that it isn't contributing to the destruction. In context it seems more like a 'cause and result' effect, at least partly, but it is scertainly possible warp activity contributes to the disruption of the star (not directly, more like 'gaps' in the barrier are appearing, and warp energy leaks in to muck things up even more - the grid only 'started' the process.)

3.) It is 'going' nova but as of yet we're not clear that it actually does - or at least I dont recall. CAlth gets stripped away by the destabilized star. They may not have completed the process before the warp flares up.

In any case, if we assume they achieved at least CME-stellar level outputs (lets call it e24 J injected just to be arbitrary) within an hour the Calth grid has to be injecting something like 70 GT/s at least sustained to cause this. Given the comparison of Calth's defense grid before we might infer an expeditionary fleet can amass a similar magnitude of firepower in a similar timeframe, meaning megaton-gigaton rnage firepower per ship on average.

And again this isn't an exact calc, but more of an illustrative example. I imagine to actually fuck things up you have to inject more energy than the star might release in result (its not going to be anywhere near a 100% efficient process) and blue stars are much larger than sol-terra type stars but... its alos 1 AU away and calth is earthlike so it argues its not MUCH different than our own star... and as I noted there's room for someone to argue 'technobabble' rather than brute force due to the warp being present.

Page 360-361
ll takes out his compass, and checks the bearing as best he can.
Thrascias. It still seems to be Thrascias. That used to be the word for the wind from the north-north-west, before the cardinal points of the compass rose were co-opted for other purposes and given more esoteric meanings. Thrascias. That’s what the Grekans called it. That’s what they called it when he sailed back across the sun-kissed waters to Thessaly in Iason’s crew, with a witch and a sheep-skin to show for their efforts. The Romanii, they called it Circius. Down in the oardecks of the galleys, he hadn’t much cared about the names of the winds they were rowing against. The Franks called it Nordvuestroni.

More on Oll's implied age, as well as what he is doing. I'd guess his earlier crap was not so much mystical as more mundane sorts of navigation. Information noone else might have still.

Page 365
[mark: 19.22.22]
Above ground, it is raining. It has been raining for about seven hours without a break. The evaporated southern oceans, thrust into the upper atmosphere as steam, have returned, first as poison fog, and then as an apocalyptic deluge.
The burning population centres steam and sizzle, their fires inextinguishable. The molten cores of city-graves glow in sinkholes hundreds of kilometres across. Craters and impact scars fill with water, from the most massive hive sinkhole to the smallest bullet pock-mark. Plains turn to mud, an ooze as dark as blood. River basins flood. The forested sweeps of Calth’s highlands and valley systems crackle and roar as they combust, fire-fronts a thousand kilometres broad.
The rain forms a curtain as thick as the fog that preceded it.
There is a plague of rainbows. The downpour combines with the swelling blue-white radiance of the terminal star to decorate every prospect, every ruined street, every burning hab-block, every fire-blackened forest, with a scintillating rainbow.

It seems likely that the bombardment of the southern hemisphere has ended by this point, if not earlier. The southern 'oceans' were evaporated, although arguably you couldn't totally deplete them as the oceans would just 'even out' to some degree, but I would take it as a sign thta a fair chunk of the oceans were evaporated in the bombardment. The bobmardment involved seventeen Word Bearer ships and started at Mark 1:16, so we could figure 12-24 hour timeframe (its still under a day, but more than a few hours I'd guess.) Assuming 10% of the earth's oceans are vaporized (e20 kg roughly) means something on the order of ~3e26 Joules. In the usual 2-24 hour timeframe we figure we'd be talking a total of ~3e21-22 watts collectively, for 17 warships including battleships. which is around e19-e20 watts per battleship. Whether these are small battleships (6 km size) or large ones (tens of km) we dont know either. It also invovles only certain (ventrally) mounted weapons which may mean its not their most powerful weaponry either (or specialized bobmardment weapons) or it may represent the 'upper limit' on starship ifrepower period. Hard to say.

The bombardments have also created multi-hundred km craters and 'molten cores' of cities, as well as 'hive sinkholes' which I take to mean hive-sized holes in the ground. That would suggest GT-TT level devastations inflicted (esp if significant melting, occurs) but we dont know whether it was debris from the orbit colliding or weapons fire. The 'hive sinkholes' might infer from bobmardment but that's not clear either.

Page 370
There are even more than Sullus imagined. Foedral Fell’s assault force numbers in the tens of thousands.

Tens of thousands of word bearers troops.

Page 371-372
The first that the Word Bearers know of it is a savage, serial bombardment of light cannon and field pieces, supported by the immense firepower of a Shadowsword and a handful of other significant machines.
The barrage pummels the roadway, levels three blocks of habs, and scatters the enemy formation. Hundreds of knife brother warriors are killed by the shellfire, dozens of Word Bearers too. Armoured vehicles are destroyed and left burning in the rain. A traitor Warhound engine, suddenly alert and striding forward like an angry moa, hunts for a hot target. A torrent of cannonfire catches it, hammers it, and beats its void shields down with sheer relentless insolence. Then the Shadowsword speaks, and a spear of white light kills the Warhound like the lance of some vengeful god.

bombardment of 'light cannon' and field pieces (light artillery) along with a few heavier (non Shadowsword) vehicles - Baneblades - and in a realitvely short period fo time they level 3 city blocks of habs - not sure how to quantify that hundreds of metres levelled? we might be talking hundreds of tons or so worth of devastation. Of course if its thousands of pieces.. *shrugs*

Page 382
The Titans are close now. The last Shadowsword remaining with the 4th fires and damages one of the striding giants, but they reply together and turn the super-heavy tank into a vast conflagration that levels the city blocks behind it.
Nothing else is coming. None of the support that they hoped might arrive to stand with them. None of the reinforcements.

Titan firepower.. I assume it levels more than 3 city blocks given what is just described. High tons/low kilotons firepower perhaps - depending on the number of titans and weapons (Thre's at least a handful of small/medium titans anyhow.)

Pagpe 388
Three hundred metres below the guildhall, the bunker trembles.

Depth of the bunkers.

Page 392
Sorot Tchure hears the noise his master makes. He is focused on his combat with the Ultramarines raiders, but he cannot help but turn his eyes for a second. Less than a second. A microsecond.
Thiel sees his opening. His practical. It is infinitesimal, a tiny chink in the Word Bearer’s guard. It lasts a microsecond, and it will not be repeated.

Microsecond perceptions and reactions. That does not mean the bodies themselves move at microseconds, just the time to notice and process data. This could stem from the 'perception dilation' Space Marines can sometimes be subject to.

Page 393-394
The first beam-weapon strikes hit Lanshear. They come straight out of the sky, columns of dazzling vertical light. They stream from orbital weapon platforms, platforms that the Word Bearers left intact for their own use.
The beams, generated by lance batteries, particle tunnels and meson weapons, strike with surgical accuracy. They cauterise the city-zone around the guildhall in the northern depot area. They obliterate Titans, dissolve armoured vehicles, and reduce brotherhood and Word Bearers formations to ash.
Sheltering, in some cases, less than half a kilometre from the impact sites, Ultramarines and Army forces are untouched. Their eardrums burst. Their skin burns. They are half-blinded by the light, and hammered by the concussion, e-mag pulse and violent after-pressure, but they endure.
The negative pressure causes the rain to swirl cyclonically around the zone, a whirlpool of smoke and ravaged climate.

Tactical bombardments by Calth defencse grid. Hard to calc other than occuring in seconds and being energy weapons, but we know there are tens of thousands of human and Astartes troops (perhaps thousnads of Word Bearers) and tens of thousands of human troops. Astartes will be a good 2-3+ times the mass of a normal person (nevermind their armour) so we're probably talking tens or hundreds of thousands of GJ being injected in a relatively short timeframe. May be thermal/sustained heat rays with some secondary blast effects. Probably not much more than low kilotons though given effects and proximity of troops half a km away.

Page 394
For the first time since the cataclysmic orbital strike, it’s the crimson-hulled warships that explode and die in nearspace. Cruisers and barges detonate in multi-megaton conflagrations, or are crippled by devastating impacts.
This is a dynamic combat shift. This is the game changed. Hesst would approve. Guilliman would approve.

Word Bearer ships dying in 'multimegaton' conflagrations. Whether thats yield or mass, we dont know.

Page 397
[mark: 20.27.17]

The Word Bearers battle-barge Infidus Imperator turns in the debris-rich belt of Calth nearspace, ships dying in flames behind it. It engages its drive and begins a long, hard burn towards the outsystem reaches.
As it accelerates away, raising yield to maximum, the Macragge’s Honour turns in pursuit, its main drives lighting with an equally furious vigour.
It is the beginning of one of the most infamous naval duels in Imperial history.

Pursuit and battle.. which sadly is not covered in this novel. :)

Page 397-398
Calth is dead. The XIII is crippled and finished. His ritual is complete, and it is entirely successful. The Ruinstorm rises, a warp-storm beyond anything space-faring humanity has witnessed since the Age of Strife. It will split the void asunder. It will divide the galaxy in two. It will render vast tracts of the Imperium impassable for centuries.
It will isolate and trap forces loyal to the Emperor. It will divide them, and block their attempts to combine and support one another. It will shatter communication and chains of contact. It will even prevent them from warning each other of the heretical war breaking across their realm. The Ruinstorm will cripple the loyalists, and leave Terra raw and alone, infinitely vulnerable to the approaching shadow of Horus.

The true purpose of this attack, really. Aside from taking the Smrufs out of the picture as well. The ioteresting bit is that it implies the effects of this may have persisted for cneturies, perhaps even millenia, which could explain why the warp is so fucked up even in modern times.

Page 401-402
"They are fleeing to the arcologies," Thiel says. "There is a good chance that the subterranean hab systems and catacombs will protect them from the effect of the solar radiation. They may be able to ride out the storm until such time as we can return with a Legion fleet to evacuate them."

The Arcologies may be able to protec thtem from the dangers of the disrupted Calth star. I believe they become underground hives more towards modern times.

User avatar
Lost Soal
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2420
Joined: 2002-10-22 06:25am
Location: Back in Newcastle.

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Lost Soal » 2013-03-26 07:13pm

Black Admiral wrote:
Connor MacLeod wrote:Page 401
It was at least ninety metres tall, its right arm a massive multi-barrelled cannon, the left another immense weapon that gleamed with the blue sheen of plasma generators. Its armoured carapace was packed with turrets that streaked laser and shell fire into the city: an Imperator-class Titan!

Oh dear. This makes what, the third different Imperator titan scaling in the Horus heresy novels alone?

Fourth, actually; 140 metres tall in Horus Rising, 43 metres tall in False Gods, several kilometres tall in The Iron Within, and the Deliverance Lost figure quoted.

WRT The Iron Within,

This is a basic idea of how I pictured that set-up, and how the Titan can reach the battlements without being kilometers tall. Forces enter the cavern onto the cliffs around the fortress which is close enough to them that the Titan can be used as a boarding tower.

As to the Emperors ideas and trust issues.
Imperial Truth - I see what he was trying to accomplish. A good deal of the Chaos Gods power comes from the direct worship of believers praising their names, give offerings etc. and the Gods then affect the material universe through these believers. By eradicating religion and any belief in Gods as superstition he is effectively attacking their power base. No one to cry out to gods for help or seeking power for themselves. I think he was trying to eradicate even the idea of gods much less belief in them.
Why would the Chaos gods be so scared of him otherwise if they gained power simply from the base emotions and desires?

Trust Issues - This I personally believe is a result of his Pre-Cog. We learn in Angel Exterminatus that sometime before Perturabo leaves Terra to lead his legion on the Great Crusade that the Emperor has completely lost his pre-cog, how long before this and how long it was fading before hand is unclear. Now think on this, for thousands of years hes been able to see the future and know which events and people to guide and trust, who to give information to who to keep in ignorance.
Then its gone. His pre-cog has probably been his judgement for as long as hes had it, so with it gone I question if he is fully capable judging character as hes never had to develop that ability independently. So he falls back on what has served him most during his life. Secrecy.
"May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places where you must walk." - Ancient Egyptian Blessing

Ivanova is always right.
I will listen to Ivanova.
I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God.
AND, if this ever happens again, Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out! - Babylon 5 Mantra

There is no "I" in TEAM. There is a ME however.

User avatar
Jedi Knight
Posts: 596
Joined: 2006-01-02 10:19pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Vaporous » 2013-03-27 02:41am

Sailing with Jason puts the lower limit of Oll's age at something like 35k. I'm interested in finding out why he fought so many battles. He was at Austerlitz and Verdun, but I don't think the book implies whose side he was on any more than it says why he was there at all. and then of course he was a trooper in the Imperial Army until fairly recently, fighting the Great Crusade. What happened that made him want to retire from fighting after 35,000+ years? Or does he cycle in and out of conflict now and again depending on whatever the identity he has at the time is expected to do?

When I read his conversation with Grammaticus the first time, I assumed that "they/them" meant the Cabal. John makes a distinction between whoever sent him to Ollanius and humanity, so I don't think he's there at the behest of the Sensei/Illumanati/proto-starchild cult. Or maybe he is and we're meant to think it's the Cabal. Just have to wait and see.

Overall, this is one of the better Heresy stories.

User avatar
Black Admiral
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1870
Joined: 2003-03-30 05:41pm
Location: Northwest England

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Black Admiral » 2013-03-27 03:07am

Vaporous wrote:Sailing with Jason puts the lower limit of Oll's age at something like 35k. I'm interested in finding out why he fought so many battles. He was at Austerlitz and Verdun, but I don't think the book implies whose side he was on any more than it says why he was there at all.

Well, Angel Exterminatus indicates he was fighting for the French at Verdun, at least (and wearing the name Olivier Pearsonne then).

and then of course he was a trooper in the Imperial Army until fairly recently, fighting the Great Crusade. What happened that made him want to retire from fighting after 35,000+ years? Or does he cycle in and out of conflict now and again depending on whatever the identity he has at the time is expected to do?

It may be as simple as that; certainly, from what Grammaticus says, Oll's done a lot more than just soldiering over the millennia.
"I do not say the French cannot come. I only say they cannot come by sea." - Admiral Lord St. Vincent, Royal Navy, during the Napoleonic Wars

"Show me a general who has made no mistakes and you speak of a general who has seldom waged war." - Marshal Turenne, 1641

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-04-01 02:54pm

Once again Lost Soal comes up with a decent explanation that is simple. I approve.

Anyhow, we're on to 'Fear to Tread', marking the first time a Space Marine novel has two loyalist in succession.

Fear to Tread is perhaps one of my favorite James Swallow novels, and I find it his best venture into the Blood Angels. Not to crticize the guy, since I also enjoyed Flight of the Eisenstein and Nemesis, but the Rafen-oriented Blood Angels novels have always just.. lacked something. Swallow has an interesting take on 40K - more 'sci fi-ey' than other authors, and that really sets him apart, but the two blood angels duologies really lacked something in the story sense to really get me fired up. I can't quite explain it, either.
Anyhow, Fear to Tread covers Sanguinus being sent into a trap by Horus, part of Horus' greater scheme to defeat his brothers and put them out of his path towards Earth. It covers the Signus cluster events depcited in 'Collected visions' in greater detail. But more than that, it expands on the Primarch himself and his relationships with his children, including the Thirst/RAge aspect.
It can definitely be said that a driving force in the story is about interpersonal relationships. The relationship between Sanguinius and his Blood Angels - his children, and you definitely get a fathre/son type relationship there, and that's a good thing. It elevates the Space MArines far above the usual 'LOL KILLTASTIC MURDERMACHIEN' crap, and gives them some personality and dimension. They aren't just a bunch of psycho fanatical killing machines, they have a family and a sense of identity that binds them together, which gives much more wamrth and depth both to them and the Primarchs. It's the same thing we've seen in many novels such as Horus Rising and Thousand Sons.
Another relationship is betwene Horus and Sanguinus. Something started in the first novel, Horus Rising, on Murder. And it gets oh, so murdered here. Sanguinus and horus never meet face to face, other than an odd astropathic conversation, but their relationships -conveyed in past discussions - as well as the ultimate breaking of their fellowship and trust - is what centers on this aspect. Sanguinius must come ot terms with Horus betrayal - both of their brotherhood personally, and of the Imperium as a whole. And on Horus' end, we also have to come to terms with the new, Chaos Horus, who also must come to terms with his relationship with his angelic brother, albeit on different terms. The transition between this horus and the old Horus is also suitably jarring.
And lastly, there is the relationship betwene Horus and his erstwhile allies- the Word Bearers and the Daemons. There are plots within plots, and each faction is trying to play the others to achieve their ends. Horus shows he is coming into his role as the warlord of Chaos he was made, and that he is no tthe pawn others (like Erebus) think he is. I rather liked Horus giving Erebus a lesson in that, in fact.
Another good part about this book is the way its paced. There's plenty of fighting on the ground and in space, although much of the ground fighting happens towards the end of the book, but its paced in a way I rather like. We watch Sanguinus going trustingly on his way into Horus' trap, and we witness it gradually dawning on them that something new, horrific, and totally alien to anything they have seen occurs Between that and the relationships angle, there's lots to drive the story through and the pacing keeps things interesting without going too far in one direction (EG its not all space marine kill-porn).

Page 17
At the edge of their battalions were war machines – battle tanks, hovering skimmers supported by invisible columns of contra-gravity, low and blocky things that resembled armour-plated trilobites, fighting vehicles that bristled with gun barrels.

Imperial combat vehicles of the Luna Wolves

Page 22
Ejected from the launch tubes of a dozen capital ships and battle-barges in low orbit, a rain of ceramite capsules tore through the outer atmosphere of Melchior and fell like flaming meteors towards the Silver Desert. Falling with them were diving hawks: Stormbirds and assault gunships turning and wheeling through the air towards the gargantuan nephilim encampment.
Drop-pods clipped by the sound beams went off course, spiralling out of the landing quadrant towards the white salt erg; others not so fortunate ripped open or slammed into brutal collision with their fellows. The lead Stormbird, crimson like its cohorts but adorned with wings of gold, wove a course through the sonic barrage, guiding the flock into a blazing power-dive.

Strongly suggests stormbirds and similar craft were pacing the drop pods in their orbit-to-ground descent, which would be damn fucking fast.

Page 23-24
He threw himself into the pale sky, embracing the pull of gravity like a lover, letting it speed him towards terminal velocity.
Against the drag of the airflow, he unsheathed a wicked red sword with a curved, barbed hilt; it was the cousin to the blade held by his brother Horus far below.
Assault legionaries of a dozen companies bore down with the snarling jets of jump-packs upon their backs, guns in their hands and retribution hard in their eyes. Leading them were the Sanguinary Guard, whose golden armour and white wings echoed those of their liege lord; but the wings that held the Guard aloft were made of enamelled metal, and like the assault squads their flight was powered by spears of orange flames from blazing fusion motors.
The primarch landed with an impact greater than a point-blank barrage from a Vindicator, a perfectly circular ripple of shock resonating out from the crash of his boots upon the desert sands.
The angel Sanguinius drew up from the crater his arrival had shaped and met his first foe.

Sanguinius freefall at terminal velocity. Impressive all the same, if hard to calc.

Also sanguinary guard jump packs using fusion motors

Page 24
His sword-tip rose up in a bright arc of glittering metal and met the nephilim in the centre of its torso mass. The blade bit into the glass-skin and shattered it effortlessly, fragments pealing with tinny bell-tones as they ricocheted off the primarch’s battle plate. The weapon went on, deep and true, the monomolecular edge slicing through into gelatinous internals, breaking silicon bones and opening up the alien to the air.

Sangy using a mono sword, for whatever that is worth.

Page 25
As he spoke, the rumble of the remainder of the landing Stormbirds was joined by the crashing impacts of the drop-pods.

Drop pods strike after Sangy and his jumppack troops. This probably means the drop pods were slowing as they reached the ground more than it does that Sangy is somehow hypersonic, although I've heard the latter suggested before.

Page 28
..used their wrist-mounted Angelus bolters to pour cascades of fire into the enemy line. With each hit, the warheads of the mass-reactive bloodshard rounds exploded into hundreds of magno-charged monofilaments; every concussive impact upon the skin of a nephilim caused bloody detonations inside the torsos of the alien creatures.

Sanguinary Guard bolters with their super-duper 'Harlequin's kiss' style ammo. Nasty.

Page 29-30
Horus’s landspeeder squadrons raced overhead, bracketing a phalanx of blue-skins with salvoes from their graviton guns and multi-meltas, punching through curls of smoke as the outer rings of the encampment burned.

Gravity weapons on land speeders.

Page 30
In the aftermath, the freed slaves were isolated from the converts who still remained alive for fear that revenge killings would explode from a mob mentality. Horus took on this deed, in no uncertain terms drilling those who claimed to lead the liberated that justice would be delivered to all turncoats – but it would be Imperial justice, right and true and conducted to the letter of the law.

Rule of law in the Great Crusade.

Page 32
"What ships have you chosen to remain to administrate the compliance?"
Horus rubbed his chin. "The Sword Argus and the Crimson Spectre, I think. Their Army platoons can garrison here, make sure the nephilim cult is dead and buried. If all goes well, they will disengage and reconnect with my expeditionary fleet in a few months."

A passage which implies that the 'garrisons' we've seen left for compliance may be temporary rather than permanant. Rather odd, given Temba and False Gods (IT was implied that some of the Garrisons were permanant, although it might just be the people put in charge of them and the troops/others assisting, rather than the forces as a whole.) So what I hinted at earlier in my analysis based on such garrisons may not be totally right :P

Page 33
. He was one of his most trusted men and carried many honours alongside his stewardship of the elite veteran company, hard-won through decades of war in the Emperor’s name. Raldoron was equerry to the primarch and held the new honorific ‘Chapter Master’, serving in a similar role to the warriors of Horus’s advisory cadre, the Mournival.

The guy runs the First company (like Abbadon) and is Equerry (like Maloghurst) and gets titled 'Chapter Master'. Which is interesting, sinc ein KNF we learn that 'Chapters' are a part of formations, just as Companies are.

Page 36
The Blood Angel’s armour was badly damaged; fibre-bundle musculature ripped, ceramite cracked. It appeared that the chestplate had been torn open across the sternum and a brutal wound opened beneath it. The primarch recognised the hit pattern of a nephilim shriekpulse, and looking closer he saw the trails of dried blood visible from Alotros’s nostrils, his ears, the corners of his reddened eyes. Such a hit would have boiled the brain matter of an ordinary human, and even for a legionary the impact should have crippled flesh and torn at neural pathways. Alotros was pallid and in obvious pain, but he seemed detached from it.
The warrior had taken a point-blank strike from one of the alien weapons and survived, a rare happenstance..

Sonic weapon that could 'boil brain matter' can damage Power armour and cripple/kill evne an Astartes potentially. 'boiling' brain matter (1.4 kg brain) would be worht hundreds of kj, so it gives an approximate idea of Astartes armour tolerances, at least against such weapons.

Page 41
"We give so much to our sons. Our aspect, our will, our fortitude. They are the best of us. But they carry our flaws as well."
"So they should," said Horus. "So we should. To be human is to be flawed – no matter what we are or where we came from, we are still human. We share the same ancestry as the people we defend."
"Indeed. If we lost that connection... If we truly were beyond humanity, then the Emperor’s sons and the Legiones Astartes would have more kinship to xenos like them–" Sanguinius gestured towards the corpse of a nephilim blue-skin "–than to the children of Terra."

A discussion between Sangy and Horus. Rather nice I thought, as it outlines an important aspect of the Astartes (and Primarchs) of this time. The first fifty or so pages of this book were actually kinda fun to read because of the interactions between Horus and Sanguinius - it really did much to establish the bond between these two, and it was a joy to have a glimpse of the Horus we saw in Horus rising - I definitely liked Swallow's depiction here. I also like the definite ties of kinship the Primarchs feel for the Marines they lead - there is literally more there than simply a general leading his troops, and it carries some strong implications (both positive and negative) from that (again like with the Mournival in Horus Rising.)
It goes on to state that basically, the well known flaws that characterise the Blood Angels since 2nd edition were present even in the Great Crusade - even Sangy has them, although he has greater control than his sons do. And its something he's kept hidden from everyone.

Page 42
"A handful, in two hundred years, from a Legion of one hundred and twenty thousand?"

Size of the Blood Angels Legion, which definitely makes them one of the larger Legions. I'd imagine some others (The Fists, for example) probably can match that too.

Page 42
"I have kept this from our father and brothers for several years. I am searching for a solution. Some among my sons have a measure of the truth. They are united with me in finding a way of undoing this flaw."
"Don’t say it. You think that I blame myself for something I have no control over, but I do not agree. This is my legacy and I must account for it. A primarch…"
"A primarch is father to his Legion," said Horus, completing the thought for him.

Again Sangy is keeping secrets (even the Angel has his dark side) and we again get that strong bonds thing between Astartes. I sometimes wish this aspect was emphasized more than the killtastic crap. There's a real sense of family here that could be played up and make the Astartes something more, but its not really. Which is a pity because its a source of one of the biggest tensions with them as well (the HEresy and the Traitor legions and whatnot.)

Page 43-44
"I could not speak of this to any of the others. You know as well as I do that it would diminish my Legion. Some of our brothers would see it as weakness and seek to turn this truth against me."
"But why have you kept this from father? If any living being could know the key to it, it would be him!"
"I will not be responsible for the erasure of the Blood Angels from Imperial history. I will not have a third empty plinth beneath the roof of the Hegemon as my Legion’s only memorial!"
Horus’s eyes widened. "It would not come to that."
Sanguinius shook his head once more. "I cannot take the risk. The Emperor has concerns that go far beyond the needs of his individual sons. You know that is so." He frowned. "We all know that is so."

The reasons Sanguinius keeps the secret of his flaw from the others, even the Emperor. Apparently this sheds further light on the fate of the 2nd and 11th Legions - they (and their Primarchs) were evidently purged for some serious sort of genetic flaw or deviation, or perhaps mutation, something akin to what the Blood Angels themselves face (and perhaps the Thousand Sons, or similar) have suffered. What's interesting is that the Blood Angels are not unique there - we know of the Wulfen and the 13th Company after all, and they're not exactly kept secret.
It also highlights yet again a rather cold and brutal aspect of the Emperor, the sort of side we saw in First Heretic in reprimanding the Word Bearers, as well as the hints we got WRT Thunder Warriors in the Outcast Dead. Hell, it even mirrors that dark hatred of the religious we know that Big E harbors as per 'The Last Church'. He's still human just like the rest, and full of flaws, which is perhaps a massive irony given his purported divinity and the fact that the HEresy stems from many of those flaws/weaknesses (like keeping secrets.)

Page 51
Some great cosmic cataclysm had shattered the planets aeons ago, and strewn their remains in the plane of an accretion disc hundreds of millions of kilometres across.

Size of the belt. Establishes the distance between the inner system and the belt.

Page 53
The 88th Expeditionary Fleet took their warships into the Kayvas Belt and vanished from sensors, leaving the Blood Angels flotilla at the edge of the system to wait..
Each time they bolted for open space beyond the mass shadow of the supergiant sun and asteroid belt, the Blood Angels were waiting for them. Starships and ork cruisers engaged in deadly games of cat-and-mouse that lasted for weeks on end..
..but months of protracted ship-to-ship engagements and naval warfare made the sons of Baal restless.

Weeks nad months of ship battles, and engaging Ork ships at the edge of the system. Also mention of the star's 'mass shadow' which si probably a reference to the gravity effects on warp translations.

PAge 54
They fought with great violence, even attempting doomed tactics such as direct assaults on Legion starships or the initiation of warp engines while still deep within the gravimetric danger zone

Again the 'gravimetric' danger zone aspect and limit on warp translations.

Page 54-55
the primarch tired of Alpharius’s evasive manner and sent a frigate in past the outer marker, in defiance of the rules of engagement the two Legions had agreed upon. When the frigate returned weeks later, the crew reported that they had come across no signs of their allies, only the wrecks of ork vessels and the bodies of dead aliens. The 88th Expeditionary Fleet comprised hundreds of warships, and yet no trace of them was sighted.

Weeks to travel in and explore the inner system from the edge and return, implying perhpas a week towards and back. Unless we're talking large number of AU (billions of km) or they took alot of time to explore (which is possible) that's not going to be very high accel wise (At least assuming constant accel) and velocities would only top out at a few percent of c. Given the estimated size from before, its probably at least an AU or so distant for what that's worth.
Also size of Alpharius expeditionary fleet, which suggests expeditionary fleets are rather large (dozens to hundreds of vessels) which when couple dwith the number of expeditionary fleets in Horus Rising (~4700) suggests hundreds of thousands of ships (close to a million, if each fleet has ~200 ships.. but even if each only had 20-30 on average, we're still talking around 100,000 ships in the primary fleets alone and that is merely in terms of warships.)

Page 55
At last, Alpha Legion ships were appearing at the very edge of scanning range, apparently moving in a wall to herd the enemy towards the fringes of the system.

Implies scanning range of Blood angels ships (at least against other Imperial ships) is in the hundreds of millions of km range - although we know it can be greater - which might mean it was billions of km

Page 60
They had no way of knowing how long it would take the orks on the bridge to complete their pre-jump preparations. Based on observed behaviours gleaned from Imperial records, that interval could be anything from a few minutes to several hours. Ork technology was largely a random and inelegantly constructed thing, and no two greenskin ships were alike.

the joys of Ork technology

Page 61
The ork was thickset, easily the same mass as Kano, but it wasn’t slow.

If this means an unarmored astartes, teh size might be 150-200 kg. If its an armoured Astartes.. it could be up to half a ton.

Page 62
He turned into the bolter at his hip with a twist of his torso and squeezed the trigger, allowing the weapon’s powerful recoil to pull the muzzle up in a three-round semi-automatic burst. The first round clipped the ork’s leg, blasting a fist-sized divot of flesh out of the green meat of its thigh; the second and third shots hit home in its stomach and sternum.

Fist size hole blown by bolter round.

Page 69
But then the air was shrieking with new bolter fire and the ork came apart under the force of a dozen guns.

A dozen bolters obliterate Ork.

Page 71
The Wardens were the watchmen of the Blood Angels. In some ways they served as mentors for the younger legionaries, battlefield instructors and learned veterans who shared knowledge with the rest of their kindred; but they were also charged with sustaining coherence throughout the tens of thousands of warriors that filled the ranks of the IX Legion Astartes. That could mean anything from offering suggestions to a captain on a point of combat doctrine, to leading a ceremony of remembrance to the fallen. They were lore-keepers, counsellors, teachers. In the deep past, men who had served in similar roles in other militaries had been known as diaconus, zampol, chaplain or a dozen other names – some political, some religious, some secular. They existed outside the chain of command but still within its ranks, maintaining that most Imperial of ideals throughout the Legion; unity.

Wardens.. pre-Heresy Chaplains, and serve much the same role that Chaplains and Commissars do in modern times.

Page 83-84
Viewed from the bow, the battle-barge resembled an arrowhead ten kilometres from stem to stern, lined in bright copper, bronze and crimson steel. The maws of nova cannon, mega-lasers, mass-drivers and torpedo hives encrusted the forward quarter, presenting an arsenal comparable to that of a whole fleet of smaller vessels. Acres of towers ranged away down the length of the craft, extending out from the dorsal and ventral hulls. In the fashion of Imperial starships, modelled on the deck-by-deck design ethic laid down for the Red Tear’s ancient, ocean-going ancestors, a massive citadel rose from the aft quarter. This huge conning tower resembled a gigantic fortress, an outer keep of soaring adamantium walls and glassaic windows forming the base and a wide cylindrical donjon rising higher still. At its apex, among the saw-tooth battlements and point-defence batteries, a massive transparent dome looked out into the void like an unblinking eye.
Similarly, beneath the central plane of the main hull, a blade-like keel dropped away, thinning to a wicked point. Here were many of the battle-barge’s secondary cannons and the hangars for the warship’s auxiliary craft. Cavernous docking bays, large enough to house and maintain a brace of escort frigates, ran the width of the vertical structure.
The battle-barge was built around the form of a great ruby teardrop, and from its port and starboard sides, winglets bearing engine clusters and troop bays reached outwards, mimicking the design of the Legion sigil of the Blood Angels.

Sanguniius' flagship. Dimesnionally, its shorter than some other flagships (like the one in KNF) but its 'tear-shape' means it is also probably much more arrow-like and broader than most Imperail starships of this time, so it all probably balances out.
The really interesting thing is the prow armament - a huge number of torpedoes, multiple nova cannon, mega lassers and mass drivers 'equal to a fleet of smaller vessels.' - scores or hundreds of ships perhaps. Thats an insane amount of fireppower considering most starships (Even battleships) typically mount only a single prow weapon (or type). But it does show multiple mountings can be done.

Page 84
Other vessels, ranging in tonnage from gunboats to grand cruisers, moved in formation with their command ship. Around them, Hawkwing and Raven interceptors maintained a wide security cordon about the flotilla.

The Red Tear's escorts. Whether the warships are warp capable or some are sublight, we don't know.

Page 85
The combined Red Tear fleet was on the move, courses already being prepared to make space along the line of a distant warp beacon; out in the deeps, the eternal lighthouse of Terra’s Astronomican had become vague and hazy in recent weeks, requiring the use of the secondary waypoint markers commonly used by Imperial Navigators as points of rendezvous.

Possibly/probably a reference to astropathic relays/beacons acting as secondary navigational refrence points for Navigators - we've known of things like that since the BFG era.

Page 89
"It is said that the Warmaster is planning a major new offensive several sectors distant."

It's implied they are a few sectors away from Horus' position, pre Isstvan.

Page 89
”The astropathic choirs,” explained Furio. “Their communications are sometimes imprecise. Other signals bleed in. Data on other expeditionary fleets becomes known.”

The astropathic rumor mill.

Page 91
The admiral’s aide had an augmetic implant on the right side of his face that stretched from the temple down to the jaw line, a device of brass and polished silver. Raldoron recognised the form of a wireless vox-mechanism within it, and his enhanced hearing picked up a faint whine from the implant – the vibration of an echo-communiqué transmitted into the officer’s mastoid by bone induction.

Comm augmetic.

Page 91
"Our scout ships at the head of the fleet report a single Imperial vessel of cruiser tonnage on an intercept vector. It was likely waiting for us beyond the mass shadow of the belt, at the Mandeville point."

we learned about Mandeville points in KNF.

Page 93
The ways of the Emperor’s sons were complex and often far beyond the understanding of others – even men raised to transhuman power like those of the Legions – and it was known that some of them possessed abilities that appeared to defy logic. There were many stories: that Mortarion of the Death Guard was incapable of feeling pain, that Corax could cloud the minds of men with but a thought or that the Khan could talk to storms… These were a strange intertwining of living myth and cold truth, and when one was speaking of beings like the primarchs it was impossible to say where fact ended and fiction began. The Angel had the sight, so it was said, and nothing that Raldoron had ever seen or heard in his years as a legionary had ever made him doubt it. On rare occasions, at times of the greatest import, Sanguinius would intervene in the operations of the Legion, apparently without reason, but always with great effect.

Some more on the 'abilities' the Primarchs have. Again they don't always seem quite so overt as most psykers od (except Magnus) although the Khan's abilities seem to come close. We also know some primarchs share similar qualities, low level telepathy (Lorgar had this in First Heretic), as well as the fact Curze and Sanguinius both share a
sort of prescience.

Page 95
"But I must say, you were not expected. A day later and you would have found us gone. My fleet is in the midst of preparing for travel into the warp."

They are still by the Asteroid belt and the Word Bearer ship reaches the Mandeville point. Given the size of the field implied before we can definitely say that its less than a billion km or so, and given the definition of Mandeville poitns in the last book, we might figure there's a good 8-10 AU to travel in at least a day, which would result in an accel of between 50-80 gees minimum, and a top realspace vleocity of 8-11 % of lightspeed.

Page 96
The suspension of psychic warfare and the abolition of the Librarius contingent had been dealt with differently in each Legion that maintained one, each according to their individual traditions and methods. In a service offered by Lorgar to his brethren, the master of the XVII Legion had sent his most pious and vigilant apostles to help with the re-integration of those gifted with psyker powers back into the rank and file of the Space Marine cohorts.

Also probably allows the Word Beares to manipulate the psykers in each legion, the ones most vulnerable to warp
and daemonic activity.

Page 97
"Horus Lupercal’s message is for his brother’s eyes only. The meme-blocks in my psyche and the telepathic codes holding my aura closed will only dissolve…" She released a sigh, gazing dreamily at the primarch. "When we are alone."

Astropathic message security measures.

Page 100-101
This was no manner of psychic communication he was familiar with.
The ectoplasmic cloud coagulated into a familiar form, and then it spoke. "Well met, brother." The timbre of the words was distorted, as if they were coming through water, the low tones resonating, but it was without doubt the voice of the Warmaster.
"And her abilities have been… enhanced by those with unique knowledge.’
"How is this done?" The Angel slowly circled the trembling, naked woman. "She is a… a conduit? That is not possible…"
"‘Clearly it is, Sanguinius. Hurling psychic shouts into the void and hoping they will be heard is but one method of contact over interstellar distances."
"Sahzë's rare gift is what you see at work here. She can forge a direct line of contact through the warp, becoming the passage between us as easily as if we were speaking over a vox-channel. She is mind-bonded to another, who is before me now."

Horus has access too (probably through the work of his Daemonic allies) a means of forging direct connections through the warp across light years. REcall that it was implied that he was several sectors away, so we're probably talking hundreds, if not thousands of light years. This is different from astrotelepathy in the sense it is a direct, real time communication (not unlike the Villips of the Yuuzhan Vong, with similar limtiations.) but lacks a certain flexibility. It's also interesting given Magnus tried something similar (over greater distances) but with far greater effort.
The closest AStropaths come is the direct mind to mind communication to throw their thought/symbol messages, which is alot less precise.
Still, we know its possible in later years. The Word Beares had similar in the Blood Angels novels, and astropaths in the Soul Drinkers novels have done similar (albeit over shorter ranges.) so 'direct' conduits are possible, if rare.

Page 102
" I have learned that a cluster of worlds in the Northern Cross, out on the Fringe, have severed all lines of contact with Terra and the Imperium. These worlds are key colonies in that region, a lynch-pin system vitally important to the protection of the outer sectors, and of critical strategic importance to the Great Crusade."
"Go to the Eastern Fringe"

Sanguinius destination. Kayvan Belt to Signus cluster.

Page 105
The Blood Angel ran at a pace that would have matched the cruise of an Mastodon troop carrier over even ground, his training fatigues snapping at his limbs.
The Blood Angel saw the turn coming and upped his speed into a sudden sprint.

Running speed of an unarmoured Blood Angel, probably implies definite automobile speeds. Also not their fastest speed.

Page 106
Raised up high over the bow of the starship, the gallery was part of the pre-Crusade design of the vessel. Formerly a space where gunnery officers could take visual sight readings and sensor gear could be housed, advances in technology by the Mechanicum priesthood had made such uses obsolete – and after the cruiser’s most recent refit, the kilometres-long platform had been remade. Aside from the Hermia’s main spinal corridor, it was the longest passageway on the ship, and for the most part it was empty.
..a man leaning forwards on the battlement-like grids that had once housed macroscopes and laser-rangers.

This would suggest Great Crusade era fire control is alot more automated/centralized (probably run by teh cogitators) than in earlier eras, although guns still have gun crews for varying reasons. I'll note that in modern times the methods of targeting and such probably vary - some ships probably would use cogitator-controlled/directed fire (computer assisted manual), whilst others might use this in a more manual/decentralized approach. Again, variable tech.

Also the implied length of the starship.. at least a good 2-3 km long, which given its a cruiser si not surprising. If we go by FFG sizes 4-5 km is likely.

Page 109
Instead, he held it up to show the warrior a set of narrative panels, each a small picture accompanied by a block of text below it. The first was a fanciful representation of a Blood Angel in the white and red armour of a Legion Apothecary, a bolter in one hand and a chainaxe in the other, facing a wall of feral, night-clad eldar. "I’m a sequentialist," Gerwyn explained, the words spilling out of him. "A bit of a scribe, a bit of an artist, the best of the both. I know some look down their noses at my craft, think it’s not so grand as those who write operas or chip away at marble, but I’ll warrant more people read these serials across the Imperium than you’d know…"

A comic or cartoonist, in other words.

Page 110
Then the Hermia’s warning klaxons began a shrill chorus, the deck conducting a rumble as multiple autonomic gun batteries turned to face the still-forming warp gate.

One assumes this is the new, replacement gunnery system in action.

Page 111
"The fool commanding that vessel must be desperate or stupid to exit the warp so close to a translation point…" He frowned. Such tactics were sometimes used by privateers on well-travelled cargo lanes, or by shipmasters attempting to blockade a star system.

Translation points represent fixed points of entry/exit into the warp (at least, safe entr/exit) and thus make blockades possible without committing ungodly huge numbers of ships.

Page 114-115
For the first time, Azkaellon noted the presence of a Rune Priest standing in Redknife’s shadow. The Wolf cleric’s armour was dressed with scrimshawed bones, his open-faced helm apparently carved out of a great canine’s skull. He was careful to stay at his commander’s shoulder, his hand forever on the hilt of a serrated force sword.
He jutted his chin towards the Rune Priest. "You know that psykers are no longer permitted within the Legiones Astartes."
"My battle-brother Stiel is not a witch-mind, Blood Angel, and he forgives you for your error. It is a common misconception."
"And I say again: the Decree of Nikaea has forbidden the use of psychic powers. Your… priest… should be returned to the rank and file, not allowed to treat with the warp."
"His power is pure. It comes from Fenris, as does mine. That is the explanation I will give you, the only explanation."

And once more we witness that the Space Wolves are hypocritical assholes - pushing for the Nikaea edicts, and yet they still get to keep their pet Rune Priests when every other Legion had to give up using psykers. Because their 'power is pure and comes from Fenris.' HAH, bullshit. The Priest is even carrying a fucking Force Sword (Which is attuned to oh, psychic powers.) Fucking hypocrites.
One does have to wonder why they get ot so openly disregard the Nikaea edict, though.

Page 116
That this document and these commands were authentic was beyond all doubt – the photic parchment would have been tele-kinetically transcribed by a bound astropathic savant and all relevant codes and cipher-phrases were in place ..

He wrote it with his mind, in other words. The photic parchment bit is interesting - imprinted on via light, or a holographic ‘paper?’ If so does that mean the Astropathic TK can manipulate photons?

Page 119
Alderman Yee, in the hours before he had placed a laspistol between his thin, papery lips and burned out his skull with it,...

We might assume he burnt out (or blasted) the inside of his skull. The latter might be more mechanical damage and require only single or double digit kj, whilst the latter (burning it out, say by flash burns) could require double or even triple digit kj.
Assuming a 10-15 cm long, 2 cm diameter hole was drilled through the head we might figure 60-90 sq cm was 'burnt' at least, and for 3rd degree burns that would be a good 3-5 kilojoules, for example. More severe burns would be, of course, greater, as would burning the brain (third degree burns throuhgout the volume could be a good 100-200 kilojoules easily, although as I've noted many times in the past, thermal damage is not as efficient as mechanical.)

Page 120
The colonists called for help, first from their neighbours and then from the Imperial Administratum, the Army, the Legiones Astartes, from any agency that was listening. But none of the courier ships dispatched towards the segmentum core had reported in, and all astropathic messages went unanswered.

The Cluster has warp capable courier ships (multiple ships) with the range to reach the Core (which probably means astropaths. Implied speed at least of tens of thousands of c probably, since they probably took less than a year to travel there (more probably, in order to get back before now.)

Page 121
.. but they were very definitely not the light half-track rovers of the planetary garrison force stationed out there.
hard-sided shapes that rolled swiftly towards them, shoving abandoned groundcars out of their way with broad metal bumpers. Dense caterpillar tracks crunched over the rockcrete as the convoy of armoured machines slowed and folded into a V-formation as they halted. They were armoured personnel carriers of a design that Zauber had not seen before, great bricks of metal adorned with weapon sponsons, plated turrets and whip antennae that snapped in the wind

Rhino APCs perhaps? The PDF uses 'half tracks'.

Page 127
..there was no trace of the point-blank impact of the eldar soulseeker round that had almost cost him his life. For the first time in weeks, Meros felt correct, his spirits lifted.

Soulseeker bullets (warp guided?) also 'weeks' implied to pass between the battle in the belt and the transit to arrive where they currently are.

Page 128
Huge battle-barges, bespoke creations built in the massive orbital manufactories of Foss, drifted past with stately menace. The size of cities, they bristled with galleries of weapons powerful enough to scour the surface of a planet, and their launch bays were packed with squadrons of attack fighters, bombers and landers.

Battle barges. Again the class is distinct from (and probably more powerful than) Battleships at this time period.

Page 128
Smaller capital ships moved in the shadow of the bigger craft, but their scale against the barges was deceptive. Many of the other vessels were three or four times the length of the Hermia – grand cruisers and battleships that were more than enough to project the fearsome power of the Imperium. Some were built around the spines of megaweapons, engines and crew compartments clustered about nucleonic lasers, particle bombardment arrays and lance cannon clusters. These in turn were flanked by their own companion ships, riding with escorts, gunboats or destroyers in close formation.

The rest of the fleet. Battleships and cruisers/grand cruisers are 3-4x the length of the Hermia - a cruiser. Givne the 3-5 km esitmated size before, we're talking anywhere from 9-12 km, to 15-20 km long. Which is longer than the Red Tear, of course, but the Tear has alot more volume than in its length (its Tear shape again.) Battle barges would be even bigger than the battleships, as well.
The prow megaweapons again are interesting - alser, particle beam and such. Lances are treated as a separate weapon as well, which is odd.
Also, again mention of gunboats.

Page 128
There were hundreds of ships out here, brought together under the glow of a lonely pulsar, in a region largely devoid of colonial systems – or indeed anything at all. The rendezvous was on the edge of one of the galaxy’s spiral arms, and if one faced in the right direction, the near-lightless infinity of intergalactic space filled the sky.

Scope of the Blood angels fleet and its approximate location. Probably in Segmentum Ultima, so we're probably talking close to the fringe now, very close to the Signus cluster in all probability (I doubt they went too far south or north away from the spiral arm, and its unlikely that they went into Pacificus before backtracking) The new Forgeworld Horus HEresy Betrayal has a rather useful map which shows the location of the KAyan belt and the Signus cluster. The former is located in a region close to Chondax, Prospero, and Ryza, which puts it in the Gologtha Wastes region (and thus around Golgotha) and close to the Maelstrom... and the Signus cluster is right on the eastern most edge of the eastern fringe dead smack in the middleo fht eedge of the segmentum.
That gives it a good 40-50,000 LY distance, and in all probability the Blood Angels covered at least half that distance, if not more (say, 3/4 of it) In a matter of weeks, thats anywhere from 240,000c (a month) to 650,000c. Again, hundreds of thousands of c at least. If it was closer to, say 40-45,000 light years covered we could be looking at over a 1-1.2 million c transit times.
As far as the scope of the fleet - hundreds of ships representing the whole of the Legion. Which is.. rather small in fleet terms. Much smaller than I expected, indeed.

Page 134
"How many of our battle-brothers are at this rendezvous? A hundred thousand?"
“Every one of the companies is represented here, aboard the barges and the command carriers.”

ASsuming that each company is as big as the Ultramarines ‘companies’ - 1000 men, we’re talking over 120 possible command ships (assuming that each battle barge/command carrier carries one company itself.) If they carry several, it would be less, but dozens of battle barges/carriers is still a significant number in and of itself. Note there is evidence that the companies are smaller. If that is the case the number of command carriers alters considerably.

PAge 136
Only mindless servitors and mechanical cogitator units went on about their tasks, oblivious to the great import of the lines of machine-call data reaching out invisibly from the Red Tea..

Mechanical cogitators :P

Page 140
Hundreds of Navigators, chaining their thoughts together into a web of subsumed egos, guided the Blood Angels starships out of the darkness of the void and into a very different kind of abyss.

Apparently fleets of Navigators join their minds together. That probably improves the reliability of tranists - more eyes and mindes to watch out for dangers and such

Page 140
Warp travel was never a thing of ease, and given the recent rise of storms and psychic turbulence in the immaterium, the forecast for the deployment was guarded. It was not unknown for ships to be torn apart simply by the act of translation; punching a hole in space-time was not just a matter of opening a doorway, but an event of great violence and power. In dimensional transition these tragedies happened, and it was an accepted part of the voyage, a necessary risk. The greater the skill of the Navigator, the less likely it would be, but in a fleet as large as this one, in a mass translation event, there was a good chance that some craft would be damaged or even destroyed.

Dangers of warp travel.

Page 142
The warp flask implanted in her flesh was eating her from the inside, and the agony was intense; but she had much yet to do and he told her so, ignoring Sahzë as her weeping began anew.

One of conduit-lady’s modifications I suppose.

Page 146
”Brother Kano,” said a languid, flat voice. He turned and found a hunchbacked servitor standing in the doorway, one of the maintenance helots that worked the chambers on this tier. It regarded him with idiot eyes. “I was alerted by sounds of distress. Are you unwell? Do you require a medicae?”

Servitors have some measure of recognition (they can respond to distress and identify individuals on sight) as wlel as carry out speech.

Page 156
Shedding great bow-waves of exotic particles and extreme energies, the flagship and her sister vessels deployed in good order, expanding out into a huge conical formation.

Reversion to realspace from the warp.

Page 157
”Admiral, begin standard communications protocols. Scan deep for ship-sign or perimeter drones.”

Perimeter drones.

Page 158
"Seven worlds, fifteen moons…" Azkaellon mused, approaching his master from behind.

Size of the Signus Cluster. Again Imperial worlds (like the Boros Gate) are heavily inhabited in some cases.

Page 158
"If we continue on this heading, we will cross inside the trajectory of Phorus within the day."

We dont know exactly how far away they start or the distance covered to Phorus (the outermost system) but it does imply they cannot reach the capital world (closest to the star) within a day.

Page 158-159
Past the orbit of Phorus, there was a wide gap of several light-minutes until the frigid sphere of Holst. Unlike the barren, cratered surface of the most distant planet, Holst had been fully colonised by the Imperium. The ringed, blue-white world was rich in gas ice, and beneath the mantle of a thin nitrogen atmosphere, chemical refineries dotted the surface alongside massive hive-cities to house the workers that toiled to harvest the metallic slush for the engines of empire.
The cluster’s inner region of planets, those that fell within the acceptable parameters for null- or low-exertion atmospheric modification, were a trio of Terran-sized worlds. Two were bread-basket colonies – the windswept agricultural settlement of Scoltrum and Ta-Loc, a stormy ocean world – and the third was the densely populated capital planet of Signus Prime, the fleet’s ultimate destination.
Past the life zone, closer in towards the red sun, lay Signus Tertiary and the innermost planet, Kol. Both worlds had some human population, but they were radiation-soaked stones home only to small outposts and ore mines.

The Signus cluster. Details of interest are the several LM between Phorus and Holst (although distances between Holst and the capital are unknown) and the fact the outermost systems can be hive worlds, and the inner most can be inhabited (albeit small outposts and ore mines..) which I think implies habitation of Mercury/Venus like planets.

Page 160
In any colonised star system, even one under strict military control, there would be a sphere of vox-communications passing back and forth between starships and orbital stations, bleed-through from commercial data networks, even the low frequency traffic of civilian broadcasts. It was virtually impossible to silence the voices of a single planet, let alone seven of them.

EM/comm activitiy of inhabited planets (At least in the GC/HEresy era.)

Page 166
"I was told that the scouts found the wreckage of more than a dozen different craft drifting in Phorus’s gravity shadow."
"Civilian haulers, defence force monitors, shuttles. Many of them not even warp-capable. Trajectory suggested they were fleeing the inner worlds."

Implication of system ships in number (lower limit) type and capability. Some of which seem to have at least some (limited) form of warp travel.

Page 166
"‘The ships had been torn apart."
"The nephilim use displacement weapons. Very effective at close range."
"I mean literally torn apart. As if by some kind of shearing force."

Displacement weapons defined. IIRC we saw something similar in earlier novels. In this case its like sonic weapons (which may be a term for anything that relies on blast/mechanical damage effects, perhaps.)

Page 170
Their distaff cousins, the astropaths, were not so lucky. Their hab-module was deeper inside the warship’s hull, protected by layers of heavy armour and energy barriers. Arcane technologies connected them to mechanisms for psychic thought-projection, infinitely byzantine systems that fascinated the primarch with their intricate complexity.

Astropathic sanctuary on Red Tear. armoued, inside the ship, but also requires mechanisms to project the telepathic stuff like an actual signal - apparently it cannot simply pass through the ship's mass to reach out (which in a way makes sense given the attention they would give to psychic/warp wards/barriers and suchlike.)

Page 171
"The damage patterns resemble the effect of an explosive detonation deep inside the ship-frame."
"But the scans show no signs of thermal damage, no traces common to a chemical or nuclear detonation."
"No exotic particles either, which means it couldn’t be an esoteric weapon, like a graviton shear or a conversion beamer."

Again comment on ship to ship weapons and possibly more on 'displacement' weaponry, which again suggests it conveys some sort of explosive/blast/mechanical damage rather than purely thermal. And apparently does include gravity weapons.

Page 171
"I cannot understand how or why these craft were even in this zone of space. Most of them had no warp motors and were incapable of speeds beyond one-half light velocity, and yet they appeared to be making for interstellar space. It would have taken them centuries to reach the nearest star system, a millennium more to the closest Imperial world."

Once again the signus system had warp capable ships of some kind (third implication of that) whilst the sublight ones were capable of (at most) half the speed of light. Which for a system ship is certainly not trivial from a mass/energy standpoint . ASsuming a ship of a million tons or so (such as a system ship) it would require at least e25 joules (total, not per second!) to reach that velocity, and probably a similar amount to stop. And that's a lower limit, mind, given it measures only the ship's KE, not the KE of the exhaust (which is going to be many times greater.)
Assuming it takes a week or two to reach that speed average velocity would be somewhere in the e18-e19 watt range for the engines, and would require tens of gees (15-30 gees at least.) Even if it was a full month (possible, but unlikely given the timeframes implied in the book) we'd be talking in excess of 5-7 gees, so its not going to change things dramatically by an OoM.
As a measure of total fuel/energy supply, that's a staggeringly high amount, but consistent with the ability of 40K starships to reach decent fractions of lightspeed. Presumably, truly interstellar ships (lik the Blood Angels fleet) would be capable of as good or better performance.

Page 172
"Lens the eye!" At his order, the open bow of the semi-circular amphitheatre widened and the wide armourglass portals looking out into the dark shifted. The molecules of the clear material were stroked by electromagnetic charges that shifted the density and structure of the largest portal, a flawless disc set in an elliptical framework that resembled a human eye. The view outside sharpened, bringing the bow of the Red Tear into hard detail along with her escorts.

The viewports of the Blood Angels starships. apparently not just glass or inert material.

Page 172
On the woman’s gas-lens screen there was a cogitator-generated image dredged up from the depths of the Red Tear’s commodious data mines; a picture assembled from probe readings and the logs of the Imperial colonial census office, the standard planetary catalogue entry for Signus VII, local designation Phorus.

computer tech and census readings.

Page 174
"They were in the process of terraforming Phorus,"

The GC era humanity still had terraforming tech.

Page 175-176
Phorus turned and turned, passing through an impossibly fast day-night cycle, moving as if its connection to the laws of nature had been severed. The dark sphere finally found a kind of equilibrium, presenting what had been its southern polar regions to the Red Tear and all those who watched through viewports and screen-relays.
If a being could have stood upon the planet and lived, they would have witnessed decapitated mountains painted soot-dark sinking into abyssal sinkholes, and great chasms opening up from horizon to horizon. Magma flame jetted high into the air, ejected from the deep core of the planet, hot enough that the hellish glow was visible from orbital space.
And from above – only from above – the full dimension of what was being wrought upon Phorus was slowly becoming clear. At first it seemed that the planet was suffering a sudden and inexplicable geological catastrophe. The gravity of the outpost world went into wild flux as cracks wider than the reach of oceans spread across the surface.
Planets died this way, collapsing under their own mass and breaking apart; it was a common occurrence if one thought in astronomical terms. But never like this, without warning or precursor, seemingly triggered by the arrival of an audience to witness it.
Following lines of circumference, the monstrous fissures spread about the planet, and against all reason they propagated in perfect rows, one crossing over the other, each of them slicing through layers of blackened rock and burned ice. Landmasses splintered in a mathematical symmetry that was too precise, too flawless to be the action of tortured nature. It seemed as if an invisible artisan of godlike scope cradled Phorus in claws of force, cutting lines into the ruined surface as a man might delicately slice into the skin of a ripe fruit.
It ended as swiftly as it had begun, the planet briefly possessing and then losing a new atmosphere as a huge volume of toxic gases escaped from the flaming rocky mantle, boiling into space. Phorus’s landscape had been grotesquely altered, sculpted into a web of magma-choked canyons, each broad enough to drown a hive-city. A grand design emerged from it all, at once seamless and horrific.

Daemonic power reshaping a world. While the planet is in the grip of Chaos, its not exactly like in the Eye, so its interesting both for the scope of the power exerted and for the effects it has (eg its not totally physics breaking, although whether thats because of the limited warp/realspace interaactions currently or what, we don't know.) Calcing it is hard becuase we dont know who/what is doing it, and the manner, other than its obviously 'magic'.

Page 176
" will have the answer to that question, even if I must rip it from the throats of our enemies." He delivered the words with cold, feral intent. "If this is meant to unman us, the xenos have underestimated the will of the–"

Sanguinius and his Blood Angels remain unfazed by what they witnessed above. It says something about the enemies they muts have faced and their abilities if they['re not exactly shitting themselves (although they're not exactly regular humans either... but the point is there's little to no panic or terror resulting from the 'warning'.)

Page 177
"Primarch, the captain of the Chalice and several picket ships around the edges of the flotilla are reporting the occurrence of an unusual astronomical phenomenon"
Beyond the baleful red glow of Signus Alpha and the shimmers of its sister suns, the scattering of stars and nebulae that lay within sight of the Red Tear were changing. Azkaellon had the sudden impression of a colossal curtain falling across a stage the size of a galaxy. A great veil, impenetrable and stygian, blotting out everything.

Chaos again. The notable thing here is that they must not have travelled a great distance to get so rapid a mention of this 'veil' coming down and blocking out the light, as the 'stars' they see is simply the light that has been travelling throughout the galaxy from its origin point, so for the effect to happen so soon and for the Blood Angel fleet to pick it up so quickly (The fleet isn't huge or widely spread - Sangy said he was keeping them together and the mentioned spacing was hundreds of km) they can't be too far away from it (millions of km perhaps, depending on how you defined 'soon'. I'm defining it as 'hours/days')

Page 182
With Urg’s termination the nascent ork empire self-destructed, and the xenos that were not hounded into the mud of Ullanor’s vast battlegrounds would be hunted down across hundreds of star systems, all the way to Chondax, the Kayvas Belt and beyond.
By the Emperor’s command, Ullanor was remade as a trophy world, designated Mundus Tropaeum on all galactic maps and records of tithe.

Implied location of Ullanor and its renaming

Page 182
Geoformer platoons from the Mechanicum brought world engines and mobile stone-burners to cut a massive swath across the broken landscape left in the battle’s wake. Orkish dead were buried in their millions with their savage ruins, interred beneath transplanted rocks and the heads of crushed mountains. The Mechanicum eradicated every last remaining trace of the enemy and paved over them with a giant boulevard, a parade stage as wide as the footprint of some cities.
They built a highway and allowed only one structure to stand proud of the great platform – an ornamental pavilion of black marble and heavy granite that had been built piecemeal on Terra and then shipped across the void by special envoy.

Imperial industrial efforts for Ullanor. Note the stoneburners and Geoformers (I wonder if the former is yet another Dune reference?)

Page 183
..great bowls of smokeless promethium burned brightly, endlessly lighting the highway with their blue-white fire.

Smokeless promethium. The colour is interesting in the implied temperatures are very hot (oxy-acetylene torches, for example) and that and smokeless bit imply very little byproduct created as a result of combustion, which I think would suggest its pretty damn efficient (which would almost be needed for Promethium to be useful in lifting most ships out of a planet's atmosphere. Acetylene for example has an energy content of around ~50 MJ per kg IIRC) I think Hydrogen flames can be made to burn similarily hot.
Mind you, since everyone has an idea of what 'Promethium' is, its still only indicative of the properties of a *kind* of promethium, rather than everything in general.

Page 185
Unit Eight-Eight-Kappa-Two had been Toin Sepsoe, a rapist and killer of women in the hives of Hollonan...
Captured by the city guard, convicted and sentenced to perpetual servitude all that Sepsoe had been the adepts chemically smothered or surgically removed.

Punishment for muder and rape: being made into a servitor. Better than a Death Penalty, I suppose (making amends, I suppose.)

Page 186
the meat and skeleton that had once been Sepsoe was retrofitted with more durable ceramite brackets and numerous bio-organic implants that allowed it to live longer than a human being, to go without the need for sleep and to sustain nourishment through ingestion of a bulk nutrient porridge, similar to that fed to grox or riding beasts.

Servitor enhancements and fuel supply. Presumably the implants are designed to make the organic bits operate more efficiently (simplifying the kind of nourishment needed as well as extracting more energy from it, as well as minimizing the amount of sleep neded.)

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-04-01 02:58pm

Part 2

Page 188
The signifier Imperator Somnium registered briefly in the servitor’s memory core: an interstellar craft of unique classification...
A goliath among starships, the Emperor’s command carrier matched in size the great orbital plates such as Riga and Skye, which floated over the surface of distant Terra like windborne island continents. When it had first entered orbit of Ullanor the planet’s sun had been partially eclipsed, and the Emperor’s helmsmen were forced to administer the ship’s course with an iron hand, to prevent the mass of the vessel exerting a tidal effect on the local weather system.

Big E's flagship. Suggested to be massively larger than most every other ship in existence. Given the 60-80 km Mass conveyors we know about, this thing is probably truly huge (especially if it has a tidal effect and compared to ortibal plates.) Not sure how much we could read into 'continent sized'. Probably reflects the closest the Imperium gets to 'Craftworlds' of any kind though.

PAge 195
..he fingers of his augmetic arm drumming absently on the stock of his holstered bolter..

Bolter stocks. something oyu rarely see in artwork.

Page 197
Like many of the Blood Angels in the lithocast chamber, Captain Amit was not physically present. At this moment, he stood in a transmission vestibule on board the battle-barge Victus, on the far side of the fleet. Hololithic arrays embedded in all the plinths allowed representations of each company commander to be part of the gathering, without them needing to travel from their own ships. The power requirement and cogitator processing capacity to operate the multiple real-time holograph communications streams was high, and the system was rarely used on this scale. Beyond the range of a few light days, the delay in the message transfer became problematic and unwieldy, but with the massed fleet in close proximity the chamber was performing its function perfectly.

Capabilities of Imperial holographic systems, limited to lightspeed lag, but has a tremendous operational range (although it woudl suck beyond a certain distance for obvious reasons.)

Page 197
'This… veil…' began Captain Nakir. The fanciful name for the shadow-effect had been coined by one of Admiral DuCade’s men, and a day later it had spread throughout the entire fleet.

Implied timeframe between the creation of the veil and this current meeting.

Page 198
"This is from the fleet log. Picket ships among the sternguard wings report that an opaque mass resembling a black cloud has formed, six-point-three light days beyond the designated outer marker of the Signus Cluster. Long-range optical observations in all directions appear to support the conclusion that this mass has completely shrouded the system."

It's.. interesting that the veil is supposedly light days away from the edge of the system (which the Blood Angels are in) and yet its blocked off light so very rapidly 'in all directions' that they vcan pick it up at all - evne on optical. I mean if you think about it, it would just prevent more light from coming into the system.. the light still in the system once the veil forms would still be travelling in-system.
It could be drones (we know some drones can transmit even to vessels in the warp - CF Dark Creed) but the signal would alos have to be FTL (some sort of telepathy/astrotelepathy, which implies some sort of astropath element involved in the drone - servitor perhaps?) to apply here.
Or it may just be proof of some technological (quasi or otherwise) FTL detection (technological version of clairvoyance/telepathy/etc.)

Page 198
"There are stories of worlds falling wholesale into the immaterium after catastrophic warp space events. Could that happen to an entire star system, and to us along with it?"
"The energy to achieve such a result would likely be greater than the sum total output of the galaxy itself. It is irrational to conceive it."

Which is interesting given whole systems (or indeed the EYe or Maelstrom itself) exist.. which gives you an idea of just how much energy is involved in creating warp incursions, perhaps.
Assuming an earth like solar system (figure 10 billion km radius) would be 25 megawatts for a 5 km long cruiser to 'enter' the warp (not assuming a sphereical entry point.) Of course its 'grater than' so...
On the other hand, if the 'system' goes by the actual distance of the veil (6.3 light days radius) the energy for a cruiser sized object to enter the warp (assuming it scaled) would be in the single/double digit kw range either. I kinda doubt that, otherwise warp incursions owuld be trivially easy to create methinks.
This does all assume it scales linearly though, so..

Page 198
"‘We remain in normal space, Captain Galan. Our Navigators confirm this to us, although they report that they have lost all contact with warp beacons beyond the line of the veil."

Again Warp beacons.

Page 199
"I have ordered a single ship to disengage from the fleet, the cruiser Helios. They are following a reverse course back along our path of approach to the Signus Cluster. Their orders are to conduct a close examination of this phenomenon."

Sangy orders a single ship to investigate the veil.

Page 200
"While the Helios undertakes its mission, I have also ordered the Hermia to take on a force of legionaries and travel ahead to Signus VI, the planet known as Holst."
"The Hermia is stealth-capable."

And another ship dispatched towards the sixth planet of the Signus system. The ship is stealth-capable so we may infer its not running at maximum output (or its not making a constant-burn acceleration all the way to the system)

Page 201
...if the helm-servitors flying Stormbird Delta-25 Blood’s Eagle..

servitor piloted stormbirds.

Page 206-207
It could not have been anything other than the discharge from a narrow-bore laspistol.
The flight officer shot wildly, pulses of yellow coherent light fizzing into Harox’s pauldrons, his torso plate and helmet. The laspistol wasn’t a battlefield-rated weapon, more a personal defence sidearm, and only a lucky hit to the eye lenses of the warrior’s helmet would have proven dangerous to him. The discharges from the gun cut burning divots in the thick outer layers of his ceramite armour but did not penetrate.
..the blasted servitors....
He saw that the auto-flight cogitator was a wreck, as were the thrust regulators and the long-range vox-unit.

nonmilitary 'defence' laspistol. Also 'narrow bore' which suggests laspistol 'focus' can be highly variable (mcuh as we've seen hinted at in short stories or novels like Legion.) - it probably is tied to role and damage mechanisms - more 'explosive' bolt lasweapons and Armour piercing types are narrow focus, whilst ones focused on thermal effects or broad damage instead of penetration (like a shotgun-scatter effect or a laser flamethrower) would opt for 'wide beam' effects.
Its hard to calc the weapon tho since we have no idea of its exact effects, although damaging equipment suggests it has some measure of penetration against inorganic material.

Page 208
Every one of the Legiones Astartes provided their warriors with a hypnogogic training programme that gave them a basic understanding of vehicle operations. Legionaries were imprinted with the knowledge of how to run groundcraft and common aerial units such as skimmers, gunship speeders and jetbikes – but piloting a Stormbird was at the limit of this teaching.
Meros allowed himself to forget for a moment that he was an Apothecary, surrendering his reflexes to the ingrained muscle-memory programmes deep in his mind. He remembered how to the fly the Stormbird in a distant way..

Legion training WRT vehicles. Apparently it covers a broad type of memories too.

Page 210-211
"Distance to the inner edge?"
"Sir, I can’t give a sounding because the auspex grids refuse to settle."
"We must be close, Captain Reznor. These effects may be an artefact of the barrier’s creation."
"Best guess," Dequen offered. "Ten kilometres and closing."
"Helm." ordered the shipmaster, "hold station here."

The Helios - the ship dispatched to investigate the veil, has managed to get within an approximate 10 km of it. Meaning that, somehow, it crossed a purported 6+ light days of distance. Again like with the 'detection' issue, this would be FTL unless they literally took weeks to cross that distance (debatable, given the events with the HErmia and the Blood Angels lfeet in general.)
The cloud is noticibly advancing, but the fact they're not engulfed despite being approximately ten km away is indicative. Hell even if it was a hundred km away, the fact its not engulfing them within seconds means its travleling very slow, and the barrier could not possibly have shrunk the distance significantly in whatever time it took the ship to arrive.

Page 214
"According to the maps on the signum, this road leads into the main atrium of the upper city, so all we need to do is follow it. Set all thermodynamic and infra-red sensing to maximum acuity. "

Mapping functions of signum, and Blood Angel helmets have 'thermodynamic and infra-red' sensing capability.

Page 222
From the smell of it, the remains were heavily decayed; but that was impossible. Godolfan had spoken with the Navigator less than five hours ago, after they had disengaged from the expeditionary fleet.

Which is.. interesting. As previously established, the veil was over six light days out, and the fleet was inside the system. Meaning they crossed 6 LD in 5 hours, or a speed of 29c. It's not impossible they used the warp to hop that distance, but given the possible disturbance I'd wonder if it was risky... Still warp travel is the only possible explanation for how they could cross that distance in such a short time (unless either the distance or the time is wrong. Time is possible but unlikely, but given the distances in estimating the range that could be.. although to be off by orders of magnitude seems unliekyl also..)

PAge 225
Kano cycled the vision modes of his helmet optics, but found nothing. That didn’t make sense; even a foe beneath a camo cloak or phase-shunt would leave some kind of visual trace against the background environment.

commentary on stealth/cloaking measures and autosesense vision modes. I wonder if 'camo' includes cameleoline?

PAge 232
It had once been a service conduit for the hive, running vox-cables and geothermal taps out to the neighbouring settlements.

The Hive (or arcology, as they also use the term) uses geothermal power.

Page 233
"I brought ships to assist in the Hermia’s mission. The Victus was in closer orbit, so I offered to take on the search for you myself. I wanted to look upon the enemy.’ He paused. ‘Is that what I saw, brother-sergeant?"

Which would imply that roughly ten hours or so have passed since they crashed.

PAge 234
The Hermia, along with the Victus and her escort cruisers, Sable and Paleknight, were connecting back to the planet’s surface with the glittering, impermanent red threads of mega-lasers, but at first it was not clear what enemy the other ships had come across.
The primarch’s flagship hove closer, the Red Tear flanked by the Ignis and the Covenant of Baal, the vessels temporarily detached from the main body of the fleet out in open space.
Then a missile made of dense rock, most likely the head of a great mountain from Holst’s equatorial zone, threw itself out of the hive-world’s gravity well. A singular, incredible release of volcanic power ejected the mass into the orbital path of the Paleknight, at such speed that the cruiser’s fusion thrusters were not sufficient to set it on a different heading.
The starship’s back was instantly broken, and it came apart in clouds of venting atmosphere and plasmatic discharges.
Even as the cruiser perished, the planet was spewing more molten hate into the sky. Scatter-shot clouds of stone briefly became flaming meteors as they crossed the ice world’s thin atmospheric membrane, against all reason screaming upwards at the Blood Angels ships. The Victus took hits across its flank and the Hermia lost great divots of hull metal as the hurled rocks gouged valleys in the thick armour of her prow.

The Warp-tainted palnet launches a kinetic bombardment on the Blood angels fleet. One 'escort cruiser' destroyed and two other ships (cruiser or bigger) taking damage but not destroyed. The exact mass or veloity is not known so its not easy to estimate. The fact it apparently survives transit to orbit - indeed the fact it makes orbit on such a linear course suggests something truly akin to a severe asteroid impact - a projectile tens if not hundreds of meters in diameter (or the equivalent) and moving at tens of km/s (at least 12+ km/s, but even then I question whether it would be 'straight line') Depending on orbit ti could be faster - say less than a minute to change trajectory from a standing start (assuming isngle/double digit gees) would point at least tens, perhaps hundreds of km/s. On the other hand, tossing the rocks into the 'orbital path' of the ship tends to suggets its not moving super-fast either, since it's still affected by gravity. somewhere in the order of tens of km/s seems most likely all told.
As an example: Assuming a 20 meter diameter rock asteroid at 20 km/s would be a 7-8 thousand ton asteroid would be momentum in the 1.4e11 kg*m/s and e15 Joules (not quite a megaton of KE.)

Even if the velocity was rather slow (tens or even hundreds of km/s) its quite possible the collisions would not have triggered void shields. And even if they did, there's still conservation of of momentum and such to consider (which force fields cannot totally protect against even if the projectile does not penetrate the shields.)

Page 235
"How many were on that ship?"
"Eight full squads of legionaries."
Sanguinius’s reply seemed to come from a very great distance. "Nearly a hundred times that number of crew."

Crew of the escort cruiser 80 astartes and nearly 8000 crew.

Page 235
What kind of weapon can fire objects of such dimension from a planetary surface?’ Azkaellon looked up, questioning anyone who would meet his gaze. ‘There’s no mass driver ever built that could do it. The power requirement alone would be immense!"

If we knew the parameters of the attack in question this might be relevant :D Although it is interesting that mass (or size) of the projectile is the issue rather than mass and/or velocity. That suggests the projectiles are impacting at velocities consistent with Imperial mass drivers (although what kind and what velcoities are, as I said, open to debate.)

Page 236
"The Victus, Sable and Hermia are entering formation with us. Hermia reports major damage, but it is still operational."

Aftermath of the kinetic bombardment

Page 236
"Admiral DuCade, slave gun control on all vessels present to my word of command. Tell every shipmaster to prime their cyclonic torpedoes and megaweapon-gauge systems for full bombardment. Target Holst."
"All weapons? Against the hive-city?" DuCade asked.
"Against the planet," corrected the primarch. "Synchronize aim-points along the equator, track for geological flux. I want this world shattered."

Sangy is getting serious. 'megaweapon-gauge' suggests most of the bow weapons - the spinal mount lasers, nova cannon/mass driver types, torpedoes (or in this case, cyclonics) The 'all weapons' quote is interesting, as it implies all weapons that can bear, or all weapons in the arc. This means all the weapons facing forward (unless the torpedoes can fire off axis) are 'mega-gauge' or the heaviest weapons, or that the ships have significant off axis firing.
My interpretation is that its referring mostly to all the prow weapons, although its possible that the dorsal (or ventral) weapons could contribute also.
It is also interesting that they're using cyclonics alongside conventional weapons for what amounts to Exterminatus.

Page 236
The hammer of the Emperor’s will was a powerful force, and in the wars of the Great Crusade it had often been regrettably necessary to punish whole worlds with ruthless intent. The Guard Commander had seen cities wiped off the map in the blink of an eye, vaporised by lance cannons and macronuclear bombs; continents seared by laser barrages; skies scorched.
And while the power to kill a world – to truly, utterly destroy it – had always rested within the reach of the Legiones Astartes, it was not an order that Azkaellon had ever witnessed in execution.

Again reference to Imperial starships being able to destroy cities and continents, but not much clarification beyond that. We dont know how many ships involved, but the duration for both (or at least for the cities for sure) is short. In the case of cities, there's up for debate whether 'vaporize' could be taken literally (and of course the size of the city) and if it means lance cannons and macronuclear bobms individually, or as a combined assault (although it implies a single salvo eithr way) and laser barrages for an entire continent.
On the other hand this isn't neccesarily a 'full power' assault either, more like 'tactical' or strategic bombardments - to wipe out enemies without neccesarily decimating the whole planet. It indicates the level of devastation they are willing to direct at a planet.

Page 237
"The order is given: exterminatus extremis."
The void surrounding the planet Holst flashed crimson as energies were liberated and directed, as a surge of weapons of mass destruction hurtled from launch tubes and bore down upon the turbulent world.
Energy pulses struck first, moving at the speed of light and boiling away the vapours shrouding the sky, punching into the nitrogen ice surface. Rocky under-strata that had been sealed beneath permafrost for millions of years were burned clean and exposed. The torpedo barrage came seconds after, great fusion-powered rockets tipped with lethal warheads. Each had the power to lay waste to a continent, but in this instance they were combined with force enough to spear the molten heart of a world.

The a portion of the Blood Angels fleet demolishes the planet. The first notable detail is that the cyclonic torpedoes are stated to run on fusion motors, and they have continent-destroying firepower per warhead.
They also launch at the same time the beam weapons fire, but strike 'seconds' after (presumably less than a minute, but probably not even that much.) Again tens of km/s at a very low end, but more probably hundreds of km/s or more (for torpedoe velocity.) Which has actually been a consistent pattern for the HH novels (Age of Darkness and The Primarchs both have examples of such.) Assuming a 10-20 second duration and ~2000 km 'low orbit' transit you get an average speed of 100-200 km/s and an acceleration between 10-40 km/s^2 at least.
Of course we could argue (if its geostationary orbit and a few seconds) tens of thousands of km/s for torpedoes too.. but I won' tquite go that far here :P
And then there's the bombardment. The combined forward beams and torpedoes in that single salvo destroy/shatter the planet. We don't know how many ships exactly were involved - later it implies a 'handful' and there's fewer than a dozen mentioned by name (including escorts) so it doesn't seem large, but its possible it could be larger Assuming the usual 1e9 megaton threshold and we assume 1000 ships (upper limit of 'hundreds', and assuming 1 ship per 100 Astartes roughly), that would assume an average of 1e6 megatons per salvo per ship (within an order of magnitude) The energy weapons would be within an order of magnitude or two of the torpedoe salvo in this contesxt, suggesting roughly gigaton range weapons by the planet killing alone. Shattering the planet (partial/total mass scattering) would be orders of magnitude more devastating. If the number of ships is much smaller (say 10 or less) the firepower goes up considerably as well of course.
Again it is interesting that the cyclonics alone weren't used for mass destruction, given we know they can do that. That is further proof that the beam weapons were comparable in devastation (or perhaps better?) at least over the 'seconds' long duration of the bombardment. It is also possible this indicates they do again use cyclonics as a anti-ship warhead at least in some cases - we knew that was the case from Bleeding Chalice, for example, and we know cyclonics come in a variety of yields (from 'single one to mass scatter/destroy a world' to 'destroying a city with one') It is also possible to interpret the 'lay waste to a continent' passage as referring to both the beam weapons AND torpedoes separately too (we know las barrages could do that.)
It is also interesting that no mass drivers are firing (no nova cannon) - this implies that virtually all the Blood Angels prow (and dorsal) weapons are either guided projectiles of some kind (gun launched missiles?) or beam weapons and just torpedoes. If so then the rapid propogation might make sense if it was missiles or mass drivers too.
either way it suggests a shit-ton of firpeower and probably marks yet another instance of James Swallow being marked as an outlier because he clearly read something on the internet he didn't understand but just picked cuz it was a big number. After all, sci fi fans are SO MUCH inherently smarter than those stupid soft-sci fi writers who never ever think :P

Page 240
"It is days now since we passed inside the orbit of Signus VI, and left that world killed and broken."

Days have passed since they killed the previous planet, which was 'broken' (presumably shattered, unless we invoke hyperbole.) They still haven't reached the fifth planet yet either.

Page 240
The fleet was on the move, at battle speed now, crossing wide of the White River asteroid belt in a half-loop over the plane of the ecliptic, towards the inner planets and a direct speed course to Signus Prime.

Basically its a straight line courese, I gather.

Page 257
There had been such dedication in the eight dead crewmen. They were among the longest-serving ratings aboard the Dark Page, and in their life of attachment to this starship there was a bond that went beyond the corporeal.

Simply serving aboard a starship for a long time can be a source of psychic power. Whether it is the imprint or infusion of their own psychic power/signature into the ship itself, or simply their thoughts and beliefs relative to the ship shaping the warp (and thus shaping the object) we don't know, but its a tangible effect. What's more this can go some way to explaining why superstition and such about ships or technology can sometimes have truth - sort of a self-fufilling prophecy.

PAge 262
..part of the Signus Cluster’s outer defence squadron.

The Signus cluster's defenses included at least one squadron of frigates, and probably multiple squadrons of escorts total (or at least, escort scale craft.)

Page 262
Plumes of radiation from the cracked power cores of warp engines were visible as scintillating fountains of colour via rad-scan optics, showing like distant aurorae.

Warp engines as viewed by Astartes 'rad scan' ioptics.

Page 267
..raising the melta weapon with one hand, dialling down the projector choke with the other.
"We don’t know who is on the other side of this. The shock effect could be lethal."

There is also a 'shock effect' of some kind from a Melta trying to breach some sort of sealed door/airlock (vaporization? steam explosion?) And they have some sort of variable parameter - not yield I think, but probably focus (narrow or wide focus, given the reference to a 'choke' would be my guess.)

Page 267-268
Meros drew his chainaxe and threw a hard blow against the first of the clamps. Fractal-edged tungsten-alloy teeth met plasteel and yellow sparks flew. The handle spun away from its mounts, and in moments Meros had beheaded all of the clamps.

Chainaxe at work on welded-shut plasteel door. Note the 'fractal-edge' tungsten teeth.

Page 273
"Sanguinius will never turn his face from the Emperor. Erebus is a fool to think it could ever be so. The Angel must fall and never rise. Without him, his sons will embrace your scarlet path, creature. They will be lost.’ His eyes became hooded. ‘They will belong to your bloody king."
"Your hubris is entertaining, Horus Lupercal. I see what you see. If the impossible were to happen, if the Angel Sanguinius could be turned… Then for the first time you would have a true rival among your traitor allies. Perhaps, one the Ruinous Powers might grow to favour over you, given time. You do not wish to take that risk."
"He will not turn!" Horus’s shout shredded the smoke-shape of the avatar, and it twisted angrily as it reformed. "None of you understand him as well as I do. But mark this, he will die even if I must do the deed myself. On my soul, I swear it."

A few paragraphs from a much larger scene, but its one I rather like and it plays a rather prominent part in this book, which shows why I am enjoying it. The book has bits of action here, but I'm not really forced to slog through long pages of Space MArines being BADASS (yet), which is a good thing. Most of the action is ship to ship, but ultimately the first half of the book is the Blood Angels moving into the trap, and getting their first glimpse of what Chaos truly is.. and that's actually a bit fascinating to me. It's setting the scene for the conflict to come once the trap is sprung, and all the elements are carefully shifting into place.
Another big aspect of this scene (and of the book as a whole) focuses on the relationship between Horus and Sanguinius. These two Primarchs since the HH first took shape have always been pivotal, as it is Sanguinius who gets killed by Horus at the Battle of Terra, and that which provides motivation for the final, ultimate battle. Seeing the pre-Heresy Horus and Sanguinus, the closest of brothers and mutually supportive and contrasting it with this Horus - the man twisted by Chaos, ambition, hatred and betrayal - using that brother's trust and love to kill him because he's a potential rival (or a reminder of what Horus has given up. Horus is rather conflicted still.) is a pretty strong sentiment for me. The fact I like seeing the 'good' Horus we had from Horus Rising again, and then being shown this utter bastard he has become, is something of a mindfuck.
And yet I can still pity him because he was decent and good once, and he is very much a victim of others (Chaos and the Word Bearers, who themselves are being used.) Indeed, that plans within plans is naother aspect I liek of this book. We see that the Word Bearers - who have long thought they were calling the shots, are now realizing (much as in Nemesis) that Horus is not as malleable as they thought, and he's playing them as much as they play him. And there is yet a third faction playing off both those sides: Chaos - they are the ultimate manipulators here, and utlimately the winner. Chaos has set the stage and gained some powerful allies, but as is always the case with Chaos, the alliance is tenuous and full of mistrust and potential for betrayal, and that creates the weaknesses that ultimately undoes it. The question is, how much damage will be done before things fall apart on them?

Page 274
..whose ages ranged from a boy of approximately three to a woman of one hundred and six standard Terran years.

Presumably non-rejuv age.

Page 275
"We’ve been in here for weeks. We have not seen light of day since the crash."

weeks since the crash, the length of time they were on the remains of the ship

Page 275
"We were below decks for most of the flight from Signus Prime. The ship was trying to move beyond the mass shadow. "

The Defence force frigate was warp capable.

Page 275
"She was overloaded, captain. We were making good speed, but pushing the reactor too hard. Much too hard. I know there was power loss and we... we started to drift. That’s when the beasts came upon us."

That would suggest one reason why they probably don't run at flat out maximum power all the time.

Page 276
... Hengist had made an attempt to conceal a short sword and a narrow-gauge bolt pistol beneath a pile of rags

Variable calibers in bolt weaponry I gather from this.

Page 276
"‘The ship started to break up," offered Niobe. She looked towards Zhomas. "We went through the atmosphere."
"We all… found each other after the crash. Came in here and locked the door. We had food and water."

the Frigate came down at least partly in tact, and some people aboard it survived the impact by whatever means.

Page 277-278
" By the end of the first week we were building concentration camps for the ones who dared disagree."
"Within a month Bruja was ruler of the system in all but name. "

At least a month passed for the daemons to do what they wanted before the Blood Angels arrived. one and a half to two months more liekly, given the 'weeks' hiding in part of the frigate.

Page 281
Slowly and carefully he turned, silently drawing his bolt pistol.
It was three hundred metres from where they crouched, pausing to sniff at the air, licking at nothing with a forked, serpentine tongue.
"Single target on foot. Could be a scout."
"Can you make a silent kill?"
"Negative, too far. No reaction as yet."
"Don’t risk the humans. Let it go if you can."

I'm guessing 'silent kill' is knife work, since bolters aren't exactly silent, so this implies a 300 metre or so range for bolt pistols, which is conisstent with novels like Space wolf and Angels of Darkness.

Page 287
The mood in the lithocast chamber was in stark contrast to the temper of the conclave only a few days earlier. Captain Raldoron folded his arms across his chest and scanned the room, picking out the avatars of the commanders who were transmitting from their ships. Along with countless other minor malfunctions and small indignities, the hololithic network between the vessels of the Blood Angels fleet was suffering intermittent loss of data parity, and the synthetic avatars of many of the Three Hundred’s company captains were blurry and crazed with static.

In the holo-room again, and its a 'few days later' since the first time. Given the first time this happened was around Phorus (on the edge of the system) and they're now around the fifth planet, that means it took them a few days (less than a week) to reach insystem. Just how far that is we don't know, but its a safe bet its probably at least hundreds of millions, if not billions of km (the distance between VII and VI was at least several LM, and I'd guess its at least similar to the others)
Assuming 'a few days' means 2-4 days you'd still get only 1-2 gees at 1 AU and average velocity would be around 1500 km/s. At 10 AU you'd be looking at between 10-20 gees. Hell you still get a few gees even if its close to a week.

Page 297
The warships deployed in combat formation, squadrons of cruisers, carriers and destroyers forming their own battle elements, laying out screens of interceptors and picket gunboats.

The BA fleet deploys around Signus... note they deploy fighters AND gunboats... so apparently they carry some sort of parasite warship (gun cutter analogue perhaps). Also carriers.

Page 298
The two moons of the third planet were gone. They had not been destroyed by any conventional means, for that would have left debris to settle into an accretion ring and the spillage of radiation and particle traces marking their points of obliteration. The satellites had simply been stolen from their orbits, lost to the unknown; and with them had gone shipyards, barracks and manufactories for the Signus Cluster’s defence forces.

It is at least known (or possible) for planets/moons to be destroyed by 'conventional means' whatever that is. Whehter that includes the Imperium and such, I leave it up to others to argue over from this :P
Also the defence force had its own orbital shipyardsa nd industry.

Page 299
A cowl of dense wreckage from countless obliterated vessels and orbital complexes hung close to the edge of the atmospheric interface – military and civilian ships alike, everything from suborbital wing-shuttles never designed to venture beyond the stratosphere to interstellar juggernaut haulers...
For where there were thousands of murdered ships there were ten thousand times that number of human dead drifting bloated and frozen in the vacuum.

More like millions of people, but I digress. At least 'thousands' of ships in orbit around the planet. Not all are interetellar ships (the wing shuttles probably arne't that large) but its definitely implied there are hundreds of such doubtless at least, which includes scores or hundreds of warships.

Page 301
A vast hurricane of psychic shock, created from the bottled murder-essence of millions of surrendered souls, resonated out from the shrouded world. It swept across the crimson starships in a shuddering, immaterial wave. Void shields could not halt the ethereal power of it, and the mere matter of adamantium hulls and plasteel bulkheads were penetrated as easily as if they had been made of paper.

Blood Angels void shields could not stop against a psychic/telepathic shockwave attack.

Page 306
The Red Tear was turning, and steeply enough that the massive flagship’s gravity plates were labouring to compensate.

AG seems to double as the acceleration compensation as well.

Page 312
The Blood Angels ships fired torpedo barrages and pulsing blasts from their mega-lasers, stripping all protection from the attackers, but still the enemy came on.

that may suggest that torpedoes did not bypass the enemy ship's void shields, but its hard to be sure. Also would imply (again) megalasers (prow weapons) and torpedoes are roughly comparable firepower wise.

Page 313
Ahead, the Red Tear opened her gun ports and let her cannons give their all, the brilliant spears of particle beams and the streamers of missile salvoes striking hard across the line of the hell-ship advance.
Perfect, pearl-like globes of nuclear fire bloomed in the night, destroying what should have already been long dead.

Nuclear warheads and particle beams and missiles oh my.

Page 319
It was then the Apothecary saw that one of the Space Wolves was manhandling a conical object easily the height and mass of a human, dragging it off one of the munitions carts stalled by the impact.
With a grunt of effort, Valdin threw the warhead over his shoulder and it tumbled down into the enemy throng. Meros turned away, bringing up his hands to shield his face as it hit the tanker’s bow and detonated.
In such a confined space, the explosion blew out a great plate of the Red Tear’s outer hull – not enough to puncture the inner armour, but enough to unseat the invaders’ ship and expose the fleshy monstrosities to the harsh caress of space.

rather large anti-fighter missile, although what kind of payload it has we don't know at all. It doesnt to anything to the hsip armour though.

Page 319
Secured in place on the adamantium decks by the magnetic plates in his boots..

Adamantium (or the alloy of it) is ferrous.

Page 322
The last las-bolt bored into DuCade’s heart, flash-burning a hole through her chest

Laspistol. We dont know quite how big the hole is, but it penetrades deeply to the heart (15-20 cm) and if it was a finger-sized hole, we might figure at least single, maybe double digit kj. If we go by burns on the interior of the 'hole' and 3rd degree burns, we get at least 4.5-12 kj (50-125 j per sq cm)

Page 323
Lit by atomic fires and the blaze of coherent energy, the war in the skies above Signus Prime was a tapestry of violence.


Page 325-326
The smell of burned glass and cooked meat assailed them as Cassiel led the way in..
Many had died fleeing, laser burns scorching open their backs with wet pink wounds.

Laspistol again. We dont know how big the burns are though, but its implied to be fairly large. Again its perhaps single/double kj range perhaps.

Page 334
"For days now we have walked with caution across the Signus Cluster, encountering the inexplicable and the monstrous"

Again days to cross the cluster's system

Page 340
Suddenly Amit was sprawled on the hull with a new impact crater on his careworn armour and Sanguinius standing over him. The Angel moved so fast, the Apothecary had barely registered the movement, sweeping in and knocking Amit down with the pommel of his great sword.

Primarch's speed and reactions relative to a Space MArine. I'd guess he can move many meaters in a tenth/twentieth of a second, given what we know Astartes reactions to be.

Page 341
" It seemed like a lifetime ago, but it had only been weeks since the battles on Nartaba Octus, since the eldar soulseeker-round in his gut that had almost cost the Apothecary his life."

'weeks' to travel to the Signus system (including the rendezvous) and to reach the capital. I'd guess Kayvas to Signus (by HH Betrayal) is 40 to 60 thousand LY approximately. Assuming 2, or 3 weeks. is between 693,000 to 1,560,000 c.

Page 344
The crushing bulk of the monster had strangled him like a giant constrictor, breaking many of his bones despite the dense metallic content of his gene-altered skeleton.

Astartes have metallic components (as well as ceramic) to their skeletons. Which, given their insane abilities, makes alot more snese than some of the stuff attributed to them.

Page 345
"If I had a single Throne gelt for each time that threat was aired, I could buy my own galaxy."

Mention of Throne Gelt again.

Page 347-348
"The central spire is approximately three kilometres high" ’ Raldoron explained. "Laser ranging refused to give a consistent estimate. "
The stronghold resembled an ancient cathedral of tall, narrow cones and massive chapel arches. Around the central tower, there were four smaller spires, then a ring of eight more. The high angle of the pict from the monitor bird showed a clear geometric pattern to the architecture, but the base of the structure was shrouded in a peculiar pale haze that glowed, illuminated by a reddish glow from thousands of misted windows.
"A lance cannon shot from orbit would test the reality of this place without question."
"I voxed Galan on the Covenant of Baal, asked his gunners to make a sounding for possible bombardment. He returned contact asking me why I wanted a bald patch of desert turned to glass."

Single lance strike could take out (melt?) a multi-km fortress-like catehdral structure. Not exactly city destroying, but still damn impressive. Assuming melting a 1 meter deep 3 km diameter area, we're talking about tens of thousands of TJ. Not exactly an explosion, but eh, it would turn the thing to glass. A nd is roughly consistent with the Deathwatch/Rogue Trader definition of lance strikes.

Page 347
"Interference with the optical systems of the monitor birds we sent to over-fly the target." He paused. "The drones came back… different. I had them put down and burned."

Some kind of recon servitor drone, I'd gather. Maybe like a psyber-eagle.

Page 352
A horizontal rain of bolter fire and shrieking plasma met their advance and cut them down, ripping flesh into ribbons or ashing it with greasy chugs of meat-smoke.

Effects of bolt and plasma fire on possessed cultists. Bolters probably just explode, but the plasma guns probably could pulverize and cremate. Extent of cremation unknown, but figure broadly megajoule to gigajoule per shot (partial to total cremation, in other words)

Page 368
Ka’Bandha gave a wordless shout of anger, shouldering aside a stalled Rhino, flipping the armoured transport onto its roof. He exploded towards the Angel, howling like a banshee.

Bloodthirster can flip a Rhino. We know Primarcsh can do the same, and Sangy is roughly well matched to this Bloodthirster, so it probably measures Sanguinius' strength fairly well also.

Page 369
They twisted in mid-flight, raining blows upon one another, each punch landing with enough kinetic force to send out thunder-cracks of displaced air. Sanguinius felt armour that had weathered a thousand wars fracture and split beneath the deadly impacts of the daemon warlord’s strikes.

Implying, perhaps, that Sangy and the Bloodthirster are exchanging supersonic punches.

Page 376
The gargantuan volcano had been tamed by the power and technology of Imperial might, the living rock and roiling magma cut back and dammed so that the Emperor and his sons could come into the heart of this place and walk the spaces within without threat of destruction
Once the legionaries and their servants were gone, the field generators and gravity-walls would be deactivated and Nikaea’s burning mountain would assert its strength once more. The rocky chambers cut by melta-beam into domicile, anteroom and amphitheatre would be engulfed by lava, reclaimed by the fires.

Imperial forcefield technology (portable or modular, apparently) protecting against volcanic lava.

Page 392
But then the red fire, and the blinding sweep of the daemon-lord’s axe. The cataclysm as it descended into the mass of hundreds of Blood Angels, all of them storming forwards with the same intent as Meros.
A bolus of incredible energy, liberated from nothingness, exploded across the ranks of the warriors.
An inferno of hate crashed in the wake of the blow and suddenly hundreds of legionaries were gone. Flesh and bone, adamantium and ceramite, obliterated by a power beyond reckoning. Bodies burned to cinders, armour crushed to blackened fragments, legionaries Meros had known well erased from the face of the galaxy in a single heartbeat.

Ragefire burns 500 Blood Angels to ash. It wasn't innate power of the Thirster per se, but it was borrowed/augmented power imbued in the weapon, as I gather it.

Page 418
The Apothecary fired a bolt round into the middle of the forehead, blasting it apart in a welter of bone and gooey matter.

Bolt pistol round headsploding a Bloodletter.

Page 419
Over the lip of the crater came a smoking, war-scarred vehicle on four grinding caterpillar tracks; the Mastodon was designed for deployment of full squads into the middle of combat zones..

Mastodon troop transport.

Page 425
..a shattered lascannon had been mounted; the device was a ruin of torn parts and heat-slagged crystal,

Lascannons using crystals.

Page 431
Preysight and light-modified visual settings through the optics of Raldoron’s combat helmet were no improvement. The sensors in his warplate constantly gave off erroneous data and filled the vision blocks with heat bloom.

Astartes helmet sensors/vision modes.

Page 432
Somewhere up there, set in position at high anchor away from the slow burn of battle that still raged on in orbit, the Scarlet Liberty was drifting with its bow aimed at the planet, lance cannons primed and missile batteries loaded and ready. Although the starship’s targeting sensors were blinded by the unusual atmospheric effects of Signus Prime’s corrupted skies, they would still – it was hoped – be able to see the beacon’s trace should Raldoron activate it. If triggered, in less than ninety seconds a hail of death from above would fall upon his location and obliterate everything..

High anchor we learn means roughly high orbit (given the battle is taking place at high orbit on page 465), which puts the ship above geostationary (36,000 km approx) and possibly as high as 96,000 km (depending on defintiion, I'm using the one here Indeed it quite possibly may be beyond that. Either way This gives the missile barrage roughly 90 seconds at most (less than nienty seconds) to cross that distance, implying a missile velocity somewhere on the order of at least 400-500 km/s to over 1067 km/s. Or roughly, hundreds of km/s, which is roughly comparable to torpedoes. Macro cannon should obviously be at least as fast, if not faster, and its likely both macro cannon AND missiles are faster, given we know torpedoes can reach up to 800 km/s as well (The Primarchs.) On the other hand, its quite possible 'missile' actually means torpedo... Its prow weaponry after all and torpedoes are prow weapons (recall that the Blood Angels fleet - or some of the ships - had bombarded a planet with torpedoes from prow weapons earlier. torpedoes and missiles may be conflated here. It would even make sense, velocity wise, if we're talking about torpedoes rather than 'broadside' missiles.) If the bombarding ship is above the technical definition of 'high orbit' the velocity for the missiles would be greater. but if I am correct and the text is describing a lance/torpedo bobmardment instead, then more likely the velocity is not significantly greater (torps move slower and penetrate shields, remember.)
It also demonstrates that 'higher tha low orbit' bombardment accuracy can be achieved at least with a targeting beacon, although its implied the Blood angels ship in question apparently would have the capability as long as it could scan the surface (which it can't here, hence the beacon.)

Page 439
"‘The Bloodthirster sees it, even if you do not. You underestimate the Warmaster at your cost, daemon. Your champion has plans of his own that you will never be able to control."

Again that 'three way' conflict between Word Bearers, Horus, and Chaos takes yet another turn. Horus isn't willing to be Chaos' pawn, and isn't totally under their control. AGain it will be interetsing to see how Bill King's view of things will play out in the series - will Horus 'recant' at the end and be genuinely contrite, or is this a reflection (like with Fulgrim) that its a conscious, willing choice?
And again I like how this all plays out in the interpersonal relationships, both in the sense of Horus betraying Sanguinius (and Sangy realizing it/coming to terms with it, which plays a role in the last fifth or so of the book, alongside being confronted with the Flaw at last as part of this trap) but also in the way Horus interacts with his so-called conspirators - its not a unified effort, and they are ins ome ways fighting against each other as much as they fight the Emperor.

Page 442
Sanguinius gave a shout and hurled the spear with such force that a sonic boom shocked across the ruined gardens.

From dream/visions of the future, I think, but it still suggests Sanguinius can punch - and throw- at supersonic speed :P

Page 445
Bolters screamed and filled the air with fycelene smoke and explosive fire..

bolters use s fycelene propellant for their rockets, I suppose. It might be for the explosive component since thats what fycelene is. Or maybe it can be both.

Page 450
..chained like the sun-bright plasma of a fusion reactor’s core.

THey have fusion engines, they probably also have fusion reactors. I imagine some may use fusion over plasma because it trades performance for relaibility (much as antimatter vs fusion.) Fusion is also easier to produce and find fuel for (so you can refuel in the field, make fusion warheads, etc. Whereas plasma has to be specially produced and refined in dedicated ships and with the appropriate resources.)

Page 452
The psyker raised his hand and let go. The air shrieked as a crackling bolt of ruby lightning erupted from Kano’s palm and strobed across the chamber. Hengist exploded even before he could scream in pain, blood and meat vaporising in a wet mist that darkened the floor and ceiling. After-light energy discharged randomly, crawling across the metal decking, short-circuiting sense monitors and biolume stacks.

Psyker lightning effect - explodes/vaporizes human (high kj/low MJ at the very least) and shorts out electrical stuff.

Page 461
..for a heart-stopping second he feared the bolt had struck the pariah, but there would have been little left of her if that had been so.

Implies a bolt round would pulverize/explode a human body. Roughly frag grenade level damage or thereabouts (within an order of magnitude)

Page 465
The scene was repeated all across the planet, in every stronghold of the enemy and upon the ships that even now still duelled in the dark of high orbit.

Again confirming that 'high robit' assessment for bombardment I mentioned.

Page 485
Then, on spars of nuclear fire that burned rock and sand to vapour, the gigantic hulk of the Red Tear began to rise. Slowly at first, sloughing off broken shards of metal and sheaves of falling sand deposited by the mournful winds, the battle-barge pulled free of the earth that held it. Fighting gravity every metre of the way, the ship seemed to defy reason as it lifted into the dull air. The monolithic, city-sized craft resisted the planet’s attempts to hold it where it had fallen.

Sanguinus battle barge manages to lift off from the planet it crashed on. Probably means it generates at LEAST one gee of gravity, and can amass the acceleration to reach escape velocity

Page 486
he work was almost complete, but for the spent casings of a few bolt shells lying lost and buried in the sands..

bolters have casings, yet agian :P

Page 488
The machine-slave was one of a handful that had accompanied the battle captains to this place. The sevitors bore the mechanisms for a tactical cyclonic device, which now sat in the middle of the ruins. A stubby bollard of plasteel, it contained a warhead of incredible destructive power. The weapon had been programmed to detonate when the assembled officers reached a safe distance; the resultant blast it would create would be enough to rip a massive chasm in Signus Prime’s surface, and eradicate all trace of the Cathedral of the Mark forever.

Tactical cyclonic. Probably at least powerful enough to destroy a city (megaton range) or thereabouts, but not so powerful as to breach down to the mantle (double or triple digit GT) Again not surprising, since we have cyclonics that can destroy entire worlds in a single hit, to barrages that 'merely' wipe out cities. What's mainly ineteresting is how man protable it is . The thing probably masses less than a ton (several tens or several hundreds of kg) and even if it was no more efficient than modern nukes (HAH) it would probably be packing hundreds of kilotons yield at LEAST.

Page 488
Raldoron knew that his master was in pain with every breath he was taking; although he gave no sign of it, the crippling injury he had suffered on the battlefield still had to heal. A lesser being would never have walked again without sacrificing their broken limbs for augmetic replacements. Sanguinius mastered that pain, holding it where none could see it.

Sanguinius could fight and move despite shattered legs (at least because he can fly) but he can also stand on them and ignore the pain (as well as recover from such injury.)

Page 489
"This day, Azkaellon brought me news of a communication deciphered by one of our few surviving astropaths."
Raldoron listened intently. While the arcane veil had been in place, no astropathic signals had been able to reach the Blood Angels flotilla.
The primarch announced that the message bore the seal of Rogal Dorn, the Imperial Fist himself.

That implies that an astropathic signal got from TErra to the eastern fringe in about a day perhaps. Possibly weeks, depending on interpretation.

Page 495
With a crash of engines, the Stormbirds lifted off from the desert and blasted upward at hypersonic speeds. They moved too fast for the cyclonic shockwave to reach them, but the First Captain caught a flash of brilliant white from the corner of his eye, reflected from a viewport.

Stormbirds move at hypersonic speeds on liftoff, probably moving fast enough to outrace the cyclonic shock. If it was as fast as a high explosive (or hell even black powder) we're talking many km/s velocity in a very short time.. tens of gees easily.

Page 497
It had been days since the grand flotilla had left the Signus Cluster and lit for the core worlds. Entry into the warp had not been easy: ethereal hyperstorms awaited them in the extradimensional realm, fogging their course and battering at the Geller fields protecting their ships. There were suggestions that the warp itself had been agitated into frenzy by the incursions of the daemon creatures. Whatever the cause, it made hard going for the fleet elements. Then there was the matter of the Astronomican. The guiding beacon, the psychic lighthouse on Terra that stood as the single fixed point in the otherwise malleable landscape of warp space, had become indistinct. A spatial disturbance of magnitudes not recorded since the Age of Strife rippled in the void, robbing the Navigators of their certainty. Now the fleet struggled on through the screaming abyss, searching for the strongest psychic glimmer, in vain hopes of pushing through to the Throneworld.

sangy's fleet is basically moving about blind through the warp, and has been travelling for days.

Page 502
”The Navigators, my lord. They fell into some kind of fugue state a few moments ago. We tried to awaken them, but they would only speak of “a safe harbour”. Then suddenly they executed a warp translation here.’”
"This is not the Sol system. The stars are all wrong."

"Initial estimates show we are still within the Ultima Segmentum."
“The cogitators are running exact constellation matches now, but it appears we have been displaced.”
“‘Hundreds of light-years off course,”
“We should be at the gates of Terra.”

Implies that they crossed all the way across Ultima segmentum (at least) if not to terra in a matter of ‘days’ even with disturbed warp storms. Which seems a bit fast, 50-60 K LY within, say, a week would be many millions of c easily., which would be atypical. But even if it was weeks, we’re still talking on the high ends of hundreds of thousands of c.
In any case, we know it takes far less than a year for various reasons (the HEresy is still going on, for one) and thats still at least over 100,000c to several hundred thousand c. ‘Hundreds’ of light years’ i na matter of days, if we take another track, means at least tens of thousands of c anyhow, and as we learn ‘hundreds’ is a lower limit as it is, and we can certainly argue that the fact they’re not shitting themselves in disbelief means its quite *possible* for 40K ships to travel through the warp at an effective velocity of millions of c.

Page 504
”Well met, Sanguinius. I welcome you to Ultramar and the Five Hundred Worlds.”

So not terra, but Utlramar. Still on the eastern fringe. Note that by the HH Betrayal map, we’re still talking a good many thousands of c in a few days, which again translates into hundreds of lthousands of c, easily, possibly upwards of a million c depending on exact time and distance.

On the story side of things, we have yet another step in future events revealing itself. Sanguinius has arrived at Ultrmar, and is greeted by Guilliman. apparently Guilliman was even expecting him. Between the events of Know No Fear, and the sort story in the Primarchs about the Dark Angels, something is clearly brewing on that frontier, and we don't know quite yet what it is, except its probably going to be tense, and messy.

Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2441
Joined: 2010-06-21 09:04am

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Zinegata » 2013-04-04 12:38am

Re Cognitae:

Even in Ravenor/Eisenrhon it's implied that the Cognitae were destroyed and ressurected several times. Possibly anyone who dabbles with warp-magic coupled with Enuncia end up calling themselves such.

Re Smurf Librarians

They were also disbanded and sworn not to use their psyker powers. There's a very brief passage wherein a smurf named Rubio is implied to have psyker powers but were now serving dutifully as a simple line Marine after they were disbanded.

Re Guilliman's Favored Brothers ("The Dauntless Few"):

He's not saying Corax, Vulkan, or Lion aren't good. What he's saying though is that his top four picks (Dorn, Gwinny, Russ, and Manus) are the "Do whatever it takes to win" crowd needed to win the unwinnable. Vulkan and the Salamanders for instance would worry about humane things like preventing civilian casualties, whereas the Space Wolves (as described in Prospero Burns) are the "Do the unthinkable" legion.

Probably why Horus also doesn't get the nod. Horus from Horus Rising depicts a Horus that's full of self-doubt.


Also, has anyone calculated the "Mark" noted in the Epilogue, where Colchis is destroyed? It might give a good note on how many years it took before the Smurfs got their payback.


On a final note, KNF is still my favorite HH novel; if only because it's one of the few Abnett novels that doesn't feel like it has a rushed ending and instead we get a bittersweet form of closure that builds upon the whole theme of the novel.

User avatar
Black Admiral
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1870
Joined: 2003-03-30 05:41pm
Location: Northwest England

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Black Admiral » 2013-04-04 02:29am

Zinegata wrote:Re Smurf Librarians

They were also disbanded and sworn not to use their psyker powers. There's a very brief passage wherein a smurf named Rubio is implied to have psyker powers but were now serving dutifully as a simple line Marine after they were disbanded.

Rubio's a secondary character in James Swallow's Garro audio-novels, and, yes, he's a former librarian.

Also, has anyone calculated the "Mark" noted in the Epilogue, where Colchis is destroyed? It might give a good note on how many years it took before the Smurfs got their payback.

About 25 years is what my best guess works it out as.
"I do not say the French cannot come. I only say they cannot come by sea." - Admiral Lord St. Vincent, Royal Navy, during the Napoleonic Wars

"Show me a general who has made no mistakes and you speak of a general who has seldom waged war." - Marshal Turenne, 1641

User avatar
Lost Soal
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2420
Joined: 2002-10-22 06:25am
Location: Back in Newcastle.

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Lost Soal » 2013-04-05 08:49pm

Connor MacLeod wrote:Once again Lost Soal comes up with a decent explanation that is simple. I approve.

Thanks. I'll bite.
Which explanation, Titan size, Emperors strategy, His trust issues or multiple?
I'd like your thoughts on my other suggestions if not all three.
"May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places where you must walk." - Ancient Egyptian Blessing

Ivanova is always right.
I will listen to Ivanova.
I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God.
AND, if this ever happens again, Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out! - Babylon 5 Mantra

There is no "I" in TEAM. There is a ME however.

Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2441
Joined: 2010-06-21 09:04am

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Zinegata » 2013-04-07 07:30am

Connor MacLeod wrote:On the story side of things, we have yet another step in future events revealing itself. Sanguinius has arrived at Ultrmar, and is greeted by Guilliman. apparently Guilliman was even expecting him. Between the events of Know No Fear, and the sort story in the Primarchs about the Dark Angels, something is clearly brewing on that frontier, and we don't know quite yet what it is, except its probably going to be tense, and messy.

Ventanus' exact commentary about this new addition to the HH timeline is more or less summarized by this passage in KNF:

The years spent waging the Underworld War seem so distant. They are fading, almost unremembered, like the empire that followed them, and the Heresy that ended it all.

A few notes:

The "Underworld War" refers to the continuation of the Calth conflict, with the loyalists fighting the Word Bearers who escaped into the underground arcologies. As Ventanus notes, rooting out the Word Bearers apparently took years.

After this multi-year campaign, Ventanus makes reference to an "Unremembered Empire". Which, incidentally, will be the next Abnett HH book coming out sometime this year. The cover art is out:

http://screwedupdice.blogspot.com/2012/ ... bered.html

And yes, that's confirmed to be Guilliman "proclaiming" Sanguinius for some new position, and Sanguinius is wearing the big red eye normally reserved for Warmaster. In the background you've got cheering smurfs and Blood Angels... but not too happy other Marines like Space Wolves and White Scars.

What makes it interesting is that it seems as though Abnett is planning to add in a huge new chunk of HH lore. That rather than having Horus go immediately attack Terra after the Drop Site massacre, several years elapse first during which time Guilliman apparently started something called the "Imperium Secundus" - and this chunk of history was then subsequently (perhaps deliberately) deleted in the Imperial records.

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-04-08 12:52pm

Lost Soal wrote:Thanks. I'll bite.
Which explanation, Titan size, Emperors strategy, His trust issues or multiple?

The titan size. it was simple and elegant.

I'd like your thoughts on my other suggestions if not all three.

Gotcha see below.

Lost Soal wrote:As to the Emperors ideas and trust issues.
Imperial Truth - I see what he was trying to accomplish. A good deal of the Chaos Gods power comes from the direct worship of believers praising their names, give offerings etc. and the Gods then affect the material universe through these believers. By eradicating religion and any belief in Gods as superstition he is effectively attacking their power base. No one to cry out to gods for help or seeking power for themselves. I think he was trying to eradicate even the idea of gods much less belief in them.

I agree, but I still think it was a less than ideal way to go about it, because as we've seen the Imperial Truth is less than ideal. Its basically still oppression and conquest, its just given a veneer of acceptability due to the ideology driving it. Its actually kind of like the Tau and the Greater Good (at least by current iterations of such.) Things can be great as long as you're willing to submit to the Greater Good and exist within that society, but resist us or refuse our offers and you will be made to accept it and like it.

I'm also not sure it would have worked in the long term. Religion is a pretty insidious, pervasive thing in 40K, partly due to the nature of the warp and its symbiotic/parasitic relatiionship with the inhabitants of realspace. Heck even within the Great Crusade we've seen that traces of religion and the trappings of such had persisted in various forms. It would crop out in some form or another, and even if it doesn't attempting to eradicate it would simply result in the warp manifesting in some other way, and it would simply be oppression by another name. That doesn't make the 'Truth' any more palatable or justified, I think.

Its ironic in that way, because I think the most effective way of combating Chaos is the one he continually denies - the evolution of a human 'god.' Whether because he fears or abhors this destiny (and his role in it), because he is vehemently anti-religious as a rule (due to something in his past), or because he lacks the understanding of the warp that, say, the Eldar do (they often speak more of Gods as a 'racial soul' in the Dark Eldar novels, for example.) I don't know, but its more a 'compromise' solution that creates at least as many problems as it may solve.

Why would the Chaos gods be so scared of him otherwise if they gained power simply from the base emotions and desires?

Because I suspect he is either the incarnation of a human god in potentia, or he's an avatar of a potential god. Alot of it goes back to the old Realms of Chaos stuff. All sorts of 'gods' can exist in potentia in the warp, they're merely 'sleeping' or disconnected.. when they reach a certain 'critical mass' of thought and emotion they seem to become like the traditional four we know of. Sometimes the sleeping gods may acquire brief awareness as the 'currents' of the warp shift in different ways, only to 'sleep' again as what came together drifts apart.

But there are ways aroound that. You can create a daemon (or daemon like entity) that can act as a vessel/carrier for a God's awareness (or at least part of it) and act as its agent (This was i suspect part of the plot in Bill King's Farseer novel, in fact.) Which would in some interpretations describe the Emperor. The RoC stuff also describe certain large scale events (like mass suicidies or deaths) being focal points of significant warp activity (such as the creation of other warp beings.. which again can describe the Emperor.) I'd have to dig back in my stuff for the specifics, but i think that broadly covers it.

Anyhow, if the GeoM becomes a 'god' of humanity, or his actions lead to the creation of such (by his plan or by other means.) then its possible such a being could match or defeat the Chaos Gods. Gork and mork are, together, more powerful than all the other Chaos Gods in existence i recall by older fluff - its only their Orky natures (disorganized, loving conflict, as prone ot fighting themselves as others.) that prevents them from truly dominating. A human god would be neither as divided or as distracted, and thus more dangerous. (The Eldar are trying to do similar on a lesser scale with Ynnead, I believe. The Webway and all the Craftworlds/Maiden worlds, perhaps even Cormorragh - act as a giant infinity circuit in that respect.)

Obviously, to preempt any sort of outcome like that, breaking up the unity of humanity and keeping it fragmented and at each other's throats is a good way to deny the Emperor his goal, as well as perpetuating the sorts of things that keep them existing.

Trust Issues - This I personally believe is a result of his Pre-Cog. We learn in Angel Exterminatus that sometime before Perturabo leaves Terra to lead his legion on the Great Crusade that the Emperor has completely lost his pre-cog, how long before this and how long it was fading before hand is unclear. Now think on this, for thousands of years hes been able to see the future and know which events and people to guide and trust, who to give information to who to keep in ignorance.
Then its gone. His pre-cog has probably been his judgement for as long as hes had it, so with it gone I question if he is fully capable judging character as hes never had to develop that ability independently. So he falls back on what has served him most during his life. Secrecy.

I'm not sure he's totally lost it, its just that as time grows nearer to this 'convergence' (wsa spoken of in Outcast Dead) his precog becomes less reliable and less definite. He might be able to see short term outcomes and events, but he is denied anything accurate or in the long term. That said, you could have a point. Losing the reliability of his precog would probably worry him - if he doesn't know the right outcome to pick, the chances of him making a wrong decision increase, and any action he takes (or any knowledge he bestows) could likewise impact that outcome. Which is sort of ironic considering how often his distrust when it comes ot info sharing has lead to all these problems. It really paints this picture of the Emperor as a lonely, tragic, struggling soul.. the only one (he feels) capable of guiding and saving his race, yet he has noone he can completely trust, or rely upon, or unburden himself to... and he has to get things right the first time or he may doom his race to enslavement to Chaos.. or extinction.

We only really get hints about him ever, bht I think its clear in the series the Emperor is a troubled individual (He is human after all, despite his powers) and struggles to find some balance between the forces all pulling at him.

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-04-08 12:59pm

Zinegata wrote:Re Cognitae:

Even in Ravenor/Eisenrhon it's implied that the Cognitae were destroyed and ressurected several times. Possibly anyone who dabbles with warp-magic coupled with Enuncia end up calling themselves such.

Could be. I just find it to be another one of those 'authorial inserts' that becomes a bit disjarring. Even a bit silly. All authors do it, but it doesn't stop having an odd impact.

Re Smurf Librarians

They were also disbanded and sworn not to use their psyker powers. There's a very brief passage wherein a smurf named Rubio is implied to have psyker powers but were now serving dutifully as a simple line Marine after they were disbanded.

Although we know it wasn't adhered to post-Heresy, and not all Legions follow it. And some (like the Wolves) deny they ever broke it to begin with. :P

Re Guilliman's Favored Brothers ("The Dauntless Few"):

He's not saying Corax, Vulkan, or Lion aren't good. What he's saying though is that his top four picks (Dorn, Gwinny, Russ, and Manus) are the "Do whatever it takes to win" crowd needed to win the unwinnable. Vulkan and the Salamanders for instance would worry about humane things like preventing civilian casualties, whereas the Space Wolves (as described in Prospero Burns) are the "Do the unthinkable" legion.

Probably why Horus also doesn't get the nod. Horus from Horus Rising depicts a Horus that's full of self-doubt.

I suppose thats one way to look at it. Although I wouldn't say its 'do whatever it takes to win', as if you did ANYTHING up to and including eradicating/exhuasting your own empire, you'll have lost in the end no matter what, because there's nothing left of what you tried ot defend. Heck, this applies even on a moral/ethiacal level too... there was that Short Story featuring Dorn, Qruze, and that remembrancer, which was a message and a mindfuck from Horus to Dorn that echoed this sentiment precisely. What good is it to win if you've sacrificed everything you stood for and built in the process?

Also, has anyone calculated the "Mark" noted in the Epilogue, where Colchis is destroyed? It might give a good note on how many years it took before the Smurfs got their payback.

I must have missed this part .

Zinegata wrote:
Connor MacLeod wrote:On the story side of things, we have yet another step in future events revealing itself. Sanguinius has arrived at Ultrmar, and is greeted by Guilliman. apparently Guilliman was even expecting him. Between the events of Know No Fear, and the sort story in the Primarchs about the Dark Angels, something is clearly brewing on that frontier, and we don't know quite yet what it is, except its probably going to be tense, and messy.

Ventanus' exact commentary about this new addition to the HH timeline is more or less summarized by this passage in KNF:

The years spent waging the Underworld War seem so distant. They are fading, almost unremembered, like the empire that followed them, and the Heresy that ended it all.

A few notes:

The "Underworld War" refers to the continuation of the Calth conflict, with the loyalists fighting the Word Bearers who escaped into the underground arcologies. As Ventanus notes, rooting out the Word Bearers apparently took years.

After this multi-year campaign, Ventanus makes reference to an "Unremembered Empire". Which, incidentally, will be the next Abnett HH book coming out sometime this year. The cover art is out:

http://screwedupdice.blogspot.com/2012/ ... bered.html

And yes, that's confirmed to be Guilliman "proclaiming" Sanguinius for some new position, and Sanguinius is wearing the big red eye normally reserved for Warmaster. In the background you've got cheering smurfs and Blood Angels... but not too happy other Marines like Space Wolves and White Scars.

What makes it interesting is that it seems as though Abnett is planning to add in a huge new chunk of HH lore. That rather than having Horus go immediately attack Terra after the Drop Site massacre, several years elapse first during which time Guilliman apparently started something called the "Imperium Secundus" - and this chunk of history was then subsequently (perhaps deliberately) deleted in the Imperial records.

White Rabbit gave me some information on that coming up with the whole 'unremembered Empire' bit. According to him (and it makes sense to me) they're trying to build something new and different onto the Heresy story, and expand on it so its not just a retelling that destroys all the myths.. they're trying to expand on it and create more mysteries I suspect. Which is actually a good thing, because if you de-mythify everything you lose alot of the stuff that will keep you guessing or wondering. I have no problems with them narrating and exploring the Heresy at all, even if it breaks some of those myths, but they need to put something in palce to replace it, and we seem to be getting exactly that. (Whether it will workor not, of course, remains a different matter.)

Thus far though what has been revealed each novel is rather intriguing for me, and contributes ot this idea there are things far greater at work than a mere 'Imperium vs Chaos' civil war.

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-04-08 05:44pm

And speaking of Angel Exterminatus.. we're getting to that point. Almost caught up with the stuff I'm familiar with HH series wise (about time.) So we're up to the Iron Warriors.

I must say I liked this better than I expected, and it changed my mind about Graham and Iron Warriors. (That is, he can write Iron Warriors... so long as he doesn't write Honsou.) McNeill's conceptualization of Perturabo was different and ran contrary to the 'morose bastard' he has often been portrayed as. He feels like an actual person, with feelings, and his position fits well with the 'tragedy' aspect so prevalent in the Horus Heresy. We also got to see Forrix again, and Forrix is still as likable as in STorm of Iron (moreso maybe, becuase he isn't quite as bitter and lost as he was there.)

This story is also very much about betrayal, and in that regard we get a continuation of 'I am a complete bastard' Chaos Fulgrim (himself fairly Honsou-esque) And we learn that despite the Dropsite Massacre, some Iron Hands are still fighting. Betrayal and the dissolution of brotherhood is a strong theme in the Heresy series, and central to much of the CSM oriented stories (Horus Rising, Thousand Sons, etc.)

Single update in 3 (smaller) parts.

Part 1

Page 23
"he breaching batteries will be in place by sundown tonight, and ground-penetrating auspex readings suggest a wall density that will require a sixteen-hour bombardment to carve a practicable breach in the half-moon bastion."

Use of auspex to figure out how long a bombardment is needed. Very mathematicla, very precise. Very much in the way the Iron Warriors are depicted here.

Page 23
Falk had always preferred the blunt directness of frontal assault over the relentless mathematics of a carefully planned approach. Where Forrix viewed the reduction of a fortress as a rigorously applied equation, Falk saw it as a pugilistic battle where both fighters pounded until one was forced to yield.
Many beyond the Legion believed this to be the Iron Warriors only means of waging war, but the Lord of Iron was far more subtle than that. Mathematics and the precise application of force made up the bulk of his campaigning, but the brute application of violence made far more dramatic remembrance.

Iron Warrior combat methodology. One telling aspect of this book is how they portray the Iron Warriors. Rather than going with the 'dour, siege loving, garrisoning, 'shoot them with artillery til they die and dig trenches' crap, we get a presentation that is focused more on the building and construction angle, of precision and mathematics and logic. That this results in them having more of a 'siege' mentality (no pun intended) actually makes alot of sense.

This also extends to characterisations of Forrix in this novel, which is for me one of the best parts of the book, because he plays a significant role and I always liked Forrix. Forrix (And Perturabo really) are this philosophy personified, which is what makes me actually LIKE them. And if I didn't have to put up with Fulgrim and Kroeger in the book, I probably would be happier overall with it lol.

Page 24
"He sends word through the Stonewrought," spat Falk, referring to Soltarn Vull Bronn, a warrior of the 45th Grand Battalion whose understanding of stone was such that some whispered it spoke to him, confiding its secrets and opening up its geological wonders to the touch of his entrenching tool. Perturabo, ever quick to recognise raw talent, now favoured Vull Bronn..

Gee, small wonder Honsou decided to sacrifice the guy, given his pathological hatred and resistance to anything that was properly Iron Warriors (aside from his skewed, narrow definition of it, that is.) We had him in a short story from the Iron Warriors Omnibus, before he got killed at MaCragge in Honsou's idiotic lunacy.

Page 25
Individually, the Accusators were no match for a warrior of the Legiones Astartes, but he had been surrounded by a dozen, each armed with a chain-gavel that could cut armour apart with lethal ease.


Page 29
No history told who had built this marvel atop the mountain, though the engineers and artisans who had raised its living walls must surely have been the greatest minds of their age. Wrought from stone and rock unknown to this world and laced with technologies whose secrets not even the Mechanicum could fathom, its walls reacted to damage like living tissue. Shell impacts would scab over with liquid silicates, and moments later the wall beneath would be whole again. Only when the hurt was so sustained and so catastrophic would any site of damage be irreparable. Attackers found the wall reacting to them with spiked extrusions of living rock, or were swallowed whole as the stonework opened up beneath them.

Organic, self repairing rock defenses comprise this fort. Its actually kinda neat in a way. If you're going to be inflicted with Siege warfare, at least its done in a fun and interesting way.

Page 29
Lord Dorn had chosen the living citadel as the site upon which to plant the Aquila, not as a symbol of Imperial dominance, but a seat of governance to be shared by all. He had brought the planet’s former rulers into the establishment of an ordered government, allowing the people to choose their own planetary governor, a respected civic leader named Endric Cadmus. Cassander smiled at the memory, thinking that perhaps some of the philosophy of the XIII Legion’s primarch had permeated the Imperial Fists after all.

Dorn seems to embrace a philosophy in his expeditions not unlike Guilliman.

Page 30
The Iron Warriors made planetfall in the wake of a saturation bombardment that reduced the valley and the agri-settlements filling its fertile deltas to ash. Magma bombs and mass drivers boiled away the rivers and reduced fecund earth to arid dust. The Cadmean Citadel was left untouched, and Cassander still found it difficult to believe that such a precise bombardment was possible.

Effect of Iron Warriors bombardment. Brute force, but we don't know ohw many ships or how long. That it boils away large chunks of water says something. For example if the river (ione river) were at least the size of the missisippir river.. we could be talking billions of tons of water for its whole implied length (possibly tens or hundreds of billions) and that would definitely place the output at least in the gigatons (total output I suppose.) over howevery many ships and however long the bombardment occurs. If we figure it vaporizes just one second of water (say 4-5 million kg near as I can tell for the Missisippi.) it would be a few kilotons.

Page 31
The sky strobed with concussive impacts that buckled the air with their force. High explosives on ballistic trajectories flashed and screeched as their impact violence was dissipated by the void-umbra. The shields on the southern approaches were close to failing, but thankfully the enemy wasn’t concentrating fire there.
..s a thunderous detonation rocked the base of the wall. Kinetic dampers in the citadel’s plunging foundations transferred the power of the blast deep into the bedrock of the mountain and the smell of metal shavings and oily secretions wafted up from the silicate scabs forming over the craters.

The fortress is also void shielded, and they have other mechnaisms to help dissipate/transfer the force of attacks away form the citadel, it seems.

Page 32
. The Digger’s men were bent-backed shovellers, methodical, precise and unstinting in their labours, the Malingerer kept his men in their dugouts as his artillery dropped tonnes of munitions on the citade..

Indication of the scale of the bombardment on the citadel's voids.

Page 35
Rubble and impact craters had made the wall scaleable, but the damned self-repair mechanisms were already remaking what the artillery had put asunder. From previous attempts at storming the citadel, Kroeger knew the wall would be flat and featureless in moment..

Healing rate of the 'tissue' walls.

Page 35
Graviton generators buried beneath the wall were warping the local gravity field, making even the smallest movements an immense effort.
Kroeger roared and pressed himself to the wall, hauling his body upwards with a combination of brute strength and fury. The generators’ fields could only reach a few metres from the ground, and with every hauling movement up the textured wall, he felt their grip on him loosening.

Gravity generators used to make scaling the walls difficult.

Page 36
Kroeger heard the long bray of an autocannon, its shells raking left and right wherever Iron Warriors clustered in groups of three or four. A long-barrelled melta-lance immolated a cluster of boulders with an ear-splitting screech of burned air, and individual blasts of lascannon fire hailed down like neon comets as they stabbed from narrow-gauge focusing muzzles.
Khamer went down, his chest a fused ruin of exposed bone where his innards had instantaneously cooked to superheated vapour, and Tumak was cut in two by a sawing blast of shell-fire. Ulgolan was hurled to the ground by a sudden growth of silicate stone that pummelled him from his climb. Another extrusion burst from a repairing gash in the wall, a barbed skewer that impaled Purdox like a corpse on a gibbet. An overhang grew above Straba, forcing him into the sheeting fire of a lascannon that sliced him in two.

Autocannon, melta and lasweapons against Iron Warrios. Presumably the melta lance 'cooks' innards (double or tirple digit MJ perhaps), the autocannon severs with shellfire, and the 'narrow gauge' lascannon slices in half as well.

PAge 38
Kroeger reached down and freed his bolter from his thigh. He swung the weapon to bear and squeezed off a three-round burst of shells.
One man’s head simply vanished, the impact trauma enough to tear his skull from his spine. Another soldier exploded from the chest up as Kroeger’s round detected enough mass to trigger the warhead’s detonation. The third man fell back screaming, his face torn up by bone shrapnel from the dead men beside him. It was wasteful to expend mass-reactives on mortals, but the sheer mess it made of their fragile bodies was too satisfying to ignore.

Kroeger's bolter fire against normal humans. What's interesting is that the 'headsploding' is implied to come from the impact, whereas the bolter 'explosion' tears apart the torso (evidently heads don't trigger the mass-reactive detonator under this interpretation.) Which offers an interesting way to explain the sometimes inconsistency in bolter firepower. Also we see again bolters can have 'proximity injury/kill' effects, albeit this time form organic bone shrapnel from the torso-pulping.
Also, mass reactive rounds are a 'waste' on humans, which suggests that they may use other kinds of bolter rounds against them (The fragmenting/kinetic ones from 'False Gods', which are used either subsonic or supersonic as the situation warrants, is one possibility.)

Page 38
Vortrax fell back against the ruined wall, his breastplate hammered by concentrated bolter fire. Spasming detonations and a crack of mashed bones told Kroeger he had been pulped inside his armour.

Bolter fire against Iron Warriors armour. apparently they don't rely on penetration always to do damage, but concussion from the shockwaves.

Page 38
He sighted on the leftmost of the Imperial Fists and put two carefully placed shots though his helm. The warrior dropped instantly, the back of his head a hollowed out shell of dripping brain matter and scorched bone.

bolter fire against Imperila fist helmet. Given what it did to unarmoured humans on detonation, and what it does here, that explains the durability of both the Astartes in conjunction with his power armor, methinks.

Page 41
Perturabo slew the first Imperial Fist before Kroeger was even aware he’d moved, spinning on his heel and letting the hammer slip through his grasp until he was holding it at its farthest extension. The killing face struck the first warrior, obliterating him in an explosion of meat and bone and shattered plate.

Perturabo outreacting an dpulverizing Imperial fist in armour with single strike of warhammer. Which incidentally is Forgebreaker, indicating Horus has given Perturabo Ferrus Manus' weapon. Probably not strength alone that pulverises, since IIRC the weapon has a powerfield or similar. In any case its at least equal to several times a grenade strike.

Page 41
The Lord of Iron extended his right fist and a storm of lightning-shot muzzle flare stabbed through the Imperial Fist. A dozen or more shells detonated virtually simultaneously, tearing him apart as surely as if a demolition charge had exploded within his chest cavity. What little flesh and blood remained of Dorn’s warrior fell to the ground in a sticky red rain.

Perturabo's other weapon. Storm bolter I'm thinking. 'a dozen or more' shells equal to (purportedly) a demo charge going off in a Space Marine, and utterly pulverises the body to tiny bits. To say that this weapon seems massively more powerful than a regular Marine bolter is of course an understatement.

PAge 41
Six hulking figures in heavy plates of gleaming iron and gold, each one breaking the ground apart with the force of an artillery strike. They straightened with a whine of pneumatics and a flicker of target acquisition protocols. The Colossus battle robots formed up on Perturabo, raising heavy siege hammers and monstrously oversized storm shields as their combat wetware took the measure of the foes arrayed before their master.

Combat robots are Perturabos retinue. Implied that their cognition systmes might be organic (eg 'wetware'.)

Page 41-42
Kroeger forced air into his lungs in short, awed breaths as the last Imperial Fist died. Forgebreaker smashed into the stone of the rampart, gouging a crater like the aftermath of a high-explosive bunker killer. Powdered rock-dust billowed around Perturabo, settling on the plates of his armour like flakes of windblown snow.
Almost thirty Space Marines dead in the span of five heartbeats.

Again implied power of Forgebreaker in Perturabo's hands (assuming no hyperbole. This is a Primarch though..) and the ability to kill alomst which might imply around 5-6 seconds (1/5-1/6 of a second reaction and action time for combat.) A single heartbeat lasts for somewhat less than a second, IIRC, so it could be less (closer to 1/8th-1/10th of a second.) Either way, Perturabo fights and kills at insane speeds, and can still outreact space marines (who can out react humans.. if we use the Space wolf 1/20th of a escond figure, that means he's far faster yet.)

Page 45
...Perturabo’s gauntlet took hold of his gorget and hauled him into the air. Though Harkor was encased in the heaviest battle-plate of the Legiones Astartes, Perturabo lifted him without difficulty until he was face to face with the steel blue of the primarch’s cold gaze.

Perturabo lifts a dude in Terminator armour, one handed, with no effort at all. Considering that it weighs (conservatively) half a ton at best, and more likely a ton (perhaps more, depending on source.) this is damn impressive since its not requireing great effort on his part. It also suggest Perturabo in full armour weighs as much or more, or has some means of anchoring himself against the effects of usch lifitng.

Page 51
g. Forrix watched the Stor-bezashk gun crews in reinforced artillery pits scrubbing out the scored barrels of the Thunderstrike artillery pieces, while bulky ogryn-servitors loaded unfired shells onto armoured leviathans for their return to the deep-storage magazines.

Servitors made from Ogryn to lift artillery shells. Suggest they're much bigger than a normal man can lift (many times bigger)

Page 51-52
.. each turn of the trench perfectly calculated to keep the warriors within sheltered from plunging fire. More like deep caissons for some undersea dig than mere trenches, their sides were high and sheathed in shock-resistant plates laced into the very bedrock. Blast-shielded shutters led down to the hardened redoubts that housed the Selucid Thorakite regiments

Iron Warrior Trenches and their protections. Interesting how the 'shock resistant plates' are laced into the very bedrock. Wonder how they do that?

Page 52
. Perturabo ignored the cheers as he ignored the abasement of his followers, marching now with purpose and direction towards his personal bunker complex.
The route to its sunken entrance was circuitous and fraught with peril, threading a tightrope-thin path through coiled banks of layered razorwire, constantly shifting minefields, conversion beam traps, las-nets, graviton crush-pits and melta-lined ditches. Even supplicants approached Perturabo’s inner sanctum as attackers must, and Forrix felt his skin crawl as the targeting optics of dozens of killing weapons tracked him towards the entrance.
Its heavy blast gates eased open on pneumatic hinges, unbreakable adamantium housed in tens of metres of kinetic-absorbent permacrete. Their outer faces were sheathed in beaten gold and silver murals taken from the sundered gates of the Palace of Lochos.

Defenses of Perturabo's personal bunker. 'kinetic absorbent' permacrete tens of metres thick (as well as adamantium.) Also the various weapons, gravitic, melta, las and conversion beams, all apparently automated at that. A veritable killing ground.

Page 53
Guilt touched Forrix as he remembered the assault up the Kephalan Hill towards the last refuge of the self-appointed tyrant of Olympia, fighting through fortifications incorporated into the palace by a youthful Perturabo.
Forrix wondered if that had been a barb aimed at him, but chose to believe it was directed at warsmiths like Toramino or Varrek, men who sought to rise in prominence and glory for its own sake. Forrix had never sought this position to serve his own ambition, but for the good of his beloved Legion. He was not immodest enough to brag of his skills, but knew there were few in the Iron Warriors who understood the mechanics of war and the logistical necessities of a mobile fighting force as intimately as he did.

Forrix's motivations. This is a different Forrix. A less 'weathered' by millenia of war, still unambitious, more 'pure' character, and its one of the reasons I like him and this book. It's far easier to believe the Iron Warriors are more than just 'bad guys' when their motivations are more complicated than just LOL CHAOS BAD GUYS. Forrix (and Perturabo) have more complex motivations and feelings driving their actions - guilt, anger, a sense of betrayal, resentment at how they've been perceived/treated... both seem to be struggling with and come to terms with the decisions of their actions (amongst which being Olympia.)

Page 56-57
This was no random accretion of scattered detritus that had built up over the centuries, but a precisely ordered collection of genius to rival any work of Magnus or Guilliman. Its dimensions were modest in comparison to the scale and complexity of the surrounding labyrinth, yet the vaulted space was still the equal of a good-sized manufactory. The walls were faced in crumbling stonework that looked to have been brought block by block from some sunken ruin, and rebuilt with painstaking attention to restoring its previous incarnation as faithfully as possible. Murals depicting what might have been great birds were inscribed on one wall, and a flaking mosaic of painted clay covered another in a wide rendering of a group of faded men and women clustered around a central figure whose head was haloed in golden light.
Faded paintings held in shimmering stasis fields hung on the walls, one showing a semi-clothed man in the desert with a lion at his feet, another an unfinished work of a seated woman and her child in the centre of a circle of admirers while a great temple was rebuilt against a backdrop of fighting horsemen.
Heavy tables were strewn throughout the space, each one awash in rolled parchments, set-squares, wooden protractors and measuring rods. The tools of the mathematician and the engineer lay side by side with those of the warrior, the general, the anatomist and the statesman. Immense drawing desks bore architectural plans for grand pavilions, magnificent amphitheatres, complex industrial infrastructures, vast hives of habitation, impregnable citadels and ornate palaces to rival that of the mountain fastness of the Emperor himself.
Peeter Egon Momus himself had wept at the sight of these drawings and begged Perturabo to allow him to make them a reality. No architect of Terra had ever envisaged structures of such grandeur, and no fantasy of design had thought to render such magical buildings into life. That they had sprung from the hand of the Lord of Iron should have surprised no one, but the idea that a being so mired in destruction was capable of sublime creation seemed beyond comprehension.
Nor was Perturabo’s genius confined to the drawing board, for many of his tables and workbenches were home to hundreds of delicately wrought machines, trinkets and gewgaws of such fine construction that it seemed impossible one so huge had modelled them. A silver lyre in the shape of a horse’s head, gilded eggs, fabulously wrought birdcages that would never again confine a living creature, and miniature war machines competed for space alongside automata of all shapes and description – animal, mechanical, human and alien. A miniature Warhound Titan stood tallest of the automata, and Forrix felt an odd shiver of brooding prescience at the red, black and yellow of its carapace armour.
It was a treasure trove of wonders, miraculous creations and the most ancient history of Old Earth preserved in a hermetically sealed environment. None beyond the warriors of the Trident knew of its existence, and that was just the way Perturabo liked it. After so long spent taking the metal to the stone, better to be thought the simple journeyman than reveal the soul of the craftsman within.

A (lengthy) glimpse into the nature of Perturabo and his character. As I said, I rather like the direction Graham McNeill took with him, its far better than the 'dour siege loving bastard who resented Dorn' and was bitter about his role in the Great Crusade. It keeps the essence of the 'siege' crap, but builds on and expands it in different and interesting ways. That he should be a craftmsan, an artist of sorts, with a love of precision and logic and mathematics.. that's something to like in my opinion. It's more like the 'Primarchs' we saw in Horus Rising, or Thousand Sons or Prospero Burns. It makes the 'godlike' Primarchs much more human, despite their artificial upbringing, and it softens the harshness of 'HATES DORN' by making it more human, understandable. I mean, who hasn't been jealous or resentful or bitter because actions/words of another?

Page 58
Perturabo brought up a fresh set of system schematics and warp corridor overlays, together with the latest immetereological projections for the emergent storm fronts. A red planet swam into focus, its surface almost entirely englobed by metallic growths like algal blooms of shimmering steel and toxic fumes.

Destination Mars, also 'warp weather' projections I love the terms tied up in all that stuff :P

Page 65
In the shadow of the monolithic walls, battalions of the Thorakitai stood ranked in their tens of thousands, shuffling and jostling as their discipline master’s electro-goads whipped them into formation. Before them stood two hundred Grand Battalions of Iron Warriors, fifty thousand warriors in amberdust-burnished warplate..

Scope of the Iron Warriors forces, at least those on Hydra Cordatus (yes that's their current location. FORSHADOWING.) Whether this is the sum total of the legion, or just part, I don't know yet.

Page 71
"s. We are brothers, and we should be close, especially now when all we have known is falling apart, ready to be rebuilt in a glorious new image. It is my fondest hope that the shared hardships of this joint venture will bring us the intimate bond I share with Guilliman."
"You aren’t close to Guilliman either," pointed out Perturabo.
"No?" said Fulgrim, looking up as though puzzled by his own words. "Ah, perhaps not yet, but I will finish what Lorgar’s zealots have begun."
"Not now. Not ever," said Perturabo. "Guilliman will never forgive us what we have done."

'Two interesting bits about this. One, the obvious, is perhaps that it is foreshadowing (playin on the events supposedly occuring in Guilliman's neck of the woods, with Sanguinius, the Lion, etc. all converging. Does this mean Fulgrim will be joining the fun?)
The second part pertains to the way the Horus Heresy (novels as well as the generla structure) has played out. I've had it commented to me that much of the HH series focuses on 'Chaos' and it seems to emphasize Chaos scoring more victories than the loyalists do. Which is, to an extent, true. But one has to recall that the Horus Heresy, at its core, is the breaking of the Imperium - from what it could have been (whether that is good or bad is up for debate) into what it becomes. Of course its a Chaos victory, of sorts. Chaos didn't achieve its ultimate goal, but it stalemated the Emperor and undid a great deal of what he had accomplished, using his own tools, the flaws he himself created, to do so. There's supposed to be a sense that Chaos is winning (Dropsite massacre, Mars, then TErra), that its pushing towards Terra and eventual victory, only to have that 'last second' pyrrhic victory. That's how its ALWAYS been.
Whether or not that perception is the reality, howver, is another question. Not so much that 'Are the loyalists stronger' so much, although we don't really know in great detail how the forces break down. Rather, the main flaw of Chaos is that its anathema to order. It is ostensibly unified under the banner of Horus, but as we've seen, every Legion and faction has its own goals and motivations, and some of them are contradictory. The Word Bearers tried to use Horus as a puppet and failed, Horus uses them. The Night Lords are playing their own game out on the fringe. The Alpha Legion seems to be plotting against everyone, including itself. And Fulgrim, dear, Fulgrim, he seems to have his own agenda as well. four of those mighty legions are nominally Horus' allies, but they're also beholden to one particular God (each of which has its OWN agendas, plots, etc.) and the only thing really holding it in any semblance of unity is Horus himself. In a sense, Chaos is not just fighting the Emperor and Imperial 'loyalists', its also fighting with itself, which is as it always is. And this passage demonstrates that Fulgrim's plans are clearly not running in perfect lockstep with Horus or the other Primarchs.
Heck, in a way, thats really what Chaos represents. The dissolution of all order and unity, and it can be safely said Chaos broke many of the bondsbetween the Imperium and the Primarchs, even (or perhaps especially) amongst the 'traitors.'

Page 76
Perturabo didn’t answer the Phoenician and took a step towards Lucius, touching him in the centre of the chest.
It appeared to be nothing more than a light push, an indication that Fulgrim’s warrior should withdraw, but Lucius was hurled back as through struck by a siege hammer. The swordsman slammed into an arched buttress and fell to the ground in a clatter of plate and splintered stone. Lucius rolled onto his back, struggling to breathe, his lungs battered empty and his organs reeling from the force of the impact.
.. the primarch’s hand on his shoulder kept him immobile. Again, the gesture was apparently casual, but Kroeger felt the implacable strength behind it...

Perturabo seems capable of exterting tremendous force with the slightest touch. Whether this is some innate warp-based ability, some sort of martial arts stuff, or what, its interesting nonetheless.

Page 78
One of his early designs, yet no less magnificent for that, its structure was arranged in the form of an elliptical amphitheatre, carved into an imagined excavation the depth of a sizeable meteor impact. No such location existed on Hydra Cordatus, and so the titanic earth-moving machines of the IV Legion were set to work in creating one. Soltarn Vull Bronn had identified the place most likely to split apart in the desired fashion, and Toramino’s Stor-bezashk crafted earth-breaching charges to empty a vast bowl of rock.
Concentric rings of charges shook the world, and kilometres-wide plumes of fire blasted skywards, ejecting millions of tonnes of atomised debris into space. Even as the tsunami of dust spread over hundreds of kilometres and cascades of falling rubble rained down in a precisely directed fashion, Perturabo’s earth-moving machines were moving in.
Behind a screen of dust-laden clouds and unnatural thunderheads that would persist for decades and radically alter the local micro-climate..

blasting millions of tonnes into orbit at (assume escape velocity of 8-11 km/s) would require at least 15 megatons spread over however many charges it was. If its closer to the other end (A billion tons) its more like 17 gigatons (omre if the stuff blasts up into orbit at a higher speed than escape velocity. At 25 km/s it would be closer to 75 gigatons.) I'm more inclined to think it was alot more, given the implied long term consequences of the excavation. Given the implied depth of the theatre after its done, it would also imply the actual value was closer to the highe end as well (tens or hundreds of millions of tons more easily.)

PAge 79
It was a titanic endeavour, one that in ages past would have required the lifespans of a dozen mortal architects and master masons.
With Perturabo and Forrix at the head of an army of labourers, craftsmen and Pneumachina engines, this work was projected to last no more than two days.

We're talking probably hundreds of years, if not more, depending on how oyu inteprret it. Suggesting they're doing the work of centuries or millenia in a couple of days. That's some pretty impressive engineering right there.

Page 79
Perturabo knew every aspect of this building’s construction, from the exact courses required for its supporting underworks to the precise dimension of the goddess statues on its uppermost architraves. No facet of its construction was unknown to him...
This was the first time one of his creations – his follies, Dammekos had called them – had been made real for the purpose it had been designed. The Nikaean structure, thankfully now eradicated from existence, still caused him great shame. It had never been intended as a place of trial and censure, but an arena for mighty games of strength and skill. The use the Emperor had made of his creation shamed Perturabo, and Magnus deserved better than to be made sport for the baying crowds whose closed minds had already placed the noose around his neck.
Forrix excelled himself, bringing his formidable talents for organisation and logistics to bear in raising the Thaliakron, manipulating a thousand tasks at once and ensuring that no stage of the construction was delayed by a previous element remaining incomplete. In peace, Forrix was a superlative overseer, in war a relentless foe who knew that wars were won, not with foolish courage and misplaced faith, but a full supply train of guns and ammunition.

Perturabo and Forrix, as the builders. Again its a more positive depiction of a Traitor Primarch, perhaps one of the best really (rivalling Magnus at the very least, anyhow, and vastly better than that whiny fuck Fulgrim.)

Page 79
Towering construction engines devoured millions of tonnes of rubble, grinding it, remaking it and finally shaping it into blocks with yoctoscopic tolerances.
Towering siege cranes swung them into position, while gangs of soldiers more used to wielding lasguns took up arms with levers, rasps and chamfer-tools. Hundreds of titanic engines, more used to levelling structures, revelled in the task of bringing one to life.

presuambly 'hundreds' (or similar) of construction engines devouring and constructing from millions of tonnes of stone (rubble) and building it in a couple of days. And yoctoscopic - to the e-24th power. microscopic is e-6th power, nanoscopic is e-9th power. We're talking nano x nano x micro.
One of the interesting things of this little passage, aside from the whole quantitative crap, is that it demonstrates one thing that makes Perturabo truly happy - he enjoys MAKing as much if not more than destroying. Which in a way kind of echoes his way of making war, in tearing down one thing, he often has to create another to do it. There's a sort of balance there, really.

Page 80-81
ith the cooling of Olympia’s mass pyres had come the realisation that nothing he could ever do from that moment could ever atone for a worldwide genocide. His father would never forgive him so grievous a sin, but Horus had not only forgiven it, he had lauded his thoroughness and dedication. Horus had sworn Perturabo never to feel guilt over what he had done to Olympia, but that was an oath easier to make than to live by.
... only Perturabo knew it was forgiveness that bound the Iron Warriors to Horus Lupercal.
It had come as a shock to find that the loyalty of a primarch was not the fixed thing Perturabo had always assumed it to be. But like all such realisations, it could be incorporated into a new worldview, and once assimilated, a series of small steps was all it took to render everything he had once stood for as little more than a fading dream.
Perturabo had vowed that his oath to the Warmaster would be truly unbreakable, no matter the cost, no matter the nature of the fight and no matter the outcome.

A bit on Perturabo's nature, the reasons why he turned on the Emperor and allied with Horus, and a rather significant, glaring weakness. Here we have someone whose entire worldview has been turned about, has continued turning about, even though he is a man who exists and depends upon certanties and, dare I say it, absolutes. Its part and parcel of the 'Iron and Stone' aspect of the Iron Warriors. So much of Perturabo's life has, since the Heresy began, been thrown into Chaos - and he is a man not normally given to Chaos - and he's riven by guilt and other emotions in an attempt to find some structure and stability in this new order. Horus' forgiveness and acceptance gives him that - because he knows he can no longer go back to the Imperium. Moreover, he understands that whole 'slippery slope' type thing and wants to avoid it at all costs. His way is by keeping his vow to Horus 'no matter what.' If everything else changes about him, that will remain constant.
Unfortunately, that makes him predictable, and easy to manipulate, and I suspect Fulgrim is manipulating him quite a bit . First, getting him to construct a theatre - in other words doing what he loves doing best - puts him in a good mood, and now Fulgrim will play on that 'unbreakable vow' to get what he wants, the poor bastard (Perturabo, that is.)

Page 82
From the darkness of the narrow enclosure of the undercroft chambers, Perturabo emerged into the wide open space of the theatre, and took a moment to savour one of his earliest creations finally made real. Stretching up to a height of six hundred and fifty metres, the tiered seating stepped up the gentle slope of the artificial crater, each seat perfectly arranged to provide an uninterrupted vista of the stage.

Implied diameter of the ampihtheatre. To be honest we dont knwo if thats the curvature of the seating, or if its measuring 'height' vertically, or diagnolaly or what. It also doesn't include the stage and we don tknow how wide that is. Best guess though might be that the crater is at least several km across.
Note as well this implies some tens (more probably hundreds) of millions of tons of stone was excavated (or rather as we noted above, blasted into space)

Page 82
No matter how many thousands of light years separated him from this particular warp storm, Perturabo was always aware of its presence and could perceive an echo of it on every world where he had looked to the heavens. He didn’t know whether this warp sight had been engineered into his perceptive apparatus deliberately, like Sanguinius’s wings or Corax’s eyes, or was simply a quirk of his genetic code, but it had been a blessing and a curse since his earliest memories

Perturabo's particular 'gifts' implied, along with dreams of the Eye (maelstrom) from his earliest days. Possibly prophetic dreams.

Page 86
Beside him, more slender, though still clad in the blackest Legiones Astartes plate – albeit customised to reduce its visual aspect and noise in a variety of spectra and wavelengths – was Nykona Sharrowkyn: Raven Guard warrior, stealth-master and slayer of traitors.

Raven Guard in sensor-disrupting ninja armour. Raven Guard always improve a novel in my book. If I'm gonna be stuck with Space Marines I could do worse.

Page 86
..the sight of the matt-black needle-carbine pulled in tight to his shoulder. Converted to take a variety of ammunition loads and operate in different fire settings, the weapon was a compact killing tool, able to slay in silence from afar or up close with a blitzing storm of solid steel needles.

Interesting variation on needlers. IT seems its both fully automatic as well as firing solid projectiles that do damage by impact as well as toxin.

Page 88
"Could you actually take a shot from here?"
"Yes, though they’re at the extreme end of my needle-carbine’s effective range, even if they weren’t primarchs."
.. easing a slender finger through the trigger guard and applying fractional pressure. A range-finder clicked as it adjusted the muzzle grooving.

More on the needler carbine. They're at the limits of effective range for the weapon (accurate or lethal we can't tell.)

PAge 92-93
"They called themselves eldar, and their empire stretched from one side of the Monoceros Ring to the other, from Perseus to the farthest reach of Scutum-Centaurus. Their empire was mighty and proud, for their gods had granted them the means to travel the length and breadth of their realm in the blink of an eye. "
"The armies of Hresh-selain, rebuilt in secret and scattered in dimensions beyond the reach of the eldar, finally assembled and struck back at their conquerors. With their king at their head, the Hresh-selain slaughtered the eldar by the tens of thousand in battles that left entire regions of the galaxy uninhabitable for millennia."
"The eldar were mighty, yes, and their warriors peerless, but the armies of the Hresh-selain outnumbered the stars, and though each battle saw the dead number in the millions, it was but a drop in the ocean to the full might of their grotesque battle hosts."

Eldar Mythology. The webway is clearly implied (crossing the galaxy in the blink of an eye) and we dont know what the Hresh-Selain are (except they're not Necrons) but they seem to outnumber the eldar, with the numbers implied ot be in the hundreds of billions or trillions (unless that means they outnumber the stars in the universe, and that this isn't hyperbole.) The fact that entire regions are implied uninhabitable is.. interesting as well. That said, its mythology so how much truth there is is up for debate.

Page 93-94
" But when Isha offered him the sanctity of her once-virgin flesh, the war god relented and took what she offered without heed for her life. No sooner had he planted his bloody seed in Isha’s belly, than a fiery avatar tore its way from her womb with claws of blood and a hunger for destruction beyond even the war god’s power to unleash…"
"Isha’s death scream was her warchild’s birth scream, a battle cry that stilled the very heart of the galaxy in fear and echoes in the hearts of all who spill blood to this day. The eldar knew this being as Maelsha’eil Atherakhia.."
"Truly the Angel Exterminatus was an eldar demigod like no other, blessed with the most beguiling countenance, the greatest strength and the highest intellect. What the gods knew, it knew, and what power they feared to wield, it unleashed with a song in its heart."

The 'angel exterminatus' part of the myth. Interesting that it implies Isha is dead (even though rumors hint that she either died at Slaanesh's hand, or was saved by Nurgl eand lives, albeit suffering from Nurgle's 'gifts'), and that the 'Angel Exterminatus' seems to resemble very much an Avatar of Khaine on Steriods. I wonder if there might be a deliberate comparison there. Of course this all assumes this isn't Fulgrim lying to Perturabo (which Perturabo figures out early on) so this entire passage may be full of shit.

Page 95-96
"Range confirmation?"
"Five hundred and six metres."
Sharrowkyn used the tip of his right thumb to minutely adjust the focus of his sight. The position he had selected was an optimum kill site, in line with prevailing winds to prevent projectile drift that would alter his shot’s trajectory. Thermo-auguries on his cooled rifle sheath measured the surrounding temperature and blinked a correction to compensate for what lift the warm air would impart to the large-bore steel needle.
Likewise, the strength of the planet’s geomagnetic field factored into Sharrowkyn’s calculations when deciding upon the angle of his shot.
Sharrowkyn sighted on his target’s skull, slowing his heart rate and letting his breathing even out as he applied the tiniest pressure to the trigger. Ready icons winked to life on his helm, a dotted line tracing the route his needle would take.

Extreme 'effective' range for the needle carbine, as well as thesniper prepartions and compensations for the shot. Like most Space Marine weapons it seems to be linked to his armour.

Page 97
Perturabo saw the tiny puff of blood appear on Fulgrim’s skull a second before he heard the crack of the shot.

The sniper's shot. I am not 100% sure I'm interpreting it right, but I read it as a second passing between Fulgrim seeing the effect and the sound of the shot reaching him. At a range of 506 metres it would take ~1.47 seconds for the shot to reach the Primarch from the Raven Guard's position. Which mesns it took slightly less than half a second for the projectile to reach its target. At 506 metres we're looking at a muzzle velocity of ~1076 m/s. If on the other hand it means it took a SECOND to reach the target, we're talking 500 m/s. Given its a needle projectile and not a bullet, and given the range I'm more inclined to believe the former velocity (a 5.56mm bullet would need MV closer to 800-900 m/s to reach that range as well.)
Like all needlers it also seems to be non-conventional propellant, although whether its electrothermal (eg laser propelled) or EM/gravitic we don't know.
Also HAHAHA Fucker Fulgrim got headshotted. Couldn't have happened to a better fuck.

Page 97-98
..collapsing the long-range scope of the carbine.
He dropped to one knee and put a burst of needles through the visor of the nearest Iron Warrior. The traitor fell without a sound and Sharrowkyn put a single tox-round through the grilled faceplate of the next before rolling aside as a tearing blast of bolter fire chewed up where he’d landed. Another rapid spray of needles punched through the thin neck joint of the third Iron Warrior and blood sheeted down his bare metal breastplate as he toppled.

Needler in action again, this time on burst/full auto. Rounds are toxic, but they appear to be able to inflict physical damage as well.

Page 100
Mass reactive fire stitched the earth around him, but the stealth upgrades worked into his battle armour were throwing off the targeting mechanisms of the enemy guns.
That’s what happens when you rely on machines and not a good eye.

Raven guard's armour throws off Power armour targeting systems.

Page 101-102
He rolled and brought his rifle up, pressing down on the trigger and emptying the solid needle magazine in the time it took to aim. His shots pierced the Emperor’s Children warrior’s breastplate and misted his chest in a mass of pulped flesh.

More needler, it seems it can empty its magazine (or whatever remains of it) in a very short period of time. And again the shots do physical damage.

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-04-08 05:46pm

Part 2

PAge 102
..drawing his two shoulder-sheathed gladii. Each black blade was a slice of utter darkness, non-reflective and near frictionless.

Raven Guard combat knives/swords.

Page 103
Wayland nodded and Sharrowkyn dropped flat as a hurricane of shells blitzed down the slope, shredding anything living in a storm of explosive mass-reactive shells and armour-busting penetrator rounds.

Storm eagle cannon rounds. Not usre if the mass reactive and armour busting penetrators are from bolt weapons or separte types (Eg bolt and autocannon) but its impressive variation.

Page 105
With a thought he summoned the Iron Circle and bellowed at the crowds now surging from their seating in horror to keep back.

Perturabo can summon his guards with a thought.

PAge 107
"What manner of weapon did this?"
"I don’t know, but the entry wound is too small for a bolt-round. There’s too much impact trauma for a las-weapon, so my guess is some kind of solid-slug rifle."

Perturabo and Fabius discuss the nature of the weapont hat injured Fulgrim - the needle carbine. Again, it clearly inflicts physical damage of some sort (trauma) but its lower in caliber than a botl round (but still big enough to classify as some sort of slugthrower) Maybe between 5-20mm diameter or so. If we figure between 1-3 grams for the bullet at the 1070 m/s velocity you get at least 572 J per shot. At 3 grams, close to 1.8 kj per shot.
In any case we learn as well that las-weapons don't create impact traua (althoguh whether they create other kinds of trauma we don't know.) but it does suggest it creates wound diameters imilar to a solid shot weapon.

Page 108
Perturabo found that he hated the Thaliakron now. Its grandeur was sullied and its function perverted. Once again, a wonder he had created as a thing of beauty had been tarnished by those he had once loved.
Could nothing he raised up in glory be allowed even a moment to shine?

Poor Peturabo. Neve rthought I'd say THAT. The guy never can catch a break, and gets shafted horribly. Small wonder he's bitter.

Page 109
..a long sliver of bloodstained steel, finely tapered and bent around its middle where its tip had flattened.

reminds me of a flechette really.

Page 111
"This is your destiny, brother. Every path of your life has been leading you here. Why else would you alone have been plagued by visions of the star maelstrom since your earliest days?"
"How do you know of that?" asked Perturabo, suddenly wary and angry. "I told only Ferrus Manus, and he mocked my question."
"You forget, brother, I killed Ferrus," whispered Fulgrim with a conspiratorial grin that made Perturabo complicit in the act. "And there is no bond more intimate than murder. The Emperor saw to it that we primarchs are bound by ties of blood, Perturabo, blood and so much more. When Ferrus died, I drank down his thoughts and dreams – bitter and bland as they were – and learned something of his memory."

An interesting implication if true. It implies some sort of Highlander-esque bond between primarchs over thoughts and emotions and such. THat said, I'm not sure this isn't result of Fulgrim's daemonic possession, and given he's playing Perturabo, we can't take his word absolutely on shit like this.

Page 120
In the wake of the slaughter, escape from the Isstvan system had been a nerve-shredding series of mad dashes under fire and silent runs through the traitor blockade, culminating in a final sprint to the gravipause, the minimum safe distance between a star’s mass and a vessel’s ability to survive a warp jump.

Gravipause defined

PAge 120-121
The months that followed saw the Sisypheum embark on a series of hit-and-run attacks on traitor forces on the northern frontiers of the galaxy, wreaking harm like a lone predator swimming in a dark ocean. Traitor forces seeking flanking routes through Segmentum Obscurus were their prey; scout craft, cartographae ships, slow-moving supply hulks heavily laden with mortal troops, ammunition and weapons.
A series of coded astropathic blurts were detected on a shifting cycle of frequencies that matched up to numerical codes relating to the orbicular structure of a particular type of igneous rock found only on Medusa. Frater Thamatica had decrypted the message, and contact was established with disparate groups of loyalist forces that had escaped the massacre, and a stratagem of sorts agreed upon. With the X Legion too scattered to function in a traditional battlefield role, its surviving commanders found their own way to fight back: as the thorns in the flanks of the leviathan that distract it from the sword-thrust to the vitals.
At Cavor Sarta, Wayland and Sharrowkyn had captured an Unlingual Cipher Host – one of the so-called ‘Kryptos’ – a hybrid abomination creature of the Dark Mechanicum that had previously kept the enemy’s code network a cryptographic impossibility to break. With the Kryptos, loyalist commanders could now access the traitors’ coded communications.
And with that knowledge, Captain Ulrach Branthan had ordered the Sisypheum to make the circuitous journey to Hydra Cordatus and a meeting of traitor primarchs.

the Iron Warriors have spent the months (apparently) after Isstvaan raiding and hit-and running the Traitors. Like the Raven Guard in 'Deliverance Lost' they have not totally abandoned the war, they've just ceased to be a single, coherent force like some of the other Legions.
Also astropathic signals with 'shifting frequencies' which sounds more 'vox-like' than we usually get for astrotelepathy.
Lastly, implied duration of travel between Isstvaan and Hydra cordatus. Earlier it was mentioned it might be 'thousands' of light years form the Eye, we know in 13th Black cRusade it was in or around there, although how far is up for debate. By the 'betrayal' book Isstvaan was some 30-40 thousand LY or so at least, whilst other sourcs have placed it 'halfway across the galaxy' from Terra, suggesting 50-60 thousand Ly or so. Either way it suggests tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of c, average travel time.

Page 123
A golden-winged eagle, beyond the ken of the Mechanicum adepts who had studied it, perched on one shoulder, preening its glitter-sheen wings with its razored beak.
.. it had survived the Isstvan massacre without so much as a scratch on its golden body. Some said its ancient technologies were beyond the reach of contemporary weapon tech to harm, others that it was simply lucky. More desperate whispers even claimed it was a sign of the Emperor watching over the Legion in these troubled times.

Some osrt of psyber-familiar, pehaps? Its archaeotech it seems in ayn case.

Page 124
Clamped across the captain’s torso like a mechanised arachnid parasite was a glittering device of coiled silver and bronze. Its central mass squatted on his chest, while its segmented appendages encircled his body. Monofilament wires extruded from its multiple limbs wormed their way into the captain’s flesh all across his torso, and though it looked painful, Wayland knew the Heart of Iron was all that was keeping Branthan alive.

Heart of Iron, some sort of Archaeotech

Page 125
"I’m cooking up a little something that might have helped with that, a thermic displacement beamer. Deadly little thing. Works on the entropic quantum theory of all things existing at all times. If I can get it to work properly, you could swap elements in the heart of a star with a corresponding element of a person. I imagine that would ruin anyone’s day, even a primarch’s."

Sounds like the Space MArine version of a Shokk Attack Gun, only replacing the snotlings with something more devastating.

Page 126
"It appears to be attempting to regrow some of his major organs, but with each iteration of renewal, his vitals go down across the board. If we were to let time take its course, the captain would be dead before it had repaired him enough to live."
"None of us truly understand its workings."
"It’s old tech, one of the few pieces left intact after Old Night, much like Branthan’s eagle there. The primarch himself found it during one of his travels into the Land of Shadows."

The Heart of Iron and more specifics about its workings. Apparently Medusa had a bunch of this archaeotech.

Page 132
Lord Commander Eidolon threw off his robes, revealing his armoured form, gleaming and painted in neon colours that offended the eye. Barbs of coiled wire trailed scraps of hessian from his shoulder guards, and his mighty hammer was slung in a looping series of bandoleer straps that buckled in a slash of leather across his chest. A raw suture ran the circumference of his neck in a perfectly even line.
Fabius stepped forwards and said, "Thanks to my ministrations, the Lord Commander’s body will regain its former strength and more in time. "

Eidolon isn't as dead as I thought in the Primarchs I suppose. Guess I spoke too soon. lol.

Page 138
He stood within a vast crater – a hundred kilometres wide at least – deep in the belly of what had once been a colossal mountain of black rock and ice. The crater was a forest of spiral-fluted stalagmites, its floor webbed with cracks through which scalding vents of steam billowed and spurts of molten rock jetted. The heat was incredible, and warm rain misted the air; ice as it toppled into the crater, liquid as it fell, steam before it reached the bottom.
Towering cliffs soared a thousand metres above him, and cascades of ice-bearded rock fell into the crater from the splintered rim. Billowing clouds of dust and smoke obscured the sky and the mountain groaned and shook with seismic tremors.
His arrival had caused this; he was sure of it.
..he took a moment to inspect the capsule from which he had emerged. Exactly nine metres long and crumpled with its terrific impact upon the mountain, its surfaces were stencilled with symbols he did not yet understand and embedded with jewels that winked with their own internal light.

The arrival of Ferrus Manus. He's in a hundred km crater, and its implied his arrival caused some sort of upheaval, but I'm not quite sure if its saying he made the crater. ITs certainly implied here, yet there's mention of runic markins and a prison of sorts (which I'll touch on in a moment) which suggest he did not.
Assuming that there is some actual validity in him making that crater the impact would be well into the gigatons... but would also require making the capsule impact at thousands of km/s (or more.) Which admittedly seems unlikely. but as I said there's a good chance his impact did NOT make the crater (although to be honest we know of other examples like the Night Haunter that imply that too.) So I suppose really it could go either way.

Page 140
Through the brilliant, mercurial haze of impossibly bright silver light, he saw a form cohering in the radiance. Segmented and coiled, it was a disassembled entity that was only now able to restore its original form. A swirling lattice of architecture and organism, construct and intelligence, it was at once a living thing and an artificially wrought monster.
A hideous steel clattering of bio-mechanical gears and liquid metal rattled through the cavern, an artificial heartbeat and birth-shout in one. He saw a huge worm-like creature uncoiling from its dissolving prison. Hearing that terrible mechanised shriek of release, there could be no doubt that this monster had been imprisoned within this impregnable mountain.
He stepped out to face the creature, a titanic wyrm with a ratcheting, segmented body that constantly rotated and reshaped itself with shifting liquid ease. Its bulbous, arachnid exo-skull was wreathed in metallic feelers, a trio of needle-toothed proboscises and multi-faceted eyes that reflected a million images of the naked figure before it. The great wyrm reared up, a towering monster of chromed steel, and loosed a howling bray of machine anger.

The giant silver worm-thing Ferrus Manus fought and got his silver hands from. It seems incredibly Necron-like to me.

PAge 141

Where once his eyes had been an inviting gold-flecked green, now they were a shimmering silver, like coins placed on the eyes of the dead. He lifted a hand to his face, seeing the web of veins and incandescent blood beneath the skin, the artistry that had gone into their construction and the miraculous bio-engineered wonders encoded within his flesh.
Was this a side effect of the wyrm’s attack or was he now perceiving the world as he had always been intended to see it?

Ferrus Manus' super special vision powers. Whether innate or from the silver worm thing we don't know from here.

Page 146
Fulgrim licked his full lips, but the smile fell from his face as he saw something in the corner of the shard.
A towering figure in black armour, with eyes and hands of shimmer-steel silver.
He spun around, searching the far corners of La Fenice for any sign of this intruder.
Nothing – for there was nothing to see. Ferrus Manus was dead, and the daemon in the painting had no power over him.
"Show yourself!" bellowed Fulgrim,
He lurched drunkenly through the theatre, staring into each shard of glass and every polished surface. In each of them, he saw the hulking outline of the Gorgon, a silent figure watching from the shadows.

An interesting occurance, in light of what Fulgrim told Perturabo. If he actually had gained some thoughts from Ferrus Manus, its quite possible the Primarch is not wholly dead, he may live on inside Fulgrim in some manner. Haunting him, more precisely.

Page 148
The black, non-reflective hull was pitted with the impact shrapnel from explosive ordnance launched to cripple her, for the heavier traitor cruisers to finish off. Those wounds hadn’t slowed the Sisypheum, and damage that would have gutted a vessel of almost any other Legion had been shrugged off and its pursuers evaded as every Iron Hand aboard fought to keep it flying.
Every warrior bent his back to the task, and never was a crew more dedicated and devoted to its ship. Hull breaches were sealed in moments, deck fires extinguished the instant they began and shield generators repaired as soon as they overloaded. The Sisypheum was the ship that simply would not die.
Up-armoured and with a hull that had been repaired more times than any shipwright would dream, it was not a graceful vessel, nor even a handsome one.

Iron Hands Strike cruiser that is nearly invincible it seems, or close to it. Hard to destroy, endlessly repaired. Also of interest is the 'explosive ordnance' generating shrapnel. We dont know what KIND of shell is doing that and whether it was expressly designed for crippling or if it was lethal ordnance, but its interesting either way. (and may not mean much - we know Tyranid spore mines can be nuclear/fusion reactions that generate shrapnel as well, after all...)

PAge 148
Yet the VIII Legion’s Tenebraxis suddenly found itself outmanoeuvred and its rear quarters raked by a vessel it should have reduced to a guttering, flame-blackened hulk in a matter of minutes.

combat endurance/durability of strike cruiser against starship of unknown class.

Page 148
Leaving the stricken ship burning in the ice floes of the Isstvan cometary belt, the Sisypheum fled the system, finding the closest point to the gravipause and making an emergency warp-jump to distant systems. With the supplies liberated from the enemy vessel, it was reinforced, upgraded and made even more lethal than before.

Gravipause again. Apparently Isstvan's is quite a bit of a ways out - like 30 AU if we figure the 'cometary' belt is actually the Kuiper belt. Funny thing is, given that Flight of the eisenstein and a few other novels hinted at escrots taking hours (days at most) to reach that from the inner (inhabited systems) we're probably talking tens or hundreds of gees and thousands/tens of thousands of km/s travel velocities at least.

Page 151
"We’re going to attempt a matter transference, linking two exact points on the quantum level of potentiality. Given enough charge, the electrons of any given object can become excited enough to shift to another orbit, and if I can modulate the vibrational frequency of a portion of both objects at the same time, I can attempt to force them into the same place at the same time."

The thermic displacement beamer described again. Sounds alot like a teleporter attack to me.

Page 157
Few could wraith-slip like Sharrowkyn, for only the most innately gifted of Deliverance’s children could evade the light for long enough to attract the attention of the shadow masters.

Seems like some Raven Guard learn to do some sort of super secret ninja stealth trick which may or may not resemble what Corax can do

Page 157-158
Since his earliest days in the labyrinths of the Ravenspire he had learned how to muffle noise, first with rags and packed earth, then with acoustic dampers and skill. Though the armour’s construction was a matter of improvisation and need, it fitted him better than any he had worn in his time with the XIX Legion.
Each warrior moved silently in his own way, and it was each warrior’s understanding of the empty spaces between sounds that allowed him to occupy them.
Only by becoming the shadows could a warrior move through them without revealing himself. Only by being truly hunted could he reach that place inside himself that allowed the wraith-slip to become perfect camouflage. Such protection was not infallible, of course, no warrior was ever invisible, but such was Sharrowkyn’s affinity with the dark that he might as well have been.

Again more on wraith slipping and the stealth functions of Sharrowkyn's armour. Again it seems very similar to what Corax could do in Raven's flight.

Page 159
It was a question he had spent many months considering, but was no closer to answering.

Context, Sharrowkyn in contemplation. Again months since Istvaan, and he doesnt know Corax's fate. We, of course know better.

Page 162
Molten rivers of infected blood raced around Cassander’s body, each polluted branch and venous highway carrying microscopic invaders that attempted to dismantle him at the genetic level. But each attempt met with failure, for the Emperor’s great techno-biological work was too cunning and too subtle to be undone by synthetic diseases of mere men, no matter how inventive their attack. Though Cassander’s genhanced body recovered from each assault, the pain of being the battleground for such a hard-fought viral war was almost beyond endurance.
With each successful resistance, Cassander’s body was left purged and hollow, a shell of its former glory, yet still able to rebuild itself with the nutrient-rich fluids pumped into his system, readying him for the next round of attack. His body could repair almost indefinitely, but his mind was suffering the trauma of constant pain and anguish.

Astartes disease/toxin immunity in action. It probably gives us a (vague) idea of the limits and

Page 166
"This is the anathame," said Fabius, turning the blade and lifting it close to his lips. "The kinebrach blade that brought down the great Horus."
"At first I thought the sentience of the blade was entirely mad, that all it could do was kill. But I have discovered that it enjoys suffering too, that its effects can be tailored if you know how to ask."

Man the Anathame gets around, doesn't it? Its now in Fabius' hands, and we learn it is 'variable yield'. And sentient enough to enjoy causing suffering. Must be some sort of daemon weapon, although why the bloody Kinebrach would make such a thing is beyond me. I thought they were anti-chaos?

Page 169
"As Sabik Wayland has said, I am a scholar, a poet and an explorer amongst other things. I belong to an academic order of my people known as the Ebonite Archymsts. We study the stars and the matter of the universe from which we are all derived. I know this region of space intimately, for I was the first of my kind to sing of its currents and its tempests."
"Sing them?" asked Tyro.
"It is the closest approximation I can give for how we communicate and store information," said Vohra. "It takes decades of training in our order’s shrine to master the technique, but I suspect you have neither the time nor inclination to learn of it."

Must be anothe rof those Eldar Paths, part scientist (my guess) and part chronicler. I imagine its more an 'oral' history analogue (or rahter psychic, although psycho-sonic would not be improbable. we know that Eldar language can have a psychic component to it after all.)

PAge 169
"The warriors you call “traitors” are dangerous beyond imagining. Not just to your race and your empire, but to all life. They serve the Primordial Annihilator, though only a handful of them truly appreciate what that means."

Chaos is still relatively unknown amongst the Traitors excpet for a few exceptions (like the Emperor's Children, Thousand Sons, and Word Bearers.) The interactions between the Iron Warriors and Emperor's Children later on serve to highlight this.

PAge 173-175
Nearly two thousand Iron Warriors stood in unmoving ranks before Kroeger..
Kroeger’s thoughts were interrupted as he saw a familiar face in the front rank of his Grand Battalion.

Size of a Grand Battalion.

Page 176-177
He saw planets where all reason and Euclidian certainty had been abandoned, where the physical laws that underpinned the galaxy were playthings of lunatic forces beyond mortal comprehension.
Worlds of fire; worlds that were somehow crafted into geometric shapes; worlds wreathed in unending lightning storms; islands of ephemera that were vomited into existence and destroyed an instant later to sink back into the roiling chaos from which they had been birthed. Madness held sway in the nightmarish confluences of this storm, a reign of inconstancy that would break even the hardiest sanity.

Chaos-tained worlds in the Eye.

Page 177
He could give the order to turn his Legion around and take its hundreds of ships to where he could more readily contribute to Horus Lupercal’s war effort...
He had been a primarch in the Emperor’s armies; hundreds of starfaring vessels were his to command and no one would have questioned him had he chosen to lead his expeditionary forces here.

Size of Perturabo's fleet. Whether this is the sum total (remaining) Iron Warriors or just his expeditionary fleet we don't know.

Page 179
They crossed vaulted processionals of ranked artillery pieces, with hundreds of heavy armoured vehicles suspended on massive chains from the strengthened roof trusses. They climbed great spiral stairs that wound around thunderous columns of magma-hot power, and super-hardened magazines packed tightly with shell casings, entrenching gear and millions of rounds of volatile ammunition. More than any other Legion, the interiors of the Iron Warriors vessels were given over to supply and logistics, for their way of war depended on a steady supply of high-explosive warheads.

Interior of Iron Blood. Suggestive that most Iron Warriors ships are like this.

Page 180
"Other Legions have since established similar orders, but the Dodekatheon was in place long before Lorgar’s errand boy thought to supplant it with a lodge of his own making."

Lorgar tried (and failed) to make headway in manipulating the Iron Warriors. Once again despite scoring a significant victory against the Imperium, the Traitor forces still have a hefty disadvantage in the fact they aren't wholly unified and committed, and there's lots of politics and personal agendas getting in the way.

Page 182
Soulaka led them past a table heaped with rubble that Kroeger at first mistook for debris come loose from the walls until he saw the grey-coloured blocks being used to represent companies of warriors and artillery.
"We refight battles from the past," said Soulaka. "Ours and those of our brothers, to learn from their mistakes and improve our tactical protocols."
Through the broad shoulders of the legionaries gathered around the table Kroeger saw a lovingly fashioned representation of a great tower, surrounded by more numbered blocks of units, this time coloured black.

A Legion of wargamers lol. This is probably quite intentional, given they had Perturabo as a gifted modelmaker of sorts as well (or at the very least he enjoys models)

Page 186
[qute]In truth, Cybus was a warrior not even his battle-brothers could be around for any length of time, for his adherence to the doctrines of augmetic superiority had already spread through the Legion even before the death of Ferrus Manus and his warning against such beliefs to the Iron Fraternity.[/quote]
One of the more recent ideas promulgated in the HH series is that the Iron Hands' mania for cybernetic augmentation and hatred of the organic is a huge weakness, and one that Ferrus Manus had tried to purge out of his Legion. Evidently his death has driven the Legion even deeper into this mania, and its becoming that issue of the Iron Hands becoming machines at the expense of their humanity. This isn't the first time this idea is broached in the book, either.
Its also interesting in that the passage, one detailing the burdens of a leader commanding troops without his Primarch (or their Primarch's right hand man), and the stress it puts him under, as he watches his Legion (to him) fall apart even as they continue to fight without that guidance - it goes a long way to making Space Marines more interesting and sympathetic figures. Despite all the extra organs and superhuman abilities and stuff, they have limits and flaws and even if they can't feel fear they can feel doubt or strain of a sort.

PAge 192
Orbital plates saturated the battlefield with earth-shaking bombardments and emplaced guns swept the Gangetic Plain with hellish pyrostorms in the wake of repeated strafing runs and incendiary barrages.

The Orbital plates around terra seem to be armed and capable of bombarding the ground. Admittedly this is during an Iron Warriors simulation but it seems a reasonable supposition

Page 194
Perturabo’s armies blew their way through the massive earthwork defences at Haldwani and Xigaze. The sky at the top of the world was on fire. Despite the bombardments of the orbital plates and the constant sorties of Stormbirds and the Hawkwings, the Lord of Iron’s Legions advanced, up through the Brahmaputra, along the delta of the Karnali.
Continental firestorms raged across the Gangetic Plain once again.

Again just a simulation of the Battle of Terra, but the scale of conflict is suitably impressive.

Page 202

Thirty chattering calculus-logi sat on three long benches arranged behind him, like worshippers at a heathen fane. Each blank-faced, shaven-headed autept was linked in parallel to his neighbour by a sheaf of coloured ribbon-cables, and their already phenomenal computational power was enhanced still further by the shared mindspace he had created in his most powerful data engine. Working as one linked brain, their eyes closed to keep all non-essential sensory inputs to a minimum, they crunched the vast array of arithmetical data and hexamathic geometries he needed to keep control of the building power.

Calculus Logi/Mentat network.

Page 202-203
...he required bigger generators, and had linked his experimental machinery to the plasma drives, diverting their power to his laboratorium.
Thamatica pushed the activation button on his console, coupling the engine outputs to the machinery empowering his device.
The power contained there could vaporise the entire ship, and Thamatica began to channel that power into the experimental machinery that would begin the quantum swapping between the two spheres.

Enough power to 'vaporize' the ship is being siphoned from the engines/reactors. It can't be the full output (or they wouldn't be moving) and if it was a significant power draw someone would have noticed long since. Assuming a 5-6 megaton escort (from the Rogue Trader RPG) as a benchmark and assuming iron we're talking somewhere in the e15-e16 J at least (assuming we treat vaporization as literal, of course :P )

PAge 206
Vull Bronn felt the prick of the needle in his shoulder and a warmth spread from the insertion point. Almost immediately, his thoughts cleared and the pain in his skull began to recede as his body’s healing mechanisms were chemically kicked into high gear. His skin felt hot and beads of oily toxins sweated from his pores.

Space Marine poison flushing mechanisms.

Page 207
"We all knew it the minute we saw Fulgrim’s carnivalia on Hydra Cordatus, but it’s worse than any of us feared.”
“He means that the rumours we’ve been hearing are more than just rumours”
“The ones that circulated after Isstvan V,” said Perturabo. “Wild stories of orgiastic worship of old gods and daemons. Of sorcery and sacrifice.”
“We’re not actually thinking there are ancient powers in the warp? Whatever’s going on with the Emperor’s Children, it’s madness, some new obsession with perfection on the Phoenician’s part.”
“..it’s clear Fulgrim believes he serves these daemon gods.”

The Iron Warriors dont knwo about Chaos, don’t believe that its legit, and think its just delusions of the Emperor’s Children. Once again we see that despite turning traitor, the truth of the matter and just who is pulling Horus’s strings (and the strings of the Word Bearers, Emperor’s Children, etc.) is not widely known/believed, nor are the Legions as unified on the Traitor side as one might think.

Page 208
.. they had not lost one of the hundreds of ships in their fleet.

Again Hundreds of Iron Warriors ships.

Page 210
”The engine cores registered a critical reactor spike and automatically triggered the venting protocols. They’ve shut down almost every onboard system until the energy levels have bled off enough to restore them safely.”
Wayland scrolled through the last fifteen minutes of engine data, seeing output readings that were far in excess of what the Sisypheum’s current speed would suggest. Each engine core was operating well below its capability during the delicate manoeuvres through the Paths Below, but they were still generating colossal amounts of energy.
“I think the Frater has made a second attempt to get his thermic displacement beamer operational. He said he needed bigger generators and I believe he’s been bleeding engine power to his laboratorium.”
He saw the subtlety with which Thamatica had concealed his siphoning of reactor energy, how he had generated an exponentially vast build-up of power, and the catastrophic diversion of feedback at his experiment’s conclusion.
“I can’t get any power to the gun batteries.”

A bit on the Sisypheum’s power systems. Again we note that the Frater siphoned reactor power (subtly, indicating he only took enough for his purposes and the draw wasn’t noticed.) for his purposes. What’s more, the engine cores were operating below capacity, so one gathers that the Frater gradually siphoned off enough power over fifteen minutes or so building it up, but the power output spiked and overloaded the ship’s systems until it could be safely bled off (all systems shut down.)
Now the previous E15-16 J output is probably mitigated by the fifteen minute figure, but it was a gradual e12-13 watt output.. but that’s still a fraction of the ship’s ‘below capacity’ output. And the ship did merely short out from a much lergar output (it implies it can store up to at least fifteen minutes worth of energy.) And in any case this is all still lower limits for any number of reasons.
Oh, and the gun batteries draw from the reactors, if we needed further evidence of that.

PAge 210-211
The grinding shutters concertinaed over the viewing bay but as they drew closed Falk’s eyes narrowed and he held up his hand as he saw a brilliant flare of energised light bloom from ahead of the Iron Blood like a newborn star.
The shutters pulled back with a groan of protest, and Falk marched down to the surveyor station as a chime of detection sounded. He scanned the readings on the forward auspex..
“Venting that much electromagnetic energy into space is like lighting a clan’s beacon fire,” said Wayland. “Any ship within a hundred light years will probably have seen it.”

Amazing what magnetics can do isnt it? :P Its implied that the 'flare' of EM energy from Thater's little screwed up experiment would detectable over a hundred LY. and rather rapidly at that. THere's a good chance its hyperbole, but it seems odd they would use such a precise number for mere hyperbole. To be fair, its unlikely the Iron Warriors were remotely that far away in this case, they just seem to be slightly out of visual range.

PAge 211
The display was cascading gibberish, a flickering, static-laced nightmare of meaningless returns and confused imagery the surveyors could not interpret. In the midst of a warp storm, conventional auspex readings were all but useless, and only the unique mutation of a Navigator could hope to steer a ship through its immaterial currents.

Which could mean auspex was near useless in the Warp, and only a navigator could do that, and/or Navigators can serve as an auspex alternative (which is hinted at in the FFG stuff.)

Pgae 212
..Tyro had a fleeting glimpse of the local spatial environment. The threat board lit up as it took a snapshot of the returns it was getting from its passive sensors.
Over three hundred capital-class contacts, dead astern on a low parallel vector.
Two forward picket ships, strike cruisers at least, closing on surging intercept vectors.

lower limit size on Emperor’s Children/Iron Warriors fleet.

Page 212-213
Perturabo watched the replay of what the prow auspex had recorded at the farthest extent of its range, a distorted inload of aberrant data and meaningless warp interference. Then, at precisely the same moment each time, the sudden brightness of an electromagnetic pulse. Frequencies, radiance and nuclear spectra cascaded from the brightness, and Perturabo let the data lodge in the deep seams of his cognitive strata.
“We’re at the forefront of the fleet and we’ll be within range in a few minutes.”
“We will be in firing range in moments.”
“Firing range? Surely you can’t mean to simply destroy this ship?”

Implied that they're within firing range at the 'farthest edge' of sensor range in/around the warp. Which doesn't really tell us much I suppose. If we go by 'in range in a few minutes' they might have covered hundreds of metres or so, but thats just a guess.

Page 224
Cybus swung the weapon-mount of his Rhino around and kept the floating reticule in his augmetic eyes married to its skull. A stream of guided bolter shells shredded its upper half in a confetti of rich red tissue.

Guided bolter shells.

PAge 230
Driven by fibre-bundle muscles and power cores, their frame was thickened around the shoulders, heads and arms to better resist incoming fire, and nothing the Iron Hands could throw at the battle robots slowed their pace one iota.
A pair of Rhinos were smashed aside, sent skidding back fifty metres by coordinated swipes of their shields, and half a dozen Legion warriors were crushed beneath the unstoppable power of their siege hammers.

Strength of six battle robots.

Page 231
The Iron Circle locked their shields to the deck and swung up shoulder-mounted weapons: rotary cannons, grenade launchers and quad-carbines. Overlapping fields of fire fanned out from their position, a horizontal sheet of trace and las that burned and blasted anything in its path.

Battle robot armaments.

Page 231
An arcing stream of rounds followed him up, detonating on his armour without effect. Forgebreaker arced down like an unstoppable piston and flattened the front half of the armoured vehicle entirely. The tank flipped up and somersaulted overhead.

Vechile bolter fire no good against Perturabo, he flips a Rhino with his hammer.

Page 232
He dropped his hammer to his side and swung his arm around, unleashing a thundering salvo from his gauntlet. Heavy, custom-fabricated rounds – fashioned by a machine of the Firenzii polymath – punched through Legion plate with plasmic armour-piercing warheads and used their victims’ body mass as bio-thermic fuel.
Warriors ignited like human pyres with every detonation, and Perturabo walked his fire through the Iron Hands as they rallied on their sergeants and officers. Each time Perturabo saw a ranked warrior establish control, he slew him with a lethally accurate round that punched through his centre mass and set him ablaze.

It seems Perturabo's uber arm-gun uses technobabble 'spontaneous combustion' ammo using the body as 'bio-thermic' fuel, which ranks it right up there with a bunch of other weapons (volkites, the incendiaries of Vindicaire, certian kinds of cyclonics, etc.) I would suggest this is proof that some flamers could probably achieve this as well.
Anyhow, assuming each round inflicts 125 j per sq cm flash burns on 20,000-30,000 sq cm body (or several times that, since we're talking Space Marines) we'd be talking at least ac ouple MJ (more like 5-6) per trooper. If Perturabo's gun spits them out at a fairly high clip (Several tens per second) it could be much like a demolition charge, I think.

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-04-08 05:48pm

And Part 3

Page 232
His hammer took the first three, breaking them apart like porcelain dolls. A burst of gunfire ripped another two in half. Then they were upon him, swords cutting and high-energy pistols flashing with sun-hot brightness.
A shriek of flash-burned air scorched his shoulder plate black before Forgebreaker turned the warrior to a mist of exploded body parts.
The last warrior dropped, his upper half a pulped mess while his lower half twitched at Perturabo’s feet.

Forgebreaker in action against Iron Hands. Includes some Terminators, I think.

Page 233
The last of the defenders were either dead or had fallen back behind metres-thick blast shutters that would take breaching charges to penetrate.

Metres thick blast doors/shutters abord ship.

PAge 234
Was it possible the data Alpharius had stolen from the Raven Guard had been flawed?
Unlikely, for none among the Alpha Legion had the necessary expertise to insert such a corrupting agent without his being able to detect it. No, the flaw was one of his own making, and the thrill of rooting it out was as potent as the frustration of its occurrence.

Seems like the Alpha Legion provided the data they stole from the Raven Guard to Fabius, although whether he’s just too inept to properly exploit it, or because the Alpha Legion sabotaged it, we don’t know. Unlike Fabius, I have a healthy respect for the Alpha Legion’s capabilities and they would be perfectly capable of screwing things up for their own side as much as the loyalists.

Page 238
Atesh Tarsa knelt beside Ulrach Branthan’s casket and sighted down the length of his sniper rifle. The scope was slaved to his narthecium gauntlet and projected a wireframe rendition of his target onto his visor, with their internal organs highlighted in red. It made for kill shots every time, but ensured his battles were fought in a neon chrome shimmer of bio-thermal imagery.

The special sensors of the Apothecary make for excellent sniper sights.

Page 254-255
A searing fireball of incandescent energy exploded from the Sisypheum’s engines like the tail of a comet approaching too close to a super-dense star. The vessel shot forwards like a missile fired from a shoulder launcher, accelerating from a virtual standstill to escape velocity in the blink of an eye.
The Sisypheum closed the distance to the Andronicus in a streak of laser brilliance and lanced into its flanks at a point just behind the beauteous vessel’s plough-shaped bow. Gilded and ornamented as it was, the Andronicus was still a fighting vessel of the Legiones Astartes, and was armoured to withstand missiles, torpedoes and explosive ordnance.
Against the speed, mass and prow weapons of the Sisypheum, it had no chance.
The hull of the Emperor’s Children vessel crumpled in the face of the tapered missile of the Iron Hands ship, the impact a punching thrust through its guts that sent billowing scads of ignited oxygen blossoming into space. The blazing wake of the Iron Hands ship ignited the atmosphere within the Andronicus and sheared the prow from its body as keenly as a guillotine. The bow spun away on a spiralling wake of burning oxygen, and armoured plates along the entire front half of the vessel buckled and warped as internal explosions cascaded along its length. Fire spurted from ruptures in the hull and beams of brilliant light speared from compartment breaches as the cataclysmic damage burned the Emperor’s Children vessel from the inside.
An expanding cone of fire and debris detonated outwards as the momentum and weapons fire of the Sisypheum punched through the vitals of the III Legion’s ship. Like a bullet exploding from the body of a gunshot victim, the Sisypheum blasted from the interior of the Andronicus, trailing molten debris and a flame-wreathed halo of ignited plasma. It rippled with void haze, and Perturabo saw the tortured squalls of light tearing at the edges of the exit wound as its shields dragged kilometres’ worth of armour plating in its magnetic wake.
Its gyroscopic systems fought to stabilise the vessel, but the damage was too severe, too sudden and too shocking to correct. Though her shipmaster fought to save her, Perturabo knew the Andronicus was doomed. Energy fields shimmered in a desperate attempt to preserve internal atmosphere as the front half of the vessel spun away. Its structural integrity gone, the Andronicus began to tear itself apart...

PAge 268
”The perpetual motion driver at its heart is losing time.”
“I thought that was impossible.”
“A genius of Old Earth discovered the theoretical principles thousands of years ago, but he lacked the technology to manufacture a working prototype. I have many of his journals and secret papers in my library and was able to extrapolate what had been lost to draw up the schematics for Vulkan to build.”

Perpetual motion machines work in 40K. And Primarchs can make them. TBH I figure its not so much perpetual motion as externally powered (EG warp power.)

Page 275
People said that places like this had once been generating stations, that it had taken dangerous materials and employed forgotten technology to harness its power. Well that power had evidently turned on its makers, and laid waste to the planet, releasing toxins that had burned the atmosphere and boiled the oceans away.
Their structures were irradiated and would remain so for thousands of years. That was the only reason they hadn’t been torn down and their materials reused

Must be Chemos as the baby Primarch found was Fulgrim. Anyhow more ‘atomic’ power which seems to be capable of widespread apocalypse. Although you have to wonder what they were using all that power for if the reactors had spontaneous meltdown like that (boiling away oceans is at least e27-e29 joules) Of course it could be another case of ‘magic’ atomics...

Page 285
”This is a Crone World, a relic of my people’s long-vanished empire,” said Vohra. “A race fell to ruin here, billions of souls lost forever. It is not easy for me to see this.”

Given a single Crone world is implied to have billions, if there were thousands or millions of worlds, we’d be talking trillions or quadrillions of eldar possibly pre-Fall.

PAge 286
The heart of the Eye of Terror, a gravitational hellstorm with a supermassive black hole at its centre. A sphere of polished onyx swirling with colours like oil smears, it was a sucking wound in the flesh of the galaxy that vomited unnatural matter into the void. Whatever cataclysm had brought the Eye of Terror into being, this was its epicentre. A dark doorway to an unknowable destination and an unimaginably powerful singularity whose gravity was so strong that it consumed light, matter, space and time in its destructive core.

“How is that planet not being dragged in?”

center of the Eye of Terror. Maiden/Crone world is somehow resisting the pull (ships in orbit are also protected.)

Page 286
”It’s a perfect sphere.”
“Such ideal geometry is virtually impossible in planetary formation,” said Perturabo. “The push and pull of gravity from nearby stars and celestial phenomena stretches and compresses planets. Most are flattened ellipses, but this is perfectly spherical.”

Maiden/Crone world in the Eye is perfectly spherical. Whether result of Elder engineering or Warp magic we don’t know.

Page 287-289
”Falk, I want everything around that sepulchre levelled. Leave an exclusion zone of three kilometres from its farthest edge, but everything beyond that for a hundred more is to be bombed flat.”
“And I don’t land a single warrior into a potentially hostile environment without a preliminary bombardment.”
The IV Legion fleet assumed bombardment formation over Amon ny-shak Kaelis, their barrage cannons, mass drivers and bomb bays loaded with surface-smashing ordnance, short-burn incendiaries and electromagnetic pulse-bomblets. Those ships assigned fire sectors closest to the citadel were loaded with lower-yield munitions, while those tasked with levelling the outer regions prepped the largest warheads. Volley-firing frigates jostled with heavier capital ships as they prepared to rain explosive fury upon the world below.
The Emperor’s Children played no part in the bombardment preparations..
Within an hour of the order’s issue, the last assigned ship in the Iron Warriors fleet had assumed geostationary orbit around Iydris with its weapon bays and cannons ready to lay waste to the surface.
The fire command came a second later, and the heavens lit up with the collimated fire of a Space Marine Legion as it unleashed a controlled instant of lethality. One burst was all it took, one searing instant of precisely calculated fire.
Flash-burning lances struck first, igniting the atmosphere to eliminate the frictional drag on the following ordnance. Kinetic mass driver munitions hit next, slamming into the surface of the planet like the hammers of gods. Shockwaves spread out in radial sector patterns, sending tectonic blasts along mathematically precise vectors. Conventional warheads followed, pounding the earth in stepped barrages, marching outwards in repeating waves.
Incendiaries razed the target zone flat, vitrifying the rock and burning away whatever organic material might remain on the surface. A cone of fire gouged the surface of Iydris, burning, pounding and flattening in the blink of an eye structures that had stood inviolate for tens of thousands of years.
A barren ring of pulverised earth encircled the citadel of Amon ny-shak Kaelis, leaving its walls, towers and temples an isolated island cut off from the rest of the planet’s structures by a billowing firestorm of planet-cracking force.
The blasted wasteland of ground zero was a glassy plain of powdered rubble and blackened fragments of some unknown material. What might once have been an area of awe-inspiring architecture from a bygone age of a fallen civilisation had been razed more thoroughly than any barbarian horde had ever left a city of Old Roma.

Precision bombardment by iron warriors. We might be able to calc it based on glassing a 100+ km radius area (depending on how deep it 'glasses') but I'm not sure how valid that would be since the area wasn't prolonged molten (and they deploy instnatly). If we assume a 1-2 cm 'glassing' over an approximate 200 km radius we could be talking 350-700 megatons at least for that single bombardment. Over 150-200 or so vessels implied each ship would contribute at least a few megatons worth of firepower apiece.
If we figure the lances heat the atmosphere up by 500K and over about 15-20 km (80% of the atmosphere is in that region) and the entir region was evenly heated.. it would be 81 gigatons. Even if only 10% or 1% of that was happend we'd still be talking 800-8000 megatons, which is significant for a isngle bombardment. Call it 800 megatons for 200 ships, thats at least another 4-5 megatons per shot. Whereas at 8-80 gigatons we're talking 40-400 megatons per ship. Or heck, lets say an average temperature increase of only 50K for the whole atmosphere.. it would still fit into the 'single digit' gigaton range (6.7 gigatons). So saying at least high single, low double digit Mt/s average for ships in what is probably 'tactical' bombardment is a good lower limit.
Compared to some calcs, its not much, but then again this is a 'precision' bombardmnet, not a 'fuck everything up hugely' bombardment, so the idea they might be holding back is hardly suprrising. Its also pretty impressive regardless. Especially given its a 'precision' bombardment from geostationary orbit (thousands or tens of thousands of kilometres above orbit)
Oh and speaking of orbit, we know they're 'geostationary'. The bombardment also lasts an 'instant' and also involves an ungodly huge number of projectile cannon... which points to projectile velocities in the high hundreds, if not low thousands of km/s if we're generous about 'low orbit' being geostationary. If we go with literal geostationary (as far as Earthlike, which this planet seems to be) we're talking several tens of thousands of km/s implied. :P

Page 289
Flocks of Thunderhawks, Stormbirds, Warhawks and heavy planetary landers launched from crammed embarkation decks. Bulk tenders descended to low orbit and disgorged thousands of troop carriers, armour lifters and supply barques. Titanic, gravity-cushioned mass-landers moved with majestic slowness as two battle engines of Legio Mortis took to the field, and this was but the first wave of the invasion.
Another eight would follow..

And this before the Space Marines and their auxiliaries landed.

Page 290
..grinding engines of the Pneumachina like colossally industrious worker ants pasting together a hive for their queen from sheet metal, liquid permacrete, high-tensile rebars and ultra-dense hardcore. Walls like this could take a hit from a starship’s macro-cannon and remain standing.

Strength of Iron Warrior built walls.

Page 292-293
Fresh sections of wall were being lifted in by enormous crane-engines under the supervision of his warriors and beaten into place by titanic siege robots with hammers the size of Land Raiders.
Gangs of robotic and cybernetic slaves dragged long bars of rust-coloured steel to add yet more reinforcement to the foundation trench.

Iron Warriors make use of both cyborgs/servitors and mechanicla robots for labour purposes.

PAge 295
Perturabo climbed to the cupola of a converted Shadowsword, one with additional armour plating to all sides and extended command and control functions. To accommodate the Lord of Iron’s scale and his automaton bodyguards, the vehicle’s superstructure and engine had been radically overhauled by the Pneumachina. Its main weapons were enhanced, and no more effective a killing machine existed in the Legion’s vehicle pool.

Perturabo's personal transport, a heavily modified shadowsword.

Page 297
Perturabo kept a constant data feed open between his visor’s display and the super-heavy tank’s auspex suite. Low-grade interference was fogging much of the returns, but what he was seeing did not worry him unduly. The ruins were empty of life – no hidden graviton traps, no sniping rocket teams and no buried minefields to blow a track.

The command Shadowsword has an auspex. Whether that's natural to such vehicles (at this point in time) or whether because its a command tank (or just Perturabo's command tank) is another question of course. Also shows what it can detect (or implies such at least.)

Page 300
Each of the IV Legion’s Rhinos was a specially converted Castellan variant, a design of Perturabo’s, with unfolding armour plates and impact bracing that turned them into miniature bunkers. The modular construction allowed the Rhinos to be linked together in a chain, forming a makeshift fortified line when materials for more permanent emplacements were unavailable or a defence had to be fashioned quickly.

Perturabo special variant of the Rhino.

Page 305
Vairosean slammed his hand down upon it, and a blazing whipcrack of lightning-wreathed noise pounded the air with ferocious disharmony. The facade of the tomb split open and a bomb-blast shockwave punched a ten-metre-wide crater in the road.

Noise Marine sonic cannon makes a 10 metre crater.

Page 306
..Sharrowkyn had used his heavily modified jump pack. Its cross-section was less than half that of an Assault Marine’s standard equipment, and its emissions were almost invisible unless you were looking right at it.

Ninja-grade jump pack.

Page 306
The Sisypheum remained in low orbit; as close as the heavily damaged ship dared. Her encounter with the Andronicus had left her broken and torn, but like the Legion she served, the Sisypheum would endure.

The Iron Hands vessel had taken damage ramming the Andronicus, but apparently not fatal damage.

Page 306-307
A hundred and forty-six warriors of the X Legion were concealed in the shadows around the citadel’s central mausoleum-temple...
Tens of thousands of Iron Warriors and Emperor’s Children were drawing near a group of warriors who couldn’t hope to fight them off. Odds of a thousand to one and beyond were the stuff of legend, but most of them were precisely that.

Which implies that the combined Emperor's Children/Iron Warriors force may be approaching 150,000 total. If Perturabo had 50,000 total (from earlier) that means Fulgrim had even omre troops. Whihc seems a bit odd. Alternately, Sharrowkyn is exaggerating about the odds, which is not impossible certainly.

Page 319
The Iron Circle lifted their shields as Perturabo sent a pulse of activation through his MIU to the organic wetware of their cybernetic control centres.

PErturabo seems to have a wireless MIU for controlling the Iron Circle battle robots. Also they have cybernetic/organic control mechanisms. Whether that means some vat grown or pseudo-biological analogue, or acutal meat tissues from some living being, I don't know.

Page 325-326
"Each of the Legions’ genetic structure contains a piece of that perfection, and I would know every secret of the Emperor’s workings."
"Because I don’t want to die," said Fabius, opening his robes to reveal two suppurating wounds crusted with tarry deposits. Sword wounds, but ones that hadn’t healed. "The Emperor’s soldiers who came before us, the Thunder Warriors, their gene-code carried the seeds of their own destruction. And the gene-boosted savages before them? They were fortunate to live as long as they did before their hyper-metabolism consumed them. The primarchs think their warriors are immortal, but they are wrong. We are as mortal as any living thing, we just take longer to die. I would not have it so."
"You want to live forever?"
"Of course," said Fabius, angry he should even ask such a question.

Fabius explains his (true?) motivations for his work: immortality. For all that stuff about surpassing the Emperor, this much can be believable. That isn't to say that he doesn't have the arrogance or ambitions to do all the other stuff he says (Create a perfect, higher evolved being, surpass the Emperor, etc.) but immortality is something quite understandable, especially if (as FAbius seems to feel) the Space Marines might share a fate that the Thunder Warriors did. It's not the first time this idea was espoused (Outcast Dead, also by McNeill so perhaps not so surprising.)
It also rather definitively seems ot poke holes in the idea Space Marines would live forever (ageless or immortal.) which has been a point of some contention/inconsistency since the beginning of the novel (As I've noted before, this might be heavily dependent upon context.) In this case, however, it suggests that Space Marines, l ike the 'superhuman' beings that preceded them, may sort of 'burn out' genetically (the price of the enhanced performance, perhaps.) or something. Which seems odd given that Space Marines LIVE far longer than normal people, but it could be that the 'natural' death is far worse when it does come, or something. It sort of reminds me of what happened with Talos in the Night Lords novels, in that respect.
another (unquoted) aspect of this story is that it reflects some of the Imperial Fists' growing penchant for pain and self mortification as a penance.

Page 327
A forest of cannon barrels angled to the sky like a thousand arms raised in salute: howitzers, bombards, Thunderstrikes, mortars, rocket batteries and precision hunter-killer missiles. Gunmasters and their crews swarmed their weapons, ready to unleash a rain of explosive death on any target that presented itself.
He called up the schematics of the city onto his data-slate, the real-time information fed to him by the topographical data engines on the Castellan Rhinos. A three-dimensional image of the city, its buildings and the location of the Iron Warriors advance fortress hovered before him.
With such detailed target information, Toramino could flatten the eldar tomb city with a word or pick out one structure to demolish while leaving the rest untouched by so much as a shrapnel scar. He fed the data to the target-acquisition engines of his gunmasters, relishing the sheer destructive power at his command.

Scope of the Iron Warriors artillery. I thought the HK's were interesting, are they racked on a platform, or just individually mounted on diffrent vehicles and Toramino can fire them individually from any mounting?
Also the targeting/data sharing aspects of the Legion, which is pretty impressive.

Page 328
Could they be a self-repair mechanism, such as possessed by the Cadmean Citadel, an infestation of some lithobiotic parasite or perhaps the remnant of an ancient computational archive?

Possibly a hint at the 'self-repairing' nature of the citadel walls from earlier in the book.

Page 328-329
When ancient mathematicians first discovered the dimensions beyond the physical, many a classical scholar had been driven to insanity in his attempts to codify his findings in empirical terms. Thanks to the words encrypted in the secret journal of the Firenzii – the slender volume the Crimson King had helped him decode – Perturabo had learned the secrets of navigating such tempestuous calculus. It was an inexact science, not meant for mortal brains to comprehend, but his cognitive reach was far beyond those lunatic geniuses who had tried and failed to grasp the enormity of the worlds they had glimpsed in dreams and fugue states.
...Perturabo had revelled in the white heat of immaterial mathematics and empyreal geometry as he crafted the impossible routes and impenetrable depths of the Cavea Ferrum.
..Perturabo kept true to his principles of inter-dimensional calculus and forced his natural instinct for direction to cede control of their course to his intellect.

So basically Perturabo isn't just an engineer/mathematics designer/worker in the logical constraints of realspace and physcial matter, it extends to the warp and immaterial stuff as well, understanding enabled by his 'more than human' mind. Warp geometry, warp mathematics, etc. which allows him to create or perform some unusual/extraorindary things. It may also explain his unusual vision and the 'connection' he feels with the Eye, as we know knoweldge of the warp can affect anyone.
What's more, when you think about it, this is just a fancy/logical way of saying Perturabo is wielding magic. Which when you think about it further makes some sense given that freemasonry has often been associated with the occult and even if that isn't a parallel we know that symbolism and such matters to the Warp anyhow, and math and geometry is very much about symbols.
I suspect, unfortunately, it is this sort of knowledge which may make him vulnerable to Chaos ultimately, as it did Magnus (that Magnus was the Primarch he felt closest to aside form Fulgrim is telling here, methinks.)

Page 330
"Yes, you grow your structures from some bio-polymer,"

In reference to Eldar Wraithbone. The Primarchs (or Perturabo at least) know something of its structure.

Page 337-338
High above, instead of the underside of the golden dome they had seen from the outside, was a void of utter nothingness that was at once static and churning with motion. The blazing light from below thundered into its depths, swallowed without disturbing the blackness.
"It’s like looking into the heart of a black hole"
"I think that’s exactly what this is,"
"I think this has something to do with what’s keeping the planet from being dragged into the core of the Eye."

Perturabo specualtes the Eldar (or whoever created this place) may have placed a Black hole (or something similar, since it probably isn't a 'real' black hole) to prevent the planet from falling into the singularity at the centre of the Eye.

Page 351-352
He wondered if he would make that same climb again, knowing what he knew now, that only betrayal, bitterness and pain lay above him.
Might it not have been better to let go of the cliff and plunge to his death? Would it not have been easier to let his brains be dashed out on the rocks below? To be spared the cold, cheerless years to adulthood, without friends and kind words. Insulted by tutors whose teachings he mastered and surpassed in a matter of days, and mistrusted by a surrogate father who had cursed him the day he left his side to join his gene-sire in the stars.
Easier, yes, but easy had never been Perturabo’s way.
And from Olympia, what then?
A century and more of war, where his sons had broken their backs on countless worlds, bringing the strongholds of system tyrants and alien dominators to ruin. Campaign after campaign, battle after battle, each more gruelling than the last, each hope of a war of manoeuvre or a war of marching formations cruelly dashed by fresh tasking orders to resistant systems that knew the science of fortress-building better than most.
The words had been said in jest, grim humour in the wake of a costly war of compliance in the Araaki Spiral, to imply shared adversity, but Perturabo hadn’t seen any of Rogal Dorn’s golden warriors up to their necks in mud and shit in the trenches. The Araakites had known their craft, and every stronghold was dug in deep around narrow passes, remote hilltops and natural barriers in the landscape. The system rock was bitter and hostile, the enemy warriors no less so, and it had taken many years for the IV Legion to regain its former strength.
Great works of art and heroic verse were composed in the wake of the victory, celebrating the courage of the Imperial Fists, the Dark Angels and the White Scars, but nowhere in the reams of poetry or artwork were the grim labours of the Iron Warriors judged worthy of note.

And this, folks, is why Perturabo is ultimately so bitter. And again, its understandable (assuming its completely true. One thing abou the HH novels is that they are very much 'point of view' works and what one perspective thinks/believes may not alway sbe the complete picture.) that Perturabo would turn out the way he did. He works hard, his Legion works hard, is loyal as he can be, and all he wants is a little recognition for his hard work and the burdens/sacrifices made... and yet he is shunned and ostracized and even (by Dorn, to his view) mocked. And seemingly it happens time and again, from his time on Olympia to when he left, to his service with the Emperor... and so on. Who wouldn't become bitter at that.

PAge 356
The skidding tank spun around as though on ice, heading straight for him.
Forrix braced his shoulder and leaned into the impact.
The Rhino slammed into him, its momentum almost unstoppable.
Terminator armour turned a warrior into a man-portable tank, and matched with the cold iron of Forrix, the Rhino was going to come off worst. The vehicle buckled, stopping dead, and Forrix pushed it back the way it had come.

Forrix's terminator armour brings a skidding Rhino to a halt. Which is pretty impressive, but it also would imply he has some sort of anchoring mechanism to keep him upright agianst the sheer momentum implied.

PAge 356-357
..the Stonewrought with his shoulder bent to the auxiliary launch tube on the Tormentor’s turret.
The Stonewrought dropped into the Tormentor and the enormous turret immediately began to grind around on powerful servos. The barrel of the main gun elevated, a Phaeton-pattern volcano cannon. A Titan-killer.

Perturabo's Shadowsword's armaments. Interesting tha tthe Volcano Cannon is turreted.

Page 361-362
The Tormentor fired first, but in the end it didn’t matter, the strongpoint was destroyed anyway. The volcano cannon’s ignition recoil hurled the tank back on its raised platform, breaking the restraint couplings holding it in place with whipping cracks of high-tensile steel.
Designed as a Titan-killer, the Shadowsword’s main gun was the deadliest weapon capable of being mounted on a tank. Its powerful laser could smash through the thickest armour, batter down layered void shields and deliver kinetic impact and explosive force greater than any other weapon in the Imperial arsenal, save those of the Titans themselves or the mighty Martian Ordinatus.
.. the eldar Titan had no chance.
Its upper torso simply vanished in a blaze of streaming light and shattering crystal. Absolutely nothing was left of the soaring war machine above its rotating hip-gimbals.
..he heard the steelwork and reinforced supporting elements of the Tormentor’s platform buckle under the hideous stresses the volcano cannon’s recoil had inflicted. The structure had never been designed with any thought to the super-heavy’s main gun being fired..
With a creaking groan of disintegrating supports, the back portion of the platform began to keel over, falling with exponential swiftness as each member failed in a cascade of collapse. The super-heavy tilted, its powerful engine revving and the tracks grinding to gain purchase as the driver fought to slow their descent..

The recoil of Perturbao's 'enhanced' Shadowsword. Should be pretty damn significant to buckle a structure able to hold up a 300 ton tank, but its not something I can think of an easy way to calc (engineering not being my strong suit, at least.) That it snaps the steel cables probably suggests it is capble of moving backwards quite a bit, so at the very least I'd say the recoil ratio is at least at the limits of what tanks can handle 'safely' (or recommended safely), or perhaps as bad as something like the M550 Sheridan (figure 900-1050 n-s per ton.) which would be for a Shadowsword something like 250-300 thousand n-s total.
The question then becomes, is the recoil all from the effects of the laser, or are their other mechanisms (open cycle cooling venting, for example) that contribute. Even assuming that 10 or 1% of the recoil is from the actual laser (2,500-30,000 kg*m/s) we'd be talking 750 GJ to 9 TJ per 'shot'. Of course, this is an 'enhanced' Shadowsword, but I figure the actual one would be within an OoM of this one (the one in Gunheads is certainly implied comparable to this performance wise, of course.) Of course the 'full' output would be between 75-90 TJ per shot. :P

Page 363
Yet more shells landed, this time obliterating the gateway and leaving a fifteen-metre crater between two broken stubs of wall section.

We dont know how many shells or the extent of the bombardment, but the crater seems to be pretty small for a large scale bombardment (given Storm of Iron) but meh.

Page 367
The man’s dog tags swung out from beneath his torn shirt, and Karl saw a name etched into the pressed steel. At least he would die knowing his killer.
Pearsonne, Olivier.

Kroeger is having a 'bloody' flashback (obvious prelude to his tenure as a Khornate) of some cannibal getting stabbed by another trooper at VErdun. Obviously this is a not-so-subtle reference to Ollianius Pius, or 'Oll Persson' from Know No Fear. Whether this is foreshadowing or just a coincidental reference we don't know. Yet.

PAge 373
A dozen Iron Warriors manhandled the fallen Berossus back onto his feet, and the Dreadnought rotated his body through three hundred and sixty degrees.

a dozne space marines to lift a Dreadnought into an upright position again. Given that they weigh 11-12 tonnes total we're talking about each Marine (on average) lifting about a ton or so.

Page 379
Perturabo looked his brother in the eye for some hint of remorse, a sign that he regretted that things had come to this, something to show he felt even a moment of shame at plotting to murder him.
He saw nothing, and his heart broke to know that the Fulgrim he had known long ago was gone, never to return. He hadn’t thought it possible that anyone could plunge so far as to be beyond redemption. A man might sink to the lowest level, degrade himself beyond belief, but he might yet save his soul if he truly experienced even a moment’s remorse.
If only he could believe that of himself.

Perturabo, despite having turned on the Emperor, is not some 'evil' monster. He is capable of feeling love, pity, regret, guilt, and all those other things that make a person a human being, not a mustache twirling villain plotting to destroy the world just cuz he's EVILLL. I think for me that is the cham of the book and makes it work - much as with Magnus and 'A Thousand Sons' - you can sort of relate to and sympathize with Perturabo, and the situation he's in. And that sympathy, given where it leads makes him a massively tragic figure. When you consider where Perturabo and all his Legion will end up, I think it makes him even more tragic.

PAge 380
"Mankind has no need of gods," said Perturabo. "We outgrew them a long time ago."
"Think you so? Then why are there still gods? Belief empowers them and we worship them in every act of slaughter, betrayal, depravity and quest for immortality we undertake. Whether we know it or not, we offer them fealty every day."
Perturabo shook his head. "I worship nothing. I believe in nothing."
The finality of this last utterance almost stopped him in his tracks. The force of it was like a blow, a bitter seed of truth he had never acknowledged or known until this moment.
"And that is why you live a stale, bitter life," said Fulgrim, contempt and pity dripping from his scornful words. "You let yourself be abused; crushed into slavery by a god who doesn’t even have the decency to admit what he is. Our once-father ascended to godhood long ago and denies others their place at the table. He promised us a new world to live in, but he was always to be above us, the master with his loyal lapdog slaves."
"You don’t know the things I dream," said Perturabo. "No one does, no one ever cared enough to find out."

Fulgrim and Perturabo arguing. Its interesting for two reasons. One, another glimpse into Perturabo and what makes him what he is and (as Fulgrim notes) what makes him the bitter and disillusioned. He actually has grand dreams (as Fulgrim discovers to his surprise) but the fact he remains unacknowledged and unrecognized drags him down and disillusions him. Indeed the fact he remains unrecognized despite his achievements perhaps contributes to the whole 'unremarkable' image Fulgrim's commentary above evokes.
The second part pertains ot the Emperor. Its clear Fulgrim has bought the kool-aid concerning Big E's motives, and as always the amount of truth in them remains unknown, but what is truly interesting about the passage is how Fulgrim notes that the Emperor 'ascended' to Godhood long ago (whilst denying others the same thing, or so he thinks.) and won't 'admit' to his true nature. This really begs the question: how much does the Emperor know fo his nature? If Fulgrim is to be believed, he is already (technically) a god, which may in fact be true. We've seen plenty of examples (Saint Keelor for example) indicating that there is some 'divine' force at work opposing Chaos that is benevolent to humanity (whether it is aware or not.) and the Emperor seems unaware of this.
But what if he actually knows? As yet the Emperor's mind and motivations are quite alien to us. We know he wants to preserve humanity and conquer the galaxy in its name, he wants to protect it from Chaos, and he wants to eradicate religion and superstition in the name of his fanatical ideology. We know he keeps secrets even from his children the Primarchs about differnet things (like Chaos.) and from 'the Last Church' we know he utterly despises religion (The closest to fanaticism we've seen from him.) But as to why all of that is.. we don't know.
It leads to an interesting conjecture - what if the Emperor, aware of his nature as a 'god' - or the Avatar of a god, rejects that fate? What if all his grand plans - the Imperial Truth, the Great Crusade, the utter and violent rejection of religion - all stems from a denial of that divinity? Could the Almighty, all knowing Emperor of Man be so human as to be afraid of the truth about himself? Is a being such as he capable of trying to run away from his fate, even on so grand a scale? If so, it could explain why he seeks to supplant religion with ideology (despite the fact the two are functionally the same and would influence the warp the same), why he violently denies his divinity (even to the point of exterminating whole populations who 'believe' in him, as he did in First Heretic.), why he keeps so many secrets when full disclosure - at least amongst the Primarchs - would have solved many of the problems and averted so much of what came to pass by denying Chaos weaknesses to exploit. It would also explain how someone who claims not to be a god can still (evidently) inspire miracles and have saints dedicated to his name and divinity.
Its actually quite a fascinating theory, even if it isn't wholly or partly true, and it will be interesting to see where the series goes with this (assuming it does at some point.)

Page 382
"What are you doing, Fulgrim? We should be settling this like warriors."
"But we are not warriors, brother," said Fulgrim, brushing an imaginary speck from his chiton. "In your ideal world we are diplomats, and we settle our disputes with words, yes?"
"I think it’s too late for that."

Perturabo, dreaming of peace? It seems the ultimate 'siege warrior' craves for things to be as peaceful and ordered as some of the other Primarchs (like Corax.) Yet another secret he keeps from everyone else. This does beg the question of why Perturabo keeps so many aspects of himself secret, yet also craves the attention and recognition he clearly deserves. Its a bit passive-aggressive in that respect - he gets angry because he resents the fame others get, feeling he is deserving of it, yet remains so utterly cut off and secretive from the sorts of people he craves that adulation from. He's like the introverted, schoalrly history buff of the Primarchs, or something.
And yet this does not ruin the 'sympathetic/tragic' angle in the least. Yes, it's likely he's created the situation he finds himself in himself to some degree by that passive-aggressive nature, but its also quite human, and we are all victims of our pasts to some degree or another. I don't think it makes him any less tragic a figure for that either, or less human-seeming.
There's also mention by Fulgrim of how Dorn, KHan, and Lion all scorn him and look down on him as nothing but 'diggers', and for losing his homeworld. All things designed to feed and reinforce that self-perpetuating cycle he is in, not break it.

Page 388
Speak with my voice… the glossiaic unspeech…
Falk’s anger brimmed over; anger at the Iron Hands, at the Emperor’s Children, but most of all at the sheer stupidity of disunity. This fight needed a warrior who could take charge, a warrior whose words would be obeyed.
"Fight the Iron Hands!" he yelled, and those warriors nearest him recoiled at the force of his words, seals popping on their gorgets and paint blistering on their armour. Those without helms staggered as their gag reflex brought up the oily, acidic contents of their stomachs.
For a fraction of the smallest moment, they stared at him in awe and fear.
And then they obeyed.

Falk is clearly intended to be the 'Warsmith' from Storm of Iron first setting ou ton the path leading to his daemonhood. What I wonder here is whether or not this is supposed to be Enuncia in action or something. It seems so (we get alot of stuff like this.. Forrix speaks Slaanesh's name and throws up acidic shit too inside his helmet.)

Page 391
Reeling, the warrior staggered under the weight of a heavy volkite cannon. He struggled with the unfamiliar weapon, hauling on arming levers and charging cranks. The gun’s tip crackled with building energy, but such a powerful weapon took time to fire.
Deaf to all sound, the Morlock triggered the volkite cannon.
The searing ray punched through Marius Vairosean’s breastplate, and explosively boiled his flesh and blood in the blink of an eye.

Volkite weapon in action. Presumably boiling the torso effect.. although whether its more than triple digit kj I can't say (possibly megajoules, but it depends on how much is explosive and how much is boiling. Not that it matters a great deal I suppose, since IIRC Volkite shit is largely technobabble reactions anyhow.)
Also apparently deafness can protect against the (psycho)sonic effects of a Noise Marine too.

PAge 392
.. a tiny thip, thip sounded and the back of his helmet blew out. He slumped over onto his side, both eye lenses shattered and scorched.
..swinging his bolter up over the pillar and aiming at the point where he’d seen the tiny, telltale flash of the needler. Most observers wouldn’t have seen the weapon’s las-flare..
Solid needle rounds puffed the ground behind him in a blitzing series of innocuous-sounding impacts.

Sharrowkyn's needle carbine again. Apparently the 'las flare' means its either laser propelled or guided, and the needles apparently can cause damage (Exploding out the back of a Space Marine's helmeted head is quite powerful.. bolster scale for a barrage of needles easily.) The interesting question is.. is the laser 'scorching' or is that some other effect (like explosive needles?) - if we go with the injury caused to Fulgrim earlier, its unliekly the laser was the damage.

Page 394
Lucius rammed his sword up, but Sharrowkyn’s blade turned it aside at the last second, its edge scraping a finger-deep furrow in the ceramite.

Implying Ravne Guard armour is at least 'finger thick' which is an inch or so (or at least 2-3 cm.)

Page 394
His blade struck only empty air, and the shock of that almost cost him his life.
Somehow, impossibly, the Raven Guard wasn’t there.
Lucius could see the Raven Guard, but he moved like nothing he had ever seen before, faster than any mortal man could possibly move, like a wraith or a being out of step with time.

Wraith slipping in action again. It seems to make him increidbly nasty as a duellist, enhancing the ninja-like qualities even more.

Page 395
On any civilised world of the Imperium, Bombastus would have been labelled a psychopath, a dangerously unstable individual who would most likely have ended up in an execution cell after who knew how many brutal murders. Yet those very tendencies that marked him out as dangerously aberrant in human society rendered him perfect clay from which to mould a Space Marine.
Decades of conditioning, training, discipline and brotherhood had wrought as honourable and devoted an Iron Hand as could be expected..

Says all you need to know about Space Marines, doesn't it? On one hand that pretty much matches Xarius' description from Crimson Tears, but there's also the other side of the coin, in which they take someone who would be unproductive, evne dangerous to society, and make them viable and useful in some manner.
Of course, they also make them 'heroes', which is kind of ironic given their origins. Yet another thing that speaks a bit of the hypocrisy of the Emperor's 'Imperial Truth' I think. Especially given that as Bombastus was interred in a dreadnought, he's become psychopathic again.

Page 397
The melta blast took Bombastus in the centre of his casket, instantly vaporising the ablative layers of ceramite and melting through the inches of armour protecting the fleshy remains that empowered his battlefield divinity. Bombastus mind-screamed within his fluid-filled sarcophagus as life-preserving gels boiled and delicate bio-synaptic receptors were flash-burned in an instant.

Melta blast melts through 'inches' of Dreadnought armour and boils the casket. Assuming 1-2 meters per side to melt through (implied in boiling the sarcophagus) and made of iron (5-10 cm thick) we're talking at least 394 kg to 3150 kg melted. which is 473 MJ to 3.8 GJ roughly.
If we figure a 1.5 m long, half metre wide, quarter metre tall 'sarcophagus' and it was something like water (density and thermal properties) at human temps it might take 50 MJ to boil, but that's purely conjectural (and compared to estimated dimensions above, probably superfluous.)
Doesn't kill him immediatley, but still.

PAge 409
Perturabo did not know where his duplicitous brother had gone, nor did he care. His betrayal had turned the last of Perturabo’s heart to stone, cementing his conviction that there was only one man whose orders he could trust.
One warrior who spoke without guile and with only noble intentions at his heart.
From now on, he would trust only Horus Lupercal.

It seems that this less than optimal encounter with Fulgrim has left its scars not just on the Iron Warriors Legion (Kroeger, Falk, and Forrix) but its also crushed Perturabo in his way. Yet another in the long line of perceived betrayals he has suffered by people he trusted (even loved.) destroys what little trust he has, and drives him even more fanatically into the arms of Horus. One wonders if Horus, in his cunning, might have had Fulgrim do this deliberately? Probably not, given Fulgrim's words earlier (Horus would not like knowing Fulgrim had sacrificed Perturabo, which I believe.) But there is a certain irony in Perturabo's loyalty to Horus, since Horus is as bad (or worse) than Fulgrim when it comes ot 'chaos tainted, lying and dishonest madmen' at this point.
Its actually a tragedy in that respect, given what I mentioned before. All Perturabo has wanted is recognition for his efforts and loyalty (and those of his children.) and he never got that from his adoptive father (I gather),a nd certianly not from the Emperor or his brothers (even obtaining scorn from some of them.) It seems that ever-Charismatic Horus is the only one who discerned the price of Perturabo's loyalty, and bought it.

Page 413
"Only one," said Fabius in bitter disappointment, hurling the zygote tube down the corridor in frustration. "All that work, all that time spent, and only one survives."
Something crunched beneath his boot and he reached down to lift the empty zygote tube Fabius had thrown away
Lucius held it up to the glow of the lumens, but whatever had been written there was mostly illegible.
It looked like a name, but one he could only partially make out.
"Hon… Sou," he read.

HAHAHAHAHA. I love it. The mighty Honsou, feared Warsmith of the Iron Warriors... had his origins in a rejected, failed experiment (one of many) by Fabius Bile. How fucking appropriate given what an utterly underwhelming villain he's proven to be.

User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 7216
Joined: 2004-02-11 10:11am
Location: Intensive care

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby wautd » 2013-04-09 04:47am

I finished Angel Exterminatos last week and I liked it overall. A good book needs a good villain, and this book had plenty. As villains go, the Iron Warriors had a lot of likeable characters, while the Emperor's Children did their part to be the villains you love to hate. Oh, and Sharrowkyn is a complete BAMF.

Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2441
Joined: 2010-06-21 09:04am

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Zinegata » 2013-04-09 10:07am

Connor MacLeod wrote:Could be. I just find it to be another one of those 'authorial inserts' that becomes a bit disjarring. Even a bit silly. All authors do it, but it doesn't stop having an odd impact.

I personally think it's ok, because it at least avoids the "secret society over millenia" trope. Instead we just have a sort of magic that keeps getting discovered and undiscovered. That the magic revolves around the power of specific words lends well to the idea that the organization keeps adopting the same name (Cognitae) because it has a specific power or significance in the word-magic system.

Although we know it wasn't adhered to post-Heresy, and not all Legions follow it. And some (like the Wolves) deny they ever broke it to begin with. :P

Well, Gwilly was already saying disbanding the Librarius was a mistake and he was going to petition to bring them back...

I suppose thats one way to look at it. Although I wouldn't say its 'do whatever it takes to win', as if you did ANYTHING up to and including eradicating/exhuasting your own empire, you'll have lost in the end no matter what, because there's nothing left of what you tried ot defend. Heck, this applies even on a moral/ethiacal level too... there was that Short Story featuring Dorn, Qruze, and that remembrancer, which was a message and a mindfuck from Horus to Dorn that echoed this sentiment precisely. What good is it to win if you've sacrificed everything you stood for and built in the process?

My sense is that Gwilly's "Doomsday" scenario has such a terrible outcome (e.g. nids eating the whole galaxy) that even burning your own worlds and salting the earth would be preferable. The exact description does say this, with notes and emphasis mine:

Even in extremis, the Ultramarines could compact with any one of those four allies and take down any foe. It was primary theoretical. In any doomsday scenario the faced the Imperium, Guilliman could play it out to a practical win provided he could rely on one of those four.

What's interesting is that he's saying he doesn't even need all four. Just the smurfs and one other is enough. Heck, it may even imply that he thinks the smurfs + one other on their own could take on all the other Legions.

White Rabbit gave me some information on that coming up with the whole 'unremembered Empire' bit. According to him (and it makes sense to me) they're trying to build something new and different onto the Heresy story, and expand on it so its not just a retelling that destroys all the myths.. they're trying to expand on it and create more mysteries I suspect. Which is actually a good thing, because if you de-mythify everything you lose alot of the stuff that will keep you guessing or wondering. I have no problems with them narrating and exploring the Heresy at all, even if it breaks some of those myths, but they need to put something in palce to replace it, and we seem to be getting exactly that. (Whether it will workor not, of course, remains a different matter.)

Thus far though what has been revealed each novel is rather intriguing for me, and contributes ot this idea there are things far greater at work than a mere 'Imperium vs Chaos' civil war.

Well, one of the things Abnett keeps hammering over and over again is that the history of the Emperor's ascent was never as clean or perfect as people claim it is in 40K. Note how there were still wars being fought in Terra even after the Emperor was already pursuing his crusade (as recounted in Prospero Burns), or how most of the old regiments and Thunder Warriors were summarily purged.

He may very well be adding a multi-year interlude war between the Drop Site Massacre and the actual invasion of Terra itself, which may not be a bad thing albeit it may mean it will take nearly forever for this series to conclude...

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-04-09 04:37pm

wautd wrote:I finished Angel Exterminatos last week and I liked it overall. A good book needs a good villain, and this book had plenty. As villains go, the Iron Warriors had a lot of likeable characters, while the Emperor's Children did their part to be the villains you love to hate. Oh, and Sharrowkyn is a complete BAMF.

I think my favorite character was the Mad Scientist Iron Hands techmarine, although Sharrowkyn and his needle carbine of DOOM is a close second. I just had this mental image of Space Marine superheroes going around in their pimped out superhero STarship fighting Heresy. And ramming it when neccessary.

The best characterization was reserved for Perturabo, of course. He's nothing like what he's depicted to be in alot of fluff (mainly because he never really got development prior to this) and his quiet, reserved craftsmanship and gift for mathematics is a great one. You get the feeling he's just as scholarly as most of the other Marines (Dorn, Sangy, Guilliman, Corax, etc.) but its tragic he never got the recognition he deserved.

Considering the next book is Betrayer and there's a similar theme re: Angron (and how he gets fucked over by Lorgar, despite Lorgy's 'intentions') its a nice pair of books for comparison and contrast, and shows how good the series has been thus far as portraying the Traitor Legions as being something more than just 'LOL MUSTACHE TWIRLING BAD GUYS FOR HEROIC IMPERIUM TO FIGHT' Even though they fight themselves as much as they do the Imperium.

User avatar
Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
Posts: 14057
Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2013-04-09 04:48pm

Zinegata wrote:I personally think it's ok, because it at least avoids the "secret society over millenia" trope. Instead we just have a sort of magic that keeps getting discovered and undiscovered. That the magic revolves around the power of specific words lends well to the idea that the organization keeps adopting the same name (Cognitae) because it has a specific power or significance in the word-magic system.

40K has no shortage of super secret cults and societies to draw on.. its a huge galaxy after all. The problem I mainly have with the self-referencing is that if its not done carefully you get what I've tradtionally heard as 'cameo toxicity' - basically the stuff in Star Wars you see where everything important happens on Tatooine, or you have the same heroes saving the galaxy, or the same villians, or the same handful of alien races in every novel... The repetition can stifle creativity and growth (and if you're a technical sort it can lead to that dreaded thing known as 'minimalism'.)

Well, Gwilly was already saying disbanding the Librarius was a mistake and he was going to petition to bring them back...

A number of Primarchs have already let their Librarians employ their powers too (EG Sanguinius in Fear to Tread.)

My sense is that Gwilly's "Doomsday" scenario has such a terrible outcome (e.g. nids eating the whole galaxy) that even burning your own worlds and salting the earth would be preferable. The exact description does say this, with notes and emphasis mine..

What's interesting is that he's saying he doesn't even need all four. Just the smurfs and one other is enough. Heck, it may even imply that he thinks the smurfs + one other on their own could take on all the other Legions.

Unless his Legion has more reserves waiting in the wings (And its possible.. new recruits and stuff) he'd probably need more than one given the losses his Legion has suffered and the loyalists in general have suffered. IF Horus could ever get everyone pulling in the same direction he did (rather than following their own agendas, fighting and undermining each other.) he might have had that swift victory he planned. However he was defeated by his allies as much as anything the Imperium has done.

Well, one of the things Abnett keeps hammering over and over again is that the history of the Emperor's ascent was never as clean or perfect as people claim it is in 40K. Note how there were still wars being fought in Terra even after the Emperor was already pursuing his crusade (as recounted in Prospero Burns), or how most of the old regiments and Thunder Warriors were summarily purged.

He may very well be adding a multi-year interlude war between the Drop Site Massacre and the actual invasion of Terra itself, which may not be a bad thing albeit it may mean it will take nearly forever for this series to conclude...

THere's no way they're going to let the series conclude very rapidly.., it seems to be too successful to let die just yet, and even then there's plenty of room for milking it afterwards with sandbox stories 'in between.' I mean you could have stories about the Sisters of Silence, or the Custodians.. or the Imperial Army and Navy... Abnett needs to be let loose in those arenas and stop writing Space Marine shit. There's plenty of subplots going that have to be covered, though. This seems to be the one they're working up towards first, however.

Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2441
Joined: 2010-06-21 09:04am

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Zinegata » 2013-04-09 10:14pm

Connor MacLeod wrote:THere's no way they're going to let the series conclude very rapidly.., it seems to be too successful to let die just yet, and even then there's plenty of room for milking it afterwards with sandbox stories 'in between.' I mean you could have stories about the Sisters of Silence, or the Custodians.. or the Imperial Army and Navy... Abnett needs to be let loose in those arenas and stop writing Space Marine shit. There's plenty of subplots going that have to be covered, though. This seems to be the one they're working up towards first, however.

Heh, I'm personally partial to seeing a novel on the Tupelov Lancers, assuming they weren't purged during the culling down to the 100 regiments.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11238
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Horus Heresy series analysis thread

Postby Elheru Aran » 2013-04-10 05:33pm

So does anybody know who the heck the 'Firenzi polymath' or whatever was supposed to be? Firenze is Florence IIRC, so perhaps Da Vinci... but I thought he didn't do any mazes like Pertuabo says. I was actually picturing something Escherian...

Anyway, Angel Exterminatus wasn't half bad. Looking forward to seeing more Pertuabo whenever he shows up again.

I did have a niggle about Forrix and Kroeger though-- they appear in Storm of Iron, right, under the un-named Warsmith? It's obvious from the book's ending that Falk is supposed to be that Warsmith... but why would a.) he advance that much faster than Forrix and Kroeger, who are b.) theoretically of more or less equal rank? Who knows. Maybe he sucked up better to Pertuabo than everybody else, so big P told the other two "he's your boss, I'mma gonna go navel-gaze now" once the Heresy was over. Hmm.

Never did build the fort on Hydra Cordatus though, as far as I recall...
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

Return to “Science Fiction”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests