12 days of Winter: day six, Red moon (Before New Grim)

The Red moon rises as the Grim cult causes untold damage to the county

During the night on the 18th December, 1999, at 18:37pm, eyewitnesses saw a strange sight as the moon arose in glowing red. At first it was believed just gossip from the locals at the beach, until many eyewitnesses across the county saw the same anomaly.

It’s theorised that it might be climate change that’s causing the earths atmosphere to turn far distant astrological objects red. Caused by a mix of chemical pollutants, the atmosphere is weakened by as of yet unknown substance thats causing a faster rate of climate disorder.

However, other researchers have disproved this theory as earths atmosphere seems to be normal in America, China, Greenland and many other countries. Instead oversea researchers believe it’s just one small area that’s affecting the sky.

Whatever the cause might be, the public have taken this sight with a mix of surprise, curiosity and fear. Recent rise of a small religious group calling themselves the Grim, proclaim this is a prophecy of things to come. They believe the world will end by the first day of 2000, destroyed by mankind’s own sins.

The group has been growing since the 12th May of last year after the Wolds incident, which saw their leader Huston Ferren, 48, display a gathering of followers on the Wolds northern area. He was convicted of modern slavery and acts of cruelty to the helpless, he was jailed for 26 years for acts of pure evil and may likely never see the outside world in his life time.photo taken of graffiti of the Grim cult symbol at the Wolds incident.

But since his imprisonment, his cult religious group have grown vastly with reports of increased violence and property damage by the group. As of last week, the group have been deemed by the authorities as an extremist group, and will be arrested on site by local enforcers of the GJS.

The question that everyone has on their minds right now is when will order be restored and how long will the government take before anarchy ensues?

Written by Garrneth Derrick

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12 days of winter: day four, My top ten recommended Black Library books

Apologies for getting Day 4 of my seasonal blog post late, it took me some time to edit this post right before deadline schedule!

After four months of reading The Founding Omnibus for the Gaunts Ghost series, I felt like I’d achieved not only that I had read three books in a short space of time (very rare of me to do that). Ive also learned a lot more about the Warhammer 40k universe even more through the eyes of mortal characters. Dan Abnett is truly a master at writing very engaging and unique characters and stories that are relatable.

I’ve decided that I wanted to do my own top ten books I’d recommend reading for new and old readers. I’m a bookworm by heart, reading is one of my many hobbies in my past time.

My rules for picking this list goes like this:

  • Only one author per slot and only one book that they’ve written, if it’s in a anthology, I’ll mention where the book.
  • Can’t be multiple books/ series in one slot, for example, Gaunts Ghosts, Horus Heresy, The Beast Arises and etc. Only one title in the series can be chosen.
  • Must be books I’ve read and finished.

So with the rules set, I’ll now reveal my chosen top ten Black Library books I’d recommend. Enjoy!

10) Space Marine Battles: Slaughter at Giants Coffin, by L.J Goulding

My first pick is this novella story by L.J Goulding, featuring the near decimated chapter of the Scythes of the Emperor. This story is very action packed with one of the best Space marine vs Tyranids I’ve read so far. Following the fall of their home world of Sotha, the Scythes of the Emperor arrive on a Death world, where they prepare to rebuild their numbers after narrowly surviving the clutches of Hive Kraken.

This story is a sad tale of loss to he eyes of the space marines, what it truly means to be a space marine during times of darkness.

If your interested in reading more action packed stories with Tyranids involved, this book is certainly one to read.

9) The Dance of the Skulls, By David Annandale

A short Age of Sigmar story about Neferata and her ways of politics, this story focuses more on character motivation and discovering how the undead aristocracy functions. It’s an interesting insight into the lives of the living and dead celebrating and dine in the realm of death.

This short story is a great read if your keen to know more about the Soul Blight vampires, as well as the Neferatas personality and actions when dealing with obstacles from rival houses.

8) The Emperors Architect, by Guy Haley

One of my favourite traitor Primarchs got his own pre Heresy books a few years ago as part of the Primarchs Horus Heresy book series. Then about year ago or so, a short story Written by Guy Haley about Perturabo was included in the Sons of the Emperor Anthology.

It adds onto the early years of Perturabo and how the people of Olympia view him as either a monster or a saviour. Personally, this short story was by far the best one out of all of the stories in the anthology, as it added more mythos to character that isn’t widely known.

The Emperors Architect is a fascinating story about Olympia after Perturabo reunited with his father, the world now in imperial compliance. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to see what life was like during the Great Crusade.

7) Time of Legends: Malekith (part of The Sundering trilogy series), by Gav Thorpe

My first Black Library book was Time of Legends: Malekith, The Sundering Trilogy. This book got me started in the world of Warhammer and it’s fictional setting, a tale that grips me still to this day.

It’s a tragic story that not only shows what Malekith was like before he was corrupted, but it also showed the Warhammer World before the time of men.

I recommend reading the whole trilogy if your keen to learn more about the Durchii’s past, and what started the whole elven civil war.

6) The Labyrinth, by Peter

Need a horror story to read that’s not Genestealers? Well, The Labyrinth reads like an unfolding nightmare as it plunged one Sons of Malice marine into a nightmarish battle for survival.

I really liked the flow of this story as it unravels mysteries about the horrors that the Sons of Malice will face, the end twist is jaw dropping! I can’t spoil the story here, but I’d recommend reading it if your into horror/ Sci Fi Horror.

5) Fifteen Hours, by Mitchel Scanlon

This book to me feels very much like a Sci Fi story that is inspired by WWI, a young adult at a very young age joins the army to fight a war far away from his home. If I could describe this book in one word, it would be “tragic”. You see the Imperium not as a glorious force like the propaganda would have you believe, but instead a disorganised power that is slowly crumbling away.

Take my advice when reading this book, skip the first chapter and read on, and stop before the last chapter and read the first one. Trust me, it’ll make the story worth reading without spoilers, as it ruins the story by revealing too early the main protagonists fate.

4) The Horus Heresy- Vengeful Spirit, by Graham McNeill

I have many favourite books from the Horus Heresy series which I can’t include them all here, but I picked my personal favourite which is Vengeful Spirit. Drawing story lines from many books (by the same author and others) into a plot that would be epic in scale and drama that unfold.

Want full on Astarte action? Imperial knights? Titans? Lore? Mystery? Well this book has it all, as the battle of Molech sees the Sons of Horus take on the loyalist in a full on warfare.

3) The End Times: Return of Nagash by Josh Reynolds

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include the End Times onto my top ten list, even if I haven’t read many books from the series. This book is arguably my favourite so far, with unexpected deaths, more deaths and probably my favourite team up of Arkhan the Black and Mannfred Von Carstein.

It’s sad that the End Times (supplement gaming books) didn’t do well with the community, with only five books that hardly covered every faction and story plots. However, BL did the best it could to make the End Times enjoyable to read, with Josh Reynolds writing a the rise of Nagash.

Interestingly enough, Josh Reynolds had the opportunity to return to writing the undead in several AoS stories including the Realmgate Wars, Soul Wars and short stories.

2) Into the Malestom (part of the anthology book by the same name), by Chris Pramas

Now you may be wondering why I’ve picked this short story for second place. It’s a story that not only shows what Warhammer 40k is like in the grim darkness of the far future, but also how loyalty means nothing in a galaxy that neither cares nor remembers your sacrifices.

A lone Astarte named Sartak returns to his chapter after years of absence, that chapter is none other than the Red Corsairs. With a White Scar marine in on the plan, they attempt to take down Huron Blackheart!

Sartak considers himself to still be an Astral Claw, disowning his legions new identity. But his loyalty is tested as gradually the story takes a turn for the worse. The ending (which I won’t spoil) has got to be one of favourite endings where it really sticks with the theme of Warhammer 40k.

1) Necropolis, A Gaunts Ghost novel, by Dan Abnett

You’ll have already gussed I would put a Gaunts Ghost novel as my number one recommended book. I’ve chosen Necropolis as my chosen book due to it’s sheer gripping rollercoaster ride of a story of Hive city siege warfare, as Gaunt and his ghosts most defend a city against a vast chaos military might.

Dan not only writes characters that we already get aquatinted with in previous books, but also adds new characters that are funny, tragic, strong, intelligent and some being complete aresholes.

If your into grand scale siege warfare and want to see what Hive society is like when war hits home, I’d recommend reading this book!

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With that, my top ten book recommendation is done! I hope you have enjoyed this post and maybe interested reading a sample or two of the books I’ve mentioned. I haven’t read every single BL book and popular books, so I’m still reading so many books!

I’ll be back again today with day 5 of 12 days of Winter. See you soon!

Before New Grim: #3- The day the world stopped turning

Date: 8/10/Y2K-045

Subject: Recovery of video recordings of F.day

To: BRM HQ

Recently our recent scout team operation had found old recordings from damaged but still recoverable CCTV information, out in the ruins of Freeman area. Theses recordings and still Picts recorded the hours leading up towards F.day, as the city was decimated by three atomic warheads by [classified]. I have stored these recordings into the historical archives of F.day files, to ensure City Grims fate will not be forgotten.

I request that I may be given permission by General Brandon to meet Atom, to discuss F.day and the next phase of reclamation of New Grim.

Regards,

Marina J. Hester

City Grim, 30/12/99 at 18:00pm

City Grim, 30/12/Y2K at 12:00am. The day F.day began after New Year celebration.

City Grim, 30/12/Y2K at 12:02am. The day City Grim was bombarded by atomic warheads.

12 days of winter [day 6]: The Grey-mane Dynasty lore series- the art of the Grey-mane, year 1

12 days of winter [day 6]: The Grey-mane Dynasty lore series- the art of the Grey-mane, year 1

This year was the start of a long series of my homebrew lore series on the Grey-mane dynasty for AoS. The lore was planned to tie all of my AoS factions from an origin root that would spread out and build many perspectives from different factions.

However, the story couldn’t be fully realised without the help of visual imagery art. So this year was an effort for me to not only build my lore series, but also to provide visual art of my stories.

Today, I would like to show you guys a whole years worth of art from ‘The Grey-mane Lore Series’, ranging from portrait art of the Grey-manes themselves to the landmarks that define the dynasty’s history and heritage. Enjoy!

Arashar The Master Alchemist, Grey-mane of Metal.

Future sight of the second fall

Realm map of the Grey-mane dynasty land in Aqshy.

The Corrupted constellation above mount Silver Throne.

Map of the Grey-mane city.

Roar of the Lighting God.

The Stagrot Gladiators heraldry.

A dynasty falls, the Dark Gods rejoice.

The birth of the land

Matron of the Shadows

Oaken the Ancient Ghuldryad, Grey-mane of the Beast.

Croscarvro, Whight king of the Frost Crosil Crypt, Grey-mane of Death.

Lord Celestant of the Grey-mane truce.

Towers is the Celestial Order.

Palace of the dynasty.

The Fire Horse Freeguild.

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Thank you for reading this post. If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!

-Bjorn

12 days of winter [day 3]: Who is Hadrios?

12 days of winter [day 3]: Who is Hadrios?

welcome back to 12 days of winter, a daily calendar countdown towards Christmas. Each day, I’ll be posting different subjects, ranging from my own artwork, to model collection.

Today, I want to base this post on a character called Hadrios, from ‘Slaughter at Giants Coffin’ by L J Goulding. The character in question is quite mysterious, having only appear from time to time with subtle clues about him.

I hope you’ll enjoy this detective theory post on Hadrios, and who he is. Enjoy!

Warning!: this post will contain major spoilers for the Novella Space Marine Battles: Scythes of the Emperor!

What we know about Hadrios?

In the Space Marine battles novella ‘Slaughter at Giants Coffin’, there’s a character who, in my opinion, is probably one of the books most fascinating and questioning character in the story (although his side plot is a bit sketchy, but I’ll explain why in an upcoming post). Hadrios’s motives are vague, as he never fully reveals who he is and how he came to have the knowledge he has on the real fate of Sothas fall.

Below I’ve gathered some facts on Hadrios in the book, which might be worth using as evidence for theory crafting.

  1. During the beginning of the story, we see Hadrios covered in blood laughing, shaken by what he saw onboard one of the Frigates of the Scythes of the Emperor. He was the only survivor onboard. He says, as I quote the book ‘ I had to be sure’. The book then says that he had to move quickly as ‘they’ are coming for him.
  2. We later see Hadrios on Miral Prime, coming to the Veterans in the bastion, with news for Chapter Master Thorcyra. Having been denied to see the Chapter Master with news about ‘Sothas fall’ (as he was told to inform his superiors, although he had none to report to) he left. However, not before he saw a Apothecarion who he noted as being one. The Apothacarion noted on Hadrio’s name, company and squad on his notes.
  3. A massive bomb shell drops when Hadrios speaks to Captain Thracian about the fall of Sotha, and how it might not have been entirely unavoidable….. What’s more intriguing however, is his evidence to support his allegation, although we never see or know what this might be. But from what we do know in the aftermath, Thoracian was completely dismayed by what he saw.
  4. In the last few pages, Hadrios assassinates a certain members of his legion who knew him too much, having known that the marine had been gathering information on him. It’s also mentioned that he was with the chapters psyker long periods (the Psyker himself had been at one point been maddened after using his gifts to warp travel away from Kraken, after trying to help the survivors of the Scythes warp jump away with severe problems) who might, as Hadrios notes as ‘being compromised’ which he killed the marine, along with others and their cargo of geneseed . We later see Hadrios and Thoracian, Hadrios now being ranked as Lieutenant, he now has authority to rout out members of the legion suspected of working against the Chapter in secret.

Theories

First theory- He’s the traitor

Whilst he may be a major part of the revaluation of Sothas true downfall, he isn’t exactly noble or entirely trustful. He seems too clean and his actions are more complex than simply working for the greater good.

The Apothecary marine who knew too much about Hadrios was innocent, having not been revealed as a traitor nor infected by chaos and so on . He was killed on the fact that he had gathered much information on Hadrios, and soon those around that marine will be killed for assurance.

Could Hadrios be part of the Kraken, mind controlled to do as they commanded, or is he actually a double agent, working against his own chapter to rise to the top for his own agenda? Since Thoracian is a young captain, he could easily be manipulated by Hadrios to betray the chapter and risk having innocent people be killed for Hadrios’s agenda.

Why else would he be the only survivor of his Frigate, and be unscathed? And finally, who was following him? Was it the Kraken fleet coming to Mirial Prime, or was he becoming a mad man by Krakens influences?

I believe for this theory could hold some truths, we don’t entirely know what Hadrios agenda is since he’s trying to cover up his past from the chapter. Could he have caused the downfall of Sotha?

Second theory- He was truthful

What redeems Hadrios despite his actions in the novella is that he might be entirely right about Sothas betrayal. Even Thoracian believed in what Hadrios had shown as evidence to the captain, something we don’t see in novella.

Whilst his actions on the murdered Apothecary marine is tragic, it might actually have been the right course of action due to a few reasons. The Psyker was affected by the Shadow in the warp by Hive Fleet Kraken, making him hear millions of alien voices in his head. He even started to act out of character and babble on about the incoming fleet. The Psyker may have infected his allies, including the Apothecary, which could, as Hadrios pointed out as being ‘compromised’ by the Tyranids. Or compromised as in his knowledge on the betrayal of Sotha could leak out from the Psyker, which could alert the traitors that they have been routed out?

Another point is the fact that he was the last survivor on the Frigate that was rolling in the void. His reaction is a stark contrast to his controlled manner throughout the book. The fact that he knew ‘they’ were coming suggests that he knew the Hive Fleet was coming after the Scythes of the Emperor sooner or later. Why was he the only survivor? Did the spores of the Kraken kill off the crew…….or did the crew get compromised by the Shadow in the warp? Did Hadrios survive because he killed his own brothers to survive?

There are many questions left unanswered to use, and likely we won’t know about Hadrios until the next book in the series comes out. Hopefully, we’ll get some answers soon now that the universe of 40k is moving on, we may get some progression on the Scythes of the Emperor, and how the Primaris will be involved into future stories.

If you guys need sources from where I’ve gathered my evidence and information, I have a list below on what used to back up my theories:

  • Space Marine Battles: Scythes of the Emperor, by L J Goulding, published by Black Library publications.
  • Warhammer 40k 8th Edition rule book, on the Tyranids section.

If you see anything on this post that you disagree with, or any new information on Hadrios, please let me know in the comments section (I will need citations for any new information on Hadrios to prove it’s valid).

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Thank you for reading this post, if you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!

-Bjorn

Note: Scythes of the Emperor is a novella written by L J Goulding, and property of Black Library publication under Games Workshop. I’m not affiliated with said owners, and I do not own names, location, characters and fiction mentioned in this post. This post is only theory based post for fun and speculation.

12 days of winter [day 1]: For Sotha!

12 days of winter [day 1]: For Sotha!

Starting off my Calendar count down is a short but interesting look at a Black Library publication that I’ve been reading, Space Marine Battles: Scythes of the Emperor by L J Goulding. As part of the collection of short stories (including a novella) I’ll be sharing my thoughts on a short story called The Aegidan Oath.

Just to be clear, I won’t be spoiling the short story, as I think you’ll find it more interesting and absorbing if you read it yourself. However, there might be a small spoiler relating to Pharos and the 13th Legion after HH.

My thoughts on The Aegidan Oath

This short story is surprisingly filled with some interesting information and opinions on the Ultramarines, and how Robute Guilliman is described by both his greatest achievement, and his greatest failure. For those of you who know about the Imperium Secondus will know that it is in fact one of the Primarchs greatest failure, which his legion have tried to cover up post Heresy. This revelation was surprising to me, as I didn’t know much about the Ultramarines chapter apart from some basic information.

This story offers an insight into the Ultramarines and how they aren’t as perfect as current events would show them to be. The Imperium Secundus and the secret phantom 11th company, which, if found out by the High Lords of Terra, could not only Jeopardise the Legion branded as heretics , but also the Codex Astartes itself! I like how L J Goulding has fleshed out Guilliman for both his glory and faults, which makes him more relatable and more compelling as a character.

How is this story tied to the Scythes of the Emperor? Well first off, the story is set on Pharos, on the world of Sotha, which is very much part of the 3rd Successor chapters culture. This story takes place many centuries after the Horus Heresy, as well as the death of Guilliman (well, in stasis to be exact). It tells a tale about two Ultramarines who have come to deliver news to a certain “legend” on Pharos, news of which will lead to two major choices.

The story, whilst leaves many questions than answers, at least it gives you some prospective on events of then, and how the Scythes of the Emperor were established.

My overall thoughts on the short story

The story overall is a fantastic read for a short story, it shows you a historical event on how the Scythes were established, as well as adding more mythos to the cannon. Whilst I lacked much knowledge on Pharos during HH, I did however, enjoy the story which thankfully had some context on post HH on Pharos.

I’d recommend this as a good short read for traveling, or if you want to know more about the origins of the Scythes of the Emperor.

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Thank you for reading this post. This was my first attempt at typing my thoughts down on reading a short story, so I might be a little bit amateur on description and format of the post. However, it was difficult not to spoil the story.

If you have any questions or anything about this post that you want to ask me (no spoilers), post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!

-Bjorn