Sunday, 19 March 2023

Post-Singularity Hardcopy Concepts

Chatbot evolution, deepfakes. conspiracy and counter-conspiracy and counter-counter conspiracy. re-editing of children's books (is your copy of 'The Twits' pre or post-purge?), all of this and more leads me to think about The Record, and its fragility.

So I come to imagine forms of post-reality hardcopy, for when you absolutely postitively MUST calm ever motherfucking in the room.

It needs to be readable to the *naked eye*, (the statements of trusted witnesses that they have seen the hardcopy, reporting directly and in the flesh to others, will be the only real form of proof most will recieve). This is a human thing and is about proving things from one human to another in a world where any digital or transmitted inormation, even through a single screen, like that of an electron microscpe, could be suspected.

It can be the creation of machines but better if it is purely hand made, must be reasonably robust, not decay, at least not if cared for, hard, preferably impossible, to alter and amend


Close-weaved calligraphy - using a scribe to write fancy letters that mesh with each others negative space, both fore and aft but also with each line above and below. I think this was used in rennaisance/early modern counrtly letters, or at least special and expansive designs were placed to fill pages specifically to prevent any additions or amendments to whatever the king etc may or may not have said


Ceramic - could literally be a fine china cup with the contract/text interweaved through it under the sheen

Cut into Gems - you would have to examine these with a spyglass at least. Combining gemcutting with close-weaved calligraphy would make a record easy to transport, worth preserving and hard to alter.

Glass - if a record could be etched in so much the better, if some substance relevent to the nature of the record was included in the glassblowing even more so. Maybe a rare radioactive isotope that decayed at a set rate? That could give you a date? Or combine glass and organic so a leaf or something is part of the artefact.

I feel most metals are out, too easy to melt and reconfigure.. Maybe etched right on the edge of a high-grade blade?


Bone or ivory is another material that could be treated roughly as a 'brittle synthetic' with scrimshawed or etched intra-calligraphy.

Shell? Could writing somehow be introduced to the natural growth patterns of a shell?

Grown-over wood - carving things into wood sounds good as the interaction between the grain and carved text might make it hard to alter, maybe there could be some way to use the fact that wood can be grown over and around things to 'seal' a ceramic document?

Skin - tattooing might work, combining the fidelity of a named person and their reputation with the record written into their living skin

DNA alteration to make a bunch of apples or whatever produce certain words - sounds a bit overdone and not that useful but could be a handy way of mass-replicating a single record. (Apples etc have the name of god or whatever in them all the time, it shouldn't be too hard to get a single tree to produce a name or symbol).


What else can be created and 'read' by humans, but is very hard to alter once it has 'been' created?

I want to say; very high grade silk weaving - but the fact that it is 'woven' means it can be 'un-weaved' and re-made.   Is there a form of weaving which is *fundamentally* un-un-weavable - that it simply cannot be taken apart and re-assembled once made, even by super-tactile robot hands?

Urban Planning? - you could pay to have the streets of a suburban or urban development effectively 'written' as a cypher of your agreement or record. This would have a natural loss over time but it would take quite a long time and a supreme degree of effort to erode the symbology. The systems of build environments have a tendency to replicate themselves. 

How about chemical processes that remain meta-stable but degrade if they are disrupted or interrupted?

Super-clockwork that remains stable so long as it runs very, very slowly, but degrades rapidly if it is sped up slowed down or stopped  in any way?

There must be some systems or methods in engineering that are useless or low-utility because they are coherent so long as you don't fuck with them, making them too sensitive or finickity for building r engineering but maybe quite good for this purpose?

Sunday, 12 March 2023

The False Machine Adventure System Compatibility Infographic - V 2.1

Here is V2!

Click the image for a link to the file which should allow you to see it larger.

Feedback in the comments, on twitter at, on Facebook at or via email if you can find it.

Saturday, 11 March 2023

The False Machine Adventure System Compatibility Infographic - Version ONE

Since answering the question; "What system is this for" is becoming increasingly difficult. (The BX commons? Any Old-School product???) I came up with the no-doubt terrible idea of creating a simple one-page infographic that I could post online and also include in False Machine books and mailings.

With this One Simple Trick I would elucidate the simplest rulesets to use, their relative closeness to each other and any difficulties and challenges of playing False Machine adventures using them.

Of course this is going to be a fucking disaster, if anyone even reads it, but that is why I am classifying this as VERSION ONE. A proto-type infographic designed specifically for your commentary, feedback, analysis and surely-productive-criticism.

Have at ye, click the image for a link to the file which should allow you to see it larger.

Feedback in the comments, on twitter at, on Facebook at or via email if you can find it.

Saturday, 4 March 2023

Trailing Corposant #17 WRAIGHT-ON


Somewhere in the darkness Chris Wraight steeples his fingers and smiles an icy smile. Of course he had already predicted this post and the third and fourth-hand effects it would have.. of course he knew I was having macaroni cheese for dinner! All I have done is walk right into his schemes! He slowly closes both hands together, cupping the infinite darkness and slowly, carefully, explains the actual plot up until this point… 



Chris Wraight! He won the Horus Hearsay and BECAME the 30,000th Warhammer. You did it son, now get on your sparkling white motorcycle and ride off into the caverns of the earth. 

Probably no other writer has gained so much from the Horus Heresy series. A handful have crashed and burned, several have chugged along like little tugboats, some have surfed the wave, with varying excellence, but in general, a writers reputation coming out of the Heresy is the same as their reputation going in. 

ADB is probably the closest to Wraight, his name  burnished by Betrayer, The First Heretic, Master of Mankind and Echoes of Eternity. But ADB went in from the already much-loved Night Lords series so he was on a clear upward trajectory and essentially pulled off escape velocity. 

Dan Abnett went in with a very heavy rep, a lot of very good books under his belt, and under those books, a whole stack of rather average books, and under those book some rather bad books. He was the architect of the Heresy in novel form, probably more than anyone else, gave it much of its quality and many of its flaws and safeguarded both of those through a solid start, a dithering mid-range and a good-but-flawed (so far) ending. Reputation = PRESERVED. 


Who The Fuck Is Chris Wraight? 

But who the fuck was Chris Wraight before 'Scars' (2014)? He started with Black Library in the Old World with 'Masters of Magic' in 2008 and from then till 2015 ya boi wrote a FUCKTONNE of Warhammer Fantasy Books; 

  • Masters of Magic - 2008
  • Iron Company - 2009
  • Sword of Justice - 2010
  • Dragonmage - 2011
  • Sword of Vengeance - 2011
  • Luthor Huss - 2012
  • Master of Dragons - 2013
  • The Fall of Altdorf - 2015
  • Then a leap into Age of Sigmar with The Gates of Azyr - 2015 

Also during this period he wrote a Stargate Atlantis tie-in book Stargate Atlantis: Dead End. 

Much like Joss Reynolds, Wraight was one of the architects of the fall of the Old World with ‘The Siege of Altdorf’ and like Reynolds he was in at the beginning of Age of Sigmar with ‘The Gates of Azyr’, which I have read and which I seem to remember being pretty good. 

But unlike Reynolds, Wraight never returned to the Age of Sigmar, by the time of ‘Altdorf’ he had already written ‘Scars’ and was now ‘the white scars guy’. He had a big future waiting, in the.. big future. 

His 40k work starts with 'Battle of the Fang' in 2011, through 'Blood of Asaheim' in 2013 to 'Stormcaller'  in 2014, he did a bunch of books about Space Wolves. He only lately came back to complete his trilogy with ‘The Hellwinter Gate’. 

'Battle of the Fang', if I can remember it at all, it wasn't great. ‘Hellwinter Gate’ was good (but fuck those guys) and I definitely haven't read any of his Old World stuff. 

So, a MYSTERIOUS VOID, there is an early strand of Wraightism of which I know little to nothing.. just like the Khan, I know nothing of him, and he knows everything of me! 



So what happened with the White Scars? 

The White Scars were one of the original twenty Space Marine Legions and, in the pseudohistory at least, played a huge part in the Horus Heresy. They made it back to Terra and were one of only three Legions to get there and actually stick around to defend the Emperors Palace. Jahaghatai Khan lead an important counter-attack on the Lions Gate spaceport during the siege aaaaaand, that’s about it. 

Very few people cared very much about the White Scars for most of 40k history. Future Mongols riding motorbikes. Come from Space-Mongolia. Not that well supported with lore or models. 

UNTIL in 2012 Wright comes up with ‘Brotherhood of the Storm which fills in the background and details of the Heresy-Era Scars, and then with ‘Scars’ in 2014 he does their first full-length novel and pretty much everyone loves it. So far as I know, no Warhammer fan dislikes these books, In fact the White Scars strand of the Heresy is one of the most reliably highly rated of all its many threads. 

From that strand spirals out a range of books which spread over connected characters, and do deep dives into the Custodes, TWO series bracketing 'modern' 40k, the best book on the Death Guard and the creation of Varangantua, which had and instrumental generative effect on the Warhammer 40k 'Crime' subgenre. 

There is a little Wraight-verse woven up in there, not closely geographically focused like the Sabbat Worlds but connections of theme, personality, viewpoint, characters and style. 

THAT’S Chris Wraight, in six years he went from nervous anime protagonist to not even taking Dan Abnetts calls* (which he predicted in advance). 

*This is a lie. 

To discover how it happened and ‘why the Scars’ we will need to dive into the Bibliography; 


The Warhammer Fantasy Books 

Like I said above, I know almost nothing about these (I think nine books) and additional various short stories. Drop something in the comments if you have it! 


The Scars 

(Really ‘Brootherhood’ and ‘Scars’ are essentially part of the same story one setting up and adding flesh to the other.) 

2012 - Brotherhood of the Storm 

We meet Jaghatai Khan and the White Scars! What makes them special? This one simple trick; not being retards. 

So what has changed between the White Scars being boring space Mongols and being interesting space mongols – in the absolute sense, very little. I mean there are no STUNNING REVERSALS  here where the white scars subvert your expectations by not being Mongols or not being in space. 

Truth is, you probably had few to no expectations to begin with, instead they fulfil and massively overdeliver on your probably quite-minimal expectations, adding complexity, character and depth. 

If there is a TLDR for Chris Wraight its; “I did roughly what you expected, much better than you expected.” 

The big metatextual addition Wraight makes is that the White Scars largely escaped the notice of the Imperium and Heresy at large, because they were designed to escape notice. Not in a super-stealthy Corax way or a super-sneaky Alpharius way, but more in a faded uncle way in that you know they are there, somewhere far away, doing something, and you just don’t think about them that much. The Scars, or Jhagatai, were made to be in some sense, outsiders, outriders, or just an outside perspective on the whole Primarch project. 

We meet the Scars in the period after Ullanor hanging about in the  Chondax chasing Orks. After the Imperium broke the larges Ork empire in the galaxy, the Scars were sent in to do what cavalry do; chase the defeated and cut them down, which they are fulfilling on  stellar scale. 

Key Things – 

The Khan is chill and likes being out of the way. He grew up on planet-Mongola, was adopted by a horse tribe, defeated the worlds major empire and took over the planet before the Emperor turned up to ‘recruit’ him. His tribe were the ‘Ordu of Jaghatai’ and had the facial scar thing, now his Legion is the ‘Ordu of Jaghatai’. Its not clear if, like the real Tenmunjin, the Khans armies left piles of dead and raped civilians behind them or that the rivers ran red with blood and black with ink. 

Despite being based on perhaps the most insanely genocidally murderous of all the IRL people that made Primarch templates, the Khan is chill, likes to keep himself to himself, observes everything and thinks about it. Core value; he values life as it is lived, not as a tool or function to get somewhere else. He also doesn’t like forts, cities or empires. 

Illyria Ravelion – An Imperial Army General and expert in Logistics. The White Scars are terrible at logistics (gotta go fast!) and are aware of it. Part of the story involved Ravelion being drawn into and tested by the Scars, and she provides a more-likeable ‘mainstream imperial’ point of view both for us and for the Khan. 

Yesugai the Storm Seer – Jaghatais bff and key advisor. A super-powerful space marine Psyker raised in the Chogorian tradition as a kind of sky-shaman. Important as he provides a key element for the Primarch; a bff who is almost as powerful as he is, and just as wise, and an important view on the White Scars view of Psykers and the Warp. Typically sensible they see it as ‘drinking poison’, where you have to drink a little but that’s no reason to drink a lot. This is a point of view shared by literally no-one else. 

Torgun Khan – A marine recruited on Terra who wanted to be a Luna Wolf but ended up being sent to the White Scars, where he excels but is continually the ‘cultural other’. He is trying hard but the Chogorians are insular wierdoes and also he doesn’t fully want to be there. Also maybe the only way in which the Scars are not Sensible-Marines is their obsession with a war of mavouvre and pseudo-cavalry stuff all the time, every fucking time

Breakaway – Nonsensical cultural divide. The ethnocutural divide in the White Scars between ‘Terrans’ (assumed to be sort-of-white) and ‘Chogorians’ (assumed to be sort of Asian), makes literally zero sense if considered as a real part of a real universe. Terra should be full of Asiatics, there was a whole ‘Ynodesian Bloc’ at least, the languages and cultures should have all changed a LOT, the gene-lines should have changed a LOT, Astartes are literally programmed with knowledge and no other Legion has an audible accent difference between culture groups. HOWEVER, it does work well from a story perspective. So I will just assume that the Heresy writers are translating a hyper-complex future culture difference into something we can understand. 

The Alfafa Legion are UP TO SOMETHING??? 

In fact Horus has deliberately isolated the Scars in Chondax to keep them out of the way while he does his Heresy, he is pals with Jaghatai and has hopes of bringing him on-side (at the right time).  Jaghatai was part of the doomed Librarius project and has always been an outsider ambivalent about the Imperium. Horus has send the Alphas to secretly prolong the war and keep the Scars bottled up until he is ready for them. 


2014 - Scars 

Jaghatai and the Scars are chilling in the backwaters, cheerfully killing orcs when suddenly - WHOOPS, A HERESY IS HAPPENING!  RUSS DID WHAT? HE BURNED PROSPERO??? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? 

(We learn from some Alpha Legion stories (see that entry), that the Alphas themselves are at war within themselves and a rogue faction deliberately broke the isolation of the Scars and allowed Rogal Dorns call for help to get through before Horus would have wished it). 

Who will the Scars side with? Horus, who Jaghatai likes and gets along with? Magnus who he also liked? Or his city-building lying crazed authoritarian dad who he does not really like? The stage is set for the Scars to go flying about to try to find out what the fuck is going on. (And also ignoring Russ’s desperate call for help – hilarious). 

Meanwhile the Terran and Chogorian factions are forming up, the Terrans are all very pro-Horus and the Chogorians are whatever-Jaghatai-says. 

Story culminates in Jags visiting the ruins of Prospero, chatting to one of Magnus’ splinter ghost things and meeting with Morty. I was going to say maybe the worst possible person to send to persuade anyone of anything, but looking at the Traitors ranks, they are not exactly stacked with charisma. 

At about the same time the Lodge members in the Scars try to stage a coup to make sure they go the ‘right’ way.  

Jaghatai is surprisingly well informed about the Warp and it looks like Horus has demons all over him so he goes with Dad and awaaaaay we go! 


2016 - The Path of Heaven 

A 'Primarch Ping Pong' book that manages to make something interesting out of 'get Jagatai to Terra'. 

How to do? - use SECRET WEBWAY PORTAL. Yes the Emperor had one hidden far away in the darkness. To protec from aliens – NO protec from Imperium! 

Emperor’s big plan involves a Human Webway Project. bad news Navigators - scanners really do live in vain, off to the garbage yard with you you useless freaks. 

Meanwhile the Death Guard and some of the Emperors Children awkwardly give chase. 

There are some nice looks at the death guard and EC trying to get along, and a foreshadowing scene everyone remembers - someone gotta hold the webway portal open! someone has to BURN THEIR SOUL on a magic TORTURE CHAIR. But WHO? 



2018 – Jaghatai Khan: Warhawk of Chogoris 

A ‘prequel’ look back at Jaghatai after he has been find and during his integration into the Great Crusade and first missions. Jags knows about the warp and thinks lying about it is dumb. His first mission seems to be a deliberate ploy by Malcador. The Scars are sent to ‘liberate’ a world which has been taken over by psychic super-aliens who the human population believe are gods. The Xenos keep the humans juiced up on a sense of the numinous and transcendent, even once the aliens are killed the humans still hunger for them so.. it looks like the human population is ultimately sent to ‘live on a farm’. Malcador making a point I guess. 

I think this is the book where its revealed that Jags can, if he wants to, move at SOOPA SPEED, like the Flash. But generally just chooses not to? This power is never brought up again. 


2021 – Warhawk! 

Its the siege of Terra baby! Its been pretty mixed so far and kinda boring overall! Lets hit the gas! Wriaght is going WIDESCREEN for this one. 

Morty is sitting in the Lions Gate spaceport, harshing the Imperial buzz with NURGLE MAGIC and bringing down heavy armour, and (more prosaically but more importantly probably) supplies and materiel right into the palace area. 

Everything seem bollocked but Jaghatai have plan - re-take the Lions Gate spaceport, cripple enemy armour & supplies, hold spaceport for (surely inevitable) return of Robute and victory in the siege, oh and kill Mortarion, now a SUPER DEMAON! 


Good book. Odd final fight. 

Head scratching re-write of previous morty stuff in a classic Heresy 'well actually' chapter in which a handy demon pop out & explains to an NPC how actually the previous bad writing of Morty was actually well well this and that you know (this isn't a Wraightism, I don't think he does it before or again). 

But what about The Imperial Cult? RELIGION - COULD IT BE BAD SOMEHOW?? 

Sigismund is back baby, and seriously traumatised, less by the violence than by the collapse of the Emperors dream, which, was the only thing that really justified the very evil things he and daddy Dorn had done up to this point. I mean geocoding a few planets isn't great but if it’s for long-term species survival, and if the species has already nearly died out once, then maybe its TOUGH MEDICINE. Except now the Emperor looks more and more flawed. Also he lied and demons are real. 

On the other hand, demons are real so lets go fight them. Siggy goes full 'I AM THE GRIMDANK FUTURE - CANDLES AND SKULLS FOREVER, NO PINK!"" and takes up his super-black sword to go crump Kharn in an anime battle during which the sacred stupid words are said by Kharn; 

"Bro do you think you are more fucked in the head than me?" (paraphrased) 

To which the answer is; "Not really, you are a lobotomised berserker trying to soul-rape humanity for ever and I am trying to stop that, I can be pretty bad but still not as bad as you. I can, for instance, go to the toilet, knit, (skulls), and spend (grim) social time with peers, you by comparison are literally fucking LOBOTOMISED BY A BLOOD GOD. 

its a dumb point of view! But more on this later. 

At about the same time, Keeler, the Imperial Saint, has gone mental in the ruins. she is no longer being written by Dan Abnett and like a lot of people who are no longer being written by Dan Abnett, she has gone from being a flawed but sympathetic semi-paragon dealing with a dark reality perhaps not quite realistically, but ENGAGINGLY, and turned in to a MEGA CUNT, in the turn of a page. (Not the first Dan Abnett character this has happened to, many such cases.) Now Keeler has gone full Al Qaeda - suicide legions, doom, skull fetish (came out of nowhere your honour) and trying to take down Asartes in the ruins (takes roughly 100 guys to kill one) THIS IS THE FUTURE NERDS. 

(Having read ‘The End and the Death – Part One’, by Dan Abnett, she goes right back to normal again in that.) 


The Other Heresy Books 

2017 - Leman Russ: The Great Wolf (fuck this guy!) 

Its 'Leman and Lionel!' The Space Wolves and Dark Angels are both told to go smash a hard-to-find star empire and totally fail to work together because the Lion is massively autistic and Leman is dumb. 

Russ stumbles into the main battle, acts out, gets a bunch of Dark Angels killed then is a pissy little boy about it, then starts dickwaving, making oaths about being the first guy to kill the enemy leader

except he fucks that up aaaaaas.. guess what - the space wolves have a tendency to RANDOMLY MUTATE INTO MONSTERS! (just like the Thousand Sons, Blood Angels, possibly the two missing legions), yes the guy who boasts about being the 'Emperors Executioner' and counts killing family members and being mind wiped afterwards as a gold star achievement, has an unstable gene-seed, fucking great. 

The Lion finally loses his autistic shit and they have a big fight and finally cold-cocks Russ (I'M GLAD SOMEONE DID!). 


2020 - Valdor: Birth of the Imperium 

A story about Valdor smashing heads? NO 

A story about the disease of authoritarianism, hypocrisy, an Empire built on lies IT WAS SHODDY FROM THE START I TELL YOU!, and about the quiet tragedy of the existence of Constantin Valdor, a man who cannot say no. Basically the Emperors Smithers in a weird way. 

This is 'lefty warhammer' where the main problem with the Imperium of Man, even pre-heresy, is the Imperium of Man and the Emperor is a twat, but its basically the grown-up version of that compared to the ADB "Dad you suck!" version. 

There was never really any law except the Emperors word, only the illusion of law 

WRAIGHTISM - The Cerebral Counter-Puncher 

Wraights Custodes, (and many of his characters) are silent observers who are already several moves ahead, and, if they are being empathic, try to communicate this OBLEQUELY. They have a good idea what will happen, are waiting for it to happen, and have a plan ready for what to do then. (they are COLUMBO'S!) 

This is largely unknown to whomever the main character is. In this one the cop lady interviews Valdor about "Where were you mister Valdor on the day the Thunder Warriors left on a midnight train to go "live on a farm far away"??? 

Valdor responds with gnomic tales and stories of Imperial history, which MAY be a form of code, a deniable secret message saying 'hey don't do what I know you are going to do girl' 

End bit - Cop girl stages an INSURECTION! Tries to arrest Valdor. Bad news, he predicted it, he and the Emperor knew everything, (did the Emperor deliberately absent himself so this could take place, maybe) and they have a plan prepared, unleash the ASTARTES! (if we didn't before!) (probably this was the 1st Legion and very possibly Mier Astelan, a main charcter in Gav Thorpes Dark Angels books, was in this scene, maybe). 

End result, Cop Lady and some of the last Thunder Warriors get crumped. Valdor almost has an OK time fighting the lord of the Thunder Warriors. Thunder guy at least gets to be a fighter and die, Valdor is basically a chess piece in charge of other chess pieces in a game which is not a game. He is having a rough life is old Valdor. 


2022- Sanguinius: The Great Angel 

A story about Sangy being cool? NOT REALLY! Still pretty good though! 

Another bad-from-the-beginning Imperium story, this time IN DISGUISE. 

Its Waights swan song for the Heresy and, while the 'on top' story is about an edgy remembrancer investigating the Blood Angels and having a horror-movie experience as he slowly works out that the Imperium’s super pretty boy good guys are actually... SPACE VAMPIRES! (who are fighting the curse). 

The 'underneath' story, (which for us is actually the real story as we already knew the space vampire stuff, is about the conflict between different versions of the truth. Remembrancer guy has a lady boss, at first we think she is just a massive Sanguinius simp and mindless super-loyalist, she keeps telling him 'just paint the idea, fuck the reality'. 

But at the end we find out that actually, she also knew about the Space Vampire stuff and she is more of a Sanguinius Yandere than a Sangy simp. She actually doesn't give a fuck about Sanguinius or the Blood Angels as anything more than useful tools and is quietly looking forward to .. something .. their 'removal'?? and replacement with the Symbol of them, rather than the reality as the symbol is a useful tool to aid in mass population 'guidance' and control . 

She seems to be part of a nascent-inquisition faction (Malcadorists?) 

Then we cut to after the Siege, Sangy is dead, bad lady has ordered the writer assassinated, she personally burns the last copy of his book (the complicated truth) and oversees the installation of her giant Mural in one of the first 'Sanguinala's' (the useful truth) -  by this point she is clearly part of the proto-Inquisition and, in tone, setting and mentality, links well to the later 'Vauts of Terra' and 'Bannana Guard' books 


WRAIGHTISMS - Human/Transhuman Conflict, Information Control 

When the main character joins the crusade he very clearly knows less about it than we, who have been reading about it for ages, do, so we get perhaps a better picture of what the 'average' Imperial citizen (if there is such a thing) thinks about it. 

He seems to assume that the Crusade is mainly Xenos-oriented, largely about taking worlds away from aliens and is fine with this as he shares a heavy anti-xenos prejudice with the baseline of humanity. He talks about a large proportion of human worlds being brought in by diplomacy, the majority probably? though we don't get exact numbers. 

He wrote a book about how the World Eaters, Space Wolves and Night Lords were nutters, based on first hand accounts. It’s not clear if the book itself was censored, but he does say that the censors hurt him less than the general reputational damage from the public, who were not fond of anti-Astartes stuff (and he's still alive) 

He very clearly has an 'actual' and partial point of view of his immediate world which conflicts in some sense with that of the reader, and this meshes with the later Vaults of Terra series in which even the main inquisitors doesn't know fully about the Primarchs or the events of the heresy. 

This is a degree of implicit information control rare in most 40k writers, its also about ‘information control’ in the setting, Chris is being Meta again/ 


The 'Modern' 40k Books 

Vaults Of Terra 

The Inquisition do SPOOKY BUISNESS on Terra just before the Great Rift 

(2017) - Vaults of Terra: The Carrion Throne 

(2019)- Vaults of Terra: The Hollow Mountain (Novel) 

(2022) - Vaults of Terra: The Dark City (Novel) 

Main Inquisition guy Crowl and friends investigate spooky business which happens to interrelate to key elements of the Imperial Machine, this is set before the 'Gathering Storm' so everyone is absolutely bricking it thinking reality is ending, (it is). 

SPOLIERS - the Golden Throne is breaking down, "breaking down, breaking down" and various arms of the Imperium are searching for flex tape – at ANY COST I TELL YOU. 

This involves a conspiracy that goes RIGHT TO THE TOP BABY because ITS CHINATOWN JAKE and which Crowl  & crew stumble into. If you wanna fix that frone you gotta do a dark deal with the dark eldar. 

In sequence the team stop a dark eldar from getting into the palace, investigate Trouble at the Astronmicon just before it BLOWS UP, and go to the MOON, and thence to Comorragh where they spike the arranged agreement. 

Good news - the Dark Eldar were up to a creep plan which would have been really bad, they wanted to CLONE the EMPEROR (?!) and use him as flex tape on their own webway collapse. 

Bad news - the Golden Throne is still falling apart. 



If you want Peak Piranesi, here you go! welcome to Terra, its FUCKING HORRIBLE, literally THE WORST. 

'Vaults' lets Wraight go very deep on just what an unrelenting barely survivable totally insane shithole Terra is for almost everyone on it. The inquisition literally have their own raised highway system because you just can't get anywhere on the ground. Don't forget your facemask, protein ration and stay away from gangs of pilgrims who have hived off the multi-decade queues for the religious sites, here we do crowd control with flamethrowers, oh you have a job above ground, very fancy, my cousin actually leaves the arcolgy for work you know.. 

Wraight does it again in ‘Lords of Silence’ where we get a look at what an Agri-World looks like; a ‘pleasant day out’? No – an unpleasant day in a world sized toxic nightmare plantation hell place. 


Watchers Of The Throne 

The Banana Guard on Terra post great-rift. What does it TRULY MEAN to be a Banana Guard??? (mainly see 'Cerebral Counter-Puncher' above). You better not be messing with that throne son! 


Watchers of the Throne: The Emperors Legion 

Watchers of the Throne: The Regents Shadow 

Watchers of the Throne: Third One – yet to exist but probably will?


Beginning soon after the 'Vaults of Terra' series ends, and I think incomplete at the time of writing, this follows the resurrection or re-energising of two of the Imperiums up-till then quiescent or moribund model lines organisations - the Adeptus Custodes and Sisters of Silence. 

The Custodes have been depressed for 10,000 years as their boss is a vegetable. The Sisters of Silence have fallen from being near the Emperors throne  into being nearly nothing, some long term scheming, super sketchiness or just general hatred of blanks has lead to their citadel on the MOON being abandoned and the sisterhood scattered all over the galaxy to slowly rot. 

The third point of view is from the actual High Lords. The Chancellor of the High Lords (technically a super-secretary but not really) is having a meltdown and wants to kick things into gear. 

We see these stories through the eyes of main custode guy Valerian and Aleya the Silent Sister, who are no-cooties chaste work-married and who team up in various ways to fight chaos and just as often the structures of the Imperium itself. They even get a model set! thats love! 

The first book is largely about Guilliman pulling these two organisations back into a shape he likes more, along with our pair discovering a super-secret chaos plot to give access to Terra.  Guilliman is back baby! And he quietly or loudly encourages the Custodes to go forth and custode, not just on Terra but all over the place. 

The second is Chris Wraight being upset about brexit no sorry its about the Hexarchy crisis in which, many of the mortal arms of the Imperium, the Administratum, the Ecclesiarchy and the Assassanorium, with elements of the Navy and Guard, decide they do not want a damned tranhuman monster running things and changing everything and stage a full insurrection on Terra. Chaos stuff and doom is everywhere, no-one knows what is going on.. except lord of the Custodes Trajan Valoris when at the end we discover.... that he and Bobby G had predicted everything in advance, planned ahead and actually intended this rebellion to happen specifically just so they could draw out the conspirators and put it down, oh and also the Assassins were not actually on your side. 



THE SPACE WOLVES - (fuck these guys!) 

2011 - Battle of the Fang

2013 - Blood of Asaheim

2014 - Stormcaller

2022 - The Hellwinter Gate - (think this one ends up on Cadia around Abaddon smashing it) 

I have not read these except for 'Hellwinter Gate' which was ok? Its space wolves, who cares? Chris Wright does I suppose. 

There was an eight year gap in this series so it might be interesting to read though purely to think about changes in writing style. 




CRIME! - Varnagantua! 

A Crime is doing! Solution? More and better crime! 

2020 – Bloodlines 

2022 - The Vorbis Conspiracy 

In bloodlines Wriaght writes what I think is the first in 40ks Crime series, all set in Varangantua, a Hive City but not a 'Hive City' if you get me 

Here we follow a mid level police guy who is horribly morally compromised but trying to do the right thing in a system in which everyone is horribly morally compromised and sometimes trying to do the right thing. 

The B-plot or background is the main character slowly being drawn into a genestealer cult, which he does  not know or realise is a Genestealer cult - probably he is already infected and his new kid is going to come out looking 'different'. 

Core crime plot is the system doing horrible things to young people to get the materials to make rejuvenat treatments (the rich sure do like their eternal life drugs) - the normal supplies are out and everything is strained because its post great rift and the Imperium is bollocked. 

Notable as well for being the first Varangantua story of many. at least two of the main books, 'Bloodlines' and 'The Wraithbone Phoenix' I have read and enjoyed. 

In ‘The Vorbis Conspiracy’ a bunch of writers do short stories set in and around Varangantua during and after a giant disaster. The different stories follow the various threads and causes of the catastrophe and all the secrets and lies around it. 



2018 - Lords of Silence 

An oddity! A Death Guard book! Man we all wish 'The Buried Dagger' had been this good. 

Turns out they are just some swell guys. You would think it would be a challenge to make the literal plague marines sympathetic, and probably it was, but Wraight manages it and produces probably the best Death Guard book ever. 

Not much to say about this except that its very good? 



The Cerebral Counter-Puncher 

SO MANY of Wraights primary characters are in some sense ‘ahead of the game’, having thought faster than both the other characters and the readers, and are planning several moves ahead while giving nothing away. Both Valdor and Valoris of the Custodes are very typical of this. As is the Khan. 

In a way it makes his books sightly harder to read/listen to, since their progress really isn’t much like an adventure story. They are often more like detective stories or mysteries, even when they seemingly aren’t. Often a huge amount about character and motivation is implied rather than stated, quite unusual for the pseudo-greek-tragedy of the Heresy. 


The Golden Throne = Murder Toilet 

A curiously commonly repeated trope with Wraight is that the Golden Throne is a deliberate pain-engine, or based around one at least. This comes up in ‘The Path of Heaven’ when Yesugi sits on the lesser throne, and again in the Vaults of Terra series with its throne-based overplot. 


Information Control 

Both limited information known to characters in the Dark Millenium, and also the deliberate redaction and alteration of history, wars and conflicts over history and its meaning. 

In Vaults of Terra, Crowl doesn’t know there were more than nine Primarchs and this guy is an Inquisitors. In the work of other writers this stuff gets dropped more readily and more easily. 

Valdors conversation with copy lady in ‘Birth of the Imperium’, the overplot of the Vorbis Conspiracy (though that may not have been Wraight), lots of ‘Bloodlines’ and of course, ‘The Great Angel’. Also spread throughout his other works. Everyone is arguing about who should be allowed to know what when, despite knowing little themselves. 


Human/Transhuman Conflict 

The idea of a germinating conflict between Humans and Transhumans is riddled through a lot of Wraights stuff, with elements of the Inquisition, Admanistratum, Ecclesiarchy, Assassanorium and perhaps, Custodes really really not liking Imperial dependence on mutants, psykers, blanks, navigators and especially FUCKING ASTARTES, (pus the fucking PRIMARCH). There are regular low-level conflicts around the ‘Transhuman Question’. 

After all, it’s the ‘Imperium of Man’ and the Emperor apparently (based in the most recent siege book) built the whole thing to preserve a core of humanity. But humanity can only survive through employing its transhuman ‘limbs’, whether those be psychic, mutated, gene-altered, cybernetic or anything else. We can think of the Imperium as a kind of janky transhuman containment and exploitation system, designed to maximise the utility from each of these transhuman arms without any of them totally taking over and ‘eating’ the baseline population. 

Malcador and the nascent inquisition seem to be a big part of this even as early as the Crusade. Purges and wars to stop the Primarchs and Astartes from getting too powerful. It probably seemed like a good idea at some point, armies in decay are highly dangerous to civilisation, so why not allow them to turn on one another, bring the numbers down and confirm or reveal the more-loyal ones? 


He Walks the Margins! 

A lot of Wraights successes have been when he has come in at the margins of larger stories, which themselves often weren't being handled 'perfectly' and has fucking aced it, being not only good, but good by comparison, and getting lots of hugs from fans relieved that he has helped prop up the main thing they went in for 

In a few cases character literally walk into and out of the scene after or before the big 'main characters' have left or arrived, and do their own sneaky business in the margins and its actually a better story. 

In Vaults of Terra, the Chancellor figure arrives just in time to see Guilliman fighting demons on the palace steps and is utterly and totally mindfucked and both inspired but also traumatised. Observing the great events of an epic history from the margins allows Wraight to have his cake (or at least take a sneaky peek at it) and enjoy the HUGE THINGS HAPPENING but also to exploit the power differential between the observers and the HUGE THINGS. 

Wraights began like this with ‘Scars’, and with 'Vaults of Terra' and 'Watchers of the Throne' he has told paired stories before and after the 'Main Event' of the Great Rift and Guillimans return. That has its own books describing events directly, but Wraights are better. 


He did a Feminism! 

Wraight might be the best 40k writer at weaving women into his stories in strong roles in ways that don't necessarily TRIGGER me. 

Counting down we have Logistics Ojo-Sama Illyria Ravelion in the White Scars series, Crows assistant Inquisitor bonk-stick lady in in Vaults of Terra, (who becomes the main character after Crowl goes fully mental), Cop Lady in ‘Valdor’, creepy Sanguinius Yandere in ‘The Great Angel’, Aleya in ‘Watchers. 

All ‘strong’ i.e. interesting characters with highly differentiated worldviews and behaviours neatly woven into the story in actually-useful ways that 'feel' less woke than ADB (though Wraight is probably exactly as woke). No crushing ‘hello boys’ or ‘marvel tech-girl’ moments. 

Of course there is something to say for yet another Abnett-Paragon, and even more to say for yet another ADB EDGE-LADY. I doubt Wraight would ever have the BALLS to have a super-cool Dark Eldar girlfriend with WINGS who HATES YOU but is also INTO YOU and also you have a MAGICAL GOTH WOLF pet but you HATE WOLVES but this one is OK I GUESS. 

Is Chris Wraight the MOST Feminist Warhammer writer? I dunno but he may be the BEST Feminist Warhammer writer because you don’t see him doing it 



Could authority corrupt somehow? It’s a bold stance. 

Wraight has said (roughly) that he views chaos as more a deepening and corroding of personality flaws and internal issues that are already present in us all. 

This is a pretty solid, even a very good take to assume, for storytelling. Peter Fehervari in his ‘Dark Coil’ has specialised in chaos-as-personal-madness, with an imperceptible flow between slow personality failures, madness and reality decay so that it becomes impossible to tell exactly when things went too far. 

It will always be in conflict with elements of Warhammer, as it is with any genre-cosmos where utterly evil supernatural forces are a verified real thing. The call is not coming from inside the house, there are massive rape demons out there and we didn’t make them, pervy aliens did.. 

So in this universe, spooky scary otherness can’t  be a pure reflection of internal angst and, for the most part, Wraight manages the impossible interface well. There are only two times where he has gone full-libtard, once in the Sigismund/Kharn fight, where Kharn goes; 

“Aren’t you more fucked up than me tho really bro?” 

Despite being a literally-lobotomised mess. 

And in ‘The Regents Shadow’ where the rebellious Hexarchy are SECRETLY BREXITEERS. 

But other than that, its not too bad. 



‘Little Lords’ - I think Wraight creates this term in 'Lords of Silence' 

And in probably the most well-known scene in Warhawk, Typhus aims to remain in contact with his co-conspirators by handing him one of a pair of NURGLINGS and using them as walkie talkies. 

Typhus retrieved two objects from the fly-swirled depths of his armour. Or maybe they retrieved themselves, for they were creatures of some kind, fat little things, pocked with sores and boils, with mouths that took up almost all their bulk. They were noisy when they moved. It sounded like they were giggling, or whispering to one another, or just spitting and slobbering. They wobbled up to Typhus' outstretched palms, one on each, and gurned at each other. 

Crosius found himself instantly captivated. They smelled strongly, and were as hideously ugly as any dream-goblin of his imagination, but he had to fight not to take them both up into his arms, to pet them, to stroke their spiny backs and fondle their horned scalps. 

'What are these?' he asked. 

'Fragments of the god himself, it appears,' said Typhus, sounding uncharacteristically affectionate himself. 'The tiniest reflections, but they are appealing, no?' 

One of them was almost black, its skin shining dully. The other was almost white, as matt as chalk. They cooed and smirked beneath his gaze, rocking back and forth. 

'Fascinating,' said Crosius. 'Utterly fascinating.' 

Thats it! Top Tier on that alone baby!



Thursday, 16 February 2023

Corposant 13 – REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEssentiment

 Entries #1 to #10 can be found by hitting 'Trailing Corposant' in the tags

Corposant #11 - BETRAYER

ADB, Lorgar, Angron, Emperor, Sanguinius, Precis; ADB good, least satirical Warhammer writer, herald of the awokening, found a way to have a black man shot by space cops, helped 'black box' the Emperor, (systemic issue), ship girls, edgy protags, BPD, shifting backstory, wrote Lorgar as being a bit BPD as well?, Echoes of Eternity like a Marvel director suffering under endless Fiege-notes, Sangunius finally good. Peace! 


Corposant #12 - VULKAN SHIVS 

Nick Kyme. Vulkan. Precis; boring bad books, seems like nice guy, good editor? hard to tell, vulkan gets tortured like black men in genre, he is guaranteed to survive this science fiction movie, not a blessing.




Corposant 13 – REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEssentiment


Is there anything more to say about Perturabo? 

I already discussed him here 

With this evergreen quote from Wikipedia; 

"Ressentiment is a sense of hostility directed at that which one identifies as the cause of one's frustration, that is, an assignment of blame to ones frustration. 

The sense of weakness or inferiority and perhaps jealousy in the face of the "cause" generates a rejecting/justifying value system, or morality, which attacks or denies the perceived source of one's frustration. 

This value system is then used as a means of justifying one's own weaknesses by identifying the source of envy as objectively inferior, serving as a defence mechanism that prevents the resentful individual from addressing and overcoming their insecurities and flaws. 

The ego creates an enemy in order to insulate itself from culpability." 

Is there anything more to say? 


(The Eye And Schtizophrenia) 

The only real reference to schitzoidal thinking in Pertys story; a common theme in the art of Schizophrenics is the observing eye;




Iain McGilchrist think this is due to some failure in brain lateralisation, that one part of the mind becomes directly aware of the other, but *as* an *other*, an alien observing presence, capable of reading thoughts, which no-one else can sense. 

Well Perty got an eye too, a malignant star that no-one else can see; 


and which never goes away. actually kind of useful in a few acts of navigation but just generally deeply upsetting the rest of the time.





**Chapter One - Birth of an Asshole** 

(19whatever to 2007) Pops up as a reference in a lot of Horus Heresy metafiction. 

(2007) - 'Fulgrim' by Graham McNeil 

I don't remember him doing much in this! 

(2012)  'Angel Exterminatus' by Graham McNeil 

Centre stage baby! We leap into Perturabos' story mid-heresy, after Istvaan and go right into a cooked-up meta plot about Fulgrim trying to become a god, or at least a demon. Oddly this bizarre pairing actually work as a story engine. Sometimes the goddess of story  logistics delivers inspiration. 

This is our first look inside Perturabos' head and it sets the tone for everything that comes after. 

The story ends with Perturabo badly wounded and the Iron Warriors trapped in the Eye of Terror, the same eye which has been watching him his entire life. Perturabo is (fictionally) born! And born angry! 


**Chapter Two - Metafiction** 

(2012) - 'Codex : Chaos Space Marines, 6th Edition' by Phil Kelly 

(2014)  -'The Horus Heresy, Book Three; Extermination' by Alan Bligh 

From 2012 to 2015 not much happens. Perty gets some current-year 40k lore about what he is up to post great-rift. He is conquering the segmentum obscurus and fighting Morty for relics. 

This is somewhat interesting for future 40k as Perty is (probably still) one of the more sane and better organised Primarchs, one of the few who actually has the aptitude and personality to organise a stellar empire at scale and keep it running. Will the Empire of Iron pop up again in the Imperium Nihilus? 


**Chapter Three – “I hate sand..”** 

(2015)  - 'Black Oculus' by John French 

(2017)  - 'Tallarn' by John French 

(2017)  -'Pertuabo: The Hammer of Olympia' by Guy Haley 

Perturabo escapes from the Eye in a short story and the goddess of logistics swoops him off to Tallarn to fill in that planets backstory. After getting a suppurating hole in his soul from Fulgrim, this marks Pertuabos 'Wunderwaffen' obsession; if he gets a big enough super-weapon he will feel better about himself. 

Perturabo fails in his war on Tallarn by just *this* much and is dragged back into the main Heresy line by a summons from Horus. 

At about the same time (in publishing history) he gets his second personal deep-dive, this time from Guy Haley, giving us his backstory, his discovery on Olympus, youth, meeting the Emperor, and gradual slow decay into bitterness and ressentiment. Then his total breakdown after one campaign too many followed by a revolt on his homeland finally drives him into a violent purge of his own planet which culminates in him choking his adoptive sister to death. 

This is where Pertuabo "falls", and it has relatively little to do with Chaos, at least explicitly. There are no cackling demons popping out to offer Faustian bargains, no Truman-show theatrics, mind-worms, obvious abusive behaviour or strange invitations to the realm of dream. Curze fell likewise but he at least had very serious and undeniable mental problems, whether you see his sadism as inborn or a partial choice. 

After murdering and enslaving a substantial chunk of his homeworld, Pertuabo is convinced that 'The Emperor will never forgive this" and turns fully to Horus, who is willing to offer the obvious lie of "you did the right thing". Almost the entirety of the rest of their relationship is Horus consistently pressing this button with Pertuabo until it finally wears out. 

Probably, actually, the Emperor would actually have “forgiven this”, its just one world and Primarchs have done worse, plus they did technically rebel, plus the Emperor really needs Primarchs at that precise moment. 


Turbos family fortunes; 

Adopted Father – rebelled against him while absent and was killed.

Adopted Brother – drove Perty mad by being actually better than him despite being only human, culminated in spastic statue-smashing by Perturabo, but the guy aged naturally and died well.

Adopted Sister – choked to death in a rage.

Father-Creator – slavish obedience followed by (unusually effectual) rebellion.

Primarch Brothers – either betrayed, betrayed by or just generally fuck those guys.

Gene-Sons – orders Legion to decimate itself via random selection and bare hands, things generally get worse from there. 


Chapter Four - Backstage Competence Baby! 

(2018)  - 'Slaves to Darkness' by John French 

(2019)  - 'The Solar War' John French 

(2019) - 'The Lost and the Damned' Guy Haley 

(2020)  - 'The First Wall' Gav Thorpe 

(2020)  - Saturnine by Dan Abnett 

(2021)  - Mortis by John French 

From 2018 on Perty is pulled into the final phase of Horus' war and, though he gets no single books to himself, does Pretty Fucking Well Actually, fully earning his Most Competent Traitor Primarch badge. (Its not a high bar but whatever). 

Tasked with bringing crazy-ass Angron to heel in 'Slaves to Darkness' he pulls it off neatly. It looks like he planned much of 'The Solar War', which ended in a raging success. I don't think he does much in 'The Lost and the Damned' and Horus won't let him just BLOW UP THE SUN, an ambition he shares with Mr Burns, but when finally allowed to get to work he brings down the Palaces shields with the pinpoint music of his lance weapons, outwits Dorn in 'The First Wall' and takes the Lions Gate, bringing Traitor heavy armour directly to the Palace, then, when stymied, he pulls off the rare feat of half-tricking, or at least manipulating Dorn and Abaddon into the Saturnine gambit, humiliating Fulgrim, blunting the power of Horus and giving the Loyalists a temporary win. In 'Mortis', a rather boring book by John French his plans bear fruit and the Palace is cracked open, leading to the beginning of the end. 

After being cucked out of the killing blow by Horus and effectively demoted after doing the hard work, instead of being manipulated again he just Fucks Right Off, getting the hell out of the Sol system with the bulk of his forces and goes off to his Empire of Iron to be a massive problem for the future Imperium. 

In a way, for Perturabo, the siege is a personal success. Even though the siege as a whole fails he succeeds at almost every challenge he is given, and ultimately just stops caring about how Horus and the rest view him. He doesn't need to be anyone’s special boy any more. This is largely due to him now regarding everyone else as being utter shit rather than any growth in his personality, but for our fake stoic that might be the best we could expect. If you can’t be Marcus Aurelius, be Steerpike. 

Peace out nerds! You won't have Pertuabo to kick around any more! 


Wait, did Peter Turbo WIN the Horus Heresy? On the Traitor side at least he comes the closest. 

Horus – dead.

Morty - stabbed in the head by the Khan.

Lorgar - beaten up like a nerd after a failed coup & made to go sit in his tower.

Curze - suicide-by-assassin.

Angron - tubes ripped out and banished by Sanguinius.

Alpharius - killed by Dorn and then again by Robute. How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?

Fulgrim - tabled by Dorn and flounces off (though does cut Robutes throat later)

Pertuabo - beats Angron, cracks open the palace, gets the Justarian killed ;-), takes the Lions Gate, leaves of his own accord, humiliates Dorn in the Iron Cage - how was he ever driven to the Eye?




It’s been stated in a few places, but I can't find confirmation that the Hazard Stripes are a form of Heraldry meaning "death to transgressors"  which is to me a pleasing idea of a post-apocalyptic human culture preserving and translating the basic concept of 'industrial heraldry' into something new. (Should be more red hexagonal shields in 40k tbh). 




What we know of Perty, and what he knows of himself, starts with him hanging from a cliff, half-way up. 

We learn from contextual information that he definitely was not just incarnated at this point. When he meets his to-be adopted father, they talk of stories of a hero wandering the hills, fighting monsters, a super-boy doing adventures. If this was Pertuabo, and no reason to think it wasn't, that’s quite a different personality to the one we see from this point on. 

While living at court on Olympia he is largely pictured indoors, arguing with his family, giving Dawkins speeches on  atheism, locked in his room doing 'research' and later leading brutal military campaigns. The earlier Perty seems to be cut much more in the mould of a classic wandering Greek hero. 

SO - what happened to his memory of those days? and why? I think no other Primarch had anything similar happen to them... 

Most likely option is that he somehow traded away, or was tricked out of them or they were somehow stolen from him by the Ruinous powers 

We know that Perturabo has access to something quite like the Akashic record, that he essentially 'knows' all material things, (though he doesn't know exactly how to combine or use them), but basically he has a perfect internal science wikipedia running continuously on everything he looks at. 

This seems to have had a detrimental effect on his character and personality - he loves research and science, but he is a scientist who can't really 'discover' much; he already knows the details, he can just confirm theories 

Consider the personality of a classical renaissance man, asking endless questions about nature, conducting experiments, exploring, finding things out, the kind of person that is and the effect they would have on those around them, both from the relative openness of  their personality but also that they are engaged in a process that others can also take part in and come along with. 

Compare that to someone who has all of Wikipedia in a low-tech society, and can theoretically *do* anything, but they do it alone, discover little or nothing, are just instantiating knowledge they already have and the main challenge is just getting it right. And consider the different societal effects of lets-discover-nature guy and I-know-everything guy. One shapes an entire culture in a possibly-positive way, the other is basically just a living data-bank, respected, sort of, but more of a resource than an inspiration. 

We can consider also the effect of losing those early memories. Early, likely original Perturabo was, a wanderer in the hills, a being with no particular status who encountered strangers, peasants, travellers, monsters, whoever, for himself and interacted with each as he would. (probably). Who was genuinely exploring and having an actual adventure. With no societal instruction book he simply set his own goals and went about them, adjusting with understanding. 

The Perturabo we actually get is 'born' on that cliff face. First they face the abyss of knowledge about themselves, then their perfect understanding of the material world, then their first social encounters are with guards and then late a manipulative court, which they enter without any contextual sense of self. A name and a strong will, but no story or sequence of experiences and decisions to tell them who they are. A powerful tool, ready to be manipulated and used. 

We can have some sympathy with Perty here as the internet has done a similar number on us. 

I'm imagining here, something like a classic 'unwise bequest' in which original Perturabo, for some reason we will never know, makes some kind of deal with the Ruinous Powers (in disguise, he doesn't know what they are), for knowledge. (Magnus did something similar for his own reasons). 

'Knowing everything' or being able to understand or construct anything, is the kind of thing an intelligent young boy might think they really want, with no understanding of what a personal disaster it might be. And the only price asked is "your memories up to this point" - and who knows how long that is? A few weeks? a few days? 

And perhaps the Emperor actually designed Perturabo with access to the Akashic record in mind, and the power that was 'given' to him in this deal is only power that was rightfully his already, but perhaps might have taken time to unlock. 

If it’s a gambit of chaos, it’s a beautifully elegant long-term move to cripple someone’s personality while seeming to aid them, and, most beautifully, removing any knowledge or evidence of the deal at the same time. 

(I mean never sign a contract were part of the deal is "you will lose any memory of signing this contract") 




The first thing I wrote about Perturabo was about Identification through Recognition, and I am far from the only one! This guy has a fair number of fans and or many of them a similar emotion seems to be at play; recognition of some of the best talents and worst traits shared by the nerd/autist personality type and a kind of distant sad sympathy. 

Pertuabo is one of a few projections of the Warhammer player into Warhammer itself, something he shares with Trazyn the Infinite (a compulsive collector with literal shelves of space marine helmets and interdimensional poke balls full of lore-accurate period armies which he arranges in actual dioramas in his planet-sized museum), and to some extent, Fabius Bile (a superior atheist who just loves to kitbash). 

Pertuabo collects and built figurines (something remarked on several times), trains his soldiers to fight in computerised and tabletop Kriespiel games, isolates himself when distressed (which is always), is ‘always-online’ via his weird cybernetics, and, as discussed everywhere, has the personality of an angry incel gamer boy. 

The blessed gifts of modernity; isolation, technology, FOMO, self-hatred when compared to an infinity of beauty and accomplishment we can never match. 

The fundamental battle with ressentiment, perhaps the most powerful of modern drives and the central moral cultural challenge of out generation. Whom amongst us is not Perturabo in our hearts?? Anyone who put their hand up to that one; FUCK YOU GUYS, FUCK YOU RIGHT IN THE ARSE. 

Some have said the world is shaped by men who set their hearts on toys. I will say that the world often shaped by the irresolvable desires which prompt relentless action. 

So why can Perturabo not name or acknowledge his own desire for recognition? Even though he is utterly driven by it? 

It’s painful to look that deep. Its shameful. To look that deep into yourself and accept not only such a consuming need, or flaw, but also the deep sense of weakness that provokes it, to see yourself as weak, as low status, and such an overwhelming history of failure thereby.. Weakness must deny itself and so never be resolved.

I suppose that is what "set in your ways" really means. After all, just living life, day by day, becomes something of a sunk-cost fallacy, tearing out a part of yourself that late in the game only becomes more and more difficult as the years go by, an admission that deep cuts all the way to the core, does it basically invalidate everything that came before? It certainly feels like it does.




The horror of intelligence 

In a way we don't need the nightmare of Chat GPT to show us this, we just need the biographies of mildly autistic and very intelligent men. 

Intelligence; swiftness of comprehension, exactness of conception and clearness of memory, rapid and subtle manipulation of abstract values  - is a quality that can be cranked up pretty high, and it can gain you so much. 

Chat GPT doesn't know why it does what it does, but if you ask it, it can give you an pretty good answer, (that is entirely made up and not actually true). 

Likewise, if we ask ourselves why we do what we do probably the average person is only slightly better at working this out about themselves than a random stranger watching video footage of them would be. Nevertheless, press the button and words spill out; explanations, stories, declarations of principals, ideas, histories. 

Could all be complete bullshit - how are we supposed to know? Perhaps we just pressed the Chat GPT button in our own minds and what comes out is as free of real self knowledge as a digital neural network would be. 

Whenever we find out something meaningful about ourselves it often comes as a slightly uncomfortable surprise, and it often comes as a result of complex action in complex, rapidly moving and hard to predict environments, not the kind of thing you can just think through, and it often feels slightly unpleasant. 

The horror of a high IQ and the alienation that often goes along with it, and the lack of self-knowledge that can grow alongside that. 

Cracks are inevitable. They begin at single tiny points but once they start they propagate themselves with brutal speed, and in many cases, increasing the hardness of materials won't help much with stopping cracks, instead you need something softish or more flexible to even out the distribution of force. The hard is not much use without the soft. 

Oh Lord of Hosts, I beg ye keep my IQ roughly on a par with my intuitive systems, general instincts and broad life experience, not too high above or too low below, for to do otherwise is to become lost, and the worst kind of lost is to not know you are lost.



Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Cryjack, Rare Skeletons and a Request for Aid

 Hello everyone. Here are some updates and at the end a request for help.


'Noisms' is nearly at the end of the Yoon Suin 2 Kickstarter

He's been incredibly successful.. Much more than any of my Kickstarters.

 and I for one.

am thrilled by his success...

If you want to hear me an 'Noisms' ramble for an hour about Yoon-Suin, Games and Culture then you can so so here;


Do you like .... rare skeletons????

I am clearing out my cupboards and selling a bunch of stuff on eBay (UK only sorry), including some rare original C17 Skeletons from the depths of Games Workshop history.


We are working through the layout for my own (much less successful) kickstarter for 'Speak, False Machine'. The book is meant to have a central glossy colour photographic section with images used for reference in the chapter on minis.

Does anyone out there know where I might go to hire someone to help me source a bunch of copyright-free photographs of certain specific types of Warhammer minis in various situations?

I am aware of most of the Copyright free sites for images and they are ill provided with photos of the kinds I need. I could try sourcing individual photos from places like Instagram etc by contacting individual creators but that promises to be a long and frustrating process.

Here is an example spread of what I am talking about (from the test print not the new version);