Thursday 27 April 2023


What was Africa like during the Pleistocene?

Oh it was pretty cool( ̄ー ̄)

Human population bottleneck theories vary quite a bit but the most recent, most reliable synthesis I am familiar with guesses the total human population reduced to somewhere between 3,000 and 10,000 individuals for 5,000 to 10,000 years some time in the Pleistocene, say maybe about 70,000 years ago, possibly in what is now north east Africa.

WHAT IF we created some kind of RPG set within that forge of mankind? Its a tantalising reality; a closed environment, surrounded by, well probably not ice, as the ice walls would be further north, but probably dry land and super-deserts, then ice. Plus the mountains of Africa would probably have substantial glaciers so there's your 'Ice Walls', title still counts.

The entirety of humanity being about 7'000 people. If we go by Dunbars numbers and eyeball it we could say four or five 'tribes', each with say 15 lineage groups with about three bands each. So depending on the kind of game you play, you could 'encounter' pretty much everyone who exists.


In Africa? Warm and wet I think, especially wet. BIG lakes, big rivers, Glaciers coming down from the mountains. Africa probably quite a bit chonkier side-to-side due to lower sea levels. May possibly have joined with Arabia at points. Pretty big north-to-south as well but you can't actually get north due to the arid super-sahara and beyond that.. the valley of the Mediterranean? No idea what that would have been like. North of that maybe some microclimates in the alps then permafrost for a few 100 miles then ICE SHEETS.

"In Eurasia, large lakes developed as a result of the runoff from the glaciers. Rivers were larger, had a more copious flow, and were braided. African lakes were fuller, apparently from decreased evaporation. Deserts, on the other hand, were drier and more extensive. Rainfall was lower because of the decreases in oceanic and other evaporation." - from Wikipedia


I could build you a list of 'cool' Pleistocene animals to encounter but, tbh, the African 'Big Animal' set doesn't look like it was *that much* different during that era.  There are various theories about this, the main one is that this biosphere had longer to get used to human behaviour and wasn't hugely changed when humans as we know them spread out after the last glacial maximum.

Most importantly, several cool animals were *quite larger*, i.e. Super-Hippos, Murder-Baboons. And humanity really had utterly crap technology to deal with them. 

And also some very fun art has been made of this environment

Got this one off pintrest

Its quite wonderful for a D&D type game as everything is so sublimely dangerous.


A fascinating but somewhat morally-complex element is the vast potential range of human strains. 

(Please don't comment about what exactly a species or subspecies or race or whatever is or is not, the matter is in development.)

A trend in Prehistory(?) currently is the gradual expansion of a much greater variety of human and humanlike 'types'. (I will just call these 'human strains'). Previously we knew that 'Sapiens' and Neanderthal co-existed, but genetics has unravelled that this bottleneck population, or something close to them, interbred with Neanderthal enough to leave a tangible trace in their genetics. We know about Florensis, the little hobbit dudes and from Denovisian Cave we know that a bunch of human strains were effectively hanging out in what seems to have been the Mos Eisley Cantina of prehistory. We also know that a lot of current African populations have 'ghost populations' in their genetics; traces of some kind of lost strain for which we have no evidence except for the faint echo they left behind in a surviving Sapiens population.

The 'out of Africa theory remains broadly in place but with massive, (I can't emphasise this enough, MASSIVE) complexification, with loop-backs, bottlenecks, strain-crossing, evidence of these strains hanging out just a lot of stuff.

If the pre-21stC version of Homo origins was a nice neat set of spreading lines and a few discreet 'subspecies' who may have barely interacted but displaced each other through environmental effects, then the new version is.. basically Jabbas Palace. Way, way way more types and strains of Homo, way more crossbreeding, way more interaction, way more messy strange bullshit. 

The very-rare nature of pre-glacial-maximum remains (plus the fact that many are probably in Africa and even with a massive input of wealth and tech, are probably covered by rainforest and won't be found without a truly sci-fi level of tech), and the massive increase in types, and genetic and archaeological evidence of mutual-existence and interaction, has strongly tilted the general view of pre-historic human-strain history into kind of more like an American post-Tolkien fantasy novel. Its not really stupid any more to say hey, maybe a surviving *Erectus*, a Neanderthal and Denovisian and a Sapiens team up to fight a fucking giant tiger or something.

Its still not probably likely but it feels way more likely than it was.

I think this is by Marucio Anton


This 'Bottleneck', (both the real one and the one we are simulating in this game), may well have acted as a genetic sausage machine for a variety of human strains. This means the populations going in to the bottleneck might have a pretty high level of diversity, but the population coming out, is singular; after several millennia with less than 10,000 individuals they have the very low-diversity genome we associate with the extra-African Sapiens population.

Peter Schouten


WHO is the RPG player playing? 

The tribe? The person? The Gene-line? Is this a survival/crafting game? A cultural development game? A game of genetics? A game about exploring the boundaries of your world, or a game about surviving within the boundaries of a closing world?

I honestly don't know and in fact it sounds more like a series of games.

At the 'top end' a genetics/environmental-influenced Microscope.

Below that a crafting/cultural/technology semi-simulator in the middle. Battles and diplomacy in a closed and shrinking world (maybe something patterned like Pendragon).

At the bottom end a very BX-like survive-the-monsters, gather food D&D-esque game.

I suppose you could combine these into one vast Fantasy Heartbreaker with each player playing a Gene-line at the top level, then after that 'round' of game time is played, they go down a level and play the 'tribe' or Culture-line, with abilities and developments influenced by the gene-tree, then you zoom down to the deep granular history and generate a bunch of Homo who's stats/equipment/abilities etc are all influenced by the previous two rounds. Then this little D&D team faces one of the crisis points of their small, closed world. 

Depending on how they do in that mission they get more or less points to feed back into the next loop of gameplay.


I don't actually know enough about genetics to even begin to attempt this, and I think possibly humanity doesn't know enough for anyone to simulate it. So I would be really very largely making it up. Which, from a political point of view may actually be better as this is one of the most politically and morally complex and dangerous parts of this extremely politically and morally sensitive game (see below for 'Things Which Won't Be In This Game').


This might be a very-great compression but I would probably be going from starting out something like a very-clever Erectus, who might occasionally sharpen a rock, and ending up as something a bit like an Aboriginal Australian culture.

I have to base a extra-African just-post-Glacial-Maximum culture/technology group on something and Aboriginal Australians seem like the closest we are going to get any good info on. Their tech and culture feels pretty "early stone age".


Most Important; textiles, bags, containers, glues, attachment materials, hooks and lines, woven string and rope. 

We would go from "Pick it up, drop it or bury it" to "Put it in the bag/gourd". This is a pretty big deal. Lines and cords are, as anyone who has played D&D will know, a very big deal. Clothing is maybe the most vital technology in allowing Sapiens to enter such a wide range of environments. Sewing is a killer app.

Most Charismatic; weapons, spears, boomerangs, atlatls, slings, hunting clubs, throwing sticks, early simple bow technology? Probably the simple bow was invented independently a bunch of times. Shields and armour are both important too. Aboriginal Australian cultural beliefs about shields are interesting.

Travel; canoes, (dugout and bark), initial canoes more likely to be used in lakes of which there were apparently quite a lot during the Pleistocene. I think even strapping things to friendly animals is quite a way off. Complexity of language and the cultural complexity required to receive, remember and transmit that information would be important. Going from "I will show you the way" to "I can tell you ALL the way" is a big deal and would fundamentally change the capacities of a society.

Cultural; message sticks, drumming, dance and Communal Performance as a 'living law book' capable of harmonising and transmitting a shared culture across many more people. Drumming and dance also seem really important in building shared identities and a 'communal self' probably enabling larger group sizes, mor sophisticated group actions giving you something to actually do or exchange if you go visit other humans other than just material things, and also just making life less shit. Complexity of language would be another; the development of syntax and tenses, descriptions of actual and supernatural things. This cultural complexity and the firmware needed to carry it helps you hang on to those cool inventions like slings and atlatls and sharp rocks. Most of these things were probably invented hundreds of times by increasingly clever Homo until finally someone found a way to jam them into the culture, transmit and preserve the information even if the original inventor wasn't there to show you how to do it. The relationship with, and inner conceptualisation of animals a main thing, you have to build the animal in your mind before you can interact with it.

Agricultural/Survival Shifts; from scavenging to hunting to possible-pastoralism and maybe some mild agriculture. Finding a new thing to eat and a new way to eat it is a big deal. Curiously in later pre-history there seem to have been some Neolithic culture groups who really liked fish, and others living in exactly the same environments who just would not eat fish, even over long periods. People are pretty interesting. One of the side-effects of culture may be... I suppose we would call it 'bugs', like "We are not eating shellfish fuck no not even if it means starving that stuff is banned by the spirits for a reason."



All those melting glaciers, shrinking lakes, expanding land and changing rivers open the possibility for some quite-sudden catastrophic events. Not to mention the fucking MONSTER ANIMALS. Plus ALIEN HUMAN STRAINS! 

Gigantic things, or the axial points of super long-term processes, can happen over a day, or a few hours, like an ice barrier breaks, tectonic shifts tilt a super-lake slightly against a thinning rock wall, a super-lake drains away mysteriously. Tunguska events. Again not likely of *common* but at least a few of these must have happened.

Or even slightly less catastrophic sudden arrivals of super-predators, giant unbeatable animals either driven south by expanding ice walls, or displaced by warming and its knock-on events. The arrival of a *last of its kind* forgotten mega-predator in an 'alien' environment would be fit fuel for an adventure. You want to try taking on that thing with sticks?

The arrival or displacement of an 'alien' human strain (i.e anyone sufficiently different from you) would be another. Its a limited resource-poor environment after all, and you can't really leave till the glacial maximum ends. Will this be a matter of SUPER WAR where you use all your cultural sophistication to turn your whole tribe into a SUPER HUNT gathered together and synchronised at an heretofore unimagined scale. An army of hundreds in one place? 

Or could it be a Pleistocene Star Trek where your Sapiens/Neanderthal cross uses the power of imagination and intelligence to perform cross-strain diplomacy for the first time, entering into the gaze of an unknowable Other in attempts to bridge an unimaginable cognitive gap and form some common understanding?

Your kin-group is starving, your kin-group is sick, a new environmental possibility has opened up, another has closed down. Literally any kind of megafauna is fucking with you. Fucking MURDER BABBOONS?



Probably more than any other game I can imagine, this one would need a VERY long introduction, explanation, disclaimer and probably you have to sign something before you play promising not to cancel or sue the makers.

Starting with things that probably happened quite a lot in pre-history but which won't be happening (much) in this game;

  • Rape
  • Slavery
  • Patriarchy
  • Mutilation and torture
  • Genocide
  • Intensely weird sexual stuff
  • Human sacrifice 
  • Cannibalism
  • Batshit Xenophobia

I don't mean to say (and we don't fundamentally know) if this stuff was universal, much less common in pre-history, but what we know of many Stone Age peoples (and since) strongly suggests the normalised nature of most if not all of this.

RPG players will tend strongly towards leb-leftism, but even if they didn't, on a greater scale, there is probably a hard limit to how much rape, abduction, genocide, mutilation, human sacrifice etc ANY person can reasonably expect to actually play out.

Any game which functions *as a game* will inevitably be presenting a very 'softened' interpretation of human capacities and nature, and this is ok, so long as I am very clear about the fact that this is a fantasy with softened corners and less sharp edges. Be aware you are participating in a real-seeming dream, and NOT a simulation.

Its just a limitation of the form. It is what it is I guess.


The beloved Science of Human Inequality raises its Janus-split face. It is genetics, to a large degree, with a fair amount of archaeology, we can thank for our expanding deep-view of our own prehistoric origins and all of the wonderful and sometimes awful complexity and detail that has emerged. Our genes really are a telescope in time.

Unfortunately our own society is based around a rather hard-won principal of the broadly equality of human life, and genetics is the science of precisely-described human inequality. This 'bottleneck' whether it was one event or several, created a deep shared structure in the *extra-african* Sapiens line (which then looped back into Africa in several ways). Enough of a commonality so that when this line spread out across Eurasia and into America, it seems to have either murdered the fuck out of every big animal it could find, or at least disrupted the environment so much those megafauna couldn't survive.

We don't know how and how much genetics interacted with culture and technology to produce this hyper-successful strain but I doubt it was *zero*. And that fact that it isn't *zero* is a meaningful moral challenge to the mainstream of our society.

Gene-line or 'descent' differences aren't the same as 19th Century concepts of race, but they speak the same language and unlike race, modern genetics speaks *precisely*. Genticists have largely gotten around this with a combination of blather and mild autism; "ah yes the 19thc century concept of 'race', oh no we wouldn't use anything like that any more, rather disproven you know, anyway, here's your childs likely IQ, to within a 5 pt margin."

On a deep level the genetic history of humanity teaches interwoven strands of truth. One strand is quite nice; it’s about shared human origins, a deep diversity of human strains, a shared struggle and a shared environment where everything effects everything else. The Force does indeed bind and link us all Obi-Wan. 

But the other strand, which is equally true, is about utterly ruthless competition, hominids murdering and raping the fuck out of each other, displacing each other from environments and differences in genetic advantage cascading into and/or synthesising with cultural and technological advantages. It’s about humans as the monsters from a science fiction movie and has kind of a 'there can only be one' Highlander vibe. 

And both of these are true. It just depends which lens you look through. There is a level of choice in what we emphasise and find meaning in, and in the lessons we take, but there is no choice in the facts.

Which is a main reason this game will probably never exist, or if it does, it will come with something you have to sign before you play.

That was a little depressing so to end the article;


Previously I was working in the realm of the 'likely', based on our current understanding of history. But fuck that, what if we ignored 'likely' and went straight for 'possible'!

Pleistocene Empires baby! Can't find them? That's because their cities are UNDER THE SEA. The Inca of the Glacial Maximum! Polynesians of the Great Lakes!

We could just take *every* kind of *possible* Stone-Age technology and culture and jam it all together in a Conan-the-Barbarian style mashup of cool things. You can't prove it didn't happen! Glaciers took the evidence!

So; Very large boats. Oceanic vessels. Intra-oceanic navigation (it is *possible* as the Polynesians have proved, but what if it also happened at a previous time?) Inter-oceanic navigation (even less likely but *possible* at least in theory). A worldwide coastal empire, why not?

Super-stonehenge Ziggurat cities, cave-cities (we know they turned up later). Mass scale Imperial warfare. Grass suspension bridges with villages whose whole purpose is to continually re-weave the bridge (Inca did it). Catapults. Sieges. Terror-bird cavalry. Trained super-baboons and mega-hippos.

Neanderthal shock troops and Florensis advisors wearing capes of humming bird feathers. Super wars to crack open the gates to the Mediterranean basin and drown the Empire of the Morlocks. Eating small horses for dinner. Crowns of amber and bone. Flutes of mammoth ivory. You could do an entire Pleistocene-Elric series or 'forgotten Aztecs' game set in some early inter-glacial period when the world looked an utterly different shape. 

It would have quite an elegiac lost-summr feel as this civilisation grew too soon, and the glaciers were coming back, and then after that the glaciers were shrinking waaay too much and the seas rising so even the ruins of these Inca/Minoan/Polynesian cities were drowned and forgotten.

Honestly if you just jammed in every cool thing from every stone age 'high' civilisation
and all of the 'homo' descent groups you could imagine, plus all of the Pleistocene fauna you could think of, it would be pretty fucking great. 

Like being an extinct homo species and calling your Florensis slave to your ziggurat to bring you a humming bird quill so your can write poetry on calfskin about the doom of your civilisation before riding forth on your war-glyptodont to battle the savage raiders for the last time. Behold! how an empire ends!

Tuesday 18 April 2023

RoC RaW - The Creation of Tristian le Tigre, Slave to Darkness

 A trip to Warhammer World recently left me with a copy of the re-printed 'The Lost and the Dammed', to go along my copy of 'Slaves to Darkness'.

Of course, the fact that I now possess both means I can attempt the impossible; rolling up a Chaos Champion using the 'Realms of Chaos' system, RaW, that's Rules as Written. 

I attempted this wonder on a friendly Discord, I have edited out the other responses but thank you to the unnamed person who came up with a PDF of 'Warhammer Armies' by Nigel Stillman.

(Yes, rolling on this wonderous labyrinth of tables did indeed require access to a totally seperate and long out-of-print book, in addition to the two expensive reprints I already had.)

Without further ado, let us witness the birth of Tristian le Tigre, Champion of Carnalpierce!

Part One - a Standard Human?


Ok, #RoCRAW here I go..

"Generate the Champoins Starting Profile using the Starting Profile table..
is there a dice roller on here?

[1d100] Roll: [57] Result: 57

They are a... Human!

[1d100] Roll: [2] Result: 2

A standard human! 😭 

Move 4, Weapons Skill 3, Ballistic Skill 3, Strength 3, Toughness 3, Wounds 1, Initiative 3, Attacks 1, Leadership 7, Intelligence 7, Cool 7 Will Power 7

Literally the most standard human you could imagine, no wonder they turned to chaos.

Next, the Starting Equipment Table

So, this is a point-spend thing where you get a certain semi random number of points and get to spend them depending on your level, but that level starts at "5 Hero or Wizard" while I am level 1 or zero, and this isn't mentioned, so I suppose I get no equipment

Next, I receive a 'Mark of Chaos' from my Patron. I am allowed to choose whether to follow Korne, Slaanesh, Nurgle, Tzeentch or Chaos Undivided. 

I am also allowed to generate a Chaos Patron demon, so I will do that next.

Creating a Patron - the birth of Carnalpierce

My Demonic Patrons Origin is;

[1d3] Roll: [2] Result: 2

Its is "a composite demonic entity founded upon one or more highly focused souls - such souls are not dissolved in the warp but retain their own integrity as deamons."

Next, choose a mortal creature as a basis for the demon, refer to the Universal Creature Table and randomly generate a creature from it.

[3 1d10] Rolls:
[3] Result: 3
[4] Result: 4
[7] Result: 7

its a Troglodyte ...

[1d100] Roll: [33] Result: 33

just a standard Troglodyte...

Move 4, WS 3, BS 3, S 4, T 4, W 2, I 1, A 2, Ld 9, Int 4, Cl 9,  WP 9

So despite being a standard demonic immortal Troglodyte this thing is actually better than my standard human champion, except for intelligence where it seems like I am smarter than my Patron

So this is clearly some shitty back-alley demonic patron deal between the absolute bottom of the barrel demon and some random schlub

Refer to the Chaos Attributes table and generate D6+3 attributes. (If it turns into a spawn or becomes mindless I am meant to re-roll.

[1d6+3] Roll: [2] Result: 5

Ok five attributes, here we go..

[5 1d100] Rolls:
[46] Result: 46
[13] Result: 13
[25] Result: 25
[1] Result: 1
[5] Result: 5

Ok that was meant to be 5 d100 so I will roll a d10 for each and add that as a single digit to the end

[5 1d10] Rolls:
[6] Result: 6
[5] Result: 5
[5] Result: 5
[2] Result: 2
[9] Result: 9

So me results are ...

466 - HORNS!
135 - BESTIAL FACE (see main chart...)
255 - CHAOS WERE (see main chart)
59 - BESTIAL FACE (see main chart) again, I guess it can have two?

So for the 'Bestial Faces' there is a sub-table where usually they get the face of their patron god, but I feel like the horned troglodyte is a servant of chaos undivided so I will roll twice on the sub-sub table..

[2 1d20] Rolls:
[10] Result: 10
[18] Result: 18

One face is that of an EAGLE! (+1 bite attack and excellent vision gained.

The second is that of a SPIDER (+1 bite attack)

So the horned, agile troglodyte Demon has the face of an Eagle and the face of a Spider, but its also a Chaos Were, which means it has a second form, which means more sub-tables... 

Generate a random Chaos Creature under the procedure set out under 'Instant' Chaos Spawn, but only give it D6 Chaos Attributes. Keep a seperate record of this creature, including a seperate record of fear points, as this is the mutants Chaos Were-Form

The mutant is now subject to frenzy, when it becomes frenzied it must make a WP test or become frenzied for the rest of the battle.

It gains +2 fear points when it changes into its new form

Ok, on to page 65 of 'Slaves to Darkness', only give it D6 Chaos Attributes

So, basic form first;

[1d6] Roll: [1] Result: 1

[1d10] Roll: [1] Result: 1

So its were-form basis is that of a GIANT BAT

How many Chaos Attributes..

[1d6] Roll: [2] Result: 2

TWO Chaos Attributes

 [2 3d10] Rolls:
[8, 8, 5] Result: 21
[8, 6, 5] Result: 19

885 is ... TELEKINESIS!

865 is... TALL!

No sorry, 865 is TAIL!

"This tail is not strong enough to give the mutant a tail attack, nor can it manipulate anything if prehensile"

So!  My Chaos Patron is a Demon of CHAOS UNDIVIDED. It has the form of a horned Troglodyte with two faces, one of an Eagle and one of a Spider. It is an agile being.

But it is also frenzied and if enraged will transform into the form of a giant bat with a prehensile (but not otherwise dangerous) tail, with the power of TELEKINESIS

"Modify the creatures profile as follows;

Strength - double up to a maximum of 10

Toughness - add +2 up to a maximum of 10

Wounds Double

Initiative Double"

Its stats should now be ;

Move 4, WS 3, BS 3, S 8, T 6, W 4, I 2, A 2, Ld 9, Int 4, Cl 9,  WP 9

So still a lesser demon but now a bit more obviously demonic

"The creature grows to 1 1/2 times its size. It acquires horns, wings and a tail if it does not already have them....

Kind of feel like rolling horns to begin with was a bit of a waste but ok

So now its a HUGE horned, winged betailed troglodite which is agile with the face of an eagle and that of a spider, and it can were into a HUGE Giant Bat with Horns! Which is telekinetic!

he had horns before it was cool


The creature becomes demonic and is subject to the normal rules for Greater Demons, ie;

1. It cannot be harmed by normal weapons...

2. Its own attacks are magical

3. In the material universe the Demon will be subject to instability

4. It is not effected by psychological affects other than those caused by one of the four Great Powers in person

5. If it has spell casting powers it can use them without expending magic points.

6. It can fly as a swooper with a max speed of 32 and etc etc

7. Causes fear

So now he needs a name. "A name can be generated by the demonic name tables in 'Slaves to Darkness',

Ok, lets go..

"The number of elements in a Deamons name depends on the number associated with the Chaos God it serves.."

Its not quite RAW but lets say a D6

 [1d6] Roll: [1] Result: 1

It has one element to its name..

 [1d6] Roll: [6] Result: 6

 [1d10] Roll: [7] Result: 7

So the demons TRUE NAME is..... EE

But it will also have a 'Use-Name'

First part..

[1d10] Roll: [4] Result: 4

[1d20] Roll: [2] Result: 2

'CARNAL' is the first part

Second part..

[1d10] Roll: [7] Result: 7

[1d20] Roll: [16] Result: 16

'PIERCE' is the second part

So, I serve the demon 'Carnalpierce' who's True Name (speak it not) is 'EE'

He beeth a great trogolodyte with wings, horns and a tail and one face be that of an Eagle for he sees all, and the other that of a Spider'

Yet he have a second more wrathful form, that of a great horned Bat, Huge as a dragon, which castes all about with only a thought.

'Carnalpierce' is a composite demonic entity founded upon one or more highly focused souls, and serves Chaos Undivided!

"Roll D6+3 times on the 'Demonic Trappings' table below..."


[1d6+3] Roll: [1] Result: 4

[4 1d6] Rolls:
[3] Result: 3
[4] Result: 4
[2] Result: 2
[4] Result: 4


He is MIGHTY in STRENGTH, making his Stats now

Move 4, WS 3, BS 3, S 10, T 6, W 4, I 2, A 2, Ld 9, Int 4, Cl 9,  WP 9

And he wields a might CHAOS WEAPON

His weapon is....

[1d100] Roll: [38] Result: 38

a LONG BONE (eg femur)

A fitting weapon for the Dweller in Stone

I think thats it for the patron?

The Gifts of Chaos

The Champion recieves the 'Mark of Chaos' from his Patron.


The Mark of Chaos Undivided...

"If the new Champion chooses to worship Chaos in its undivided glory rather etc etc.. he receives a Random Reward from the Chaos Rewards Table, he also receives a random Chaos Attribute.

Ok, the random Reward..

[1d100] Roll: [34] Result: 34

ok thats just a random attribute, so thats two attributes then..

[3 1d10] Rolls:
[4] Result: 4
[5] Result: 5
[10] Result: 10

450 is.... GROWTH!  D3+1 times original size!

[1d3+1] Roll: [1] Result: 2

TWICE THE SIZE OF A MAN, his stats are now..

Move 5, Weapons Skill 3, Ballistic Skill 3, Strength 5, Toughness 4, Wounds 2, Initiative 2, Attacks 1, Leadership 7, Intelligence 6, Cool 7 Will Power 7

Plus one fear point

"Durrr, Carnalpierce make me big an strong durrr"


[3 1d10] Rolls:
[10] Result: 10
[7] Result: 7
[8] Result: 8

78! is... BESTIAL FACE

[1d20] Roll: [19] Result: 19

The face of a TIGER! Plus one Bite Attack, plus Night Vision! Plus an extra Fear Point!

Move 5, Weapons Skill 3, Ballistic Skill 3, Strength 5, Toughness 4, Wounds 2, Initiative 2, Attacks 2, Leadership 7, Intelligence 6, Cool 7 Will Power 7

Fear Points - 2

"Raww grrr ragghhh"

Now I roll on my RETINUE TABLE...

Someone has to kitbash this dude.

The Retinue of Tigerface

 [1d100] Roll: [71] Result: 71

2d4 Mercenary Band and Captain

"Mercenaries retain their soldierly organisation and bravado but are otherwise very much like warbands in their way of life. Sometimes they will join a Chaos Champion whose reputation suggests a promise of loot and mutual protection."

"Mercenaries can be represented by any of the troops types included in the Bretonian or Empire Armies or Human Mercinary or Ally contingents in Warhammer Armies. Alternately you may prefer to equip them as a standard type with a basic profile, light armour, shields, and either double-handed swords, spear or crossbows.

It is certainly more interesting to generate them as if they were part of a defeated army. refer to Warhammer Armies and choose the list you wish to use. Randomly determine an army list from amongst all the ranks and file troops available to the army. All troops come with the basic equipment listed in the box, and there is a 50% chance the entire unit will be equipped with up to D3 of the options listed.

The Band is lead by a mercinary captain who will be of the same nationality and type as the others - he has a randomly determined profile...."

[1d100] Roll: [34] Result: 34

Captain is a 5 Hero - Move 4, WS 4, BS 4, S 4, T3, W 1, I 4, A 2, Ld 7, Cl 7, WP 7

[2d4] Roll: [2, 2] Result: 4

He leads a band of four men!

I don't think I have even a PDF of Warhammer Armies, if anyone does let me know

Yes, I have that one
I have pdf
54 mb
Let me upload it to GDrive

I feel like we are using it in the spirit intended.

So I was picturing a Troglodyte like the D&D monster but they're presented a little differently here
sort of proto-kroxigor?

So, shall we go with Brettonian or Empire army?

Well, we can let the die decide. 1 for Empire, 2 for Brettonia.

[1d2] Roll: [2] Result: 2

A defeated Brettonian army!

are Bretonnians in this era of Warhammer already Francophone Round-Table knights?

Pretty much

It looks like even more so. 

The rank and file troops choices are;

Villains, Ribalds, Arbalstiers, Rapscallions, Brigands and Rascals

Those are the actual troops choices names


So if we go
1. Villains, 
2. Ribalds, 
3. Arbalstiers, 
4. Rapscallions, 
5. Brigands and 
6. Rascals

[4 1d6] Rolls:
[2] Result: 2
[2] Result: 2
[5] Result: 5
[2] Result: 2

Three Ribalds and a Brigand

three "2"?
This is rather nice
(I initially mis-saw the roll as it it was 4 "2" hence the reaction) 

ah nice, you roll for each individually?

Its says "Randomly determine an amry list from amongst all the ranks and file troops available to the army." so I improvised

Bretonnians of this edition are more frog and snail focused than they would be later

These are 'Ribalds'

This is not what dictionary told me but makes more sense


"All troops come with the basic equipment listed in the box, and there is a 50% chance the entire unit will be equipped with up to D3 of the options listed." what?

Ok a 50% chance for the Ribalds!

1 is yes, 2 is no

[1d2] Roll: [2] Result: 2


I.e. Brigant might have a two-handed sword, I think

And for the Brigand!
[1d2] Roll: [2] Result: 2



So they just have crappy weapons and armour
makes sense if they have been defeated.

(Hope you don't mind me taking a look at the book @K damn, the book is fucking charming

The link is free for all
I'll take it down in a few days but if people wish the pdf the pdf is here to download 

So according to this book a Level 5 Brettonian Hero is a 'Baron'

Robber baron?
Or is it a Captain?

pjamesstuart ;
I will roll randomly to see what kind of unit he might have belonged to
1. Chevalier D'Honnour
2. Chevalier De Notre Dame de Battale
3. Noblesse d Epee
4. Chevallier Rampants

 [1d4] Roll: [4] Result: 4

Rampants...ram-pants? 🐏 + 👖 


Did he keep his barding and shield? 1 is yes, 2 is no

[1d2] Roll: [1] Result: 1

Yes! Mon Baronne!

So this was a Brettonian army that was badly beaten. This young Baron managed to escape with a handful of men.

If we take the original stat line as a guide, my Chaos Champion was just a Ribald to begin with, before he made a deal with 'Carnalpierce, the Dweller in Stone'. Now he 'leads' (he's a pretty dumb giant tiger-faced man) this doomed group of mercenaries, their honour long forgotten!

There are some 'Narrative Tables', the most omni-applicable looks to be the 'locations' table, lets see what we get..

[1d100] Roll: [22] Result: 22

"The wastelands of the north are full of ruins. Most were prosperous cities before the incursions of Chaos swept them away.Many of those desolate places shelter hidden treasures buried by their destruction. Most house more recent inhabitants in the form of warbands, rampaging bands of Beastment and other unwelcome creatures."

A bit boring but ok. Looks like we delved too greedily and too deep and I was confronted by 'Carnalpierce' in the caves of a ruined city in the northern wastes, and made a deal with Chaos.

Holed up in wastelands after going for Chaos after the defeat and looking for some chaos artifact for their patron?

All to save mon beloved Baronne..

I went here for a name for Mon Baronne

And got 'Gornemant de Grescfort'

Another random generator gives me;

The Champion of Carnalpierce - Tristian le Tigre!

His Mortal Lord  - Sir Gornemant de Grescfort

Three Ribalds - Huchon Pie, Talbot Marcel, Guibert de Bonpre

And the Brigand  Evrard du Mesnil

We stand ready to battle for Chaos! (and gold)

Its more poetic if he got warped there out of pure feudal loyalty, despereately trying to preserve the life of his lord!

So that was fun

Curious that most of the other characters were more interesting than the main chaos champion but still fun to do

Evrard, you brigand! Were you somehow behind all this?

Thursday 13 April 2023

The End & The Death - BINGO!

Whats my score?

Before the publication of ‘The End and the Death (Part One)’, I came up with a BINGO CARD; would I, a man who has read or audibled nearly the entire Horus Heresy series, be able to predict the end?

Only Part One is out so far, lets see how I am doing…..



Erda: she’s back baby! Back from the VASE. 

Erda! The Emperors sort-of GF and mother of the Primarchs  (not Amar Astarte, a different one). She had enough of Neoth and his spooky ways and, after playing some part in the triggering of the Scattering of the Primarchs, went off to live in the desert and be a super-witch. 

Dan Abnett invented her out of whole cloth, and at the last minute, I think in Saturnine? Then I think Chris Wraight packed her away neatly in ‘Warhawk’ (I think?). I had assumed she was just too similar in concept to Amar Astarte, the Selinar Gene Witches and a few other factions. 

Last seen – beat up by a bunch of chaos demons and her remaining anima… in a vase? 

I had assumed that since Abnett had invented her she would magically pop back up in the final book. I was wrong! So far… One of the few Abnettverse characters who doesn’t get a look in, I retain high hopes for her rebirth in the last volume FOR SOME REASON. 



The magical Enochian word-of-god super-sorcery language Abnett invented in the middle of the Heresy, and gave as part of the backstory to Oll Persson and the Emperor while at the same time integrating it into his latest Eisenhorn books set 10,000 years later. 

YES! Of course we have to have more Enuncia. Or at least its mentioned. John Grammaticus still has a magic word he can say once which will do something super-magical though he doesn’t know what. 

It’s a free get-out-of-plot tool and I fully expect John to say his magic word in the next book. 

Place your bets for what the last word of the super-magic language to be spoken will be in the  comments below! 


GASP! Something-someones-on-the-golden-throne! 

So there are a bunch of 40k conspiracy theories about who ends up on the Golden Throne and how. Some say the Emperor dies and Horus ends up on it, others Malcador or whatever. 

Its book one so too early to see but at this state I highly doubt any jiggery-pokery will take place. Abnett seems committed to producing a relatively orthodox interpretation of events with sketching round the edges but no massive twists. 

I will call this now – The Emperor ends up on the Golden Throne. 


He Wrote Three Fucking Books 


O My God He Wrote Four Fucking Books! 

Failed so far and I would judge unlikely to be fulfilled. 


The Book we do get is not only physically gigantic but Voluminous as hell. A huge, rambling, staggering baroque Titan of a thing, stumbling towards its end. 

Will the next book be any shorter? Mmmmmmaybe. It will certainly have all the actual events in it. For reference, the last scene of the previous book; Echoes of Eternity has the Vengeful Spirit lowering its shields. It takes until the last third of this one for the Imperials to actually go up there. 


Euprati Keeler; LETS BURN! 

Not only wrong but so ridiculously wrong its nearly laughable. Keeler, so long as Abnett was writing her, was a classic Abnetty likeable Paragon. In ‘Warhawk’ Wraight takes her on a hard right turn into proto-Torquemada, she is found wandering around with skulls, carefully planning mass suicide assaults on enemy Astartes where her flock will clog the enemies chainsword with their own flesh, simping for Sigismund in his super-sayan puritan mode and talking about how aces the power of pure hatred is. 

I half-expected this to carry on in ‘TEatD’. 

It does not at all. Abnett pretty much ignores the Keeler of ‘Warhawk’ and just rotates Keeler back to being the paragon saint of a pretty-reasonable-actually Imperial Cult; 

“What I’m saying is that hope contains the future, and it’s the one thing we have. More potent than a cartload of shells.’ 

‘Is this where you tell me the Emperor has a plan? 


‘Alright then. I think He does have a plan, and its contingent on us believing in it. Our hope in it, our faith in it, makes it happen. We are the plan and the plan is us. The Emperor doesn’t have a plan that, if we perish, will still come to fruition. The plan is us. 


Basilio Fo! Remember me? Supervillain guy? Kill-All-Astartes-Guy? Remember? 

Well if we didn’t before we will now! 

Basilio Fo turned up in an Abnett short story ages ago; a former Age-of-Strife Warlord/Evil Scientist, a Mega-Bile if you will, who was driven off Terra by the Emperors rise. A super-evil (?) plot-armoured ‘genius’, he has a plan to make a super-weapon to kill all the Astartes, good and bad. How? Who fucking knows. He turned up in Saturnine and was involved in various shenanigans, now he is back for a sub-plot of his very own where the Custodes and Malcadors-chosen are fighting over him and his last-option super-plot. 

His sections are a little silly. He outwits custodies by being arch and mysterious. He will for sure be back to do something in the final book! Although since that something clearly isn’t setting off his anti-astartes super weapon fuck knows what it will be.





jJHonN GramATTIcuS 

A character that absolutely no-one but Dan Abnett likes, but he’s the one writing this book so FUCK ALL YA’LL, it’s John Grammaticus Adventure Time baby! 

Strangely, one of the only pseudo-American accented characters in all of the Audiobook-universe of 40k, John is some dingus who was made immoral by creepy aliens in return for turning on his own species. The aliens had a plan to make sure Horus won, thinking he would ‘burn out’ chaos in a grand madness that would end with humanity extinct and the galaxy at peace. In pursuit of this, old John ran around doing secret agent stuff. 

He helped turn the Alpha Legion to the xenos’ cause, tried to off himself, changed sides (?), met Erebus, met Eldrad Ulthuan, nearly killed Vulkan but healed him instead? Got magic scissors(?). Just did a bunch of random ping-pong shit, generally without a stable plan and while complaining about himself, ended up joining up with Oll Persson with some kind of, again very vague, plan to somehow something-something the Emperor. Oh along the way he got a fragment of Enuncia. 

I am pretty sure Abnett thinks this guy is a sexy enigma wrapped in a tantalising interior moral conflict where as he is just the avatar of the least interesting aspects of Abnetts writing style. The whole get-Oll-into-the-Palace plan is riddled with last-minute janky plot bullshit, ultimately Grammaticus has an “I know this guy from work” moment where he meets with Vulkan again in the Throne Room and Vulkans like I know you, you stabbed me with that thingy that time back in book twenty or something. 

Probably this tiresome fuck will play some kind of major role in the final (?) book and speak his magic word somehow.  



So.. Oll Persson, have I explained this yet? I will try to be quick. 

Oll Persson (“All Person/Everyman”) is a Perpetual Abnett invented in ‘Know No Fear’. He has been alive maybe longer than the Emperor but instead of becoming a super-psychic magic man or Dr Who or something he has just lead life as a near normal guy.  He is allegedly ‘Catheric’ and has a crucifix (which gets stranger when Abnett infers that the Emperor might have been Jesus at one point; 

“He has appeared as male or female or neither, as child or elder, peasant or king, magician or fool. He as been an entire cartomantic arcana, for the Master of Mankind if also a master of disguise. He has performed all of these roles ell, with delicacy. He has been humble when humility was needed, gentle when softness was the best device, sly, amiable, reassuring, commanding, caring. He was been terrible when terror was the only recourse, and sometimes meek in order to inherit the Earth.” [Italics mine].


Oll was the Emperors original ‘Warhampster’ and helped him destroy the Tower of Babel (I know, it gets worse), before literally stabbing him in the back. After the fall of Calth he picks up a magic knife and an assortment of symbolic/representative followers and has been traipsing about the Galaxy planning to reach the Emperor in order to do…. Something? Honestly for the sheer amount of blood and treasure expended in it, Olls plan is pretty fucking vague

One of his followers is ‘Graft’ a farm servitor who seems to be getting a bit more sentient after exposure to a galaxies worth of madness, and its Graft who calls him ‘TROOP-PER-PER-SON’. And yes Graft is in this, though doesn’t do much! Maybe he/they will do something in the next one. 



Ok so the Emperor canonically fights Hitler on the Vengeful Spirit. (It hasn’t happened yet). 

Arguably he does. In the 2nd Edition Chaos Codex DoomBreed is mentioned as a Demon prince who was a warlord of old earth and became a chosen of Khorne and there are vague suggestions he may have been Hitler.


But Ok, even if he isn’t Hitler, he’s still a warlord of old Earth which means the Emperor almost certainly knew of him, and we know Doom Breed-related demons are on Terra during the siege as Horus names them.


SO, if the Emperor doesn’t meet Doom-Breed and at least say something like; “Ah, we meet again.. Ghengis Khan” or some shit like that, I will be well pissed off. 

But it hasn’t happened yet.  


Dream-War in the Warp 

Not that much in this book really

In ‘Saturnine’ Malcador goes and visits the Emperor in some dream-scape where he is facing off against the Chaos Gods and Horus, much of all the Siege books has the Emperors ‘psychic shield’ slowly decaying and falling apart and in tE&tD the chaos powers are basically melting space and time in and around the palace, making it even more of a dreamscape (and very convenient for moving people around for various scenes). Plus the Vengeful Spirit is itself now basically a portal to the Realms of Chaos. But there is no explicit Dream-War scene. 



Dark Angels Turn It Off And On Again 

The Astronomican! The Dark Angels are up inside it and are trying to activate it! A bunch of Plague Guys are trying to stop them! There are various plots and business going on! They have not yet turned it on and its looking like in this one instance Abnett may subvert our expectations by setting up some kind of psychic beacon in the palace itself. 


Someone makes a pointed comment about history, memory and truth, translation; SHUT UP NERDS. 

Ok, not quite. There is no ‘shut up nerds’ but as we know, every late-period Heresy book must include a digression on history and memory so the writer can be sure we know they have a degree.


“…. ‘I meant… what’s the point of a poem? And when does a poem stop being just words and become something else? When do words gain power? Under what circumstances?’ 


‘You know what I mean. The reason we’re here.’ 

He does know what she means, and yet he still can’t answer. If any abreactive magik lurks in the Hall of Leng, he has no idea how they will find it, or recognise it if they do find it. Where does verse, or prose, or memoir stop, and ritual begin? Can things be both at once? Are there incantations of control stashed here in this great collection, under lock and key, or merely the indulgent scribblings of the ages, the fancy of idle men in easier eras, who set out to do no more than praise a lover, or articulate some feeling, or describe a flower or, perhaps, merely rhyme for the sake of rhyme? The arts, whatever they might be, have come to play an increasingly insignificant role in Imperial life, eroded by Strife and Old Night, until they are vestigial memories, non-functioning organs dwarfed by rational science and secular industry. He recognises, belatedly, his own lack of knowledge. Did the arts ever have a purpose, at any time in history, or have they always been decorative? Does some art have true function and capacity and other art not? How does he, with a mind raised in the schools of the modern Imperium, even tell?” 


Flashback-to-history-as-recalled-in-the-21st-Centry (and no other time. Remember the Age of Terra? No, us neither.) 

As we all know, when someone in 30k or 40k quotes something from the history of man (at least 30 millennia, in which we are in the 3rd), its always something from ‘our’ history 

I may not be able to score a  complete victory but I think I can score a strong victory. 

“Day will not save them, and we own the night.”

Horus Lupercal wait, no, Amiri Baraka ??

 Opening verses by Charlotte Mew, the Emerald Tablet and Corinthians HE HAS FOUROPENING QUOTES PEOPLE! 

In the above mentioned ‘Library’ chapter we have quotes from Milton, Tennyson & Shelly! 


Fuck It, Oll & Neoth were in WWII Together 

Sadly not a score. I can live in hope though. 


Of all this Bullshit, only I Kyrill Sindermann survived to tell the tale, and die in a kind of crappy book much later, hey, I’ll take it!

 Yes Kyrill is in this, its him crawling through the library. Too late to say if only he survives but if the last book is as much of a ‘Greatest Hits’ story as this one, can we expect Kyril to face off with poor old Samus again? 


Sangy Dies in Some Bullshit Way 

He ain’t dead yet! And looking at how things are going I expect his death to be classic rather than subverting expectations. Abnett loves a paragon and Sangy is the paragon of paragons. I am hoping for Horus to be like “I could break his spine, but I could not break.. his spirit” and for Sangy to get like four noble death speeches.





“It was all part of my plan” 

Pretty much, see ‘Horus Cries’ below.


Hows-Malcador-Doing-Cutaways. OUCH! 

Ouch indeed! Not just cutaways but he is the semi-omniscient first-person narrator of much of the book! 

Its a neat conceit. Malcador is less insanely godlike that the Emperor so he can talk to the audience almost like a normal person. He spends a few chapter giving us a lowdown on how things are going. Once he is on the Golden Throne, as well as being slowly incinerated, he gets quasi Dr Manhattan powers and can perceive the flow of fate or whatever but can’t actually communicate with anyone in-world, but he can see all the tricks and schemes of the siege, talk to us and do spooky straaands-ov-faate ‘nudges’ to try to stop the unfolding disaster, which links him to almost everyone’s overplot. 


I, Robute Guilliman, am also in this book! (And more than you might have expected!

 Failed! He’s barely in it! Maybe he will be in the next one?


NPC arrives, gives chapter-length “explanation” for another writers previous fuckups, disappears 

Amazingly for a Siege of Terra book, this does not happen at all! (I think.) (But it may in the next one, see below). 


The Above Happens More than Once 

I don’t think it even happened once. Pain. 


Rogal Dorn; “The Emperors Dream is Dead (again, but more this time), also, I am Goth now 

Nnnnearly. I was so close, all I needed was a classic ‘The Emperors Dream is Dead’ from RG, but I don’t think I even got one. He does go a bit dark and edgy towards the end where he is trapped in the chaos realm for relative centuries. 


Oh Fuck the Blood Angels have gone Mental! Fucking ruuuuuuuun! 

Hasn’t happened yet but I hold out hope for the next book. 


Ha ha! Its me; Abaddon, I’m ba… of fuck its Sigismund! Run! 

Abaddon is briefly in this, he has a classic traitor siege scene of ‘This is no longer a war of legions boo hoo’, and decides to go back to the Vengeful Spirit. That’s all we get and I think Sigismund is still on the surface? So we may not get that meetup. 




Surprise Intervention by … Oan Mkoll! He fell through time! (And is also a perpetual) 

It was low odds but I almost feel I got this one in spirit. tE&tD is so… Abnetty, I almost wouldn’t put it past him to just go ‘fuck it’ and somehow link it into his 40k work. At least so far as his heresy books have gone, he has brought back… well, everyone, every character he ever invented, every plotline, every bit of fluffy nonsense, every good idea and every bad idea. Its like he never left. More and more it seems to me there isn’t one Heresy series but several, with each writer essentially following their own themes and tendencies and pet characters, and favourite character portrayals even when it doesn’t quite work. 


That Sniper Who Went Mad On The Vengeful Spirit, remember him? Well he’s back, and he snipes someone! 

Sadly completely forgotten, though he may still be on the ‘Spirit’ and the majority of this massive book was spent just getting the main cast there so I have some hope for book two. What if he snipes Doombreed! I will probably shit myself in pleasure. 


Dogent Krank (who?) You Did a Thing! 

One of Olls not very interesting companions, I think in this he does actually do something though I can’t remember what. 


I Herbert Zyes (who?) am the key to this mystery! 

Who indeed. Another of team-all-person. He is in this. He says some things? I don’t think he is the key to any mysteries. 


The Final Paragraph will be broken down into individual sentences, each sold separately. 

No signs of this so far, unless you could the sheer gargantuan SPREAD of the book itself. I feel like there is half a chance that GW will try something at the end though. Come on geedubs! There is always more cash you can squeeze from a property! 


The final sentence will be broken into letters and punctuation marks, each sold through a gachapon ‘lucky dip’ system, can YOU collect them ALL? 

Could still happen. 





CORAX! turns up through the webway and helps out Vulkan! SURPRISE MOTHERFUCKERS! (they never meet again) 

This might still happen and I am holding out hope! I will have a cry if it happens! 



Russ is useless 

Of course Russ is always useless and is so again here. He is dying on some moon or something.



Actaea; "Yes I was CYRENE VALANTION all this time! 

She was! (Or at least says she was). The mysterious blind sorcerer lady who just turned up and who seemed a lot like the sexy blind prophetess who hung out with the Word Bearers was in fact that lady, or at least says she is. 

One of Olls ablative-plot-armour-companions, she it traipsing along with them with some vague but mysterious purpose in mind. Will she turn out to be evil? (It’s the Abnettverse so probably yes.) 



Actaea; "Yes I was NOT CYRENE VALANTION all this time! Surprise motherfuckers! 

Ok, this doesn’t happen this book, HOWEVER, its not completely impossible that it will happen. 


Xtra points if both of the above 

We will see…… 


Yes I, KATT, random psychic farm girl, actually become MORIANA! (you thought it would be Actea but she was actually.. [randombullshit random bullshit]" 

SO – Moriana is a mysterious seer in later 40k, she is meant to be one of the original members of the Inquisition who has “seen too much” and turned traitor and gone to hang out with Abaddon. It is not clear what she is up to, if she is really a traitor or a double or triple agent or what. 

Probably someone will turn out to be Moriana, but whom

Katt is another of Team-Oll. A random farm girl who has been “seeing too much” in the horrible spaces between realities and whose psychic powers have slowly been growing from exposure to the warp and general awfulness. 

Will this turn out to be the blind seer Moriana, Katt or someone else? 


Someone turns out to be Promeus! 

Promeus is another of the ‘original’ Inquisition. No idea who this is going to be. 


Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn closes the book, "And that was the (fictionalised) history of the Horus Heresy somehow, a fascinating text" .. then he WAKES UP - even him reading the book was a DREAM! 

It could still happen! 


Dream-Sequence where Abnett seems genuinely baked on epilepsy meds but the editors were all too scared to admit they didn't understand it. 

Sadly nothing quite like this yet. 


It’s me! Limited Edition Space Marine 2!  did a thing! AND I was part of a gigantic overplot which sounds like a just made it up let me explain very quickly 

Erda had a pet space marine she called ‘LE2’, probably a reference to a very early GW sculpt. LE2 has joined team-Oll and will presumably do something interesting at some point. Hopefully. 


It’s me! The Fucking Emperor First Person chapter baby! I finally get to do something and I am going to look COOL AS SHIT doing it!  I FIGHT HITLER IN THIS! 

He does NOT get a 1st person chapter, or fight Hitler (YET), but we do get to hear more of him speaking (near) frankly with Sanguinius et-al and we get to see him actually DO STUFF so that’s nice. Hopefully he will do ever more stuff in the next one. He should try to pack in the events as he doesn’t have much time. 


Yes I, Amar Astarte have returned! To do a thing! Probably ether destroy the Astartes or save them from Basilio Fo offscreen. 

She has not turned back up and there is no sign of her so far. She’s not an Abnettverse character so I would be surprised if she does turn up. 


The final, final FINAL book is actually a series of sub-articles which will be sold separately through Games Workshops 

Ok I overplayed the joke but would you really be THAT surprised if they actually did this? 


Horus Cries! (Burning Tears) 


I have spoken a lot in my Corposant series about the ‘black boxing’ of both Horus and the Emperor so we get to see very little of the actual drives and personalities who are at the centre of this super-mega-war. The Emperor is a multi-minded trans-reality warp-beast and Horus is increasingly shut down, visibly insane, deluded and broken. 

Here we get to see Horus actually DO STUFF. He is fucking nuts! Great. 

Ever since ‘Horus Rising, Horus has increasingly been isolated, insane, erratic, and as I said, hollowed out. In tE&tD Horus is clearly fugueing and has space altzheimers and is barely holding any sense of reality together. 

It looks like what Abnett is going for is that Horus is SUPER SANE ACTUALLY, or at least, that the real (?) Horus was deliberately hiding his true core and now super-demonic personality behind a series of masks set up to be just competent enough to get him here, and to persuade the Emperor that he was actually as broken and empty as he looked. Then, when the Emperor commits to his final attack, these para-personalities fall away and are forgotten and Horus comes out as a cackling super-badass. Will Horus become the ‘Dark King’ who has been prophesied for, well just for this book as Abnett just made him up, or will fighting him be the catalyst to turn the Emperor into the ‘Dark King’ the 5TH CHAOS GOD BABY! 

The ultimate ‘WELL, ACTUALLY’ of a mega-series already well-stocked with ‘Well Actually’. Forget Chris Wraight explaining that Mortarion isn’t dumb, just badly written, or ADB explaining that actually the Emperor said something completely different to Magnus, it turns out that well, actually, all the bits of the series where Horus was written as a puppet of chaos were ALL PART OF HIS PLAN! SEE ABOVE! 


"Its me, SAMUS! Samus is.. scared.. look, just please stop hurting me, please..." 

Poor innocent Samus. The first demon encountered by the Imperial forces in ‘Horus Rising’, ever since then he has been wheeled out by every writer imaginable as a secondary rent-a-villain who always ends up getting beaten and banished by the hero of the book. 

After a while we start to feel sorry for the poor chump. 

Well, Samus is back and he gets an whole opening narration chapter! It seems he was just keeping it loose or whatever for reasons or something, and in fact has a DEEP SCHEME which supersedes the whole Heresy and which he just didn’t mention until now. 

It looks like he has some kind of deal where he wants to end reality or something and is looking for a figure to help him with that. Could this be his big chance to finally end all reality? 

Abnett doing a polish on even poor old Samus is pretty emblematic of the book as a whole. Our boy Dan knows who he came in with, and he is leaving with exactly those people and those FUCKING THEMES THANK YOU. 



Join me and a couple (million?) other people for the LAST FUCKING BOOK at some point in the future!