Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Butcher's Nails Artwork

A friend of mine commented a while ago about how much he was enjoying the Dawn of War series, specifically the second game. He had no experience at all of the 40k universe (aside from half heard conversations between myself and other 40k playing friends which left him feeling isolated and afraid) and so the imagery and experience of that game was his sole source of information regarding that game universe.

And his comment about the main character, made as he charged him into combat amongst a horde of orks? "Yeah, he is a hard ass, but why does he look like someone from a Hair Conditioner advert? He's called Gabriel Angelos so I guess he's some kind of future Italian?"
It made me laugh, but also roll me eyes at the folly of Relic's character design regarding a Space Marine. My friend was correct in a way - without any other knowledge of a Space Marine, of their background, their physiology or their lifestyle, I could quite imagine Angelos cracking a cheeky smile and winking, "Because I'm worth it" as he pirouettes into a group of orks and starts imitating Kenneth Williams with a fly-swatter and running like Russell Brand.

I will have to show my friend this picture:

Relic, this is how a Space Marine should look. No neat brush-across, blended into a number 3 across the back and side and chiselled good looks. You take a Rugby forward (or a linebacker for our American friends), you add a hundred pounds of slabbed muscle. You then give him plastic surgery, carried out by Dr. Nick from the Simpsons, and you subject him to a hundred years of physical training and hardship that makes the Iron Man contest look like a Sunday gala event for toddlers. Add a few weapon impacts, and scars, fighting the worst the galaxy can throw at them in the most inhospitable environments, then finally apply the flat of a spade to the face for good measure. After that, you might be approaching something of what a Space Marine looks like.

So thanks to Neil Roberts for this wonderful piece of artwork of Angron. Not only is it frightening in its intensity and aggression but I think it perfectly captures the Primarch of the 12th Legion.
Finally, here is a quote from a friend of mine on Facebook regarding the picture:

"Do we do him leading a charge in battle?"
"How about gazing out of a starship window into space?"
"Why not try giving him a new look?"

Monday, 1 August 2011

Black Library World Eaters Audio Book

The Black Library have just announced an exciting addition to their Pre-Heresy line up - A new short story, written by none other than Aaron Dembski-Bowden!

The posting is up on the Black Library website, here, and has been confirmed as an Audio book by the writer himself on the B&C forum (backing up the price point of £10). The date is currently set at June next year.

Mr. ADB is regarded by many as the hot-property of the Black Library at the moment, and I'm sure anyone who has read his books will agree that he is one of the best writers with the publishers in terms of bestowing depth and personality to his characters. Certainly, he transformed the Word Bearers from their previous position as comic book-esque evil guys to victims of tragic circumstance in The First Heretic, and I'm sure many fans of the World Eaters will hope he treats the 12th Legion with the same attention to detail!

When Aaron revealed on his blog some time ago that he wanted to write about the World Eaters I sincerely hoped the legion would get their own full length novel. However, beggar's can't be choosers as they say, and hopefully this Audio book will be a prelude to more background information on a traitor Legion that has been largely overlooked in the Heresy series so far.

More information as it comes!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

World Eaters Short Story Series Pt. 8

Hi again, this time the final instalment in the short story series. This one features the War Hounds fighting alongside the Blood Angels, in another 'co-op' based story. It's interesting that the World Eaters predecessors, the War Hounds, seem to have quite a lot of interest from the fan community. I wonder if anyone has any ideas in terms of colour scheme or iconography? Or else even has an army that they have been working on? If you do, please leave a comment and I'll write a feature on them in some point in the future. Until then..

Of Hounds and Angels

By Matthew Roy

THE BLOOD ANGEL drank deeply as his fangs tore into the rebel’s throat. He hefted the ruined corpse and flung it down the slope, pressing onward with his warriors. They had holstered their bolters, preferring to advance against the dying enemy with their blades drawn…

HALF A KILOMETRE away at the base of the escarpment, Captain Sorik raced ahead of his World Eaters company brethren. The last of the rebels were dying upon his battle-brothers’ chainblades, and Sorik wanted to make sure that his sword drank deep of their heathen blood before the battle was done.
A clumsy and desperate man charged at him, blade drawn, and Sorik turned the awkward lunge aside with his chainsword. He brought his weapon around, aiming not at his enemy’s weapon, but at his gauntleted hands. His weapon shrieked as it tore through the ornamental hand guard and chewed the rebel’s fingers to shreds. The warrior let out a muffled cry, dropping his weapon. Another slash, and Sorik took the man’s head from his shoulders.
He felt his berserk rage cooling. He could smell rich blood through his helmet’s open respirator grille. He paused; no, it wasn’t through his respirator. He brought his hand to his face, realising that his helmet was missing. He frowned. He couldn’t remember taking it off. He turned around, backtracking through the scene of slaughter behind him as his warriors busied themselves with sawing heads from bodies and tying them to their belts. Sorik found his helmet some fifty metres back, half buried in a tangle of bloody limbs that had once been a man. Apparently he had used the helmet to beat the rebel to death.
He couldn’t remember doing it. He frowned again. He was losing time more and more often during battles.
On the slope above, he watched a company of red-armoured Astartes as they tore through the last of the defenders, dismembering the enemy soldiers at close quarters in a stunning display of violence.
‘Brother-Captain Cretac, of our cousins in the IX Legion,’ said Fanin, the company’s standard-bearer. Sorik turned to his subordinate. Fanin had also removed his helmet, and thick blood covered his face. It took Sorik a moment to realize the warrior had smeared most of it on himself. Fanin nodded back up toward the warriors on the slope. ‘They call his company the “Flesh Tearers”, sir.’
Sorik nodded in grim amusement at what the Blood Angels were capable of when they allowed the facades of culture and civilisation to fall away from them.
The vox-link in his helmet chirped as he put it back on. ‘All company commanders, this is the Eighth Captain. We will bring our fury against the heretic stronghold. The Tenth and Thirty-third companies will have the honour of leading the jump-assault, supported by the Blood Angels.’ This order came from Kharn, the primarch’s equerry. Sorik’s warriors bowed their heads reverently as the Eighth Captain spoke.
Of course they all wanted to be like Kharn.
One of the company’s Rhinos trundled up from the rear lines, and the Techmarines unloaded jump packs from the cargo frames inside. Sorik studied them as they worked. Early in his training with the legion, he had been earmarked to join the ranks of the armourium for his intelligence and aptitude. His leadership and combat prowess had been recognised however, and over time he had risen to command the 33rd Assault Company instead.

He glanced back up the slope. He had been forced to work with the Blood Angels during this mission. Their haughtiness grated on him, and he found their hypocrisy troubling; they fought with just as much savagery as the World Eaters, and yet the Blood Angels were beloved – even romanticized? – by the Imperium, while his own legion were reviled as barbarians.
Iterator Igram Severn had said the rebels on this planet would face the unbridled fury of the IX and XII Legions, and that both were known for their savagery in close combat. Sorik and the other World Eaters liked Severn; while he wasn’t Astartes, he was a veteran of the Imperial Army, his body more augmetic than true-flesh. Few iterators and remembrancers were assigned to the XII Legion’s fleets. They had a bad habit of disappearing, and the legion’s senior leadership had always remained quiet on the matter.
Up ahead, a war party came into view – a Blood Angels honour guard and a pack of World Eaters shadowed two massive figures. Sorik had seen six primarchs in his life, but was still awed by their presence. He had heard it said that each of the primarchs echoed an aspect of their father’s greatness. If that was the case, then Sanguinius and Angron were most likely the opposing aspects of His combat prowess. The former was a gilded poet in warrior’s garb; the latter was a true manifestation of fury, terrible and absolute.
Word was that Angron would be entering the city behind the advance guard. Oh, what grand violence he would doubtlessly unleash upon these rebels.

JUMP PACKS ROARED as his company launched into the air. Las-bolts and solid slugs flew past the warriors and pattered off their armour plate. Sorik crunched down onto the city wall, his sword ending the lives of two of its guardians in a flash.
What makes the Angels better than the Hounds? What makes them so beloved, and us so hated? Exalted in their hypocrisy, their sense of the aesthetic, their role as warrior poets. He dodged a point-blank lasgun blast and smashed a man’s skull with a quick backhand.
Cretac and the Flesh Tearers had landed a hundred meters to Sorik’s right. He watched the Blood Angel assault troopers revel in their slaughter of the wall guardians. Here at least, were men who embraced what they truly were. Instruments of death. Killers of men.

They say this is a godless galaxy. That is the truth our iterators speak to the populations we conquer and assimilate. But what if there are gods watching us, as these heathens believe? Could there even be a god that smiles upon what we do?
Some mythical god of war, perhaps?
Some sort of brazen blood-god?

Saturday, 9 July 2011

World Eaters Short Story Series Pt. 7

This will be most likely the last in the short story series, unless a few other people I have written to get back in touch and give me permission to post on this site (for anyone reading this that's a big hint, it's a bit weird why anyone would say no! ^^). A little bit different to the other, predominantly Heresy-era shorts, this story focuses on the Legion in their guise as the 'War Hounds' during the earlier days of the Crusade, fighting alongside the White Scars (giving me an excuse to post this cool piece of bike-related art from the CCG game).

White Hot

By Michael Vincent (aka Vinnie)

THROUGH THE WHIRLING dust cloud that had filled the heavy atmosphere of the city, he watched the assault squad of the War Hounds legion descend on roaring columns of flame. Dropped from a Stormbird, the Astartes reinforcements came not before time. However confident of victory he happened to be, ten snarling chainaxes were always an appealing addition to one’s efforts.
Suddenly, a heavy armoured vehicle bearing the heraldry of the dissenting nation lumbered around the buttressed corner of the city wall. It had the snub nosed muzzle of its formidable looking main turret raised, and the crew clearly intended to eliminate the War Hounds before they made planetfall.
He smiled at the sight of this new target. It had been nearly forty seconds since he had teleported into the warzone and he had not yet engaged, mainly due to the lack of enemy units in the vicinity. He wasn’t sure whether to chastise his teleport operators for dropping him into a dead sector, or congratulate his Astartes warriors for making one.
But now it was time to get his hands dirty. Time to make his presence known.
Jaghatai, Great Khan and Primarch of the Vth Legion, cricked the tendons in his neck, flexed his immense gauntleted hands, and loped into a thundering charge. Even if what passed for auspex technology on the enemy vehicle detected his approach, there was no way any turret could traverse quickly enough to do anything about it.
‘For the Scars, and for the Emperor!’ the Khan bellowed in the flowing, affricative tongue of Chogoris. He drew his glittering qhatan blade, forged from the hardy ores of his homeworld, and threw himself shoulder first into the side of the vehicle.
It was not large by the standards of many battle tanks he had seen in his time at the Emperor’s side: perhaps thirty-five tons. It shifted with the impact. Not far, but far enough.
A blistering stream of tracer fire erupted from the barrel of its main weapon, hissing past the War Hounds squad at a distance of no more than a few inches. Yes, thought Khan, far enough.
A periscopic device appeared almost comically from the top hull of the tank. Jaghatai brought the palm of his hand down hard on top of it, and was rewarded with a muffled scream of agony from within. Grabbing the edges of the periscope cavity, the Primarch hauled himself on top of the vehicle and sprang towards what he knew was the commander’s hatch.
The vehicle began to move, jerking in and out of gear, attempting to dislodge their assailant. A mortal man might have been pitched from the hull, but not the Khan – a lifetime spent hunting game on the uneven peaks of the Khum Karta mountains; and riding first the powerful tahki warhorse and then later the Astartes assault bikes; all had given the Primarch reflexes that defied comprehension. Sometimes, to a mortal, they might even appear prescient.

Riding the juddering vehicle like he would a bolting horse, Jaghatai Khan grasped his blade with both hands and drove it hilt-deep down into the armour of the command hatch. Swinging his massive form, he wrenched the blade sideways into what he hoped would be the driver’s compartment.
Tortured metal screamed as it peeled into ribbons, booming as welds in the superstructure gave way. The vehicle stalled and trundled to a halt.
With a squeal and a clang, a trooper bearing a heavy energy pistol emerged from a hatchway behind Khan. The Primarch turned and was ready to dive from the path of the inevitable shot, but the trooper was cut down by bolter fire before he could level his weapon.
Khan peered around, and saw the War Hounds assault squad sprinting toward the tank, smoke rising from their pistols. He leapt down from the top of the tank.
‘My gratitude to you, War Hounds.’ He spoke in their common High Gothic, ‘I was very nearly injured.’
The squad’s sergeant stepped forward. ‘My Lord, it was our duty and our pleasure.’ Khan regretted that he did not know the warrior’s name.
There was another noise from the disabled tank. A terrified crewman pushed open a side hatch and was scrambling out on his hands and knees. One of the Astartes hopped forwards and slammed his power boot into the hatch, effectively crushing the man’s midsection in the jamb. With a twitch, the crewman vomited bloody tissue onto the ground and died.
Khan punched the locking mechanism of the hatch, the inhuman strength of his blow buckling the metal and effectively sealing the port. Cries and hammering erupted from within as at least two more crewmen panicked and scrabbled for escape.
The War Hounds sergeant cocked his helmeted head, as if listening. He was, but not to the doomed men.
‘My lord,’ he looked to Khan, ‘We have orders to assist in contesting a vital strongpoint to the west.’
‘Indeed,’ replied the Primarch. He nodded to the enemy tank. ‘Torch that before you go, would you?’
‘If you intend to head westwards, we will be honoured to accompany you,’ the sergeant said.
The Khan felt slightly uneasy. He still struggled to comprehend the reverence with which he was treated by Astartes of his brothers’ legions – to his own Scars he was a beloved commander and respected leader, not an object of veneration.
A clanking rumble from behind them drew his attention. It was another enemy tank approaching.
‘No,’ he said with a dark smile, ‘I think I shall be fine here.’
‘Yes, my Lord!’ With a nod of the head, the sergeant unclipped a melta bomb from his belt and clapped it to the side of the vehicle before leading his Astartes into the scorched sky with a roar of turbofans.
Jaghatai Khan stepped back, and with a bright flash the tank crumpled outwards, everything inside immolated. The sound was almost desultory, but the effect was inarguable.
He turned to face the thunder of the oncoming tank, and cricked his neck again.
For the Emperor, he thought, and grinned.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

World Eaters Short Story Series Pt. 6

The latest short story in the series. This one focuses on one of the most famous (or should I say infamous?) characters of the World Eaters. There hasn't been anything so far on the recruitment practices of the Legion, the worlds they used or their native culture, and it is definitely food for thought! So, take it away..

The Gift of the God

By Jamie Morris (AKA Lord_Caldera)

HE CAME SUDDENLY one night: an avatar of my god, though he knew it not. He came at the height of the Festival in a great iron bird which flew on streamers of fire with the noise of a thousand great beasts roaring as one. Huge clouds of smoke billowed from its stubby wings as it lit upon the ground just outside of the contest ring where my brother fought.
My clansmen gathered around its immense body with more curiosity than fear, many loosening weapons in their slings. My brother, drenched in gore and sweat, dispatched his last opponent quickly and clambered out of the ring to stand beside me.
I was proud of my brother. He was the finest warrior of my village, and I longed for the day when he would be proud of me too – the day that I would enter the ring against him, the day that I would take the head from his shoulders in the name of our god, the day that I would claim my rightful place as His Voice.

But that day was not this day. This day I was young and though I was stronger and faster than most of our clan’s finest warriors, I was not yet a man.
The iron bird opened its mouth without warning and breathed a haze of strange-smelling steam over the assembled men and boys. A dull yellowish light seeped out and glinted off the weapons my clansmen were now fingering nervously. When the fog cleared a solitary figure stood bathed in the light. It was impossibly huge for a man, and encased in some strange armour made of a pearly white material I had never seen before. All but the head; the head was that of a man, and was a mass of scars more twisted than those of the village elders. The deep-set eyes which surveyed the crowd were not those of a senile old man, however. They were cold and piercing – predator’s eyes – and I sensed that they unsettled even the hardiest of the men around me.
Except for my brother.
He pushed his way to the front of the silent crowd and took a welcoming stance, with his feet braced apart and his gleaming axe held before him in a challenge. ‘Identify yourself, stranger, in the name of the Lord of Blood!’ he cried out.

The giant’s steely eyes locked onto him and a smile ghosted around his lips. A low voice grated out his words. ‘Who is this “lord”? I am in haste and would speak with your highest ranking citizen.’
‘He is the God of Battle, and on this day I am His Voi-’ my brother began before his head exploded with a sharp bang. A full grin pushed its way onto the giant’s face as he watched my brother’s body slump to the ground. He replaced a smoking contraption of metal into a holder on his belt and stared at the blood pooling around my brother’s neck as he spoke to us forcefully.
‘No. Your god is nothing. I am here to give you the Truth. You are now servants of the Emperor of Mankind and will act as such. You will not worship. You will obey. And if any man wishes to challenge this, he will speak now.’
Rage built inside of me at my brother’s death and at the insolence of this man. No one spoke and I realized that my friends and family were weak. I wanted the power that was rightfully mine. I had been my brother’s better and I was this monster’s better. I would claim his armour and his weapons for myself.
‘You still have not identified yourself!’ I shouted. The crowd parted slowly to let me through to the front. I saw many frightened faces and my rage grew at their feebleness.

The giant considered me for a moment before stepping down from the open beak of his mount and meeting me over my brother’s body. This close I could see how truly massive his white and blue-clad form was, towering nearly twice my own height. There was amusement in the face as he replied, ‘I am Astartes of the 12th Legion. I am Captain Goran Perro of the 8th Assault Company of the World Eaters.’ He glanced up to address the rest of the assembled men and boys of my village. ‘I have travelled many leagues to find those worthy of joining me and my battle-brothers, but it seems I have come to this place for naught. I see nothing but dotards and women before me. I am disappointed to find no warriors.’
He turned and began to stride back towards the bird. I seethed at this final slight. Did he not see my potential? I swore to the God that I would see this giant dead, and my pitiful village with him. I bent and hefted my brother’s iron axe. It was the most finely crafted weapon I had ever seen, and had been passed down within my family for generations. I swiftly closed the distance to the giant and roared a battle cry – as he turned I swung the huge axe with all of my might.
The blade struck his breastplate and shattered upon the terrible armour. I had but a moment for surprise before he reacted, smacking my head almost casually with his fist and sending me sprawling to the ground.
A gravelly laughter filled my ears as I dragged myself to my feet.
I felt blood running down my face. It felt good.
The giant was still laughing as he slung me over his shoulder and walked back to his bird. I spat broken teeth at my former clan as blood dripped into my eyes and a red haze drifted over the world. ‘You are just the thing I was looking for,’ chuckled the giant. ‘What is your name, boy?’ As the enormous beak shut off the last sight of my family, I choked out the answer to his question:


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

World Eaters Short Story Series Pt. 5

The short story series will be drawing to a close shortly, as the number of short stories which I have yet to feature dry up. Here is one that was hidden away on a user's blog on The Great Crusade forum. For anyone who has read (or rather listened to) 'Garro: Legion of One' they will be familiar with the concept behind it. It's certainly well written, and worth taking the time to read.

Last of the Loyal

By Leon Carter

The grille of his helmet rasped heavily, each breath a knife thrust into his lungs. Blood dribbled in his mouth. He tried to move, but his broken body denied him. The bone shield protecting his chest cavity had been punctured, shards of it deeply rupturing his primary heart. His left knee was broken to splinters, while his shoulder dislocated.

Alarm signs flickering on the display of his left helmet visor, the one that remained intact, interrupted sporadically by surges of static, showed him that his power armour was in no better condition either. Life support was failing, leaving many of his wounds unclotted. Painful warmth washed over the many gashes and fissures torn into his ravaged and battered plate as his blood escaped through them unrestrained. His right pauldron had exploded to shreds, along with most of his upper arm, hit by a bolter round.

Garthe grunted in annoyance at his own momentary inability, another bolt of pain striking his lungs.

The stench of death around him was suffocating. He sank into the middle of a pile of cut down bodies, about two dozens, all clad in full plate of power armour, Astartes just like him, glued together by drying puddles of blood. Heads savagely cleaved in two, mutilated limbs scattered about, torsos mangled and disembowelled, flesh and ceramite ripped open by chainsword teeth. The battle had been fierce, leaving only a gory mess.

The contrast between Garthe's own cracked, dented, crudely maintained battlegear of white and dark blue and the elegant regale of the slain warriors, shimmering in violets and gold outlines couldn't be more evident.

A blood-soaked chainsword lay a few centimetres away from Garthe's crippled hand. His retribution given form, it was that very weapon that had cut a way through the ranks of the now fallen, slaughtering and butchering them.

His right eye exposed behind the shattered visor, Garthe cast his glance high up to the sky. The azure field spread through his vision sparkled with the clarity of refined crystal. Peaceful and tranquil, remembrancers called such sights, but he felt differently. Inside him, the static view only ignited rage. He refused to lie down, motionlessly and die here. He had a vengeance to deliver.

Dull thumps of footsteps found their way to his ears. All too familiar. The unmistakable, whining noise of power armour servos.

Garthe gritted his teeth as he made another attempt at forcing his arms to move and reach for his chainsword, but again, his body defied his will. The steps drew closer. If his enemies wanted to visit death upon him, there was no stopping them.

A face appeared above him. A face of an old man, an Astartes, whose presence had not been diminished by the long centuries he had undoubtedly witnessed. His scarred, stiffened features carried with them a streak of nobility, hard-learned wisdom glimmered in his eyes. For a moment, even Garthe paused in his breath at the sight of him.

'It took a while to find you, lad,' the old warrior said. There was no hostility to his voice. 'Garthe The Bloody Vengeance.'

'Who... are you...?' Garthe forced a question through the blood and drool gurgling in his throat. As much as he could move his eyes, he tried to get a measure of the older Astartes and identify him by the pattern and insignia of his armour. He was unable to decide for sure.

'A faithful soldier who was betrayed by his legion. Him and all he swore an oath to uphold. Just like you.'


The word lingered in Garthe's mind, arousing waves of boiling rage. Rage formed from hurt, helplessness and refusal.

'You are one remarkable and stubborn lad, you know that?' the old man nodded appreciatively. 'Completely alone, without a legion, without a primarch, you wander from planet to planet, leaving only heaps of dismembered traitors in your wake.'

Garthe grunted. He would have smiled, had his lungs not been in constant pain. He took pride in the havoc he had wrought among the ranks of his chosen enemies.

'You remember the ways of past ages. The valor of those times. That is why this shameful treason hurts you so,' the other Astartes continued, and looked the wounded, crippled warrior in the eye. Within that gaze, everything was told that ever could pass between two warriors of honour and that no words could possibly convey. Garthe nodded, even the small gesture painful and difficult to perform.

'The Emperor needs his loyal sons, Garthe Erklan. Will you answer his call?' the old man asked and dipped a finger of his gauntlet into the blood seeping from Garthe's chest wound.

'I... will,' Garthe sighed heavily.

'Will you swear to me, Iacton Qruze, last of the Luna Wolves, to serve Him, beloved by all, to protect the Imperium of Man from the threats it faces, and bring down His wrath at the traitor and the betrayer?' he intoned as he wrote the words on Garthe's marred plate with blood.

'I... Garthe Erklan... last of the World Eaters... swear it.'

'Then it is done,' said Iacton and waved with his hand. An Astartes, his power armour distinctively white, arrived after another series of thumping steps, only visible from the corner of Garthe's eye. 'Apothecary Callon, do what you can for the lad here and prepare him for transfer.'

'Yes, sir,' Callon said firmly and crouching down, immediately set to his work.

Garthe felt faint stinges through the layers of pain already enveloping his body as the Apothecary injected him with sedatives, and slowly drifted into unconsciousness. But he would not die. His rightful vengeance would be carried out and his honour purged of the blemish it had suffered by the betrayal.

A blemish he intended to pay back in thick blood.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

World Eaters Short Story Series Pt. 4

A new story in this series, this is called 'The Red Angel' and it is written by Owen Chow (aka ORKY ARD BOYZ from the TGC forum). This one deals right with the progenitor himself, and the separation of the Legion from the Emperor. I think you will agree it makes exciting reading! So, without further ado...

The Red Angel

By Owen Chow (aka Orky Ard Boyz)

ARIGGATA. ITS SKIES were dusty red, streaked black by aircraft contrails and smudged with smoke. Surrounding the basalt citadel had once been a calm and featureless plain, a sea of dirt. Now it boiled, soil erupting as munitions pounded around the fortress walls. Grit showered the warriors waiting in their trenches, pattering like rain from blue and white armour.
Hronde’s helmet autosenses couldn’t entirely filter out the thunder of bombardment. He focused on his battle brothers instead. They were tensed, unreadable behind their war helms. The vox buzzed with static and Horkal’s growl broke the silence.
‘How much longer?’
Hronde replied: ‘As long as their defences stand.’ He noticed Horkal was pacing. ‘You are of the Legiones Astartes. Control yourself,” he snapped.
The bigger man grunted. ‘Nnngh. The primarch doesn’t order us to control ourselves.’
The primarch. Hronde ‘s heart had leapt like all of his brothers’ when the Emperor, beloved by all, announced their lord returned. The legion was whole. Complete.
The doubts began when the killings started. Their... commander was a beast. He was not like the charismatic Horus or the stoic Guilliman, each a living embodiment of the Imperium; gene-crafted to be vivid and majestic leaders, scholars and warriors. Angron was different. Angron had returned damaged, broken somehow. Howling and screaming, lashing out at all who came close. Livid yellow eyes glaring in the darkness, lips peeled over his teeth, cursing the Emperor.
Horkal’s voice broke his reverie. ‘I can’t stand this bastard silence,’ he snarled before wrenching his helmet clear, revelling in the devastation. Hronde did the same and volume assaulted his ears, drowning out thought with the continuous boom of detonations. The ground shook. Blurred by the heat haze, the fortress shimmered like a mirage. Everywhere there was the bitter tang of melted rock and smoke.
Then his squad dropped to their knees, dipping their heads, still as statues. Hronde turned and came face to face with a demigod.
Angron wore a breastplate of brazen scales upon which the chained Imperial Aquila clanked as he moved. Dragging at his shoulders, a chainmail cape rippled in the firelight. Hronde could bear no more than a glimpse. Mind emptied, he felt light, almost giddy. The strength drained from his limbs. His knees tried to bend as if of their own volition. The scene seemed so right, to be the natural order of things: the king standing majestically and his devoted subjects bent at the knee in adoration.
There was only one problem: he could not kneel. He had forgotten how.
A voice like the rumbling of an earthquake spoke its first words but Hronde could not decipher them. Then he realised that the primarch was laughing.
‘You do not bow, little brother.’
It was true. He wondered why. Hronde suddenly noticed the massive chainaxe gripped in the primarch’s fists. Shark-like eyes rooted him to the spot, and knew the brutal intellect behind them knew only one reaction to uncertainty. To weakness.
Even knowing this he could not move.
‘Why?’ Angron demanded. The chainaxe gunned into life, and Hronde was so close that he could feel whip of each jagged tooth slicing the air. The shark eyes narrowed. Lips drew back over teeth.
Hronde stood very still, raising his head to look his liege-lord in the eyes, fists clenched. He measured the tone of his voice. ‘Sire, would you have your warriors grovel at your feet? Saluting their own deaths, begging for their lives?’
The demigod stared back with his predatory glare. ‘Salute in the hot dust... hnnn... standing proud, ready to die.’ Angron’s features twisted into what could have been a smile. His barked with his harsh De’shean accent, savaging the Imperium’s Low Gothic with deliberate pleasure. ‘Like my brothers and sisters, brave Cragore facing down the beasts, never smiling. Grim Cragore.’ His eyes began to wander, and his voice lost its edge, his words trailing to nothing. Then his attention snapped back to Hronde. ‘So what are you, weakling?’
‘Your warri-‘
‘Another warrior! Another grave-grubber with scholar oaths, playing at valour.’
Horkal began to speak from where he knelt nearby, to defend Hronde. Angron ignored him, eyes fixed upon the still-standing legionnaire in front of him.
Hronde’s hearts were pounding, the stink of hyper-adrenaline filling his nostrils. ‘I serve my liege and by extension, the Emperor, belov-‘
‘The Emperor and his weakling crusade,’ Angron blurted. ‘No valour, no! Butchering paperskins with his fire-from-above.’ A particularly loud explosion punctuated his words.
Hronde’s mind raced. His will fought against his instinct. Years of training yearned to correct these heretical words, but the very thought of Angron locked the snarl behind his teeth and loosened his fists. He could never raise a hand against his primarch any more than he could against himself. It was said the Legiones Astartes were gene-coded with loyalty to their blood sires; he wondered if the primarchs were ingrained with the same level of loyalty to the Emperor. Could they be fallible?
Abruptly the bombardment ceased, leaving an empty silence. The primarch whirled.
‘World Eaters!’ Angron roared the name like a curse. ‘Another world, another twist of the triumph rope. For glory, little brothers!’ He was answered by a cacophony of voices as his warriors surged from the trenches. One war cry was notable by its absence, or maybe it didn’t matter anymore. For the Emperor...
Hronde drew his blade and was lost among the legion’s charge. Uneasy thoughts nagged at the edges of his mind as Angron threw himself into the battle without any thought of danger. It was all he lived for. There was a screaming reactor in place of his heart that boiled white hot rage into his fists and gritted his teeth in a mockery of courage. But what was death when there was nothing left to live for? Brooding alone, the primarch knew no true equal. Even his brother demigods judged him, as he shut himself away between wars. He was damaged. Broken. Fallible.
Everything depended upon Angron. The Legion, their loyalty, everything. Charging forward, roaring his nonsensical invective, every inch a warrior and defining the very values of selfless sacrifice and defiance, Angron was the most majestic sight he had ever seen. The monster and the hero. The future was filled with boundless possibilities while he stood at their head.
As the legion charged, the ruddy dust upon their armour plate caught the light. Hronde wondered, was it an omen of things to come? The Legion was coloured red.
World Eater red.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

World Eaters Short Story Series Pt. 3

Time for a new story in the series. Written by Chris Bowers (aka Cobra6 from TGC forum), this story deals with an issue given only a passing mention in the World Eater background - their own 'night of the long knives' where in a sequence of bloodlettings, the Legion put their psykers to the sword (or chainaxe). I shall say no more . . .

The Last Librarian

By Chris Bowers (aka Cobra6)

AS BARKHE HEARD them approaching down the corridor, it occurred to him to flee. He might even be able to do it. With his powers and his inherent skill-at-arms as an Adeptus Astartes, he could surprise a small group, overcome them quickly and make his way to an escape pod. Surely, the warp powers revealed to him by Erebus and Chief Librarian Arkoethe would help him now, when he needed them most. His mind made a panicked cast about the ether, seeking aid from any being that would hear him. None answered.
He could still flee. He should flee.
No. He was the last of the Librarians of the World Eaters, and he would face death as befit a son of Angron.

HE HAD BEEN there, not half an hour earlier, when the Librarius was destroyed, each hacked down by their brothers in the arena of the warrior lodge. It was known as ‘the Quiet Order’ among more decorous legions, but for the World Eaters the lodge was neither of those things, and was known as ‘the Ludus.’ It was to have been a glorious affair: sixty-four gladiatorial matches beneath the gaze of mighty Angron, as well as the visiting dignitaries – Maloghurst of the Sons of Horus and Erebus of the Word Bearers. Blood had soaked the sand in honour of the triumph at Istvaan III.
Alongside the notorious gladiator Scyrak the Slaughterer, Chief Librarian Arkoethe had faced eight psycho-lobotomized ogryns at the peak of the violence. Arkoethe had planned for it to be a validation of the oft-slandered Librarius, to remind the Red Angel of their effectiveness in battle, and to silence his rival Scyrak.
The Slaughterer had a brutal reputation even among the XII Legion. Years before the great uprising of Horus, Scyrak was rumored to have murdered three Blood Angels on Luther Macintyre. Of late he had become a leading adherent of the growing cult of Karnath within the auspices of the Ludus, and had led the aggressive slander of the legion’s few Librarians. At the opening of the games, Erebus had presented him with a heavy ceremonial black-iron collar, embossed with an angry red skull rune. The Chaplain had placed it around his neck where it had soldered closed of its own accord.
Clad only in loincloths, Scyrak and Arkoethe had made short work of the roaring ogryns. Ropes of gore flew as Skyrak cleaved through muscle, fat, organs, and bone with furious, violent strokes. Arkoethe boiled the creatures from within, and roasted them with crackling bolts of warp energy and fire. As the last ogryn burst into flames and died beneath the power of Arkoethe’s mind, the Slaughterer had turned on the Chief Librarian, his chest heaving and his eyes flecked with hatred.
‘COWARD!’ Scyrak had roared in his voice like grating stone, leveling his chainsword at Arkoethe. ‘See the sorcerer, he has not a drop of blood on him! His cowardice disgraces this Ludus, and our legion!’
‘Face me then, “Slaughterer”,’ had been Akoethe’s smirking reply.
A look laden with import had passed between Scyrak and Angron before he strode toward Arkoethe. The Chief Librarian’s sizzling warp energies were sucked into the glowing black collar around the Slaughterer’s neck like water into a drain. Had it been merely surprise or resigned acceptance that led Arkoethe to stand defenseless as Scyrak had gripped the chainsword in two hands, and driven it clean through his arm and into his ribcage? The Chief Librarian had collapsed in a welter of blood, and Scyrak had looked again to mighty Angron, who held out his arm before the audience, a heaving scrum of baying World Eaters.
Had it all been pre-arranged? At the downward jerk of Angron’s thumb, Scyrak rammed his shrieking chainblade into Arkoethe’s chest cavity, while the other Librarians in the crowd of World Eaters were set upon by their brothers, submerged in a tide of elbows, fists, and feet. They were dragged, safely unconscious, into the sandy ring and murdered.
All except Barkhe.
He was able to summon a gate through the ether and escape to his quarters on the other end of the kilometres-long ship. One frenzied attacker had been dragged through the portal with him; Barkhe had made short work of this would-be assailant, who was left a smoking husk on the deck. Then Barkhe had sat alone. Shocked, dismayed and adrift, he had only been shaken from his fugue state by the inevitable cacophony of his legion-brothers drawing near.

He recognised them as they burst through the bulkhead and began to encircle him: Kosolax and Astyanax; Hans Ko’ren of the Sixteenth ‘Skulltakers’ Company; Captain Hauul; and his old friend, Sergeant Sirhk of the Twenty-fourth. Barkhe looked into his friend’s eyes, looking for some sign of familiarity or sorrow. All he saw in Sirhk’s dilated, bloodshot orbs was merciless bloodlust.
They paused for just a moment – breath ragged, chainblades revving, holding out their Ludus medallions as wards against Barkhe’s psychic might. Then they attacked.
Barkhe blasted a psychic lance through Astyanax, and then ducked a wild swing by Ko’ren, flipping him over his shoulder and into his vacant arming post. He followed his momentum and took a glancing blow from Sirhk, before bringing his elbow up under Sirhk’s chin and snapping his head back. Teeth cracked in a spray of spittle and blood. He wreathed one of his fists in psychic flame and prepared to finish off his former friend, when the arc of a chainsword cleaved through his left leg at the knee. As he collapsed, another blade bit into his shoulder, nearly severing his arm. Falling hard, Barkhe lay twitching and pumping hot blood onto the deck. Kosolax stood over him, lowering his whirring blade to Barkhe’s neck for the coup de grace.
‘Brothers,’ Barkhe implored, spluttering through a mouthful of blood. ‘I have only ever served Angron and Horus! Why are you doing this?’
The wet howl of Kosolax’s chainblade nearly drowned out his answer as it chewed its way through Barkhe’s spine.
‘Blood for the Blood God.’

Monday, 30 May 2011

World Eaters Short Story Series Pt. 2

The next shory story in this series. This one, entitled Red Night, takes a look at what happens when one of the Astartes has deactivated his neural implants and the battle is done. It's a wonderfully evocative story, and an interesting slant on what happens after the World Eater has pressed the 'on' button. Is conciousness, or more precisely the 'human element' left at the door, in order to make them a more violent and bloodthirsty killer?

Red Night

By William Hooke (aka Marshall Wilhelm)

‘WHERE... AM I? What was I... doing?’
Recollection seeps through his hazy post-combat comedown. He stops stumbling around. His mind aches. His muscles ache. His bones ache. He aches.
Steadying himself, he is dazed and overwhelmed. His visor is shattered, with a fractured image confronting his bloodshot eyes. His breath is ragged and stinks of the spent stimms that permeate his entire body. He wishes he could collapse and avoid this. But he is too tired even to lie down.
Pulling off his cracked helm with a grimace, freshly scabbed wounds are pulled open and a wash of rich red covers his face. He feels faint for a moment and doubles over to retch, bright yellow bile spattering the oxide tinted dirt.

‘I... remember...’ he rasps. He looks at his helmet, now severely dented and torn in a mirror of the bloody wound on his tortured face. His direct vox-hail attempts fail, but the Stormbird’s location is hinted at by the ruined display as he peers into the helmet with all the wonder of a juve gazing into the depths of a sinkhole. He moves to head for the Stormbird, but a half-remembered task halts him. He turns back.
Strewn across a twenty metre-wide area are the disembowelled remains of a half-dozen ork elites, their hulking forms still apparent though none are still even vaguely whole. Then he sees his prize: six heavy ork heads piled together, with mortified expressions of pain – or hatred? – upon their grim faces. His chainaxe lies in the dirt, its teeth invisible beneath the viscera that cakes them.
‘Well done, Garrett,’ he muses out loud, and busies himself fashioning a bandolier from discarded cable before threading through the xenos’ gaping jawbones. Garrett slings his prize across his body like a sash, then hoists his clogged chainaxe over his shoulder. His desire met, he turns once more for the Stormbird.
Though his armour is breached in many places and unable to boost his musculature’s efforts with any notion of efficiency, he makes his way, staggering and stumbling just as when he first regained consciousness. Garrett realises that not all of his bones are intact as stabbing pains jolt his enhanced frame, and he recalls the days of slaughter and the great battles between the World Eaters and the orks in times past. The rush and fury of charge against the vile xenos. Images flickering through his mind, in a haphazard collection of still frames and short sequences. Glorious.
Even though he is beaten and broken, the remembrances of victory – nay, slaughter – bring a smile and a softening of those harsh and scarred features. Though often melancholy after the heady rush of combat, the chance to end those who threatened the Emperor’s dream of a galaxy filled with a united humanity in honest combat was too delicious, too addictive to give up. Garrett murmurs a rote-conditioned ‘For the Emperor,’ as he trudges from the field of battle.

THE SUN WAS setting by the time the wounded Astartes reached the Stormbird. His captain, Kharn of the Eighth, had been aware of his approach on the auspex, and vox-hailed the apothecaries. They came quickly and laid the weary warrior onto the rusty soil, cradling his head on a quickly heaped pile. Sergeant Garrett’s once gleaming battle plate, in splendid arctic white and royal blue, was much-marred with clods of dusty soil and blood, both xenos and Astartes. The only vaguely bright or clean patches were where the enemy had gouged the ceramite with projectiles and melee weapons.
‘Garrett,’ whispered Kharn. ‘We thought you had left us, brother. Yet here you are.’
‘Yes lord... though all that I am... now burns... with fire.’
Kharn dismissed his ramblings. ‘You look as good as dead, brother. But do not worry – the sawbones have you now. Sleep well.’
As the apothecaries released the seals of his armour, deliriously Garrett spoke. ‘Sleep... I’d rather... fight... that hell...’
Kharn’s brow furrowed. ‘Brother?’
‘The dreams... the red knight... still...’
Garrett’s weary eyes closed – his lifeblood was draining away, and he was becoming incoherent though the apothecaries tended him as best they could. At the captain’s command they administered a dose of adrenalite, and the wounded sergeant snapped his eyes open with a pained gasp.
‘Pray brother, speak more.’
Garrett choked, his words coming suddenly in a torrent. ‘Many nights I dream of death and fire and blood, most unnatural even for the likes of us! Most galling is I do not dream of those who defy us... but of us, of me. That red knight offers me his clawed hand and when I slap that xenos talon away his red hound leaps upon me and ravages me like a rag-doll. I am no xenos lover, my lord!’
With a tenderness that surprised those around them, Captain Kharn removed his gauntlet and stroked Garrett’s face with his calloused hand as the broken warrior began to quake as though palsied. Tears came to his eyes at the sight.
‘This beast is so strong! It eats me though it is not my flesh that it craves...’
The Stormbird’s pilot fired the engines, signaling to those at the drop point that departure was imminent. The apothecaries raised Garrett onto a makeshift gurney and bore him away to the embarkation ramp.
Kharn sat in the dust a moment, looking up at the ripple of stars in the heat haze. He wondered what it all meant.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

World Eaters, a short story series

Last year, the wonderful Great Crusade forum ran a short story competition. Anyone who entered had to compose a short, 1000 word story about an event taking place either during the Great Crusade or Horus Heresy era. Furthermore, the contest was to be judged by Black Library author Aaron Dembski Bowden himself! Unsurprisingly, the contest received a huge number of entries, the entirety of which are accessible through the link below (if you are a fan of Pre-Heresy, and are not already a member of the website, I urge you to go and sign up straight away!)

A number of the stories featured the World Eaters. As I am attempting to make this blog a resource for Pre-Heresy World Eater hobbyists and collectors, and because few things are as inspiring as a well-written piece of fiction, over the coming weeks with the permission of their authors I will be posting those stories again here.

So without further ado, here is the first story. It is called 'Rage Unknown' and is written by Joshua Bullock (aka Ahriman from the TGC forum). It focuses on a slice of the action during the infamous final battles upon the surface of Istvaan III, the sequence written about in the early salvo of Horus Heresy books, whereby the Traitor legions were attempting to exercise their loyalist elements.

Rage Unknown

By Joshua Bullock

ANGER FILLED HIS body. Anger whose source was unknown to him, anger the likes of which he had never quite felt before, even with the psycho-stimulative implants in the base of his skull. The air smelled of blood and his armour was caked in it. He smiled to himself as he stared down at the dull redness that covered his body, breathing in its coppery tang and focusing on the rage that filled his head.
The ruins of Istvaan III’s Precentor Palace lay all around him, reminiscent of dying men’s fingers clawing at the sky. The air was thick with dust and anyone but an Adeptus Astartes would have been hard pressed to see more than a few metres.
But there were none but Astartes within the ruined walls of the dead city. Brother fought brother from behind hastily constructed barricades amid the shattered but still hauntingly beautiful architecture, with the frescos of primitive gods still somehow intact following the orbital bombardments and the ongoing ravages of battle.
Warriors from several legions made war upon the planet’s surface: the perfect ranks of the pristine Emperor’s Children stood beside the sea green of the Warmaster’s own sons, while the stoic forces of the Death Guard fought one another within the grimy trench systems outside the ruined city. Kruer stood with his own warriors, the white of their battered armour catching the fading light of the dying world’s sun. The World Eaters were on edge, ready to rip apart anything within their reach. None more so than the primarch Angron, who stood with his favoured warriors, fixated upon the blood congealed upon the teeth of his huge chainaxe. The blood of those whom had fallen from his graces.
Kruer took in none of this. Not the ruins nor the art, not the purple and gold-clad warriors cleaning their weapons, nor the Sons of Horus who seemed content to let the other legions do the work for them. Not even the awe inspiring presence of Angron could disturb him from the all-consuming rage that filled his body. From where this anger had come, the hatred for warriors that just mere hours earlier had been his brethren, he did not know. All he did know was that he liked it.
Oh yes, he was quite certain about that.
A hash on his vox-channel penetrated the haze, and a single command rose through the roaring in his head:


Kruer needed no more encouragement. He barely registered the Emperor’s Children advancing to his right, moving steadily through the devastated buildings covering one another as each squad carried out its function in the great scheme of battle.
The World Eaters followed no such tactics, each squad running loosely together, vaulting fallen masonry and smashing down walls in their haste to close with the enemy. Kruer could now see them, crouched like cowards behind the remains of the broken city: it served only to fuel his burning rage, seeing warriors with whom he had once been proud to serve, stooping to such gutless cowardice.
He sprinted through the rain of bolter shells, paying them no heed. He could see the entrenched warriors clearly, their white and blue armour standing out from the destruction around them. He knew some of them by name, and he knew all of them by blood. And it would fill him with great sense of satisfaction to remove this taint from his legion.

IRATUS KNELT DOWN to reload his boltgun, yanking out the drained sickle magazine before ramming home a fresh clip and raking the slide. He rose again swiftly as others around him knelt to reload their own weapons. The sight was strange to him – this was not how the World Eaters usually fought, taking cover behind barricades and exercising tight bolter drills.
The back of his head throbbed as his psycho-stimulative implants urged him to violence, and it took almost all of his willpower to stay in line with his brothers and not to engage the implants’ feedback loop and launch himself at the traitors heading their way. One thought above all others kept him grounded in the moment: they were World Eaters no more. They were War Hounds once again.
He resumed firing, adding his bolts to the fusillade. A depraved figure emerged from the midst of the rabble, caked in blood and charging with such reckless abandon that he cared not what struck him – masonry, bolt rounds, shrapnel. Even his own comrades, whom he smashed aside in his need to close with Iratus‘s line.
He emptied his rest of his magazine at the bloody figure and those around him, before diving down once more to reload. The warrior to his right fell to the ground clutching his throat, blood running thick and fast before his enhanced physiology could clot the wound. The War Hound to the other side of Iratus fell also, his headless body crashing into the rubble and the armoured helm following an instant later. Desperately Iratus leapt back to his feet, ready to fire, only to be confronted by the viscera streaked face plate of the berserk World Eater on the other side of the barricade.
The roar of his chainaxe seemed to merge with the war cry from the warrior’s helmet vox-emitters, and Iratus fired two rounds into the berserker’s armoured torso before the boltgun was torn from his grip by a downward strike. The World Eater leapt over the barricade, and Iratus drew his combat blade and held it out across his chest. The tempered plasteel was no match for the foe’s axe, but if he was lucky...

RAGE WAS ALL Kruer knew, all that he could see. He didn’t even feel the foe’s blade as it pierced his throat, nor the impact of his chainaxe upon the loyalist dog’s helmet. Darkness overcame him and he smiled behind his visor.
It mattered not from where the blood flowed.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Apothecary in MK5 armour

I think it's time to try and forget last week's unpleasantries and move on. I have finally finished painting my Apothecary. I've tried something new with this one in the form of weathering the armour, a new methods I tried when painting some WFB orcs. Overall I'm quite pleased with how it is has come out, although I may have used a little too much of it on this guy! The Legion badge will be added to his right shoulder pad as soon as I have access to my transfers.

Apothecary Csobán

Pictured following the first 72 hours of the compliance of Konos III. As a trainee of the Medicae facilities of Bodt, Csobán was attached to the 2nd company along with two other medical personnel under the command of the (then) Captain Sevruk.

The 2nd company, along with the 5th and 17th, was involved in the spearhead assault of the Etat Union's primary industrial facility. It was heavily defended, and Csobán had his hands full during the early hours of the operation. At one of the industrial facilities, a breached cooling towers resulted in the cataclysmic destruction of it's reactor, killing both defender and attacker alike within a several kilometer radius, and severely damaging a large contingent of the 17th company that were involved in the operation. Following direct correspondence from Commander of the Fleet Borya (who was overseeing the entire operation from orbit) Csobán and other medicae officers were ordered to the area to recover what they could of the fallen Astartes.

Pictured here, the Apothecary is carrying a personal medi-pack, designed for battlefield triage but also more importantly carrying a freezer unit to carry the gene seeds of the fallen. His high-powered chainblade (attached to a bionic arm, testament to a previous campaign) designed to cut through Astartes battle-plate - either to administer treatment, or to reach the highly valuable geneseed held within. A collection of frag grenades, while primarily designed as an offensive weapon, were also used to destroy the waylaid remains of Astartes when the extraction of their bodies and wargear was not possible, so that it might not fall into enemy hands. The heat-spectrascope, an ancillary addition to his backpack, enables the Apothecary to instantly ascertain the location of Astartes physiology. It was especially useful in this circumstance, as many Marines were buried beneath sizeable amounts of rubble and sand. An enhanced auspex unit in his helmet allows his to receive full physiological information from a wounded Astartes, and will recommend various courses of action to administer aid.


















Wargear: Power Armour, chainsword, bolt pistol, frag and krak grenades, narthicium

Notes on Special Rules

Obviously a Blood Angel Sanguinary Priest has no place in a World Eaters force. However the presence of one 'counting as' such a unit not only presents a cool modelling opportunity, but also helps to sneak in an added bit of assault capability in the form of the 6" 'Furious Charge" bubble that exists around the Apothecary. As such, I may well try and get 2 or 3 of these guys in the finished army, just to increase power in assaults across the board for those units who don't succeed in obtaining 'red thirst' before the game.

The presence of the Apothecary himself in the unit also provides the 'feel no pain' special rule. I like the idea of medics being attached to various units, it fits in nicely with how Marines used to be presented in the original incarnation of the game, and the more pragmatic approach to how the Legions were organised before the 'great upset' happened, and the marines had 10,000 years or so of ritual and dogma added to their routine.

I'm also hoping to get hold of the wonderful MK4 FW librarian at some point in the future. Next up, the 'meat and veg' element of my army has been solely lacking recently, in favour of more exotic elements, so depending on what comes first in the post expect to see either some more assault marines, or another tactical squad (these guys dressed entirely in mk3 armour - think the cover of False Gods :) )

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Oh, Games Workshop...

This post will be a first for this blog. Since it's inception, I have tried to keep focus entirely on the World Eaters and the discussion surrounding them. I have reasoned that the people who do visit my blog do so to read about the mighty twelfth Legion and worlds being eaten, and not petty, real life stuff.

So it is some indication of the importance that I ascribe to the 'hot topic' that leads me to make this post now. Been away for a few days and not sure what it is yet? I recommend that you head over to Dakka, Warseer, Bell of Lost Souls (even Games Workshop's own FB page) and take in the first half dozen or so, 20 page discussions. Or look at any number of the blogs on my blog roll. Put simply, Games Workshop HQ has been taken over by Gremlins. Someone fed them after dark, and now in their evil and tricksy ways they have set about with great gusto in attempting to upset their fans as much as possible.

I won't go into specifics here, suffice to say that most criticism revolves around a not insignificant price increase across the board (on the back of a switch to a supposedly cheaper material), and a big middle finger to the Southern hemisphere, or at least anywhere like Australia, where customers from those countries were previously using UK based internet retailers. The reason being, it was possible to buy GW product at something approaching RRP, rather than the ridiculous prices determined by the the exchange rate that GW follows. Now those customers will be forced to swallow their pride (and presumably packets of instant noodles, the only thing the average middle class citizen will be able to afford after a trip into an Aus GW) if they want to continue to buy new GW product. Unsurprisingly, the comments from the former colonies have not been overwhelmingly pleased. On a personal level, it means I cannot continue to order from the likes of Wayland and Maelstrom. While this won't really effect my World Eaters project (what project you may ask, after looking at the number of posts recently? :) ) which subsists on bits orders that get put into parcels from my family back home, it has given my other projects - a WFB orc force and Eldar army - a questionable future. I have more than a 5 hour journey to Seoul if I want to buy any GW, and I will have to pay more than RRP for it if I want to do so.

So, where does that leave us? The internet has a history of kicking up storms that don't really go anywhere, and of people raging at their keyboards (see: every other GW price increase), but I have a feeling this one is going to be different. There is a hell of a lot more passion behind it, and it's as if the dam has become unplugged, letting forth all manner of unpleasantries which had previously been welling up.

For this reason, I have decided to write a letter (on a computer, not hand written, we have to roll a little bit with the times here!), print it out and as of today mailed it off to GW HQ back in the motherland. Internet fan communities do have weight, if they pull together (just look at Rage Against the Machine making it to Christmas Number 1 in the UK, or Greenpeace naming that whale Mr. Splashy Pants!).

So, if you feel as strongly as I do about this topic, I advise you to follow suit and make up one of your own. Make it polite and concise; let GW know exactly how you feel about this recent spate of changes. Here is the address of GW HQ:

Games Workshop
Direct Sales
Willow Road

If enough of us do it, someone might just take notice. It could well be that nothing whatsoever will happen, and that exec types will sit at their desks with their fingers in their ears yelling 'lalalala' even as the office junior gets a big overtime payment that month shovelling letters into landfill. But if in the years to come GW does nose dive, at least we will have the knowledge that we tried to make a difference. Games Workshop has been a big part of my life, and that is what has prompted the emotional reaction on my part. I genuinely feel for the company, and the feeling of 'betrayal' that I am currently experiencing is as much concerning my fear for the companies future as it is the personal inconvenience the prices rises, trade embargoes and other nonsense are causing me.

This will be the last such comment from me on this blog, and all future postings will indeed go back to discussing pre-Heresy matters, chiefly the boys in white and blue. That is, unless something happens again in the future where by I feel the hobby that I know and love is threatened..

Monday, 11 April 2011

WIP Mk5 Apothecary

This is a WIP of a new Apothecary, kitted out in Mk5 armour. Even though he is going to be a counts-as Sanguinary priest in game, I don't want him to be too grandiose. He's just a combat medic, attached to other squads of World Eaters as and where he is needed.

I have made the mk5 armour from a standard mk7 set, using the tutorial found here.
The head is from the marine bike sprue, and the bionic arm from the FW veteran squad (got a few bionic left arms lying around from those packs!) The chain weapon, used to cut open marines armour (and to treat them, or maybe get to the progenoid glands?!) I think is from the old 2nd edition ork CC weapon sprue.

Sadly I don't have a substantial bits-box while I am away from home. I'm hoping not too many people will identify his medical kit as a Tau accessory (did marines get tried for Heresy back in the Great Crusade? Have some Tau travelled back in time so the marine could get hold of this piece of kit? There are all sorts of Terminator-esque time-travel paradoxes involved here :) )
Hopefully when painted, it will look a bit less obvious, and I may well modify it slightly.

The scanning array on the backpack is from the vehicle accessory sprue. I didn't have any access to cabling for the torso, so I resorted to using greenstuff. I actually think it has come out a bit better than the cable I have used previously, and will have to see how it looks when it is painted.

As you can see he still needs basing, and some mold lines cleaning, I only seem to notice them when I look at the photo :)

As for colour scheme, the guys on the Great Crusade website have pointed me in the right direction, and there is evidence of Apothecaries in both the '40k' colour scheme (white armour) and also in standard Legion colours. I think I might go with the latter route, as it ties in more with how the Librarians and Techmarines are represented, and also paints the marine as a specialist who is still part of the Legion. He hasn't gone off to train in some ancient special apothecaries sanctum, it's been handled in-house as part of the Legions operations. Although I realise that his armour will be white in any case, so it makes very little difference! :)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

'A small part of a larger plan' A short story about the World Eaters

Here is a short story, based during the events of the compliance of Konos III (the setting I have created as a background to this blog). I hope you enjoy it.


A Small Part of a Larger Plan

Gesard didn’t smell good at the best of times. Now, within the tight confines of the tunnel and with Gesard’s rump directly in front of his face, Teso sorely wished that he was somewhere else. He could feel the others pushing up against his feet from behind, and with the way ahead blocked he felt distinctly uncomfortable. A few of them had gone a little crazy down here in the tunnels, got the shakes and started seeing things in the dark. Teso counted himself fortunate that he wasn’t one of them, although that didn’t mean he had to like it. Fact was that most of them couldn’t come down here, couldn’t squeeze down the tiny access tubes that made up the tunnel network, couldn’t do the important work. Boss had told them what had to be done, how he and the other boys were the only ones that could do it, how they had to keep fighting even though they were afraid.

A muffled squelch sounded from Gesard’s camouflaged fatigues once more, and Teso cursed him even as he heard the others behind him illicit nervous laughter. “Shut it you animal…” he paused for a moment as they shuffled forward. Struggling to breath within an environment which would have been stifling at the best of times he nudged the rump in front of him. “Have you reached the hatch?” Gesard replied in his high-pitched, slightly petulant tone, “yeah Teso, it’s right here.”

“right here, what?” Teso snapped at him.

“Uh yeah, right here.. sir” the camouflaged pants conceded somewhat reluctantly. Boss has told them about how important it was to respect ranks, how they had to follow the plan to the letter. Teso was determined that his lads would look good in their leaders eyes. That one day they would get to join the unit that Yama and some of the other older boys had gone to join, taking part in the really important and heroic jobs. The ones that would help drive the invading bastard scum from their world.

Gesard grunted again as the pushed the hatch forward, accompanied by a rumbling and scraping sound. For a moment Teso feared the sound which meant that the tunnel was about to collapse as dust and debris came spinning out, but it soon stopped. Someone behind him coughed, and Teso blinked as the hard light of the morning sun came spilling into the tunnel. One by one they filed out, and stood around the entrance hatch, gingerly stretching limbs which had been cramped in one position for several hours. After a few moments, and after checking the half dozen of them were present, Teso nodded and spoke to them all; “Ok, let’s do this. Boss told us the plan, we know what we have to do.” He hoped that his own concern at what they were about to wasn’t revealed by a trembling voice or hand, or by dropping eyes. He hoped that the fear that he saw in his friends was not mirrored by himself. There was a murmur of assent from the group as they followed him from behind the refuse pile and narrow alley into which they had emerged. Plucking up a courage that he didn’t know he possessed, Teso turned to them and grinned, “come on this will be fun… just like a game of chase and bag.” Gesard’s squeaky voice replied even as the others looked on, “yeah, but we haven’t ever been chased by a monster before.”


“Ok.. this is it..” Teso lay flat up against the wall, his actions followed by the others further along the alley. He unwrapped the small package he held in his hand, taking out a small autobike mirror contained within, and held it by its bracket. Holding his breath, and with the delicacy of a man putting his hand into a nest of vipers, Teso held out the mirror so that it emerged from around the corner of the building. Blinking the sweat from his eyes, he forced himself to calm although his heart thundered in his chest and the narrow stem of metal in his hand shook and threatened to slip from his sweaty grasp.

Gradually the shaking lessened, and the scene revealed by the mirror came into focus; As expected, the street was largely empty, windows shuttered and doors barred despite the summer heat. A few market stalls stood untended, although an old man sat by the side of the road, a collection of nuts and herbs placed somewhat optimistically in bowls before his hunched form. A stray dog with only 3 legs made its way haphazardly across the road, pausing to sniff at some small animal which had died there. A miniature dust devil whipped up, pushing refuse into the air. But the rest of the street was empty. Teso experienced a moments doubt, where was it? Why wasn’t it here? Maybe the boss or his information had been wrong?

Teso was about to turn to Gesard and tell him, when something caught the corner of his eye. His stomach wretched and heaved all at once, and threatened to come rolling up his throat. His mouth hung agape and he swallowed, a mixture of dust and sand making it a sensation like sanding wood. But he didn’t notice the sensation nor the discomfort, for his attention had been drawn inexorably to what he now saw stood in the corner of street.......

Continued in part 2!!