Welcome to Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum! Log in and join the community.

Age of Darkness (Anthology)

From Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum
Jump to: navigation, search
Age of Darkness
Age-of-darkness.jpg
Cover art by Neil Roberts.
Editor Christian Dunn
Publisher Black Library
Authors Dan Abnett, John French, Nick Kyme, Graham McNeill, James Swallow, Gav Thorpe, Chris Wraight
Performed by Gareth Armstrong, Jonathan Keeble, and Martyn Ellis
Preceded by Prospero Burns (Novel)
Followed by The Outcast Dead (Novel)
Released 2011
Editions 2011 Audiobook
ISBN 9780857871541

Age of Darkness, edited by Christian Dunn, is the sixteenth book in the Horus Heresy Series, and the second anthology in that series. A number of authors contribute to the series, but the storyline follows the same characters through Horus' descent into Chaos. It was first published in May 2011.[1]

The anthology is one of seven volumes in the Horus Heresy series to make the New York Times bestseller list. It was later included in "The Novels: Volume 4" eBook collection.

Book Description

After the betrayal at Isstvan, Horus begins his campaign against the Emperor, a galaxy-wide war that can lead only to Terra. But the road to the final confrontation between father and son is a long one – seven years filled with secrecy and silence, plans and foundations being formed across distant stars. An unknown history is about to be unveiled as light is shed on the darkest years of the Horus Heresy, and revelations will surface that will shake the Imperium to its very foundation...[1]

Rules of Engagement

Rules of Engagement

by Graham McNeill

Some years after the outbreak of the Heresy, Remus Ventanus, Captain of the Ultramarines 4th Company and hero of the Battle of Calth, takes part in the defense of Talassar against the invading Death Guard, while his warriors struggle to adapt to the new battlefield rules handed down by Roboute Guilliman. The Death Guard are lured into over-extending their lines and defeated, but several other worlds of Ultramar are lost. During a World Eaters invasion of Prandium, Ventanus is given theatre command and issues orders according to Guilliman's new doctrine which appear to be leading the Ultramarines to defeat before suddenly turning into a highly orchestrated trap that wipes out the World Eaters. On Quintarn Ventanus leads his company against Salamanders who have seized the capital city and manages to kill their leader just before he escapes. Later, the Ultramarines prepare for a last stand on Macragge following a successful invasion of Ultramar and Ventanus goes down fighting the Sons of Horus. Horus is revealed to be Guilliman in costume, and the entire sequence of battles live simulations played out by the Ultramarines in order to test Guilliman's new battlefield doctrine, the Codex Astartes.

Setting

Ultramar; Macragge, Talassar, Prandium and Quintarn.

Characters

Liar's Due

Liar's Due

by James Swallow

The people of Town 44 on the remote Imperial backwater world Virger-Mos II are thrown into doubt and confusion when it is announced that Horus has slain the Emperor and now rules the galaxy. Mechanic Silas Cincade volunteers to travel to the capital to find out the truth, and meanwhile the people begin carrying weapons and having arguments over the best course of action. Lights in the sky appear to herald the arrival of Astartes, and reports start to come through of armoured figures wiping out towns. Solar farmer Dallon Prael announces his intention to die rather than surrender to Horus's forces and mistakenly shoots dead Silas Cincade as he returns from the capital. As the town falls into violence and anarchy a boy named Leon Kyyter discovers his father's lodger, a remembrancer named Mendacs, sneaking out of the house and follows him to the town's skyhook. Mendacs forces the skyhook's lone astropath to send a message before executing her, and reveals to Leon that he is an Alpha Legion agent tasked with spreading false tidings of Horus's victory who has orchestrated events to make Virger-Mos II fall to the Warmaster without even being invaded. Mendacs departs for his next mission, and unable to stop him Leon watches silently as his planet burns.

Setting

Virger-Mos II, Imperial agricultural colony.

Characters

  • Mendacs - Remembrancer/Alpha Legion operative.
  • Leon Kyyter - youth.
  • Ames Kyyter - Leon's father, dormitory owner.
  • Silas Cincade - maintenance worker.
  • Dallon Prael - senior solarman, vane power orchard.
  • Oren Yacio - telegraphist.

Forgotten Sons

Forgotten Sons

by Nick Kyme

Two loyalist Space Marines, Heka'tan of the Salamanders and Arcadese of the Ultramarines, arrive on the planet Bastion which has remained neutral in the civil war to act as the Imperium's ambassadors. Their landing ship is shot down, and they along with human ex-remembrancer Persephia are the only survivors. Arriving in Bastion's capital city on foot they surrender their weapons and stand against Horus's ambassador Vorkellen in the city's court. Arcadese tasks Persephia with retrieving their weapons in case things go wrong, but she stumbles across a single Iron Warrior conducting sabotage beneath the city and is killed. Heka'tan leaves the debate to check on her and kills the Iron Warrior after finding her corpse, but meanwhile Arcadese loses his temper in the debate chamber and the governors of Bastion prepare to side with Horus. At the last minute Heka'tan and Arcadese foil an assassination attempt on Vorkellen by a lacrymole shape-shifter who shot down their ship and was hired to implicate the Imperium in underhand dealings, but Bastion begins to come apart as nuclear bombs primed by the Iron Warrior start to detonate beneath the planet's crust in a plan to intimidate planets into joining Horus by showing the consequences of courting the Imperium. Arcadese and Heka'tan hunt down and kill the lacrymole and escape with the surviving dignitaries to Vorkellen's ship, but the landing pad collapses and Heka'tan sacrifices himself to save the enemy ambassador. Flying away from the dying world, Arcadese swears to avenge his death.

Setting

Characters

The Last Remembrancer

The Last Remembrancer

by John French

A traitor ship enters the Sol system and is boarded by Imperial Fists, who discover on board the famed remembrancer Solomon Voss. Taken to an unnamed fortress on Saturn's moon Titan, Voss states that he has spent the war at the side of Horus and is held prisoner. Rogal Dorn, primarch of the Imperial Fists and Praetorian of Terra, arrives to interview him along with Knight-Errant Iacton Qruze. Dorn, who has known Voss in the past, is reluctant to execute him despite Qruze's advocating of this pragmatic approach. After hearing Voss relate the story of how he reached the Warmaster and was kept alive as a witness to his deeds, Dorn and Qruze argue over the tyrannical direction the Imperium has taken since Horus's betrayal, Dorn desperate to believe that their is still hope for the Emperor's dream of enlightened humanity. Qruze responds that the Imperium must be ruthless in order to survive, and that giving up its old ideals is a necessary sacrifice. He tells Dorn what he already knows: that Voss was allowed to return to the Sol system with evidence of the magnitude of Horus's crimes as a psychological blow against Dorn himself, to make him lose hope in the future. With no other option, Dorn executes Voss with Qruze's sword and orders that his body and writings be burned.

Setting

A nameless Imperial fortress built upon and inside Titan, moon of Saturn.

Characters

Rebirth

Rebirth

by Chris Wraight

This article is about the short story by Chris Wraight. For the novel by Nick Kyme, see Salamanders: Rebirth.

Menes Kalliston, Captain of the Thousand Sons 4th Fellowship, returns to Prospero with his men after having been ordered away by his primarch shortly before the Space Wolves invasion, and against the advice of his second-in-command Revuel Arvida. Touching down in the ruins of Tizca Kalliston and his squad spread out to search for information and discover evidence of the Wolves before coming under attack by enemy Astartes glimpsed in the ruins. Kalliston orders a retreat back to the ship but falls into an ambush and is knocked unconscious by a missile detonation. Taken captive, he is interrogated by an unknown Space Marine he assumes is a Space Wolf, and the entire story is told in flashbacks as he answers questions and his damaged memory slowly recovers. His interrogator eventually reveals himself as Kharn of the World Eaters, shattering Kalliston's assumptions, and tells Kalliston he and his men were sent to Prospero to recover the Moon Wolf, a pendant from Horus's armour that Magnus used to contact his spirit during his fall to Chaos. His Athanaean powers returning, Kalliston sees into Kharn's soul and deduces that he came to Prospero for a second reason, and offers to heal the debilitating psychosis caused by the butcher's nails. For a single instant it seems that Kharn will be redeemed, but then he flies into a rage and beats Kalliston to death.

Meanwhile in Tizca, Revuel Arvida falls back to the ship only to find it taken by the World Eaters, and takes revenge by shooting their leader dead. Using his Corvidae powers to evade pursuit and learn that he will not die on Prospero, he utters the line 'knowledge is power' and goes into hiding, the final lines emphasising his similarity to the future Blood Ravens.

Setting

The ruins of Tizca, upon blasted Prospero.

Characters

The Face of Treachery

The Face of Treachery

by Gav Thorpe

Nigh Vash Delerax, World Eater commander of the battle-barge Dedicated Wrath, hunts escaped loyalist ships amidst the rings of Isstvan VI after the Dropsite Massacre. He hears that Angron has taken over from Perturabo in hunting the remnants of the Raven Guard, but ignores his call to return in favour of finishing off a Salamanders ship carrying loyalist survivors. Branne, commander of the Raven Guard garrison on Deliverance who has abandoned his post prompted by the prophetic dreams of Imperial Army praefector Marcus Valerius, arrives with a rescue fleet in the Isstvan system and deduces the full scope of Horus's betrayal from drifting ship wreckage. Stealthing towards Isstvan V they learn of Corax's survival and Branne uses Valerius's Imperial Army ships as bait to draw patrolling traitor ships away so he can make a rescue run to the surface. Delerax is ordered to move against Branne's decoy fleet by an Alpha Legion emissary from Horus posted on his ship, but refuses as he missed the ground battle of the Dropsite Massacre and wants to join his primarch in wiping out the Raven Guard in close quarters. Branne's rescue fleet is detected, but thanks to the decoy fleet the Dedicated Wrath is the only traitor ship close enough to intercept it. Horus's emissary demands that Delerax ignore it and follow his standing orders, and when Delerax refuses his second-in-command reveals himself as an Alpha Legion agent and shoots him in the head, leaving him to die on the deck. The two Alpha Legionnaires discuss their Legion's infiltration of the Raven Guard as on Isstvan V Branne's fleet rescues Corax and the survivors just in time. Coming on board last, Corax announces his intention to travel to Terra.

Setting

Isstvan V local space.

Characters

Little Horus

Little Horus

by Dan Abnett

'Little' Horus Aximand, 5th Captain of the Sons of Horus, suffers disturbing dreams as his Legion prosecutes Horus's war in the wake of the Dropsite Massacre. Desiring to rebuild the Mournival, he discusses replacement members with Ezekyle Abaddon and they decide to add Falkus Kibre and Grael Noctua to the group, despite Kibre being Abaddon's lackey and Noctua only being a sergeant. The Sons of Horus move against Dwell, an Imperial world containing a network that preserves the knowledge and memories of the dead. Little Horus is tasked with taking this mausoleum and allows Grael Noctua to help him plan the assault. They are opposed by a miss-match of loyalist forces led by Iron Hands captain Shadrak Meduson who has come to the aid of Dwell's defenders, which includes a White Scars kill-team led by Hibou Khan. Pior to the assault Aximand dreams that someone from his past is slowly approaching him, though all he can hear is their breathing. During the battle Fifth Company take the mausoleum and Aximand enters its main chamber to see one of his men butchered on the floor, and comes under attack by Shadrak Meduson's second-in-command Bion Henricos. Henricos bests Aximand in a duel, but he is saved by another of his men who sacrifices himself so Aximand can mortally wound the Iron Warrior. Dying, Henricos reveals that the mausoleum was a trap intended for Horus. Distracted by the sound of breathing, Aximand is almost killed when statues in the centre of the room come to life, revealed as the White Scars kill-team in disguise. Aximand breaks Hibou Khan's blade as reinforcements from both sides arrive and a firefight erupts, but Hibou picks up Henricos's fallen sword and cuts off the front of Aximand's helmet, taking his face with it. After the Sons of Horus win the battle Aximand's face is reattached and the figure in his dreams in revealed to be Garviel Loken. Aximand is relieved, as he is certain that Loken is dead.

Setting

Characters

  • Horus - Warmaster, Primarch of the Sons of Horus legion.
  • Horus Aximand - Captain of the 5th Company, Sons of Horus as well as a member of the Mournival.
  • Ezekyle Abaddon - First Captain of the Sons of Horus, member of the Mournival.
  • Lev Goshen - Captain of the 25th Company, Sons of Horus.
  • Grael Noctua - Sergeant, 25th Company, Warlocked Squad.
  • Yade Durso - Captain, second of that rank in the 5th Company, Sons of Horus.
  • Gaspir Yunkwist - Sergeant, Metallun Reaver Squad.
  • Xachery Scipon - Astartes, Metallun Reaver Squad.
  • Zeb Zenonius - Unknown rank, Bale Tactical Squad.
  • Mir Amindaza - Unknown rank, Tithonius Assault Squad.
  • Ger Geraddon - Unknown rank, Tithonius Assault Squad.
  • Bion Henricos - Lieutenant, Sorrgol Clan of the Iron Hands legion.
  • Hibou Khan - Unknown rank, White Scars legion.

The Iron Within

The Iron Within

by Rob Sanders

A force of Iron Warriors led by Warsmith Idriss Krendl arrives at the Schadenhold, a fortress built from a giant stalactite hanging from the ceiling of an immense cavern beneath the surface of the lifeless world Lesser Damantyne. Krendl has new orders for the Schadenhold's garrison, which is led by his former commander, Warsmith Barabas Dantioch, who fell from grace with Perturabo after losing a fortress to a Hrud migration that left him prematurely aged and weakened. Krendl is gathering forces for the Warmaster's campaign, but Dantioch has been warned of the Heresy by a clerk from Greater Damantyne and remains loyal to the Emperor. Vastopol, the only other survivor of the Hrud attack who had to be interred in a Dreadnought, emerges from the shadows of the meeting chamber and slaughters Krendl's guards as an expression of Dantioch's refusal to join the traitors. Krendl flees, and the clerk reveals himself to be Tauro Nicodemus, champion of the Ultramarines and Tetrarch of Ultramar, who vows to help Dantioch in the coming siege. For the next year Dantioch and his men defend the Schadenhold against Krendl's forces, delaying Horus's plans and tying up his resources, using the planet's environment against the attackers. Eventually the fortress is overwhelmed and Dantioch initiates his contingency plan while delayed traitor Titans get into position beneath the Schadenhold. Falling back to secret chamber with a handful of allies including Nicodemus and Vastopol, Dantioch activates a master switch that simultaneously triggers a series of explosions that disconnect the Scahdenhold from the cavern ceiling and teleports the group to Krendl's flagship. The traitor Titans and most of Krendl's army are destroyed as the fortress collapses on them, whilst Dantioch and his allies take the ship's bridge. Vastopol, removed from his Dreadnaught armour after he became wedged in a stairwell, dies on the bridge's deck as the loyalists make their escape. Seeking a purpose in the rest of the war, Dantioch accepts an offer from Nicodemus to travel to Terra and work on the defences of the Imperial Palace.

Setting

The Schadenhold, Iron Warriors fortress upon the world of Lesser Damantyne.

Characters

Savage Weapons

Savage Weapons

by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

The Dark Angels and Night Lords Legions are locked in battle over the Thramas sector, neither side able to gain an advantage without losing equally important territory elsewhere. Konrad Curze summons Lion El'Jonson to parlay on a barren world named Tsagualsa and each primarch attends with only two warriors, though their fleets remain in orbit. Corswain and Alajos of the Dark Angels exchange barbs and insults with Sevatar and Sheng of the Night Lords, while Curze and Jonson walk away to have a private discussion. The fragile peace is broken when Curze levels an insult Jonson cannot let slide and the Lion runs the Night Haunter through. The two primarchs begin a furious fight, while Alajos engages Sheng and Corswain tries to find Sevatar amidst the foundations of a fortress. Curze gets the upper hand and starts throttling Jonson, and Alajos sacrifices himself by taking on both Sheng and Sevatar while Corswain runs to the Lion's aid. Alajos cuts off Sheng's lower arm just before Sevatar beheads him. Corswain saves the Lion by ramming his sword into Curze's spine and forces from both sides arrive to pull their injured and raging primarchs apart. Both sides retreat, the engagement inconclusive.

Setting

  • Tsagualsa, at this time a barren world.
  • Aboard the Invincible Reason and the Vehemence, ships of the Dark Angel fleet.

Characters

Sources