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Angels of Caliban (Novel)

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Angels of Caliban
Angelofcaliban.jpg
Cover art
Author Gav Thorpe
Publisher Black Library
Series Horus Heresy Series
Preceded by The Silent War
Followed by Praetorian of Dorn
Released June 2016
Pages 480

Angels of Caliban is book 38 in the Horus Heresy series, which was released as a digital-exclusive on 18 June 2016. The audiobook has a running time of 10 hours and 57 minutes, and is narrated by John Banks.

Cover Description

Two infamous Space Marine Primarch rivals clash for the final time.

With the Dark Angels spread across a hundred systems, primarch Lion El’Jonson stands as Lord Protector of Ultramar – though his true motives are known to few indeed, and old rivalries on the home world threaten to tear the Legion in half. But when word comes of the Night Lords’ attack on Sotha, the Lion’s brutal actions bring Imperium Secundus once again to the brink of civil war. Not even the most fearsome warriors of the Dreadwing, nor any arcane secret of the Order, can guarantee victory if he sets himself against his loyal brothers.

Notable Characters

Caliban's Saviours

  • Luther, Grand Master of the Order
  • Lord Cypher, Guardian of the Order's traditions
  • Merir Astelan, Master of the First Chapter
  • Galedan, Chapter Master, Marshal of the Watch
  • Zahariel, Librarian, Master of the Mystai
  • Vassago
  • Asradael
  • Tanderion
  • Cartheus
  • Athadrael
  • Vael, Lieutenant-commander
  • Vastobal, Captain
  • Adarthian, Training master
  • Bethalin Tylain, Marchesa-colonel, Imperial Army auxilia
  • Saulus Maegon, Mistress of the Angelicasta
  • Belath, Chapter Master
  • Asmodeus, Librarian
  • Griffayn, "The Spear-Cast," sergeant-at-arms
  • Tagrain, Deck-captain, transport division
  • Haster, Deck-lieutenant
  • Tukon, Chapter Master, now captive beneath Aldurukh
  • Melian, Captain, now captive beneath Aldurukh

Distant Macragge, and Imperium Secundus

  • Sanguinius, The Imperator Regis, beloved primarch of the Blood Angels
  • Roboute Guilliman, Lord Warden, noble primarch of the Ultramarines
  • Lion El'Jonson, Lord Protector, vengeful primarch of the Dark Angels
  • Valentus Dolor, Tetrarch of Ultramar (Occluda)
  • Titus Prayto, Master of the Presiding Centuria, XIII Legion Librarius
  • Myrdun, Librarian of the First Legion
  • Drakus Gorod, Fief commander of the Invictus bodyguard
  • Azkaellon, Commander of the Sanguinary Guard
  • Faffnr Bludbroder, Watch-pack master of the Space Wolves
  • Vodun Badorum, Captain of the Praecental Guard, household division
  • Tarasha Euten, Chamberlain Principal to Lord Guilliman
  • Stenius, Legionary captain, and master of the Invincible Reason
  • Theralyn Fiana, Chief Navigator of the Invincible Reason, House Ne'iocene
  • Holguin, "Deathbringer," voted lieutenant of the Death wing
  • Morphael
  • Athoris
  • Carolingus
  • Nemeres
  • Farith Redloss, "Dreadbringer," voted lieutenant of the Dreadwing
  • Danaes, Voted successor, Dreadwing
  • Halswain
  • Xavis, Paladin of the 20th Order
  • Barzareon, Paladin of the 31st Order
  • Neraellin, Lieutenant, commander of the Colgrevance
  • Hexagia, Aide-de-militant to Neraellin
  • Sacatus Demor, Sergeant of the Ultramarines
  • Thoran, Sergeant of the Dark Angels
  • Casobourn
  • Asamund
  • Faretael
  • Dolmun
  • Daevios, Master of the Ordnance, XIII Legion
  • Hastenral, Munitions provost
  • Parestor, Whirlwind artillery commander
  • Metrital
  • Sardeon

Champions of the Great Crusade

  • Israfael, Chief Librarian of the Dark Angels
  • Erebus, First Chaplain of the Word Bearers
  • DeBlessent, Lieutenant, Ayliet Phalanx auxilia, Imperial Army
  • Regulus, Envoy of the Martian Mechanicum

Story

Prologue

At Zaramundm in the year 970.M30, the Luna Wolves and Death Guard respond and defeat a rebellion against Imperial rule. Aboard the Vengeful Spirit, Calas Typhon and his men met with Horus's men, members of the Dark Angel's, and representatives from the Mechanicum and Imperial Army (Ayliet Phalanx auxilia regiment) to commemorate the victory. As Typhon spoke with his second, Hadrabulus Vioss, he recognized the strategic importance of the system and how it would put Terra and the Imperium in jeopardy if it ever turned. The Dark Angel in audience were led by Luther, who approached Typhon and congratulated him for the Death Guard's efforts.[1a]

Together, the legionaries approached Horus's throne, and Typhone told Luther that Litus of the Mournival was working with him. In reply, Luther said Abaddon tried to work with him, though he laughed at Abaddon's suggestion that the Dark Angels could use a stronger warrior code and then explained the Order's martial tradition. The discussion then moved onto warrior lodges, which amused Typhon due to his long history with the dark mysteries and secret relationship with the Plaguefather and the Second of the Seven Pillars. Soon after, Horus spoke to all present, thanking them for their service in battle.[1a]

Following the event, Erebus approached Typhon, and Typhon introduced him to Luther, who in turned introduced the other Dark Angels present: Israfael, Zahariel, Merir Astelan, and Lord Cypher. Erebus quickly left, explaining that he had news for Horus. After the two spoke, Horus announced that Lion El'Jonson was joining them before the primarch entered, which bothered Luther greatly. The Lion rebuked Luther before approaching close to Horus to say that he was surprised by the action of his ships being used by Horus for the battle. Everyone was stunned in silence and submission as the Lion rebuked Horus for the act. The Lion then rebuked Luther for not staying on Caliban and for taking orders from Horus. Then the Lion ordered Luther's ships to join the Dark Angel's fleet and for Luther to be left on Caliban without them. After the Lion left, Typhon spoke words of support to Luther before Luther left to follow the Lion's order.[1a]

The First

At Ultramar in the year 11.M31 aboard the battle-barge Honoured Deeds, the Lion studied a hololith of Imperium Secundus while thinking about the Night Haunter's location. He met with Captain Stenius and Farith Redloss, Dreadwing lieutenant, and Holguin, leader of the Deathwing. They focused on the possibility that the Night Haunter was in Zepath. AFter much discussion, the Lion orders a blockade of the system and his intent to deal with Curze.[1b] In the Zepath system, the Monarch's Glory tried to battle a World Eater's battle-barge and its escorts, including one Word Bearers ship, but the ships fled. The Dark Angels went planetside and began to fight the forces of traitor legions that were left behind, but the Lion had his doubts that Curze was ever in the system. Before the Lion could consider leaving, his forces on the ground sent him an image of a massive tower made from skeletons, which prompted the Lion to go planet side. Once there, Redloss said that of the 5 million citizens of the city, Antilasta, not one was alive. The Lion was disgusted at the Word Bearers' ritual. Before the Lion could order a pursuit of the fled traitors, a message from the frigate Colgrevance to report an energy signature over the southern continent in a fortification that soon attacked a thunderhawk patrol.[1d]

The Lion soon ordered an attack on the fortress, joining it by stormbird. The Dark Angels forced their way into the fortress's tunnelwork and began to fight the traitor legionaries still remaining on the planet. Tanks and Land Raiders began to fire on the secondary citadel of the fortress, hitting its energy shield and laying siege. Seeing that it would take too long to take the shields, Paladin Xavis ordered a Dreadwing assault. Redloss ordered the Intolerant for focued fire as he organized his men. Redloss joined his men on a Spartan assault carrier. There, he discussed the history of the Hexagrammaton with his lieutenant-ascendant, Danaes, as they moved on to attack the fortification.[1d] With roughly 1,500 members of the Dreadwing, Redloss had the Intolerant blasted the energy shield with an annihilator cannon, a warp-blasting weapon, as the legionaries chanted "We have come. We are death." As the legionaries reached the fortress, four Caestus assault rams were launched and smashed into it, quickly laying waste to the Word Bearers' human serfs. The traitors resisted with two World Eaters dreadnoughts and 20 legionaries. As forces on both sides were cut down, Redloss charged into one Dreadnought and brought it down with his axe before he attacked two of the World Eaters.[1e]

In the capital Numentis, no one was left alive, but the Lion made it the focus of his victory. Survivors arrived, thanking the Dark Angels for their salvation but they were still afraid of legionaries and their war. This caused Holguin to doubt the Imperium Secundus, The Lion met with the people's leaders as the Dark Angels were rebuilding the city. The Word Bearers' towers were destroyed and the remains buried en masse. The Lion appointed the delegates as rulers to the world, but they were concerned that the Dark Angels would leave and not be there to protect the people further. After being dismissed, the new rulers tried to challenge Holguin about being abandoned, and Holguin reminded them that the Ultramarines would send support and that the war was started by Horus. The Lion soon returned to the Honoured Deeds and he took his officers to Tuchulcha. After requesting that the war entity provide the location of the fled traitors, it refused and the Lion was contacted that the Pharos beacon at Sotha disappeared. The Lion accused the entity of causing the destruction, and it pled innocence, causing the Lion to feel foolish that he was not at Sotha to protect it from Curze's legion and ordered that they return to Macragge to stop any attack on it.[1f]


On Caliban, Zahariel was running through a collapsing tunnel before becoming buried beneath stones. His mind drifted to the past about an old cave with a wizard before awakening again. Moving through an opening, he came upon the undead who he dispatched with his psychic powers, causing them to withdraw. He quickly looked for the worms that they battled when they fought the Ouroboros and found a psychic void that was growing that he determined was from the Ouroboros itself. With sudden realization that he was inside of the worm and cut off from his psychic power, he blacked out.[1c]

Twain

On Caliban, Aldurukh was once just a castle built into a remote mountain used by a warrior who protected the people from beasts that were once held back by technology that failed when Old Night struck. The people he saved built into the mountain, using it as a base and built an army, forming The Order. By the time of the Horus Heresy, a city with over a million residents was built around the mountain. While meeting along the outerwall, Chapter Master Astelan, a Terran, could not respect the castle or the surrounding region, never having seen the original beautiful land before the coming of the Imperium. Turning his attention to his plotting with Marchesa-Colonel Tylain, Astelan inquired of the various cells they have put together to confine prisoners who did not support Luther. Galendan then reported that Zahariel's Librarians detected ships approaching but that Zahariel himself had not yet returned. Astelan became concerned when he heard Luther was given the news first, distrusting the Librarius and Lord Cypher as potential obstacles to his personal amvbitions. Galedan then questioned why Astelan would support Luther, prompting him to explain that the previous insurrection against Luther was doomed and it was better to be on Luther's side. Astelan then recalled the Lion's actions at Zaramund and the risk of his return so soon.[1h]

Four of the librarians met in a dungeon near Stormhold, including Vassago (Zahariel's second), Tanderion, Cartheus, and Athadrael, to discuss the recent events. Athadrael speculated that Zahariel was killed, possibly by Cypher, causing a debate until Vassago declared that Zaharel must be alive and can be located. They must operate in secret to remain independent and out of fear of the "Edict of Nikaea," and together they united to find their brother. Before they could find him, they were interrupted by Cypher who claimed that their actions were dangerous. This caused Vassago to wonder how Cypher was able to interrupt them, who then admitted that it was a borrowed power. Before the discussion could progress, the room was suddenly filled with six of the Watchers in the Dark who vanished as suddenly as they appeared. The librarians agreed to keep Cypher informed, and were warry that the Watchers were possibly working with him. Feeling wary, they left with Cypher to return to Aldurukh.[1i]

Astelan and Galedan made their way through the prison, prompting Galedan to inquire why the Dark Angels were not supported by tech priests. Astelan explained that as First Legion they were around before the alliance with Mars and remained independent. He also explained about the Six Hosts before they entered a cell holding Chapter Master Tukon. Astelan told the prisoner that ships had arrived and expressed his concern regarding his actions when they both served together in the Host of Fire. Not receiving a response, Astelan promised that his own actions had to be done for victory, providing him another contingency plan. Astelan and Galedan soon left for another cell but was rebuked by Galedan first for cruelty. Astelan rebuked him, saying the next prison, Captain Melian, must be broken to be useful. Melian was furious, attacking the electric barrier of his cage and berating Astelan, to which Astelan patiently waited through before telling him that ships arrived and a plan to overthrow Luther. Melian was not completely convinced. After leaving, Galedan rebuked him once more about the twisting plots, and Astelan expressed that he will always be loyal to the Emperor.[1j]

In the ruined Northwilds arcology, a tower collapsed as a passage was created from beneath the ground to the surface. Bright light poured out, surrounding Zahariel as he reached the surface. His vision was changed, able to see an energy among the life of the planet that he could not see before. He realized that Ouroboros was not an enemy of Caliban but the planet itself, and he felt that the Imperium was trying to bind true knowledge. He was filled with its spirit, and he flew to the south to meet with Cypher, who abandoned him for dead. He could see Aldurukh for its Imperial and Caliban essences, and he was also able to see a special light surrounding Luther's library. He was determined to set Caliban free from the influence of the Order, but his thoughts were interrupted by the flight of a Thunderhawk carrying Vassago. He landed near by and greeted Zahariel, but Zahariel said that Cypher would not be happy to see him. Zahariel declared that Cypher was a coward who fled, but Vassago warned against a confrontation and explained that the Watchers were allied with him. Zahariel knew that the Ouroboros and the Watchers were at odds, and insisted that they call others together and talk to Luther. Soon after, Luther met with Astelan, Cypher, and Zahariel, unable to trust any of them and seeing them as all plotting for power, but Zahariel was the one Luther thought most powerful and necessary. Luther confronted Cypher with the events with Zahariel, but didn't blame him of cowardice. He then said that the title Librarian was meaningless and gave Zahariel keys to the chambers of the Mystai, psykers of the Order, and providing him the title Master of the Mystai before dismissing all three. After they were gone, Luther entered his private library and turned to the books within to read from a book on the Ouroboros.[l]

On Macragge, Guilliman waited for the arrive of the Lion arriving by stormbird. The previous time the Lion arrived, he was ready to attack Macragge due to uncertainty over the creation of Imperium Secundus, but this time he returned due to the destruction of the Pharos. Guilliman was wary over his brother's actions and secrets, but he was most wary over having to admit his own mistakes during the incident. The Lion was angry, demanding answers as he left the ship, and Guilliman explained the Night Lords attack and made it clear that Curze was not with them and never left Macragge. The Lion grew concerned, and Guilliman revealed the attempt by Curze to harm Sanguinius. As the two primarchs traveled, they were joined in their flight by Faffnr Bludbroder and his Space Wolf pack, there under the orders of Malcador. They flew over the damage afflicted upon the Fortress of Hera and the collapsed portico. The Lion wanted to see Sanguinius, and they landed and walked to the Praetorium, where government affairs were not being run.[k]

In the Library of Ptolemy, the Lion met with Sanguinius who was reading and the two discussed the attack by Curze and how Curze tried to discuss his visions of the future. Curzed blamed the emperor for his actions, to which Guilliman doubted as possible but the Lion understood the problem. Sanguinius went further to explain that Curze thought himself good and sought vindication, seeking to be executed by Sanguinius to which Sanguinius said he was incapable of doing because Curze was too wretched. Although the other two saw it as necessary, Sanguinius felt it would be murder without a trial and would darken the future. After further discussion, Sanguinius admitted his own future death at the hands of Horus, which upset the others. Soon after, the Lion and Guilliman fought over who was response for Curze remaining on the planet and how to hunt him down. The Lion promised that he would not restrain himself and instead crack down on the planet to find Curze, to which Sanguinius allowed.[1m]

Triumvirate

Later, the Lion confronted Guilliman over his doubts regarding the new security plan and the hunt for Curze. The Lion explained that he would bring his legion to Macragge to enforce martial law, which caused Guilliman great concern before the Lion reminded him that it was an Imperium Secundus world now. Guilliman left to talk to his Chamberlain Principal and pseudo mother, Tarasha Euten, about the situation. The two reflected on Konor's rule and that of the Emperor, and Guilliman admitted he feared failure and that he could not trust the Lion. She pointed out that the Lion acts, and Guilliman explains that he is afraid that the Lion would bring down the new government. She encouraged him to focus on his own role and let others perform theirs, but to always plan. Soon after, Redloss prepared troops on the Invicible Reason for action and the Lion came to inspect the activity. Redloss questioned as to the necessity of the action, and the Lion responded that they must ensure the success of the new Imperium. However, Redloss expressed concern if Terra had actually falen, and the Lion admitted that he did not know.[1n]

At the Illyrian peaks, the Lion met with Guilliman, with the Space Wolf pack nearby watching. The Lion brought them to a vox station that was attacked with the crew's remains crammed into their lockers. The Ultramarines were unconvinced that it was Curze's doing, instead possibly local bandits. However, the Lion took Guilliman aside and made it clear he would act to deal with it.[1p] Back in Magna Macragge Civitas, the Lion met with Sanguinius and Guilliman, first talking about city designs. The Lion challenged Sanguinius's aloofness to his plans, seeking any concerns but receiving none. The Lion thought of his inability to fight in with the aspects of Caliban, separated from both the Imperium and the old forests, before he left. Guilliman then met with Tetrarch Valentus Dolor to hear his report on activities, including the grounding of all ships and the ongoing inspections, chastising him for not being fully cooperative with the Dark Angels. Dolor expressed concerns regarding the activities, but Guilliman reminded him that they are looking for Curze and was a threat to the new Imperium. He met with Titus Prayto next, who complained that the Lion was using his librarians in the hunt. He expressed further concern that the Lion was investigating all astropathic messages, but Guilliman left him in shame for overreacting to the actions. At the same time, Dark Angels marched through the city while Holguin took his personal anti-grav landraider like tank, Galatine to the Council Militis hall, repurposed as the court of the Imperial Triumvirate in the Fortress of Hera. He met Gorod in an assembly hall to announce that he was taking over security duty of the Triumvirate.[1q]

On Caliban, Zahariel spoke to Astelan as they waited on the battlements for the ship to arrive in orbit. They discussed the historic nature of first arrive of the Imperium on Caliban and how history was being made again. Zahariel became concerned when fifty armed Dark Angels approached, and Astelan tried to calm him by saying it was just an honour guard. They discussed the rebellion as a stormbird was landing, and Astelan believed it was not over. When the ship landed, Chapter Master Belath was the first to exit and was rough in his manner towards those on Caliban. He refused to answer questions, saying he had word for Luther alone and that his soldiers will be ready to depart as soon as possible. Additionally, he brought transports to take forces from the planet. As they traveled to see Luther, Belath inquired over to the events happening at the Northwilds arcology, and Astelan was quick to explain that the incident there was handled but Belath was quick with the accusations. Zahariel was able to read Belath's discomfort with his powers and could sense he felt guilty regarding something in the past. Zahariel questioned him over Nemiel's status, and Belath admitted that Nemiel was dead. He explained further aboutt he attack by the warp entities, but Zahariel became upset that Belath didn't give a direct answer and tried to attack him, using psychic powers to force the truth. Zahariel saw the incident where Nemiel demanded the execution of a librarian who defended against the daemons and would not relent, and the Lion executed him. Zahariel was battered away from Belath, and, laying there shocked, he was able to ask why the librarians were prevented from acting. Belath explained the power of the Edict. Astelan kept the two apart.[1o]

Luther met Belath in the Hall of Decemial in the Angelicasta, which was turned into an audience chamber in a scene that made it seem like Luther's men were awaiting the Lion to return to lead them and that the old ways did not return. Belath was met with applause and cheers from the gathered Dark Angel officers, amusing and confusing him, as he entered the chamber, and Luther expressed his gratitude for Belath's return. Belath was ill at ease by the time he spoke, telling Luther of the war across the Imperium. Luther dismissed the officers, with Cypher, Zahariel, and Asteland remaining, but Belath said he could only speak to Luther. Luther inquired if the Lion was still alive, and Belath answered that they believed he was. Belath then explained that there were few answers as to what was actually taking place, but it was known that the Salamanders and Raven Guard legions were crippled, the Gorgon killed, and that half of the legions traitored. Belath then explained that the Dark Angels battled the Night Lords until the Lion received word that took him to Ultramar after splitting the legion. He also said that they were fighting the Death Guard under Calas Typhon, which intrigued Luther. Belath explained that he was to return with 30,000 of the Dark Angels on Caliban to aid in the fights, but Luther turned on him, not believing Belath's loyalty. Astelan then criticized Belath for losing his status after Byzanthis. Belath then professed that though they might doubt him or the Lion, they could trust Corswain's loyalty, and Luther said the only way to find the truth was to use Zahariel's psychic powers. After using his powers, Zahariel told them that Belath spoke the truth, and Luther apologized to him. uther then said he was honored to rejoin the legion again, but Belath told him that only the recruits would join them. As Belath left, Astelan sought to have him executed, but Luther denied him. Astelan then challenged Luther's goals, and Luther said that he sought to protect Caliban and the Order, even if it meant independence from all others. They all pledged loyalty to Luther.Afterwards, Zahariel and his librarians entered the Mystai chamber, which was a warded location that allowed psykers to tap into the warp. It was shielded from the Ouroboros, but Zahariel brought a portion of it with him inside the chamber and planted it within the mind of the others, joining them with him.[1q]

Go Forth

On Macragge, Ultramarines under Sergeant Sacatus Demor helped Dark Angels under Sergeant Thoran patrol the hills of Illyrium. Coming upon a cave, they readied their weapons as they entered. They quickly found recent tracks entering the cave, and Thoran ordered an auspex scan that gave them a heat trace into the cave. They rushed the area, demanding anyone inside to submit and charging forward. However, Demor was bothered by the scene but was too late as the cave exploded and rocks collapsed on them and the patrol was attacked. Over at MadupolisParestor in a Whirldwind scanned the area near a bridge spanning a six hundred metre deep canyon that connected to Macragge Civitas. Suddenly, a smoking vehicle came down the highway, and Parestor tried to reach Sardeon and his patrol regarding it but got no response from the checkpoint. Command designated the vehicle a threat and the Whirlwind launched its missiles, destroying it. Trying to reach his commander, Parestor found him dead inside the tank before melta bombs destroyed it. In the command center, Captain Neraellin reviewed activity reports. As he watched the landing of a massive cestrus fortification, Thunderhawks transporting it were hit by lascannon fire from the town of Thiaphonis. He ordered a strike on the location, trying to stop the lascannons but was too late to prevent one of the Thunderhawks from being too damaged too fly. Holguin was reluctant to tell the Lion of the events, but he did so with the other primarchs present. This time, the attack was in the civitas, a suicide bomber, and the Lion told Guilliman that it must be Curze's doing to make a point. Seeking the review of the situation by Holguin, the primarchs decide that they would withdraw to enforce the city and force Curze to come to them.[2a]

Holguin watched a crowd of protesters at the Porta Hera checkpoint who were upset at food rationing and other security measures. Holguin told Vodun Badorum of the Praecental household guard that they were in violation of gathering restrictions and needed to be dispersed. When Badorum protested, saying they will disperse on their own after being allowed to vent, Holguin responded that the legionaries would have to disperse them by their own means. In the fortress, the primarchs met to discuss the problems in Illyria and the Lion demanded more action against Illyria as a whole. Guilliman and the Lion disputed over the matter, with the Lion demanding that the territory be brought to heal through orbital attack. This upsetted Guilliman further, and he pleaded with Sanguinius of the moral consequences. Sanguinius declared that destroying Illyrium from orbit would be a bad idea and that it would not guarantee stopping Curze. He then charged the Lion with apprehending Curze before leaving. In Thiaphonis, many of the anti-Imperial forces were rebuilding the city when they spotted an incoming ship and took up arms provided by the Illyrat Batha, digging in to fight. As a lone figure, Redloss, left the gunship, rocket attacks hit the area the rebels were stationed with phosphex, wiping them out, as the Dreadwing began the reclmation of the region.[2e]

The Dreadwing made quick work of Illyrium, relying on phosphex weaponry on towns and defoliants on the silva altum. Residents were pushed from their homes into internment camps.The Deathwing guarded Macragge Civitas while the other wings guarded the camps, executing any with weapons. By the 23rd day of the assault, almost 2/3rds of the region was depopulated, with the rebels hiding in mountain cave systems. The Lion soon joined the Dreadwing, commanding from a keep built at the base of the Andetrium on Alma Mons, the Gatepeak. Redloss spoke to his primarch over the difficulty of taking the highlands and cave systems that dominated the rest of the Alma Mons, wanting to try a different means to attack. Instead, the Dreadwing proposed touse orbital-seeded deathwinds, vortex detonators, and guardian minefields. It would require the fleet, the Ultramarines deathstorm pods, and the two Dark Angels Dreadhammers. They would then use 48 Caestus rams filled with rad-bombs and phosphex to bomb the inside of the mountain. The long term effect would making the region uninhabitable for 600-800 years. The Lion agreed witht he general idea but instead wanted the mountain to be sealed so he could hunt Curze down himself.[2g]

On Caliban, Astelan expresses his belief that Belath should not have been allowed to leave, but Zahariel rejected the idea. Astelan was worried about the lost opportunity of being able to leave and that he could have told others that something was wrong. At that moment, Belath returned with Librarian Asmodeus. Worried about what Asmodeus might find in Astelan's thoughts, he probbed them himself but was rebuffed by a powerful shield and witnessed the same happening to Asmodeus. The two psykers then used their power to talk to each other, confused over Astelan's shield. Unknown, Belath moved to go with Astelan to meet with Luther, and Zahariel took Astelan aside to demand what the Emperor did to his mind and revealed that the experience with the Emperor left a mark on his thoughts. Astelan then explained that the Emperor warded his first Angels of Death against the power of the Long Night, the Dhul-Quarnayn and the Sigillites, among others. Together, they all left to see Luther, with Zahariel confused by everything but his desire to free Caliban.[2b] Luther awaited them alone at the hall, loathing the Lion and the Imperial conquest of Caliban and reflecting on his life and his rise in the Order. He also reflected on why they were the Dark Angels, blaming the Emperor for the problems they experienced. His thoughts were interrupted by Belath, who he quickly escorted out of the hall. Belath felt that he was being delayed from his mission, and Luther insisted further that there being a celebratory feast. Luther then led him to the proving ground to see 10,000 of the legionaries awaiting. However, Belath's lack of awe at the scene upset Luther, but Belath then expressed his sympathy at Luther's punishment at being stranded on the world. Luther made it clear that the warriors trained under him and did not know the primarch, and that there must be a feast or they would not accept Belath. With honeyed words, Luther convinced Belath of the feast and to bring the veterans down from orbit to join them. After Belath left, Cypher asked Luther if Belath would join them, and Luther said it would be Cypher's duty to make it so. The two disputed over the idea of trying to keep Belath alive, and Luther would not allow it.[2c]

Belath's Dark Angels gathered in the antechaber to the Hall of Decemial awaiting the feast while Zahariel watched over them. There were five officers and 31 legionaries, and Asmodeus used his powers to block any scanning of their minds. Some of the legionaries were relaxed and enjoyed the surroundings while others were not. Zahariel and his legionaries discussed the mindset of those present, wondering who would be a possible ally among the group when Griffayn made his appearance, the voted lietenant of the Firewing. The librarians watched as some of the Dark Angels talked to Griffayn while others ignored him, studying the politics of the scene before Cypher and Luther entered the room. Together, the legionaries all entered the hall. At the same time, Galedan and Astelan waited at a starport and discussed the possibility of Griffayn joining their movement before taking a stormbird. Astelan worried at the possibility, not wanting any new rivals.[2d] While eating, Griffayn asked Luther why Astelan and Zahariel were absent from the table, to which Luther said that Astelan was busy preparing troops for orbit. Then Luther stood and motioned for 100 legionaries to appear at the galleries above the feast before hailing Belath's men and welcoming them. Zahariel entered with others, all dressed as neophytes, bearing wine for the guests in a theatrical display of hubleness. As they poured wine, the librarians probed the minds of those present and Luther continued to talk about old Caliban knightly traditions. The librarians marked sympathizers of their cause with gold cups before the feast continued.[2f]

Pentae

On Caliban, Astelan's stormbird and 50 legionaries arrived in orbit and met with Deck-Captain Tagrain, a Dark Angels serf. Before Tagrain could act, Astelan ordered his men to seize command of the ship and ordered that the others commands were to do the same to the other transports. Galedan confronted Luther about taking control without Luther's orders before Astelan moved to the stormbird and ordered legionaries to move on the Spear of Truth, Belath's hidden battle-barge, which was once his old ship and would be his again.[3a] Luther was pleased with how events were unfolding, still hoping to win over Belath. He was surprised when Belath told him that Asteland commandeered the ships, and Luther told him it was not his command. However, Belath was weary and warned the soldiers present, and Luther told them to wait and not to be in haste. Luther then spoke of the need for Caliban to be independence, and questioned why the Lion ruined the world with Imperial rule and on the nature of the Horus Heresy. To silence Belath, he moved on to the death of Nemiel and how the Lion was not loyal to them. While he spoke, the librarians exerted influence over those present to help convince them. When someone challenged Luther on following Horus, he declared he would not and instead be independent then reminded them of what happened to Prospero and encouraged their animosity towards the Space Wolves. He then warned that the war as a whole would come to their planet, that Malcador sent spies, and that they needed to be ready. Luther turned to question the location of the Lion and why he was no where to be found. To this, Griffayn admitted that the primarch went to Macragge to join Guilliman's second empire instead of supporting Terra. As Zahariel watched the growing unity, he thought of how the Ouroboros would not seek peace but freedom. At that moment, he attacked Belath with warp energy, claiming that Belath was really an assassin and then ordered that the others be killed as assassins.[3d]

On Ultramar, the Lion watched as his attack burned the Alma Mons, waiting in the open as a challenge to Curze. Soon after, he began his movement to the cave system while using his power to sense the warp to let him know if Curze was nearby. As midnight approached, the Lion made his way to a temple his men destroyed the previous day.[3b] At the same time, Sanguinius met with Guilliman over the lack of news from Illyrium, leaving Holguin to defend the actions. Sanguinius then defended the activity, stating he knew the consequences.[3c] Having made his way along the mountain, the Lion quickly came upon Curze, battling him in a vicious fight. As Curze moved to slash him, the Lion blasted him with his bolter before Curze slipped into the darkness. The Lion taunted him before Curze burst from the darkness for a brief attack before disappearing again. Curze tried another sneak attack only to be stabbed in the stomach before vanishing once more. Curze came again, with the Lion blocking the blow and then threw himself on the other primarch, stabbing him repeatedly before Curze could vanish once again. With the wounds, the Lion was able to track Curze through the temple's catacombs. In a large burial chamber, the two fought before Curze tried to leave. The Lion confronted him, exposing Curze's plan to use explosives to harm him and stating that they were disarmed before he gave chase. As Curze tried to leave, a missile blasted into the entrance, hitting him as three fire raptors arrived in support. Curze, angry, charged down at the Lion while screaming that the Lion was not the one to kill him before he was pinned to the wall by the Lion's sword. He tore free to attack again, but the Lion was able to crash into him, taking him to the ground to pummel him. The Lion questioned why Curze turned, to which Curze answered "why not?" and to say that there was a monster in his head he could not stop. Instead of killing Curze, the Lion pulled back, saying he could not kill him but then pummeled him again. The Lion then ripped off Curze's backpack then brought him down upon his knee, breaking his spine and paralyzing him.[3e]

Hex'd

A battle erupted in the Hall of Decemial, but those on the balconies quickly ended their fire. Griffayn fought Asmodeus, with the librarian on the defense. Zahariel went through the hall, able to see those who would harm Caliban and killing those he neared. Briefly warned before hand, he was hit attacked by Cypher and Tanderion sacrificed himself to stop it. Cypher fled, with the Zahariel and his men pursuing. Cypher attacked, killing Cartheus then knocked Asradael down before fleeing again. Zahariel used his power to light up the dark area, revealing the Watchers. Zahariel declared to the Watchers that they both serve Caliban, but Cypher stated that Zahariel served its prisoner. He was overwhelmed by the Ouroboros, who took control of his body to ward of Cypher's attack. Through the power of the Ouroboros, he saw Cypher as a green man, a tree made man and embued with the essence of the forest. The two sides disputed the nature of the planet and the prison, and Zahariel accused the Watchers of bringing the Ouroboros there before forcing the away or he would unleash the Ouroboros. He then confronted Cypher, surprised at who it was before killing him.[4a]

On the Spear of Truth, Astelan took command and replaced the bridge crew with his legionaries. Soon after, orbital platforms targetted the ship and Luther contacted them, angry at the trechery. Astelan then said it was about trust, and that Luther was forced to kill the Dark Angels loyal to Belath as proof. Luther then stripped Astelan of his rank, but Astelan ordered Luther to have them brought back and threatened to use the battle-barge. Then Astelan told Luther that he could do what Luther could not while bound to honor, and the two came to agreement that they will attack another system.[4c] Following the incident, Luther spoke before 15,000 legionaries with Astelan and Griffayn to speak of unity and the civil war in the galaxy. They would go out and make allies or conquer others, but warned that they would be attacked one day. Then, Zahariel was introduced to the stage as the new Lord Cypher.[4e]

On Ultramar, the Imperial Triumvirate held court at the legata collegius with an audience of the various legions present. The trial was held with the primarchs as judges and legionaries serving as witnesses of Curze's crime. Sanguinius questioned the public nature, and Guilliman explained that justice needed to be visible. They disputed over giving Curze the platform before Sanguinius relented and ordered the trial begin. Curze admitted to his action, but refused to accept guild because he was made to act that way, thus they were not crimes. Curze then divided Guilliman from the Lion, accusing the Lion of ordering secret orbital attacks and pitting the against each other. The Lion sought to kill Curze, but Sanguinius prevented him with words and Guilliman broke his sword. The Lion responded with anger, but Sanguinius dismissed him, ending the Triumvirate and banishing him from Imperium Secundus.[4b] The Dark Angels withdrew from the planet hours following the dismissal. Holguin blamed Redloss and the Dreadwing for the incident, and he gave friendly parting words to Gorod and Azkaellon before leaving. Once they made it to orbit, the fleet began to leave and Holguin was called to speak with the Lion. The Lion then gave him the pieces of the broken sword before being dismissed. Alone, the Lion thought of the events when a Watcher appeared to say there was still time, and he was resolved to return home to save his legion.[4d]

The Lion continued to brood, questioning his exile of Luther and other decisions as he stood in the chamber of Tuchulcha. Soon, his council arrived and the Lion told them that they would return to Caliban. Before they left, the Lion had a thought and ordered Tuchulcha to teleport him and Holguin to Sanguinius's chamber.[4f] Guilliman and Sanguinius stood before Curze in judgment and to execute him. Guilliman said that he should be the executioner, and Curze said that it was just like the Emperor. However, Sanguinius was filled with his psychic power and attacked Curze to his cries that it was not how he would die. Suddenly, the Lion appeared, asking for Sanguinius to stop. Troops came into the room, demanding the Lion's surrender but he responded that Curze was able to see the future, and he repeated that Curze's claim that his death would be at the hands of an assassin was sent by the Emperor. This, to the Lion, was proof that the Emperor was still alive. Sanguinius recognized that his own visions of death would also be true. Guilliman demanded what would come of Curze. The Lion knelt before his brothers and promised that he would be Curze's gaoler, and Curze laughed at the confusion of the scene.[4g]

In 12.M31, the Terminus Est broke from the warp before being joined by five other ships of Typhon's Grave Wardens. They arrived at the scene of a battle. Soon, they were approached by a battle-barge, which Typhon thought was one of Corswain's. However, a communication came and Luther welcomed Typhon to the system, Zaramund.[4h]

See also

Sources

  • 1: Angels of Caliban
    • 1a: "Prologue"
    • 1b: Ch. 1
    • 1c: Ch. 2
    • 1d: Ch. 3
    • 1e: Ch. 4
    • 1f: Ch. 5
    • 1g: Ch. 6
    • 1h: Ch. 7
    • 1i: Ch. 8
    • 1j: Ch. 9
    • 1k: Ch. 10
    • 1l: Ch. 11
    • 1m: Ch. 12
    • 1n: Ch. 13
    • 1o: Ch. 14
    • 1p: Ch. 15
    • 1q: Ch. 16
  • 2: "Go Fourth"
  • 3: "Pentae"
  • 4: "Hex'd"
    • 4a: Ch 29
    • 4b: Ch 30
    • 4c: Ch 31
    • 4d: Ch 32
    • 4e: Ch 33
    • 4f: Ch 34
    • 4g: Ch 35
    • 4h: Epilogue